Saturday, 25 June 2022

Kate Marks Armed Forces Day: "I Would Like to Pay Tribute to the Brave Men and Women"

The Duchess of Cambridge marked Armed Forces Day with shared images of private British Army visits from last year to mark the occasion.

The Duchess shared the following on Twitter and Instagram: "Today on Armed Forces Day, William and I would like to pay tribute to the brave men and women, past and present, serving in all of our armed forces, at sea, on land and in the air, here in the UK and around the world. Thank you for all you and your families sacrifice to keep us safe. Last year, I was honoured to spend time with the British Army to see how they train serving personnel and new recruits. It was wonderful to see first-hand the many important and varied roles the military play day in, day out to protect us all, and I look forward to discovering more about the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force in due course."

Visits to Pirbright Training Academy and the 101 Operational Sustainment Brigade at Abingdon Airfield took place last November.

If, despite this being ground forces hardware, you're first thought upon seeing this image is Top Gun: Maverick, then like William and Kate, and myself (twice now), you may have seen the box office juggernaut which is soaring to hit a billion.

I think it very likely we're on the cusp of hearing additional honorary military appointments for the Duchess. I would definitely this space.

The Duchess was appropriately kitted out in comfortable pieces in earth tones.

It looks very much like Kate wore her Seeland Woodcock Jacket.

With thanks to Lady Parky, Kate wore her Holland Cooper Crew Neck sweater in 'forest marl'.

And her Berghaus Supalite II boots (with thanks to Kate Middleton Style). They remain available at Berghaus for £165.

A reminder Wimbledon starts Monday. We expect to see Kate attend at some point during the week.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

The Cambridges Enjoy a Day of Engagements in Cambridgeshire

Following their visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum for the unveiling of their first joint portrait, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge undertook several engagements in Cambridgeshire.

Looking through the itinerary, coupled with the unveiling of the portrait, I think it quite likely this day may have been intended to mark their tenth wedding anniversary officially. Given the challenges the pandemic represented, a shift to a summer's day (the weather played ball nicely) coinciding with both the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and Prince William's 40th, it offered the perfect opportunity for the Cambridges to celebrate Cambridgeshire.

The day saw a focus on areas close to their hearts including homelessness and family supports. They visited Kate's patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices in Milton.

EACH revealed it marked three milestones: a decade since Kate became Royal Patron, her first public visit to the Milton hospice, and William's first time accompanying his wife to see the work of the charity.

The Evening Standard reports:

The duke and duchess were then greeted by Kirsty and Gary Carlin, whose four-year-old daughter Libby lay sleeping on the floor beside them.

After learning about her rare genetic condition, Libby’s parents offered to wake their daughter before the duke said: “Please don’t wake her.”

“We know what happens when you wake a sleeping child,” Kate added.

The pair also took part in a small art session, where a canvas full of handprints was laid out in front of them.

Kate sat with an eight-year-old girl called Willow Bamber, who suffers from a severe neurological condition called Leigh’s disease.

The duchess invited the youngster to paint her hand, and as she tentatively started, Kate said: “Don’t be shy.”

The video below has very sweet footage of the arts and crafts session.

The hospice was opened by the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1989.

The visit coincides with Children's Hospice Week. This year's theme is #ForTheChildren -- showing how important each individual child is to the expert care children’s hospices provide.

To mark the week, Kate shared a letter of support.

In her letter Kate wrote: "For any parent, coming to terms with the news your child has a life-threatening condition and may die young is heart-breaking and incredibly frightening. Families can often feel isolated, but having the support of a children’s hospice means they don’t have to face that future alone. Every day, the UK’s 54 children’s hospices are a vital lifeline for families caring for a seriously ill child, and over the last ten years I have been privileged to see first-hand the incredible work they do."

Embed from Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess toured the facility. EACH currently provides care and support for more than 580 children, young people and family members across the region, with 211 currently using services through Milton.

Embed from Getty Images

Chief Executive Phil Gormley said: "We very much enjoyed welcoming Their Royal Highnesses to Milton. It was The Duchess’s first public visit to Milton and the very first time we had the pleasure of welcoming The Duke to one of our hospices so it was a very special, memorable and momentous day for everyone connected with EACH. The Duchess met our fantastic staff and volunteers at Milton, who work tirelessly with children and their families needing our services. They had the chance to explain the difficulties they have faced in recent years, particularly in light of the pandemic and the isolation they have felt through shielding."

Embed from Getty Images

Mr Gormley added: "The visit was the perfect opportunity to celebrate ten years since Her Royal Highness became our Royal Patron. Throughout the decade, The Duchess has been immensely supportive by championing our cause. Her continued support comes with warmth, empathy and understanding, including beyond public view, and her Patronage is enjoyed and appreciated by everyone at EACH. We are extremely thankful and consider ourselves honoured and very lucky  to benefit from her hard work, generosity and support."

