The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit to the 1851 Trust
The visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Portsmouth and the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series was also a visit to the 1851 Trust: The Duchess is the charity’s Royal Patron. We had two projects that we wanted to show her, and on ‘Super Sunday’ we gathered many of the children that were involved at Southsea Castle for her to meet them. It was also a great opportunity to keep The Duchess informed on our work, and she asked for regular updates.
The weather changed a lot of plans that day – the racing was cancelled because of the gale-force winds, and the event site even had to be closed – and we were lucky that Portsmouth City Council allowed us to take shelter in the Castle’s keep. The weather certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of any of those involved though, and the children were all so excited to meet the Royal couple.
The first group of 13 children had participated in the very first session of the Portsmouth Sailing Project (PSP), and came to us from the local youth engagement charity Motiv8. The PSP is a collaboration between the 1851 Trust and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and has the aim of putting 1,000 novice sailors from Portsmouth and the surrounding area out on the Solent this summer – over half the places have already been allocated.
Clare Ansell, Director of Operations, Motiv8, commented, “Working together with the 1851 Trust has enabled children and young people across the city to have a once in a lifetime experience, which they can treasure forever. The young people had an amazing time, not only were they able to experience sailing for the first time, but having the opportunity to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge really was the icing on the cake… thank you 1851 Trust!”
The Duke and Duchess also met Al Harding, an 1851 Trust Youth Ambassador, and the Wavemaker volunteers from Portsmouth High School who had volunteered throughout the event to help to promote the work of the 1851 Trust as the event’s official charity.
The final group of children were from Solent Infant and Solent Junior School, who were proudly showcasing their entries to the 1851 Trust competition to design a trophy for the winners of the World Series. The children included the creator of the winning design, six year old Leo Howard. The design was brought to life by professional artist Michelle Littlewood, and was chosen by Trust Chairman Sir Keith Mills, Trust Ambassador Freddie Carr and CEO Alasdair Akass from more than 1,200 entries.