The Duchess of Cambridge has said she tried to knit a special jumper for Prince George, but it “splattered”, as she met local people in Bradford following a tumultuous week for the royal family.

Kate and the Duke of Cambridge were cheered and welcomed by hundreds of well-wishers as they visited community projects that promote cohesion in the West Yorkshire city.

The visit on Wednesday is the couple’s first official engagement of the year.

The duchess spoke to well-wishers outside City Hall
The duchess spoke to well-wishers outside City Hall (Danny Lawson/PA)

It comes after William began the week involved in crisis talks over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s intention to step back as senior royals.

The duke and duchess were welcomed by a drummer as they arrived at the Bradford Khidmat Centre for their third engagement of the day, after meeting youngsters at City Hall and making milkshakes at a restaurant.

The duchess was introduced to a group of women crocheting at the centre, who showed her hearts and blankets they had made for her children – six-year-old George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The Duchess of Cambridge at the Khidmat Centre
The Duchess of Cambridge at the Khidmat Centre (Charlotte Graham/PA)

“I tried knitting when I first had George,” the duchess told them.

“I tried to knit him a very special jumper, but I got half way down and it splattered.”

The duchess, who in 2013 disclosed she had taken up knitting ahead of the birth of her eldest child, George, added: “It’s such an amazing skill.”

While at the Khidmat Centre, the royal couple also got involved in a session of the Older Yet Wiser project, which supports grandparents with child-caring responsibilities.

As the group sang the “banana song”, which included the lyrics “peel bananas, peel peel bananas”, Kate picked up 18-month-old Sorayah Ahmad and danced with the youngster, helping her shake her rattle in time with the music.

The visit comes just days after the Queen agreed Harry and Meghan could step back as senior royals and begin a “new life” as an “independent” family.

Following a summit at Sandringham on Monday, Buckingham Palace confirmed the couple would begin a “transition period” in which they would split their time between the UK and Canada.

The summit convened by the Queen, which brought together Harry, William and the Prince of Wales, was not attended by Meghan, who is in Canada with baby son Archie.

It also emerged on Tuesday that Meghan’s father could give evidence against her in her legal battle with The Mail On Sunday, should it go to court.

High Court documents revealed Thomas Markle forms part of the newspaper’s defence, after The Mail On Sunday and its parent company Associated Newspapers were accused of unlawfully publishing a letter between the two.

During a visit to MyLahore restaurant earlier on Wednesday, the duke and duchess made milkshakes and met boxer Amir Khan.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet boxer Amir Khan
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet boxer Amir Khan (Chris Jackson/PA)

The boxer said the duke had indicated he would like to work together on the Amir Khan Foundation, and that they discussed mental health in sport.

The duke and duchess began a busy day of engagements at City Hall, where the duke spoke to local business leaders about Aston Villa FC, a team he is known to follow.

During a discussion with David Baldwin, chief executive of Burnley Football Club, William discussed injured Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

The duke said: “Poor Tom, it’s a horrible injury.”

The duke and duchess were cheered by well-wishers at each engagement
The duke and duchess were cheered by well-wishers at each engagement (Danny Lawson/PA)

He agreed that new signing Danny Drinkwater needs “more game time”, before looking round and joking: “I realise we’re going to start talking about football (now).”

Kate, who celebrated her 38th birthday last week, wore a long, military-style khaki coat by British designer Alexander McQueen.

Underneath the coat, Kate wore a black and white tartan pattern pussybow dress from high street retailer Zara, which she paired with black pointed court style heels, a small black bag and gold drop earrings by Zeen.

The Pakistani jewellery designer was favoured by the duchess during their visit to Pakistan in October.