Hundreds of people have turned out in Whitby today to catch a glimpse of a member of the royal family. On Yorkshire Day Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth, has visited the seaside town to perform the naming ceremony of WetWheels Yorkshire, a boat specially designed to take disabled people out to sea.
Princess Anne Geoff Holt, a disabled yatchsman, founded the project six years ago when he realised that many people were finding it impossible to access the sea because of their disabilities. Speaking before the arrival of the Princess he said: “Six years ago I started my little boat, my little dream and now here I am waiting for Princess Anne to arrive to physically name my boat and pour champagne on it. “I’m delighted, I’m excited and it’s a great testament to my idea and my team who have put a lot of work into this.” HRH the Princess arrived at Whitby harbour shortly after 11am and after shaking hands with Geoff himself and other representatives from WetWheels, she made her way down the pontoon to board the vessel and unveil the plaque. There she met members of the staff who showed her round the boat and talked to children from Saint Martin’s hospice, the passengers of today’s trip.
MP for Scarborough and Whitby Robert Goodwill who assisted the ceremony said: “Princess Anne is one my favourite royals. I met her a few times when I was Shipping Minister and she’s very much involved with the shipping charities and it’s great that she’s come along today to give this boat its final seal of approval. This boat will be here for many years to come allowing local people with disabilities to actually get behind the wheel of a powerboat and enjoy one of the activities that many take for granted.” Following the naming ceremony, HRH Princess Anne attended a private reception at The Star Inn The Harbour.
Published by Whitby Gazette