William refers to the late Duke of Edinburgh during meeting with youngsters

Tom Wilkinson, PA
·2-min read

The Duke of Cambridge spoke of his late grandfather when he met young people who have finished their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

While visiting a group for young people with learning difficulties in Durham, William heard how Evan Jones, 18, and Lee Middleton, 23, had earned their gold awards.

The duke asked: “Do you know he was my grandfather?

“Sadly he died a few weeks ago. He would have been so pleased that you got your awards.”

William and Kate were visiting The Cheesy Waffles Project (CWP), which provides young people with learning disabilities with the skills and independence they need for adulthood.

They demonstrated their golfing skills on the grass outside the project, with Kate laughing heartily after she connected with the ball.

The project has benefited from the couple’s Royal Wedding Charitable Gift fund, which totalled more than £1 million when they married almost exactly a decade ago.

Royal visit to Durham
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet young people during a visit to the Cheesy Waffles Project (Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)

Donations were made by wellwishers in lieu of gifts and £33,000 went to The Key, which works with organisations across the north east of England to develop skills in young people.

Tom Crosby, David Hamilton, Sam Peaden and Alumbeni Makwaela-Wali told the couple how they had organised Christmas trees, an inflatable snowman and a snow machine for a socially-distanced community elf trail, afternoon tea deliveries for elderly people nearby and an online bingo session.

Referring to the couple’s efforts at a Cardiff care home last year, William joked: “We did online bingo and we weren’t very good at it.

“We were bingo callers and we got told by an elderly lady some very rude words – she said we needed to try a bit harder.”

Royal visit to Durham
The Duchess of Cambridge laughing during the visit (Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)

CWP’s manager Erika Denholm said some activities usually enjoyed by members such as trips away and cookery sessions had been halted by the pandemic, but might resume from next month.

William said: “It’s that hope, that light at the end of the tunnel – everybody wants something to look forward to now.”