Kate Middleton cut a stylish figure in a recycled floral dress as she joined Prince William to visit Gavin & Stacey’s slot machine arcade in South Wales on Wednesday.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, hit the real-life beachfront family attractions made famous in comedy favourite Gavin and Stacey.
The couple laughed as they played in Island Leisure amusement – the iconic setting for ‘Nessa’s Slots’ at the Welsh resort – but the prince, who is pals with James Corden, admitted he had not seen the classic BBC show.
In the hit BBC comedy show, Nessa has a series of odd jobs – including working the slots at the Island Leisure Amusement Arcade along the promenade – which features everything from flashing machines and even a board outside which says, ‘Nessa’s Slots – Come and see what’s occurrin.’
And it seems the invite was enticing for the royals – whose visit to Barry Island has come as businesses in Wales have started to reopen their doors to the public as lockdown measures have started to ease.
Kate typically elegant in the £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead, which she complemented with a pair of chic tan wedges.
The mother-of-three first donned the pastel blue belted dress, which featured a pink floral pattern, when she opened her Back to Nature garden at RHS Wisley in Surrey in September 2019.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge threw balls in a bid to knock down figures on an arcade game at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey is filmed, as they visited South Wales on Wednesday
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge played a grab a teddy game as the Duchess picked up a blue toy and celebrated with her thumbs up – only for it to slip from the claws before reaching the winning chute
Kate and Prince William (pictured) then joined vendors from some of the other businesses based on Barry’s promenade at Marco’s Café
Prince William confessed to never having seen the show while speaking to Marco Zeraschi whose family has owned Marco’s Cafe since 1958, which also features on the BBC hit comedy.
He said: ‘It’s one of the few box sets I haven’t already watched. I’ve never actually watched it. But I know how much it has done for the economy here and it’s a wonderful series.’
The couple fooled around inside iconic Island Leisure amusement where Nessa played by Ruth Jones works in the show.
They praised owners Hilary and Andrew Phillips who reopened the attractions for the first time since lockdown today – whose grandchildren Erin Phillips, 5, Hollie Case, 5, and Jamie Case, 7, showed the royals how to play the games.
Kate and Prince William hurled balls at the Down the Clown coconut shy-style game after paying one pound a go, before trying their hand at a grab machine – but they failed to win a stuffed toy.
Kate cut a stylish figure in a pastel blue £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead as she joined Prince William to visit Gavin & Stacey’s slot machine arcade
Kate, who paired her floral ensemble with tan wedges, first wore the designer dress when she opened her Back to Nature garden at RHS Wisley in Surrey in September 2019. Pictured, with Prince William
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) paid a secret visit to the iconic ‘Nessa’s’ arcade in Barry Island, where they heard from local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector
In the hit BBC comedy show, Nessa (pictured) has a series of odd jobs – including working the slots at the Island Leisure Amusement Arcade
The royals also played a teddy game as the Duchess picked up a blue toy and celebrated – only for it to slip from the claws before reaching the winning chute
The Duchess picked up a blue toy and celebrated – only for the toy to slip from the claws before reaching the winning chute (pictured, left and right)
The Duke of Cambridge handed a coin to Jamie Case, 7, so he and his friend, Erin Phillips, 5, (left) and sister Hollie Case, 5, (front) could play on a grab a teddy machine at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to Erin Phillips, 5, during their visit to the arcade
Kate and Prince William hurled balls at the Down the Clown coconut shy-style game after paying one pound a go
The couple fooled around inside iconic Island Leisure amusement where Nessa, played by Ruth Jones, works in the show (pictured, left and right)
Both paid £1 each for the game and had a prize in the grasp, which fell out before they could deposit into the winning tray.
They also found the chair used by Nessa in the show, which is surrounded by Gavin and Stacey merchandise.
Although the visit was kept secret to avoid crowds, hundreds of holidaymakers flocked to the barricades and waved to the couple, who were more than happy to stop and speak to the well-wishers.
They also heard with Marco, 62, and daughter Mariana, 39, whose family have owned the cafe since 1958, how the attractions are reopening to tourists.
Marco said: ‘I told them we have James Corden as prince and Ruth Jones as princess of Barry Island but said I have changed my mind now. They were very charming.’
