Not only is the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly Kate Middleton, arguably the most beloved duchess on the planet, she is now most definitely the favorite duchess of Swedish bandy hockey players. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — that is, Prince William and Kate Middleton — kicked off their four-day (child-free!) trip to Sweden and Norway with a little friendly competition on the ice.
Bandy hockey is a close cousin to American ice hockey; it’s played with a curved stick and a ball on ice. (Hey, it’s even in the Winter Olympics now!) William and Kate were happy to give the sport a try at an outdoor ice rink in Stockholm on Tuesday. The folks at the rink were delighted to roll out a red carpet for the royal couple to stand on for a penalty shoot-out. The duchess is in her third trimester of pregnancy now — hence avoiding donning actual skates.
William and Kate had a terrific time trying to score goals, with William edging out Kate, 2 – 1. Local bandy players were thrilled to meet the duchess and the prince — and the internet pretty much can’t get enough of the fun winter pics of the couple in full-on play mode. I mean, come on. Best royals ever.
The royal couple is staying at the home of the British ambassador in Stockholm. The duke and duchess also attended a luncheon hosted by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the Royal Palace of Stockholm (no biggie) where they visited with Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel. Victoria and Daniel and Kate and Will no doubt talked kids: The crown princess and her husband have Princess Estelle, 5, and Prince Oscar, 1. There’s no word on whether or not George and Charlotte are now betrothed to the Swedish heirs, but monarchies are looking kind of fab lately, so we’re all for it. Maybe we Americans can get in on some more monarchy action if we arrange a marriage between a tiny princess in Scandinavia with one of the new crop of Kardashians? No? Fine.
Kate will be missing one single event during their visit to Norway to ensure she’s getting enough rest. Royal lunching, bandy hockey and only one event crossed off the schedule? Kate may not be the queen, but she’s definitely the queen of pregnancy goals. And, you know, ice hockey goals.