Prince William and Kate in high spirits despite cancelled sailing engagement

Prince William and Kate stepped out in matching personalised fleeces for what should have been a fun sailing day out, but because of bad weather, part of their engagement had to be cancelled. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were attending the America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth, where they were due to watch six sailing teams from around the world battle it out in two races.

Unfortunately for the couple, the heavy wind and rain meant that Sunday's races had to be postponed to a future, unknown date. William and Kate were scheduled to watch one race from land and one from the sea.

They had travelled to the coast to cheer on Britain's Land Rover BAR, led by Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie.


The Duchess of Cambridge looked in high spirits, despite the damp weather in Portsmouth

The spotlight may have been focused on the skippers and their crews, but it was hard not to notice the royal couple, both 33, make their entrance.

Kate was dressed sensibly for the wet and windy day by the coast, wearing jeans, her favourite Breton-style top by British brand ME+EM, and a fleece emblazoned with the BAR logo and her title "The Duchess of Cambridge" on the back. Completing the casual look were a pair of Sebago slip-on shoes - which the pretty debuted in June, on an outing to the polo with Prince George.

Royal watchers are used to seeing the mum-of-two dressed to the nines, but Kate still managed to look her effortlessly glamorous self in her laid-back, nautical outfit and high ponytail.

Kate and Prince William matched in personalised BAR sailing fleeces

The Duchess, who crewed a yacht on a round-the-world trip during her gap year, matched her husband William, who donned casual jeans and the same BAR fleece with his full title also printed on the back.

In spite of the bad weather, William and Kate remained in high spirits as they carried out their engagement indoors.

Kate was making the visit in her capacity as royal patron of the 1851 Trust, and was due to present medals to the victorious teams at the Waterfront Festival Arena, with help from William. The trust aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry.

The 33-year-old royal was scheduled to watch two races at the America's Cup World Series

The royals had the chance to tour the team technical areas at the Royal Navy Base, and met sailors competing from France, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, Britain and the US. They also stopped by the new BAR team base to see the state of the art facilities, meet staff and families and learn about BAR's investment in developing maritime and design skills.

Kate, who is mum to Prince George and Princess Charlotte, showed her maternal side as she entertained some of the youngsters and comforted one little crying girl in particular.

Kate was pictured trying to comfort a crying girl

The Duchess was also given a few gifts from the families, including matching fleeces for her children from sisters Ella and Millie Morgan, whose mother is JO Grindley, the BAR team's commercial director.

"She said they were very nice, she said 'I'm sure they will fit perfectly'," Ella told reporters, while Millie added that the Duchess said the tops were "cute".

William was also spotted receiving a wooden toy boat from another well-wisher.

The doting mum was given matching fleeces for her children Prince George and Princess Charlotte

After making the difficult decision to cancel the day's races, event organisers released a statement that read: "We had hoped to go ahead with early racing, but with winds gusting in excess of 30mph we could not risk the safety of the crews and public, and their welfare is paramount.

"Due to high winds the Waterfront Festival Arena and Fanzone Arena is now closed, and we ask public to leave the event site."

Kate has been sailing since she was a little girl and crewed a yacht during her gap year

Sir Ben added: "The English summer, you just can't count on it. Yesterday was the most amazing day of my sailing career. There were so many people out, everyone had a fantastic time. Today was a shame but we will get that sorted out and book the weather in for next year."

Kate has supported the Olympian at previous sailing engagements. She was there when the athlete pledged to lead a British team to victory in the 35th America's Cup and "bring the cup" home.

The Duchess has been an avid sailor since her childhood and on last year's royal tour to New Zealand, she and William took to the waters to take part in a race around Auckland Harbour. Competing on separate teams, Kate, who was tipped to win, beat her husband, showing off a good dose of "healthy competition".