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William recreates Kate photo in Jordan

The Duke of Cambridge visited the same spot where Kate was photographed with her family when she was a child.

The Duke of Cambridge (left) and Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan look at a photo of the Duchess of Cambridge as a child, when she was photographed with her family at the same spot of the Jerash archaeological site in Jordan.
The Duke of Cambridge (left) and Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan look at a photo of the Duchess of Cambridge as a child, when she was photographed with her family at the same spot of the Jerash archaeological site in Jordan.

The Duke of Cambridge made a pilgrimage to the spot in a Roman ruined city in Jordan where his wife posed for a picture when just a little girl.

William spoke about how Kate “loved” living in Jordan as a youngster, when he arrived in the country on Tuesday – the first day of an historic visit to the Middle East.

And he was able to see for himself the beautifully preserved first century Roman city of Jerash where the duchess, father Michael and sister Pippa visited in the 1980s and posed as a trio for a picture.

The duke strolled along the site’s famous cardo maximus – the city’s main thoroughfare lined with columns and still paved with the original stones complete in places with the groves worn by chariots.

William was joined by Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein and when he reached the spot where the picture was taken he stopped and looked at a 2ft by 3ft enlargement of the image, released just before the Cambridges married in 2011.

The second-in-line to the throne laughed as he looked at the picture and then pointing at the image of Mr Middleton said to the Crown Prince: “Michael’s looking very smart in his flip-flops.”

In scorching sunshine and dressed in a smart casual look of jacket, shirt, trousers and sunglasses William recreated the photo by standing in the same spot as his wife when a child.

He smiled and said: “Need to come back with the family for this shot.”

Kate, aged four, with her father Michael Middleton and sister Pippa in Jerash, Jordan (The Middleton Family)

Kate’s family moved to Jordan in May 1984 when she was aged two and her sister Pippa was just eight months old, after father Michael, a British Airways manager, relocated to the Jordanian capital of Amman for work.

The duchess went to an English language nursery while her parents were in the country for almost three years, before they returned to Berkshire in 1986.

Samia Khouri, director of museums at Jordan’s Department of Antiquities, guided the two princes around the sprawling site during a half-hour tour.

She said: “He was very surprised when he saw the photo, he did not expect that.

“But that’s why he was here, because he wanted to take a photo at the same spot where Kate was photographed.”

In Jerash’s well-preserved amphitheatre, the duke and Crown Prince met refugee Syrian mothers and their children who are being supported by the Makani programme, a nationwide charity that works with those from deprived backgrounds, especially refugee communities.

Sat on a chair and surrounded by the women and youngsters, he patiently chatted to one mother through an interpreter, asking where she was from in Syria, what the education provision was like for her child and her hopes for the future.

He told her at the end: “Very nice to meet you and I hope one day you go back to Syria.”

When a little girl came up to him he asked her age and when told she was five, replied: “My little boy is called George, he’s five as well.”

Some older children had performed a welcome dance for the royals when they arrived and William and Hussein later admired some art work they had done before leaving.

Later William visited the Da Na’mah centre in Kufranjah, which offers support and education for orphaned Jordanian women.

He was shown around the site by Dr Aghadeer Jweihan who was described as the “mother” of the organisation.

William went into a room to see the process of felt being made which is then sold to tourists in Amman.

Taking hold of a small green ball of felt, he said: “They look like Brussels sprouts.”

The prince was then shown processes used by the women to make herbal oils before going on to watch local breads fatayer and taboon being baked on site.

Crouching down to watch the breads being fried he was told that the woman was using a recipe passed on by her grandma.

After popping a piece in his mouth he said: “Very good. Your grandmother taught you very well.”

The centre was founded in 2010 to help women in Jordan who have no family and struggle to find support after turning 18.

William, 36, was introduced to Lana Muslam, 29, who was abandoned as a baby, and was raised in an orphanage. He said: “The story is very hard to hear, everything that you have been through. You are doing wonderful things here.”

Talking after William’s visit Dr Jweiham said: “When he said goodbye he promised he’d return and bring Kate.

“He said that she would love the work we do here and would want to see it.”

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph