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William relives fond memories of holidays with mother

Published 02/09/2016

The Duke of Cambridge reminisced about family holidays on the Isles of Scilly when he met one of the islands' oldest inhabitants.

William told 89-year-old Gladys Perkins how he enjoyed breaks with his mother Diana, Princess of Wales when a small boy.

Mrs Perkins was one of dozens of inhabitants from St Martin's island who welcomed the Duke and Duchess to their picturesque home, with its crystal blue waters and silver sandy beaches.

Foggy weather that delayed their arrival by helicopter had blown away to be replaced by brilliant summer sunshine and blue skies.

William and Kate arrived on the rocky outcrop by boat and donned shades as they walked along the main road - a country lane lined with pretty cottages and hedgerows.

The 89-year-old was sitting on a bench outside the island's community centre surrounded by her family when the Duke stopped for a brief chat.

She said: "I said to William, 'you haven't been here for a good while' and he said 'no'. I said the 'last time you were here with your brother you were only so high'."

The pensioner, whose husband is a Duchy of Cornwall tenant farmer on St Martin's, described how the second-in-line to the throne would visit the neighbouring island of Tresco with his parents and brother.

She added: "They visited as a family, William and Harry were quite small, but they were left alone, no-one disturbed them."

William and Kate shared a touching moment with teenager Megan Hawker who was holidaying on St Martin's with her family and wanted to congratulate the couple on their public work tackling bullying and depression.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet children from three local life-saving clubs on Newquay's Towan beach
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet children from three local life-saving clubs on Newquay's Towan beach

The 16-year-old bullying victim stopped the couple as they walked and said to William: "I want to thank you, for the work you and Harry and Kate are doing about bullying."

The Duke appeared touched and said: "We've just started, there's lot's more to come, we're tackling the stigma but there's also legacy stuff."

As the royal couple listened, Kate also sympathised and asked Miss Hawker how she had done in her GCSEs and the teenager replied "as well as I could" and William put his arm on the teenager's right shoulder as they left.

Afterwards Miss Hawker, from Stratford-upon-Avon, who every year holidays on St Martin's with her parents and younger siblings, said: "I've been bullied for over seven years, in primary school and throughout secondary school. And I was just so grateful for what they've done - I'm so emotional.

"I was going to write to Kensington Palace, but when I heard they were coming to St Martin's I wanted to try and meet them."

She said about her fight against bullying: "I'm getting help, but it's a long road."

Her father Dean Hawker, a head chef in a gastro pub, said: "She's been through a lot but she was determined to meet them and thank them."

When the royal couple first arrived on St Martin's they looked relaxed despite having their travel plans disrupted by the earlier bad weather that forced them to delay flying to the Isles of Scilly and schedule a last minute visit to Cornwall's Eden Project.

Kate was casually dressed in a dark jacket by Smythe, light coloured top, trousers by Gap and wedges, while William wore a jacket, shirt without a tie and chino-type trousers.

A group of dignitaries was waiting to greet them on the quay side and on a nearby beautiful beach was a lone holiday maker who had stopped to watch the arrival.

William and Kate decided to walk to their first location, a mail order flower business called Scilly Flowers.

There was a hush when the royal couple entered a room where workers were diligently pruning flowers before making bouquets and the Duke made the staff laugh with the quip "Very therapeutic, very quiet - suspiciously quiet."

They also met locals at the island's community centre and learnt about life on the edge of the UK.

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