Kate confessed she had enjoyed her time so much at St Andrew’s that she told her mother she wanted to return as a member of staff.
She also revealed she and her sister Pippa kept guinea pigs at the private school in Pangbourne, Berkshire, with one named Pip after her sibling while the other took Kate’s apparent nickname of Squeak.
The Duchess described her feelings about her 10 years at the school during a short speech to open a new artificial pitch. “It is such a treat to be back here at St Andrew’s. I absolutely loved my time here; they were some of my happiest years, which makes it so incredibly special to be here today,” she said.
“In fact, I enjoyed it so much that when I had to leave, I told my mother that I was going to come back to be a teacher. While that didn’t quite happen, I was thrilled to have been asked back today on St Andrew’s Day.
“It was while I was here at school that I realised my love of sport. Sport has been a huge part of my life, and I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities I had to get outside and play in such wonderful open spaces – though sadly there was nothing quite as glamorous as this in my time.”
After her speech she joined a group of year 8 pupils for a hockey training session on the new pitch.
Kate, who yesterday played on the wing, captained the school’s team and was its leading goal scorer in 1995. She still holds the senior girls’ high jump record of 1.50 metres and the 4x100m record she set with three other girls has yet to be beaten.
Kirsty Parkhouse, head of girls games at the school, said: “She said it was very different playing on Astro Turf from when she played on grass but she really loved her sport at St Andrew’s.”