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‘You Are Very Strong and Brave’: Will and Kate Have Emotional Meeting with Paris Terrorist Attack Survivors

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Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters/Splash News Online
Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters/Splash News Online

Prince William and Princess Kate have another full day of activities ahead of them in Paris after meeting with President Francois Hollande on Friday.

For the second day of their short stop in the City of Light, Will and Kate kicked things off with a visit to Les Invalides, the famed Parisian hospital for former soldiers that has since been turned into a military museum. During their visit at the historic site, Will and Kate learned about the museum’s current role in supporting veterans and rehabilitation programs.

Kate traded her British design run (of Catherine Walker, Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham) from the previous day to show some love to France in a Chanel coatdress. She also carried a small maroon Chanel purse.

During the stop, the royal couple met with victims and fire responders from two tragic Parisian terrorist attacks — the November 2015 attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead and the 2016 attack in Nice on Bastille Day, which left 86 people dead.

While meeting with the survivors and first responders, William took a moment to encourage one survivor, Jessica Bambal Akan, who was shot seven times while dining out with friends in Paris in the November 2015 attacks.

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

“We think you are very strong and very brave, you’ve made amazing progress,” the Duke of Cambridge said, according to the Daily Express. Kate also added that she would keep an eye out for Bambal Akan’s work after she mentioned that she was interested in entering the fashion industry.

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
Chris Jackson/Getty
Chris Jackson/Getty

After visiting Les Invalides, Will and Kate made the short journey to the Musée d’Orsay overlooking the Seine. While there, the couple toured the famous Impressionist Gallery, which includes such masterpieces as Édouard Manet’s The Luncheon on the Grass, Edgar Degas’ L’Absinthe and several works from Claude Monet, among others. The visit was likely a highlight for Kate who majored in Art History when she attended St. Andrew’s University in Scotland. The royal couple may have a chance to view the paintings again as a number of iconic works from the gallery are set to be exhibited at the Tate in London later this year.

Chris Jackson/Getty
Chris Jackson/Getty
Chris Jackson/Getty
Chris Jackson/Getty

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After their artistic stop, Will and Kate attended an event for “Les Voisins in Action” (or “Neighbors in Action”) at the Trocadéro, where they met with a group of young people from both France and U.K. While at the event, the couple chatted with schoolchildren from the British Council’s Somme project as well as members of young learners programs. They also got in some sporty time as they tossed around a rugby ball and chatted with young players.

Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Arthur Edwards-Pool/Getty
Arthur Edwards-Pool/Getty
Splash News Online
Splash News Online

From there, Will and Kate ended their trip on a sporty note — watching the Wales vs. France rugby game as part of the RBS Six Nations match at the Stade de France. Kate had changed her clothes from earlier in the day, opting to wear a red coat. (Red, of course, is the color of Team Wales.) The couple was spotted singing the Welsh national anthem in Welsh in the stands.

This wasn’t the first time that the two have managed to squeeze in a game into one of their trips — the two took a break from their royal engagements during a 2014 visit to Sydney to take in a rugby match.