On Thursday, the Duchess of Cambridge joined Sir Ben Ainslie in Portsmouth on a visit to the site of Ben Ainslie Racing and the 1851 Trust headquarters.
Kate went to see the progress of the racing headquarters and as Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust, she aimed to inspire and engage young people to take up sailing and work in the marine industry.
The Duchess also wanted to support Sir Ben bid to win the America’s Cup – something Britain has so far never achieved.
First on the agenda, Kate made a private visit to the racing team’s current offices in Whiteley, Fareham, Hampshire, to learn about secret technological developments planned for the racing yachts.
Then, she showed off her creative skills by contributing to the 1851 Mural, an art project on the construction site for Olympic hero Sir Ben Ainslie’s new America’s Cup yacht racing headquarters at the Camber Dock in Old Portsmouth.
It was created by local street artists James Waterfield, My Dog Sighs and students from six nearby schools. The mural depicts the skyline from Portsmouth to Ryde, Isle of Wight. Artistic Kate added her own detail to the work. She painted five crewmen, including Sir Ben, on to a racing yacht, concentrating on depicting their bottoms hanging out over the side of the boat.
Next, Kate stopped to take a quick look at the construction site for the new racing headquarters, which is expected to employ up to 100 people. She chatted to construction workers who are working round the clock to get the new center finished in time for Ben to make it his base in May.
Construction workers at the site presented her with three yellow high visibility vests for herself, 18-month-old Prince George, and the family cocker spaniel Lupo. They were emblazoned with their own individual titles: The Boss, The Future Boss and The Boss’s Best Friend.
After their morning at the Trust, the Duchess and Sir Ben headed to a reception at the Spinnaker Tower where they met community leaders and local ambassadors. Invitees included teachers and students from City College in Southampton, who are building the two specialist ‘Docking Rib’ boats to help with docking the America’s Cup boats in Portsmouth.
Kate then saw a display of activities and exhibits on the tower’s viewing platform, which will eventually go on display in the 1851 Trust Visitor Centre and will open in July.
The Spinnaker Tower is the iconic 170 meter viewing tower overlooking Portsmouth Harbor. It has swiftly become the South coast’s most prominent landmark, with its striking sail design representing the city’s proud naval heritage. It also offers visitors spectacular 350° panoramic views and a different perspective on one of the most fascinating seascapes on earth.
The Duchess looked flawless in a cream colored Max Mara Studio ‘Villar’ belted wool coat (went on sale for £345, originally £580 and currently sold out). The double-breasted coat features a notched lapel, fitted bodice, full skirt and leather belt.
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Underneath her coat, Kate wore a black loose-fitting boat-print frock from Somerset by Alice Temperley (£99 and available in limited sizes) which showcased the her growing baby bump.