Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, had been scheduled to visit Malta for the celebration of its 50th year of independence, but she had to cancel her trip after suffering from morning sickness. Catherine and Prince William are expecting their second child, and the couple decided that he should appear in her stead.
According to an official statement released by Kensington Palace, “The decision not to travel was taken by the duke and duchess on the advice of the duchess’s doctors. Catherine continues to suffer from the effects of hyperemesis gravidarum.”
Hyperemesis gravidarum is the medical term for morning sickness, which is a condition experienced by pregnant women that may require supplementary hydration, medication and nutrients.
The statement also read, “The Duke is honoured to represent Her Majesty the Queen on the visit, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of Malta’s independence. The visit itinerary remains unchanged.” However, according to the latest news, Prince William spent a lot of his time displaying his energy, youth and exuberance by taking part in a range of activities. These activities include engaging in table football matches and lounging in big bean bag chairs.
The excursion to Malta would’ve been the duchess’s first official visit outside the kingdom, and it was being viewed as a significant step in her royal training. Fortunately, Prince William had been spending much of his time at home and was more than happy to fill her shoes, but he remained humble over the situation.
“The Duchess was so sad that she could not be with us today in Malta,” said Prince William. “Unfortunately, you have me.” He tempered his jokes, however, with a serious remark to the president about the Queen residing there off-and-on from 1949 to 1951. “I was asking my grandmother all about her time in Malta just a week ago,” he said. “I’m very interested in the history.”
First Days in Malta
On his first day in Malta, Prince William was on-hand to watch a historical reenactment in the capital city of Valletta. Accompanying him was Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and President Coleiro Preca. The event was the In Guardia Parade, where members of the city garrison don medieval garb as they play out an inspection by the Order of the Knights of St. John.
After the In Guardia Parade, Prince William was escorted to the National Library of Malta through a crowd that had gathered to welcome his arrival. While inside the library, he viewed important documents, including letters written by King George II and King Henry VIII. Also, he saw the original citation issued to Malta that awarded the country the George Cross. The award was presented for the citizens’ bravery in withstanding constant German and Italian bombardment during World War II and for providing the U.K. with a vital naval base in the Mediterranean Sea.
Prince William Loosens Up
Prince William began his second day in Malta by attending a special mass in celebration of the country’s 50th year of independence. He then updated the Duchess of Cambridge about his activities before moving on to the business of a more social nature.
The Prince paid a casual visit to a community centre for youths and adults in a poor area of the country to lift their spirits and show them that he is just a regular person. The Agenzija Appogg Centre is located in Birgu, and locals gather there to socialize, network and share resources.
William played table football alongside two teenagers who were having a terrible time in their match, and he scored two goals on their behalf. One of the teenagers, 17-year-old Kayleigh Cioffi, was delighted at the prince’s presence and impressed by his skill at the table. “He’s better than me, and he helped us win,” she said. “He was so, so nice. He said that he would love to spend a summer here.”
Three other boys were sitting on big bean bag chairs playing football on a video game console. They made space for Prince William to sit with them on the big bean bag chairs and handed him a game controller. He sat with the boys, joking and laughing with them, for some time before turning to Janet Desira, a childcare student at the centre.
Prince William continued to joke with the 17-year-old student by saying that she could, perhaps, do some babysitting for Prince George. “He’s busy,” William warned. “They’re very hectic at that age.”
After leaving the centre, Prince William attended a traditional dance performance of women from the neighbouring island of Gozo. He then chatted with a local Boy Scout troop and took a boat tour of Birgu Harbour.