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The Duke and Duchess visit Cambridge

28th November 2012

The Duke of Cambridge meets pupils as he visits Manor School during an official visit to Cambridge with The Duchess of Cambridge.

The Duke of Cambridge meets pupils as he visits Manor School during an official visit to Cambridge with The Duchess of Cambridge.

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The Duke of Cambridge has spoken of his "immense pride" at being associated with Cambridge as he and The Duchess toured the city.

Their Royal Highnesses received a rapturous welcome from hundreds of well-wishers who lined the streets of Cambridge to greet them on their first official joint visit to the city since their marriage.

Speaking at a reception in the university's Senate House, The Duke said he and The Duchess had looked forward to visiting Cambridge ever since they adopted their titles on their wedding day in April last year. "We both feel immense pride at being associated with Cambridge, a place renowned the world over for its dynamism, beauty and learning, and it is lovely for us to be here together today," he said. The Duke paid tribute to the work of Cambridge University, saying its academic record down the centuries left them both feeling "very humble".

"Within a mile of us, gravity and DNA were discovered," he said. "Many of the brilliant minds who, through their later work at Bletchley Park, did so much to save our country and the free world, were given first flowering to their genius here at Cambridge.

"This university has more Nobel prize-winners to its name than all but a couple of countries." On a more light-hearted note, The Duke joked at his brother's expense about their visit to Trinity College, Cambridge, five years ago.

"My brother Harry and I were fortunate enough to come to Cambridge five years ago, when we spent a couple of days at Trinity," he said. "I have to say, it's the closest Harry's ever got to university."

The Duke and Duchess later met students and academics from Cambridge University at a marquee reception inside Senate House. Chris Humpleby, 21, a third year undergraduate studying education at Emmanuel College, met The Duchess.

He said: "I think they are lovely, they don't have easy lives, to be constantly watched and judged wherever you go is difficult. I think they are amazing." Her Royal Highness also met Moos Peeters, 26, a postgraduate from the Netherlands who is studying neuroscience, who said: "All my friends were very jealous when they heard I was going to meet them." The Duke drew laughter too when he referred to the traditional rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge, in reference to Cambridge's record on Nobel prizes.

"That fact alone must shake even that other place along the M40 - it that must not be named - to its very foundations," he said. Fergus Todd, 21, an undergraduate studying economics at Clare College, from Edinburgh, also met The Duchess at the reception.

He said: "She was lovely - she was extremely good at asking questions."

During the Senate reception, Her Royal Highness revealed she is a fan of the BBC quiz show University Challenge as she chatted with two Clare College students.

"I love watching University Challenge," she told economics undergraduate Fergus Todd, 20, and neurosciences postgraduate Moos Peeters, 26.

The Duchess asked: "Are the colleges competitive? Do you take part in University Challenge?"

Mr Todd, who is president of his college's student union, said afterwards: "We told her absolutely not. That is for the absolute elite."

The Duke also proved to be a fan of the quiz show, telling one guest: "I watched Trinity annihilate York. I could manage one question. The brain power in here is palpable. I'm finding it quite intimidating."

The Duchess met a relative during the reception - Dr Penny Barton, a graduate tutor at Homerton College, who is her father Michael Middleton's first cousin and attended the royal wedding.

A speech by HRH The Duke of Cambridge at the University of Cambridge

Published on 28th November 2012

‪Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.‬

‪Thank you very much indeed, Chancellor, for your kind words of welcome. ‬ ‪ ‬ ‪

This is a day Catherine and I have looked forward to for a very long time; eighteen months, in fact - ever since my Grandmother, The Queen, on the morning of our wedding bestowed on us the name of this great city.

We both feel immense pride at being associated with Cambridge, a place renowned the world over for its dynamism, beauty and learning, and it is lovely for us to be here together today. ‬ ‪‪

But it's not the first time I've been here. My brother Harry and I were fortunate enough to come to Cambridge five years ago, when we spent a couple of days at Trinity.

I have to say it's the closest Harry's ever got to university.

It's an easy dig.

‪On a serious note, though, standing here with you today in the heart of this city - this seat of learning for so many centuries, for so many great minds - leaves us feeling very humble.

Within a mile of us, gravity and DNA were discovered. Many of the brilliant minds who, through their later work at Bletchley Park, did so much to save our country and the free world, were given first flowering to their genius here at Cambridge.

This university has more Nobel Prize Winners to its name than all but a couple of countries. That fact alone must shake even that other place along the M40 - it that must not be named - to its very foundations. ‬ ‪

So, thank you, Lord Sainsbury. To be associated with this city and, by consequence, with ...

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