This royal engagement was "full of emotion" for Kate, royal expert says

It has a connection to Diana

Catherine, Princess of Wales visits the National Maritime Museum Cornwall with Prince William, Prince of Wales on February 09, 2023 in Falmouth, England. Their Royal Highnesses are visiting Cornwall for the first time since becoming the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.
(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang / Getty)

After Queen Elizabeth sadly passed, Prince William and Kate Middleton automatically became the new Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.

While they are most usually known as the Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate retain the Cornwall Duchy, and as such, are expected to visit Cornwall and connect with the people there often — which they did last week for the first time since acquiring these titles.

This was an especially significant trip, because it marked 40 years since the late Princess Diana made her own first trip to the county as Duchess of Cornwall.

"Diana was in Cornwall quite frequently and she made a huge impact wherever she went. It's part of your duty — if you carry the name the Duchess of Cornwall, you have to try to forge a special relationship with that part of the country," royal expert Jennie Bond told OK!.

"There is a pattern to royal life as these titles are handed down, obviously they are full of significance and sentiment for them. Carrying the name of your late mother-in-law who you never knew is obviously full of emotion.

"But it will also be emotional for William. Both William and Harry would say that they will often feel they're treading in their mother's footsteps and that they carry her with them and this is another example of that."

During their visit, the royal couple were extremely busy. They visited the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, then headed to the Dracaena Centre, a community hub which provides social support for local people.

There were some incredibly sweet moments during the day, such as Princess Kate doing the Hokey Cokey with a group of children, and the moment she spotted her former history teacher and gave him a big hug, as reported by OK!.

All in all, the visit appeared to have gone really well, and we have no doubt it will have made the royal couple feel closer to Diana's memory.

Writing on Instagram afterwards, the Waleses said, "Here in Falmouth the @nationalmaritimemuseumcornwall isn’t just the home of maritime history but also a superb educational hub transferring skills and knowledge between generations.

"Of course it got a bit competitive too…

"And what a brilliant place the @dracaenacentrefalmouth is! With everything from wellbeing support services to early childhood groups, spaces for all sorts of sport and other activities, you can really see why the centre is so special to the community."

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.