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Duchess Kate and Prince William view the poignant wreckage of 9/11

By Neil Lancefield

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid their respects to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks as they visited the New York memorial dedicated to their memory.

William and Kate began the last day of their American tour by travelling to the Manhattan site of the former World Trade Centre (WTC) twin towers attacked to devastating effect in 2001. The royal couple paid tribute to the victims of Flight 93 by laying a bouquet of white roses - the state flower of New York - on bronze panels lining one of the waterfalls and embossed with the names of those on the plane.

A handwritten note on the bouquet and signed by both read: "In sorrowful memory of those who died on 11th September, and in admiration of the courage shown to rebuild."

The 9/11 Memorial complex features two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools surrounded by trees and is set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. Kate, who wore a £1,500 double-breasted wool/silk cerise coat by Mulberry, later said she was affected by being able to touch the names of the victims inscribed around the edge of the two pools.

Allison Blais, the museum's chief of staff, said: "She talked about how in awe she was of the enormity of the space. It was something she did not anticipate."

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