“Magical,” that was the one word Clair, one of the young people from our Peaks Lane Housing Project, used to describe her meeting with Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge.
Clair was one of the Prince’s Trust students whom the Duchess met on her visit to Peaks Lane Fire Station, Grimsby on Tuesday 5th March.
The 22-year-old began the course on 11th February after being encouraged to develop her skills and active pursuits on the 12-week course by Jocelyn, our Community Youth Worker.
“We went on a week’s placement in the Peak District towards the end of February as part of our course,” said an excited Clair.
“And on the first day of the trip we were told that the Duchess of Cambridge would be visiting us.
“But we had to keep it secret, so we were there for the whole week knowing that we would be meeting Kate but we were not able to tell anyone!”
The big day arrived and more than 500 eager spectators crammed onto Peaks Lane, some waiting upwards of three hours, just for a glimpse of the Duchess.
And it was at this point that the nerves really began to kick-in for Clair, especially with Her Royal Highness arriving late into Grimsby due to the foggy conditions.
Clair said: “We were on the top floor of the Fire Station in something called the media room and we could see all the people waiting below and all the cameras from television stations and newspapers too.
“It’s crazy to think that one woman has all that attention on her but she copes with it very well.”
The Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Peaks Lane at 1.35pm and, after greeting the waiting public and several dignitaries; she was whisked upstairs to meet the young people.
Clair continued: “I was getting very nervous at this point but we just had to think back to the training we had been given by our Course Leader.
“We were instructed to only address Her Royal Highness when she spoke to us and only to hold her fingers and curtsey after she had extended her hand to us.
“She was to be addressed as Your Royal Highness in the first instance and after that it was Ma’am, which is pronounced Mam…as in Pam!”