Duchess in the driving seat! Windswept Kate battles the elements in Birmingham with William before navigating some rocky terrain during their tour of the Land Rover centre
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have landed in Birmingham to kick off a busy day of engagements
Couple, who are expecting their third child in April, travelled up from Kensington Palace this morning
They will begin their Midlands tour with a visit to Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull Manufacturing Plant
Avid Villa fan William is also due to drop in on team’s ground to learn about the Coach Core programme
Four-months-pregnant Kate impressed onlookers by navigating extremely rocky terrain in a Land Rover
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tried their hand at off-road driving in Birmingham today on the first leg of their whistle-stop West Midlands tour.
Kate and William, who travelled up from their Kensington Palace home on Wednesday morning, began their day at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull manufacturing plant, where Kate impressed onlookers by navigating some seriously tricky terrain.
The Duchess dressed her burgeoning bump in a recycled £680 coat from Goat, adding knee-high Russell & Bromley boots. She was first spotted in the stylish monochrome number during a 2014 trip to New York while she was pregnant with Princess Charlotte.
The couple, who are expecting their third child in April, were given an overview of JLR and the Solihull site before heading to the vehicle assembly area to view the assembly line and hear about the manufacturing process, meeting staff and apprentices.
They then visited the Jaguar Land Rover Experience Centre where they met with Mountain and Cave Rescue volunteers participating in a vehicle familiarisation exercise.
Kate, who recently overcame a bout of severe morning sickness, also had the opportunity to drive a vehicle in the off-road driving area – and wowed staff with her driving skills.
The Duchess is believed to have had an extra panel added to the black and white crêpe coat dress during her second pregnancy in a bid to preserve her modesty.
As reported by the Daily Mail’s Rebecca English, while the hem still falls above the knee, it is significantly longer than the thigh-skimming original design.
Today, Kate donned a cosy polo neck jumper underneath the collarless coat to keep warm, and accessorised with a small box clutch, £2,200 Kiki McDonough 18ct Yellow Gold and pave Diamond leaf motif drop earrings, and a pair of suede £325 Russell & Bromley Mid Heel Riding Boots.
The plant sits on a 480 acre site and creates 8,000 cars a week, while its production line is in operation 24 hours day and employs over 10,000 people.
Afterwards, they will meet some of JLR’s volunteers, who support projects focusing on regeneration, education, young people, charity work and the environment.
They are also due to meet schoolchildren from Topcliffe Primary School, Castle Vale – winners of the Jaguar Primary School Challenge and will see their wining model car race on a track.
The couple, both aged 35, later travelled to Aston Villa Football Club to see the work of the Coach Core programme taking place in Birmingham.
Kate slipped out of her coat dress and into something a little more practical, swapping the formal monochrome number for a casual red puffer jacket from Perfect Moment – another old favourite for the Duchess.
At Villa Park, the couple met with a group of employers to discuss the positive impact of Coach Core and hear about the progression of the apprentices.
William, an avid Villa fan, was doubt excited to join a training session underway on the pitch, with Coach Core apprentices and tutors working with local schoolchildren.
The scheme works with Sport Birmingham to give young people between the ages of 16-24 living in the city the chance to become the next generation of inspirational coaches and to give them the opportunity to succeed in employment.
Finally, the couple will visit Acme Whistles, the creator of the first police whistle and the original Acme Thunderer.
Established in 1870, this family-owned business has developed and patented over 40 whistle designs during its 147 year history and currently exports to 119 countries worldwide.
Today, their modern whistles are used in major sporting events globally and by police forces, including the Metropolitan Police.
During the visit, the Duke and Duchess will hear about the history of the company and see past and present products. They will then tour the workshop seeing the production process, including the presswork, plating, moulding, welding and polishing of the 115,000 whistles which are made and tested every week.
Finally, The Duke and Duchess will join members of staff and apprentices at a short reception before unveiling a plaque to mark their visit.
Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE
Tags: Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess, Duchess Kate, Royals, Visit