It’s the third official public engagement together for the soon-to-be-wed royal couple. Prince William and Kate Middleton made a surprise visit to Ireland today. Unlike their first 2 visits (Lifeboat naming in Anglesey and a return to St Andrews), this was not made known publicly due to security reasons. But as the couple intended to visit all parts of the country before they wed, they made a 1-day visit to Northern Ireland today to the delight of the crowds.
William & Kate enjoyed a small reception at City Hall, hosted by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Pat Coverny, who met the couple upon their arrival in the city. They spent time meeting members of the gathered crowds outside, with Miss Middleton seeming relaxed as she chatted with well-wishers young and old.
And the couple then tried their hands at tossing pancakes, to mark Shrove Tuesday.
During the walkabout , an 11-year-old girl tells Kate: “You’re a very lucky lady. I’m so jealous!”
“I am lucky,” Middleton said. “He’s a very nice man and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him.”
#2 on Agenda: William & Kate made avisit the headquarters of Youth Action NI in Belfast – an organisation that offers volunteering opportunities, performing arts, apprenticeships, mentoring, accredited training and leadership opportunities to young people living in disadvantaged areas. There, they watched a performance by Youth Action’s Rainbow Factory School of Performing Arts and met the young actors.
Then it’s off to the official NI residence in the afternoon, visiting Hillsborough Castle (#3 on Agenda). There, they had a private meeting with Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and had a private lunch.
Greenmount Agricultural College (#4) in Antrim had the couple touring campus, judging a cattle competition, a tug o’ war competition and putting in a fence post. The couple also looked into flower arrangements.
And what was Kate wearing? People are bound to ask. It’s a £650 ivory-coloured Burberry wool trenchcoat with pelmet trim. For US fans, it’s $995 and can be found here. BBC calls Kate’s latest attire a “classic” British look.
A great collection of videos of each part of the Ireland visit can be seen at UTV News. Lots of footage, even includes commentary of the visit and Kate’s attire. Another noteworthy video covering the event is the interview with Victoria Artiber from the Early Show.
Press coverage (with videos)
- BBC: Royal couple’s North Ireland visit
- Sky News: Wills & Kate wow crowds in NI visit
- UTV News: Royal couple make first ever NI visit
- Daily Mail: Kate shows off pancake-making skill as royal couple bring Belfast to a stanstill
- Canadian Press: Crowd reactions from William & Kate’s NI visit
- Mirror: Students find William & Kate down-to-earth during visit to Youth Action NI
- Belfast Telegraph: William jokes to female admirer: “Can I have your telephone number?”
Prince William to Visit New Zealand & Australia
Just in! Prince William is to pay a visit to New Zealand and to Australia on behalf of The Queen following the natural disasters in both countries. It will be a 5-day visit from March 17-21.
Prince William will first visit Christchurch from 17th-18th March, where he will attend a National Memorial Service on Friday 18th March, as well as undertake other engagements in the area. The Prince will also visit Greymouth, near the site of the recent disaster at the Pike River Mine.
Prince William will arrive in Australia on Saturday 19th March, where he will, over two days, visit a number of areas and towns affected by the recent cyclone and flooding in Queensland. On 21st March, The Prince will visit north-west Victoria to view the area recently affected by flooding.
Kate Middleton will NOT be accompanying William. Quite understandably, as William is visiting in behalf of the Queen, and it sounds like a terribly grueling 5-day trip squeezed into the royal diary.
Press Release: Prince of Wales website
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