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Prince William and Kate Middleton reminisce in St Andrews - best photos

The couple first met at the University 20 years ago

cambridges visit st andrews
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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william kate beach st andrews© Photo: Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took a trip down memory lane on Wednesday as they visited St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, where they first met 20 years ago.

Prince William and Kate, who celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary in April, enrolled on the same art history course at the University of St Andrews in 2001. The Prince later switched to Geography, but their friendship blossomed into romance while they were living together in their second year.  

The couple last visited the University in February 2011, in the lead-up to their royal wedding.

READ: 10 best photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton from their dating years

WATCH: William and Kate race each other on land yachts in St Andrews

kate land yachting st andrews© Photo: Rex

For their first engagement of the day, Prince William and Kate joined Fife Young Carers for a land yachting session on the beach. 

Fife Young Carers helps young carers in the local community maintain their physical and mental wellbeing through a range of outdoor activities, workshops, and residential trips.

A young carer is defined as a child or young person whose life has been affected by looking after a family member with a physical disability, illness addiction or mental health issues.

In 2019, 6,785 young people in Fife identified themselves as young carers, equating to approximately one in eight young people in Fife having a caring role at some point in their life.

Currently the charity, which has operated since 1995, supports 597 young people, with the figure rising monthly. 

MORE: 17 photos of Prince William and Kate living their best life at university

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william kate land yachting© Photo: Rex

The couple, who are notoriously competitive, raced each other in the wind-powered buggies on the West Sands beach.

It was William who proved the winner as he and wife Kate went head-to-head. 

The session, arranged by Fife Young Carers, was hosted by a local company, Blown Away, the only commercial land yachting firm in Scotland.

Always so competitive, he had been determined to get his technique right to ensure maximum speed. 

"I want to go faster. I need to make sure I’ve got the right angle," he told twins Jamie and Guy McKenzie, who run the business.

"Wahoo!" he yelled as he pulled away from Kate. 

"I'm catching you!" she shouted, laughing.

kate middleton laughing land yachting© Photo: Getty Images

At one point, the wheels of Kate's land yacht lifted off the ground in the wind! 

And at the end of the session, William said: "That was great fun, I loved that I got a wheel off. That was awesome."

kate william pda st andews© Photo: Rex

This sweet moment was captured between the couple, as William tenderly put his arm around his wife. 

kate outfit land yachting st andrews© Photo: Rex

The Duchess was dressed casually in her Barbour Longshore quilted jacket over a new pink and white knit from Scottish label, Campell's of Beaulywhich she teamed with blue jeans and ankle boots. 

The Duke also donned blue jeans with a khaki jacket and a navy jumper. 

MORE: Kate Middleton wows in skinny jeans for romantic trip to St Andrews

william kate speak with fife young carers© Photo: Getty Images

The couple spent the night before their visit in St Andrews, but they appeared to have forgotten how brisk the late spring nights can be on the east coast of Scotland.

"I opened the window last night and it was so cold," Kate told the young carers as they chatted on the beach. 

She and William talked to the six teenagers, aged between 13 and 18, about their lives caring for sick parents or siblings and how they balance their responsibilities with school work and trying to do ordinary things that teenagers do.

The Duchess asked if their friends at school realised the challenges they face. "Is it hard for them to relate to what you are doing?" she asked. "Do you think people in general are understanding?"

As they talked about their lives, she asked: "Do you find it hard to find time for yourselves and do things?"

William praised them for the care they gave their loved ones. "You guys do really well," he told them. "You should be very proud of yourselves, guys."

william kate st andrews university umbrella© Photo: Getty Images

Back to where it all started! The Duke and Duchess then visited the University of St Andrews, where they met as first-year students in 2001. 

The night before their visit, the couple were spotted leaving Forgan's restaurant in the town after enjoying a romantic meal. 

MORE: Kate Middleton's off-duty look revealed on secret date night with William in St Andrews

william kate arrival st andrews uni© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess swapped her casual wear for a striped jumper underneath a £549 double-breasted blazer from Holland Cooper. She teamed her look with skinny jeans and new trainers. 

MORE: Kate Middleton changes into Breton top and Veja trainers for return to university

kate smiles at william st andrews university© Photo: Getty Images

On St Salvator's Lawn, The Duke and Duchess joined Geography and History of Art students contributing to the 'Can Do' scheme, a joint initiative between the University and the St Andrews Students' Association, to discuss their experiences of the pandemic. 

william kate meet st andrews students© Photo: Getty Images

The couple also helped to finish painting socially distanced hearts on the university's St Salvator’s Lawn, introduced by the Can Do scheme to encourage students to spend more time safely outdoors in small groups.

william kate plant trees st andrews uni© Photo: Getty Images

During their visit, William and Kate planted the first tree for the St Andrews Forest, one of the key initiatives in the University's action plan to become carbon neutral by 2035. 

william kate meet children fife© Photo: Getty Images

After visiting their former university, William and Kate met with local fishermen from the Pittenweem Fishermen's Mutual Association and their families to hear about the fishing industry in Fife, and the impact of the last year on fishing communities on the East Coast of Scotland. 

The Duke and Duchess spent some time talking to a group of school children, who gave the couple a special card. 

The three and four-year-olds proudly handed over the gift, which read: "Hope you enjoy your visit."

kate receives flowers fife© Photo: Getty Images

Kate also received a huge bouquet of flowers from eight-year-old Sam Scott from Pittenweem.

Sam was joined by brother Sean, 15, mum Pauline and dad Richard, who is vice president of the Fishermen's Mutual Association (Pittenweem). 

Richard, who catches around 180 lobsters a day in a one-man operation, said it had been a challenging year.

"The restaurants here were all closed but luckily Europe still wanted our seafood so we were only stopped for about a month," he said.

"Others were stopped for longer so it was very difficult."

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