Prince William and Kate Mark Windrush Day With Poignant Engagements

Prince William and Kate Mark Windrush Day With Poignant Engagements

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge marked Windrush Day on Wednesday by carrying out two poignant engagements in central London.

William and Kate started their morning at Brixton House where they visited ELEVATE, a youth programme aimed at helping under 30s develop skills to break into the creative industries.

The royals were given a warm welcome and were introduced to younger generations of the British-Caribbean community, and other diasporas, who represent the next generation of British creative talent.

Their first engagement took them to ELEVATE in Brixton

Their first engagement took them to ELEVATE in Brixton

They chatted to a group of young people who were taking part in a filming and photography workshop, before sitting down for a conversation about their career aspirations and hopes for the future.

Davinia Clarke, 22, an illustrator and visual artist who learnt how to use the camera during a course, said of Kate: "She wanted to understand how to put it on and move it around.

"I thought, 'Let's try and put it on her.' She was up for it! She did better than me. At one moment it literally just dropped off my arm. I was like, 'Oh gosh' She said it was really heavy, and you need a lot of upper body strength."

While William listened to a budding songwriter, Kate tried her hand with a shoulder-mounted video camera.

Led by the London Borough of Lambeth, ELEVATE works with schools and colleges, training organisations and employers to ensure that young people are able to build skills, access opportunities and achieve successful careers within the creative industries.

The royals then attended the Windrush monument unveiling at Waterloo station

The royals then attended the Windrush monument unveiling at Waterloo station

Their second engagement of the day took William and Kate to Waterloo station where they attended the unveiling of the National Windrush Monument.

The monument symbolises the courage, commitment and resilience of the thousands of men, women and children who travelled to the UK from 1948 to 1971 to help rebuild post-war Britain, and acknowledges and celebrates the outstanding contribution and dedication of the Windrush Generation to British history.

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kate-middleton-and-prince-william-windrush-day-chattingIt depicts a man, woman and child in their Sunday best standing on top of suitcases and was designed by Jamaican artist and sculptor Basil Watson, who said it had been an honour to create the monument.

Waterloo station was chosen because thousands of people who arrived from the Caribbean passed through the station to start their new lives in the UK, the government, which has provided £1m in funding for the project, said.

William waved as he attended the monument unveiling

William waved as he attended the monument unveiling

The service featured a musical performance of the Windrush Anthem by Nadine Benjamin OBE, a poetry reading, and a blessing from Bishop of Dover Rose Hudson-Wilkin.

William also gave a speech, as did Baroness Benjamin and Michael Gove MP. At the end of the service, members of the Windrush community, spanning generations, unveiled the monument.

Opening his speech, the Duke said: "Thank you for inviting Catherine and me. It is a privilege to be here with you all.

"Today is a day we celebrate and honour the Windrush Generation and the enormous contribution each and every one of them has made, and continues to make, to our society. I am delighted that so many of that generation and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are here today."

He continued: "When the Windrush Generation sailed from the Caribbean to rebuild war-torn Britain, they did so as British citizens, answering a plea to help our country thrive again. Many of them were not strangers to these shores... These people didn’t have to come.

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The service took place at Waterloo station

The service took place at Waterloo station

"They volunteered to fight for King and country – in the full knowledge that many would never make it home again. As one of the inheritors of that great military tradition, I understand how much we owe to these men and women. Today's ceremony would not be complete without remembering their sacrifice."

William thanked the Windrush generation and the generations that followed for their contribution, concluding: "Without you all, Britain would simply not be what it is today."

 



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