ROYAL fever is building in Blackburn and Darwen ahead of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s visit to the borough on Monday.

The pair will officially open the Darwen Aldridge Academy, before viewing sporting activities in Witton Park.

It is their last official engagement before their wedding on April 29.

Exact times are not being announced for security reasons, but people are advised to head to the Blackburn park to see the couple.

As many as 15,000 people are expected to fill Witton Park, which will open from 11am for the visit.

Roads will be closed around the area, and people are advised to use either a park and ride from Ewood, or park in Blackburn town centre and walk down, or catch a bus.

Among the welcoming party at the academy will be headboy and girl John Meadowcroft and Zoe Harrison, who are both 15.

They will greet the soon-to-be-married couple alongside principal Brendan Loughran, academy sponsor, Rod Aldridge and other dignitaries.

John, who lives at The Meadows, Darwen, said: “We were told we were meeting them about ten days ago and I was stunned.

“Some of my mates thought I was joking when I said I would be welcoming them and talking to them about the school.

“Both my nan Linda and my great-gran Nellie have told me how proud and excited they are.

“In fact as soon as they found out they went out and bought picture frames for a photo of me, William and Kate.”

Zoe, from Dove Lane, Darwen said she and her friends saw Kate Middleton as an inspiring person even before the visit was announced.

She said: “I’m nervous and excited and know what a privilege it is for us. We are all very proud of the school and hope the will both have a good time here.”