Day Three of the Royal Train Tour started in Wales as the Cambridges arrived at Cardiff Central train station.
Here is a quick video from Kensington Palace of the Duke and Duchess arriving.
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) December 8, 2020
The first stop was a visit to Cardiff Castle.
Located in the heart of the Welsh capital, the castle’s history goes back more than 2000 years. Below, a file photo of the castle.
The royals are visiting during the annual Christmas at the Castle festival, so they were able to browse booths set up as part of that event.
They toasted marshmallows over a fire.
More from The Telegraph.
They kicked off the final day of the trip at Cardiff Castle, where they met university students and heard about the mental health challenges they faced during the pandemic.
The Cambridges were joining students from Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales as they unwrapped their Secret Santa gifts to one another.
Simon Perry of People shared a video of the couple chatting with students.
Princess Kate and Prince William talking to some of the local university students at Cardiff Castle about their wellbeing and how they’ve coped during the pandemic #RoyalTrainTour #dukeandduchessofcambridge #princewilliam #katemiddleton pic.twitter.com/KTo86b0fHL
— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) December 8, 2020
More about the conversation from Wales Online.
Student officers from the University of South Wales also met the royal couple today.
Kay Dennis, Lois Jones and Shannon Lee said the group were told they would receive some important news, but the message couldn’t be written down. It was only this morning they learnt they would be meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Kay Dennis, welfare officer, said: “They were lovely, it was exciting to be given the opportunity to talk to them.
“They were really interested in what we have have been doing in the students’ union with mental health.”
Kay added that they spoke about the opportunities for young carers and parents to attend university and the need to tackle digital disadvantages between students.
The Cambridges spoke about family Christmas plans, which are still up in the air. This is from The Mirror’s coverage.
“They were trying like the rest of us to make Christmas plans with their family and still weren’t 100 percent sure of what they were going to do or where they were going to be,” she said.
Lily Faulkner, 21, a second year Politics and International Studies student at Cardiff University said afterwards.
They even took part in a Secret Santa gift exchange.
Joining forces with a group of six housemates who had “bubbled” the royals then took part in a Secret Santa gift swap.
They all eagerly tore off the wrapping paper and the Duchess had them all in giggles when it emerged she had given Gwennan Lewis, 20, from Newport, a £13.99 Prosecco Pong game.
The Duke bought Dewi Morgan, 19, who is in his second year of studying sport and exercise science at Cardiff Metropolitan, a finger flick table football game.
The Duchess appeared chuffed with her traditional Welsh Love Spoon, while the Duke laughed at his Guinness beer mat flipping game, saying: “I think this says a lot about me.”
A closer look at William’s coaster set and Kate’s spoon.
The couple then traveled to Bath, where they were welcomed at the train station by Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Mrs. Annie Maw.
Also on hand to greet them, Jasmine Warner, 5, (3rd from left), who’s brother Otto, 8, (far left), came out of cancer treatment today. His sister Poppy, 10, is seen fourth from the left, and the children’s mother, Georgie, is standing behind Jasmine.
The couple then left the station to head to their next engagement.
That engagement was a stop at Cleeve Court Care Home in Twerton, Bath, where residents eagerly awaited their visit.
Kensington Palace posted a video of the couple being welcomed. (Note the four-legged photo bomber.)
Special guest at the next visit ?
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) December 8, 2020
The couple wanted to pay tribute to those working in care homes across the country throughout the pandemic.
As you can see, this was an outdoor engagement.
Kate and William spoke with residents and employees about the ways they managed and continue to manage during the pandemic.
The facility is a 46-bed care home, providing care and health services for older adults with dementia.
There was also a special performance by the Bath Abbey Choir, who sang Christmas carols.
This year Cleeve Court residents won’t be able to attend the annual carol service at the Abbey, so the Choir was happy to come and sing to the residents outside the home. Reporter Emma Elgee shared a video of the choir performing.
Some beautiful singing going on by Bath Abbey Choir led by Huw Williams pic.twitter.com/ItXfsIcICi
— Emma Elgee (@EmmaElgee) December 8, 2020
Then it was time to say ‘goodbye.’
After the visit, the royals did a quick walkabout.
The Duke and Duchess’s next stop was The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. Here is a video of their arrival from Alice Knight, a reporter at The Reading Chronicle.
— Alice Knight Chronicle (@AliceKnight98) December 8, 2020
This happens to be the hospital where the Duchess was born.
Roya Nikkhah of The Times tweeted a video of the royals chatting with the staff.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been visiting the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where Kate was born. William and Kate met with nurses and midwives and have passed on thanks to all @NHSuk staff for their work during the pandemic #RoyalTrainTour pic.twitter.com/W9IUtOfsYY
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) December 8, 2020
The couple met members of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust’s 775-strong team of nurses and midwives.
More about the visit from The Reading Chronicle.
Kara who is another midwife said: “We spoke to them and they were very lovely.
“They asked about how it was through the pandemic with Covid and what it was like for the women in maternity. It was lovely to speak to them, they were very normal.”
Our reporter Alice Knight spoke with midwife Katie England who got to speak with the Duke and Duchess.
She said: “Lovely. We didn’t know until now we were going to speak with them.
“They were really friendly and wanted to hear about us and how we coped and everything
The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English tweeted a video of the royals as they left the hospital.
William and Kate applauded hardworking NHS nurses on their penultimate #RoyalTrainTour engagement earlier and told them ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’. The couple were at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where Kate was born.
Just wait for the big finale very soon ? ? pic.twitter.com/KMi5pCEjVv
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) December 8, 2020
Now for our review of what Kate wore for today’s engagements.
She was in the vibrant Alexander McQueen coat first seen at October engagements launching the public portion of the Hold Still photo exhibition.
The Duchess also brought back the tartan skirt by Emilia Wickstead worn for a 2018 Kensington Palace Christmas party.
The scarf worn today matches the tartan pattern in the skirt, leading me to believe it also by Emilia Wickstead.
The Duchess carried her Grace Han Love Letter Top-Handled Bag ($2144)
Kate wore a new mask by Amaia Kids (£15), in a pattern not yet named on the site.
UPDATE FEB 18: The pattern is called ‘Floriana,’ and the mask is available on the Amaia site (£15).
For the hospital engagement, the Duchess switched to a face mask by Emilia Wickstead (£55).
The mask is 100% silk, and it comes with a matching silk pouch. This is the only silk face mask I see on the designer’s site; there are also two cotton styles offered for sale.
Kate brought back her ‘Alia’ earrings (£62, about $83 at today’s exchange rates) by Spells of Love, a Welsh jewelry firm.
We’ve written about Hayley Jones previously, but here is a little more info from Wales Online.
They were made by Welsh independent designer Hayley Jones who started her jewellery business from the kitchen table of her home in Caerphilly three years ago.
Hayley, who started selling her jewellery on Etsy, couldn’t believe it in the summer when she got a call to say that the Duchess of Cambridge would be wearing her £62 earrings during a royal visit to Barry Island and was delighted to see Kate wearing them again today.
Since the original outing, interest in Hayley’s designs have gone through the roof and she has had to draft her mum Dawn and sister Kelly in to help keep up with all the orders.
The Duke and Duchess are at the day’s final engagement. They have joined HM, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and Princess Anne for a reception with volunteers and key workers from Berkshire who will be volunteering and working over the holidays.
I am working on a separate post now covering this event.