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William, Kate and Harry to give Tour de France teams a royal send-off

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend the Tour de France Grand Depart today. Their Royal Highnesses will briefly meet cyclists as they line up at Harewood House for the Ceremonial Start, and will officially start the race.

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William, Catherine and Harry will join the ceremonial start of the race on 5 July at Harewood House to see off the cyclists as they begin the 2,272-mile trip.

Harewood House is a country home in Harewood near Leeds. Built between 1759 and 1771, it was designed for businessman Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood.

The Tour de France is a gruelling race in which riders traverse through the UK, Belgium and Spain before their Paris finish on 27 July. The first Tour de France was staged in 1903.

After the start of the race, the Royal trio will visit West Tanfield, a village along the Stage One route which is hosting a fanzone, food and crafts fair, and market stalls. The village has especially embraced the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ and has brewed a new beer to celebrate – Tour d’Ale.

William along with his wife and brother will carry out a third engagement after their West Tanfield visit. They will go on the Stage One finish line at Harrogate to meet young athletes who have received grants from SportsAid, an organisation of which The Duchess of Cambridge is the patron.

Harry, William and Kate will watch the cyclists cross the finish line in an expected sprint finish, before presenting the awards to the Stage One winners.

The Royal trio are supporters and fans of British cycling. In 2012, the Duke and Duchess witnessed Sir Chris Hoy and his teammates win gold at the London Olympics.

Cycling runs in the family for the Duchess of Cambridge – her siblings Pippa and James Middleton recently competed in Race Across America which covered twelve states, raising money for charities which include the British Heart Foundation.

photo credit: Mikepaws via photopin cc

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