Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

Boris Johnson’s eccentric gift to Kate Middleton and Prince William

Prince William once bought Kate binoculars for her birthday

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Mr Johnson closed off Tory Party Conference yesterday with a rousing speech, vowing to “level up” the UK. The Prime Minister’s speech in Manchester came against a backdrop of a fuel crisis and disruptions to supply chains. He defended his strategy of restricting the supply of cheap foreign labour after Brexit, insisting his new approach would ultimately create a “low tax economy”.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been stepping up royal duties after the summer lull.

They stepped out onto the red carpet in London last week for the premiere of the new James Bond film, ‘No Time To Die’, Daniel Craig’s final performance as 007.

The world exclusive showing of the latest instalment in the franchise was also attended by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The day after the premiere, William and Kate travelled to Londonderry in Northern Ireland to speak to young people about life after the pandemic.

Royals and politicians will often cross paths as they take part in civic duties and public life.

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When the Cambridges tied the knot at Westminster Abbey in 2011, the royal newlyweds were showered with gifts on their big day, including from domestic and foreign politicians.

One rather unusual gift they received was from Mr Johnson, who was Mayor of London at the time: a tandem bike.

The two-seater was modelled on the Capital’s cycle hire scheme, which is sometimes referred to as “Boris bikes”.

Mr Johnson unveiled his gift at Trafalgar Square in front of crowds gathered to watch the royal wedding.

He declared that the bike was a gift from Londoners, before offering a toast to the newlyweds and cutting a cake.

He said: “I look forward to seeing the newly-weds on tandem wheels as they start their new life in Anglesey.”

William and Kate lived in the north Wales region after getting married, before moving to Norfolk and then settling permanently in Kensington Palace in London.

William has strong ties to Anglesey, having served as an RAF helicopter pilot at RAF Valley, Anglesey.

Mr Johnson was among the hundreds of guests who attended the royal wedding.

Earlier in the day, he said: “I am delighted to have this amazing opportunity, on behalf of London, to wish Prince William and Kate Middleton a long, prosperous and joyous life together.

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“It’s a fantastic day for the city and obviously it shows the city off at its best.

“We’ve got the entire international media here and, in many ways, it’s a good dry run for the Olympics.

“And, you know, we’ve got just about every American broadcaster you could possibly imagine.

“[It is] a good opportunity to test our systems, get the transport system working and show it off as best as we possibly can.”

London hosted the Olympic Games in 2012 during Mr Johnson’s second term as Mayor of the capital.

That year, The Times reported that William and Kate had been using their tandem bike in their garden.

Kate had reportedly been overheard at Fortnum & Mason telling Mr Johnson that she and William had used the bike in what was said to be the grounds of Kensington Palace.

The paper quoted a source close to Kate who said: “She said she likes the tandem bike that he sent her.”
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