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A look back at Prince William and Kate Middleton's best royal tour moments

 (L) Prince William and Kate Middleton in the Caribbean, (R) Prince William and Kate wearing cowboy hats.
(L) Prince William and Kate Middleton in the Caribbean, (R) Prince William and Kate wearing cowboy hats.

When anyone from the Royal Family goes on an official tour, it's bound to generate headlines and interest. 

Fans will clamber to be witness to the iconic moments which define royal tours, no doubt telling the story that they were actually there to future generations.

Plus, there's always the hope of getting a peek of real-life Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses in the flesh. And when those royals happen to be Prince William and Kate Middleton - the future of the monarchy and a couple who are just as popular alone as they are together - interest reaches fever pitch.

Here, we look at some of the Prince and Princess of Wales' most memorable royal tour moments.

A look back at Prince William and Kate Middleton's best royal tour moments

The newlyweds go on their first tour

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

In 2011, just a few months after their magnificent April wedding, Prince William and Kate Middleton undertook their first official overseas joint tour.

The pair marked the historic occasion with a brand new portrait of the newlyweds, in matching navy outfits.

Not only was it their first joint tour, it was Kate's first-ever tour as an official royal.

The couple visited all of Canada's regions during the nine-day tour.

Having a cowboy makeover

Prince William and Kate Middleton wearing cowboy hats
Prince William and Kate Middleton wearing cowboy hats

While we've come to expect many a jaw-dropping style moment from Kate Middleton, we never quite expected her and Prince William to Go Wild West.

The royal couple sported white cowboy hats and western wear in downtown Calgary for a bull riding demonstration during their first royal tour together in 2011.

Cutting casual figures in denim jeans and white shirts, William joked at the time, "Well, this is different,” perfecting his gesture with a classic tip of the cowboy hat.

Hitting the open water

Prince William and Kate Middleton rowing a boat in Canada
Prince William and Kate Middleton rowing a boat in Canada

During the dressed-up appearances and huge press attention, William and Kate still found the time to enjoy some peaceful time in the wild.

The Berkshire girl at heart is known to love the great outdoors, so it was a natural fit to see the Prince and Princess of Wales get out on the open water at Blachford Lake, in Northern Canada, near Yellowknife.

As part of her known sporting prowess, Kate trained to row across the English Channel in 2007 alongside a 21-strong female crew called The Sisterhood.

A rare moment of PDA

Two photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton during a tour of Canada, 2011
Two photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton during a tour of Canada, 2011

After indulging in a spot of exercise - joining a boat race in Canada - Prince William and Kate Middleton treated fans to one of their finest royal tour moments by showing some rare public affection.

While the couple have enjoyed a fairy tale romance since their university days, it's not too often you see them getting cuddly and close while working. But, perhaps still being in the honeymoon phase a few months after their nuptials that same year, William couldn't help but bring Kate in for a tight squeeze as the pair looked happy and carefree.

Greeting crowds at the Eiffel Tower

Prince William and Kate Middleton greet fans in Paris
Prince William and Kate Middleton greet fans in Paris

In March 2017, the Prince and Princess of Wales delighted hordes of fans waiting to see them at the Trocadero in Paris, France.

The pair were on tour at an event to highlight the ties between the young people of France and the UK, and royal fans came out in force to catch a glimpse of the chic couple.

Dressing on theme, Kate wore a multicolour tweed outfit from the iconic French fashion house, Chanel.

A matching outfit moment

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

While visiting Canada in 2011, William and Kate took their penchant for wearing matching hues a step further.

Instead of the blue outfits that complement each other, this time the pair wore matching hoodies. Proudly wearing their twinning pull-overs, the couple were both made honorary Canadian Rangers.

They were also both presented with traditional beaded moccasins designed and created by Canadian Ranger Joanne Tetlichi.

Per the Daily Mail, Kate loved the gifts, telling her "Thank you for these fantastic shoes, we will always treasure them."

Making their own kind of music

Prince William and Kate Middleton playing drums at the Caribbean
Prince William and Kate Middleton playing drums at the Caribbean

Being in the Caribbean - a place known for inspiring music from the likes of Bob Marley - must have really stirred something in William and Kate during their 2022 overseas tour.

Letting their hair down (metaphorically for William, literally for Catherine) the pair got in on the fun and made their own kind of music, banging away on some drums as they were supported by various other musicians.

The musical moment took place when they visited Trench Town Culture Yard Museum, where Bob Marley used to live.

Colour co-ordinated Cambridges in 2017

Prince William, Prince George, Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte
Prince William, Prince George, Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte

It's long been understood that the Royal Family tend to send subtle messages  with their clothing - and that's partly why it's normal to see the Wales clan in particular all kitted out in various shades of blue.

