Kate Middleton Takes a Boat Trip With Holocaust Survivors in the Lake District

·2 min read
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge resumed her public duties last week after a summer break by using her profile to highlight the efforts made to evacuate people from Afghanistan after the Taliban took control. And today, Kate is carrying out a string of solo engagements visiting Cumbria to shine a spotlight on the positive impact that nature and the outdoors can have on young people, including during deeply challenging times.

Photo credit: ANDY STENNING - Getty Images
Photo credit: ANDY STENNING - Getty Images

Kate arrived in Cumbria, in north west England, just after 1 p.m. She then joined a group of RAF Air Cadets abseiling and mountain biking. Following this, the Duchess embarked on a boat trip with two of the ‘Windermere Children,’ a group of 300 child Holocaust survivors who came to stay in the Lake District in 1945. After WWII, the children travelled to the area to recoup from the atrocities they experienced in Nazi concentration camps and ghettos. “The Duchess wanted to be able to meet some of the survivors in person and hear their stories, having previously learnt about the history of the Windermere Children,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

The Palace highlighted that Kate would hear how the Lakes and its activities, including outdoor recreation, sport and art therapy, allowed the children to be able to begin to heal from their trauma. She also met relatives of Holocaust survivors at the nearby Jetty Museum and heard about the work of the Lake District Holocaust Project which documents the experiences of the Windermere Children.

Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

The visit is not the first time that Kate has met with and heard the stories of Holocaust survivors. In January 2020, she took photographs of survivors Stephen Frank and Yvonne Bernstein and their grandchildren to mark 75 years since the end of the Holocaust. The images are now on display at the Imperial War Museum. Earlier this year she spoke to survivors Zigi Shipper and Manfred Goldberg via video call, praising their strength and bravery. She and William met them during a visit to Stutthof concentration camp in 2017.

Kate has long-advocated the benefits of the outdoors, particularly for children. "It encourages creativity, confidence and even a short amount of time—10 or 15 minutes— makes a huge difference to ­physical wellbeing but also to our mental wellbeing,” she told the BBC in 2019.

Ahead of this visit, Kensington Palace emphasized, "The Duchess of Cambridge passionately believes that spending time outdoors plays a pivotal role in children and young people’s future health and happiness, building foundations that last over a lifetime by encouraging active exploration and the opportunity to form and strengthen positive relationships."

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