William and Kate in Scotland: why are Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Scottish tour - and where are they going?

After their trip to the Orkney Islands, Prince William and Kate Middleton will visit St Andrews University where they first met 20 years ago before their royal tour ends

Prince William was joined by his wife the Duchess of Cambridge for a royal tour of Scotland (Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently touring Scotland on a week-long royal trip.

William began the visit alone on Friday (21 May) but Kate joined him on Monday when they went to speak to staff at an addiction charity in North Lanarkshire.

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The royal couple also visited the Orkney Islands - their first ever trip to the remote Scottish archipelago - to discover how they are using the world’s largest floating tidal energy turbine to combat the climate emergency.

So why are William and Kate in Scotland, and where are they visiting?

Why are William and Kate in Scotland?

The Cambridges are making an extensive tour north of the border as Prince William fulfills his duties as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

He was given the title by the Queen earlier this year.

The rest of the tour, which ends on Thursday, will see William and Kate meet charities, groups and organisations tackling a range of issues from the environment and mental health to homelessness and addiction.

The pair are known by their Scottish titles the Earl and Countess of Strathearn when they visit Scotland.

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Where are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting?

Prince William kicked off the tour of Scotland by attending the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Friday.

He also made a stop at the Spartan Football Club’s Ainslie Park Stadium, where he took part in a virtual meeting with athletes from across the UK as they discussed raising awareness of mental health issues.

On day two, the Duke of Cambridge opened the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which is one of his primary duties as Lord High Commissioner.

In an address to the Church, he said: "It is my duty today to speak, but equally I am here to listen.”

That was followed by a gathering with first responders at the Cold Town House pub in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket to watch the Scottish Cup final.

He also met with charities associated with the Church of Scotland to listen to how they had come together during the Covid pandemic to provide for their local communities.

And at Queens Bay Lodge Care Home in Scotland’s capital, William was left blushing when 96-year-old Betty Magee took a particular liking to him.

When the Duchess of Cambridge joined the duke on his Scottish tour on Monday, they began the day at Turning Point Scotland, a charity in Coatbridge “working to break down cycles of crime and addiction”.

They also visited a violence reduction unit in Prestonpans, near Edinburgh.

Then it was onto the town of Kirkwall, Orkney, on Tuesday, where the royal couple visited the European Marine Energy Centre to learn about the tidal energy turbine.

The duke and duchess travelled by Royal Navy vessel half a mile off the coast of the islands to see the 680-tonne machine, which can generate enough electricity to power 2,000 homes.

They also visited the £65million Balfour hospital for its official reopening after it was redesigned.

Before the royal tour ends, William and Kate will make a stop at St Andrews University, where they met for the first time 20 years ago.

There, the pair will meet with students currently enrolled at the university and speak to them about their past year dealing with Covid lockdowns and interruptions to their studies.

It will be the first time they’ve visited St Andrews since February 2011, a few months after they announced their engagement.