William and Kate abseil together off cliff in Brecon Beacons
The Prince and Princess of Wales have abseiled together off a cliff in the Brecon Beacons, while meeting mountain rescuers.
William and Kate arrived at a wet and windy area of the Bannau Brycheiniog near Merthyr Tydfil in the South Wales Valleys on Thursday wearing hiking gear, and put on safety equipment ready for the descent.
They were guided through the process by the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, a volunteer-run organisation which responds to calls 24 hours a day, all year round.
The group covers the central area of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park which includes Pen y Fan, the highest point in southern Britain, and the Ystradfellte waterfalls, and has been keeping the surrounding communities safe for 60 years since 1963.
When asked by instructors if he had abseiled before, William said: “It’s been a while.”
Before heading over the edge Kate, who was wearing a red mountain rescue coat like her husband with her hair tied in a ponytail, was heard telling William: “We’re not racing.”
They also engaged in other training activities such as medical support exercises and watched a search dog rescue demonstrations, while hearing from current and former team members about their experiences spanning the organisation’s six-decade history.
Kate took part in a simulated casualty rescue and used a radio to alert her husband to the kit she required.
The Princess could be heard saying: “Do you know what’s on the list, over?”
She added: “It’s like our weekly shopping list. It’s like going to the supermarket.”
The rescue kit was hastily brought by William, before they both helped put it together so they could evacuate the dummy casualty – who had suffered a leg injury.
The royal couple then helped the casualty on a stretcher to safety.
The Prince is patron of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, and worked closely with such teams during his time as an air ambulance pilot.
William and Kate will later dry off and socialise with the climbers at the nearby Dowlais Rugby Club.
The club, which is a feeder club to Cardiff Blues, is a popular spot where the climbers socialise and relax when they are off duty.
They will also meet the owners of the Little Dragon Pizza Van, which draws people from across the country to try its food.
At the club they will get a chance to speak to individual volunteers, the organisation’s supporters and members of the local community.
After spending some time there they will meet more members of the public outside.
The royal couple will be staying in a local bed and breakfast this evening.