Kate Middleton and Prince William arrive for surprise Belfast trip

Action woman Kate! Sporty Duchess gets a canoe lesson and tries her hand at archery after she and William kicked off activity-packed surprise visit to Northern Ireland with a flirty game of football

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Northern Ireland for a surprise two-day visit 
  • They kicked off the tour with visit to Windsor Park football stadium, Belfast, where they took part in drills
  • William and Kate later travelled to a youth facility in Co Fermanagh where they helped children pitch tents

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Sporty Kate was in her element as she and William kicked off a surprise two-day tour of Northern Ireland with an action-packed day of activities.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Belfast on Wednesday morning and headed for Windsor Park stadium, where they met well-wishers and joined aspiring footballers for a spirited kickabout. 

The couple playfully jostled for possession as they went head-to-head in a mini match – with Kate impressing the youngsters with her skill on the ball. 

They later travelled to Roscor Youth Village on the shores of Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh, where Kate was given a canoe lesson and tried her hand at archery.

Meanwhile William’s balance was tested as he walked across a low-ropes assault course, with a gaggle of children cheering when he made it to the end. 

It is thought the Duke of Cambridge, 36, will this evening follow his grandmother the Queen’s lead and call for calm over Brexit in a speech to be delivered in Belfast. 

The Cambridges will spend Wednesday and Thursday carrying out a number of engagements in Belfast, Fermanagh and Ballymena. In keeping with royal visits to Northern Ireland, details were not released in advance and the itinerary was not disclosed for security reasons.

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Sporty Kate was in her element as she and William kicked off a surprise tour of Northern Ireland with a visit to a Belfast football stadium. She couldn't keep the smile from her face as they joined schoolchildren for a kickabout at Windsor Park

Sporty Kate was in her element as she and William kicked off a surprise tour of Northern Ireland with a visit to a Belfast football stadium. She couldn’t keep the smile from her face as they joined schoolchildren for a kickabout at Windsor Park

Keen to join in the fun, the Duchess ditched her £1,200 Carolina Herrara coat and £199 heeled LK Bennett boots for a £125 Ralph Lauren cricket jumper and £80 New Balance trainers

She impressed with her dribbling and ball skills

Keen to join in the fun, the Duchess ditched her £1,200 Carolina Herrara coat and £199 heeled LK Bennett boots for a £125 Ralph Lauren cricket jumper and £80 New Balance trainers. She impressed with her dribbling and ball skills, right 

The Duchess of Cambridge playfully jostled with her husband on the pitch before impressing with her skills

The Duchess of Cambridge playfully jostled with her husband on the pitch before impressing with her skills

The couple lost control of the ball

Prompting the Duchess of Cambridge to burst into fits of laughter

The couple lost control of the ball, left, prompting the Duchess of Cambridge to burst into fits of laughter, right

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Belfast for a surprise two-day visit to Northern Ireland. One adorable young well-wisher cheekily stuck out his tongue when Kate came over to meet him outside Windsor Park 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Belfast for a surprise two-day visit to Northern Ireland. One adorable young well-wisher cheekily stuck out his tongue when Kate came over to meet him outside Windsor Park 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Northern Ireland for a surprise two-day tour

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Belfast today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Northern Ireland for a surprise two-day tour. The couple are kicking off the tour with visit to Windsor Park football stadium, home of the Irish Football Association

Be a lady in red like The Duchess Of Cambridge wearing Carolina Herrera

The Duchess Of Cambridge looked the epitome of chic as she visited Northern Ireland today, wearing a red coat by Carolina Herrera.

This bright shade of scarlet always looks great on Kate and we love the nipped in waist, Peter Pan collar, flattering flared skirt and double-breasted cut.

In fact, she's worn this very same coat before on both the Royal tour of Canada and a trip to Paris! It's an incredibly timeless piece so we're not surprised Kate has chosen to recycle it again.

