The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge rubbed shoulders with England's football stars as they opened a football centre of excellence hoped to revolutionise the national game.
William and Kate joined England manager Roy Hodgson and his squad at the Football Association's (FA) new £105 million St George's Park complex which aims to produce coaches and players to rival World and European champions Spain.
Household names like Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard broke off from a training session to chat to the royals who toured the 330-acre site near Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, for two hours.
On a practice pitch, the Duke and Duchess shared a joke with Gerrard, captain of the England team and also met Ashley Cole, who is currently at the centre of a Twitter row after posting a tweet attacking the Football Association.
In a speech to mark the opening of the new complex, William praised the development saying its benefits would be felt far beyond the world of football.
He said: "St George's Park, and the concept that underpins it, is something totally new. It will be far more than just a world-class facility for training our future world-beating national team."
All of England's 24 national teams will use the site as their training base ahead of international fixtures and the country's top football stars were put through their paces at the centre for the first time on Tuesday.
The facility has eleven external pitches, a dedicated practice and training area for goalkeepers, a sports pavilion for post-training de-briefs and a world-class sports and exercise medicine, human performance and research centre.