Prince William, 38, and Kate Middleton, 39, who spent much of lockdown living in their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall with their children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, three, travelled up to Darlington to visit Manor Farm today.
The Duchess cut a casual figure on the visit today, opting to wear a £190 shooting jacket from Danish company Seeland with several of her favourite pieces, including a £195 cosy jumper from sustainable brand Troy London and a pair of boots she has owned since before she joined the royal family.
The couple were given a tour of the fifth-generation family-run mixed cattle, sheep and arable farm near Darlington, and were seen visiting the cattle, calving and lambing sheds with owners Clare Wise and Stewart Chapman.
The visit comes amid reports that Prince William will struggle to ever forgive sister-in-law Meghan Markle, 39, after she sat down with Oprah Winfrey to attack his beloved wife and then accuse his flesh and blood of racism and uncaring behaviour towards someone with mental health issues.
Sources told MailOnline’s Dan Wootton that Prince William ‘cannot countenance the way the Duchess of Sussex has treated his wife’, saying: ‘Despite her growing confidence in public, Kate is a deeply sensitive woman who likes to stay behind-the-scenes as much as possible to support her family and the country. William thinks the way she has been treated is unfair.’
Prince William, 38, and Kate Middleton, 39, who spent much of lockdown living in their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall with their children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, three, travelled up to Darlington to visit Manor Farm today
The mother-of-three appeared in high spirits as she stroked a lamb alongside farms daughter Clover Chapman, 9, during a visit to Manor Farm
The Duchess of Cambridge donned her trusty khaki jacket and £475 boots she’s had for 17 years as she clambered aboard a tractor and petted a lamb during the farm visit with Prince William
The Duchess showed off her country-chic style during the visit today, opting to wear a £190 shooting jacket from Seeland.
The piece online is described as having ‘a feminine cut’ and ‘designed in the traditional English game-shooting style.’
Meanwhile Kate opted to rewear her favourite pair of boots, which she was first seen sporting at the Game Fair at Blenheim Palace in August 2004.
The boots made another appearance exactly a year later as Kate attended the Gatcombe Festival of Eventing in Gloucestershire.
The couple were given a tour of the fifth-generation family-run mixed cattle, sheep and arable farm near Darlington, and were seen visiting the cattle, calving and lambing sheds with owners Clare Wise and Stewart Chapman
A farmyard throne! The Duke and Duchess later sat down on a hay bale as they chatted with owners Clare and Stewart Chapman
As the Duchess found her feet in the royal family, the boots have remained a staple for the mother-of-three.
Earlier today, Clare and Stewart spoke to Kate and William about their particular focus on protecting the health and welfare of their livestock, as well as some of the tools used at the farm including grass monitoring, land rotation and feed sampling to improve productivity and ensure that they are able to give back to the environment and increase their sustainability.
The royals then joined a discussion with local farmers who are supported by The National Farmers Union about their experiences of the last year, including the mental health impact of COVID-19 for farmers and the challenges of balancing home-schooling with farm work.
Ahead of the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this year, the group also spoke about the work that is being carried out across the industry to improve environmental impact and help deliver the UK’s commitment to ‘net zero’ carbon emissions.
The Duchess showed off her country-chic style during the visit today, opting to wear a £190 shooting jacket from Seeland (pictured left and right)
The Duke and Duchess beamed as they were given a tour of the cattle sheds by farmer Stewart Chapman and his wife Claire Wise (pictured)
The mother-of-three appeared in high spirits and could be seen chatting animatedly to farmer Claire while on a tour of the cattle sheds today
The mother-of-three opted to rewear a cosy white jumper from Troy London with a white pie-collar Sezane blouse for the visit earlier today
After visiting the farm, The Duke and Duchess then visited the Cheesy Waffles Project, which supports children, young people and adults with additional needs aged 7 to 35 from across County Durham.
The charity works to provide its members with the skills and independence they need to transition to a happy and healthy adulthood.
The Cheesy Waffles Project (CWP) receives support from The Key, a youth charity which works collaboratively with organisations across the North East of England to inspire belief in young people and empower them to achieve their full potential.
The Key (previously called Keyfund) was one of twenty-six charities chosen by The Duke and Duchess in 2011 to benefit from donations made to their Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund.
The couple heard about how The Key’s youth-led development programme, The Key Framework, is helping to support thousands of young people to build skills and discover their capabilities by encouraging groups of young people to plan, pitch and carry out their own project ideas.
During their visit, Kate and Prince William met a group taking part in a project currently going through The Key Framework, and heard how they have found the process of working to deliver a wellbeing and mindfulness project.
