EXCITEMENT is growing as the Duchess of Cambridge has confirmed she will visit Portsmouth next month.
Kate Middleton, who is six months pregnant with her second child, announced yesterday that she will come to the city to see Sir Ben Ainslie’s new America’s Cup race base in Old Portsmouth.
Keen sailor Kate will join the Olympic gold medallist at his base – the home of the 1851 Trust – on Thursday, February 12.
She will visit the Camber Docks before getting a bird’s eye view of the America’s Cup base from the top of the Spinnaker Tower.
Kate was made Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust, which is supported by Ben Ainslie Racing, last October.
During her visit, she will meet people involved with the trust, that aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, as well as artists and school children who helped create a mural at the site.
Kate, 33, helped Sir Ben launched the trust at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich in June.
She said: ‘I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age and I know it is a great way of providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence.
‘It is a hugely exciting time for sailing as the British Challenger bids to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain. I am looking forward to being part of this journey and I hope that through the 1851 Trust we can engage and inspire a new generation into sailing along the way.’
The Duchess was meant to visit Portsmouth in October to see the racing base but the visit was cancelled due to her morning sickness.
Sir Ben took to Twitter to express his delight at the impending Royal visit.
He tweeted: ‘@BenAinslieRacin & the @1851Trust look forward to welcoming @KensingtonRoyal The Duchess of Cambridge to Portsmouth.’
Portsmouth council leader Donna Jones said she was excited about Kate’s visit.
Cllr Jones said: ‘I’m looking forward to meeting her and very pleased that she is visiting the city.’
The visit will be Kate’s first public appearance since January 19. She is currently on a Caribbean holiday with William and baby Prince George.
Sir Ben’s racing base is on schedule to open in June 2015.