Duchess of Cambridge was ‘hard worker’ and ‘tremendous athlete’ at school, say former teachers

The Duchess of Cambridge has been described by two of her former teachers as a “hard worker and very conscientious” pupil.

Kate was reunited with Denise Evans-Allford and Kevin Allford when she visited Mumbles on Tuesday 4.

The pair taught the royal when she was at St Andrew’s prep school in Pangbourne, Berkshire, but had not seen her for 24 years.

Whilst in Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also went to the Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot to learn about the importance of the industry.

Kate and former teachers in Mumbles
The pair last saw Kate, now 38 years old, when she was 14. 

Kate saw the familiar faces on her way out of Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour in Mumbles, approaching the couple and telling them “it’s such a small world”.

Both Denise and Kevin, who had driven from their home in Carmarthen to meet the royals, said seeing Kate again was “very emotional”.

They said as a student, Kate excelled at sport and “was a tremendous athlete and swimmer.”

She was already a pupil at the school when the couple arrived there in 1990, with Mrs Evans-Allford teaching PE and her husband teaching French and German.

Kate and her friends would visit the couple and their young daughter, Angharad, in the flat they lived in on-site at the school.

Mr Allford said Kate was always confident speaking to both adults and children and they described how happy Kate had been at St Andrew’s.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The royal pair went to Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour as well as the Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot.

Kevin and Denise had driven to Mumbles from their home an hour away early on Tuesday morning and waited in the crowd outside the ice cream parlour to see her.

Denise asked a security officer if they could tell the Duchess that they were outside and would love to say hello.

The security officer took a note for the Duchess, written by Kevin and Denise, into the ice cream shop. Someone then came out and told the pair to stand next to the doorway.

At the end of the visit, Kate came out of the ice cream parlour to speak to the couple. After hugging them, Kate told her former teachers “I want to instil in my children the life I had at St Andrew’s”.

Admitting they did not know what to expect, Kevin and Denise said Kate put them at ease by immediately hugging them.

Although the pair had not seen her since she was 14 years old, they said her personality had not changed at all.

It was a great occasion for us, it was a very emotional reunion.


The royal couple spent time at the RNLI’s Mumbles lifeboat station where they watched a training exercise and William presented one volunteer with a medal to mark 20 years of service.

After which, they went on to Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour and then visited the steel plant in Port Talbot later.

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