The Duchess beamed as she spoke with Clover, who is just two years older than Kate’s son Prince George, during the visit to the farm in Durham today
Kate and nine-year-old farmer’s daughter Clover then walked a lamb together, watched by her parents and Prince William (pictured left and right)
While the Duchess appeared happy to be hands on with the sheep, Prince William stood a little further back from the animals during the visit
The mother-of-three showed off her relaxed nature as she crouched down to chat with farmers daughter Clover and stroked the baby lamb
Kate appeared relaxed as she spoke with farmers daughter Clover during the visit to the farm in Durham earlier today
The Duke and Duchess also heard more about the other initiatives that are delivered by the CWP to help its members develop independent skills, before joining young people taking part in a number of outdoor activities including golf-putting and natural artwork.
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s appearance today comes days before their 10th anniversary, which is set to be be marked by a new BBC documentary.
It will air on BBC One on April 30 and hear from a number of contributors about the wedding including David Cameron and former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, The Mirror reported.
Additionally, composer John Ritter, florist Shane Connolly and former England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward will also all feature.
In the drivers seat! Meanwhile the Duke opted to wear a face mask as he joined farmer Stewart Chapman in his tractor on the farm
Farmer Stewart appeared to be offering the Duke of Cambridge instructions on how to drive a tractor during a visit to Manor Farm in Little Stainton
A group of friends who met Princes William and Harry during an impromptu walkabout before the wedding will also appear in the documentary.
The CEO of Centrepoint Seyi Obakin, who was a guest at the wedding in 2011, told the paper how visibly emotional William was on the day: ‘In his face, the pride that he’d come to this point, this position, in which he’s getting married to somebody that he truly loves.’
A fundraiser who walked 55 miles in a suit of armour as well as couples from around the country who were married on the same day as William, will also contribute to the programme, titled Royal Wedding: A Day to Remember.
Prince William married Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011, at a ceremony held in Westminster Abbey, London.
The Duchess later joined Stewart in the tractor, donning a colourful floral face mask as she gently moved the wheel to steer the tractor
Down to earth Duchess! Kate opted to rewear a pair of boots she has had for 17 years for the visit today, and paired the trusty shoes with a cosy white jumper from sustainable brand Troy London
Farmer Stewart Chapman walks with the Duchess after she drove a tractor on the farm earlier today
The pair had been together as a couple for eight years and the couple had announced their engagement on November 16, 2010.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, married William and Kate in front of a guest list of around 1,900 people.
Instead of receiving wedding gifts, William and Kate urged guests to donate to charity and established The Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund which aimed to assist 26 charities from around the world. In the end, the fund took in a grand total of £1,058,367.
The Palace said £559,104 was donated by members of the public and wedding guests; £247,000 was generated from rights due to The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry that the Trustees allocated to the Gift Fund; and £252,263 was paid directly to the 26 charities.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet farming family, Clare Wise (left) and her children Clover, 9, Penelope, 7, Wren, 4 who were wearing adorable ‘Eat, Sleep, Sheep, Repeat’ jackets
The Duke and Duchess also met with Claire’s husband Stewart and her parents, during their visit to Manor Farm in Little Stainton
The Duchess appeared in high spirits during her visit to the farm in Little Stainton earlier today, while the Duke could be seen chatting animatedly
Kate opted to rewear her cosy white £195 jumper from Troy London for the occasion, and paired the knit with a khaki green jacket
More than 5,000 street parties were held throughout the UK to celebrate the Royal wedding and as many as one million people lined the route between Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace to catch a glimpse of the couple on their wedding day.
The ceremony was viewed by tens of millions of people live, with around 72million people watching a YouTube livestream of the service.
Two years after their wedding, William and Kate welcomed their first child, Prince George. He was followed by Princess Charlotte two years later and then Prince Louis in 2018.
Earlier this week, Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith branded Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘muppets’ and said Kate should be the next Queen because she was ‘born ready.’
It comes as the couple prepare to celebrate their tenth anniversary later this week, having married on April 29 2011 at Westminster Abbey
He added: ‘That she looked like a princess from the off. Well, she was an ordinary girl, a bit of a tomboy, always in the middle of the rough and tumble, so I don’t mean that she looked prim and proper, but at the same time she had . . . values. She was kind, just a lovely person.
‘I think she’s quite unique. I’ve said it before but I mean it, she’s as beautiful inside as out. And she knows about duty and putting others before herself. Kate is a giver, not a taker.’
