The Duke & Duchess visited the city of Sunderland earlier today, where they carried out two official engagements focused on the arts and engineering.
First they officially opened the music and arts hub The Fire Station before visiting the Northern Spire, an ambitious new bridge over the River Wear. First on the agenda was the official opening of The Fire Station, one of Sunderland’s most iconic buildings, recently converted into a new arts hub for the city which houses a dance studio, drama studio, a heritage centre and a popular bistro, the Engine Room. Young actors, dancers, musicians and writers who use the facility got the chance to talk to The Duke & Duchess as they were given a tour of the building.
The Duke tightens a bolt on the brand new bridge. 🔧
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 21, 2018
The couple watched workshops and performances from some of the groups using The Fire Station, including a Bollywood dance. They also met with some of the musicians from The Bunker and Pop Recs, as well as a group of young people involved in the Little Inventors project. The Duchess received a temporary henna flower design tattoo on her hand, and took a bindi for Princess Charlotte’s forehead.
Shajida Begum, 18, who drew the image said: ‘She was saying that it was really pretty. ‘I was just telling her how it works. I was telling her when she can wash it off – I said “when it becomes flakey”.’
The Duke & Duchess then traveled to the Northern Spire Bridge that runs over the River Wear and has been under construction since 2015.
At a height of 105 metres, the Bridge is the tallest structure in North East England, and is being constructed in order to improve transport links while also helping to improve the city’s image. William and Kate met with some of the workers involved in the £117 million bridge’s three year construction, before officially crossing the landmark bridge, which is set to open this Spring.
The Duchess wore a new deep-green coat by Dolce & Gabbana with a new Seraphine dress underneath.