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Prince William jokes about ‘Harry Potter’ scar he sustained on the golf course as he’s shown a tee made from seaweed on visit to Cardiff


The Prince of Wales has revealed that he never played golf again after being hit on the head by a club as a child – while admiring seaweed-made golf tees. 

Prince William, 41, has a permanent ‘Harry Potter‘ scar from where a fellow Ludgrove school pupil accidentally hit him on the forehead with a golf club in 1991.

The accident, when he was eight, left him with a fractured skull and needing major surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Speaking to 2022 Earthshot Prize winner and co-founder of sustainable seaweed product and packaging company Notpla, Pierre Paslier, William gestured to his scar when asked if he played.

‘No, ask me what’s happened to me up here – it was a golf club,’ he said.

The Prince of Wales has joked about his famous ‘ Harry Potter ‘ scar when he came across a golf tee made from seaweed during his visit to Cardiff today (pictured)

He was reunited with Mr Paslier during a ‘fact-finding’ seaweed day hosted in Cardiff Metropolitan University to discuss new investment and innovation in the sector.

William met with a range of entrepreneurs who are using the marine plant super-power to create sustainable alternatives to products, such as single-use plastics and even pet food.

It marks the latest visit in which the heir to the throne could showcase his keen interest in using seaweed sustainably to replace environmentally-damaging materials.

Speaking to the co-founders of one of the companies present, Welsh regenerative ocean farming business Câr-y-Môr, William admitted he believes we’re only scratching the surface in this field.

‘The amount of benefits of seaweed farming are great, it’s sort of an untapped resource at the moment, like we’re scratching away at the top,’ he told the co-founders.

The Prince added: ‘But for me, the social aspect is what excites me more than anything else, it’s obviously wonderful for businesses and the market and other aspects and the environmental side of it is fantastic.

‘But the social side of it, especially on the world’s coastlines, could be huge. So today is about fact-finding, asking what we can do.’

He used Tuesday’s event to highlight the various global businesses using the marine plants, and took a particular interest in Seamegrow, a natural biofertiliser developed by a group of seaweed farmers off the west coast of Ireland.

It was during his five years at Ludgrove school that William suffered a golfing accident that left him with his 'Harry Potter' scar when a young boy. Pictured in 2002

It was during his five years at Ludgrove school that William suffered a golfing accident that left him with his 'Harry Potter' scar when a young boy. Pictured in 2000

It was during his five years at Ludgrove school that William suffered a golfing accident that left him with his ‘Harry Potter’ scar when a young boy. Pictured left in 2002 and right in 2000

Prince William (pictured right), 41, mentioned the golfing accident which left him with a head wound during a fact-finding visit to Wales to learn more about businesses and organisations utilising the benefits of seaweed

Prince William (pictured right), 41, mentioned the golfing accident which left him with a head wound during a fact-finding visit to Wales to learn more about businesses and organisations utilising the benefits of seaweed

The Prince of Wales reacts as he visits Cardiff Metropolitan University, where the Earthshot Prize and the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales are jointly hosting an event to celebrate the seaweed industry and food innovation in Wales

The Prince of Wales reacts as he visits Cardiff Metropolitan University, where the Earthshot Prize and the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales are jointly hosting an event to celebrate the seaweed industry and food innovation in Wales

The Prince of Wales (right) speaks with members of the public during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University

The Prince of Wales (right) speaks with members of the public during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University

The Prince of Wales (left) looks at food packaging made with seaweed during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University

The Prince of Wales (left) looks at food packaging made with seaweed during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University

He also toured stalls for Project Blu, the first global pet brand to offer a full range of sustainable accessories and seaweed-based ingredients for pet food, as well as trying out a High Tide seaweed snack bar.

The visit was hosted by William’s Earthshot Prize and the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Derek Walker.

Earthshot businesses that attended included the 2023 Earthshot finalist, Sea Forest, as well as Notpla.

The visit marked part of the environmental prize’s mission to both discover and scale up pioneering solutions to the most pressing climate issues.

It is also hoped that it will motivate businesses to invest in the seaweed industry and the solutions being developed as sustainable and ecological alternatives.

Notpla, one of the five Earthshot winners in Boston, has proven to be one of the most successful recipients of the prize.

The company now supplies sustainable seaweed packaging to seven out of 20 Premier League club stadiums, including Prince William’s favourite Aston Villa FC.

Mr Paslier also pressed the importance of creating a seaweed extraction plant in the UK in order to scale up any production to William, citing Wales as the perfect place for it.

Speaking after the pair discussed manufacturing possibilities for the marine plant, Mr Paslier said the Prince ‘really knows his seaweed’.

The Prince of Wales (right) speaks with members of staff testing the salt content of food during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre

The Prince of Wales (right) speaks with members of staff testing the salt content of food during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre

The Prince of Wales (left) tastes a snack made of seaweed during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University

The Prince of Wales (left) tastes a snack made of seaweed during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University

The Prince of Wales (right) speaks with members of staff during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre

The Prince of Wales (right) speaks with members of staff during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre

As part of his visit to Cardiff, the Prince also toured ZERO2FIVE, the university’s Food Industry Centre.

The world leading hub works to provide food businesses with technical, operational and commercial support to operate more effectively.

While touring the labs, William learned about the practical work the staff were doing, including how to lessen the amount of saturated fat in pies and lengthen the shelf life of seaweed bars.

Speaking about shelf-life issues to staff members, they told him: ‘Normal bars typically have a six to 12 month shelf life, whereas ours at the moment are two weeks… so we’re just finding out ways to adapt it and extend that shelf life.’

‘Without using a whole load of stuff that we don’t need in the food,’ William added, to which they agreed they don’t want to use plastic or artificial preservatives.

‘Well I’m sure you’ll enjoy the challenge of extending that longer,’ he said, adding: ‘I always find though that if the shelf life is too long, you question the product anyway.

‘There’s always a fine line between wanting to feel like you’re eating something natural and healthy but that hasn’t got a six month shelf life, cause that’s quite a lot.

‘But presumably supermarkets must find it quite difficult to stock the product if it’s only two weeks shelf life because they’d have to go round the whole time clearing it off.’

He also learned about the hub’s threshold analysis of people’s flavour profiles and inspected an array of baked goods, some of which had been infused with seaweed.

As he was exiting the university, he received three cheers from the gathered crowd of staff and went to greet them before leaving.



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