Jun. 12--Who knew a future British king and queen might need to shear sheep? British fans of the rural lifestyle now know their future monarch can wield the shaver like a pro, and his wife only a little less so.
Prince William and Duchess Kate got dressed down to spend the day in British farm country on Tuesday, meeting farmers at a local market, sampling their produce, hiking trails, building stone walls and trying their hands at shearing sheep -- to the chagrin of the wriggling ruminants.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went to the county of Cumbria in the Lake District to spend a day in a fabled corner of northwest England getting to know the locals and celebrating "the resilience and spirit of rural and farming communities in the region," as Kensington Palace put it.
Clad in casual-yet-chic duds, the royal duo were greeted with the usual enthusiasm by well-wishers gathered in the Market Square of the town of Keswick, where they shook hands and cuddled a trio of cute spaniels trained as service dogs.
But it was their visit to Deepdale Hall Farm, a traditional fell sheep farm in Patterdale, that delighted photographers as Will and then Kate took turns grasping the hind quarters of a couple of sheep, turned on the shearer and gamely started shaving the wool off the haunches.
"The Duke and Duchess Of Cambridge join in sheep shearing at Deepdale Hall Farm, where the Brown family have been farming in the valley near Lake Ullswater since the 1950s," the palace tweet read.
Left-handed Will seemed to be more expert at this quotidian task on any sheep farm, according to the videos the palace posted.
Kate was a little more tentative, possibly because the video shows she was shaving with her left hand and she's right-handed.
After some seconds of shaving, when the sheep started squirming, she looked up and giggled at her husband and the rest of the family who own the farm, who stood chuckling on the sidelines.
"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent time on Deepdale Hall Farm with the Brown family tending to their flock of Herdwick and Swaledale sheep, joining them for sheep shearing, herding and dry stone walling," a palace tweet reported.
The royals also did some hiking on trails in the beautiful countryside, helped the Brown family tend to their flock and joined in to help repair a dry stone wall on the farm.
Later, they joined the Brown family and other farmers and members of the local The Farmer Network for a kitchen-table chat about the economic challenges of farming in an era of political uncertainty about Britain's divorce from the European Union.
"Is Brexit a big concern?" Will asked. According to the Daily Mail, one farmer had a pointed answer:
"I was very surprised that farmers voted for Brexit, to be honest. It was like turkeys voting for Christmas."
For this outing, Will and Kate wore similar outfits of casual jackets and pants. Kate pulled her hair back in a ponytail and wore an olive-green jacket and sweater over a white blouse with a frilly collar, plus black leggings and suede hiking boots.
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