Prince William poses for selfies as royals pop to the shops in Ireland

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·9-min read
Donna Malone shared her selfie with the Duke of Cambridge. (Twitter/Donna Malone)
Donna Malone shared her selfie with the Duke of Cambridge. (Twitter/Donna Malone)

The Duke of Cambridge has posed for a rare selfie as he and the Duchess shopped for ingredients and made lunch with young people during a day of engagements.

The royal couple visited Extern in County Kildare, and spent time at a respite centre for vulnerable young people.

While there, they discussed how to budget for a meal before taking two of the centre’s residents out to the local Londis to shop for ingredients for soup.

The pair stopped and spoke to some of the fans gathered in the village of Prosperous, and the duke posed for a picture with Donna Malone.

Sharing them on Twitter, she praised him as being a “really nice guy”.

donna malone and the duke
Donna Malone shared these images of her friends with the Duke of Cambridge. (Twitter/Donna Malone)
donna malone and the duke
Donna Malone praised the duke as a 'really nice guy'. (Twitter/Donna Malone)

The shopping trip was meant to be a secret, but word got out and a crowd of about 200 gathered near to the store.

Philip Stynes, owner of the store, admitted he had told a few customers about the royal visit on Tuesday night and word soon spread around the village.

He added: “It just snowballed from there. But even if we hadn’t told them there would have been a big crowd. People live out on the streets here.”

Simon and Molly, both 13, went to the shop with the duke and duchess, after the four of them inspected the fridge to see what they might need.

Department of Foreign Affairs and the British Embassy handout photo of the Duchess of Cambridge visiting a Londis supermarket in Prosperous, Co Kildare, during her three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge shopping in a nearby Londis. (British Embassy)
Department of Foreign Affairs and the British Embassy handout photo of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting a Londis supermarket in Prosperous, Co Kildare, during their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The couple joined children at the shop to buy ingredients for a meal. (British Embassy)

William said: “There’s only one leek. Do we have to stick to the menu?”

He then told the others in the kitchen: “We’re going to shop for you. We’ll be back in a minute. We’ll bring back all the wrong ingredients.”

The couple, who had 20€ (£17) to spend, returned 15 minutes later with a bag of provisions including brown bread, butter and leeks.

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Department of Foreign Affairs and the British Embassy handout photo of the Duchess of Cambridge after visiting a Londis supermarket in Prosperous, Co Kildare, during her three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
Kate greeted fans outside the supermarket afterwards. (British Embassy)

As they cooked, Kate asked if they cooked healthy things, while William asked the boys if they liked pancakes, after Shrove Tuesday last week.

William said: “I tried to get my children to eat pancakes but they weren’t so interested this year. Maybe next year.”

Before they left, they helped a group of children decorate bunting with message about what they like at Savannah House.

The royals began their day in Jigsaw, a charity which provides support to young people through one-to-one services, as well as through communities, schools and online.

The couple has been working across mental health initiatives for some time, launching Heads Together with William’s brother Harry and following it up with Heads Up, which aims to get football fans to talk more openly with one another.

Kate waved to the gathered crowds outside Jigsaw in Temple Bar as they arrived on Wednesday morning.

Jigsaw tweeted: “Great to have The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit one of our services today.”

The charity explained the royals met people “who support Jigsaw’s work in the community this morning. This included school representatives, members of our youth advisory panels and volunteers.”

Kensington Royal tweeted after the meeting adding: “Jigsaw are working hard to spread the message of the importance of having 'One Good Adult' in a young person’s life, and the positive benefits this can have on their mental health.”

William and Kate were presented with Jigsaw mugs as they left the centre.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to mental health charity Jigsaw, at Temple Bar in Dublin, as part of their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The couple has been working on mental health initiatives for a while. (Press Association)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 04: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge views artwork as she and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, which provides vital support to young people aged 12-25 during day two of their visit to Ireland on March 04, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess look at artwork in Love Lane in Dublin. (Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 04: A tiled wall of messages ahead of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit to Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, which provides vital support to young people aged 12-25 during day two of their visit to Ireland on March 04, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
A tiled wall of messages as part of Dublin's Love the Lanes campaign. (Getty Images)

After a meeting inside the centre, the couple took a walk down Love Lane, which is decorated with tiles bearing romantic quotes from films, books and is part of the city council’s Love the Lanes scheme.

Lauren Russell, 21, spoke to the couple in the Jigsaw centre, and told Press Association: “I spoke to them about how I was able to build a tool box of how to deal with issues I was facing. They were very interested in that.

“It effectively gives you a way to manage life’s stresses and be able to cope with your problems. I struggled with keeping a secret about my mental health problems and thinking people would treat me differently.

“Both of them stressed that breaking the stigma surrounding mental health was so, so important.”

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The couple were dressed casually for the visit with Kate wearing a Reiss coat, a shirt by Equipment and a pair of black jeans and boots, while William wore a shirt, jumper and trousers.

From Jigsaw, the couple travelled to County Kildare, where they visited Savannah House a residential facility run by social justice charity Extern.

The duke and duchess couldn’t resist a competition either, playing a few quick points of table tennis with some of the centre’s users.

The duchess quipped about their cocker spaniel, Lupo: “We try to do this at home but our dog keeps catching the ping pong balls.”

