ROYALS ON ICE: DUCHESS BULLIES OFF
JOLLY HOCKEY: The Duchess of Cambridge hits a hockey ball as she and the Duke meet a group of bandy hockey players in Stockholm on the first day of their visit to Sweden.
THE TEMPERATURES may have been sub-zero, but there was no denying the warmth of the welcome when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began their Scandinavian tour yesterday.
Dressed in fashionable bobble hats and winter coats, the couple were in Sweden yesterday at the start of the four-day tour which is thought to have been originally been planned for late last year, but was moved after Kate became pregnant and again suffered severe morning sickness.
They renewed their friendly rivalry on the first day of the Nordic tour when they joined a group of Swedish youngsters playing a game of bandy hockey.
Bandy has a huge following in Sweden and has similarities to both hockey and football as a small ball instead of a puck is used, and teams of 11 play on ice rinks and use curved sticks.
But despite Kate being an accomplished hockey player, who was a member of both her school and university teams, William triumphed in a penalty shoot-out, smashing in two goals to his wife’s one.
The Royal couple had started their day with a hot drink from a flask carried in a case, known as a bandy portfolj or bandy briefcase, to keep out the subzero temperatures at the snowy Stockholm park where the match was staged. The duke and duchess, who wore a Burberry coat, sweater by Swedish designer Fjallraven and is about six months pregnant, drank an alcohol-free version of the tipple known as Glogg, usually mulled wine or coffee laced with alcohol.
After their introduction to the sport, they headed to the Royal palace for a lunch hosted by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia – and 15 other members of the Royal court, including Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel.
William and Kate, who will move on to Norway tomorrow for a two-day visit, are making their first official trips to the Nordic countries.
POPULAR: Crowds take photos of the Duchess of Cambridge as she walks from the Royal Palace of Stockholm to the Nobel Museum.
CHALLENGE: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet bandy hockey players at Vasaparken in Stockholm.