Kate was given a posy of flowers by three year old Lucy Bell.
The visit got off to a late start because Kate's helicopter was delayed by fog which led to eager fans suggesting Prince William should have come to the rescue (as all dashing princes do) and piloted the chopper :)
|Rebecca English Twitter|
Kate's first stop was a visit to the National Fishing Heritage Centre where the Duchess learned more about Grimsby's fishing heritage and discovered what life was like for trawlermen and their families in the 1950s as well as the difficulties the fishing industry now faces. The centre evokes the fishing markets in terms of sights, sounds and smells - one reporter said, "one or two interesting smells for her when she gets in there."
I thought the Fishing Heritage Centre an excellent choice for Kate's first engagement in Grimsby because fishing is so important for the Lincolnshire town in terms of heritage and livelihood. According to legend, Grimsby was actually founded by Grim, a Danish fisherman in the 9th century.
The Alexandra Docks and National Fishing Heritage Centre.
The Duchess, who is around twenty-one weeks pregnant, did a walkabout outside the centre and greeted crowds who were chanting "We want Kate, we want Kate".
The Duchess also made an unscheduled stop at St Andrew's Hospice where she met ten patients. One of the elderly patients said "I'm waiting for you to be Queen". Kate laughed and said "You might be waiting a long time!".
The crowd also asked Kate is the baby is kicking to which she replied "I can feel it kick".
|Paul Harrison Twitter|
Kate enjoyed talking with the locals and looked delighted to receive cards.
In all the time I've been writing about Kate's engagements, I have never seen such a buzz surround a royal visit. The people of Grimsby have been incredibly excited about the Duchess's visit. This is Grimsby has been providing stellar coverage of the visit and revealed readers ranging in age from eight to eighty had been in touch to share their excitement. Messages of support for the visit came in from around the globe and were passed on to Her Royal Highness.
|This Is Grimsby|
Margaret Peacock was the first to arrive at the Fishing Heritage Centre ahead of Kate's visit. She got there at 6.45 a.m clutching a copy of The Grimsby Telegraph with the headline 'Grimsby Welcome You'.
|This Is Grimsby|
Crowds started to gather at 8 a.m. despite the cold and foggy weather.
|Viking FM Twitter|
This is Grimsby's editor Michelle Lalor poignantly shared her feelings on the visit in this message:
'It would seem that our new breed of Royals have seen fresh interest and hope injected into the future of our monarchy. There have been dark days in the past - at the height of which the family's popularity among the British public dipped to what was probably the lowest point in recent history. However what has remained steadfast, even in those days, was the overall feeling among the majority of those in Britain that our Royal family is an institution that must remain.
Kate visiting Grimsby when the international spotlight is most definitely on her is one big way of showing, to the world, that our new Royals are committed to changing their focus. This is a great town in many, many respects but certainly not the most glamorous - yet Kate brought the world's media here.'
There has been talk about the possibility Kate may have revealed the sex of her baby. During the walkabout a lady handed her a teddy bear. The Duchess said "Thank you, I'll take it for my d..." prompting speculation Kate is expecting a baby girl. You can decide for yourself by watch the video at Sky News.
Kate also visited Peaks Lane Fire Station, part of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, where the Duchess met young people who are turning their lives around with a programme run by her father-in-law's charity The Prince's Trust, delivered in partnership with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service. It is a challenging time for Grimsby's youth with one in three struggling to find employment.
|Prince's Trust Facebook|
The town has the highest number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of education, training and employment throughout Britain so The Trust's Team programme is immensely helpful. Young people on the scheme take part in a residential, a community project and work experience. It was reported Kate discussed the project with Prince Charles in preparation for visit.
|This Is Grimsby Twitter|
Kate learned more about the project during her conversation with participants.
|Prince's Trust Facebook|
The The Prince's Trust shared their excitement about the Duchess's first engagement for the charity via twitter:
|The Prince's Trust Twitter|
A fireman jokingly asked the Duchess if she would like to go down the fireman's pole :)
|Rose Hughes Gretton Twitter|
Next, the Duchess officially opened Havelock Academy's new £18 million building. During the visit she met a photography group, watched an expressive arts display and viewed the academy's sports facilities. Kate is passionate about photography and sports and no doubt enjoyed the visit.
|David Wilkinson CNN Twitter|
Kate elected to recycle her Hobbs 'Celeste' coat.
The Duchess purchased in Sloane Square in September 2011 reduced from £369 to £182 and wore it during a visit to Liverpool on Valentine's Day and most recently on Christmas Day in Berkshire.
It is described as:
'Wrap up warm in this stunning double crepe wool coat. In a sumptuous seasonal chestnut brown, this coat subtly flares from the hips. It's given an on trend toughened edge thanks to the leather stud fastening, cuff straps and waisted belt'.
Kate teamed her coat with a Great Plains dress. The Cezanne Paintbox Pleated Dress is a printed tunic dress which features a boat neck, short sleeves, a pleated skirt and is 100% polyester. The dress comes in a number of prints, Kate's appears to be winter pink. The dress is currently reduced from £75 to £48 at House of Fraser and the official website.
Great Plains is part of the French Connection family and celebrates style and good quality at affordable prices. The collections include basic everyday clothing, striking on trend pieces and pretty printed loose fitting dresses with forgiving lines. Below we look at the £60 Artist's Roses Tunic Dress, the £120 Sugar and Spice Dress, the £65 Velo Bike Print Dress and the £55 Sissy Spot Dress.
Kate completed her look with a black clutch, Episode 'Angel' black pumps and her Cornelia James Bow Gloves. The pretty gloves are available in satin lycra at BLACK.
I thought it a great look for her, I've always loved the Hobbs 'Celeste' coat and the Great Plains dress is a lovely piece and Kate's hair looked amazing! What did you think of Kate's sartorial choices today?
Prince William didn't make the visit with Kate today due to RAF commitments, but the couple will carry out a joint engagement on March 17th. St James's Palace announced the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend a St. Patrick's Day parade at Mons Barracks, home to the Irish Guards. Kate will present shamrock to Officers and Guardsmen (including William who was made Colonel of the regiment in 2011) and the Cambridges will visit the Guardsmen's cookhouse and take lunch privately in the Officers' Mess before departing.
Many of you will remember Kate visited the barracks on St. Patrick's Day last year. It's becoming something of a tradition for the Duchess and an engagement we could very well see her carry out annually.
We can expect to see Kate in green for the event, a great colour for her!