On Sunday 31 July 2022, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Devon greeted Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, as she arrived at the Trinity Pier in Plymouth for the Sail GB event.

He went on to introduce her to Sir Ben Ainslie, who is the Founding Patron of the 1851 Trust and Hannah Mills, OBE, who is the Sustainability Adviser for the International Olympic Committee [as pictured above].

Sir Ben Ainslie is a British competitive sailor and the most successful sailor in Olympic history. He won medals at five consecutive Olympics from 1996 onwards, including gold at the four consecutive Games (Sydney, Athens, Beijing & London) held between 2000 and 2012. In 2014, Ainslie launched the 1851 Trust with Sir Keith Mills during their British challenge for the 35th America’s Cup. The Trust was named after the year of the first America’s Cup race.

The charity aims to create transformational experiences for intelligent young people, as both Ainslie and Mills discovered that younger generations were not being exposed to the opportunities that science education could bring. By doing this, the trust increases science capital by demonstrating how STEM subjects contribute to real-world challenges. The Duchess of Cambridge has been a Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust since 2014, which is the official charity of the Great Britain SailGP team.

Hannah Mills, OBE, is a British competitive sailor and two-time world champion in the Women’s 470 class, having won in 2012 and 2019. Mills won the Female World Sailor of the Year award in 2016, and was later appointed with Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to sailing and the environment.

Her Royal Highness was given a brief overview from Sir Ben Ainslie of the ‘Protect Our Future’ programme that the 1851 Trust has established. The new programme will allow young people to become independent thinkers and problem solvers – taking the lead in climate conversations, changing their own attitudes and behaviours,  and shaping minds for the future. To conclude her day, she was then she was joined by some local young people in a seagrass planting activity.