One lucky boy found the perfect way to break the ice during a visit with the royal couple
What’s in a name? Quite a lot, if you happen to be meeting Princess Kate.
“One of the young lads asked her a question, and Kate asked him what his name was,” Alasdair Akass, CEO of the 1851 Trust, tells PEOPLE. “He said, ‘George,’ and as quick as a flash, Kate joked, ‘Good name!’ “
The light-hearted moment captured the tone of the 40-minute visit to the charity, of which Kate is a royal patron.
Based in Portsmouth on England’s south coast, the 1851 Trust aims to encourage children from underprivileged households to pursue their interests in the maritime industry through education and special sailing events.
Working in tandem with local charities such as Motiv8, that helps children who have low self-esteem or are victims of bullying at school.
“Kate has always said that she recognizes that sailing gives confidence and [she] is hugely, hugely supportive,” Akass adds. “The freedom [sailing] gives you also appeals to her – although she did admit that she is ‘a bit rusty.’ “
“Some of the children were completely wet from the heavy rain and were squelching around in their shoes. But she was very disarming,” Akass says. “It was a very informal visit, and both the Duke and Duchess spent a lot of time with the children, which was fantastic. They put everyone at ease straight away. All the children really opened up.”
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Akass adds, “Some of the children had prepared questions, and she was more than happy to answer all of them. The last thing the Duchess said as she left was, ‘Keep me posted.’ She really wants to know how we develop.”
Sunday’s visit is the latest in a series of visits Kate has paid to children’s charities in the past year, including a trip to the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem, New York, in December 2014.
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