The royal trio were on hand to wave off the twenty-two teams competing in this year's tournament as they set off for the start of the 2,272 mile race, which will head through the UK, Belgium and Spain before finishing in Paris on 27th of July.
The royals met the riders as they lined up for the Ceremonial Start. It's always a special event, but no doubt participants were pleased to receive support and good wishes from members of the Royal Family.
Kate with cyclist Mark Cavendish (Mr Cavendish suffered a crash 300 metres from the finish line, we wish him a speedy recovery).
Harewood House was a splendid choice of location to begin the prestigious event. Built between 1759 and 1771 for wealthy trader Edwin Lascelles, the property remains in the family today. A member of Treasure House of England, a marketing consortium for ten of the foremost historic homes in the country, the house is a Grade I listed building. It has a fascinating history, and served as a convalescent home during both world wars. The grounds and gardens are open to visitors daily until November.
The Earl of Harewood, David Lascelles, spoke about the royal visit before the event: "I'm delighted The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are coming to Yorkshire for the Grand Départ and we're very much looking forward to welcoming them to Harewood for the first time."
|Tour de France|
William, Kate and Harry are major supporters of a vast array of sporting activities including cycling. In 2011, the Palace confirmed the couple had used rental bikes from a cycle hire scheme to "undertake private journeys around London". The young royals are incredibly athletic and we see their sporting interests reflected in their choices of engagements more and more often.
They cheered on Team Great Britain at the London Olympics in 2012, with the Cambridges embracing as Sir Chris Hoy and his teammates won gold. An unforgettable moment for British cycling and royal fans, we think you'll agree. :)
Indeed, cycling will have been very much at the forefront of Kate's mind recently as her sister Pippa and brother James undertook an admirable effort recently - successfully cycling 3,000 miles across America over for The Michael Matthews Foundation.
The Tour de France was first organized in 1903 to promote sales of the magazine L'Auto. The first winner of the tour was Maurice Garin (pictured below) His prize was 6,075 francs and he went on to become the first in a long line of champions. The race has been held annually every since, with the exception of wartime, and has gained prominence and popularity across the globe.
|Tour de France Official Website|
And they're off.
There was immense enthusiasm and excitement in Yorkshire today amongst residents and spectators of all ages.
The event has brought thousands to the region.
The Duchess awarded the yellow jersey to German Marcel Kittel, the winner of the first stage of the Tour in Harrogate.
William and Kate chatting.
The royals appeared very interested in the race.
The Duchess wore her Erdem 'Allie' coat today. No doubt many of you will know we first saw it during the royal tour when the Cambridges visited Cambridge.
The flawlessly cut bright grass-green, knee-length coat features a tab-detailed waist, and true to form, the designer uses his love of floral prints - this time on the silk lining. The wool crepe garment originally retailed for €1,824.
The coat is from Erdem's Pre-Fall 2013 Collection. It has been completely sold out for some time now.
If we look closely we can see Kate teamed the coat with her Suzannah Budding Heart Silk Dress.
The £475 frock is based on the brand's best selling 1930s inspired tea dress style. It's described as "a fabulous day dress" with a matt silk crepe skirt part lined in 100% habotai. Kate wore it earlier this week for a trip to the Natural History Museum with William and George.
Kate carried her taupe L.K. Bennett Avona Clutch.
The Duchess chose her favourite L.K. Bennett Sledge Pumps.
The Duchess completed the look with her emerald earrings. It also appears Kate has had a haircut since her last public appearance.
What do you think of Kate's look today? Has the green Erdem coat grown on you? Initially there was a mixed reaction on social media with varying opinions from those who would have loved to see Kate in a summery ensemble, such as a blouse and a pencil skirt to those who suggested it's possible she may be cold, which is why we see her wearing so many coats throughout the year. It appears Kate has something of a uniform for royal engagements: skinny jeans, a navy blazer and wedges for casual appearances and a coat/coatdress for events with more formality.
You can view a video at ITN Source Royal.
Share your thoughts on the engagement in the comments section :)