However, back in 2017 during a tour of Germany, the family went matching once again in a different colour.

Looking pastel and springy, Kate Middleton stunned in a lilac Emilia Wickstead dress, while George and Charlotte matched in pink and purple hues.

Touring countries with two young children seems like a task in itself, to do so while pulling off a synchronised fashion moment? Exquisite work.

Hiking in Bhutan

Prince William and Kate Middleton in Bhutan
Prince William and Kate Middleton in Bhutan

In 2016, William and Kate embarked on a seven day tour of India and Bhutan.

For the exciting trip, the sporty pair, who are equally at home in walking boots and khakis as they are ballgowns and tuxedos, donned some activewear (no doubt including a pair of Kate's go-to walking boots) for a hike up Paro Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest monastery.

It was a gruelling five-hour, high-altitude hike through the Himalayas - not that you'd tell from how effortlessly the pair made it look.

Colourful and casual on the Island

Kate Middleton and Prince William
Kate Middleton and Prince William

Dressed down days might not seem like something the royals would partake in, but they do indeed have plenty of winning off-duty looks over the years.

During their tour of East Asia and the Pacific in 2012, William and Kate got to spread their usual royal magic across countries including Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu on behalf of the late Queen Elizabeth for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

While visiting the Governor General in Honiara, William cut a relaxed figure in a short-sleeved, tropical print shirt.

Kate, with her hair down and relaxed, also opted for a bright, bold print.

Embracing local culture with a new style

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

In 2019, William and Kate travelled to northern Pakistan for the third day of their royal tour, visiting the Chitral district of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, a place where Princess Diana travelled on her own solo tour in 1991.

While here, the Duke and Duchess certainly got into the spirit of things, embracing the local cultures and customs, including unexpected choices of headwear.

While visiting a settlement of the Kalash people, Kate - more prone to pick out a Philip Treacy headpiece or enjoying a glittering tiara moment - opted for a bright pink feathery creation, while William's white flat cap had its own jaunty feather.

Kate's adorable encounter with a princess-obsessed fan

Two photos of Kate Middleton with a young fan in Canada
Two photos of Kate Middleton with a young fan in Canada

On their first tour together in 2011, William and Kate were riding high on the worldwide attention their wedding received in April of the same year.

Such was the reach of their fairy tale that little girls like Diamond Marshall became obsessed with the real life story of a Princess (well, Duchess at the time, but let's not split hairs over heirs).

The young fan, named Diamond Marshall, who was dealing with chemotherapy treatments, got to meet William and Kate as they arrived in North America.

After their sweet moment together, which saw William and Kate both hug and chat with the girl, giving her plenty of extra time and attention despite the busy itinerary, Mrs Marshall said (per The Mirror), "Kate was lovely... they were gracious and spent extra time with her... For a little girl who dreams everything princess, it was a dream come true."

Travelling in style at Tavanipupu Island

Prince William and Kate Middleton on a boat
Prince William and Kate Middleton on a boat

During their South East Asia tour, Prince William and Kate Middleton certainly travelled in style - riding in some unique transport they probably wouldn't get out and about in Windsor.

The pair made a spectacular entrance in a beautifully-decorated traditional war canoe.

As well as making for a memorable moment, the trip would have been a special one which could have planted plenty of seeds for the Prince and Princess of Wales of the future, as the area is known for its eco-tourism - a passion for both, with William founding the Earthshot Prize in 2020 to recognise, reward and support those making real environmental change around the world.

Showing off that competitive nature

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

From hockey to tennis and water polo, athleticism is just one of the many things which unite the Prince and Princess of Wales.

And during a visit to Ireland in 2020, Kate's hilarious reactions got the best of her as she clearly got heavily invested in a competition with William.

Their competitiveness has been discussed many times throughout the years, and Kate acknowledged it herself during an appearance on Mike Tindall's The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast in September 2023.

Joining William and Princess Anne ahead of the Rugby World Cup for the special episode, Kate tried to deny her competitive nature at first, before Mike told listeners "I've seen her play beer pong, she is!"

She then revealed all, saying "I don't think we've [she and William] actually managed to finish a game of tennis... It becomes a mental challenge between the two of us."

Royalty meeting sporting royalty

Prince William, Kate Middleton and LeBron James
Prince William, Kate Middleton and LeBron James

US basketball star LeBron James has a nickname of King James, and this King got to meet the future King and Queen for real during William and Kate's 2014 visit to New York City.

The royals watched court-side as LeBron led the his squad to victory and after the game, LeBron met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and even presented them with a tiny Cavs jersey to give to the then one year-old Prince George.

Kate plays cricket - in heels!

