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Whatever you do, don't break the engine, Kate

PRINCE William and wife Kate Middleton donned wrap-around safety goggles for a visit to a Rolls-Royce jet engine factory and took one of them for a spin.

William jumped at the offer to test one of the multi-million-euro machines during a guided tour of the state-of-art plant in Singapore, saying: "Yes, we will," in a loud voice when asked by staff.

There was no chance of the engine being damaged when the couple got their hands on it, because test engineers had set a limit on how hard it could be pushed.

Kate, wearing a white Alexander McQueen broderie anglaise suit, sat down in front of a bank of screens and tentatively put her hand on the throttle.

The test facility at the huge open-plan plant began to rumble as the Trent 1000 engine, built for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, sprang to life and began to whine. After a few moments, Kate slowly brought it back to a stop.

She asked the test engineer: "Did that sound OK?" and he replied: "That was perfect, nothing wrong with that test."

Kate noticed some limit had been set on how far she could test the engine and, when the engineer confirmed there was one, she asked, to laughter from other guests in the room: "So I wouldn't break it?"