It might be stressful to learn that Prince William and Princess Kate are interested in visiting your workplace as a part of their busy engagement schedule. But when Huw Jones, the team leader of Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team in South Wales, got the call from Kensington Palace in March 2023, it came along with a special instruction—the visit should be “as informal as possible,” and the Prince and Princess of Wales hoped to include a visit to a pub. Now, photos from the couple’s April trip to visit with the team are on the cover of Mountain Rescue Magazine, and Jones and his fellow team members are opening up about what it was like to host royalty on the side of a mountain for a day.
In the photos, the couple are both wearing Mountain Rescue gear and are seen carrying a stretcher, abseiling, and meeting with the team. According to Jones, William and Kate both made themselves useful during the day’s training exercise. “The princess joined the team’s doctor, Alan and the CasCarer Rhiannon, and helped scribe on the CasCare card as well as call for kit on the radio,” he wrote. “Meanwhile, the prince joined the equipment party and helped carry the required kit, all while they updated each [other] via team radios, using their unique radio call signs allocated to them both for the day.” (CasCare is a specialized first-aid program used by Mountain Rescue of England and Wales.)
The team’s technical rescue lead, Pete Spearing, mentioned a quip from William during the exercise. “When introduced, I kept to good British tradition and mentioned the weather, which had turned wet after weeks of dry,” he said. “I asked them not to slip, and the prince laughingly confirmed that he wouldn’t hold us responsible!”
During the trip, the couple also met with two longtime members of the team who were on hand to respond to the Aberfan coal mining disaster back in 1966. Jones notes that the first responders mentioned “how appropriate the royal family’s actions at the time were.” The day finished with that trip to a nearby pub, and People reports that the couple also ordered 22 pizzas from the Little Dragon Pizza Van.
Prince William did his first round of mountain rescue training in 2005 and has served as the patron of Mountain Rescue of England and Wales since 2007. From 2010 to 2013, he worked full-time as a helicopter pilot for an air ambulance team based out of RAF Valley in North Wales.
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