The Princess of Wales made a rare foray into politics when she spoke of the need for food banks as millions of families struggle with the cost of living crisis.
Kate made the comments about the importance of community service during a discussion with volunteers and members of the congregation at St Thomas Church in Swansea, her first visit to Wales since inheriting her new title.
In the past two years, the church has been transformed into a community hub, including a food bank, homeless facilities, and a nonprofit cafeteria and community training kitchen.
The site is also home to the Swansea Baby Basics baby bank, a volunteer-run project that distributes essential items to vulnerable mothers and their newborn babies across the city.
During the visit with her husband William, Kate said: “With the cost of living crisis, there are a lot of desperate people.”
The royals said the food bank was a “lifeline for so many people”, particularly after the pandemic and amid rising cost of living.
Princess Kate made a rare foray into politics when she spoke of “desperate people” struggling with the cost of living crisis on a visit to a food bank in Wales.
The Prince and Princess of Wales visit St Thomas’ Church, a converted church in Swansea on Tuesday.
Princess Kate received her second bouquet of flowers yesterday when she met little Charlotte Bunting in Swansea during a royal visit.
Royal protocol on talking about politics and when it has been breached
By convention, the royal family does not comment on political issues out of respect for the monarch’s constitutional role, but the conversation is unprecedented.
In March 2016, The Sun ran a headline saying “Queen backs Brexit”, which was criticized by watchdog Ipso for being inaccurate, although the newspaper stood by its reporting.
Micheal Gove was later alleged to be the source of the story, which was linked to Her Majesty speaking to then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg about the EU.
The Queen also issued a message on the eve of the Scottish referendum advising “I hope people think very carefully about the future”, which was widely interpreted as support for the Union.
It was later revealed that Downing Street and Palace sources had carefully negotiated the exact language after the Queen made it known that she was “willing” to speak on the subject.
And FOI requests revealed ‘black spider memos’ written by Prince Charles to government ministers in his distinctive handwriting, including lobbying Scottish First Minister Alex Solmand to help restore a ruined Scottish castle.
Speaking to a group of faithful elders, he added: ‘The wonderful thing about this place is that there is such a good mix of young and old. it’s extraordinary. You’re 90 years old as well as young. It is a true family organization.
‘We need places like this to bring people together, places where people can come and participate. It’s what we need post Covid and with the cost of living crisis.
“A lot of people are too scared to participate, so it’s wonderful that you’re going out to see them too.”
‘Places like this are much needed. They bring people together, help them connect, it’s what we miss since Covid. All gathered under one roof.
‘We could all use a church like this where we live. I have to come to a service once a day. It’s so noticeable here.
She added: ‘Amazing work is being done here. Keep up the hard work.’
Well-wishers lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the couple as they visited Anglesey and Swansea yesterday, making their first appearance in the country since assuming the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales.
Pat Hughes, one of the women who runs the food bank, said: “It was lovely chatting with the princess and it’s something we won’t forget.”
The couple arrived at St Thomas Church on Lewis Street around 3pm and greeted volunteers in the center as well as some members of the public outside.
They were seen talking to Rachel Bunting, who is married to the church’s Reverend Steven Bunting and is the organizer of the food bank, as well as their two-year-old daughter Charlotte.
They also spoke to Leah Rees, 30, and Francesca Cardone, 44, who have been community nursery nurses in Swansea for the past seven years.
The couple work with parents who may not be ready for a baby, referring them to Rachel at the baby bank, who in turn prepares items they may need, such as baths and baby clothes.
The princess seemed especially interested in the work the baby bank was doing and was listening intently.
Pictured: Catherine, Princess of Wales, gets a hug from two-year-old Charlotte Bunting, dressed in traditional Welsh costume as she leaves Swansea’s St Thomas’ Church, which has been refurbished to support vulnerable people .
In the photo: The Princess of Wales meets little Charlotte Bunting during a visit to St Thomas’s Church in Swansea.
Hard at work: The Prince and Princess of Wales meet volunteers from the center during a visit to St Thomas’s Church, Swansea
The royal couple was stopped in their tracks by a special note written by Rachel that is given to all mothers who access the baby bank, and may be the only card some mothers receive.
The note addressed to a mother, which was shown to the royal couple, read: ‘These items are a gift from the mothers of Swansea. We know how hard these first few weeks can be and we want you to have everything you need. Here at Baby Basics we believe that God loves you and your child and we want to share that love with you.’
The Prince said the note was “very nice” and would “be of great help” to mothers accessing support.
Ahead of their visit to Swansea, the couple started their day by arriving at the RNLI Holyhead lifeboat station at around 12:20pm, where they met crew, volunteers and people who have been helped by the charity.
The Prince of Wales watched as his wife, the Princess of Wales, received a bouquet of flowers from four-year-old Theo Crompton at the start of their visit.
The Prince and Princess, who used to live on Anglesey, walked from the lifeboat station to the Holyhead Marine and Café Bar, where they met locals, including representatives of small businesses and organisations, such as the Coastguard and Sea Cadets.