Kate Middleton and Prince William posed for selfies and played with children as they put on their finest charm offensive during a whirlwind tour of Scotland today.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, opted for a £170 baby blue blouse from Cefinn, which she paired with a smart pair of navy trousers and one of her favourite long-line Catherine Walker coats for the first day of the two day trip to Glasgow today.
During all three of their engagements today, Kate was beaming as she cuddled up and cooed with newborns, while Prince William appeared playful as he goofed around with children, before the royal couple posed for selfies with locals.
Last year, the couple undertook a week long tour of the country, which at the time was dubbed a royal charm offensive to help persuade the country to resist the demands of nationalists for independence.
Kate Middleton and Prince William posed for selfies and played with children as they put on their finest charm offensive during a whirlwind tour of Scotland today
During one of their engagements today, the Duke and Duchess appeared particularly taken by two-year-old Olivia Wilson, who had tumbled to the ground – with Kate helping her to her feet
During all three of their engagements today, Kate was beaming as she cuddled up and cooed with newborns, while Prince William appeared playful as he goofed around with children, before the royal couple posed for selfies with locals
Another baby! Having been charmed by one tiny tot earlier in the day, the Duchess was then left grinning after meeting a newborn during a walkabout
During their visit to the school, Prince William and Kate showed off their down-to-earth attitude during a Roots of Empathy session which involved pupils interacting with a mother and her young baby
The Duchess cut a stylish figure as she visited St John’s Primary School in Port Glasgow where she and the Duke are set to join a Roots of Empathy session and speak with students and teachers taking part
Showing off his fatherly skills! The Duke beamed and laughed as he chatted with Olivia Wilson, two, whose family have been helped by the Wheatley Group in Glasgow
During their last trip to the country last summer, the Duke of Cambridge, 38, bookended the week-long tour with emotional speeches at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, where he represented his grandmother the Queen as Lord High Commissioner.
The father-of-three stressed his deep connection to the nation and its people, admitting Scotland reminds him of ‘some of his happiest and saddest memories’.
He was at the Queen’s Balmoral residence when he was given the devastating news his mother had died, yet found comfort in the Scottish countryside during his ‘dark days of grief’ – and he eventually met his wife while studying at St Andrews.
However today’s visit was significantly more relaxed – with the couple appearing to show off their parenting skills, love of children and natural rapport with members of the public.
During their first engagement of the day at St John’s School, both Kate and Prince William took a seat on the gym floor.
The royals, who have three young children themselves, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, crouched low as they spoke with school pupils and played along with the activites involved in an ‘Roots of Empathy’ session.
The royal couple waved to crowds who were awaiting their arrival in the city, before Kate stopped to chat with several excited students
During her visit today, the Duchess was handed a small bouquet of red flowers from one local student, while others watched on and snapped pictures on their phones
The royal couple were perfectly coordinated in their navy ensembles during their outing in the West End of the city earlier this afternoon (left and right)
The Duke and Duchess then spoke with some of the older students who have completed the programme to hear their reflections and experiences and understand how the sessions have benefitted them.
Roots of Empathy is an early intervention programme run by Action for Children which has been developed to help children aged 5-13 build empathy.
The programme uses a unique approach, with a local parent and baby (or ‘Tiny Teacher’) alongside a trained instructor guiding the children to develop empathy.
Roots of Empathy is an international, evidence and empathy-based programme, which was developed in Canada and operates internationally, in countries including New Zealand, the United States, Norway, Switzerland and Costa Rica. It has been operating in Scotland since 2010.
After their visit to the school, their Royal Highnesses heard also about the work carried out by Scotland’s leading housing, care and property-management group to tackle homelessness and support vulnerable tenants during the cost of living crisis.
The Duchess of Cambridge looks delighted as she meets members of the public during a visit to the Wheatley Group in Glasgow
Perfecting his selfie pout! the Duke appeared in high spirits as he leaned in for a snap with a member of the public in Glasgow
Strike a pose! Kate looked delighted as she waved to cameras during the visit to the Wheatley Group in the Scottish city today before putting on an animated display with crowds
The Duke and Duchess surprised tenants of Wheatley Homes Glasgow, part of Wheatley Group, during a walkabout at Kennishead in the south side of the city.