Character Stacey, played by Joanna Page, worked in the cafe in series three.
During their visit, the Duke and Duchess heard about the impact that closing has had on the businesses during a typically busy period for the seaside resort, which attracted 424,000 visitors in 2019, and the measures they have put in place to allow them to start reopening in a safe and secure manner.
They visited the beach huts on the eastern end of the promenade which have been installed as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s £6m regeneration project in Barry.
The project has also seen the restoration of the promenade and shelter, and the installation of new public art and entertainment spaces, a climbing wall and water feature.
In the hit BBC comedy show, Nessa has a series of odd jobs – including working the slots at the Island Leisure Amusement Arcade (pictured) – which features everything from flashing machines and even a board outside which says, ‘Nessa’s Slots – Come and see what’s occurrin’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were seen leaving Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey is filmed before walking along the promenade, during their visit to Barry Island
The royal couple even took the chance to play a grab a teddy game at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where the BBC it comedy Gavin and Stacey was filmed
The couple’s visit to Barry Island has come as businesses in Wales have started to reopen their doors to the public as lockdown measures have started to ease
Fall for florals like the Duchess in a midi dress by Emilia Wickstead
Emilia Wickstead ‘Aurora’ dress
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We’re still obsessed with the beautiful floral dress that the Duchess of Cambridge wore for the unveiling of her Chelsea Flower Show garden!
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Kate looked typically elegant in the £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead and opted to wear her brown locks loose and kept her makeup minimal
During their visit, the couple (pictured) spoke to local business owners about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism sector
Later, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were left in stitches today during a face-to-face meeting with care home residents they had entertained as virtual bingo callers during lockdown.
William and Kate were visiting Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff three months after speaking to staff and residents via video link and calling out the numbers for their weekly bingo session.
Introduced to Joan Drew-Smith, 87, who made headlines in May when she said the royal bingo game ‘wasn’t as good as it should have been’, the Duke said: ‘Hello Joan, do you remember we did the bingo with you? You said we weren’t very good!’
‘Yes,’ she replied. ‘You did a bloody s****y job.’
The royal couple, briefly taken aback by her blunt assessment, roared with laughter, ut they got a kinder response from fellow resident Margaret Stocks, 95, winner of the virtual game.
‘I did enjoy it,’ she told them. ‘I hadn’t played it before.’
‘Neither had we!’ replied the Duchess. ‘That’s why we were so bad!’
‘We enjoyed it just as much as you did,’ William added. ‘It was a new experience for us.’
William and Kate both sported masks during the visit to the care home’s garden, making it tricky to make themselves heard at times.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Island Leisure amusements arcade to meet the owners and staff members ahead of the arcade reopening to the public later in the day
Kate and Prince William spoke with staff at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey is filmed
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could be seen talking on the promenade as they visited beach huts during their visit to Barry Island
Prince William and Kate were seen talking to the Hughes family as they visited beach huts, during their visit to Barry Island, South Wales, to speak to local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with MD of Vale of Glamorgan Council, Rob Thomas, as they arrived by car to visit beach huts, during their visit to Barry Island
The royal couple were more than happy to stop and speak with well-wishers who lined the streets to greet them
The Duke, who donned a blue fabric face covering, told Joan: ‘We have to wear masks because of the virus, but it’s difficult to hear sometimes when you can’t see someone’s mouth.’
‘Is that your assistant?’ Joan asked him, pointing at Kate.
‘Well I am your assistant,’ laughed Kate, putting a hand on her husband’s shoulder. ‘I have been for a long time!’
The meeting took place in a marquee set up for afternoon team just as the heavens opened.
‘We timed it right!’ said the Duke, who later told staff: ‘I love Joan, she’s brilliant. If only everyone was as honest as her.’
Shire Hall provides residential, nursing and dementia care and is part of Hallmark Care Homes, a family-run care provider with 20 care homes across England and Wales.
Staff spoke about the measures that have been put in place in order to allow the residents to safely receive visits from family members and friends.
The Duke and Duchess then met a small number of residents and their family members who spoke about the challenges of being unable to visit their loved ones at the beginning of the lockdown, how they kept in touch, and the impact of now being able to visit the home.