The royal was greeted by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt before visiting The Mayhew Theatre

By Erin Hill
March 04, 2019 12:04 PM
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Credit: Kensington Palace/Twitter

After a two-day visit to Northern Ireland with wife Kate Middleton (which saw them pull the perfect pints behind a bar!), Prince William was back in London on Monday on official duty.

The royal dad of three arrived at the Foreign Office to open The Mayhew Theatre, a new learning facility in the Diplomatic Academy building in London.

The new facility is named after Lady Cicely Mayhew, one of the first women to be appointed to the British Diplomatic Service. William met with three of her children, David, Tessa and Judy, and her granddaughter who were there for the opening.

“I was reading up about her,” William told them. “She was a remarkable woman. It’s interesting how times have changed, isn’t it? I was reading about how she got married and had to relinquish her role. That must have been quite difficult for her, having built those relationships [for her career].

“I hope you’re proud of her.”

Credit: Kensington Palace/Twitter

Judy told reporters, “We’re really proud of Mum. She battled quite hard though her life in a lot of ways and she would be over the moon to see this.”

David added, “One of the things she said at the end of her life was that she hated domesticity. She was a wonderful mother, but she missed being able to contribute her considerable intellectual gifts to the Foreign Office. To be told that the Foreign Office is contributing so much energy to making it possible for women to serve as ambassadors is very encouraging.

“She would be absolutely thrilled.”

Credit: Kensington Palace/Twitter

The theater is an innovative new space for learning and development built in a courtyard within the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

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“Investing in the people who make up the diplomatic service is vital — and so I am pleased to be here to help mark the next step forward in that investment,” William said at the opening.

The royal was greeted by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt before visiting The Mayhew Theatre. He then met with contractors and architects who were involved in designing the building. The state-of-the-art technology within the theater allows staff to join sessions virtually from across the world.

On Tuesday, William and Kate will join Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for a special palace party hosted by the Queen in honor of Prince Charles.