Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge take turns to drive tractor on family-run Darlington farm ahead of 10th wedding anniversary

True to his word in a simple yet emotionally-charged tribute to his grandfather, the Duke of Cambridge was back on the frontline of public duties yesterday exploring his undoubtable passion for rural life.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Manor Farm in the village of Little Stainton, near Darlington.

Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, travelled to the North of England to undertake the engagement at a family farm, two days before their 10th wedding anniversary.

Two weeks of Royal mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh ended on Friday for the Windsors, and William and Kate were yesterday back out in the public eye.

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Three days after Prince Philip’s death at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle on April 9, William had pledged “to get on with the job” as his grandfather would have wished.

The Royal couple took it in turns to drive the tractor

During yesterday’s visit, the Royal couple embraced the chance to sample countryside life on Manor Farm in the village of Little Stainton, near Darlington.

William has famously inherited a passion for rural affairs from his father, the Duke of Cornwall.

In an interview with Country Life magazine in 2018, William said: “My father’s focus on the environment is something I’ve looked up to all of my life. His unwavering commitment to rural issues and the countryside has been a big inspiration to me and something I am keen to emulate and teach my children about. No-one understands farmers and the issues they face better than my father.”

Yesterday, dressed casually for the countryside, William and Kate took turns behind the wheel of a tractor during the visit.

Prince William drove the tractor before the Duchess of Cambridge asked for a turn.

Kate opted for a Fair Isle style jumper, wax jacket, boots and skinny jeans, while William wore a padded coat, navy blue chinos, and sturdy boots.

Farmer Stewart Chapman sat in the cab giving instruction on how to drive the tractor as the couple separately took charge of the heavy duty vehicle.

William went first, with Kate asking for a turn afterwards, and the tractor was GPS operated so took a pre-planned route.

It was the Cambridges’ first official in-person engagement away from London since their Royal train tour in December last year.

The Duke and Duchess chatted with Ms Wise and Mr Chapman about how they protect the health and welfare of their livestock.

At the fifth-generation family-run mixed cattle, sheep and arable farm, they were taken on a tour of the cattle, calving and lambing sheds by owners Clare Wise and Mr Chapman.

William has previously told of his passion for farming, revealing that his children are already playing on tractors.

In 2019, he took part in an ITV documentary about the Prince of Wales’ 50 years as the Duke of Cornwall. William will one day inherit the Duchy of Cornwall, which covers more than 130,000 acres across 23 counties, from his father when Charles becomes king.

The Duke and Duchess chatted yesterday with Ms Wise and Mr Chapman about how they protect the health and welfare of their livestock.

Kate opted for a Fair Isle style jumper, wax jacket, boots and skinny jeans for the outing, while William wore a padded coat, navy blue chinos, and sturdy boots.

William and Kate also joined a discussion with local farmers, who are being supported by The National Farmers’ Union, about their experiences of the past year, including the mental health impact of Covid-19 and the challenges of balancing home-schooling with farming.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary tomorrow, a decade after their marriage was watched by millions of Royal fans across the globe.

The ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29, 2011, 10 years after the couple met while studying at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. UK television audiences peaked at 26.3m viewers, although that was lower than the figure for the marriage of William’s parents, Diana, Princes of Wales, and Prince Charles, which attracted 28.4m viewers across both the BBC and ITV.