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Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Orkney for the first time on Scotland tour - best photos

The Cambridges are carrying out a week-long tour

cambridges visit orkney
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: 25 May 2021
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william kate orkney laugh© Photo: Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out their first official visit to Orkney on Tuesday as they continued their joint tour of Scotland.

Prince William and Kate's first port of call was to formally open the Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall, which opened its doors in 2019 and replaced the old hospital, which had served the community for 90 years.

During their second engagement at the European Marine Energy Centre, the Duchess also had a hilarious interaction with a group of school children. 

READ: Who is looking after Prince William and Kate's children while they're in Scotland?

After wowing in a royal blue outfit as she joined William in Edinburgh on Monday, the Duchess opted for a camel ensemble for her visit to Orkney, wearing a repeat Massimo Dutti coat with a gold metallic knitted top from Temperley London and wide-leg trousers. 

William, 38, began the week-long visit alone on Friday, in his role as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Also on their itinerary this week is the University of St Andrews. This was the place the royal couple met when they both studied art history (before William switched to Geography). Their friendship developed into romance while they were living together in their second year.

WATCH: William and Kate open new hospital in Orkney

kate william depart in helicopter© Photo: PA

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were spotted leaving the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh by helicopter earlier on Tuesday. 

MORE: Kate Middleton's sweet nod to Scottish title with chic high street outfit

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balfour hospital© Photo: PA

The new hospital has enabled the repatriation of many NHS services from the Scottish mainland, allowing Orkney's population to receive most of their healthcare at home.

The building's circular design is based on the 5000-year-old Neolithic settlement, Skara Brae, making it a unique reflection of the local landscape in which many historical sites are circles.

During the visit, William and Kate met a number of NHS staff to hear more about their experiences over the past year, before formally opening the hospital.

MORE: Kate Middleton stuns in angelic white outfit for surprise appearance

kate middleton outfit orkney© Photo: Getty Images

Kate accessorised with a scarf in Strathearn tartan - a nod to her Scottish title, the Countess of Strathearn.

She first wore the accessory back in 2013 when she visited Dumfries House with her husband and father-in-law, the Prince of Wales. 

kate middleton waves orkney© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess, wearing a face covering, waved at staff as she arrived at the hospital. 

william kate open orkney hospital© Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate unveiled a plaque to formally open the new hospital in Orkney. 

During their visit, the Duke praised trauma nurse Dr Tariro Gandiya, adding: "It must be reassuring to know we are all in this together."

Kate added: "Well done."

kate middleton changes outfit© Photo: Getty Images

Kate had a quick change of outfit before heading to her next engagement of the day. 

She sported a more casual look in her Seeland Woodcock Advanced Jacket, blue jeans and brown ankle boots. 

MORE: Kate Middleton stuns in skinny jeans and off-duty jacket after outfit change

kate middleton meets school children orkney© Photo: Getty Images

The Cambridges met a group of school children as they arrived at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. 

Kate had a hilarious exchange with one pupil, who asked her: "Are you the Prince?"

She sweetly replied: "I'm not the Prince, no, I'm the Duchess of Cambridge." 

READ MORE: Kate Middleton has the best reaction when child asks her if she's a 'Prince' – video

kate middleton boat orkney© Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate then took a boat trip out to sea to visit the world's largest tidal energy turbine, the 2MW 'O2'. 

EMEC is pioneering the development of a green hydrogen economy in Orkney, having set up a hydrogen production plant in 2016, next to the tidal energy substation.

kate middleton visits emec orkney© Photo: PA

The Duchess was given whisky by CEO Andy Scott to throw overboard to bless the Orbital Marine Power tidal energy turbine. 

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