THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the VIP guests at next week’s America’s Cup racing in Portsmouth.
This time next week the Solent will be alive with activity as warm-up race take place.
And on Sunday – the last of the four-day event – Prince William and Kate will be present to show their support for the sailing spectacle.
The royals will tour international team areas at Portsmouth naval base before the racing and meet team skippers and their crews.
They will then visit the new Land Rover BAR headquarters at the Camber and learn more about the work being done there.
The couple will then watch the teams from USA, France, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden and Britain compete.
It will be a huge honour for us to welcome the Duke and Duchess of CambridgeSir Keith Mills, chairman of Teamorigin Events
Sir Keith Mills, chairman of Teamorigin Events, the organisers of the event, said: ‘It will be a huge honour for us to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
‘This will be an event of national significance – the first time we will witness a British America’s Cup team race in an official America’s Cup event on British waters since 1851.
‘We are expecting up to 500,000 visitors and spectators for this event, as well as a significant UK and international TV audience.
‘Their presence will ensure an unforgettable event for all involved.’
The Duchess last came to Portsmouth in February where she had a look at the race base being built and saw the work of the 1851 Trust, of which she is a royal patron of.
At the end of the day, Prince William and Kate will present medals at the Waterfront Festival Arena to the teams and will be joined by trophy design competition winner Leo Howard.
The five-year-old from Solent Infant School, won the 1851 Trust competition to design the ‘victory’ trophies, which will be presented to each competing team.
Lucy Wilby, headteacher of the school in Evelegh Road, Farlington, said: ‘We’re thrilled one of our pupils won the competition.
‘Leo is so excited to be meeting The Duchess of Cambridge.
‘It will be a proud moment for his family and the school.
‘The cup and event is the talk of the playground in the lead up to the event, which I am sure will put our wonderful city on the map once again.’
n Turn to page 6 for more
America’s Cup coverage