GOOD SPORTS: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived by helicopter to open the new St. George’s Park National Football Centre near Birmingham, England. The visit is part of a three-day round of engagements, the couple’s first official ones following their Diamond Jubilee tour of Southeast Asia.

Wearing a gray coat by Reiss, the Duchess met members of England’s national soccer team, including Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, as they took time out from training for World Cup qualifying matches. The royal couple was given a tour of England’s new training base by Roy Hodgson, the England team manager.

This story first appeared in the October 10, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Duchess shared a joke with a local member of parliament Andrew Griffiths. He asked her if she would be going for a “kickabout” later, and when she asked whether there was a pair of trainers for her to borrow, Griffiths said it could be arranged.

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St George’s Park has been earmarked as a training facility for future generations of soccer coaches, as well as an international standard sports medicine and performance research center.

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