Kate's coat is sadly not available to buy online but click (right) to find your nearest boutique where you'll find the stylish cover-up retailing for £1190. Or why not shop our edit of regal reds in the carousel?

We've found similar styles from the likes of Alaia, Silk Fred, Karl Lagerfeld and James Lakeland that are perfect for giving a nod to Kate's designer original. Plus, you can also snap up her lace-up boots by L.K. Bennett and earrings by Kiki McDonough!

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Ever the sportswoman, the Duchess of Cambridge also put herself forward for an archery session a the youth village 

Ever the sportswoman, the Duchess of Cambridge also put herself forward for an archery session a the youth village 

Meanwhile, William's balance was tested as he walked across a low-ropes assault course. Children urged him on until he made it to the end and they celebrated with a cheer

Meanwhile, William’s balance was tested as he walked across a low-ropes assault course. Children urged him on until he made it to the end and they celebrated with a cheer

William and Kate later travelled to a youth facility in Co Fermanagh where they helped children pitch tents

William and Kate later travelled to a youth facility in Co Fermanagh where they helped children pitch tents

Out on the Windsor Park turf, the royals joined in some training exercises with local schoolchildren.

Kate and William both had a go at dribbling drills, to the delight of the young footballers. Kate ran around a marked-out square keeping the ball under control and also jogged up and down on the spot.

She then joined William in a small-sided game, each playing on different sides.

Both participated with gusto, running about with their young teammates, passing and tackling during the well-spirited encounter.

During the visit, the couple learned more about the Irish Football Association’s community football projects and its work breaking down some of Northern Ireland’s traditional divides through sport.

They met people involved in an initiative aimed at encouraging more women into key decision making roles within the game and also met young people involved in the Goal programme – a project designed for those not in employment, education or training.

William and Kate also heard about IFA workshops and education courses that help students develop life skills.

They learned about the Stay Onside initiative, which works with criminal justice agencies in a bid to reduce offending rates.

The Cambridges also heard more about the game of Powerchair, an adapted version of football for wheelchair users.

As they left the stadium at the end of the visit, three schoolchildren presented the couple with three green Northern Ireland home shirts, with the names George, Charlotte and Louis on the backs. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared in excellent spirits as they joined children on the pitch in sunny Belfast

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared in excellent spirits as they joined children on the pitch in sunny Belfast

The Duchess of Sussex today

The Duchess of Cambridge couldn't keep the smile from her face as she joined her husband and children for the kickabout

The Duchess of Cambridge couldn’t keep the smile from her face as she joined her husband and children for the kickabout

Sporty Kate appeared perfectly at ease as she played around with youngsters on the turf at Belfast's Windsor Park

Sporty Kate appeared perfectly at ease as she played around with youngsters on the turf at Belfast’s Windsor Park

The Duchess of Cambridge gave out cuddles to schoolgirls excited to meet the royal at Windsor Park, in Belfast 

The Duchess of Cambridge gave out cuddles to schoolgirls excited to meet the royal at Windsor Park, in Belfast 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge both spent time speaking to the youngsters at the kickabout on Wednesday

The Duchess of Cambridge today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge both spent time speaking to the youngsters at the kickabout on Wednesday

Out on the Windsor Park turf, the royals joined in some training exercises with local schoolchildren

Out on the Windsor Park turf, the royals joined in some training exercises with local schoolchildren

Kate donned a £159 Barbour jacket and £80 Sweaty Betty X New Balance trainers for the training session with kids

The Duchess of Cambridge at Windsor Park today

Kate donned a £159 Barbour jacket and £80 Sweaty Betty X New Balance trainers for the training session with kids 

The Duchess of Cambridge knelt down to speak to the schoolgirls about their football training in Belfast

The Duchess of Cambridge knelt down to speak to the schoolgirls about their football training in Belfast

Schoolchildren crowded around the Duchess of Cambridge to tell her more about their love of football during the outing

