The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge touched down in Cyprus today to meet military personnel, families, and members of the local community.
The visit is a continuation of the couple’s Christmas event on Tuesday at Kensington Palace, where they met with families and children of military members serving in Cyprus. Kensington Palace announced that the party was held “in recognition of the unique contribution and sacrifices serving personnel and their families make year-round, and especially when they are separated during the festive period.”
Kate gave a touching speech for the guests at the party. “As someone whose husband has served, I know how hard it feels when a loved one leaves home to do the job they’ve trained for,” she said.
“When William served in the Falklands or went search and rescue, I remember how it felt.”
The Duke of Cambridge served in the military for seven years.
The royal couple’s Christmas Party featured stalls for children to decorate stockings, make Christmas crackers, snow globes, and party kits. Entertainment was provided by Sharky and George. There was also a photo booth and postbox for guests to send pictures and messages to loved ones in Cyprus.
At RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, the home of the Cyprus Operations Support Unit which “provides support to British Forces Cyprus and operations in the region to protect the UK’s strategic interests,” the couple met deployed personnel from 11 and 31 Squadrons who have been deployed on operations for Op SHADER, the campaign against Daesh; as well as personnel from 2 Mercians, the lead infantry company, who have recently been in Afghanistan.
Following this, William and Kate opened the Oasis Centre, a recreation area on the base for service members who are not on shift. They also visited various rooms within the centre before unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening.
They met station personnel, families and British Forces representatives at the Sergeant’s Mess, and did a walkabout to meet people before attending a Christmas Reception. William and Kate handed out presents to members of the 11 Squadron which were given to them at the Christmas Party the previous day in London.
Kate and William’s engagement yesterday also follows their appearance at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night for the Queen’s annual Diplomatic Corps Reception. The couple dressed formally for the private fête, with Kate in a Cinderella-esque gown by Jenny Packham with her go-to Lover’s Knot Tiara