Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Prince George's Birthday Photo Pays Tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh

Ahead of Prince George's eighth birthday tomorrow, a new photo taken by the Duchess of Cambridge in Norfolk was shared to mark the special occasion. The past year has seen periods of enormous change followed by a gradual return to normality for children in the UK. For George and Charlotte, it was homeschooling before a proper return to Thomas's Battersea. Now on summer break, I expect they are looking forward to enjoying a summer largely spent in Norfolk. The photo captures a smiling George, wearing a blue and orange striped shirt, on a Land Rover Defender. The choice of vehicle holds great significance for the family - the late Duke of Edinburgh partially designed a modified version of the Defender as his specially-built hearse. 

You will all recall a very special photo of the late Duke and a two-year-old Prince George setting off for a carriage ride was shared shortly after Philip's passing. 

One of my most vivid memories of royal watching will always be the announcement Kate had safely delivered a baby boy at the Lindo Wing on 22 July 2013. Now 'Baby Cambridge' is eight years old...

To mark George's first birthday in 2014, photos of the prince with his parents were taken at the Natural History Museum's 'Sensational Butterflies' exhibition. The photo of him staring intently when touching a butterfly on William's hand is one of my favourites.

To mark Prince George's second birthday, Kensington Palace released a new photo from Princess Charlotte's christening, taken earlier that month by Mario Testino. The prince is captured in his father's arms, smiling and leaning towards the camera.

Several lovely photographs taken by Matt Porteous were released for George's third birthday. The show-stealing photo from the set for me was the image of George and Lupo sitting on a rug outside. It captured a darling moment showing the Prince offering the family pet a taste of his ice-cream. Very sadly, Lupo passed away last year. Images like this are now treasured memories of time spent with his first pet.

For George's fourth birthday, William and Kate chose a photo taken by Chris Jackson at Kensington Palace. 

For his fifth birthday, Kensington Palace released a photo of the future king taken in the Clarence House garden by Matt Porteous after Louis' christening. The release followed the pattern of 2015 when Charlotte was christened at Sandringham in July and a photo taken with the official portraits was chosen to mark the Prince's birthday.

Photos including one from sun-soaked Mustique, depicting the prince having a ball, marked the future King's sixth birthday.

And last year we saw a very grown up Prince George captured by mum in Norfolk. 

Sending George the happiest of birthday wishes!

Sunday, 11 July 2021

The Duchess Is Joined by Dad Michael for Wimbledon Men's Finals & Surprise Euros Appearance

 It was a day of incredible tennis for the Duchess of Cambridge.

Apart from Wimbledon, a certain football match is very much at the forefront of the nation's minds. Upon arrival, Kate was asked about England v Italy and said she's keeping her fingers crossed. 

The Duchess was joined by her father Michael Middleton for the day. Yesterday we chatted about the Middleton family's love of the sport. Over the past week we've seen Michael, Carole, Pippa and her husband James courtside. Kate is incredibly close to her family and from Mike's lovely words when William and Kate confirmed their engagement to glimpses of him with his grandchildren over the years, he's always struck me as a lovely man and a fantastic husband, father and grandfather. It was great to see the duo together today. 

Kate and Mike's first port of call was Court No. 3 where Britain's Gordon Reid was beaten by Belgium's Joachim Gerard in the men's wheelchair singles final. 

On Twitter, Kensington Palace congratulated both players on their "fantastic performances" throughout the tournament. 

The BBC reports:

'Reid, who won the doubles title with Alfie Hewett on Saturday, lost 6-2 7-6 (7-2). The Scot, 29, had trailed 4-1 in the second set before mounting a fightback to force a tie-break but Gerard was more consistent.

"It's a tough speech to make. Sometimes you have to say I lost to the better player," an emotional Reid said. Reid had been chasing his second Wimbledon singles title after victory in 2016.'

From there, Kate and Mike made their way to the Royal Box for the much anticipated final between Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini. 

The coin toss was performed by 13-year-old Sean Seresinhe who represented youth mental health charity Off the Record Counselling. 

The first set saw Italian Berrettini make a number of excellent shots before taking the lead in the tie-break.

It was filled with tense moments...

The Duchess closely watched every point.

It wasn't long before Djokovic began to dominate taking sets two and three. 

And with a fourth set victory claimed his sixth Wimbledon singles title. 

Wimbledon reports:

'Centre Court has never tasted so good. Novak Djokovic, the self-styled "wolf" of Wimbledon with a hunger for the All England Club's pineapple-topped trophy and striped lawns, snacked on the grass in celebration after coming from a set down against Matteo Berrettini to win The Championships for a sixth time. 

