HUGS!!

Kate Hits Newcastle

Kate Middleton swooshed into Newcastle today to receive hugs from schoolchildren, wrapped up against the chilly autumnal air in a long burgundy coat that was last seen on the royal shoulders on her way to church at Sandringham last Christmas.

Several thousand royal fans assembled to greet the future Queen, who is carrying out today's tour on her own as her husband, William, is attending the funeral of his beloved nanny Olga Powell. Among them was 10-year-old Terry Campbell who held his arms out wide for a hug, and, when asked by Kate "Am I going to get a cuddle as well?" wa sonly too happy to oblige.

Kate and William had been due to spend last night at Alnwick Castle, ancestral home of the Percy family (the scion, George, is an old school friend of William's and lived with Pippa at university and has been romantically linked to her) but they changed their plans to allow William to attend today's funeral near London. Kate flew up to Newcastle this morning in a helicopter.

After spending the morning in Newcastle, Kate will this afternoon cross over the Tyne to the neighbouring city of Gateshead, and visit Keyfund, a charity chosen to benefit from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund.

In the afternoon, the Duchess will leave Tyne & Wear, heading south to Stockton-on-Tees where she will meet families involved in drug treatment programmes at the CRI Stockton Recovery Centre on William Street.

Check back for photos and updates all day from the Royalist.