Schoolchildren crowded around the Duchess of Cambridge to tell her more about their love of football during the outing

Donning a pair of vibrant blue and orange Nike trainers, the Duke of Cambridge also showed off his skills at the stadium

Duke of Cambridge today

Donning a pair of vibrant blue and orange Nike trainers, the Duke of Cambridge also showed off his skills at the stadium 

Aspiring footballers showed off their skills to the royal visitors at Windsor Park, home of the Irish Football Association

Aspiring footballers showed off their skills to the royal visitors at Windsor Park, home of the Irish Football Association

The Duchess of Cambridge swapped her Carolina Herrera coat for a fitted quilted Barbour jacket out on the pitch

The Duchess of Cambridge in the Barbour coat today

The Duchess of Cambridge swapped her Carolina Herrera coat for a fitted quilted Barbour jacket out on the pitch

The Duchess of Cambridge spoke to young players and their coaches as her and William learned more about football outreach

The Duchess of Cambridge spoke to young players and their coaches as her and William learned more about football outreach

They then made their way to a youth facility in Co Fermanagh where were greeted by a crowd of cheering children.

William and Kate were met by Roland Eadie, the Deputy Lieutenant of County Fermanagh and his wife, Mary Kathleen Doherty; Fermanagh and Omagh Council’s chairman Howard Thornton, and chief executive Brendan Hegarty; Derek McCabe, the chairman of Extern Group and its chief executive Charlie Mack, as well as Mark Rodgers from Roscor Youth Village.

Groups of children watched on as the couple were welcomed to the youth village, on the shores of Lough Erne.

The duke and duchess watched on as children played in a series of activities at the youth facility.

The Duchess of Cambridge shared a light-hearted moment with some of the young football players and coaches 

The Duchess of Cambridge shared a light-hearted moment with some of the young football players and coaches 

Kate comforted a young girl who became emotional while taking part in the football training session in Belfast today

Kate comforted a young girl who became emotional while taking part in the football training session in Belfast today

The Duchess of Cambridge let out a laugh as she spoke to Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill at Windsor Park

The Duchess of Cambridge let out a laugh as she spoke to Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill at Windsor Park

The Duke of Cambridge, a keen football fan, looked on as schoolgirls dribbled the ball past him on the pitch in Belfast

The Duke of Cambridge, a keen football fan, looked on as schoolgirls dribbled the ball past him on the pitch in Belfast

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge signed the visitors' book before leaving Windsor Park on the first day of their royal tour

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge signed the visitors’ book before leaving Windsor Park on the first day of their royal tour

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during their engagement

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill during their engagement

The royal couple laughed as they had a casual chat with IFA coaches during their visit to Windsor Park

The royal couple laughed as they had a casual chat with IFA coaches during their visit to Windsor Park

The duchess saw a group of teenagers assembling cooking utensils used for camping. The duke spoke to children about their interests and hobbies.

He asked what they loved most about the youth facility, which caters for young people across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He also spoke to them about tree climbing.

‘It’s a great sense of achievement when you do it,’ the duke said. ‘What do you guys love the most about coming here?’

The children described to him their favourite activities and how they have made life-long friends at the youth village.

The royal mother-of-three appeared taken by the little boy - while he was more interested in playing with her bouquet

The royal mother-of-three appeared taken by the little boy – while he was more interested in playing with her bouquet

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were animated as they arrived at Windsor Park for the first stop on their two-day tour

The Duchess of Cambridge today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were animated as they arrived at Windsor Park for the first stop on their two-day tour

Father-of-three William bent down to speak to some of the children waiting outside Windsor Park for the couple, pictured

Father-of-three William bent down to speak to some of the children waiting outside Windsor Park for the couple, pictured

Football fan Prince William looked delighted as he was given a tour inside Windsor Park, home of the Irish Football Association

Football fan Prince William looked delighted as he was given a tour inside Windsor Park, home of the Irish Football Association

On arrival at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, the couple were greeted by scores of cheering schoolchildren.