Once there, the couple bonded with one little girl, two-year-old Olivia Wilson, who appeared particularly enamoured with Prince William.
In a rare show of goofiness from the Duke, he pulled a series of faces at the little girl, before she tumbled to the floor during the visit.
Showing her motherly side, Kate swept in and scooped her up off the floor, dusting her off before setting her on her feet.
The mother-of-three was elegant in a tonal outfit for the engagements in Glasgow today, pairing a cornflower blue blouse with smart navy trousers
Goofing around! Prince William didn’t hold back while playfully chatting to the toddler earlier today during his visit to Glasgow
A very royal play-date! Prince William appeared charmed by little Olivia during the visit to Wheatley Homes Glasgow earlier today
And it wasn’t long before Kate joined in with Prince William to help out with the youngster, who was wearing a pink outfit for the occasion
The Duke and Duchess helped two-year-old Olivia up after she tumbled to the ground during their visit earlier today (pictured)
The Duchess was left beaming after she helped the little girl up, offering her a gentle hand (left) before giving her a pat on the back (right)
The pair traveled to the home of a family who have received support from Wheatley Homes Glasgow and live in one of their new-build houses (pictured)
Both Prince William and Kate reached out to shake hands with one little boy during their visit to the organisation on the first day of their Scottish visit today
Later, the Duke and Duchess visited the Wheatley Group site in Kennishead to see first-hand how they are transforming the lives of disadvantaged or vulnerable people, including those at risk of homelessness
Look behind you! Royal fans were desperate to get a snap of the Duke and Duchess during their visit to Glasgow earlier today (pictured)
They met children who are benefiting from free reading books thanks to a partnership between Wheatley Foundation and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Music student Ceri Maclarty, 25, also explained how an education bursary from Wheatley Foundation is supporting her dreams of becoming a secondary teacher.
Wheatley Homes Glasgow tenant Joanne Wales, 31, opened the front door of her new-build home to welcome Their Royal Highnesses. Inside they met son Jason, four, and heard from Joanne how the energy-efficient house design is helping reduce her energy bills.
Joanne said: ‘With four young kids then energy bills is a big concern. There’s always a need for a new pair of shoes or new clothes.
‘I had a meeting with the energy advice team and they gave me great tips on how to use my electricity to keep my bills low. I don’t need to put the heating on as much during the day in my new home. It’s made a big difference.’
The Duke and Duchess were met in Kennishead by John MacLeod, Glasgow Deputy Lieutenant, accompanied by his wife, Mariella McLeod. They were introduced to Wheatley Group Chief Executive Martin Armstrong, Wheatley Group Chair Jo Armstrong and Bernadette Hewitt, the tenant Chair of Wheatley Homes Glasgow.
The Duchess, whose passion is Early Years development, appeared excited to discuss the Empathy Programme during her visit to the school in Scotland today
The mother-of-three, who has made Early Years development one of her key passion projects as a senior royal, was animated during the discussion at the school
The Duke and Duchess spoke with some of the older students who have completed the programme to hear their reflections and experiences and understand how the sessions have benefitted them
Wheatley Group Chair Jo Armstrong said: ‘We were delighted to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and show them how Wheatley Group is ‘Making Homes and Lives Better’.
‘They were very interested in the work of our Foundation, about how Wheatley is giving young people the best start in life and also how we are creating new job and training opportunities so customers can reach their full potential. We also explained how Wheatley is playing a key role across Scotland in tackling homelessness and giving people a home of their own.’
The final engagement of the day for the royals will see them visit the University of Glasgow to talk with students about mental health and wellbeing – particularly pertinent during what is exam season at the University.
Taking place during Mental Health Awareness Week, Prince William and Kate met with students, academics and recent alumni all involved in the topic of mental health and wellbeing.
