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Prince William plays beach volleyball as he begins overnight trip to Cornwall - best photos

The Prince of Wales is visiting Newquay

Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: May 9, 2024
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The Prince of Wales has begun his first overnight trip since his wife Kate's cancer diagnosis was revealed in March, with the father-of-three welcomed by the crowds on Fistral Beach in Newquay. 

During the first day of his two-day visit to Cornwall, Prince William, 41,  took part in an impromptu game of volleyball and happily posed for selfies with well-wishers. 

And the future king even admitted that he was desperate to get his wet suit on and get out in the sea to try a bit of surfing! 

WATCH: Prince William plays beach volleyball in Newquay, Cornwall

Earlier in the day, Prince William's first port of call in Cornwall was to Nansledan in Newquay, the site where the Duchy of Cornwall’s first homeless housing project will be built.

The project, delivered alongside Cornish charity St Petrocs, will provide 24 homes with wraparound support for homeless people.

William met the development’s leaders and the chief executive of St Petrocs, Henry Meacock.

Construction will begin in September this year, and land for the homes is being provided by the Duchy.

Prince William is shown plans of the site of the Duchy of Cornwall's first ever housing project will be built, in Nansledan© Getty

William viewed plans for the housing project upon arrival.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said: "Since the project was announced in February, work on the Innovative Housing Project in Nansledan has been progressing at pace. Designs are being finalised and construction is set to start on site in September, with completion by autumn 2025. 

"Today, marks the first time that The Prince will see the site of the new homes. He is looking forward to hearing from the Duchy team about how the work is progressing and from St. Petrocs about the impact the project will have on people experiencing homelessness locally. 

"Both His Royal Highness and the Duchy hope that this project will serve as an inspiration to others."

 Prince William, the Duke of Cornwall and Alastair Martin Secretary of Duchy of Cornwall, are shown plans of the site of the Duchy of Cornwall's first ever housing project© Getty

Last year, William launched Homewards – a five-year programme led by The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales which aims to end homelessness.

While viewing the plans, William spoke to Max , a local who has experienced homelessness himself.
"There's always hope," said Max.

"That's what we genuinely want to do," the Prince said, "Give people like you hope. But it's got to be real and it's got to be effective. Is there anything you can pick out, any key ingredients, that would make it work?"

He added that there so many cliches around what homelessness meant and that for many - young people and families in particular - it involves lives moving from one B&B or shelter to another rather than rough sleeping.

By the end of their chat, William was delighted to hear that Max was in a "good place" and planning to join the Royal Navy.

Prince William arrives in Newquay© Getty

The new homes in Nansledan have been designed by local practice ALA Architects, with input from the  Duchy, St Petrocs and the Homewards expert panel. The homes are designed to be in keeping with the  quality and character of Nansledan, to provide residents with dignity and help them settle into their new  community from day one.

Prince William, Prince of Wales, waves to well-wishers as he arrives to visit to Fistral Beach© Getty

William was greeted by a large crowd as he visited Fistral Beach, where he met representatives from local organisations who are working to promote safety in the sea and across the beach area, ahead of the forthcoming summer months.

Prince William watches Hollywell Bay Surf Life Saving Club practice Cardiopulmonary resuscitation© Getty

The father-of-three spent time with Holywell Bay and Newquay Surf Life Saving Clubs which trains and supports volunteers to save lives and prevent drowning in open water. 

William watched demonstrations of training programmes taking place on the beach, including a group practising CPR.

Prince William plays beach volleyball© Getty

In between chatting with the life saving club and lifeguards and staff from the RNLI, William couldn't resist having a go at beach volleyball. 

Afterwards Beck, 13, said: "I can’t believe he stopped to play with us, it was amazing. And he’s got a good serve!"

Prince William signs a child's plaster cast on Fistral Beach © Getty

William also made nine-year-old Phoenix Kanes' day as he secretly signed his plaster cast and told him: "Shhh, don't tell anyone. I'm not meant to do that!"

Phoenix's mother said afterwards: "We didn't realise that he shouldn't have done it. We will definitely be keeping the cast as a souvenir after he has it taken off on the 17th of May. I can't believe it!"

What is the Duchy of Cornwall?

The Duchy of Cornwall is one of the largest and oldest landed estates in Britain and was created in 1337 by Edward III to support his son and heir Prince Edward, known as the Black Prince, and all his subsequent heirs.

It extends across 23 counties in England and Wales and includes the Oval cricket ground and 67,000 acres of Dartmoor.

LISTEN: The reason why Meghan and her children don't want to visit the UK just yet


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