Tuesday, 19 March 2019

UPDATED: Duchess Kate Joins The Queen For Bush House Opening & A New Patronage!

The Duchess of Cambridge joined Her Majesty this morning for the official opening of Bush House, King's College London.

Kate and the Queen arrived sharing a blanket.

An arrival video.

A very large crowd welcomed the royals.

Both Kate and the Queen have connections with King's College. Her Majesty is patron and previously visited King’s College London in November 2012 to open the Dickson Poon School of Law and in 2002 to open King’s new Maughan Library. In January 2018 Kate visited The Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute at King’s College London’s Denmark Hill Campus.

It's always a joy to see the Queen teaming up with the younger generation of royals.

Since Prince Philip announced his retirement, I've been hoping we would see the monarch accompanied by other members of the family more frequently. The outing is reminiscent of the early years of Kate's royal life, most notably her solo appearances with HM. In 2011, the pair viewed the Royal wedding exhibition at Buckingham Palace. When Her Majesty saw the headless mannequin used to exhibit the gown she said "Horrid". It was a diplomatic reply from the newly married Kate who added "It has a 3D effect".

In 2012, Kate joined the Queen for an 'away day' in Leicester.

And in 2014, Kate accompanied the Queen for a dramatic arts reception at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen looked regal in a rose cashmere Stewart Parvin coat and Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat.

As the fourth oldest university in England, King’s College London provides teaching and cutting-edge research in the heart of London. King’s has played a major role in many of the advances that shape modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA, and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King’s College London has over 31,000 students from some 150 countries and acquired the Bush House buildings in 2015 to provide a home for many of their academic departments, as well as further learning and social spaces and enhanced student facilities. These new buildings include lecture theatres, teaching rooms, a 395-seat auditorium, and The Exchange, an open, collaborative space designed for events and exhibitions.

The Queen and The Duchess arrived at the central courtyard that connects the five Bush House Buildings, before touring the facilities and meeting a number of supporters of the development.

They visited one of two Roof Terraces which boast panoramic views of London and met those who worked on the conversion of Bush House. Kate turned to HM and said "It's a pretty impressive view".

They viewed a robotics demonstration, including robotic surgery, and a demo showing how sensors made from textiles can measure useful information about the body.

The Queen and the Duchess visited King’s virtual trading floor, and met a number of students from the Entrepreneurship Institute, which exists to support entrepreneurial thinking, skills and experiences amongst King’s students, staff and alumni.

They met staff and representatives.

The Telegraph reports:

'Meeting entrepreneurs Aysha Ingar who has set up an app for Muslim women and Tobi Oredein who has set up a media platform for black women in the UK, the Duchess told them: “I come from an entrepreneurial background and my parents started their own business so I’m all for it! "Congratulations and keep going.”
The Duchess also met medical student Qasim Munye, 22, who has set up an app called Shortly for people who want to read short stories on the go, allowing people to choose a story that suits how much time they have to read. “Oh that would be fantastic for the kiddies when it’s bedtime," she said. “Particularly for tired parents who want the children to go to sleep.”

Kate joked with the architects "Do you still get on?".

The royals take their seats in the auditorium.

They signed the guestbook.

Kate and the Queen were presented with flowers by students Miss Lei Poon and Miss Asra Polat.

A great shot of Kate before they left.

Afterwards, the Duchess travelled to her new patronage, the Foundling Museum for her second engagement of the day.

In a statement Kensington Palace said: "The Duchess has a longstanding interest in both the arts and supporting vulnerable families, and this patronage will further highlight the beneficial impact that art and creativity has on emotional wellbeing. Larissa Joy, Chair of Trustees – Foundling Museum, said: ‘We are delighted and honoured that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has become Patron of the Foundling Museum. We could not imagine a more perfect Patron. We look forward to working with her as we fulfil our mission to inspire people to make positive impact on society through the arts."

The Foundling Museum tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and public art gallery. The museum works with contemporary artists, writers and musicians to develop learning programmes that are meaningful for young people, especially those who are looked after and care-experienced, to help them see the world differently and imagine new possibilities for themselves.

At the Museum, Kate visited ‘Bedrooms of London’, a photography exhibition that documents the living conditions of London’s most disadvantaged children. The Duchess was shown the photographs by graduates of the Foundling Museum’s ‘Tracing our Tales’ programme, which has been developed to equip care-experienced young adults from London boroughs with the skills to devise and deliver workshops at the Museum.

