‘How many cars do you have?’ Duchess of Cambridge quizzed by cheeky pupil at sailing event
The Duchess of Cambridge was put on the spot in a class on environmentalism today when a schoolboy asked: “How many cars do you have?”
Kate, who has access to a fleet of royal cars at her two main homes in London and Norfolk, burst out laughing and exclaimed “oh my goodness” during the lesson on the environmental impact of plastic on birds.
She blustered briefly but recovered to say she had a Land Rover.
Five-year-old Rafi Ahmed surprised her with the cheeky question.
He said: “I said ‘how many cars do you have?’ she said she had a Land Rover.
“She asked me ‘what’s your favourite car?’ I said a Lambourghini.”
Decked out in a fittingly nautical outift of navy cropped – or half-mast – J Crew trousers and white Zara jacket, the Duchess went to the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre on the Isle of Dogs in East London to see a marine-themed roadshow for children put on by the 1851Trust, the official charity of Britain’s America’s Cup sailing team, Land Rover Bar.
Kate, who is patron of the trust, helped pupils from several schools learn about the science, technology, engineering and maths behind sailing and the challenges faced by Olympic hero Sir Ben Ainslie’s British team, which got knocked out of the semi-final of the America’s Cup in Bermuda on June 8.
The Duchess had planned to go out on the water in Millwall Dock with the children but that was abandoned after aides decided it was inappropriate to look too jolly while the Duke of Cambridge was accompanying the Queen to meet people helping victims of the Grenfell Tower fire across London in North Kensington.
Inside the centre’s main building, Kate spoke via video link with Sir Ben, who is still out in Bermuda.
She told him she and Prince William had been glued to the television, watching the America’s Cup.
Kate said: “Commiserations, obviously, but really well done. We’ve been watching with really keen interest.
“Both William and I have been glued to the telly. Well done to you guys. I gather now you’re on to the next thing.”
Sir Ben launched the British team in 2014 with Kate at his side in the hope of bringing the cup back to Britain.
Today they chatted about the contest and how sailing can be a means to teach children about science, technology, engineering and maths.
The four-time Olympic gold medal winner, 40, told the Duchess: “It’s fantastic to see the work the trust has been able to put together, it’s great to have your help with that.
“In the Americas Cup, it’s a really fascinating design project.
“To have young people come down to see how the boats get designed and built and hopefully inspire them to a future in engineering and design, that’s a fantastic project.”
Earlier, Kate spoke to Katie Lam, 10, a Year Five pupil at Cubitt Town Junior School, in East London.
he Duchess said: “You look very smart in your school uniform.
“Are you going out later? Have you got sailing stuff with you?”
She jokingly added: “I hope you don’t end up swimming.”
Beverley Smith, education manager of the 1851 Trust, told Kate and the pupils how when birds eat plastic they feel full but can then starve because it has no nutritional value.
She said: “The birds starve to death. We haven’t just made this up – this is very real.
“They think they are full up. We’ve talked about the problems, now we are going to talk about how you can do something about it.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
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