Eating the court has become Djokovic's signature move - he had also done so on every previous occasion he had won this title - but this time it was different, this time the rye grass would have been all the sweeter.

This was the afternoon, loaded with tennis history, when the World No.1 put himself level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam singles titles, and also three quarters of the way to becoming the first man since Australia's Rod Laver in 1969 to accomplish the near-mythical calendar-year Grand Slam. 

By adding the Wimbledon title to this season's triumphs at the Australian Open and Roland-Garros, the Serbian was also advancing the argument that he should ultimately be considered the GOAT, the Greatest of All Time, in the men's game.' 

The world number one said: "Winning Wimbledon was always the biggest dream for me when I was a kid. A seven-year-old boy in Serbia constructing a Wimbledon trophy with improvised materials and standing here with a sixth real trophy is incredible. It is amazing."

It was a bittersweet day for the Duke of Kent who stepped down as All England Club president after more than fifty years. The Duke has presented the trophy on over 350 occasions to players including Rod Laver, Ann Jones, Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Speaking about his years of service The Duke said: "It has been an honour to serve this remarkable institution for as long as I have. To have seen this tournament, and the game of tennis, grow and inspire generations over the span of five decades has been an extraordinary experience, and I am incredibly proud to have been part of it. I look forward now to watching as the young players of today pursue ever higher standards of excellence, and I shall continue to cheer them on as they do." 

As a thank you, the Duke was presented with a replica of the Gentlemen’s Singles Championship Trophy on Centre Court. Several members of the Kent family attended today's match.

It has very much been a family affair for the Kents.

More from the Telegraph:

'His wife, the Duchess of Kent, 88, was also a regular fixture, often presenting the women’s trophy until she retired from public duties in 2001. As he described, the presidency has been very much a family affair.

The Duke took over from his mother, Princess Marina, who held the role for 26 years until 1968, making the presentations at the end of each tournament. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour shortly after her last appearance and died a few weeks later, aged 61.

She had succeeded the Duke’s father, Prince George, who was at the helm from 1929 until his death in a plane crash in 1942 when he was 39.'
Ian Hewitt, Chairman of the AELTC and The Championships, said:
"We would like to thank the Duke for his extraordinary service to The Club and The Championships during his time as our President.

A lot has changed at Wimbledon in the time that The Duke has been our President, from our champions to our Grounds, and yet so much has stayed the same. Our traditions are at the core of what we do, and we thank The Duke most warmly for his dedication."

Very fittingly, the BBC reports the Duchess of Cambridge will succeed the Duke of Kent as president.

A lovely photo of Kate shared by Wimbledon.

The Duchess was pretty in pink wearing Beulah London's Ahana dress.

The £695 piece is described as: "It is crafted from blush-hued wool and shaped to a fit and flare silhouette with a short stand neckline, cropped sleeves and sweeping skirt that's belted at the waist for a figure-defining fit". It's also been worn by Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in beige. 

The Duchess wore her Aldo Nicholes block heel shoes.

Kate accessorised with her Mappin & Webb Empress earrings and Ray Ban Chris sunglasses.

Kate carried her vintage beaded Josef clutch.

And wore her Amaia Kids face mask in pink pepper. 

It was a wonderful tournament. Congratulations to all winners and to the Duchess on her new role as president. 

Now a surprise appearance! Over the weekend we've been chatting about the Euros and the possibility we might see Kate there. The Duchess and Prince George have joined Prince William for the match.

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Prince George's reaction to an early goal :)

I read earlier tennis champion Marion Bartoli revealed whilst chatting with William and Kate yesterday that William wanted George to wear a jersey for the match. She added: "William was for it, Kate not so keen, so we'll see."

It was an unforgettable game with an additional thirty minutes and penalties. Finally Italy won 3-2. Afterwards William tweeted: "You’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day. You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves — I know there’s more to come". 

The Duchess was in England's red and white.

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Kate wore her white ZARA blazer, a piece she's worn for several years. 

We saw Kate's Lauren Ralph Lauren Nadalia top.

The Duchess wore her black croc belt by Anderson's. It's available at Net-A-Porter. 

The Duchess accessorised with her Astley Clarke lapis necklace. It is described as: "A celebration of vibrancy, this demi-fine Stilla gemstone pendant features a captivating table-cut lapis lazuli gem, set in 18 carat yellow gold plated sterling silver, and uses a spectacle setting to display the entire blue gemstone and show its complexities beautifully. This gemstone pendant is finished with a gold nugget detail and our signature Astley Clarke star-set lapis lazuli tag."

And Kate's new red beaded earrings are by UK brand Blaiz (with thanks to Lady Parky). They retail for £65. 

An outstanding effort by all involved. Congratulations to our friends in Italy on their victory :)

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