Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Sunderland shines alongside Prince William and Kate

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to the former Sunderland Fire Station
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to the former Sunderland Fire Station

She came, she saw Sunderland and she was welcomed with open arms! The Duchess of Cambridge was everything I hoped a princess would be, and more, when she visited the city last week.

I appreciate that not everyone is a fan of the Royal Family, but I absolutely love them, especially the Prince William and Prince Harry generation, as they’ve injected more personality and a sense of fun into royal duties, and the visit from William and Kate was certainly packed with enthusiasm and crowd engagement.

On Wednesday my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds were flooded with images and videos of the royal visit, which made a lovely change from some of the waffle that pops up when I have a scroll through social media on my phone.

In every photograph and video the Duchess of Cambridge looked flawless, like a true princess.

She had a warm, genuine smile throughout her visit, but that wasn’t the only thing I noticed in every image. It wasn’t just Kate Middleton that looked great in the photographs and videos, our city looked great too.

Everyone in the crowd was smiling, looking happy and positive, the buildings looked pristine and it was the perfect chance for Sunderland to shine … and I believe it did.

From The Fire Station to the Northern Spire, and everything in between, our city looked fantastic and a place to be extremely proud of.

This week has been an action packed one in the city centre as Sunday saw the Chinese New Year celebrations take place in and around The Bridges, and what a non-stop event it was.

I was hosting the stage and it was a real pleasure to introduce so many acts and contributors, who made the event so special and lively.

There really was something for everyone, from children’s arts and crafts and calligraphy sessions to Chinese songs and dancing.

Whether it’s a royal visit or a cultural festival, having a range of activities and events happening in the city definitely creates a positive buzz and hopefully serves as a reminder to those who are forever moaning and complaining about Sunderland, that there are in fact a great variety of good things happening, that anyone and everyone can be involved in.

Yes there have been times when the city has struggled a little, needed investment and an injection of excitement, which gave people plenty to complain about, but I really think that those days are behind us.

There are so many opportunities to be involved in events and projects, all you have to do is get involved!