STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, who is expecting the couple’s third child in April, started a four-day visit to Sweden and Norway on Tuesday, hitting the ice in a Stockholm park to try out the sport of bandy.
Bandy, played mainly in the Nordic region and Russia, is similar to ice hockey but played with a small ball instead of a puck and with larger pitches and goals. After a brief tutorial, William scored two goals in a three-shot shootout to Kate’s one.
As well as meetings with the royal families of Sweden and Norway and political leaders in the Nordic countries, the royal couple’s agenda also includes briefings about the military forces in the region.
William – second-in-line to the throne – served in Britain’s armed forces from 2006 until 2013, and worked as a search and rescue helicopter pilot before he started last year to focus full-time on his royal duties.
Also on the agenda is a visit to the Karolinska Institute where they will be learning about how Sweden is tackling mental health issues among young people.
Kate, William and his brother Harry have made campaigning about mental health a priority, with the brothers speaking about how the death of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in a 1997 car crash had left them with deep emotional scars.
Britain’s monarchy has ridden a wave of public support in recent years due to the popularity of William, Kate and Harry.
(Reporting by Daniel Dickson,; editing by Niklas Pollard and Ed Osmond)