William and Catherine Visit Belfast

  March 9, 2011 at 4:34 am by

A super-secret visit to Northern Ireland yesterday, March 8th, by Prince William and his fiancé, Catherine Middleton, was kept so hush-hush that organisers only confirmed the visit after the couple had arrived in Belfast. The couple were greeted by Belfast’s Lord Mayor, Pat Convery, and the Lord Lieutenant, Dame Mary Peters, as they disembarked their plane at an airport east of Belfast.

View the image at the Express

Prince William and Miss Middleton’s first stop was the Belfast City Hall, where they signed the official guest book – the Prince quipping his handwritting “has got to get better” – and received two gifts from the city, a framed photograph of the City Hall and a book on its history. Once outside the City Hall, the couple spoke with representatives of the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund before spontaneously taking part in some pancake-tossing – to go alongside the Fund’s Shrove Tuesday fundraiser.

From City Hall, the couple moved on to the Youth Action NI headquarters, where they watched a performance by the Rainbow Factory School of Performing Arts; before visiting Greenmount Agriculture College, where they toured the College’s stables. Prince William and Miss Middleton ended their visit with a trip to Hillsborough Castle, the official residence of the Secretary of State of Northern Ireland (and also of Queen Elizabeth II when she is in the area).

And earlier today, it was announced by Clarence House that Prince William will be heading to New Zealand and Australia later this month, between March 17th and 21st, to visit the regions affected by natural disasters earlier this year. He will undertake the visits on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

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