Cambridge has given its duke and duchess a rapturous welcome as the royal couple tours the city for the first time.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets around the Guildhall to greet William and Kate, who are spending the day celebrating Cambridge's university, and some of its charities, schools and hard-working volunteers.

The royal couple arrived by train and were slowly driven through the city so the crowds could catch a glimpse of them.

Cambridge has been awaiting the royal visit since the Queen bestowed the dukedom on her grandson just a few hours before he married Catherine Middleton on April 29 last year.

The last Duchess of Cambridge was the German-born Princess Augusta Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Cassel, who was married to Prince Adolphus Frederick, the 1st Duke of Cambridge, and a son of George III.

The title was last held by Prince George, a military figure who wed a commoner for love - like William - but also kept a mistress for more than 30 years.

Kate was sporting her new hairstyle - layered long dark locks with a parted fringe - first seen in London on Tuesday night when she opened a new exhibition at the Natural History Museum. She was dressed in a MaxMara dress and coat and looked relaxed as she arrived at the Guildhall with her husband who wore a dark suit.

Kate and William were formally welcomed to the city by the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Hugh Duberly and his wife Sally. William joked about the punctual service he and his wife caught from London Kings Cross, which saw them arrive at 10.03am in Cambridge in a first-class carriage.

At the Guildhall, the couple were shown the Royal Charter that awarded Cambridge city status in 1951 and met winners of community awards, including Oliver Duell and Joshua Behan, joint winners of the "most courageous child" category.

One of the exhibits on display was a photograph of a balcony appearance the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made in 1955, during her first visit to the city three years after she became monarch. William and Kate replicated the balcony image and stepped outside to loud cheers from the crowds waiting in Market Square.