Kate Middleton playing cricket in New Zealand
Kate Middleton playing cricket in New Zealand

Prince William and Kate Middleton jetted off to the other side of the world in 2014, for a much celebrated tour of Australia and New Zealand.

They even took a very young Prince George with them for the trip, but, working parent mode aside, one of the most memorable moments came when a very glammed up Princess Catherine proved she could be just as sporty and competitive in high heels as she is when wearing her go-to Veja sneakers.

Here, Kate was wearing a belted red skirt suit by Luisa Spagnoli and a timeless pair of black heels.

A night of glamour in Paris

Kate Middleton and Prince William in Paris
Kate Middleton and Prince William in Paris

Putting on a glamorous and united front, Prince William and Kate Middleton attended a dinner hosted by Her Majesty's Ambassador to France, Edward Llewellyn, at the British Embassy in Paris in 2017.

Poignantly, it was the prince’s first official visit to the French capital since his mother died there in 1997.

William looked powerful and suave in a classic tuxedo, while Kate positively glistened beside him in a twinkly, pale blue Jenny Packham gown.

Kate’s pink coat steals the spotlight

Two photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton in NYC
Two photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton in NYC

Kate Middleton wasn't afraid of thinking big and bold when taking a bite out of the Big Apple in 2014.

Stepping out in a very eye-catching, hot pink Mulberry coat - which she had first debuted when pregnant with Princess Charlotte - the pregnant Kate's choice of colour had fans convinced she was having a second girl.

Of course, their third child turned out to be Prince Louis. So, no subtle messages here, just a very memorable fashion moment from the stylish Princess.

New Zealand wineries - not bad for a day at the office

Prince William and Kate Middleton at a winery in New Zealand
Prince William and Kate Middleton at a winery in New Zealand

A busy day working in New Zealand in 2014 included a trip to... a prestigious vineyard. Oh, the sacrifices these royals have to make.

In fairness to the pair, they'd had a packed itinerary and had attended church services and helped coach a kids’ rugby game earlier that same day.

They stopped off at the Amisfield Winery and Bistro in Arrowtown, near Queenstown where they got to sample one of the most famous wines, the Amisfield Pinot Noir 2011.

Sharing a sweet couple moment

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

In 2017, while on a tour of Poland and Germany, William and Kate attended a party in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth's birthday.

It was attended by over 600 guests and William delivered a speech to the packed party where he reportedly opened the speech with a greeting in Polish.

If that wasn't a memorable moment in itself, Kate pulled off an elegant, timeless look.

Wearing a bespoke white cocktail dress by Polish designer Gosia Baczyńska, Kate complemented the delicate dress with a most enchanting set of pearl jewellery, including oversized earrings from Balenciaga and a cascading necklace with four large pearls.

The first royal tour as parents

Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince George board a plane, 2014
Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince George board a plane, 2014

Baby on board - Prince William and Kate Middleton made sure their 2014 tour of Australia and New Zealand would be one for the history books as they brought along Prince George - who was around one-year-old at the time!

Starting him young - and attempting their first major trip as a family of three - George clung to his parents as they were greeted by eager crowds.

Enjoying a diplomatic pint of Guinness

Prince William and Kate Middleton enjoying pints of Guinness in Ireland
Prince William and Kate Middleton enjoying pints of Guinness in Ireland

Prince William and Kate Middleton's trip in 2020 was their first official trip to Ireland - but that wasn't the only significant element of the tour.

It was also the first time any member of the royal family had visited following the Brexit vote, leaving some political tensions between the United Kingdom and Ireland.

During their three-day trip, the couple spent time in Dublin, County Meath, County Kildare, and Galway. Winning favour, both royals wasted no time toasting the Irish officials with a pint of Guinness.

Pinching George’s cheeks

Two photos of Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince George at a zoo in Australia
Two photos of Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince George at a zoo in Australia

William and Kate's 2014 tour to Australia and New Zealand was always going to be iconic, as they took their son, Prince George, on his first overseas family outing.

While travelling the world with a young baby might sound like torture for some, it was obvious that having Prince George with them meant everything to the first-time parents.

In standout photos from their trip, the family of three visited Taronga Zoo in Sydney. They all looked equally as excited to see the various animals, and Kate couldn't resist a pinch of her son's chubby cheeks.

Recreating one of Charles and Diana's photos

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince William's trip to Australia in 2014 was monumental for many reasons - he had his firstborn son, George, with him, and he and Kate Middleton got to see how far-flung their popularity was.

But one particularly sweet and melancholic moment for the Prince of Wales might have been when he found himself echoing a trip his parents took decades before.

The late Princess Diana and the then Prince Charles toured Australia in 1983 and posed at Ayers Rock.

In another coincidence, like William and Kate bringing a very young George, Diana reportedly insisted on bringing William (who was nine months old) on the trip, too.

