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Monday 15 September 2014

Kate shows who's boss as William left watching on as she takes control of fighter jet

Published 19/04/2014 | 07:27

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The Duchess of Cambridge climbs into the cockpit of an F/A-18F Super Hornet as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit RAAF base Amberley during the thirteenth day of their official tour to New Zealand and Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday April 19, 2014. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA pool
The Duchess of Cambridge climbs into the cockpit of an F/A-18F Super Hornet as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit RAAF base Amberley
The Duchess of Cambridge climbs into the cockpit of an F/A-18F Super Hornet as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit RAAF base Amberley during the thirteenth day of their official tour to New Zealand and Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday April 19, 2014. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA pool
The Duchess of Cambridge climbs into the cockpit of an F/A-18F Super Hornet as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit RAAF base Amberley
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, receives a bunch of flowers during a visit to the RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane, April 19, 2014. Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate are undertaking a 19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia with their son George. REUTERS/Phil Noble (AUSTRALIA - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, receives a bunch of flowers during a visit to the RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane

The Duchess of Cambridge relegated her husband to the role of an onlooker when she turned down his offer to jump into the back seat - of a fighter jet.

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Yesterday she suggested he try an alpaca toupee, and this morning she took control of a sophisticated fighter plane, sitting in the pilot's front seat.

William was left watching his wife marvel at the Super Hornet's array of dials and buttons during a visit to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base Amberley near Sydney.

The Duke had made an offer to his wife he believed she could not refuse, asking: "Do you fancy jumping in the back?"

But the Duchess was not about to miss the opportunity to see for herself the multimillion-pound plane's cockpit.

Stephen Chappell, Commanding Officer of Number 1 Squadron, whose pilots fly the Super Hornet, said Kate was fascinated by the "dials and gadgets" on the fighter aircraft.

He remarked there was some "bi-play between the two as to who was sitting in what seat".

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Yesterday The serious plight of a gravely ill baby left the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge close to tears during a visit to an Australian hospice.

William and Kate were visibly moved when they met 10-month-old Max McIntyre at Bear Cottage in Manly, Sydney - one of just two children's hospices in Australia.

Max was born a healthy baby but just six weeks ago he was struck down with bacterial meningitis and is now receiving care at the hospice.

The royal couple met a number of families at Bear Cottage - but it was the experience of Amy and Rob McIntyre that drew a clear emotional response.

Photographer Amy, 28, said: "Kate and William were fighting back tears when we told them about Max.

"They could totally see themselves in us, as both our sons were born around the same time.

"Kate stroked Max's leg and they were both very moved. They struggled to hold back tears - they were welling up.

"Obviously it was lovely meeting them, and they are very charming and caring. But meeting them was obviously bitter sweet, we'd give anything not to be here.

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"Max has touched many hearts and he obviously touched them."

Mr McIntyre, a sub-editor, described the circumstances leading up to his son's illness: "He was born perfectly fine but then on the exact day he was nine months, he had a temperature and vomited.

"The hospital said it was viral and sent us home, two days later he had a series of massive strokes and was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis."

 

Mrs McIntyre said: "Initially they said Max just had days to live, then perhaps weeks and now maybe months.

"We've been at Bear Cottage for a month, and it's been great as we can stay here as a whole family and Max can get the treatment he needs.

"It's just a case of keeping him comfortable and if something happens, we'll let nature take its course."

At the end of the visit Kate gave her only speech of the Cambridges' tour of New Zealand and Australia and told staff, supporters and parents that Bear Cottage and East Anglia's Children's Hospice, of which she is patron, were planning to be "part of a 'community of best practice' ".

Kate also thanked Australia for the warm welcome she and baby Prince George have received during their visit.

She said: "If I may, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has welcomed me and George so incredibly warmly on our first visit.

"To be here together as a family has been very special and we will always remember it with fond and happy memories."

The Duchess, who wore a white Zimmermann dress, said: "First class delivery of children's palliative care is life changing.

"When families are confronted with the shattering news that their children have a life limiting condition, their world can fall apart. It is at those times that professional support is imperative."

The Duchess who has visited hospices in Malaysia and last week in New Zealand, added: "The sharing of best practice is transformational for organisations.

"The needs of families requiring children's palliative care across the world are varied. Circumstances and environment can differ - but the aim of those supporting them is the same - to offer the best and most loving care possible.

"I am delighted that Bear Cottage and Each are planning to be part of a 'community of best practice'.

"The haven that you have created here is inspirational, and there is so much that you can share with each other as you continue to support and nurture those in your care."

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