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Solo Kate in Valentine's city visit

Crowds cheered and waved flags as the Duchess of Cambridge arrived for a Valentine's Day visit to Liverpool.

Kate wrapped up warm in a burgundy coat for a visit to a charity that helps addicts recover from drink and drug dependency.

The Duchess, making her debut solo regional visit, is spending her first Valentine's Day as a married woman in the city - more than 7,900 miles away from husband William who is on a six-week RAF posting in the Falklands.

Kate smiled at the dozens of people who had gathered at The Brink, a dry bar run by the Action on Addiction charity.

As well as the woollen coat by Hobbs, which was just below the knee, the Duchess wore black high-heeled shoes, black tights, and held a black handbag.

She was serenaded by the resident choir at The Brink - made up of recovering addicts called the Raucous Caucus Recovery Chorus - singing a traditional native American Indian song titled Wings Of A Dove.

Michael Edwards, 32, from Kensington, Liverpool, and a member of the choir, said: "It's a bit scary with a royal audience but this is what the choir has done for me, to give me the confidence to sing in front of people."

The Duchess was shown behind the bar at The Brink, where Paula Carey, 37, from Dovecote, Liverpool, served her a smoothie named The Duchess in her honour.

Miss Carey said: "I said, 'Can I just ask you one question? Did you get anything nice for Valentine's Day?' She said, 'Yes I did thank you,' but because I was making the smoothie I didn't hear what she said she got."

Miss Carey mixed almonds, skimmed milk, honey, banana and a dash of cream in a blender, before presenting the drink in a cocktail glass with a slice of Orange to the Duchess. Kate took a sip of the drink and with a nod of approval said: "Amazing, well done."

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