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Prince William and Kate Middleton forced to make last-minute change to regatta

The King's Cup will take part in Cowes on the Isle of Wight

Sharnaz Shahid

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have had to make a change to this week's King's Cup yachting regatta. The event will now be staged a day earlier than planned because of forecast bad weather, Kensington Palace has said. The royal couple will take part in the event off the Isle of Wight on Thursday and not Friday as originally scheduled, with arrangements for the public viewing the spectacle remaining the same.

Prince William and Kate will each skipper a boat on Thursday

The news comes shortly after the palace announced Prince William and Kate will each skipper their own yacht and will be joined on the water by the six celebrity captains as the eight vessels compete for the historic King's Cup. William will lead his team on behalf of his patronage Child Bereavement UK while Kate will compete for the Royal Foundation.

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The couple will be joined by Olympic champion rower Helen Glover who will represent the Anna Freud Centre, stand-up comedian John Bishop for Action on Addiction, BBC presenter Katie Thistleton for Place2Be, England women's footballer Fara Williams for Centrepoint, television presenter Dan Snow for London's Air Ambulance Charity and adventurer Bear Grylls for wildlife conservation organisation Tusk.

Both William and Kate are accomplished sailors

The winning team will be awarded the King's Cup, a trophy first presented by King George V at Cowes' Royal Yacht Squadron in 1920. William and Kate hope the King's Cup regatta will become an annual event, bringing greater awareness to the benefits of sport, while also raising support and funds for their causes. The event will also give the couple the chance to renew their sporting rivalry.

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Members of the public will be able to watch the regatta from 2pm for free at the SailGP Race Village, which features a 500-seater grandstand. Footage from the race will play on large screens with live commentary, and there will be a number of activities for families to enjoy along the waterfront. Fans can also watch the prize-giving ceremony in the early afternoon at the SailGP Race Village along Cowes seafront towards Egypt Point.

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