Kate has a fit of the giggles as she tries her hand at archery in Bhutan


The Duchess of Cambridge had a fit of the giggles when she tried her hand at Bhutan's national sport of archery and saw her arrow fall way short of the target.

William and Kate renewed their sporting rivalry when they took up bamboo bows under the watchful eye of the King of Bhutan's half-brother Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, on the first day of their tour of the mountainous country.

The Duchess wore a Bhutanese-inspired outfit with a dazzling mauve and blue skirt made from local material and styled on the country's national dress, and teamed with a top by Paul & Joe.

The couple had been welcomed to the country with a colourful procession in the capital Thimphu that left them in awe of their surroundings in the Tashichho Dzong - the king's seat and home to government offices.

Archery is more than a national sport to the Bhutanese, it is a social occasion, is performed at festivals, and strong rivalries build up between competing villages.

Competitors fire at a tiny colourful target more than 140 metres away and cheerleaders not only sing songs supporting their team but carry out a mild form of sledging - distracting their rivals with witty insults.

William was given detailed instructions by Prince Jigyel, who is heavily involved in sports, and took aim at the target that was only 40 metres away, at the Changlimithang National Archery Ground.

His first effort missed and, commenting about a road in the distance, he said: "Did that clear the bank? Because it looked like it did. I don't want to cause a crash."

When his second arrow also went wayward, he added: "I hope I haven't killed the driver or that man on the bridge."

Injuries from competitors hitting spectators are one of the most common reasons for people being admitted to hospital.

When Kate stepped up William gave her a few tips on how to hold the simple bow, and said: "You'll be fine. You should try to shoot up in the air."

But she was left howling with laughter when her one and only effort thudded in to the ground metres from the target.

The couple were no more successful when they tried out khuru, the nation's second most popular sport, which was developed by cow herders who would fashion large darts out of tree branches and bird feathers.

They watched women competitors throwing the darts at a target, hoping to score a karey - or hit.

But when Kate had a go she nearly scored a direct hit on a group of women players. Her dart fell just short of one of them and a second attempt went wide and she called out: "So sorry."