On Friday, the royal couple visited Francis House, a hospice in Manchester for children and young adults. It is the same hospice where William’s late mother memorably visited 25 years ago. Like Diana, Kate made children’s charities a key cause among her royal duties.
During the emotional visit, the royal couple walked by a large photograph of the prince’s late mother on the wall, and William commented on how nice it was to have the “family connection.”
“I was saying I was here when Princess Diana opened Francis House 25 years ago, and he said it’s nice to have the family connection and that it feels very family here,” said Natalie Hands, clinical leader of Francis House.
Will and Kate met with families and staff members, and had a memorable interaction with a young girl named Angel. The 5-year-old was born with encephalocele, a condition that affects the brain.
Angel’s mother, Sharon Nelson, 46, said that her daughter, who is blind, spoke to both royals, but that Angel preferred Kate’s voice.
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“When the prince was talking to her she didn’t respond,” Nelson said. “But as soon as she heard the princess’s voice she started to smile.”
Earlier in their Manchester “away day,” the couple stopped by the National Football Museum (where William got in a few kicks) and received a surprise greeting from school children wearing royal family masks.
During the visit to the football museum, 78-year-old former soccer star Roger Hunt asked William whether he plays soccer.
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“I play a little bit,” William said, “at school and university mostly. Rugby I’ve stopped, too many injuries. I do a bit of swimming as well.”
“We do quite a bit of running around after our kiddies,” Kate added.
The visit to Manchester, about 200 miles northwest of London, comes at the end of a packed week for the couple that began with their celebration of World Mental Health Day with Prince Harry on Monday. Kate then flew to the Netherlands for her first solo foreign trip on Tuesday, while William knighted Sir Rod Stewart. On Wednesday, the royal dad toured a hospital, chatting with patients and veterans, and on Thursday he honored John F. Kennedy.