He continued: ‘She doesn’t just look the part, she’s living the part. She acts like you’d want a royal to behave. She has that poise of the public servant, yet she also has the common touch — or the Diana touch, as I think of it.
‘ It’s a difficult balance, being someone people can identify with but also look up to, but she’s got it. I think she’s the Queen’s protégée’.
DAN WOOTTON: Kate may have forgiven Harry but will William ever forgive Meghan? My sources doubt it
But there is a much harder to solve question still plaguing royal advisers: How to ever bridge the gap between Prince William and Meghan?
The level of bitterness and rancour between the Duke of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex has, if anything, been underplayed, I understand.
Wills was angry about the behaviour of his sister-in-law for well over a year.
And that was before she sat down with Oprah Winfrey to attack his beloved wife and then accuse his flesh and blood of racism and uncaring behaviour towards someone with mental health issues.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stand behind the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020
While William is acutely conscious of his responsibilities as a future king to try and keep the family together, those close to him believe he will struggle to ever forgive Meghan for the damage she has unleashed.
A senior royal insider tells me: ‘Much has been made of the troubles between Kate and Meghan, and William and Harry – but perhaps the biggest strains now exist between William and Meghan.
‘First and foremost, William cannot countenance the way Meghan has treated his wife. He feels Kate tried at the beginning, but it was never enough.
‘Kate attempted to try and help Meghan understand the responsibilities of royal life, but her efforts were constantly misinterpreted.
‘But to name Kate so publicly during the Oprah interview as the person who made her cry was beyond the pale. Meghan would have been acutely aware that Kate is powerless to fight back.
‘Despite her growing confidence in public, Kate is a deeply sensitive woman who likes to stay behind-the-scenes as much as possible to support her family and the country. William thinks the way she has been treated is unfair.’
Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Prince William leave Prince Philip’s funeral at St George’s Chapel together on April 17
The truth is that William had doubts about the speed of Harry’s relationship from the beginning.
He infamously tried to encourage his brother to slow the pace of their courtship, which exacerbated tensions between them.
After Meghan entered the family officially, William began to question some of her motives.
Another senior royal source explains: ‘William soon began to wonder about some of Meghan’s traits and motivations.
‘He was worried that at times she seemed to be more concerned about her personal progression or profile over the wider goals and aims of the Royal Family.
‘But he largely kept any reservations to himself as he desperately wanted her to be happy and appreciated the huge adjustment of entering the Royal Family.
‘Following Megxit though, everything changed. He could no longer hide his true feelings because he felt like she had publicly attempted to disrespect his family and the Queen.’
Prince Harry and Prince William walk together out of St George’s Chapel on April 17 with Kate Middleton alongside them
I’ve learned senior staff working for the Queen had shared with William their reservations about some of Meghan’s behaviour.
William is believed to have backed a decision – approved by the Queen – to ban Meghan from borrowing items in the Royal Collection, including tiaras and jewellery once worn by his mother Princess Diana.
Kate is also thought to have shared with William details of an awkward encounter with Meghan, which I first revealed in December 2018, where she warned her sister-in-law not to talk rudely to staff at Kensington Palace.
Kate told Meghan: ‘That’s unacceptable, they’re my staff and I speak to them.’
A source added: ‘Her and Kate fell out when she boll**ked Kate’s staff.’
I also first reported in November 2018 that the Queen had warned Harry over Meghan’s behaviour and attitude before their wedding following a row now known as Tiaragate.
So it’s fair to say that in the early days of Meghan’s time in the Royal Family it was not William who was expressing his displeasure.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in their bombshell tell-all interview which first aired on March 7
But his anger and disappointment has come about largely because of the disloyal behaviour from the Sussexes following their decision to leave the Royal Family, especially giving the Oprah interview.
Some courtiers hope that William and Harry will now be forced into a positive dialogue as they prepare for what would have been their late mother’s 60th birthday on July 1, where they are due to publicly unveil a statue of Diana.
But it is unclear if Meghan, who is heavily pregnant with the couple’s second child, will be involved in those discussions and if she will consider making her first trip back to London since Megxit.
There are genuine concerns that she could be booed at an event attended by members of the public given her current unpopularity in the UK as a result of the Oprah interview.
All of those considerations are expected to make the conversations and negotiations fraught.
The Queen Mother never forgave Wallis Simpson for her role in the abdication crisis.
Some royal watchers are now questioning whether the relationship between Prince William and Meghan – also an American divorcee – could go in the same direction.
Kensington Palace declined to comment.