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”.
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.
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.
Read more: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge fly commercial for first Ireland visit
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.
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.”
And the first point goes to…??? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge join in with a game of table tennis with our young people at @extern1978‘s Savannah House and hear more about the life-changing opportunities we offer them. @royalvisitireland @britembdublin pic.twitter.com/16IkgBsTZU
— Lisa McElroy (@LisaExtern) March 4, 2020
At Savannah House The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined young people supported by @Extern1978 for a spot of cooking 👩🍳👨🍳 the charity provides a safe space to support vulnerable young people and families who are going through challenging times #RoyalVisitIreland pic.twitter.com/Y3pTErBY6U
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 4, 2020
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 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.”
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 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.”
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.
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
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.