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Prince William and Kate Middleton toast marshmallows at Cardiff Castle as they continue royal train tour - best photos

The Cambridges are spreading festive cheer across the UK

cambridges cardiff© Photo: Getty Images
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: December 8, 2020
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on the final day of their royal train tour, after visiting Edinburgh, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Batley and Manchester on Monday.

Prince William and Kate arrived at Cardiff Castle for their first port of call on Tuesday, where they met local university  students and heard about some of the challenges they have experienced during the pandemic, with a particular focus on mental health.

The couple are spreading festive cheer throughout the UK, meeting frontline workers, carers, teachers and young people, as they thank the public for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Highlights from Monday's stop-offs included the Duke and Duchess surprising primary school children with a visit from some reindeer, and Kate got to meet Len Gardner – an 85-year-old carer she has been chatting with on the phone after secretly volunteering through the NHS Volunteer Responder Check In And Chat scheme.

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WATCH: William and Kate surprise students at Cardiff Castle on royal train tour

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Kate looked festive in a familiar red Alexander McQueen coat with a tartan scarf and her Grace Han bag. 

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MORE: Kate Middleton makes unexpected style change during festive train tour

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The visit coincided with Christmas at the Castle – a festival of Christmas activities staged at the tourist attraction throughout December.

During one sweet moment, William put his arm around his wife as they browsed some of the Christmas stalls. 

MORE: Kate Middleton makes spelling mistake in heartfelt message but fans are shocked over Prince William detail

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The couple couldn't resist toasting their own marshmallows!

Touching one of the sticky sweet treats with her gloved hand, Kate laughed and said: "I'm going to have that marshmallow on my fingers all day."

She said she ordered large marshmallows for George, Charlotte and Louis for their bonfire night celebrations because small ones normally slip off onto the fire.

"I ordered them for the children. There was a bit of a sugar rush," she added.

MORE: Who is looking after Prince William and Kate's children during royal tour?

cambridges students cardiff castle© Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate admitted they were still struggling over their plans for Christmas as they spoke with a group of students.

The couple told students in Cardiff that they did not know who to spend the festive season with.

William said: "It is so difficult. We are still trying to make plans. It's difficult to know what to do for the best."

Lily Faulkner, a 21-year-old second-year politics and international studies student at Cardiff University, said afterwards: "They were trying like the rest of us to make Christmas plans with their family and still werent 100 percent sure of what they were going to do or where they were going to be."

cambridges secret santa© Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate heard how the students have been supported with their mental health by their universities and student unions during this challenging year. 

The couple then joined a group as they unwrapped their 'Secret Santa' gifts to one another. There was a £5 to £10 budget and William and Kate looked pretty pleased with their gifts! 

They all eagerly tore off the wrapping paper from their gifts and Kate had the group in giggles when it emerged that she had given Gwennan Lewis, 20, from Newport, a £10 'Prosecco Pong' game.

Meanwhile, William bought Dewi Morgan, 19, who is in his second year of studying sport and exercise science at Cardiff Metropolitan, a finger flick table football game. 

The Duchess cooed over a traditional Welsh Love Spoon that she had been bought, while William laughed at his Guinness beer mat flipping game.

"I think this says a lot about me," he laughed. 

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We love how Kate has matched her Emilia Wickstead midi skirt to her tartan scarf! The Duchess first wore the piece to a Christmas party she and William hosted at Kensington Palace in 2018.

MORE: Kate Middleton surprises in recycled Christmas outfit for new royal appearance

cambridges bath station© Photo: PA

As they arrived at their next stop in Bath, the Duke and Duchess took time to meet and chat with Jasmine Warner, five, centre, whose brother Otto, eight, left, has today come out of cancer treatment and was by chance hoping to meet the royal couple with his family, including sister Poppy, ten, right, and mum Georgie. 

cambridges cleve court care home© Photo: Getty Images

In Bath, the couple visited Cleeve Court Care Home in Twerton. 

During the visit, choristers from Bath Abbey Choir performed Christmas songs for the home's residents. 

Choir Master Huw Williams stepped in after learning that Cleeve Court's residents were not be able to make their usual visit to the carol service at Bath Abbey this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The visit took place outside the care home as William and Kate chatted staff to hear about their experiences of providing care and helping residents to stay connected to their loved ones throughout the pandemic and lockdown.

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The Duke and Duchess also met a small number of residents.

Tricia Davis, of Bath & North East Somerset Council which runs the home, said: "We are absolutely delighted by the visit which means 2020 can end on a positive note.

"This visit is very important and means so much to the staff and the residents.

"We have been fortunate not to have had an outbreak of Covid-19 here, but we know the threat has been very real."

Cleeve Court is a 46-bed care home that provides care and health services in a safe environment for older adults with dementia. 

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After travelling to Cardiff and Bath earlier in the day, William and Kate's third stop was Reading to meet nurses at the Royal Berkshire Hospital – which just so happened to be the hospital the Duchess was born at on 9 January 1982.

Graham Sims, chairman of Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, quipped to Kate: "Welcome back," as she arrived.

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