Duke and Duchess visit Blaenavon

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Blaenavon on St David’s Day as part of a one-day tour to South Wales.


They spent time with young people being supported by The Hwb Torfaen youth centre before visiting the World Heritage Centre where they met 12 World Heritage Site Youth Ambassadors.


Among them were Dan and Kelsi, who told the Royal Highnesses about the programme and showed them around the centre.


Dan, 14, said: “I told them about what we do as ambassadors such as visiting other heritage sites around the UK to learn more about them. 


“I really enjoy being an ambassador – it’s made me more productive, and I’ve made lots of friends.”


Kelsi, 12, added: “I shook Prince William and Catherine’s hands – they were really kind and easy to talk to.”


The award-winning World Heritage Site Youth Ambassadors programme is one of a number of initiatives run by The Hwb to empower young people to have an active and powerful voice in their own lives, their local communities and world heritage.


The Duke and Duchess also met members of The Hwb’s Care Busters network, which supports young people who have experienced care, and took part in some of the activities on offer at the centre in Broad Street, including making Welsh cakes.


During their visit to the World Heritage Centre, the Royal Couple joined the young ambassadors making crafts to mark the 50th anniversary of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, and they planted a tree as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.


The UK-grown ornamental Japanese cherry tree, which was planted in the grounds of the World Heritage Centre, will form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative to mark Her Majesty’s 70th anniversary on the throne. 


Ashleigh Taylor, Director of the Hwb said, “The day went so smoothly, and all the Young People really enjoyed themselves and I was told that the Duke and Duchess really enjoyed themselves too. Everyone involved in the visit managed to get a least a small amount of time to talk directly to them, so that was fantastic! I feel the young people did themselves proud.


We have had some amazing press coverage, including 1.3million views of a video taken in the WHC of the YAMS on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’ instagram, being mentioned in Hello magazine, Good Morning America as well as all the local press – all promoting the Hwb, YAMS, our partnerships, and our World Heritage Site!”


Aimi Morris, Organisational Executive Officer from TVA added; “It was a real privilege to be part of the day’s presentation. The visit today was the result of a conversation had from the Torfaen Community and Volunteer Awards in October with the Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, and TVA are proud to support the Hwb and all the volunteers as in turn they were our panel for our Youth Led Grant panel”.


Before the Duke and Duchess left, they were presented with gifts by the young ambassadors, including flowers and goodie bags for Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.


Groups and individuals across the UK are being encouraged to “plant a tree for the Jubilee”. For more information about The Queen’s Green Canopy, visit https://queensgreencanopy.org/