William and Kate play bandy hockey as their Stockholm visit begins


The Duchess of Cambridge was left glum faced after she was beaten in a bandy hockey penalty shootout by her husband.

Dressed in fashionable bobble hats and winter coats, William and Kate renewed their friendly rivalry on the first day of their Nordic tour when they joined a group of Swedish youngsters playing the game.

Bandy has a huge following in Sweden and has similarities to both hockey and football as a small ball instead of a puck is used, and teams of 11 play on ice rinks, similar in size to soccer pitches, and use curved sticks.

But despite Kate being an accomplished hockey player, who was a member of both her school and university teams, William triumphed smashing in two goals to his wife's one.

Anna Widing, 29, an international bandy player - who coached the royal couple before the shootout, said: "I could see that maybe they like to beat each other. Also they were pushing each other to do well."

She agreed the duke -- who wielded his stick with confidence -- had a strong shot, but said about the duchess: "Kate had played field hockey and I was expecting her to be good -- and she was very good. She knew how to hold the stick and she had a very good swing. I was impressed."

Royal visit to Scandinavia - Day One
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet a group of local bandy hockey players at Vasaparken in Stockholm on the first day of their visit to Sweden (Victoria Jones/PA)

The royal couple started their day with a hot drink from a flask carried in a case, known as a bandy portfolj - bandy briefcase, to keep out the sub-zero temperatures at the snowy Stockholm park where the match was staged.

The duke and duchess, who wore a Burberry coat, sweater by Swedish designer Fjallraven and is around six months pregnant, drank an alcohol free version of the tipple known as Glogg, usually mulled wine or coffee laced with alcohol.

William and Kate watched a match being played after their warming drink and were soon tapping the ground with sticks they were handed, in anticipation of the three-round penalty shootout.

Royal visit to Scandinavia - Day One
The Duchess of Cambridge hits a hockey ball (Victoria Jones/PA)

They were ushered onto the ice via a red carpet and William took the first shot which was saved, while Kate's effort went narrowly past the goalie's left post.

When the duke scored, the duchess matched him and raised her first in triumph - but after her husband whacked his second goal into the net, she fired wide with her final shot.

Ms Widing, who plays as a half-back, said: "It was a privilege for us to show our sport to them. We have been to China to show the sport and to come back here and show it to the royals from Britain is an honour."

After their moment on the ice, William and Kate shared some hot chocolate with the schoolchildren who had been playing earlier - and before leaving were given a selection of bandy jerseys.

After their introduction to the sport, they headed to the royal palace for a lunch hosted by King
Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia -- and 15 other members of the royal court, including Crown
Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel.