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Duke of Cambridge chats with Afghan refugees in Leeds hotel

The Duke of Cambridge visited refugee families who were evacuated to the UK after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in a Leeds hotel today. 

Prince William travelled to the city to celebrate diverse communities across the region who have readily welcomed refugees and visited a hotel where families are being temporarily housed. 

The Duke, 39, chatted with Afghan refugees about their experiences before visiting the hotel's children's area where he watched children playing as he was told about the work of the local community. 

William, whose visit takes place amid reports of a row between the Royal Family and the BBC in the wake of the two-part series The Princes and the Press, appeared in high spirits as he spoke with families. 

The Duke of Cambridge visited refugee families who were evacuated to the UK after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in a Leeds hotel this afternoon 

The Duke, 39, chatted with Afghan refugees about their experiences before visiting the hotel's children's area where he watched children playing as he was told about the work of the local community

William, whose visit takes place amid reports of a row between the Royal Family and the BBC in the wake of the two-part series The Princes and the Press, appeared in high spirits as he spoke with families

Much-needed support from the local community includes donations of clothes and essential supplies, as well as efforts from local councils and charities to help refugees settle in. 

Earlier this month it was revealed that up to 12,000 of the 15,000 Afghan refugees evacuated to the UK were still in hotels awaiting a permanent home. 

In September, the Duchess of Cambridge visited RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to meet military personnel and civilians who helped evacuate Afghans from their country in August. 

Kate, 39, chatted to those who took part in Operation Pitting, which saw more than 15,000 people airlifted out of Kabul, including thousands of Arap (Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy) applicants and their dependents. 

Prince William travelled to the city to celebrate diverse communities across the region who have readily welcomed refugees and visited a hotel where families are being temporarily housed

William was keen to hear about the experiences of Afghan refugees who were evacuated to the UK during his surprise visit to a local hotel in Leeds this afternoon

The Duke of Cambridge is pictured escaping the cold weather as he entered the Leeds hotel this afternoon

William is pictured chatting with refugee families who were evacuated to the UK after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in a Leeds hotel today

The Duchess arrived in the G-XXEB (The Queen's Helicopter Flight) Sikorsky S-76 helicopter at about 2.15pm, before later taking to social media to praise all those involved in the operation as 'incredible people'.  

More than 850 people arrived at the RAF base in Oxfordshire during the evacuation in August and were provided practical support such as food, clothing, children's toys and medical help while their details were processed.

During her visit, the Duchess met RAF aircrews and medics who supported evacuees at Kabul Airport and civilians and volunteers who established a repatriation centre at RAF Brize Norton.  

The visit comes as William and Kate reportedly dropped the BBC as the broadcaster for their Christmas special in the wake of The Princes and the Press, which was criticised by the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for giving credibility to 'overblown and unfounded claims' about the Royal Family.

William watched as Afghan children playing in the children's area of a Leeds hotel while he learned about the vital community work done to help refugees settle into the local area 

William learned about the support from the local community including donations of clothes and essential supplies as he chatted with refugees 

William watched as Afghan children play as he chatted with their families about the vital community work done to help refugees settle into the UK

An industry insider said last week: 'It was all arranged to be on BBC1 but it was switched in the last few days because of the terrible row over the documentary. 

'And things are likely to get a lot worse between the Royal Family and the BBC before they get better as the second part of the documentary threatens to go further.' 

The second part of the documentary, which aired last night, saw Meghan Markle's lawyer issue a technical and bizarre denial the Duchess had ever bullied staff - before insisting 'but she wouldn’t want to negate anyone’s personal experiences.' 

The programme also said people connected to both the Cambridges and Sussexes briefed about the other. Kensington Palace declined to comment.