We can’t wait for William and Kate!
That is the excited message from Blackpool’s businesses and residents ahead of next week’s eagerly anticipated visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
All eyes will be on the resort when the royal couple arrive – and the exposure is very welcome indeed.
It will be their first official visit to the resort – although William famously came on his stag do – and traders are hoping to see a tourism boost on the back of the event.
Daniel Verbaan proprietor of the Wilton Hotel in Alexandra Road, South Shore, said: “It’s wonderful to hear that the Royal couple are coming to Blackpool.
“There are so many good things going on here and it will be great for the Duke and Duchess to see that first hand.
“It is lovely that the general public will have a chance to see them close up and the media coverage the visit will surely help bring even more visitors.
“It’s a really positive thing for Blackpool.”
Robert Scott, owner of the Café Continental on Topping Street, said: “It’s really exciting that the royal couple are coming to Blackpool and great for the town’s profile.
“I’m a big royal fan and i would love to meet one of them one day - I think we will be too busy in the cafe to catch a glimpse of them next week but wouldn’t it be good if they could pop in here?
“I was a big admirer of Princess Diana and it is great that the royal family get out and about and come to towns such as ours.”
Sandra Kitchen, who runs Ziggy’s cafe in Cedar Square, Central Blackpool, said: “The visit is a really good thing for the town.
“It makes a change from them being in the big cities and should certainly bring the crowds out.
“It’s good that they are coming to see what’s happening in Blackpool first hand.”
Residents told The Gazette yesterday they were hoping to catch a glimpse of William and Kate, who will be taking time to meet members of the public on the Comedy Carpet.
Christine Anderton, 53, of Kylemore Avenue in Bispham said: “It’s nice to have some good news for a change and something to look forward to as well.
“I definitely want to try and get a glimpse of them whilst they are here. I would imagine the council will be giving the streets a good clean before they come.”
Anne Hepher, 77, of Gorse Road in Blackpool said: “I can remember when the Queen came in 1994 and I got to see her then.
“I’m hoping I will be able to do the same with the Duke and Duchess. I’m a big fan of the Royal family and I think its brilliant they are coming to Blackpool.”
However, some were sceptical about which parts of Blackpool the royal couple would be shown.
David Mayer, 45 of Coniston Road in South Shore said: “I bet they won’t get to sell all of the homeless and druggies on the streets.
“Most of the town centre is a building site so it won’t be nice for them to look at anyway.”
Lucy Howard, 23, of Belgrave Road, Poulton, said: “We are really excited and want to come and see them in the flesh. If the weather stays like this it will be amazing.
Faye Hall, 22 of Compley Avenue in Poulton added: “I bet it will be really busy on the day but it will be worth it to see them. I’ve never seen a member of the royal family before.”
Matt Reeves, 35 of Charnley Road, Blackpool, said: “I think it’s a bit weird they are coming to Blackpool. I can’t imagine them popping into Coral Island and having a go on the bandits anyway.
“I would hope the council will be cleaning the streets because it can look a right mess sometimes.”
Royals will see a different side to Blackpool
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge come to Blackpool they will get to see first hand how it is being transformed.
As well as the regeneration work to improve the town centre, William and Kate will hear about the work to transform lives and make the resort a better place to live.
Like many tourists, a trip to Blackpool Tower will be top of the agenda –followed by the chance to meet the public on the comedy Carpet –but they will also see a side of life that many day-trippers do not.
Work to give children a better start in life and tackling social problems like homelessness and addiction have long been a priority in the resort and the royal couple will hear how it is making a difference.
Kate is passionate about her work on early childhood will meet people suffering with their mental health as he is told about what is being done to help.
Merle Davies, Better Start’s director of the Centre for Early Child Development, will meet the pair and said: “We are very excited to be welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Blackpool and to be given this incredible privilege of sharing the work of A Better Start.
“It will be wonderful to discuss with the Royal Commission how we are making changes across the town for families with children under four, and to showcase our programmes nationally.
“I am delighted that the Blackpool community will also be able to share this fantastic occasion, and local families will get the opportunity to meet the Duke and Duchess. It’s important for us to involve members of the community that have worked alongside us for the past five years to help us develop the vision of A Better Start, as they thoroughly deserve this recognition.”
Leader of Blackpool Council Simon Blackburn added: “We are delighted to be able to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Blackpool to showcase the ongoing physical regeneration of the resort and illustrate some of the ground-breaking work that is underway to help transform people’s lives within the town.
“The Duke and Duchess will be able to see at first-hand the innovative ways in which we are addressing social challenges to improve people’s life chances and create a place in which they are proud to live and work.”
Where are they going?
First up on Kate and William’s tour of Blackpool is a trip to the Tower. As well as enjoying the sights, they will also learn about the resort’s history and the ongoing regeneration efforts, as well as the well-publicised challenges facing the town.
From there, they will head to Comedy Carpet to meet members of the public.
Next will be a visit to Central Library. There they will take part in separate discussions relevant to their own projects.
Kate will hear about the work of Better Start, helping to improve the chances of youngsters in Blackpool, while William will meet people affected by problems around mental health, including issues such as homelessness and addiction. For the final stop of the day, Their Royal Highnesses will visit Revoe Park, which has been transformed thanks to involvement
fromBetter Start. Kensington Palace has not so far given times for any of the royal engagements.