Prince Harry and Meghan Markle enjoy a taste of Welsh traditions
Meghan Markle described Welsh cakes – considered by many to be the national dish of Wales – as “really good”.
A visit to Wales is not complete without sampling a Welsh cake – and that’s exactly what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made sure to do during their time in Cardiff.
They were also given traditional Welsh lovespoons, listened to a Welsh love song and a Welsh poem, as well as the Welsh choir Only Boys Aloud.
The couple spent half an hour chatting to wellwishers outside a rainy Cardiff Castle, before taking a further 90 minutes exploring inside.
Their visit concluded with a Taste of Wales experience, where Harry and Ms Markle were able to enjoy slices of Welsh cheese and of course, Welsh cakes.
Ms Markle herself showcased Welsh manufacturing, with her trousers by Hiut Denim, made in Cardigan, Ceredigion, west Wales.
The US actress proclaimed the traditional Welsh cake “very good” after tasting one made by the Village Bakery, based in Wrexham, north Wales.
“Very good,” she said. “Wow, it’s great.”
Welsh cakes are made with flour, sugar, mixed spice, butter, currants, milk and egg, and cooked on a griddle.
The couple were also treated to a wedding cake made from Welsh cheese, with Ms Markle exclaiming: “Oh my goodness, how sweet is that”.
Both Ms Markle and Harry tasted small pieces of the mature cheddar that made up part of the five-tier cake, which she described as “really delicious”.
The cake, by the Snowdonia Cheese Company, based in Rhyl, north Wales, included extra mature cheddar, vintage Red Leicester, a garlic and herb cheese and a smoked mature cheddar.
Simon Mercer, director of the company, said: “We have created it for them, the topper says ‘congratulations’ in Welsh.
“They are very welcome to take it with them.”
Prynhawn da Caerdydd! What an incredible welcome to Wales! pic.twitter.com/XH6xirT38m— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 18, 2018
Ms Markle and Harry were presented with a hamper full of other Welsh products to try, including Halen Mon salt, cider, edible flowers, and Merlyn Cream Liqueur.
At the beginning of their time inside the castle, Harry and Ms Markle listened to the Welsh poem Hon by Sir Thomas Herbert Parry-Williams.
Sixth form student Emily Pemberton, who comes from an English speaking family but learnt Welsh at primary school, recited the poem.
Enlli Pugh, of Eryri Young Farmers Club, then sang a Welsh love song to the couple.
Harry told his fiancee: “You are only going to hear the best singing in Wales.
“At the Principality Stadium we have the best singing.
“People are in tune, which you can’t say for most football stadiums.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle listen to a Welsh love song in Cardiff Castle’s Arab room pic.twitter.com/4A510l9beW— Claire Hayhurst (@clairehayhurst) January 18, 2018
After hearing Enlli’s rendition, Ms Markle said: “What a marvellous voice. It is beautiful, wow. Thank you.”
The actress described a performance by Welsh choir Only Boys Aloud as “unbelievable, that was so incredible”.
She also praised a street dance by Katie Morris, 18, from Maesteg and Reuel Elijah, 21, from Grangetown, Cardiff.
The dance, by the Jukebox Collective, was choreographed especially for the royal visit and is entitled “Toy Soldier”.
“She loved it, she was really impressed by the choreography,” company director Liara Barussi said.
Harry told Mr Elijah, who danced the part of a royal guardsman: “If the guardsman started dancing like that, what will the tourists think?”
The couple also met players involved in Welsh sports, receiving signed shirts from the Welsh Rugby team and the Welsh women’s football teams.
They were also presented with a football signed by the Welsh men’s football team.
Winger Nadia Lawrence, 28, who plays for Wales, said: “It was amazing, it was surreal. They seemed very down to Earth.”
The couple left Wales with a number of Welsh lovespoons – tokens of love and affection that date back centuries.
The couple were presented with a Love Spoon from primary school children Megan, 9, and Harry, 6 (and three quarters) pic.twitter.com/U3N7NYqwgd— Claire Hayhurst (@clairehayhurst) January 18, 2018
One, with the initials H and M carved into it, was presented by Harry Smith, six, and Megan Taylor, nine, of Marlborough Primary School.