William gets a gift from schoolchildren and says he'll use it to keep track of his active son

By Simon Perry
November 12, 2014 08:30 PM
Paul Edwards/Getty

Prince William knew just what to do with a set of Christmas bells he got from some schoolchildren he met Wednesday outside London – use them as an audible alarm system on his toddler son.

“We’ll put these in [George’s] pockets and then we’ll know where he is in the house!” William, 32, joked after receiving the little bag of red bell Christmas ornaments from 9-year-old Dylan Marten Hughes.

The children, from three primary schools in Watford, near London, had been showing William a project that portrayed a man in a suit made of poppies. “Each of the poppies represent a soldier who died,” Thomas Brooker, 10, told him of the Remembrance Day project.

The children had taken part in a course run by SkillForce, a charity the Duke supports. After meeting them, William was given a painting depicting the battle at Nimy Bridge where Lt. Maurice Dease won the first posthumous Victoria Cross of the First World War. William visited his grave with his wife, Princess Kate, in August.

After Anmer Hameed and Laura Stafford, both 9, made the presentation, they told William about some of the sports – including dodgeball – they’ve been playing as part of their award. And William said he’d be in touch. “You’ll have to teach me dodgeball,” he joked with them.

William was in black tie and dinner suit for the 10th anniversary gala dinner at the Imperial War Museum for SkillForce, which draws on the skills of former servicemen to serve as role models for young people.

During the reception, William chatted with Keri-Anne Payne, 26, a two-time World 10 km Open Water champion, and an Olympic silver medalist who was helped by SkillForce when she arrived in the U.K. from South Africa at the age of 13.

She is now an ambassador for the charity. “They helped me settle, showed me the surrounding areas, gave me life-saving skills and gave me a sense of what Britain is like,” she said.

William is “really engaging with the children,” she added.

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