Prince William and Kate bond with children and charm crowds in Sunderland

By Ainhoa Barcelona

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spending the day taking in the vibrant arts scene in Sunderland, where they will also tour a new bridge. Following a week off with their children, Prince William and Kate, travelled up north for the engagement on Wednesday (Feb. 21). Kicking things off at the Fire Station, the couple explored the newly converted music and arts hub housed in one of the city's most iconic buildings.

The royals charmed locals as they took part in a short walkabout outside the building; fans had waited in the hope of catching a glimpse of William, 35, and heavily pregnant Kate, 36, who is expecting the couple's third child in April. The Duchess beat the chill in a Dolce & Gabbana coat.

TAP TO VIEW IN GALLERYKate Middleton in a green Dolce & Gabbana coat showing a baby bump as many ladies on the sidelines greet and take pictures of herKate is expecting her third child in April

Once inside the Fire Station, the couple were treated to a colourful performance of music, dance and theatre from local children and young people. They made the visit official by opening the Fire Station before leaving.

Is this Kate's favourite new perfume?

Another image of Kate Middleton by the sidelines close to fansThe Duchess joined Prince William on a visit to Sunderland

Next, William and Kate travelled to the Northern Spire, where they were one of the first to walk across the striking new bridge, due to open this spring. The couple were told how the 1,550-tonne bridge – which is taller than Big Ben's clock tower and twice as high as Nelson's Column – will help improve links between the Port of Sunderland and the city centre. They met local children who will benefit from using the bridge, before crossing it themselves to meet the engineers and construction workers who helped build it.

HELLO! Canada magazine is available for your tablet and smartphone. Get HELLO! Canada, PEOPLE, Vanity Fair and over 100 more of the world’s best magazines for one low monthly price at Texture by Next Issue. CLICK HERE to sign up for a free trial.