The Princess of Wales steps out in Somerset as Prince William flies to New York - live updates

Kate Middleton's visit to RNAS Yeovilton
Kate visits Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton (Getty)

The Princess of Wales is visiting the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton, where she is set to test her skills in a flight simulator.

King Charles famously went to the air station for helicopter flying training in 1974.

Kate's visit comes just weeks after the King announced her appointment as Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA).

During her visit in Somerset, she was shown around the air station where she spent time in the traffic control tower to meet staff and speak to an airborne Wildcat helicopter crew.


As her first port of call, the Princess conducted training exercises in a hangar with survival equipment technicians, who allow aircrew to operate safely.

Kate Middleton laughs with pilots at air base
Kate has been appointed Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) (Getty)
Kate Middleton talks to air traffic control
Kate in the air traffic control tower (Getty)

She later sat inside a Merlin Mk4 helicopter, deployed by the Royal Marines globally to provide disaster relief, as well as a Merlin MK2, which is used to hunt for submarines.

Kate Middleton speaks with Survival equipment technicians at air base
The Princess speaks with Survival equipment technicians (Getty)
Kate tries out a life jacket at royal naval air station
Kate tries out a life jacket (Getty)

Kate is also expected to try her hand at flying a Wildcat MK2 in a simulator, which allows aircrew to practice flying over land or on to ships.

The maritime attack helicopter is designed to operate from the frigates and destroyers of the Royal Navy.

The Princess of Wales sits inside the cockpit of a Merlin Mk2 helicopter
The Princess sits inside the cockpit of a Merlin Mk2 helicopter (Getty)

More than 4,000 personnel are employed on the site, which is home to a number of frontline squadrons and training units.

Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales will begin his two-day visit to New York on Monday, 18 September 2023, where he will attend the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.

Prince William will address delegates alongside other speakers including former New York mayor and business news mogul Mike Bloomberg, a global adviser to Earthshot Prize winners, Dame Jacinda Ardern, Earthshot trustee former New Zealand prime minister, and Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft.

Memorable occasions UK royals have visited the US

Prince William and Kate arrive at the 2011 BAFTA Brits To Watch Event in Los Angeles, California

Over the past century, the British royal family have made several official visits Stateside. Here are some of the most notable trips:

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (1939)

King George VI made history in June 1939 when he became the first reigning British monarch to visit the US. Accompanied by his wife, the Queen Mother, the trip was intended to strengthen ties between the UK and the US before the Second World War.

Queen Elizabeth II (1957)

The late Queen's first official visit to the US took place in 1957 and solidified the "special relationship" between the two countries. The monarch emphasized this bond in her speech to Congress, whilst another highlight was also visiting Jamestown to celebrate the 350th anniversary of its founding.

Princess Diana (1985)

Princess Diana's 1985 visit was her first solo tour without her husband Prince Charles. The People's Princess charmed the American public, with the trip reflecting her personal interests in fighting homelessness, supporting the arts, and advocating for AIDS patients.

The Prince and Princess of Wales (2014)

While William and Kate visited the US as part of their first overseas tour as a married couple in 2011, their 2014 trip to New York City and Washington DC was also very memorable. The royals paid a solemn visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and also met with President Barack Obama at the White House.

The future King is set to travel to Singapore for the third Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony on 7 November. However, The Telegraph has reported that the Princess will not join her husband on the trip.

Listen to HELLO!'s A Right Royal Podcast and find out the real reason why King Charles stopped piloting planes...