Duchess of Cambridge visits Team GB Hockey

Duchess of Cambridge visits Olympic Park

On Tuesday, the Duchess of Cambridge became the latest royal visitor to stop by GB Hockey’s houses in the Olympic Village.  Richard Mantell exclusively talks us through her visit.

“We were very honoured to have the Duchess of Cambridge come visit us in our little flat,” he tells greatbritainhockey.co.uk.  “It was really nice to show her around. She had a little look in the lounge and checked out all of our motivational cards that were sent in to us and pinned up on our walls.”

The timing of her visit could not have been more perfect. She arrived while the GB women were in action at the Riverbank Arena, taking on Korea in their second match of the tournament.

Duchess of Cambridge visits Team GB Hockey

“We were able to watch some of the girls’ game as well. The girls were actually live on the TV at the time and they’d just scored to go 4-3 up as she came in so we were able to talk her through the goal.  As a keen supporter of the girls and us she was very interested.”

For most people finding out they were to have a royal visitor, it would spark an outbreak of cleaning, scrubbing and tidying. But not our guys, as Richard explains. “We gave her a full tour of the flat and took her into my, Cat (Nick Catlin) and Harry’s (Harry Martin) room. Harry’s area probably wasn’t the tidiest area in the room but she said she was more than used to it because her brother’s room’s much more untidy.  We had a bit of a chat about what it’s like sharing rooms and how we’re lucky to have two flats for the hockey team so we’re able to all be together and spend good time together.

"She asked, ‘Have you had a quick tidy up when you heard I was coming?’ And I had to admit ‘unfortunately no, we should have done but we haven’t had time’. She managed to turn a blind eye to the kit hanging up on the dryer!” 
Avoiding the dirty kit, the Duchess kept her attention fully focused on the GB women’s match on the TV. Having met the teams at a training session earlier this year, she was keen to follow their progress.

“She stood and watched some of the end of the girls’ game with us,” added Richard. “We watched Georgie’s goal.  It went to the video referral and they checked to see if the goal was to stand.  The Duchess was definitely a little bit nervous to see if it was going to be given.”

Such is the bond she has developed with the GB hockey teams, the Duchess was later revealed to have sent a hand written personal letter to GB women’s captain Kate Walsh while she was in hospital recovering from surgery on her fractured jaw.

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Earlier in the year the Duchess played hockey on the pink and blue pitches when she visited the GB Hockey teams during a training session.  As a result, sales in hockey equipment soared as people decided they wanted to Give it a Go. Have you been inspired by the hockey at the Olympics, or by the Duchess?

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