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Prince William and Kate Middleton's first joint engagement for autumn revealed

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be joined by a special guest

Danielle Stacey

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will carry out their first joint engagement this autumn, with a visit to Birkenhead. William and Kate, both 37, will officially name the UK’s new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough on Thursday 26 September. The couple will be joined by Sir David Attenborough, who will deliver a speech alongside William, while Kate will formally name the ship as a bottle of champagne is smashed against the hull. 

Owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the RRS Sir David Attenborough will enable world-leading research to be carried out in Antarctica and the Arctic over the next 25 to 30 years. 

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While touring the ship, William and Kate will meet with engineers from Cammell Laird, who have been involved in the build, as well as schoolchildren involved in BAS's ‘Polar Explorer’ programme, which encourages and supports schools to enrich their teaching of STEM subjects by educating pupils about polar science and the ship’s future expeditions. 

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William interviewed Sir David in Davos

It’s not the first time the Duke has meet Sir David Attenborough – William interviewed the broadcaster about his life’s work and the state of the natural world, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in January. He also attended the premiere of Sir David's Netflix series 'Our Planet,' alongside his father Prince Charles and brother Prince Harry in April. 

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated a milestone moment with their daughter Princess Charlotte, four, as she joined her big brother Prince George, six, at Thomas's Battersea school in west London earlier this month. 

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William and Kate dropped Princess Charlotte off for her first day of school

William and Kate's last joint engagement saw them go head-to-head at the King's Cup regatta on the Isle of Wight in August, to raise awareness and funds for eight of their patronages. 

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