Catherine’s pretty in pink in the Caribbean

Prince William and Kate Middleton (L), Kate Middleton (R)
Prince William and Kate Middleton (L), Kate Middleton (R)

In 2022, to mark the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee, Prince William and Kate Middleton embarked on a tour of the Caribbean.

There were some moments which were met with controversy during the visit - with echoes of Britain's colonial past reflected in images of the couple riding in the same open-top Land Rover the late Queen did in the 1960s - but there were equally some stunning moments.

In Belize, near the Cahal Pech Mayan ruins, William and Kate enjoyed a reception from the Governor-General, where Kate looked beyond regal in a shimmering pink dress by The Vampire's Wife.

Taking a Tuk Tuk in a sequin gown

Prince William and Kate Middleton stepping out of a tuk tuk
Prince William and Kate Middleton stepping out of a tuk tuk

Prince William and Kate Middleton are used to travelling in all manners of transport - royal carriages, planes, even motorbikes (a passion of Williams!).

But perhaps nobody ever expected to see them arrive in a decorated tuk tuk, making it one of their most memorable entrances ever.

During the second day of their 2019 tour of Pakistan, the Prince and Princess of Wales attended a special reception hosted by the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew, at the Pakistan National Monument.

For the first time perhaps ever, William was challenging Kate in the style stakes. While she dazzled in emerald green, William cut a distinctive figure in a traditional Sherwani.

Enjoying coconuts with a special history

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

Most people would love the refreshing, luxurious experience of drinking straight from a fresh, tropical coconut. And while Prince William and Kate Middleton clearly enjoyed getting to do just that during their 2012 visit to the South Pacific, there was something extra memorable about this moment.

The coconuts were came from a tree planted by Queen Elizabeth in 1982 - a lovely moment of past meeting present.

And then, in a full circle moment, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planted their own coconut trees. Perhaps we'll see future royals visiting in decades to come and doing the same.

Having a snowball fight in Norway

Four photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton having a snowball fight
Four photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton having a snowball fight

Prince William found out the hard way in Norway that, future king or not, no one is safe from a rogue snowball.

The ego-bruising snowball to the face came courtesy of his wife, who is known to be quite the athlete, so there could have been some serious weight behind that throw.

Luckily, it was all in good fun as the pair explored the wintry climes of Sweden and Norway in 2018.

Competitive pretzel making

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

During their 2017 tour of Germany and Poland, William and Kate got a hands-on lesson in some traditional treat making.

The couple took part in a class teaching how to hand-roll pretzels at a market in Heidelberg.

Dressed in a bright yellow lace dress, Kate's outfit was protected by an apron that translated to read, "We're baking for William and Kate", per Yahoo.

Kate, ever the competitive one, was said to have dove right in, proving a natural and enjoying a cheeky laugh at her husband, who struggled to get into the swing of things. You could say he got himself all twisted up like a pretzel...

Looking every inch the Prince and Princess

(L) Prince William and Kate Middleton, (R) Kate Middleton in a blue gown
(L) Prince William and Kate Middleton, (R) Kate Middleton in a blue gown

Prince William and Kate Middleton often make headlines for the ways they buck tradition and tread their own paths. And that's great. But sometimes, they create a gasp-worthy moment by serving up what many would consider the traditional image of a modern day Prince and Princess.

And that's what they did during their 2022 Caribbean tour in honour of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Evoking pure old-world romanticism, William looked suave in a navy blue jacket while Kate dazzled in a turquoise satin dress by Phillipa Lepley.

The cherry on the top? The loving way the couple didn't hesitate in holding hands - a display of affection they're not always known to do.

Dancing king and queen (to be)

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton

More used to sombre and serious occasions, one of the most memorable tour moments came in 2012, when Prince William and Kate Middleton brought fans plenty of joy with their carefree dance moves.

During their trip to Tuvalu, an island in the South Pacific, as part of the Queen's Jubilee Tour in 2012, William showed no hesitation in throwing some shapes - much to the delight of his wife.

Kate, while looking more shy, got in on the fun, too.

Following in the footsteps of Princess Diana

Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Taj Mahal
Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Taj Mahal

A photo of Prince William and Kate Middleton - a future king and queen - outside the Taj Mahal - one of the New Seven Wonders of the World - is almost too grand for words.

The shot by itself would be enough to become a memorable moment of their royal careers, but there was a poignancy to the shot which made it all the more special.

In 1992, Diana and Prince Charles - reported to be struggling in their marriage at the time - visited India as part of their own royal tour. A photo of a lone Diana in front of the ivory-white marble mausoleum became instantly iconic.

William and Kate got to visit as a pair, perhaps offering up the image of a united front which Diana always wanted to be when she was the Princess of Wales.