And it wasn’t just Kate who was getting into the swing of it! Prince William also joined in with the activities at the school earlier this morning
The Duke of Cambridge crouched low as he spoke with one young schoolboy during his visit to the school in Glasgow today (left and right)
Going ga-ga! Prince William appeared happy to make playful faces at the baby involved in the Roots of Empathy session earlier today
During the session today, the Duchess, who is passionate about the Early Years space, threw herself into the activities with enthusiasm (left and right)
Following this, The Duke and Duchess took the opportunity to step outside the university building and meet with members of the public.
The Duchess swept her brunette locks behind her shoulders for the occasion, revealing a pair of pearl drop earrings.
Meanwhile she kept her makeup neutral for the outing, opting for a sweep of blush and a dash of black eyeliner.
Cefinn, which is Samantha Cameron’s fashion label, is not a brand Kate has often worn in the past – however, she is known for her love of championing British designers and the high street.
Online, the blouse is described as a ‘glamorous-meets-demure’ piece which is ‘chic’ for business-meetings or could be dressed down with a pair of jeans.
The couple’s trip to Scotland comes after they visited the Caribbean to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – however the trip has faced controversy and reignited republican calls in Jamaica for independence.
Their intense eight-day long tour around Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas saw the couple face backlash after encountering tensions in the Caribbean nations.
William’s trip with Kate had been plagued by public relations gaffes and protests about British colonialism, which led to the endeavour being branded ‘tone deaf’ to modern sensibilities.
Showing off her skills! The Duchess appeared overjoyed as she took part in the session at St John’s School earlier today (pictured)
Found it! Among the activities which the Duchess took part in during her visit today was an exercise in which she touched her finger to her nose
The Duchess was in good spirits during the session at St John’s Primary School in Glasgow, which was the couple’s first engagement of their Scottish royal tour
The mother-of-three swept her long brunette locks behind her ear to reveal a pair of pearl drop earrings for the occasion
The laughing royal! Kate could be seen howling with laughter as she sat crossed legged with the students of the school for the Empathy Session
The scrutiny came to a head when Prince William released an unprecedented end-of-tour statement addressing growing republican sentiment in the three countries – acknowledging it had ‘brought into even sharper focus questions about the past and the future’.
In the wake of the criticism over the ‘colonial-era’ optics of their tour, many called for an end to similar overseas trips by members of the royal family.
Meanwhile the couple have continued gearing up for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations this summer.
Their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are among the monarch’s 10 great-grandchildren who will make a rare public appearance on Sunday evening at the Royal Windsor Horse Show for the occasion.
The Duchess appeared in high spirits during the visit today (left) where she could be seen raising her finger into the air during an ‘Empathy Session’ with the school children (right)
Meanwhile Prince William opted for a navy suit for the outing in Scotland, which he paired with a pastel green jumper and baby blue shirt
The mother-of-three, who is known for her love of rewearing clothes and high street brands, opted for a £170 baby blue blouse from Cefin, which she paired with a smart pair of navy trousers
The Duchess paired the smart navy trousers and bright blue blouse with one of her favourite Catherine Walker coats for the outing (left), which she removed for the empathy session (right)
The Queen´s Platinum Jubilee celebrations programme in full
The Queen has been on the throne for 70 years (Toby Melville/PA)
Buckingham Palace has unveiled the line-up of celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee for the first time.
Street parties, a concert featuring some of the world’s biggest stars and a chance to see the Queen’s homes up close are all included in the programme to mark her 70 years on the throne.
Here is a list of all of the events taking place for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee:
– May 12-15: Platinum Jubilee Celebration
More than 500 horses and 1,000 performers will take part in a 90-minute show taking the Windsor Castle audience through history right from Elizabeth I to present day.
Bank Holiday: June 2: Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour)
The colour will be trooped on Horse Guards Parade by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards and over 1,200 officers and soldiers from the Household Division who will put on a display. Sandringham and Balmoral will also be open for residents and visitors to enjoy the celebrations across the Bank Holiday.
