Continuing their three-day visit to Germany, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Heidelberg, where there was some couple’s rivalry in a boat race, pretzel making and then a formal reception back in the capital.
To begin the day, the couple headed the Germany’s leading cancer research facility, Detusche Krebsforschungzentrum (DKFZ)) to hear about stem cell research in the lab. Prince William is president of the Royal Marsden Hospital, a specialist cancer unit, in London.
William and Kate donned lab coats to hear British stem cell biologist Dr Michael Milsom, talk about their work.
He said: “It’s really helpful to have a visit from the Duke and Duchess as they publicise the importance of work we do here. The UK and Germany are leaders in this field of stem cell research,” said the expert.
His team includes Professor Harald zur Hausen, who identified the Papillomavirus as the cause of cervical cancer, meaning a vaccine could be developed.
Touring the historic city, located in the southwest of Germany, whose university was founded in the 14th century, William and Kate walked through the cobbled streets and the local market.
Here they both tried their hand at pretzel making; the Duke wasn’t so skilled in the art of pretzels, as he struggled with the simultaneous movements of throwing the dough down whilst shaping it into an oval, before twisting the ends into place.The couple giggled as they attempted them, with Catherine, however, creating hers in seconds.
It was then on to a sweet stall for some sugar craft, rolling out coloured paste to create lollies, which Prince William said their children would enjoy later. But handed another sugary treat, he said, laughing: “George’s sugarload is going to be over the top of the scale!”
It was then to the River Neckar, where the Duke and Duchess raced one another in a rowing competition: Cambridge vs Heidelberg. The two cities are twinned.
Kate had jokingly told her crew: “No pressure, but I do want to beat my husband.” It seemed that she had been given an advantage over her husband after an Olympic gold medalist was chosen to be in her boat – but William’s boat beat her by about a boat’s length.
“Come on, you can’t let them win,” William shouted to his team as they were racing. The couple are famous for their competitive streak – even Scrabble can turn nasty they admitted!
The Royals were presented with medals for their efforts, then were invited to launch a beer festival by using a wooden hammer to crack open a barrel. Kate said to William, as she looked nervous about the opening: “It’s going to go everywhere. I’m glad you’re doing this, not me.”
He put on an apron, and opened the barrel without a fuss. When the beer had been poured, he and Kate joined their teammates in raising their steins and toasting “Prost!”
Back in Berlin, where Prince George ad Charlotte stayed with their nanny, the couple then attended a reception at Clärchens Ballhaus (ballroom), opened in 1913.
It is one of the last remaining old ballrooms in Berlin; here the reception hosted figures from the art world, culture, style, fashion and technology.
The couple even got to meet an actor from Game of Thrones, which is one of their favourite shows. Thomas Wlaschiha was also at the event in the building’s opulent mirrored hall.