Kate was met by excited pupils and greeted by staff.
Kate attended the school from 1986 to 1995. The Duchess met the girls hockey team which no doubt brought back childhood memories of her own, as Kate played on the school hockey team during her time at the school and enjoyed a quick game with the pupils (in heels) Kate also opened a new Astroturf pitch. The pitch was created by artificial turf specialists McArdle Sport-Tec.
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St Andrew's is an independent preparatory school and was founded in 1934 as a boarding school for boys. In 1971 it first admitted girls, going on to become fully co-educational. Just a few minutes from Pangbourne, it is a rural school which offers a safe haven where children can be children. St Andrew's offers an all-round education which includes sport, art, music, drama and activities. The school's main building is a listed Victorian Gothic country house called 'Buckhold' designed by Alfred Waterhouse and set in fifty-four acres of woodland and playing fields.
Here's a rather interesting story you may not have heard. Kate first laid eyes on William as a ten-year-old pupil at St Andrew's when William was part of a Ludgrove School Hockey team that came to play a match there. According to The Telegraph story "all the girls, Kate included, were desperate to catch a glimpse of him and afterwards at match tea they were all trying to speak to him and shake his hand". Fascinating to think their paths crossed at such a young age and almost twenty years later they were married.
One of Kate's annual class photos at St Andrew's.
Speaking about her time at St Andrew's Kate said
'It is such a treat to be back here at St Andrew's. I absolutely loved my team here. They were some of the happiest years, which makes it so incredibly special to be here today. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that when I had to leave I told my mother that I was going to come back to be a teacher. While that didn't quite happen, I was thrilled to have been asked back today on St. Andrew's Day'.
Kate went on to discuss her love of sport:
'It was while I was here at school I realised my love of sport. Sport has been a huge part of my life, and I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities I had to get outside and play in such wonderful open spaces - thought sadly there was nothing quite as glamorous as this in my time'.
Kate and Pippa's nicknames were also revealed during the course of the visit :)
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St Andrew's Day is celebrated on November 30. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and St. Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day. Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Romania and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. St Andrew's prep school traditionally observes a day of activities and festivities to mark the occasion.
The McQ Alexander McQueen Tartan Wool Dress features an incredibly similar print. The navy and forest dress is described as a cool blend of classic and contemporary. The dress has a dropped waist and pleated skirt. It is available for €650.
The print is also similar to Cambridge tartan.
|The Scottish Register of Tartans|
Kate teamed her coatdress with her $698 Aquatalia Rhumba Boots.
Kate accessorised with her black suede clutch and her sapphire and diamond earrings.
I thought the McQueen piece a lovely choice. The tartan was very appropriate for the nature of the engagement. Kate appeared to have a lovely time especially whilst playing hockey. She clearly loves sports and has many fond memories at St Andrew's.