Kate ‘doing well’, says Prince William on Cornwall visit


By Anna Lamche & Lucy Clarke-Billings,BBC News

Watch: Kate is doing well, Prince William says

Prince William said his wife Catherine is “doing well” following her cancer diagnosis.

He was told about a new health and social care facility being built on Duchy land near the hospital.

The prince said his children, George, Charlotte and Louis, were “very jealous” of his trip, and he may bring them to Cornwall later in the year.

He was given a letter by matron Lynda McHale, written by her granddaughter, that wished the Princess of Wales and the King well in their respective cancer recoveries.

The trip marks William’s first official visit to the Isles of Scilly since becoming Duke of Cornwall, a title he holds in addition to his Prince of Wales title.

PA Media William meets schoolchildren during a visit to St Mary's HarbourPA Media

He chatted with some of the younger islanders

Prince William met staff at the hospital in Hugh Town to hear about an expansion project for a new integrated health and social care facility.

He was told the facility will improve the range of care provided while also ensuring people can be cared for as close to home as possible, rather than having to travel to the mainland.

The new building is set to open by next summer.

Tracy Smith, an administrator at St Mary’s, hosted the prince’s tour of the medical centre.

Ms Smith said: “I asked William about his wife Kate and he said: ‘She’s doing well, thanks,’ and I suggested they might like to come for a visit and bring the children.”

The Princess of Wales appealed for her family to have time, space and privacy when she announced her diagnosis of an undisclosed form of cancer on March 22. She said she had begun chemotherapy.

During his visit on Friday, William was given a card for his father the King – also a cancer patient – and Catherine by matron Lynda McHale, who said it was from her granddaughter “who wanted to wish his father and wife ‘get well soon’.”

As heir to the throne, William is Duke of Cornwall and receives an income from the Duchy of Cornwall, a portfolio of land, property and investments which owns much of the Isles of Scilly and nearly a third of residential buildings.

Friday’s visit saw him using a spade to dig out soil on the site of what will be the new facility.

The royal itinerary included a tour of St Mary’s harbour, which is run by the duchy and handles everything from tripper boats to fishing vessels and cargo ships.

There he met a gig boat team who came third in the World Pilot Gig Championships, which were held in Scilly last weekend.

PA Media St Mary's HarbourPA Media

Meeting locals at St Mary’s Harbour, maritime gateway to the Isles of Scilly

PA Media Prince William during a visit to St Mary's HarbourPA Media

“They’re not all for me!”, the prince stressed, when he bought five pastries

PA Media Breaking ground at the site of a new medical facility for St Mary's Community HospitalPA Media

William used a spade to break ground at the site of what will be a new medical facility for St Mary’s Community Hospital

William visited On The Quay cafe and ordered five pasties before stressing: “They’re not all for me… but it does smell delicious in here.”

“I was saying to the others, I can’t believe the islands today when you’ve got weather like this – it’s just beautiful,” he said.

“I got in the sea yesterday which was good. I wore a wetsuit.”

After leaving the cafe, William chatted to tourists waiting for boats to take them to various islands.

“I said to the team, ‘do we have to leave today? Can’t we stay a little bit longer?’,” he told them.

When one woman replied that “you can do whatever you want” he said: “I wish, my family are very upset I’m here without them, My children will kill me if I don’t get back.”

Prince William’s trip to Cornwall comes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex begin a three-day visit to Nigeria.

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