In 2017 The Duchess visited The Foundling Museum and met the first intake of ‘Tracing our Tales’ trainees.

Kate joined young people in a creative ‘Tracing our Tales’ training session where participants were learning how to deliver a creative workshop on block printing techniques.

Kate was in her element during the creative session.

Admiring the results.

Caro Howell, Director of the Foundling Museum, said: ‘The Foundling Museum is thrilled and honoured to receive The Duchess’s patronage. Her support is a huge boost to our work transforming the lives of vulnerable young people through the arts.’

More from People:

“What’s really impressive about the Duchess is that she has an incredible gift for not just listening but properly hearing,” Howell tells PEOPLE. “It is magical to witness young people who are very often are monosyllabic and, for good reason, are protective about their lives and their life stories – and open up to her.”
“Some of the young people that we are working with have had hugely traumatic lives and their lives are still challenging and we have an incredibly skilled team of artists, for whom art is their job,” the director adds. “When these young people come through the door we are prepared to work with wherever those young people are at that moment – which is often a very dark place. It takes a very special kind of person to come into a room and make those young people to feel listened to enough and have the trust that they will open up and talk.”

During a speech, Kate said: "I have always believed in the power of art, not only to unlock that creativity, but also to bring us joy, and to inspire, challenge and positively change our lives."

The video below contains a portion of the speech.

Kate's full speech:

'I feel hugely proud today to be here today to become Patron of the Foundling Museum. Your work connects and celebrates two subjects that are deeply important to me: children, and art.
I am passionate about improving children’s life chances and giving them opportunities, so that they can look forward to the best possible futures, fulfil their whole potential, and have the freedom to explore their creativity. 
I have always believed in the power of art, not only to unlock that creativity, but also to bring us joy, and to inspire, challenge and positively change our lives.
Your Museum here powerfully links these two forces for good. By weaving together the moving stories of looked after children, with art and artists of all genres, you create meaningful learning experiences which will have a lasting, and often transformational, impact on young lives.  
I could not be more delighted to support such a special organisation. I look forward to working together and, as your Patron, hopefully doing all I can to help your important mission in the future.
Thank you.'

The Duchess selected a bespoke grey belted Catherine Walker dress for the day.

Michelle notes the piece bears similarities to Catherine Walker's Zeline and Blake styles.

The Duchess wore her Lock & Co Fairytale hat.

The £285 hat is a favourite of Kate's; she's worn it on multiple occasions including the day she visited Leicester with the Queen in 2012.

Kate carried her black suede Mulberry clutch.

The Duchess wore her Gianvito Rossi Piper black suede block heel pumps. They retail for $695 at My Theresa.

And accessorised with her Kiki McDonough morganite and diamond drop earrings.

It was wonderful to see Kate with the Queen today and the Foundling Museum is an excellent choice of patronage. Did you enjoy today's events?

Sunday, 17 March 2019

UPDATED: Duchess Kate in Green McQueen for St Patrick's Day!

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the St Patrick's Day Parade at Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow this morning.

The annual St Patrick's Day event has become something of a favourite among readers over recent years.

Prince William is colonel of the regiment, which he was made in May 2011; it was his first honorary position in the army. Her Majesty the Queen is Colonel in Chief of the regiment. As you all remember, the Prince opted to wear the Irish Guards tunic for the royal wedding.

A minute’s silence was held for the victims of the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. The horrific tragedy has been very much front and centre in the minds of so many across the world. The strength and courage shown by the people of New Zealand has been nothing short of inspirational.

A joint statement from William, Kate, Harry and Meghan concluded with Kia kaha - a Māori phrase used by the people of New Zealand, meaning stay strong.

'Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch. We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people.
No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship. This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community. It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship.
We know that from this devastation and deep mourning, the people of New Zealand will unite to show that such evil can never defeat compassion and tolerance. We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today.
 Kia Kaha.'

350 soldiers marched onto the Parade Square at Cavalry Barracks.

The 1st Battalion Irish Guards affectionately and widely known as the Micks, are a Light Role Infantry Battalion currently stationed in Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow.

The regiment takes its motto, 'Quis Separabit' or 'Who shall separate us?' from the Order of St Patrick, an order of chivalry founded by George III.

On their Facebook page, the regiment shared a photo of three Irish Guardsmen wearing German body-armor, inspecting a captured German machine gun, at the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, 31 July 1917.

