Prince William and Princess Kate enjoy game of bandy in Sweden at start of 4-day diplomatic visit

Posted on: January 30th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

@KensingtonRoyal/Twitter(STOCKHOLM) — Members of the British royal family are often described as playing roles of ambassadors-at-large, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge lived up to their diplomatic duties today at the start of a four-day trip to Sweden and Norway at the request of the Foreign Office.

Prince William and Princess Kate were visibly delighted to spend the first morning of their working trip in Stockholm taking part in a game of bandy -– a forerunner of hockey that dates back to the 1800s.

The sport is part of Swedish national culture and differs from ice hockey in that it is played on a pitch roughly the size of a soccer field, and uses a small ball instead of a puck.

Kate, who is pregnant with her third child, was a keen hockey player while at school in Marlborough College in England and looked thrilled to get involved -– and even laughed in good sport as she missed a couple of shots at goal.

William, 35, and Kate, 36, are spending two days in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, before travelling to Oslo, Norway, for two more days through Feb. 2.

The royal couple’s agenda for the Scandinavian visit includes a mix of diplomatic and cultural events.

During their four days in both countries they will attend events celebrating Swedish and Norwegian culture, including museum and gallery visits, dinners and lunches with the kings and queens of both Sweden and Norway, and meetings with other members of both royal families.

There is also a nod to the personal interests of the Duke and Duchess in mental health advocacy. In Sweden they will meet with academics and practitioners to discuss their approach to managing mental health challenges and hear about various programs run by the nation.

In Norway, William and Kate will meet students at a school to discuss social media awareness and the role that a successful Norwegian television show had on bringing challenges faced by teenagers and young people in the country out in the open.

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