Prince William announced a new Queen Elizabeth-approved sponsorship for his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, and said it would make his grandfather, Prince Philip, "fascinated and very excited"


Kate Middleton has a new role! She is a sponsor for a new naval battleship.

Her husband Prince William made the announcement during a visit to the shipyard area of Govan in Glasgow, Scotland, early on Tuesday. 

Speaking at BAE Systems, William said his grandmother Queen Elizabeth had made the appointment for the Duchess of Cambridge to be associated with HMS Glasgow, which is being built at the yard. 

It means Kate, 39, will have a longstanding "strong and enduring personal connection to the vessel and her crew, often supporting milestones, events and deployments," her office at Kensington Palace explained. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the European Marine Energy Centre on May 25, 2021 in Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty
Prince William visits BAE Systems' Shipyard
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

In his speech, William said, "My family's affection for the Royal Navy is well known, and as I saw the work taking place here today, I was thinking of my grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. He would have been fascinated and very excited to see such advances in skills and technology being put into practice."

"Today, I'm very pleased to announce that my family's connection with Type 26 will endure for many years to come. Her Majesty the Queen has approved the appointment of my wife Catherine as Sponsor of the superb ship we see taking shape outside — HMS Glasgow. I know that Catherine will be delighted to join you here in Glasgow for the naming ceremony in due course."

And the connection will continue at home: William was gifted with models of the ship for his and Kate's three children — Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3 — to paint!

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William, 39, has spent two days in Scotland, joining his grandmother the Queen, 95, for a Monday. 

Prince William visits BAE Systems' Shipyard
Credit: Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images

During his visit on Tuesday, William, 39, he was taken on a tour by electrical apprentice, Cara Shannon, who works on the Type 26 program at Govan, and she showed him how the ship's construction is progressing. 

He also spoke with some of BAE Systems' apprentices and graduates in training, who are honing their skills working on advanced technology programs, his office at Kensington Palace said.

Prince William visits BAE Systems' Shipyard
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

He then attended a ceremony to mark the start of construction on HMS Belfast, the third Type 26 Global Combat Ship to be manufactured by the shipyard, which is designed to protect the nation's strategic deterrent and new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers from hostile submarines.

At the ceremony, he officially cut the first plate of steel for the Type 26 frigate. "It is my great honour to play my own small part in the continued advances of the Royal Navy, by cutting the very first steel for Ship 3 – the HMS Belfast of the future," William said. 

Prince William visits BAE Systems' Shipyard
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

"She will be only the second ship to have carried this name, her predecessor having conducted her duties with distinction and honour throughout the Second World War. The city of Belfast has always stood alongside Glasgow with a superb heritage of ship building, but now the city can once again become synonymous with Royal Naval power and maritime excellence."

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"Catherine and I feel extremely privileged to become part of Team Type 26, and we look forward to following the journey of the ships, and their future crews, in the years to come."