The Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Greenwich today to launch a British sailing bid for America’s Cup glory.
Dressed in a cream dress paired with navy heels, Kate made her first solo appearance at the National Maritime Museum since her tour with Prince William around Australia and New Zealand.
The sailing enthusiast breakfasted with Olympic gold medal winning sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, who is spearheading the drive to find a winning crew by 2017, at the Queen’s House.
The Duchess was delighted by a posy presented to her by 3-year-old Bo Cornwell, daughter of Matt Cornwell who has sailed in the America’s Cups three times.
The oldest sporting trophy, the America’s Cup is known affectionately as the ‘Auld Mug’ and was first offered as a prize by Queen Victoria in 1851 to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight.
The trophy was renamed after schooner America which claimed the cup in the two-yacht race fought between the previous winner – known as the ‘defender’ – against the challenger.
Speaking of his daughter’s floral gift to the Duchess, America’s Cup veteran Matt Cornwell told News Shopper: “My daughter just got some flowers. She [the Duchess] was very grateful, she asked if my son could sail. We went sailing in Ben’s [Ainsley’s] boat a couple of weeks ago.
“He [Nate Cornwell, 1] was more interested in pressing the horn than sailing. We had a laugh about it.”
Of the UK bid for the America’s Cup, he added: “It means a huge amount really, certainly as a British sailor, it is something I would like to see.
“We have also got much talent in design and manufacturing.”