The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge traveled to Mumbles and Port Talbot in south Wales to visit local organizations and businesses

By Simon Perry and Conchita Margaret Widjojo
February 04, 2020 08:28 AM
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Kate Middleton is a natural with kids.

During the Prince William and Kate’s visit to south Wales on Tuesday, the royal mom met 3-year-old Annabel shortly after their arrival at Mumbles Pier.

“I said to her that Annabel was really excited to meet a real princess,” Annabel’s mother, local family doctor Rhian Costello, tells PEOPLE. “And she said, ‘I’m sorry I’m not wearing a pretty dress today.’ Annabel then said that she thought she’d look like Cinderella.”

Instead of a ballgown, Kate wore a red Zara dress under a navy coat by Hobbs. To stay extra warm on the windy day, she added a red and white scarf to her ensemble.

Dr. Costello, who also has 18-month-old twins at home, adds, “She was very, very natural and lovely and sweet with the children. She was so lovely talking to as many people and children as possible. She said that Annabel looked cold and asked how long we’d been waiting. I thanked them for coming to Wales and that it’s so lovely they come and bring their publicity.”

Kate then responded that she and William “would like to try to come more as they always enjoy coming down to visit.”

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Kate Middleton
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During their visit, Kate and Prince William met with rescue crews and volunteers at the local lifeboat station and watched the crew engage in a launch before heading to Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour, a quintessential British haven.

Kate Middleton
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During their visit, William and Kate discussed the princess’ survey on children’s early years, called “5 Big Questions on the Under Fives.” The survey was launched this month as the royal mom of three undertook a whirlwind 24-hour tour that also took in the Welsh capital Cardiff. Last week, it emerged that more than 100,000 had taken part in the month-long project.

Kate Middleton and Prince William
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Prince William and Kate Middleton
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The royal couple — who lived in North Wales for the first years of their married life — will later head to the Tata Steelworks in nearby Port Talbot, the U.K.’s largest steel plant, employing 4,000 people. There, the pair will take part in a discussion with company directors and trade unions before spending time with workers in the plant’s Hot Strip Mill and in its Training Academy.

Kate Middleton and Prince William
Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images
Kate Middleton and Prince William
Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images

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They will end the day in the area seeing an initiative that supports young people who have faced tough childhood experiences and mental health challenges. Despite a proud industrial past, the area has been hit by ongoing economic challenges and deprivation after the contraction of the steel industry over the last 30 years.

It comes during an important few days for Kate as it is Children’s Mental Health Week, which is run by one of her charities, Place2be.