Surprise reunion for Kate as Cambridges tour Wales

The Duchess of Cambridge took a trip down memory lane when she spotted two faces she had not seen in almost 25 years during a whistle-stop tour of south Wales.

Kate was left surprised when she met her old prep school teachers during a visit to the Mumbles seafront in Swansea during a visit to learn about issues affecting the area and its people.

The chance meeting capped a day that saw the Cambridges celebrate local lifeboat crews, promote Kate's early year survey, learn about Tata Steel at Port Talbot and spend time with children strengthening their mental health through boxing.

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Kate and William visit Wales
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Kate and William visit Wales
RETRANSMITTED CORRECTING SPELLING OF ALLFORD The Duchess of Cambridge meeting Denise Evans-Allford and Kevin Allford, who taught her at St Andrew's prep school, outside Joe's Ice Cream Parlour on Mumbles Road, near Swansea in south Wales.
The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Bulldogs Boxing Club at the Bulldogs Development Centre in Port Talbot, south Wales.
The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Bulldogs Boxing Club at the Bulldogs Development Centre in Port Talbot, south Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Bulldogs Boxing Club at the Bulldogs Development Centre in Port Talbot, south Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot in south Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot in south Wales.
The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot in south Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge go through a turnstile during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot in south Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, holding dragon toys they received for their children, during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot in south Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, holding dragon toys they received for their children, during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot in south Wales.
The Duchess of Cambridge meeting a group of local parents and carers to hear about life in the Mumbles and talk about the Duchess's landmark survey on the early years '5 Big Questions on the Under Fives, during a visit to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour on Mumbles Road, near Swansea in south Wales. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday February 4, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge is presented with a bouquet of flowers during a visit to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour on Mumbles Road, near Swansea in south Wales. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday February 4, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour on Mumbles Road, near Swansea in south Wales. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday February 4, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
The Duke of Cambridge meeting a group of local parents and carers to hear about life in the Mumbles and talk about the Duchess of Cambridge's landmark survey on the early years '5 Big Questions on the Under Fives, during a visit to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour on Mumbles Road, near Swansea in south Wales.
The Duchess of Cambridge meeting a group of local parents and carers to hear about life in the Mumbles and talk about the Duchess's landmark survey on the early years '5 Big Questions on the Under Fives, during a visit to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour on Mumbles Road, near Swansea in south Wales.
The Duchess of Cambridge meeting a group of local parents and carers to hear about life in the Mumbles and talk about the Duchess's landmark survey on the early years '5 Big Questions on the Under Fives, during a visit to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour on Mumbles Road, near Swansea in south Wales.
The Duke of Cambridge during a visit to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour on Mumbles Road, near Swansea in south Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chat with employees during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot in south Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour on Mumbles Road, near Swansea in south Wales. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday February 4, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge on the pier during a visit to the RNLI Mumbles Lifeboat Station, near Swansea in south Wales.
The Duke of Cambridge during a visit to Joe's Ice Cream Parlour in Mumbles, near Swansea in south Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the RNLI station, Mumbles, Swansea. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the RNLI station, Mumbles, Swansea. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/PA Wire
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The duchess hugged Denise Evans-Allford and husband Kevin Allford who had travelled from their home in Carmarthen to meet Kate – the first time they have seen her in 24 years.

They both taught Kate, as well as siblings Pippa and James, at St Andrew's prep school in Pangbourne, Berkshire. Mrs Evans-Allford taught PE at the school, while Mr Allford taught French and German to Kate.

Kate exclaimed "it's such a small world" after seeing her old teachers following a visit to Joe's ice cream parlour, run by the fifth generation of a family originally from Italy, where the duke and duchess were served sweet treats and met parents who had completed Kate's early years survey.

"As they were coming to Wales today, we drove from Carmarthen to try to say hello to them," Mr Allford said.

"One of the detectives took a note in to the ice cream parlour for us and she came out. It is wonderful she gave us so much time. We were talking about happy days that we had."

William and Kate's day in Wales began with hundreds of well-wishers greeting them when they arrived to tour one of the busiest lifeboat stations in Wales.

The royal couple stopped to speak and shake hands with many of the members of the public who had come to catch a glimpse of the pair.

At the RNLI's Mumbles lifeboat station, which overlooks Swansea Bay, the duke presented James Bolter with a medal to mark 20 years of service before watching the lifeboat launch as a part of training exercise.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit south Wales
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the RNLI Mumbles Lifeboat Station (Ben Birchall/PA)

The area's biggest employer and one of the most important across Wales – Tata Steel – welcomed the Cambridges to its Port Talbot plant to learn about its role in UK manufacturing – from food cans to warships and cars.

The couple wore protective clothing including hard hats, goggles and a jacket for their guided tour of the plant's Hot Strip Mill where some of its 4,000-strong workforce are employed.

The royals watched as ingots of steel were heated and passed through rollers which reduced their size in a process that produced a loud rumble and huge plumes of steam as the metal, glowing orange and radiating blistering heat, was coiled up.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit south Wales
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge look on at the mill during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot (Toby Melville/PA)

In the control room, known as the pulpit, the couple chatted to staff about the process and were told the steel they saw was being reduced to five millimetres in thickness would be used be used in car manufacturing.

Tata announced in November it would be cutting up to 1,000 UK jobs, part of a total reduction of up to 3,000 across Europe. The UK steel industry has battled against a glut of steel on the world market and other problems.

Before leaving, William chatted to Tata apprentices and told them: "Tata treat you well, that must settle some of your fears."

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