Thursday, February 24, 2011

Will and Kate in Wales

Prince William and his bride-to-be, Miss Catherine Middleton made their first official appearance as a couple at at Trearddur Bay in Anglesey, Wales near where William works as a RAF search and rescue pilot. They were there to launch the 25ft-long Hereford Endeavour, one of the Royal Navy's most advanced  craft, with "a  tough carbon-fibre hull and capable of 35 knots – 40 mph.Carrying four crew and with room for 20 survivors, it has  special engines that work even after a capsize." Of course, all eyes were on lovely Kate as she navigated her way through her very first royal walkabout.

Prince William applauds as Kate Middleton pours champagne over the new lifeboat. The bottle was not smashed, as is tradition, because the vessel is inflatable

Of course she did brilliantly, even singing the Welsh national anthem perfectly - something that seems to have impressed everyone - along with her ease with the crowd.

A young girl is held back by her mother as Prince William and Kate Middleton greet the crowds

Of course, there are the expected comparisons with Prince William's mother and chit chat about what Kate wore including her fascinator, a fashionable little headpiece, in this case, designed by milliner Vivien Sheriff (and not Philip Treacy as reported by the London Evening Standard):

Appropriately for the Welsh visit, it was decorated with an insignia of the Royal Welch Fusiliers – given to Kate ‘some time ago’, aides said – and two military tunic buttons. It was designed for the 29-year-old by Vivien Sheriff Millinery, a small company based in rural Wiltshire which makes all of its hats by hand.  And the design team was just as delighted to see the piece atop the bride-to-be’s head as anyone. ‘We saw it on the internet and we were extremely happy,’ said Maddie O’Mahony, of the design team. ‘She has quite a few of our pieces and luckily she wore one of ours today.’

Smiling and waving for the crowds, Kate Middleton performed adeptly on her first official appearance

I think the military buttons were an inspired choice. But here's what I think is really impressive - Kate sang  the anthem  in Welsh

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
(Pennill Cyntaf - First stanza)
Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,

Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;

Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mâd,
Dros ryddid collasant eu gwaed.

(Cytgan - Chorus)
Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad.
Tra môr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau.
(Ail Bennill - Second stanza)
Hen Gymru fynyddig, paradwys y bardd,

Pob dyffryn, pob clogwyn, i'm golwg sydd hardd;

Trwy deimlad gwladgarol, mor swynol yw si
Ei nentydd, afonydd, i mi.

(Cytgan - Chorus)
(Trydydd Pennill - Third stanza)
Os treisiodd y gelyn fy ngwlad tan ei droed,

Mae hen iaith y Cymry mor fyw ag erioed,

Ni luddiwyd yr awen gan erchyll law brad,
Na thelyn berseiniol fy ngwlad.

(Cytgan - Chorus)

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