William and Kate brave rain for last pre-wedding visit

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Hundreds of well-wishers braved heavy rain to see Prince William and Kate Middleton on Monday on their last official engagement before their wedding.

Kate, wearing a smart blue skirt suit which matched her diamond and sapphire engagement ring, sheltered under a huge black umbrella during the visit to Darwen, near Bolton in Lancashire, northwest England.

In a speech to the local school which he formally opened, the prince thanked his hosts for a "warm Lancastrian welcome... if not a little damp".

Afterwards, the couple spent more than ten minutes shaking hands with soaked crowds wishing them well for their wedding on April 29.

Linda Gregson, 52, of Darwen, waited for two and a half hours in the rain with her son Mitchell, 15, but said it was "absolutely worth the wait".

She managed to speak to Kate, she said, adding: "I'm so excited. I told her we are going down to London for their wedding and she said she hoped it was a nicer day for us."

© 2011 AFP

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