Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pay surprise visit to Northern Ireland

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made a surprise visit to Northern Ireland.

Kate and William’s first stop upon arrival on Wednesday afternoon was the Windsor Park football stadium, home of the Irish Football Association.

The couple learned about the IFA’s programmes, including ‘Shooting Stars’ which encourages young girls to play football and ‘Ahead of the Game’ which works to support clubs and volunteers when dealing with mental health issues.

The duchess arrived wearing a familiar red Carolina Herrera coat dress (first seen on her royal tour of Canada in 2016) skinny jeans and her LK Bennett ‘Marissa’ boots but later changed into sportswear to show off her skills on the pitch.

Kate receives a posy as she and William arrive in Belfast [Photo: Getty]
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Northern Ireland was not announced beforehand [Photo: PA]

She swapped her red coat for a navy Barbour Longshore quilted jacket (£159) and Sweaty Betty x New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz trainers (£80). Kate later removed her jacket to reveal she was wearing a £125 cricket style jumper from Lauren Ralph Lauren underneath.

Kate and William giggle as they play football at Windsor Park football stadium in Belfast [Photo: Getty]

Kate, 37, and William, 36, are spending two days in Northern Ireland, where the focus is on how sport, nature and the outdoors can have a positive impact on childhood development and improved physical and mental health for all.

They then travelled to Fermangah, where they saw the work the charity Extern is doing at their Roscor Youth Village, which is a residential activity centre for children referred to the charity by social workers or the Department of Justice.

They will end their day back in Belfast at the Empire Music Hall, where they will attend a party celebrating young people who are making a real difference in Northern Ireland.

Kate shows off her skills at Windsor Park football stadium in Belfast [Photo: Getty]

Guests will include representatives from Northern Ireland’s business, arts and sport sectors, including Dame Mary Peters who was today appointed Lady Companion of the Most Noble of the Garter by the Queen.

Kate and William’s visit comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent three days in Morocco on an official visit.

It’s been reported that the Cambridges spent the half term holidays at their Norfolk home Anmer Hall, with their three children Prince George, five, Princess Charlotte, three, and eight-month-old Prince Louis.

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