Platinum Jubilee Beacons
The UK will join the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories to light a beacon to mark the Jubilee. The Principal Beacon will also be lit in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
June 3: Service of Thanksgiving
The Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral.
June 4: Platinum Party at the Palace
Some of the world’s greatest entertainers are billed to perform at the concert at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the most significant moments from the Queen’s reign.
June 5: Big Jubilee Lunch
Street parties are being planned across the UK and neighbours are expected to join together for food and fun to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. It will mark the end of the Bank Holiday.
Platinum Jubilee Pageant
Performers will come together in London to tell the story of the Queen’s reign through a pageant that will include a ‘River of Hope’ section made up of 200 silk flags that will make its way through The Mall, appearing like a moving river.
July: The Royal Collection Trust
Three displays marking the Queen’s accession to the throne, the Coronation and Jubilees will be put on at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
According to royal editor Roya Nikkhah, writing in The Sunday Times, all of Her Majesty’s UK-based great-grandchildren will take part in the special event at the final performance of ‘Gallop Through History’ during the Royal Windsor Horse Show, on 15th May.
As well as the Cambridges’ children, Savannah and Isla Phillips, Princess Eugenie’s son August Brooksbank, Princess Beatrice’s daughter Sienna Mapelli Mozzi, and Zara Tindall’s children Lena, Lucas and Mia Tindall will take part.
Prince Harry and Meghan’s children Archie and Lilibet will not feature in the show, but it was confirmed last week that the couple will join the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June with their young son and daughter.
‘Gallop Through History’ will bring together 500 horses and more than 1,000 performers over four nights to tell the story of Queen Elizabeth I’s monarchy.
Meanwhile the Queen has also announced she will use her Platinum Jubilee to emphasise national unity, sending members of her family to all four corners of the realm.
The monarch has agreed for senior members of the Royal Family to visit the nations of the United Kingdom over the extended bank holiday weekend in June.
They will be led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who will visit Wales. Meanwhile the Earl and Countess of Wessex will visit Northern Ireland, while Princess Anne will go to Scotland given her particularly affinity with the country.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will remain in London with the Queen.
There will, of course, be no roles for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of York, both of whom have now stepped down a working royals.
Meanwhile the Queen is expected to limit her appearances at the Platinum Jubilee to the Trooping the Colour – the parade and flypast that kicks off the celebrations on Thursday June 2 – and a service of celebration at St Paul’s Cathedral the next day.
It will be attended by the entire Royal Family including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have been banned from the Buckingham Palace balcony 24 hours earlier.
However the monarch’s presence is unlikely to be confirmed until the day itself.
The celebrations will begin on Thursday, June 2, with the Queen’s birthday parade, which has marked the official birthday of the British sovereign for 260 years, and will end with the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony and a spectacular flypast.
Beacons will also be lit through the UK and Commonwealth, with a special ceremony held at Buckingham Palace.
A towering, living sculpture of trees will be lit and projections cast on to the front of Buckingham Palace to highlight the Royal Family’s long history of championing environmental causes.
On Friday, June 3, a service of thanksgiving will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral, which the Queen plans to attend.
Arrangements have been tailored for her comfort, however. There will be no ceremonial journey from the palace, while the 96-year-old monarch, who is facing mobility issues, will use a different entrance so she does not have to scale the steep steps.
On Saturday, June 4, the Queen intends to attend the Epsom Derby, and in the evening attention will turn again to Buckingham Palace for the Platinum Party at the Palace.
Stars of stage, screen and pop and rock will perform in front of a crowd of 22,000 people.
On the final day of celebrations, on Sunday, June 5, 60,000 Big Jubilee Lunches will be held across the country and the Commonwealth – ranging from world record attempts for the longest street party to simple back garden barbecues – to encourage community-led events.
Final decisions on the Queen’s appearances across the weekend are not likely to be announced until the day they are due, Buckingham Palace said.