Kensington Palace said: "The Irish Guards have had a busy yet rewarding 12 months with three years of ceremonial duties coming to an end in January 2019. The main focus was on Exercise Askari Storm, a battlegroup level exercise in Kenya. The Irish Guards currently have troops deployed in Uganda, Jordan and Kenya as they also prepare to go onto high readiness from the beginning of April. They will see Number One Company deploying to Georgia in August. From September mission specific training will ramp up for the Battalion as they prepare to deploy on operations to South Sudan and Iraq."

St Patrick's Day is the traditional celebration of the Irish Guards and fresh shamrock is presented to members of the regiment.

The Battalion is made up of five companies with a variety of supporting arms. The shamrock the Irish Guards receive is tucked behind the Cap Star on the forage cap, as seen on William below.

The video below offers a snapshot of life in the Irish Guards.

International Bagpipe Day last week coincided with Prince Edward's birthday, and in true Mick Guard fashion they broke out the pipes to wish him well.

The Duchess presented the shamrock to Officers and Warrant Officers....

And the regiment's mascot...

Domhnall and the Duchess.

Photos of Kate and Domhnall have become a staple over the years, and continue to be a favourite of mine.

The parade concluded with a march-past where Prince William took the salute.

More on the tradition inaugurated by Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII, in 1901 when a decree stated:

'Her Majesty the Queen is pleased to order that in future, upon St. Patrick's Day, all ranks of her Irish regiments shall wear, as a distinction, a sprig of shamrock in their head dress to commemorate the gallantry of her Irish soldiers during the recent battles in South Africa.'

The tradition has become synonymous with a number of royals since, most notably the Queen Mother, who had a long affiliation and love for the Irish Guards after attending the annual military parade for the first time in 1927. It wasn't until 1964 she started to present the Royal Shamrock to the Battalion, describing it as a "great pleasure which has enabled me to forge a link with the regiment I greatly cherish". The regiment supplied the pallbearers for her funeral in 2002.

The tradition is now very much associated with Kate.

Kate was given a gorgeous posy.

Erin, Jemima and Athene were delighted to meet Kate.

The Duke and Duchess then met members of the Regiment before sitting for official Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess photographs.

The couple met soldiers and their families.

More from the Mail Online:

'Ryan Orr, who has been with the Irish guards since 2004, brought his six-year-old son Kallum to the parade. It is Kallum's second parade, having met William and Kate in 2016. The recruitment warrant officer, who lives in Aldershot, joked: 'He put his hand in Prince William's pint three years ago, didn't you sausage?'
Asked if he was proud of his dad, Kallum said 'Yeah, extremely', adding that he was looking forward to meeting the duchess again. The family later shared a laugh with Kate and William as they recounted the episode. Mr Orr said: 'It means a lot because every (St Patrick's) day we get together... have a good drink and a catch up at the same time.'

Kate meeting Junior Soldiers.

William chatting with soldiers.

A terrific photo from the day.

Finally, The Duke and Duchess visited the Guardsman’s lunch where the longest-serving Guardsman in the Battalion proposed a toast to William and Kate, and thanked The Duchess for presenting the gift of shamrock.

A video from the event.

Below we see Kate in 2012 and 2013 wearing a green Emilia Wickstead coat; in 2014 the Duchess opted for her very stylish Hobbs London Persephone trench; and in 2015 she surprised us in a chestnut brown Catherine Walker coat. In 2017 and 2018 Kate chose bespoke green Catherine Walker creations.

This year, the Duchess chose a deep green bespoke Alexander McQueen coat. The military inspired piece features peplum detail and structured shoulders.

The UFO No More team noted similarities between the piece and McQueen's Military Jacket. It is described as: "Military-inspired peplum jacket in light wool silk. Metal mythical decorated buttons on waist and collar. Concealed button fastening on center front."

A closer look at Kate's green hat. Michelle notes it's similar to several Lock & Co designs.

The Duchess wore her Gianvito Rossi Piper black suede block heel pumps. They retail for $695 at My Theresa.

Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Special Edition Green Tourmaline, Green Amethyst and Diamond Earrings. They were specially made to celebrate the birth of Princess Charlotte.

As in previous years, the Duchess wore the Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch. The three-leaf brooch which has been worn by the Queen Mother and Princess Anne, belongs to the regiment and they determine to whom it be loaned. Kate also wore a sprig of shamrock on her lapel.

Kate has a busy day on Tuesday. The Duchess will visit the Foundling Museum to see how they use art to make a positive contribution to society by engaging with vulnerable and marginalised young people. We'll also see her join Her Majesty to open Bush House, King's College, London.

Kate's Favourites