Danville Kentucky is quietly confident of securing a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with the help of Sister City Carrickfergus.
The USA city is also cautiously optimistic the royal family’s equestrian interests could help seal the deal.
Dr Milton Reigelman, chair of Danville’s Sister Cities Committee, revealed the ambition during a visit to the borough by a 30-strong delegation.
He said: “Elizabeth II has visited Kentucky five times, she keeps horses at the farm of Will Farish who was the Ambassador to the Court of Saint James in London for some years. Two of those times were official visits arranged by a 90-year-old man, he’s an icon in Kentucky, his name is Ted Bassett. Ted is a very good friends of the Duke of Devonshire, this is the owner of Chatsworth, the great home in Derbyshire.
“Because William and Kate were named Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus, on that slim evidence we have invited them to Danville and we have been in correspondence now since their wedding and last year six of us went to the court of Saint James. We didn’t meet with William and Kate, but we met with their scheduler. I’ve been told on the phone and we’ve been told in person that they will consider when they come to the United States on extended tour, they’re giving serious consideration to coming to the Sister City of Carrickfergus, which is Danville.” With a gentle laugh he added: “Because we’re the Sister City they must be Baron and Baroness of Danville as well. Well, because of this connection with the Queen and the horses and also the Duke of Devonshire, we’re very hopeful that they will visit us. When they do we would want some representatives from Carrick to come and help welcome them.”
A cultural programme is proving beneficial too, according to Dr Reigelman, who spoke to the Carrick Times in the Town Hall: “Our playwright Liz Orndorff was here for a month and out of that she wrote a play about Carrickfergus and Danville Sister City exchange and it played in our outdoor theatre and it had the largest audience of any play they put on this year - they put on about eight plays in the summer. It was wildly successful. There’s talk of it being produced elsewhere.”