Princess-to-be Kate receives royal treatment as hundreds gather for Anglesey visit
24 FEBRUARY 2011
Anglesey holds a special place in the hearts of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The royal couple have made their home there since 2010, and are said to have fallen in love with the area.
So it was on this small island, off the northwest coast of Wales, that they chose to make their first official engagement as a couple – a palace spokesman confirmed that this is the first time Kate has been invited as a guest of honour in her own right.
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And it's clear that their great affection for the isle is reciprocated.
Their presence in the seaside town generated such interest that several hundred people, some of whom had even arrived at dawn, turned out to welcome the couple on Thursday afternoon for a RNLI lifeboat naming ceremony.
At the engagement in Trearddur lifeboat station, Kate, 29, looked lovely in a khaki tailored coat with a brown scarf.
Her hair was swept up in a ponytail and she wore a black feathered Vivien Sheriff fascinator. Her husband-to-be was smart in a dark suit and winter coat.
Despite being the centre of great media excitement, she showed no signs of nerves as she greeted onlookers warmly with her proud fiancé, who frequently placed a protective arm around his bride.
"They are a lovely couple," commented Mrs Critchley, 63, from Cheshire. "He is a great lad and she is a beautiful girl."
Clare James and her three children were also there to greet the pair. "I am very excited. My daughter wants to ask if they want a spare bridesmaid - she will step in," she said.
The naming ceremony took place just a few miles from RAF Valley, where William is stationed as a search and rescue pilot until 2013.
Since moving there to be with him, Kate has begun learning Welsh.
During the event, the couple sang both the British national anthem and the Welsh.
The Prince also spoke briefly in the language, before his wife-to-be baptised the lifeboat with champagne.
Their home is an isolated, rented cottage, where they lead their lives much like any 'normal' couple.
Although they have bodyguards on 24-hour watch, they do their own shopping, cooking and cleaning, and have told aides they will continue to do so as newlyweds.
"(William) very much enjoys his time in Wales," the Prince's spokesman said. "His job is fulfilling and he really values the welcome that the people of Anglesey have given him and Catherine. They have given him privacy and really taken him into their bosom."
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