Royal 'away days' tend to offer an excellent variety of engagements and that's certainly the case with today's itinerary. The day kicked off with a visit to the National Football Museum.
A look at the crowd waiting to greet the Duke and Duchess in Manchester.
The National Football Museum is located in Manchester's Urbis building. It was founded to preserve, conserve and interpret several important collections of association football memorabilia. During the first six weeks after opening, the museum welcomed over 100,000 visitors, and in just over two years over a million had walked through the turnstiles. Visitors enjoy world class objects (over 2,500 are on display at any one time), ground breaking interactives and a changing programme of temporary exhibitions, linking football to topics as diverse as fashion, history, art and World War I.
I believe I've shared the fact I know absolutely zilch about football during previous engagements related to the sport (attempts to educate me have proven unfruitful :)). Rebecca English echoed the sentiment as she arrived at the museum noting: "It'll be my most challenging brief this week as I don't know one end of a football pitch from t'other - and even less about the guys on it."
William and Kate attended a reception with young Mancunians who are making a difference to their communities.
Football Association president Prince William was very much in his element today. He is an avid Aston Villa supporter, whilst Kate supports Chelsea.
The Duke and Duchess met representatives from their Royal Foundation's Coach Core apprenticeship scheme.
William and Kate met 1966 England World Cup winner Roger Hunt, who brought along his winner's medal.
They enjoyed a tour of the museum, which aims to explain to fans and non-fans alike how and why football has become ‘the people’s game’, and a key part of the UK's heritage and way of life.
Prince William was excited to try the penalty shootout simulator. Dr Kevin Moore, director of the National Museum of Football, who showed them around, said afterwards: 'The Duke chatted very knowledgeably as you would expect about football, but the Duchess did as well. She was very interested and knowledgeable about aspects of the game. She's also fully aware of her husband's great pride and support for Aston Villa. As for William's penalty shoot-out, he belted it down the middle but it caught the keeper's toe. He definitely scored one after that though. His speed of 46 mph was very respectable indeed. Put it this way, he hits it hard. It was a proper penalty.'
Before they left they received a Manchester City football for George, a mini kit four Charlotte, cuddly mascots and two life-sized replica 1966 World Cup footballs, which were next to a photo of William kicking a ball when it was a child which made Kate smile.
William and Kate received a warm reception as they met locals during a walkabout.
William and Kate met children who had masks of their faces and several who wore crowns.
Next, the Duke and Duchess visited Manchester Town Hall and attended a ceremony at the Cenotaph to lay commemorative paving stones honouring Manchester's six Victoria Cross recipients as part of the First World War Centenary campaign.
As part of a UK Government First World War Centenary campaign, special paving stones are being laid in the hometowns of all those in the United Kingdom who were awarded the Victoria Cross. The VC is the highest decoration for bravery under enemy fire. The Palace added: "These paving stones have been presented to councils in the areas where First World War Victoria Cross recipients were born. It is hoped that the stones will provide an enduring legacy of local heroes and enable residents to gain a greater understanding of the impact the war had on their community."
The Duke and Duchess laid a wreath.
Kensington Palace tweeted: "628 Victoria Crosses were awarded in WW1. Of these, six recipients were born in Manchester."
The Duke and Duchess met relatives of the six Manchester Victoria Cross recipients honoured today.
You'll notice the Duchess arrived with a side ponytail and decided to undo and wear it loose after the engagement at the cenotaph. I suspect it may have come loose and she decided to wear it down rather than redoing it.
The couple's next stop was the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester. They visited the new Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) currently under construction, where they helped to seal a time capsule within the building's foundations. The new development aims to build on the city's science and engineering heritage by providing world-class academic facilities.
Sir Andre Geim showed William and Kate around the Clean Rooms in the National Graphene Institute.
Earlier, I noted William was very much in his element at the football museum. The Prince was even more enthused as he tried out a car made of graphene. I was interested to learn graphene is the thinnest, strongest, most conductive material on the planet, and is also transparent, flexible, stretchable, and impermeable to water. Its potential applications are almost endless - from bendable smartphones to providing clean drinking water, from drug delivery to the next generation of aircraft.
What's the verdict on the car? Judging by his expression in this photo, I think it's safe to say he loved it!
Below, Kate signs a photograph for the capsule.
The couple placed their photos in the time capsule.
William and Kate unveiled a plaque before leaving.
Their final stop of the day was Francis House, a hospice which cares for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions.
The hospice was opened in 1991 by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary.
More on the history of the hospice:
'Francis House provides respite care, home care, sibling support, activity weekends for bereaved siblings, end of life care and bereavement support. This year the hospice needs to raise £4.2 million to fund running costs, and all services are given completely free. Very few young people with life-limiting conditions were able to survive past the age of 16 years in the mid 1990s, now thanks to facilities like Francis House, many are able to live beyond this.'
The Lodge started out as a four-bedroom house. It was a unique opportunity to trial different types of equipment and ways of working and informed decisions on the building of a new wing at Francis House. The new £3.5 million wing created a seven-bedroom extension to the hospice and became known as Francis Lodge. Respite care is now provided for 113 young people over the age of 16, with different care and emotional needs.
The Duke and Duchess unveiled a plaque to mark the 25th anniversary.
The Duchess debuted a new Erdem coat today. The bespoke plaid garment is based on a design from the Resort 2016 Collection (with many thanks to Perth Fashion). We know the Duchess loves her coats, and this is another fabulous addition to her amazing collection. A solid choice for the varied nature of engagements.
Another look at the coat on Kate. Do you like it?
Alyssa J noticed Kate's black top appears to be the same one she wore with her Paule Ka suit for a Middle Temple engagement in 2012.
It appears Kate wore her navy suede Rupert Sanderson Malory pumps.
And her L.K. Bennett Frome clutch.
We also saw Kate sporting a new pair of earrings.
The eagle-eyed Kate J. from What Kate Wore Facebook identified them as the $190 Oscar de la Renta Hammered Gold-Plated Faux Pearl Earrings. The earrings are described: "Oscar de la Renta's earrings are an elegant way to complete day or evening looks. This gold-plated pewter pair is hammered to beautifully catch the light and centered with smooth faux pearls. Wear yours with swept-back hair." They are currently available at Farfetch.
Several readers noted the similarities between Kate's earrings and the pair Diana wore when visiting Francis House. I'm inclined to think this isn't merely a coincidence - especially considering it's the first time Kate's publicly worn them.
Rebecca English shared a nice video from the museum visit.
Video: Kate loves the fact that @FootballMuseum has a picture of William enjoying a kick-about as a young boy. pic.twitter.com/maGDvnehzo— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 14, 2016
And one from the walkabout.
Video: William and Kate examine masks... of their own faces. #royalvisitmanchester pic.twitter.com/SM93ZpUc2s— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 14, 2016
Victoria Murphy posted this video of Kate chatting to a family at Francis House.
Video: Kate chatting to families at the hospice which Diana opened in 1991 pic.twitter.com/uGMEaKDiG2— Victoria Murphy (@QueenVicMirror) October 14, 2016
We'll see William and Kate on Tuesday for a reception for Team GB and Paralymics GB at Buckingham Palace. In the meantime, have a lovely weekend :)