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Posted at 9:25 AM ET, 03/ 8/2011

William and Kate visit Belfast

By Autumn Brewington

Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton, charmed crowds in Belfast Tuesday. Mixing with children and adults involved with a cancer charity, Kate even flipped a pancake in front of the crowd. It was their first official visit to Northern Ireland.

Palace officials did not announce the visit ahead of time for security reasons. William and Kate met local officials, including the mayor, at the city center as well as representatives from the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund. As the couple interacted with members of the public, the Telegraph reported, "[h]eavily-armed officers patrolled the streets and kept watch from nearby rooftops."

In recent weeks, the couple have made appearances in Wales and Scotland as well.

The visit was timed to Shrove Tuesday, the Associated Press noted, so the couple took turns flipping the traditional treat (pancakes) eaten that day. Officials from the charity provided the pancake and pan not knowing they would be meeting royalty, AP wrote.

Kate wore a double-breasted khaki trench coat with a ruffle at the hem, black tights and high heels. William wore a navy suit.

The Associated Press reported that an 11-year-old girl handed the royal bride-to-be flowers and said, "You're a very lucky lady. I'm so jealous!"

Kate's reply? "I am lucky. He's a very nice man and I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him."

Later, the couple had a private lunch and met with Britain's secretary of state for Northern Ireland. They visited Hillsborough Castle, the secretary's residence and the official residence of members of the royal family when visiting Northern Ireland. A palace statement about the visit noted that the couple strolled in the castle grounds and signed the guest book.

By Autumn Brewington  | March 8, 2011; 9:25 AM ET
Categories:  Travel  
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