Kate Middleton Makes First Public Speech as Duchess

With a big smile, the Duchess of Cambridge made her first public speech as a member of the Royal Family on Monday, officially opening the East Anglia Children’s Hospice at the Treehouse center in Ipswich, outside London.

“I am only sorry that William can’t be here today. He would love it here,” she said about her husband, Prince William, as guests politely laughed. “A view of his – that I share – is that through teamwork, so much can be achieved. What you have all achieved is extraordinary.”

Kate, who wrote the speech herself, also said that when she first visited the charity’s hospice in Milton, Cambridgeshire, she had “pre-conceived idea as to what to expect. Far from being a clinical depressing place for sick children, it was a home. Most importantly, it was a family home, a happy place of stability, support and care. It was a place of fun.”

Wearing an electric blue Reiss belted dress and black heels, Kate was greeted before her speech by about 600 cheering well-wishers. After the speech, she did some planting, adding four spades of soil onto the ground around the base of a tree on the grounds – and, as the Duchess confessed to one guest, “I find doing speeches nerve wrecking.”

Meanwhile, William is expected home soon from his six-seven week posting in the Falkland Islands.

Source: People

Image: Yahoo News

Prince Harry Qualifies as Apache Helicopter Pilot

Prince Harry has qualified as an Apache helicopter pilot after 18 months of rigorous training in the UK and the US, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The third in line to the throne was awarded a prize for best co-pilot gunner at a dinner on Wednesday at his RAF training base in Ipswich, Suffolk. He and 20 others who graduated now have limited “combat-ready status”.

Previously, the prince has hinted of his wish to return to Afghanistan after his first tour of duty was cut short. Last April, he suggested it would be pointless to train as a helicopter pilot if he never served. In 2007-8, Harry served 10 weeks in southern Afghanistan as a forward air controller, directing planes dropping bombs on Taliban positions in Helmand province. However, that ended abruptly when foreign websites broke a media blackout on reporting his deployment.

Harry – known to his fellow soldiers as Captain Wales – will now gain more experience of flying Apaches with 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps. Apaches, designed to hunt and destroy tanks, are used in Afghanistan and were deployed in Libya last year. During the dinner at RAF Wattisham, Apache Force Commander Col Neale Moss congratulated the new pilots, describing the training as “extremely challenging”.

Eight weeks of the prince’s training were spent in California and Arizona, carrying out exercises designed to prepare pilots for action in Afghanistan.

Source: BBC News

Image: The Sun