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Prince Charles, William and Kate: A rare royal trio

05 APRIL 2013

Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Charles arrived to the rousing sound of quintessential bagpipes and drums at Dumfries House in Scotland on Friday. It is the first time that the trio have appeared at a royal engagement together without the Duchess of Cornwall.

Kate wrapped her growing baby bump from the unseasonably bitter chill in a red angora wool coat by Armani. The duchess, famous for 'recycling' her outfits, wore the same luxurious coat for William's passing out ceremony at Sandhurst in December 2006.

 



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The formidable fashionista continued Thursday's tartan wardrobe theme by wearing a Strathearn tartan scarf, a nod to her Scottish title, the Countess of Strathearn. She teamed the colourful accessory with her trademark black opaque tights, her beloved Cornelia James bow gloves, long suede boots and a matching clutch bag.

After touching down in the grounds of the stately home in a helicopter they spent time meeting members of Youth United.

William, the Earl of Strathearn, stopped to speak to two little girls who had a teddy bear to give to Kate.

After being spurned by a four-year-old in Glasgow on Thursday, it's unsurprising that he didn't offer the girls a kiss, but he did tell the young admirers, "she'll be along shortly, you can give it to her then, she'll love it." 

Kate made sure to meet and greet as many of the youngsters as possible. As she hurried ahead to catch William and his father up, her husband affectionately put his hand on her back and asked if she was okay.

The Prince of Wales made a speech to the gathered crowds and his son roused some laughter when he asked Charles to "keep it brief" because of the cold. 



The royals are there to open the Tamar Manoukian Outdoor Centre which is situated in the 2000-acre grounds of the imposing mansion that Charles famously "saved for the nation" in 2007.

Despite mootings of William trying out the rope swing, he didn't get a chance and Kate, who is nearly six months pregnant, took things easy.

While in Glasgow on Thursday, Kate revealed that her baby was due "around mid-July" — a more precise hint than the official announcement from St James' Palace.

The party were welcomed by around 500 representatives of Youth United, an umbrella organisation for youth groups set up by the Prince of Wales in 2009.

Around 400 youngsters and 100 volunteers from the Scouts, Boys' Brigade, Girls' Brigade, Police Service, Fire Service, RNLI, Sea Cadets, Air Cadets and Army Cadets across Ayrshire were expected to demonstrate their skills to the visitors.

Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, was also due to open an on-site training kitchen and restaurant.

 



The Duke of Cornwall famously made a donation of £20m and helped raise funds of £25m to keep Dumfries House near Cumnock open to the public in 2007 when it was at serious risk of closing down.

The Palladian mansion became known worldwide as an architectural 'Sleeping Beauty' reawakened from its slumber by Charles, who saved the property, its contents and the estate from ruin.

Their visit was marked by a fly-past of three Typhoons from RAF Leuchars, a base close to St Andrews University, where William and Kate first met as students.

They both graduated in 2005 with a 2:1. William has a degree in geography while Kate graduated in history of art.

On their way home, the royal couple stopped off in the Lake District to learn about the new Astute Class of nuclear-powered submarines being built for the Royal Navy by BAE Systems.

The shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria is one of the only ones in the world which is capable of designing and building nuclear submarines.