Britain's Prince William and Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein look at a photograph showing William's wife, the former Kate Middleton, her father Michael and younger sister Pippa in the ruins of the Roman city of Jerash in the 1980s in Jerash, Jordan, Monday, June 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Raad al-Adayleh)

Amid the Roman ruins of Jordan’s ancient city of Jerash, Prince William spotted a rather familiar face on Monday.

The royal couldn’t hide his surprise when he came across a poster-sized photograph of his wife aged four – taken in the same spot more than 30 years ago.

The 1986 snap – taken by her mother Carole Middleton – shows the Duchess of Cambridge with her father Michael and her sister Pippa when the family lived in Jordan.

Kate, 36, was two when the family moved there in 1984 because of her father’s job with British Airways. The Middletons spent almost three years there, with Kate attending a local English language nursery.

The photograph, which shows Pippa at the age of two, is not an unfamilar one for the Prince, however. It was released by Clarence House in the run up to his wedding to Kate in 2011. It was no doubt planted by William’s hosts in Jordan yesterday as a pleasant surprise.

Joined on the visit by Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein, the Duke laughed when he saw it and said: ‘Need to come back with the family for this shot.’

He also admired his father-in-law’s choice of footwear, quipping: ‘Michael’s looking very smart in his flip flops!’

Antiquities expert Samia Khouri, who guided the prince, said: ‘He was very surprised when he saw the photo – he did not expect that!

‘But that’s why he was here, because he wanted to take a photo at the same spot where Kate was photographed.’

William had already apologised for his wife’s absence on the trip so soon after the April birth of their son, Prince Louis, later gushing about how much she ‘loved’ living in Jordan as a child.

The Duke was on the second day of a five-day trip to the Middle East and made history when he stepped onto Israeli soil last night for the first official royal visit since the country’s founding 70 years ago.