Tuesday 19 March 2019

Kate Middleton looks spectacular at evening event in Belfast with Prince William on surprise two-day trip

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave after a visit to the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave after a visit to the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Empire Music Hall on February 27, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, as part of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's two day visit to Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pulls a pint of Harp beer as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge looks on during a visit to Empire Music Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Kate Middleton in Belfast
The Duchess of Cambridge takes part in a coaching session during hers and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave after their visit to Belfast Empire Hall for an informal party to celebrate inspirational young people who are making a real difference in Northern Ireland as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Samir Hussein / POOL / AFP)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge reacts as her husband Prince William talks during their visit to the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Samir Hussein / POOL / AFP)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge poor a pint of Harp Ice beer during their visit to the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Samir Hussein / POOL / AFP)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge poor a pint of Harp Ice beer during their visit to the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Samir Hussein / POOL / AFP)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watches a coaching session during their visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge greets wellwishers as she arrives to visit the Irish Football Association in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)
Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, play football during a visit the National Stadium in Belfast, home of the Irish Football Association on February 27, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge takes part in a cross community IFA demonstration at Windsor Park on February 27, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, play football during a visit the National Stadium in Belfast, home of the Irish Football Association on February 27, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speaks to members of the public during a visit to Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speaks to members of the public during a visit to Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are greeted on arrival at the Irish Football Association in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Kate Middleton looked radiant in a shimmering silver dress as she visited the Empire Music Hall with Prince William as part of their two day surprise trip to Northern Ireland.

William and Kate are carrying out a series of varied public engagements at a range of locations on Wednesday and Thursday.

This evening they are attending an event at the Empire Music Hall in Belfast where Kate opted to wear a silver Missoni midi dress, which retails for over €2,000.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laughed and exchanged jokes as they pulled pints of Harp behind the bar at the venue.

There were cheers as Kate poured a pint of Harp Ice lager and set her effort on the bar.

William then took his turn, saying "here we go" as he tilted the pint glass. He watched the tap intently before exclaiming "look at that bad boy" as he admired his work, and added: "Perfect... good enough for an advert."

The royal couple were earlier given an official welcome to the venue by Lord Lieutenant of Belfast Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle.

Comedian Shane Todd was among the acts who performed during the event.

The couple enjoyed relaxed conversations with many of those in attendance, including former Olympian Dame Mary Peters, who was earlier appointed to the Order of the Garter by the Queen.

William then took to the stage to make a brief speech.

Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, play football during a visit the National Stadium in Belfast, home of the Irish Football Association on February 27, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, play football during a visit the National Stadium in Belfast, home of the Irish Football Association on February 27, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland

He said it was "fitting" to recognise Dame Mary, who he said had "helped inspire so many of you in the first place".

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

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

The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a red Carolina Herrera coat on the football-themed visit. 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.

Out on the Windsor Park turf, where Northern Ireland famously beat England in 2005, the royals joined in some training exercises with local schoolchildren. They 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.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are greeted on arrival at the Irish Football Association in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are greeted on arrival at the Irish Football Association in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

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.

Press Association

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