The Duchess of Cambridge prepare soup with members and staff in the kitchen area during a visit to Extern at Savannah House, in County Meath, near Dublin, as part of her three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge prepares soup with members and staff in the kitchen area. (Press Association)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge prepare soup with members and staff in the kitchen area during a visit to Extern at Savannah House, in County Meath, near Dublin, as part of their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shopped for the ingredients before making lunch. (Press Association)

The couple visited Extern’s Roscar Youth Village in Co. Fermanagh last year while on tour in Northern Ireland.

Charlie Mack, chief executive of Extern, said: “It was a tremendous honour to welcome The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Extern today on their first official visit to Ireland. It was also a unique honour for Extern, as Their Royal Highnesses have now taken the time to visit our projects, and meet some of the children we are supporting, in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

The Duchess of Cambridge speaking with members and staff at an arts and crafts area in the centre during a visit to Extern at Savannah House, in County Meath, near Dublin, as part of her three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge speaking with members and staff at an arts and crafts area in the centre during a visit to Extern at Savannah House. (Press Association)
The Duchess of Cambridge enjoys table tennis in the centre during a visit to Extern at Savannah House, in County Meath, near Dublin, as part of her three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge enjoys table tennis with one of the guests. (Press Association)

Their royal highnesses were presented with homemade bunting for their children and a posy of flowers before they left.

From the respite centre, the couple travelled to County Meath, to tour Teagasc Research Farm, to learn about its work in sustainable farming.

Kate changed her outfit, opting for a jacket by Irish brand Dubarry and a shirt by Barbour for her tour of the farm. She rewore a pair of trusty brown boots which have been seen multiple times.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Meeting Agriculture Minister Michael Creed (second left) during a visit to the Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research Centre at Grange, in County Meath, as part of their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting Agriculture Minister Michael Creed (second left) during a visit to the Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research Centre. (Press Association)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research Centre at Grange, in County Meath, as part of their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will learn about the work being done on sustainability. (Press Association)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research Centre at Grange, in County Meath, as part of their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The couple at Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research Centre in Co. Meath. (Press Association)

The farm is conducting research into sustainable farming across Ireland and the duke and duchess had a tour before speaking to some of the farmers who have implemented the practices.

After seeing the farm, the duke and duchess suggested they should return to the country to go on a cycling holiday with their children.

Principal of local primary school Kiltale National School Eileen O’Reilly told PA: “They said they would like to come back here with the kids and do a cycling tour and see the Irish countryside.”

Kiltale National School pupil Darragh Dolan said he spoke to the couple about their schools healthy eating project.

He said: “They were very nice and lovely to us. They asked us all about our project on healthy eating and exercise, as we learned that Irish young people don’t get enough exercise and that one in four are overweight.”

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 04: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research Centre at Grange, in County Meath, during day two of their visit to Ireland on March 4, 2020 near Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Aaron Chown -Pool/Getty Images)
The couple were taken with the Irish countryside. (Getty Images)

Another pupil, Rachel Mulligan, who met the couple, said: “William told us that it is important to go outside more and to get lots of sleep.

“I told them Irish people are very proud of their cattle and farms because the grass is so green and they stay outside and not in sheds.”

The couple ended the day’s engagements with a walk arm-in-arm along Howth Cliff, which boasts spectacular views out to the Irish Sea.

The duke joked “Fancy meeting you up here” to waiting media on the walk.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 04: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walk the cliff walk at Howth on March 04, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Catherine put her arm through her husband's as they walked along the cliff. (Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Howth Cliff near Dublin, as part of their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Howth Cliff. (Press Association)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 04: (UK OUT FOR 28 DAYS) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walk the cliff walk at Howth on March 04, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. ( (Photo by Tim Rooke/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The couple embraced at the top - a rare public show of affection. (Getty Images)

According to the Daily Express, there were protests by Irish republicans opposed to royal visits.

The couple followed the Howth Head trail to the summit, where they met Ireland’s environment minister Richard Bruton.

Speaking afterward, he said: “They remarked on how you couldn’t come to Ireland and not see the coastline so they got their wish.

“And they saw it in a benign light, normally there is a wind howling – it’s really beautiful today, they couldn’t be luckier.”

In a video shared by a fan online, Kate shared her excitement at Thursday’s trip to Galway, while William said he hoped he would be allowed to finish a pint of Guinness while they are there.

The duke and duchess are in Ireland for their first official visit, and yesterday met the country’s prime minister and the president, and laid a wreath in a memorial garden which remembers those who died for Irish independence.

They rang the peace bell beforehand and spent a minute in silence at the garden.

Read more: 'I don't often follow the Queen to the pub': Duke and Duchess of Cambridge retrace Queen's visit to Guinness storehouse

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Howth Head near Dublin, as part of their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 4, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The couple's visit was kept under wraps until they arrived. (Press Association)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Howth Head near Dublin, as part of their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 4, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
William joked 'fancy meeting you up here' to waiting media. (Press Association)

They also talked Brexit with the Irish President Michael D Higgins, who entertained them with afternoon tea at his home.

This evening the duke and duchess will be at a reception hosted by Simon Coveney, with William due to give a speech urging the UK and Ireland not to let past wrongs hold them.