Prince William dashes to catch a train home for Kate's birthday
Trains wait for no-one, as Prince William found last night when he ran to make the 16.45 train to London last night.
His police outriders may be able to hold up the traffic when he travels by road, but trains wait for no-one, as the Duke of Cambridge found last night when he ran to make the 16.45 departure home from Cambridge.
Prince William, currently studying at Cambridge University, was dashing back to London to celebrate new mum Kate's 32nd birthday with her.
And while the Duke was formally attired in suit and tie as he enrolled at the University on Tuesday, he was indistinguishable from other mature students as he finished lectures on Thursday.
Wearing a £65 pair of Onitsuka Tiger trainers, brown chinos, a black body warmer and black baseball cap, the Duke, 31, carried his books in a lumpy black rucksack as he dashed onto the platform.
But where most other students would have used a bicycle for the mile-long journey from the city centre to the railway station, the Duke had a chauffeur-driven £80,000 Range Rover to ferry him through the rain.
Another vehicle from the royal garage would have been waiting to collect him when he arrived at Kings Cross station in London 53 minutes later.
From there he went to Kensington Palace to enjoy a private birthday dinner with Kate Middleton after their son Prince George had been put to bed.
Royal sources said the Duchess spent her birthday “quietly” at Kensington Palace looking after her son, who is now almost six months old.
The couple are not planning any major celebrations for the Duchess’s birthday, in keeping with their usual no-fuss approach to birthdays in previous years.
“The Duchess spent the day privately and the Duke was in Cambridge, so it was all very low key,” said a royal aide. “I’m not aware of them having any other plans to celebrate.”
The Duchess has not been seen in public since she attended church on Christmas Day with the royal party at Sandringham in Norfolk.
She is expected to carry out a small number of engagements during the Duke’s ten-week course at Cambridge, where he is studying agricultural management to help him prepare for his eventual role in charge of the Duchy of Cornwall.
Behind closed doors, however, the Duchess is spending her spare time preparing for the couple’s month-long tour of Australia and New Zealand in April.
She has never visited either country, and will need to make sure she is familiar with the various politicians and other officials she will meet at dinners, meetings and official engagements.
The couple’s staff will travel to the antipodes later this month to scout locations for the dozens of public engagements they will undertake while they are there.
The Duke and Duchess will take Prince George with them on the tour, just as the Duke accompanied his parents to the region as a baby in 1983, and are expected to ask the Duchess’s mother Carole Middleton to accompany them as their nanny.