William and Kate amused by City brokers in heels and hotpants at charity event
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were left a little surprised when a pair of City brokers swapped pinstripe suits for high heels and hotpants for a charity fundraising day.
William and Kate joined a host of celebrities - from Samantha Cameron to Earl Spencer - at the annual event for the global brokerage firm Icap where staff come dressed as weird and wonderful characters.
The Duchess was sporting a new look for the occasion, with her hair around two inches shorter than her last appearance, and was wearing an outfit by LK Bennett.
The pair helped close a deal at the Central European interest rate swaps desk, as the traders put their legs on display in the heels and hotpants.
They had taken their look from a well-known television advert for Moneysupermarket.com where a man does an "epic walk" in heels.
The Duke kept his mind on closing the deal but as soon as the work was over curiosity got the better of him and he quizzed a broker about his fancy dress.
Broker Dan Lebeau, who had guided William through the trade as he stood up in 3in heels, said: "He was saying to me, basically 'where did you get them from?'.
"It was very difficult to find size 10 high heels in a normal shop."
As William left, he chatted to some other staff and joked about the "dodgy" outfit worn by the brokers.
The event raises millions for good causes and among the recipients were charities associated with the Cambridges - SkillForce, of which William is patron, and SportsAid and Place2Be, of which Kate is patron.
As William and Kate moved between the trading desks they passed brokers dressed in outfits that ranged from gangsters and molls to belly dancers and comic book characters like Batman and Iron Man.
At one point the Duchess was pictured with green-faced broker Amanda Hartnell - dressed as Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West from the musical Wicked - who helped Kate close a deal on the European Repo Products desk.
Later as the Duchess held a long conversation with one trader, William joked with his wife and told her to "stop flirting".
Among the other celebrity traders were actress Julie Walters, athlete Paula Radcliffe, Joanna Lumley and her Absolutely Fabulous co-star Jennifer Saunders, and broadcaster Jeremy Paxman.
Brokers from the Euro interest rates swaps desk were all dressed as NBA sports stars, with vests, shorts and trainers, and the royal couple accepted the challenge to shoot some hoops.
Cheers went up as William scored two out of three baskets, but Kate, who played netball at school, could only manage one.
The royal couple also joined two leading table tennis players - Marcus Giles, 17, and Denise Payet, 14, who have been supported by William's charity SportsAid.
As William looked at the two teenagers, he began to say "This husband and wife team versus...", but as he saw the players smashing the ball across the net he ended with "oh my god".
The Duke joined Denise while his wife played with Marcus and the royal couple managed to hold their own against the young stars.
When things fell silent as they concentrated during a rally, William joked with Kate and said: "You're not this polite when we normally play."
After the sporting encounter the 14-year-old, who is the national champion in the under-15s category, said about William: "He was good, he was really nice. He was very determined and he has some talent."
Marcus, who is number three in the under-18s age group, praised Kate: "I would say she's a good player, she definitely played before.
"She was getting the ball back over the net quite a lot and we were getting some good rallies, it was good fun."