William and Kate hit the slopes as their Scandinavian tour comes to an end
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were well wrapped up as they watched a junior ski session in Oslo.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Norwegian children in a winter wonderland as their Scandinavian tour came to an end.
William and Kate, dressed for the freezing conditions in bobble hats and padded coats, watched as tiny school children showed off their skiing skills at Holmenkollen, the snowy hills over looking Oslo.
The four to six-year-olds displayed their skiing abilities, sliding through hoops, down slopes and making sharp turns in the snow as their teachers put them through their paces.
The duke and duchess also joined the youngsters as they cooked sausages over an open fire.
Earlier at the nearby Holmenkollen ski jump William and Kate met well-wishers as they walked into the museum of the famous sporting venue where brave jumpers hurtle down the slope.
One visitor asked the duke if he was going to have a go at the event and he laughed as he replied: “No, no, leave it to the professionals.”
Inside the museum they were shown an exhibit about the Roald Amundsen Expedition to the South Pole and were reminded that the Norwegians beat their British rivals in the race to reach the pole first.
After the British and Norwegian royal couples laughed, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, who was with Crown Prince Haakon, told the Duke “I’m sorry,” and he replied “No no, quite right.”
The small attraction is built into the hill, underneath the ski jump itself and opened in 1923.
It is thought to be the world’s oldest museum devoted to skiing and attempts to tell 4,000 years of “exciting ski history” through exhibitions.
Among the items on show were fur-lined gloves and shoes, cooking pots, tin cans, cutlery, and a camera, as well as skis, poles, a sled, and a stuffed dog.
At the top of the ski jump William and Kate took in breathtaking views and watched sportsmen take on the challenge.
Standing on a balcony at the start house more than 60 metres above the ground, they watched Norwegian ski jumper Anniken Mork race down the track at 56mph before taking a leap of faith towards the ground and landing gracefully near the bottom of the course.
“Good luck. You’ve got this,” Prince William told her as she set off. As she disappeared into the distance in mid-air, Kate clapped with delight and the Duke said: “Wow. That was amazing.”
Kate, meanwhile, was in a playful mood and made a snowball and then threw it at William. “It’s too cold for snowballs,” he said, smiling as the Norwegian royals stood with them.
When they joined the skiing youngsters William and Kate sat around a campfire toasting sausages and bread on a stick.
The duchess was certain that the couple’s children Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, two, would have delighted in the stunning surroundings.
“She said their children would love to be here and that it is a nice place,” said Line Hansen, manager of the kindergarten at Ovresetertjern, near Oslo.
“She said that George tried skiing last year but he was young so was just starting.”
At one point just as they were preparing to sit down, one of the youngsters slipped. And as Kate helped her up, a second little girl lost control of her skis too. “Oh no,” Kate said as the hardy child picked herself up.
The royals then sat down to talk with the children about the ski school and join in the cooking. They baked a simple bread mixture – called pinnebrod – wrapped around a stick and sausages.
“They were asking the children their names and what they like about kindergarten and about what we were cooking,” Line Hansen said.
“They liked the environment and the setting. The children told them about their lessons and how they like to be by the bonfire.”
As the late afternoon sun glistened on the snow, the couple were told that the 66 children are taught in three cabins and spend a lot of time outside — often on skis — and that there are no fences around the school.
“They were very beautiful and down to earth and very interested,” the manager added.