Royal couple tied the knot with Norfolk when they wed

This photograph taken in the Autumn by Matt Porteous, shows The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with t

This photograph taken in the Autumn by Matt Porteous, shows The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their three children, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George (right) at Anmer Hall in Norfolk. This photograph features on their Royal Highnesses Christmas card this year. Photo: PRESS ASSOCIATION - Credit: PA

Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot with Norfolk when they married. 

For the Royal couple, who celebrate their 10th anniversary on Thursday April 29, fell in love with the county where they would share so many happy times.

Norfolk was the first place William and his bride-to-be were seen in public after announcing their engagement.

Prince William and Kate Middleton attending a gala performance at the Thursford Christmas Spectacula

Prince William and Kate Middleton attending a gala performance at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust shortly after their engagement was announced. - Credit: Ian Burt

The couple attended a gala evening in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, in December 2010. A month earlier William and Kate, who had met at St Andrew's University, announced they were to wed.

A million people lined the streets of London hoping for a glimpse of the couple on their way to Westminster Abbey on April 29 the following year. An estimated 100m more watched around the globe as they exchanged vows. 

REVIEW OF THE DECADE - ROYAL File photo dated 29/04/11 of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton

Prince William and Kate Middleton kissing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London watched by bridesmaids Margarita Armstrong-Jones (right) and Grace Van Cutsem (left), following their wedding at Westminster Abbey. - Credit: Chris Ison/PA


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The best wedding present of all

Of all their wedding presents, perhaps the most treasured of all was their own corner of Norfolk to call home.

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For as well as the titles of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it emerged the Queen had given William and Kate Anmer Hall - a 12-bed Georgian mansion on a secluded corner of her 20,000-acre Sandringham Estate, near King's Lynn.

Anmer Hall, Anmer. Picture: Ian Burt

Anmer Hall, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given by the Queen - Credit: Ian Burt

Prince William left his role as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot based at Anglesey, in North Wales, in September 2013.

In August 2014, it was announced he would be joining the East Anglian Air Ambulance as a pilot, flying from its base in Cambridge. The career move was accompanied by a house move, as the Cambridges made Anmer Hall their main home with their son Prince George, who had been born on July 22, 2013.

Safe in the hands of the Duchess of Cambridge, the Royal couple and their son Prince George of Cambr

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave hospital with their new son Prince George - Credit: PA

Enjoying the Norfolk life as hall becomes home

The family soon immersed themselves in the Norfolk life. The couple were often seen enjoying meals at a clutch of country pubs around  the hall including the Dabbling Duck  at Great Massingham, the Crown at East Rudham and King's Head at Great Bircham.

The Duchess shopped local, at everywhere from Waitrose in Swaffham to Gurney's the fishmongers, at Burnham Market, where she is said to have picked up fishcakes when entertaining. She has also shopped at The Range in King's Lynn.

In June 2016, the Cambridges were guests at Taste of Norfolk, a gala evening in aid of the East Anglian Children's Hospice. The event raised £400,000 for the charity, which Kate had become patron of.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a gala dinner at Houghton Hall in King's Lynn in support of

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a gala dinner at Houghton Hall in King's Lynn in support of East Anglia's Children's Hospices' nook appeal, which is raising funds to build and equip a new children's hospice for families in Norfolk. - Credit: Stephen Pond/PA

Dishes were cooked by Michelin-starred chefs Galton Blackiston, Sat Bains, Claude Bosi, Tom Kerridge and Mark Edwards. The Duchess told them: "William has to put up with my cooking most of the time." The Prince responded: "It's the reason I'm so skinny."

Kate also discovered a love of gardening after moving to the hall, where a conservatory was installed as part of a number of alterations. She was seen in local garden centres, including one where staff serving her as she bought a hosepipe did not recognise her, with one observing instead; "You won't be needing that for a while - they reckon it's going to rain."

The Duchess was also a regular at the horse trials at Houghton Hall and Burnham Market, whilst people living in a nearby village would sometimes see her taking her children to its playground.

The christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandringham Church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandringham Church. - Credit: Matthew Usher

While the Cambridges kept a low profile for much of the time, they walked through crowds of well-wishers pushing their newest arrival in an antique pram when Princess Charlotte was christened at Sandringham Church in July, 2015.

In another Norfolk first, the occasion was the first time the Cambridges were seen in public as a family of four when they chose to have Charlotte baptised at the same tiny church where her late grandmother Diana, Princess of Wales, was christened.

The Duke of Cambridge as he began his new job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) at Cambridg

The Duke of Cambridge as he began flying with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) at Cambridge Airport in 2015. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

In July 2017, Prince William flew the air ambulance for the last time, after it was announced that he would be leaving to concentrate on Royal duties.

He said: "It has been a huge privilege to fly with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Following on from my time in the military, I have had experiences in this job I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and that will add a valuable perspective to my royal work for decades to come."

Special connections to Norfolk

The Cambridges returned to live at Kensington Palace in London. The following year William spoke of his close bond with Norfolk, in a letter support the first Norfolk Day planned for July 27.

"My family's connections with the county of Norfolk go back more than 150 years when Queen Victoria bought Sandringham House," he wrote. "'My mother was born at Park House in the grounds of Sandringham, and many other family moments have taken place here.

Sandringham House, which reopens to visitors on May 29

The Royal Family's connections to Norfolk date back more than 150 years, to when Queen Victoria bought Sandringham House - Credit: Ian Burt

"So it already felt like home when Catherine and I lived there for the first years of George and Charlotte's lives whilst I had a job as a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance up the road in Cambridge."

The Prince said Norfolk had 'much' going for it including a beautiful coastline and countryside, historic cities and churches, an ancient culture and rich tradition of local food and drink and 'not to mention global, national and local businesses, contributing to thriving commerce'.

EMBARGOED TO 2200 WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16
MANDATORY CREDIT: Matt Porteous.
Strictly for editorial us

The 2020 Christmas card of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge which features an image taken in the autumn by photographer Matt Porteous showing the Duke and Duchess with their three children Prince George (left), Princess Charlotte (right) and Prince Louis at Anmer Hall in Norfolk. Picture: Matt Porteous - Credit: Matt Porteous

Prince Louis was born in May 2018. The now five strong family continued to enjoy stays at Anmer Hall. In 2019, they chose a picture taken in Norfolk for their Christmas card

As they joined the Queen and members of the Royal Family for their traditional Christmas gathering at Sandringham, who could have guessed what lay around the corner.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take part in a video call from Anmer Hall in Norfolk

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take part in a video call from Anmer Hall in Norfolk - Credit: Kensington Palace

In March, the Cambridges and their three children returned to Norfolk to see out lockdown at Anmer Hall. There were Zoom calls to front line emergency staff, mental health workers and volunteers

In July, he couple also visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King;s Lynn, where they met front line NHS staff.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn as p

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn as part of the NHS birthday celebrations. - Credit: PA

In May the couple and their children helped load food supplies for the vulnerable, while Prince William also paid visits to the Rose and Crown pub at Snettisham and Smiths Bakers in King's Lynn, while his wife dropped into Fakenham Garden Centre, where she sometimes shops.

Prince William at The Rose & Crown in Snettisham. Picture: Andrew Waddison/AW PR

Prince William at The Rose and Crown in Snettisham. - Credit: Andrew Waddison/AW PR

In November, it emerged Prince William had had to self-isolate at Anmer after testing positive for coronavirus in April.

Last month, it emerged the Cambridges had returned to live at Kensington Palace in London. But they were back in Norfolk as recently as last weekend, when they enjoyed a short break away from the capital.   







  



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