The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Sunderland, where they will spend the day celebrating the city's vibrant arts scene and tour a new bridge. Prince William and Kate, who have just enjoyed a week off with their children, travelled up north for Wednesday's engagement. They began their visit at the Fire Station, one of Sunderland's most iconic buildings that has been converted into a music and arts hub.
The royals charmed locals as they took part in a short walkabout outside the building; fans had waited in the hope of catching a glimpse of William, 35, and heavily pregnant Kate, 36, who is expecting the couple's third child in April. The Duchess beat the chill in a Dolce & Gabbana coat.
Kate is expecting her third child in April
Once inside the Fire Station, the couple were treated to a colourful performance of music, dance and theatre from local children and young people. They made the visit official by opening the Fire Station before leaving.
The Duchess joined Prince William on a visit to Sunderland
Next, William and Kate travelled to the Northern Spire, where they were one of the first to walk across the striking new bridge, due to open this spring. The couple were told how the 1,550-tonne bridge – which is taller than Big Ben's clock tower and twice as high as Nelson's Column – will help improve links between the Port of Sunderland and the city centre. They met local children who will benefit from using the bridge, before crossing it themselves to meet the engineers and construction workers who helped build it.