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Kate Middleton joins Prince William on a boat trip to Orkney


The Duchess of Cambridge wrapped up in a camel coat and tartan scarf as she joined husband Prince William in Orkney today.  

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand to officially open the Balfour Hospital, in Kirkwall, on the second day of joint engagements in Scotland. 

Kate, 39, recycled a £349 Massimo Dutti coat and debuted new wide-leg trousers for the engagement. 

She accessorised with a suede clutch bag, £1,395 ‘flora drop’ gold earrings from Scottish brand Hamilton & Inches and a ScotWeb scarf in the Strathearn Tartan, in a nod to her Scottish title, the Countess of Strathearn.

William, 38, and Kate are staying at the Palace of Holyroodhouse – the Queen’s official Scotland residence – while on a week-long tour of Scotland. The visit is part of a broader royal charm offensive to help persuade Scotland to resist the demands of nationalists for independence. 

The royal couple walk alongside one another as they visit Orkney for the first time

The Duchess of Cambridge wrapped up in a camel coat and tartan scarf as she joined husband Prince William in Orkney today.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand to officially open the Balfour Hospital, in Kirkwall

Kate recycled a £349 Massimo Dutti coat and wide-leg trousers for the engagement. Kate also wore a scarf in the Strathearn Tartan, in a nod to her Scottish title, the Countess of Strathearn

Kate recycled a £349 Massimo Dutti coat and wide-leg trousers for the engagement. Kate also wore a scarf in the Strathearn Tartan, in a nod to her Scottish title, the Countess of Strathearn 

Beaming Kate pictured on her arrival in Orkney

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, appeared to be all smiles as she arrived for her first engagement of the day in a caramel coat and matching trousers

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, appeared to be all smiles as she arrived for her first engagement of the day in a caramel coat and matching trousers

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge formally opened the hospital, which first opened its doors in 2019

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge formally opened the hospital, which first opened its doors in 2019

The Duchess of Cambridge wore £1,395 'flora drop' gold earrings from Scottish brand Hamilton & Inches

The Duchess of Cambridge today

The Duchess of Cambridge wore £1,395 ‘flora drop’ gold earrings from Scottish brand Hamilton & Inches

The Duke of Cambridge shared a light-hearted moment with some of the welcome party outside the hospital

The Duke of Cambridge shared a light-hearted moment with some of the welcome party outside the hospital

The Balfour Hospital opened its doors in 2019 and replaced the old hospital, which had served the community for 90 years. 

The new facility has enabled the repatriation of many NHS services from the Scottish mainland, allowing Orkney’s population to receive most of their healthcare at home. 

The new building’s circular design is based on the 5000-year-old Neolithic settlement, Skara Brae, making it a unique reflection of the local landscape in which many historical sites are circles. 

During the visit, the Duke and Duchess met a number of NHS staff to hear more about their experiences over the past year, before formally opening the hospital.

Prince William has been in Scotland since Friday. Yesterday the couple kicked off their joint engagements with a visit to Turning Point Scotland, a social care charity in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.

They learned about the support the organisation provides to those facing homelessness, mental health issues and substance abuse.

Later in the afternoon they visited the pioneering Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU), and learned about the support it provides to community organisations across the country.

Kate, 39, looked chic in a camel coat and wide-leg trousers as she boarded the helicopter in the grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence

Kate, 39, looked chic in a camel coat and wide-leg trousers as she boarded the helicopter in the grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence

The couple are on their way to Orkney, off the northeast coast of Scotland, where they will carry out a series of engagements

The couple are on their way to Orkney, off the northeast coast of Scotland, where they will carry out a series of engagements

The helicopter was seen taking off outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse this morning as bystanders snapped pictures

The helicopter was seen taking off outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse this morning as bystanders snapped pictures

In the evening they were joined in the café kitchen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where they are staying, by Sikh Sanjog to prepare meals which will be distributed to vulnerable families across the Edinburgh community. 

Kate sported a £59.99 Zara blazer and pleated midi skirt by Hope Fashion in the colour of the Scottish flag, which she accessorised with a pair of £1,395 ‘flora drop’ gold earrings from Scottish brand Hamilton & Inches, which has held a Royal Warrant as silversmiths to Her Majesty the Queen for more than 120 years.

Exact details of their Scottish tour schedule is being kept under wraps but the Duke and Duchess are expected to visit St Andrews University, where they met as students 20 years ago. 

The Duchess of Cambridge wore her hair swept back in a half-up do as she boarded the helicopter with Prince William

The Duchess of Cambridge wore her hair swept back in a half-up do as she boarded the helicopter with Prince William

Prince William carried a ring binder as he strode across the grounds of Holyroodhouse towards the helicopter

Prince William carried a ring binder as he strode across the grounds of Holyroodhouse towards the helicopter

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared in good spirits as they made their way to the helicopter for a busy day

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared in good spirits as they made their way to the helicopter for a busy day

The couple will also host a special drive-in screening of Disney’s Cruella for NHS staff, and will join young carers from the local Fife area for a session of land yachting on the beach.  

Their visit to Scotland is understood to be part of a wider strategy to emphasise the ‘cultural bonds’ between Scotland and the rest of the union.   

The Queen is passionate about the union and spends her annual summer break at Balmoral.

Her subtle comment about the independence referendum in 2014 – asking people to ‘think carefully about the future’ – while staying at Balmoral, was credited with influencing the vote to remain.

In his address on Saturday to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh, Prince William not only touched upon some of the most private aspects of his life, but also struck a conciliatory tone.

‘It is my duty today to speak, but equally I am here to listen,’ he said. ‘In Scotland this week I will have my eyes and ears permanently open. Along with listening this week, there is something I do want to tell you.

‘Scotland is incredibly important to me and will always have a special place in my heart.’

William, who is known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, was speaking in his role as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly, a ceremonial appointment dating back to the 16th Century. 

He spoke of his happy time at St Andrews university as a student and training as a pilot in Inverness, adding: ‘Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also my saddest.’

In what was interpreted as a nod to longevity, he referred to his children including Prince George, who is third in line to the throne. ‘George, Charlotte and Louis already know how dear Scotland is to both of us, and they are starting to build their own happy memories here too,’ he said. ‘We have no doubt they will grow up sharing our love and connection to Scotland from the Highlands to the Central Belt, from the Islands to the Borders.’ 

The Queen is making plans for her traditional ‘Holyrood Week’ in early summer. Aides say there will be several ‘high-profile events where Her Majesty will be seen out and about’. 

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will also be involved but the decision to send the Cambridges ahead was a clear part of the PR strategy. A source told the Mail On Sunday: ‘It’s about opening a dialogue – listening and talking. All members of the Royal Family have a strong affinity with Scotland.’



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