William And Kate Heading For Home

Prince William's first royal visit to Northern Ireland has ended after a full programme of engagements as part of preparations for The Queen's grandson's wedding on 29 April.

Along with his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton, Prince William arrived in Northern Ireland this morning for a one-day visit and this afternoon the couple toured the Agricultural College at Greenmount, near Antrim.

They were getting a taste of rural life on a tour of the campus with Prince William judging a cattle competition, a tug o' war competition and even putting in fence posts.

Fiancée Kate was meanwhile making her way through the flower garden at the extensive estate at the same time.

Earlier, Prince William arrived at his grandmother's official NI residence when he visited Hillsborough Castle on what was the third engagement of the visit.

There, the couple had a private meeting with Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and His Royal Highness and Miss Middleton also had the opportunity to enjoy a private lunch at the Co Down castle.

It is both the base for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family when they visit Northern Ireland.
News Image
The royal visitors then had some time to stroll in the ornate grounds and added their names to the historical Hillsborough Castle Visitors' book as they departed for their next engagement.

Earlier, they visited the headquarters of Youth Action NI in Belfast - an organisation that offers volunteering opportunities, performing arts, apprenticeships, mentoring, accredited training and leadership opportunities to young people living in disadvantaged areas.

There, they watched a performance by Youth Action's Rainbow Factory School of Performing Arts and met the young actors.

Their first appointment, at 10.30am, saw the couple at Belfast City Hall to be met by Lord Mayor Pat Convery and Dame Mary Peters, in her role as the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, as their series of engagements got underway.

In the grounds of City Hall, the royal couple also met representatives from the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children who were hosting a Shrove Tuesday fund-raising event to benefit local children and their families.

Smiling Kate Middleton even tossed a pancake for Shrove Tuesday as onlookers cheered and wished her well for her wedding day next month.

Miss Middleton, 29, was handed a frying pan by Prince William after he had tossed some pancakes himself and told to "have a go" in front of children fundraising on Shrove Tuesday.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 June 2005
The 2005 Birthday Honours List for Northern Ireland
The full list of recipients of honours in the 2005 Birthday Honours list for Northern Ireland is as follows: Knighthood: Mr Hugh Orde OBE, Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland - for services to Northern Ireland. CBE: Mr Robert David Stewart Campbell, Belfast - For Political and public service.
04 March 2009
Duke Of Edinburgh Celebrates Hilton Birthday
The Duke of Edinburgh, on the second engagement of a one-day visit to Northern Ireland, was this afternoon the guest of honour at a lunch at the Hilton Hotel in Belfast. The event was for Friends of The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, as well as to mark the 10th anniversary of the Belfast Hilton.
12 December 2012
Chilean Health Delegates Visit Northern ireland
Health Minister Edwin Poots has welcomed delegates from the Chilean Health Industry to Northern Ireland. The delegates are currently on a familiarisation trip across Europe. Mr Poots welcomed them to a Connected Health Ecosystem event in the University of Ulster at Jordanstown. The delegates are interested in chronic conditions management.
01 August 2012
PM Hails UK Gold Medal While On Olympics Visit To Northern Ireland
Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed Team GB's first gold medal win while on a one-day visit to Northern Ireland. He said the medal, won by rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, was "fantastic" news for the UK. Mr Cameron said the Games had been a "huge success on every level" and showed what the UK is capable of, even in difficult times.
31 May 2012
Queen To Visit Northern Ireland Next Month
The Queen is set to visit Northern Ireland during her Diamond Jubilee tour. She and the Duke of Edinburgh will visit Enniskillen and Belfast on June 26 and 27 in the tour of the UK, which marks 60 years since she ascended to the throne.