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Kate and William greeted by hundreds as they get back to business amid 'Megxit'
15 January 2020, 14:32
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made their first joint appearance after a crucial summit to decide the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The pair arrived in Bradford on Wednesday to cheers from several hundred well-wishers on Centenary Square.
They began their visit in West Yorkshire at the City Hall, where they met with students and local employers helping youngsters to get jobs in the community.
After speaking with young people about their career prospects, the duke took the opportunity to speak with local business leaders about Aston Villa FC, a team which he is known to follow.
During a discussion with David Baldwin, chief executive of Burnley Football Club, William discussed injured Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
The duke said: "Poor Tom, it's a horrible injury."
He agreed that new signing Danny Drinkwater needs "more game time", before looking round and joking: "I realise we're going to start talking about football (now)."
William raised concerns about the end-of-season prospects for Villa at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, when he awarded an MBE to David Gill, former vice-chairman of the FA.
The couple are due to visit a number of projects that promote cohesion within one of the UK's most diverse cities.
It comes just days after the Queen agreed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could step back as senior royals and begin a "new life" as an "independent" family.
Following a summit at Sandringham on Monday, Buckingham Palace confirmed Harry and Meghan would begin a "transition period" in which they would split their time between the UK and Canada.
The summit convened by the monarch, which brought together Harry, William and the Prince of Wales, was not attended by Meghan, who is in Canada with baby son Archie.
It also emerged on Tuesday that Meghan's father could give evidence against her in her legal battle with The Mail On Sunday, should it go to trial.
High Court documents revealed Thomas Markle forms part of the newspaper's defence, after The Mail On Sunday and its parent company Associated Newspapers were accused of unlawfully publishing a letter between the two.
The visit to Bradford is William and Kate's first official royal engagement of the decade.
The couple, parents to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, were last spotted in public together attending a church service on the Queen's private estate in Norfolk on January 5.
Kate, who celebrated her 38th birthday last week, wore a long, military style khaki coat by British designer Alexander McQueen.
Underneath the coat, Kate wore a black and white tartan pattern pussybow dress from high street retailer Zara, which she paired with black pointed court style heels, a small black bag and gold drop earrings by Zeen.
The Pakistani jewellery designer was favoured by the duchess during their royal visit to Pakistan in October.
Hundreds of well-wishers who turned out to catch a glimpse of the royal couple erupted into cheers as the duke and duchess left the 19th-century building.
Kate, who spoke to children waving Union Flags as they left, smiled as one little girl presented her with a small bouquet of flowers.
Following the engagement at City Hall, the duke and duchess visited MyLahore's flagship restaurant, where they met students from Bradford College taking part in an apprenticeship scheme.
The royal couple made mango and kulfi milkshakes in the kitchen, under the guidance of operations director Ishfaq Farooq.
The duke and duchess chose ice cream to add to their drinks and mixed them using blenders.
William called his milkshake "delicious" as he took a sip, before asking staff about the origin of ingredients used.
The couple were greeted by restaurant CEO Asghar Ali and managing director Shakoor Ahmed.
They are expected to hear about some of the charitable work that the restaurant does to support the community.=
William and Kate's first stop in the restaurant was in the kitchen, where they met students from Bradford College taking part in an apprenticeship scheme.
They then went on to make mango and kulfi milkshakes under the guidance of operations director Ishfaq Farooq.
MyLahore is a British Asian restaurant that takes its inspiration from Lahore, which is known as the food capital of Pakistan.
Boxer Amir Khan, a friend of the family who own MyLahore, met the duke and duchess during their visit to the restaurant.
He said he spoke to William about his boxing foundation and mental health in sport.
Asked about Harry and Meghan, Khan said he felt for the family and thought they needed to sit down together to resolve the issues.
He said he had never personally experienced any racism in the UK.
He said: "I'm British, I've lived in Britain all my life.
"I feel that Meghan will also be welcomed because the people in Britain are very loving."
The royal couple later arrived at the Bradford Khidmat Centre, which is devoted to helping vulnerable members of society from minority ethnic backgrounds.
They were greeted by a crowd of cheering well-wishers and a drummer.
After hearing about the community hub's work, they will join in a session involving groups supported by Better Start Bradford, which delivers projects to pregnant women and families with children under the age of four.
They will then meet families from the Older Yet Wiser project, which supports grandparents with child-caring responsibilities.
As they walked in, the royals were shown a huge cake which tells the story of both of their lives to date through edible pictures.
When she saw the cake, baked by Bradford baker Siama Ali, Kate said it was "really clever", adding: "That's incredible."
William joked: "Mary Berry would be impressed."
Kate then met some ladies who were midway through crocheting, who showed her hearts and little blankets they had made for her three children.
The duchess told them: "I tried knitting when I first had George. I tried to knit him a very special jumper, but I got half way down and it splattered."
She added: "It's such an amazing skill."