CROWDS turned out in force today to give a big Bradford welcome to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

Their first stop was City Hall and scores of people - both young and old - gathered to catch a glimpse of the royal pair. 

The atmosphere was electric as they stepped out in Centenary Square and cheers of delight rang out as the big moment finally came.

They met young people and local employers in City Hall. 

Football was the topic of conversation at one point.


During a discussion with David Baldwin, chair of the Bradford Economic Partnership and chief executive of Burnley Football Club, William discussed injured Aston Villa FC goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

The duke said: "Poor Tom, it's a horrible injury."

He agreed that new signing Danny Drinkwater needs "more game time", before looking round and joking: "I realise we're going to start talking about football (now)."

They then headed out to waiting crowds and spoke to a number of people. 

Ten-year-old Aliza Khan, a pupil at All Saints' Primary School, Little Horton, was lucky enough to speak to the Duchess and described it as a "dream come true". 

"It was amazing," she said. "She's a really humble and kind person."

And it was also a really special day for birthday girl - and huge royal fan - Faith Gledhill, 27, who managed to speak to Prince William.

She said: "I told him it was my birthday and he said 'Today!? We should be giving you a present'."

She said she was "starstruck" and added: "He's so down to earth and normal, it was just amazing.

"Best birthday ever!"

Julie Astbury, 52, from Halifax, enjoyed a chat with Prince William. 

She said: "He just said - 'your hands are freezing, how long have you been here' and asked where my gloves were, I said they were in my pocket, and he said 'well you're a Yorkshire lass'.

"It's just nice, I've been a big fan of royalty for years and years, from his mum onwards, so it's just really nice to get to meet them locally."

Leanne Jones, 33, from Halifax, also managed to speak to Prince William. She said: "I talk a lot and I'm pretty speechless!"

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “It was a pleasure to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  They are a lovely couple and it was great to have them in the district meeting local people.

“There were so many people in Centenary Square, all turning out on a January day to welcome them to our city.   

"I know the couple will have left with a positive impression of the diversity and dynamism that characterises the UK’s youngest city.  They are welcome back anytime!”

Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council, said: “I was very honoured to introduce the Royal Couple to some of our district’s inspirational young people, business and community leaders and representatives of the voluntary sector.

“We had a lively debate with the Duke and Duchess about the future of the district and the opportunities for young people. Their Royal Highnesses can have been in no doubt that many talented people are committed to playing their part in building a prosperous future for the district.

“We would love them to make the Bradford District a regular feature on their calendar of engagements so that they can experience the amazing towns, villages and rural landscapes of the area.”