William and Kate stopped to chat with the crowds, with the Duchess being presented with a number of bunches of flowers.

International boss Michael O’Neill was among senior Irish Football Association staff who welcomed them at the entrance to the recently redeveloped venue.

O’Neill, who himself won 31 caps playing for Northern Ireland, has been credited with bringing the glory days back to the team during his tenure as manager.

The smartly-dressed boy grabbed the Duchess' attention as he waited with his mother outside Windsor Park stadium

The smartly-dressed boy grabbed the Duchess’ attention as he waited with his mother outside Windsor Park stadium

The playful youngster was full of beans and raised a smile from the Duchess of Cambridge at the football stadium

The playful youngster was full of beans and raised a smile from the Duchess of Cambridge at the football stadium

Radiant Kate beamed as she was handed several bouquets of spring blooms by well-wishers in the crowd outside the stadium

Radiant Kate beamed as she was handed several bouquets of spring blooms by well-wishers in the crowd outside the stadium

The Duchess of Cambridge needed two hands to carry the beautiful tulips she was handed by well-wishers at the engagement

The Duchess of Cambridge needed two hands to carry the beautiful tulips she was handed by well-wishers at the engagement

Kate wore delicate heart earrings for the outing in sunny Belfast. The couple have a number of appearances planned

The Duchess of Cambridge today

Kate wore delicate Kiki McDonough ‘Lauren’ leaf earrings for the outing to Windsor Park in Belfast today

The Duchess of Cambridge looked very relaxed as she chatted to well-wishers who had waited to see the royal couple

The Duchess of Cambridge looked very relaxed as she chatted to well-wishers who had waited to see the royal couple

A group of young schoolgirls looked in awe of the Duchess of Cambridge, 37, as she leaned down to speak to them

A group of young schoolgirls looked in awe of the Duchess of Cambridge, 37, as she leaned down to speak to them

He led the side to its first major tournament in 30 years at the 2016 European Championships in France.

During their tour of the venue, the couple also met Northern Ireland footballing legend Pat Jennings.

Former Spurs and Arsenal goalkeeper Jennings is Northern Ireland’s record caps holder, with 119 appearances during a career that took in the 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals.

William and Kate were shown a bronze cast print of the stopper’s celebrated ‘safe hands’ as they walked through the stadium’s heritage centre. 

The couple will then travel to the Roscor Youth Village charity in Co Fermanagh, which is a residential activity centre for children referred by social workers.

It is the third time the couple have visited the region together. 

The Duchess of Cambridge donned a £1,200 Carolina Herrera coat and LK Bennett boots for the occasion

The Duchess of Cambridge donned a £1,200 Carolina Herrera coat and LK Bennett boots for the occasion

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge speak to members of the military outside Windsor Park in Belfast on Wednesday

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge speak to members of the military outside Windsor Park in Belfast on Wednesday

The Duchess of Cambridge elegantly swept her hair behind her shoulder as she made her way into the stadium in Belfast

Duchess of Cambridge today

The Duchess of Cambridge elegantly swept her hair behind her shoulder as she made her way into the stadium in Belfast

On arrival at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, the couple were greeted by scores of cheering schoolchildren

On arrival at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, the couple were greeted by scores of cheering schoolchildren

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived for a two-day tour and started the visit at Windsor Park, pictured 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived for a two-day tour and started the visit at Windsor Park, pictured 

Their final visit of the day will be to Belfast Empire Hall to celebrate ‘inspirational young people who are making a real difference in Northern Ireland’.

On previous visits, the couple attended a garden party at the royal residence at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down, in June 2016, when they mingled with many of the 2,500 invited guests.

Five years earlier, they visited Northern Ireland just weeks before their wedding.

On that occasion, Kate tossed pancakes at Belfast City Hall and hammered in fence posts at Greenmount Agriculture College in Co Antrim.

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