Are you all enjoying the summer season? Whilst enjoying a nice walk in the country air over the weekend I began to notice autumn is firmly on its way, and another sign of this is the royals returning from their summer break. Today, Kensington Palace announced the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Luton in Bedfordshire for a day of engagements on Wednesday 24 August.
|Kensington Palace Twitter Feed|
The packed day will begin with a visit to Luton's iconic Bute Mills, to see local organisations working with young people, with a focus on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Following a £3.2 million renovation, the building re-opened in April as the new home for Luton-based, national charity Youthscape. William and Kate will meet people working with mental health organisations CHUMS and Our Minds Matter. Both local organisations are striving to raise awareness and address stigma issues.
Next, the Duke and Duchess will visit Keech Hospice Care, where they will meet families and volunteers. Keech Hospice Care's mission is to help children and adults to live pain and symptom free, to spend time with their family and friends, to understand what is happening to them, and to stay out of hospital. William and Kate will attend a reception before unveiling a plaque to mark 25 years of the adult hospice.
|Keech Hospice Care|
Finally, the royal couple will pay a visit to Hayward Tyler Luton, to present them with the Queen's Award for Enterprise (International Trade), and to open their newly built Centre of Excellence. More from the press release:
'The company has been operating from its current site since the early 1870s, and is the global centre of design and development for its key products, the Boiler Circulating Pump and wet-wound motors. Other achievements include producing the first submersible motor in the early 1900s, the largest sub-sea motors and providing units to all the Royal Naval submarine fleet. The newly built Centre of Excellence is the result of a £20m investment, the largest in the company’s history.'
It promises to be an interesting day with a nice variety of engagements focused on key areas such as mental health and hospice care as well as supporting a successful local company and employer. The day before the visit, 23 August, William will visit Düsseldorf, Germany to celebrate 70 years of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Richard Palmer reports the Cambridges returned from their family holiday in France last Friday to their country home Anmer Hall. The family flew to France in the Duke of Westminster's jet. Sadly, as you may have heard, the Duke, Gerald Grosvenor passed away due to a heart attack on Tuesday, aged 64. His wife Natalia is Prince William's godmother and he has served as something of a mentor to the future king. He was a close friend of Prince Charles. Indeed, William and Kate asked his son Hugh Grosvenor to be one of Prince George's godparents; at just 25 he has now become the seventh Duke of Westminster. Below we see the the late Duke with his wife Natalia and daughter Viola at the requiem mass for Hugh van Cutsem in 2013.
Kensington Palace said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were very sad to learn of the Duke of Westminster’s passing. Their thoughts are very much with his family this morning.” Below we see the Duke with Prince William at an illegal wildlife trafficking conference in Washington in 2014.
The Telegraph wrote an excellent obituary for the late Duke:
'Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor was born on December 22 1951. He was the only son of Lt-Col Robert Grosvenor, Ulster Unionist MP for Fermanagh and County Tyrone (Britain’s westernmost constituency) and one-time parliamentary private secretary to Edward Heath. His mother was Viola Lyttleton, daughter of the 9th Viscount Cobham. The family home was a farm on the island of Ely on Lough Erne, near Enniskillen.
Gerald enjoyed what he once called a “Swallows and Amazons childhood” with his two sisters (who became in due course the Countess of Lichfield and the Duchess of Roxburghe, though both were divorced) and in later life lamented the fact that the accident of inheritance had taken him away from the placid life of an Ulster beef farmer like his father.
Having failed to gain a place at Eton he was despatched to Harrow, which he hated, leaving with only two O-levels. His talent was for sport, but a suggestion from George Cohen, manager of Fulham FC, that he should have a trial to join the club was vetoed by Col Grosvenor on the grounds of too much kissing on the pitch.'
The Duke was very much dedicated to his military and charitable duties across a broad spectrum of areas:
'His many charitable interests ranged from the NSPCC and the Drug and Alcohol Foundation to the Royal London Hospital, where he raised funds to build a new Children’s Unit, and the presidency of the Manchester 2000 Olympic Bid Committee.
Deeply concerned about land conservation and other rural issues, he rescued the Soil Association from financial difficulties and was a major backer of the Countryside Movement and the 1998 Countryside March.
In 2009 he began privately raising the funds for a £300 million purpose-built Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre for the treatment of injured members of the Armed Forces, at Stanford Hall, near Loughborough, to replace the facility at Headley Court in Surrey in 2018. The Duke was appointed OBE (1995), KG (2003), CB (2008) and CVO (2012).'
You can read the obituary in its entirety here.
Kate's Saloni Mary Flocked Chiffon Gown remains available in all sizes at Net-A-Porter for $595.
Kate's very eye-catching Gianvito Rossi Pumps remain available in red suede and have been restocked in black suede at Net-A-Porter for $670. I do hope the red pair make another appearance soon, perhaps during the Canada tour.
Zimmermann has released an updated version of the Roamer Day Dress Kate wore during the 2014 royal tour. The Roza Broderie Day Dress is described: "From our Summer Swim 16 collection, in White floral broderie anglaise. Fitted bodice and waistband, half sleeve and full skirt. Circle insert trim through waistband, sleeve and skirt. Centre back zip closure. Cotton lined through skirt and front of bodice."
We've also added several additions to our Repli-Kate page. With thanks to all who have shared their tips and finds.
With all quiet on the royal front (presumably) until engagements resume, I have been considering posts during the interim. Most of you will recall Julia suggested we have readers choose their dream looks for Kate last August and it turned into an enormously fun and creative activity. Would you all be interested in doing the same again, this time choosing a potential look for the Canada tour? Let me know in the comments, if so we'll get it underway over the weekend. :)