Embed from Getty Images

More from Cambridgeshire Live:

The Duke and Duchess also met with a bereaved family in the gardens. Parents Henry and Jane White, and their daughter Clara sadly lost their son Douglas in February 2018. He had Neuroblastoma and was just four years old.

Jane said: “Coming back (to the hospice) brings back all the memories”.

Will Self, EACH Chair of Trustees, celebrated and honoured the 10-year anniversary of the Duchess being Royal Patron: "It's been an incredibly special year for us, as we proudly celebrate 10 years of your Patronage."

Kensington Palace tweeted: "We’re always reminded of the inspiring resilience of the children here, the strength of their families and the unwavering support of staff members."

From there, the Duke and Duchess visiting homeless charity Jimmy's

Embed from Getty Images

Kensington Palace said: "Jimmy’s was set up in 1995 and offers safety and support for individuals experiencing homelessness. Services include mental health support, workshops on life skills, and onward housing provision. The charity has been trialling a new modular home offer for some of its residents. These homes are moveable, small-scale spaces that provide residents with separate living, cooking, sleeping and bathroom areas as well as their own front door. Cambridge is the first city in the UK to explore modular homes and Jimmy’s has 22 sites across the city."

Embed from Getty Images

Jimmy's impact has been felt and appreciated for almost three decades.

William and Kate visited a resident in their modular home to hear about how it has made a difference to their life and helped them learn how to live independently.

Embed from Getty Images

William and Kate previously visited during their first day of engagements in Cambridge in 2012. You'll all remember speculation was fever pitch regarding 'Baby Cambridge'. It was announced just days later Prince George was on the way.

Embed from Getty Images

More from Cambridgeshire Live:

'One of the residents of the Modular Homes Pete, who met their Royal Highnesses Prince William and Kate Middleton on their first visit, and again today, said: "They did (remember) it was nice. He said he’d come and see me in another 10 years. We spoke about my past and getting to where I am now. They’re both really nice people, definitely. And they’re just interested in how far I’ve moved since the last time and I said, well, without Jimmy’s help I wouldn’t have done it and I’ve got my own flat now and everything."

Eamonn Kelly, 52, lives in one of the modular homes and chatted to the royals about his experience as he showed them his home. He said: "I got on very well, they were down to earth people, they were very genuine. They were interested in you as a person, not your past or your future, you just can’t get any better than those two people, but only for this person (Mark Allan, Jimmy's CEO), I wouldn’t be here the way I am today, it’s them, Matt Wiseman, Zoe, it’s all them that have made it possible for both me and Pete to be where we are today."

It appears that Eamonn made an impression on the Duke, as Prince William asked him for a photo together as he was leaving. While walking back to their car, Prince William said: "Eamonn come here, I'd like a photo with you", before summoning him over for a once in a lifetime opportunity for the resident.'

William and Kate with Eamonn Kelly.

Taking a peek at the photo.

Embed from Getty Images

And a wave goodbye.

Embed from Getty Images

Jimmy's CEO Mark Allan told Cambridgeshire Live: "The fact that they're coming to Cambridgeshire today and they chose Jimmy's as one of the charities they wanted to visit means a lot. Because it shows, and in the conversations that we had today with the residents and the staff, they're interested in how you resolve homelessness, they're interested in what support works best for people who end up homeless and how to get them out of that quickly or how to prevent it."

Finally, to celebrate the very best of Cambridgeshire, the Duke and Duchess will visit the first-ever Cambridgeshire County Day at the July Racecourse, Newmarket.

Comprising 120 exhibitors from Cambridgeshire businesses, charity, community and public sectors, the Duke and Duchess visited a number of stalls and met members of the public.

Embed from Getty Images

Ahead of the event, organizers revealed: "With more than 6,000 attendees expected, the event will provide a wonderful opportunity for the county’s diverse and vibrant community to come together and get inspired by the best of Cambridgeshire, as local business, charities, clubs, voluntary groups and public sector organisations from every corner of the County showcase what they do and why they are great."

Embed from Getty Images

The County Day was planned to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Year.

Embed from Getty Images

The Duchess was asked if she was enjoying the day.

A kick from Kate.

Embed from Getty Images

Kate looked lovely in a summery ensemble.

Kate wore a sleek, tailored baby blue coat which is currently unidentified.

Embed from Getty Images

The Duchess wore her much-loved L.K. Bennett Madison dress, a piece she's had for years.

For the earlier engagements, the Duchess wore her Emmy London Rebecca pumps...

...and carried the matching clutch in 'riviera'.

The Duchess changed into her Castaner Carina wedges.

And completed the look with her gorgeous unidentified aquamarine earrings.

Embed from Getty Images

If you're just joining us, click here for the post on the Cambridges' first joint portrait.

Wimbledon starts on Monday. I do expect we'll see the Duchess at some point during the week.

Kate's Favourites