William and Kate play bandy hockey as their Stockholm visit begins

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The Duchess of Cambridge was left glum faced after she was beaten in a bandy hockey penalty shootout by her husband.

Bandy has a huge following in Sweden and has similarities to both hockey and football as a small ball instead of a puck is used, and teams of 11 play on ice rinks, similar in size to soccer pitches, and use curved sticks.

But despite Kate being an accomplished hockey player, who was a member of both her school and university teams, William triumphed smashing in two goals to his wife’s one.

Anna Widing, 29, an international bandy player – who coached the royal couple before the shootout, said: “I could see that maybe they like to beat each other. Also they were pushing each other to do well.”

She agreed the duke — who wielded his stick with confidence — had a strong shot, but said about the duchess: “Kate had played field hockey and I was expecting her to be good — and she was very good. She knew how to hold the stick and she had a very good swing. I was impressed.”

The royal couple started their day with a hot drink from a flask carried in a case, known as a bandy portfolj – bandy briefcase, to keep out the sub-zero temperatures at the snowy Stockholm park where the match was staged.

Royal visit to Scandinavia – Day One
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet a group of local bandy hockey players at Vasaparken in Stockholm on the first day of their visit to Sweden (Victoria Jones/PA)

William and Kate watched a match being played after their warming drink and were soon tapping the ground with sticks they were handed, in anticipation of the three-round penalty shootout.

Royal visit to Scandinavia – Day One
The Duchess of Cambridge hits a hockey ball (Victoria Jones/PA)

When the duke scored, the duchess matched him and raised her first in triumph – but after her husband whacked his second goal into the net, she fired wide with her final shot.

Ms Widing, who plays as a half-back, said: “It was a privilege for us to show our sport to them. We have been to China to show the sport and to come back here and show it to the royals from Britain is an honour.”

After their moment on the ice, William and Kate shared some hot chocolate with the schoolchildren who had been playing earlier – and before leaving were given a selection of bandy jerseys.

After their introduction to the sport, they headed to the royal palace for a lunch hosted by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia — and 15 other members of the royal court, including Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel.

British Nobel Laureate Professor Duncan Haldane chatted to William when he later visited the Nobel Museum with Kate to learn the history of the prestigious awards which recognise outstanding achievements in a range of fields from the arts to sciences.

The Princeton University physicist, who was jointly awarded the honour in 2016, made William laugh when he told him “You don’t have to be a genius to get a Nobel Prize.”

He added: “You have to be in the right place to see something strange. All the really interesting discoveries were made by accident.

“Nobody wakes up saying ‘I’m going to make a Nobel prize discovery’.”

His work using advanced mathematical methods to study unusual states of matter like superconductors, an area of research he later referred to as “cool stuff in quantum mechanics”, earned him the Nobel prize for physics.

William listened intently and asked senior officials from the Nobel Prize about how long it took to decide the winners and was told years, sometimes more than a decade.

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