The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chatted with a group of preschoolers after being shown one of the largest floating tidal turbines in the world.
They had been transported by a Royal Navy ship half a mile off the coast of the Orkney Islands to see the massive 680-ton machine, which can produce enough electricity to power 2,000 homes and is being tested.
As a sign of luck, the couple poured Scapa Whiskey on their two 20-meter-long rotor blades and ventured inside the 72-meter-long Orbital O2.
When they returned to dry land, they took the time to crouch down and chat with the children at Glaitness Nursery, in Orkney’s main town, Kirkwall, who said they were desperate to meet “a real prince and a real princess ”.
But a little boy pointed at the Duchess and asked, “Are you the prince?” and she replied, “No, I’m the Duchess of Cambridge” adding “A lot of people call me Catherine”.
William struck a chord with some of the young boys who were keen to show off their coaches, and one in particular couldn’t quite keep up in his excitement and said to the Duke “Well you have to be the prince”.
The couple spent the day at Orkney Islands and began by thanking medical staff for their efforts during the pandemic when the £ 65million Balfour Hospital officially opened.
William and Kate were greeted with cheers and applause from supporters and nurses as their visit to the hospital began – their first official visit to the remote Scottish archipelago.
The couple are on an extended tour of Scotland as William as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
During their visit to Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall, William praised trauma nurse Dr Tariro Gandiya: “It must be reassuring to know that we are all in the same boat.”
Kate added: “Well done”.
The Cambridges are known by their Scottish title The Earl and Countess of Strathearn north of the border, and Kate wore a Strathearn tartan scarf and Massimo Dutti coat for the visit.
They were given a private tour of the hospital, which was the island’s biggest construction project since its cathedral was completed in 1168.
Before embarking on the giant turbine, they met with Neil Kermode, Managing Director of the European Marine Energy Center (Emec), a leading facility for the demonstration and testing of wave and tidal energy converters.
Mr Kermode told the Cambridges: “It’s good to know that people care.
“I really think we have something special here for the whole nation.”
William, who launched his £ 50million Earthshot Decade Award to recognize initiatives that help ‘fix’ the planet, replied: ‘You should participate in the Earthshot Award.
“You still have 10 years.”
Emec also takes locally produced hydrogen and converts it into electricity and the Duke and Duchess were shown their fuel cell and hydrogen storage trailers at the quayside.
William asked, “What can we do to help in the future?”
He added, “I hope at the end of the year we have some ideas (on Earthshot).
“I’ve seen a few of them and they’re excellent.”