William and Catherine receive birthstones gift in Mid and East Antrim

The cufflinks and brooch designed by Vera McCullough. The jewels include Alexandrite and Garnet, the birthstones of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The cufflinks and brooch designed by Vera McCullough. The jewels include Alexandrite and Garnet, the birthstones of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were presented with specially-commissioned jewellery featuring their birthstones to mark their visit to Mid and East Antrim Borough today.

Hundreds of well-wishers welcomed Prince William and Catherine to The Braid, Ballymena, as part of their two-day tour of Northern Ireland.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted at The Braid by Lord Lieutenant Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted at The Braid by Lord Lieutenant Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE

The couple, who were bestowed the title of Baron and Baroness of Carrickfergus after their wedding, spent the morning visiting children at council’s headquarters.

Their Royal Highnesses also met the Mayor, Cllr Lindsay Millar, who presented them with the special gift.

The first citizen said: “It was such a delight to meet the royal couple and Catherine even wore blue for her visit to Ballymena. We were truly honoured to have them here today and we hope that as Baron and Baroness of Carrickfergus, they will come back to the borough for another special visit soon.”

Cllr Audrey Wales MBE, who is closely involved with Ballymena Chamber, said: “Council commissioned two pieces of jewellery for the royal couple by local designer Vera McCullough who created silver floral cufflinks for Prince William and a brooch, which can also be worn as a pendant, for Catherine.

“Both pieces have their birthstones in them as well, so they really are special and what better way to showcase what amazing talented local businesses we have here in Mid and East Antrim.”

During their visit, the Duke and Duchess enjoyed performances from young people involved with Cinemagic who have used film, television and digital technologies to engage with over 500,000 young people.

Their final engagement of the day was at a Sure Start nursery in Dunclug. The programme supports parents with children aged under four years old living in disadvantaged areas in Northern Ireland.