William And Kate Cheered Through Cambridge

Paul Harrison, Royal Correspondent
William And Kate Cheered Through Cambridge

Cambridge gave its Duke and Duchess a rapturous welcome as the royal couple toured the city for the first time.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets to greet William and Kate, who spent the day celebrating Cambridge's university, and visiting charities, schools and volunteers.

Kate was sporting her new hairstyle - layered long dark locks with a parted fringe - first seen in London when she opened a new exhibition at the Natural History Museum, without her husband.

After meeting students and staff from Cambridge University's many colleges, Prince William addressed a crowd of more than 400.

"This is a day Catherine and I have looked forward to for a very long time; 18 months, in fact - ever since my Grandmother, The Queen, on the morning of our wedding bestowed on us the name of this great city," the Duke said.

"We both feel immense pride at being associated with Cambridge, a place renowned the world over for its dynamism, beauty and learning, and it is lovely for us to be here together today."

The Duke also used the occasion to yet again poke fun at his younger brother.

"It's not the first time I've been here. My brother Harry and I were fortunate enough to come to Cambridge five years ago, when we spent a couple of days at Trinity.

"I have to say it's the closest Harry's ever got to university," he joked.

The Duke and Duchess arrived by train and were slowly driven through the city so the crowds could catch a glimpse of them.

As the couple arrived at the world-renowned university, the Duchess gave a cry of delight as she bumped into her cousin Dr Penny Barton, a graduate tutor there.

Dr Barton told Kate that the whole family was "proud" of her and all she has achieved.

Bus driver Simon Newman, 43, from Sutton, near Ely, had travelled into Cambridge with his wife Claire, 48, an easyJet cabin crew member, to see the couple.

"I have the week off and so has my wife so we thought it would be great to come and see them. They are a really attractive couple," Mr Newman said, as he and his wife waited outside the university's Senate House.

One well-wisher gave the Duke a home-made romper suit, reflecting widespread desire in the country for the couple's first baby.

The Duke, who has made no secret of his desire to start a family, is an RAF search-and-rescue pilot, and the romper was emblazoned with a picture of a helicopter and the words "Daddy's little co-pilot".

During the couple's visit to a homeless centre, another admirer - an Italian-born one-time catering manager, made the Duchess blush when he kissed her on the hand and told her she was beautiful.

Cambridge has been awaiting the royal visit since the Queen bestowed the dukedom on her grandson just a few hours before he married Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011.

The last Duchess of Cambridge was the German-born Princess Augusta Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Cassel, who was married to Prince Adolphus Frederick, the 1st Duke of Cambridge, and a son of George III.

The title was last held by Prince George, a military figure who wed a commoner for love - like William - but also kept a mistress for more than 30 years.

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