Kate Middleton Shares Touching Moment (and a Big Hug!) with Young Fan Hoping to Meet Her
Despite the upheaval caused by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's big news, one well-wisher in Bradford says that Kate Middleton and Prince William "looked really happy"
Kate Middleton gave one royal fan a moment he won’t soon forget.
During Kate and Prince William‘s visit to Bradford on Wednesday to visit a number of community projects in one of the U.K.’s most diverse cities, they spent some time greeting members of the public who spent hours waiting in the cold to catch a glimpse of the duo.
A young fan with a red and blue hat caught Kate’s eye. The royal mom — who sported a Zara dress under a green coat by Alexander McQueen for the outing — started chatting with him, affectionately touching his arm and holding his hand. She took a photo before wrapping her arms around him in a huge embrace — paying no mind to the barricade between them.
Asia Khan, who was nearby when the sweet moment occurred, tells PEOPLE that Kate complimented the boy’s camo patterned jacket, noting that 6-year-old son Prince George would also be a fan. She thanked him for coming out and waiting to meet her.
Despite the upheaval caused by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s announcement just last week that they intend to step down as senior members of the royal family, one well-wisher stationed near the couple’s drop-off spot tells PEOPLE that Kate and William “looked really happy.”
Rukhsar Parveebn, 20, a politics student from Leeds, says that there was no hint from the couple of the internal turmoil of recent days. “[William] didn’t let it show that the drama had been going on,” she tells PEOPLE. “I love the royal family and I was really impressed with him.”
Dawn Eaton, 55, from Huddersfield – who said she had gone to London for the funeral of William’s mother Princess Diana 22 years ago – said that William “seemed okay” despite the upheavals of the week.
“He has got to carry on, business as usual,” she tells PEOPLE. “His mother was always my favorite and we have gone on to William and Harry and their children. It’s sad. But we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.”
The royal couple first visited City Hall to join a group of young people from across the community to hear about life in Bradford. They then met representatives from local employers and businesses who are helping young people into employment.
They also toured the kitchen of MyLahore’s flagship restaurant, British Asian restaurant chain which has taken inspiration from Lahore, the Food Capital of Pakistan where Kate and William visited Lahore during their recent tour of Pakistan. They had some laughs blending and tasting Kulfi milkshakes.
William and Kate’s appearance comes just two days after William traveled to Sandringham for a family summit with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince Harry to discuss Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down as senior royals. Kate was not present at the summit— nor was Charles’s wife, Camilla, or Prince Philip, all of whom, like Kate, married into the family. She remained in London with her three kids.
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After a 90-minute discussion, the Queen released the following statement: “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the Queen said in a statement. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.
“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”