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Kate handles tarantula and bird as she and William meet student nurses in Northern Ireland

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Northern Ireland on Wednesday and met, in person, a group of student nurses they first spoke to via a video call in February.

Prince William and Kate visited Londonderry for a day-long trip to meet young people and hear how organisations are engaging across different communities.

The Duchess of Cambridge handled a tarantula and a bird during the visit, while the royal couple also had a close encounter with a snake, which William held.

The Duke of Cambridge handles a snake during a tour of Magee University in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, watched by his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge. Picture date: Wednesday September 29, 2021.
Image: William holds a snake during the royal couple’s tour

They were touring the Ulster University Magee Campus and met student nurses, who they spoke to via a video call back in February, who had joined the frontline fight against COVID-19 by working on wards or in the community during the pandemic.

During the call, Kate told the trainees: “Nursing is one of the most trusted professions in the country, so you couldn’t have chosen a better career choice and it’s needed now more than ever.”

The Cambridges were shown a simulated ambulance, the only one of its kind in the region, built on campus to train those studying the new BSc Hons Paramedic Science programme.

The course, which started last week, is offered by the university to support the development of the paramedic profession in Northern Ireland and further afield.

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As part of their visit, the Cambridges spoke to the first cohort of medical students at the university’s new school of medicine.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talking with medical students during a tour a of Magee University in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday September 29, 2021.
Image: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talk to medical students during their visit

It was established this year in response to the nationwide shortage in the medical workforce, with the aim of training the next generation of doctors.

Away from the text books and practical lessons, William and Kate learned how the undergraduates relax and spend their free time when they visited the Student Union.

It gave them the opportunity to sample some Northern Irish food and drink, ranging from whiskey and soda bread to Tayto crisps.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a tour of Magee University in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday September 29, 2021.
Image: The royals also heard how students relax and spend their free time on the campus

Students were able to teach the royal pair some local expressions before they heard some of the university’s talented musicians playing traditional instruments.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also went to the City of Derry Rugby Club to meet players, coaches and volunteers involved in a sporting initiative.

The Duchess of Cambridge kicks a football during a visit to the City of Derry rugby club in Londonderry, to participate in a sports initiative bringing football, rugby and GAA playing children, together. Picture date: Wednesday September 29, 2021.
Image: Watched by William, Kate kicks a football during the visit

They heard from sports officials about how the initiative has brought together communities from different backgrounds.

The visit to Northern Ireland came after the glitz and glamour of the world premiere of the new James Bond movie No Time To Die which the couple attended on Tuesday night in London.