William and Kate kick off day in Manchester with National Football Museum visit


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will kick off a day-long series of visits in Manchester at the National Football Museum later today.

William and Kate will tour the museum in Manchester's Urbis building, which explains football's history and why it has become the "people's game" and a part of the country's way of life.

After that the royal couple, Aston Villa and Chelsea fans respectively, will visit Manchester Town Hall to attend a ceremony at the cenotaph.

They will lay commemorative paving stones honouring Manchester's six Victoria Cross recipients as part of the First World War Centenary campaign.

The cenotaph, a Grade II-listed structure designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and built in Portland stone, was erected in 1924 as a memorial to those who died in the First World War.

It was moved to its current position in 2014 to make way for a tram stop.

The Cambridges will next go to the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, a world-leading research facility, before visiting the site of the new Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD), where they will help to seal a time capsule in the building's foundations.

Finally, their day in the city will conclude with a visit to Francis House, a hospice which provides care for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions.

The hospice in Didsbury, south Manchester, was opened in 1991 by Diana, Princess of Wales, and is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The Duke and Duchess will tour the facilities, meet families and volunteers, and officially open Francis House's new lodge facilities.