William receives football-themed gifts on visit to Jordan

PA

The Duke of Cambridge may have missed England's World Cup game as his historic tour of the Middle East began, but he was given some footballing gifts to remind him of home.

William was presented with a wooden shield decorated with the crest of his beloved Aston Villa football club during a visit to a technology lab in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

The duke even pressed a button to start a laser cutter which produced the design, but before it sprang into action he spotted the Villa crest on the machine and said: "That's familiar. Very good. You have done your research."

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Once completed he said: "That's very impressive. Thank you very much."

It was one of two Villa-themed gifts the second in line to the throne took away with him from the technology lab, an initiative set-up by a foundation started by Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein.

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He was also given a model of the petrol tank on one of his beloved Ducati motorbikes bearing the Villa crest.

The duke's five-day tour of the Middle East is his most high profile foreign trip and will also see him visit Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories - the first time a member of the monarchy has visited on behalf of the Government.

William had been driven to the FabLab, in a business park, by the Crown Prince, who wanted to showcase the work his foundation is doing to equip young people with technology skills.

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Hussein, 23, a Sandhurst-trained second lieutenant in the Jordanian army, shares William's passion for motorbikes and an Instagram picture of him with his machine, along with his boyish good looks, have made him something of an international heartthrob.

William was shown 3D printers, a drone, a robotic arm and other pieces of technology young people have created at the lab.

Crown Prince Hussein introduced him to some of the students, including Hashem Taamneh, 19, who explained the intricacies of a small drone to him.

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"This is the first year he has been learning English," the Crown Prince said of the student.

"Really," William replied. "He is clearly very clever because he is learning very fast."

His own children are still infants but when the Duke was shown a robotic arm drawing beautiful patterns, he told students: "This will be good for my children to start learning a bit of coding. It has to be helpful."

While the duke enjoyed the start of his tour England thrashed Panama 6-1.