Tuesday, 29 September 2020

The Duchess of Cambridge Becomes Joint Scouts President

It was announced today, the Duchess of Cambridge has become joint president of the Scouts, joining the Duke of Kent to champion the value and importance of Scouting and overseeing the council. To mark the news, Kate said: "For many children and young people, the Scout Association plays a key role as they build relationships and develop the skills they need to succeed in later life. When I volunteered with the Scouts on Anglesey eight years ago, I was struck by the huge impact the organisation has on inspiring young people to support their communities and achieve their goals. I am delighted to be joining the Duke of Kent as Joint President of the Association and look forward to working with Scouts across the country as they strive to make a positive difference to our society."

The Scouts said: "HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, who has helped Scouts in so many ways over the last eight years, has now kindly agreed to take on this historic role and is the first woman to hold the post in the movement's 113-year history."

Kate's association with the Scouts goes all the way back to Anglesey when it was revealed the Duchess, who was a Brownie as a child, would volunteer with a local group near her Wales home where the Cambridges lived whilst William worked as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot. In the years since, we've seen a number of engagements with the scouts. In 2013, the "Kate Effect" was credited with sparking a surge in volunteers across the UK with 2,800 people signing up.

To celebrate the news, Kate stepped out this morning to join the 12th Northolt Scouts in London, to thank them and all Scouts volunteers for supporting young people during lockdown.

She sat with a group of beaver scouts making cards to send to care homes and created whirly bird helicopters with cubs.

The activities are part of initiatives the Great Indoors and Care for Care Homes, which the organisation launched to promote togetherness, courage and kindness throughout the last six months.

Over 80% of groups continued their meetings online, preserving important links and ensuring local clubs could remain active. Over 120,000 young people from 44 countries participated in the Great Indoors weekend by camping at home making it the largest online camp ever.

Below, a selection of lovely drawing sent to Helsby's care homes by young scouts.

There was also plenty of marshmallow toasting.

Hello! reports:

'The Duchess was in her element as she toasted marshmallows on a bonfire with the Scouts.

Kate asked youngsters as she sat with them on socially distanced tree stumps around a fire pit: "Are you having fun? How many marshmallows have you eaten?"

When they replied one, she remarked: "Oh my goodness, that's so controlled of you. Is that because there's only one in your bag?'

Kate was delighted to receive the Silver Wolf Award, the highest honour by the Scout Assocation.

Matt Hyde, CEO of the Scouts said:

‘We’re really pleased that HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is meeting Scout volunteers that have done so much to support young people during the pandemic. Scouting is more important than ever before, giving young people life skills, a sense of connection and belonging, while supporting communities in areas of deprivation disproportionately affected by COVID-19.’

HRH The Duke of Kent was appointed President of the Scouts in 1975. Since then, he’s been a steadfast supporter of our movement, overseeing many major changes including welcoming girls into the movement, updates to our programme and training scheme, as well as our strong membership growth. Scouts membership has risen by 100,000 in the last ten years alone.'

Following today's news, the Duke said: "As The Scout Association’s President since 1975, it has been my privilege to watch as they evolve with the times, while honouring their proud history. The Scouts’ ethos of dedication, inclusivity, and lending a helping hand wherever one is needed resonates across the generations, and as such I am delighted to welcome The Duchess of Cambridge as Joint President, and to work together to continue that legacy."

Kate and the Duke not only share a passion for scouting, but also tennis. The Duke of Kent has served as President of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for over half a century. Below the pair at Wimbledon last year.

 The Scouts have enjoyed a long association with the Royal family. More from the organisation:

'The Duchess follows in the footsteps of three royal Presidents, including HRH Prince Arthur, The Duke of Connaught (third son of Queen Victoria and President from 1913 to 1942). The Duke attended Scout events including the Scout Exhibition and Rally (1913) and opened the 1929 World Scout Jamboree.

HRH Prince Henry, The Duke of Gloucester took over as President in 1942 and made his address to the Movement in December of that year, acknowledging the crucial role of Scouts in the Home Front during the Second World War. ' 

It's a very fitting appointment for the Duchess and a terrific engagement to coincide with the good news.

A video from the visit.

Now, time for a look at Kate's casual ensemble today which featured familiar pieces.

The Duchess wore pieces by Massimo Dutti today, including the £55 sky blue linen shirt. (with thanks to Janine).

And her Massimo Dutti Skinny Fit High-Rise Satin style in chocolate.

It very much appears Kate wore her Really Wild clothing Nubuck vest.

Kate wore her See by Chloe leather-trimmed suede ankle boots. Described as: "See By ChloĆ©'s combat-style ankle boots are perfect for balancing the prettiness of floral dresses and floaty skirts. Made from dark-brown suede, they have tonal leather trims and logo-embossed heel tabs, and are set on a chunky tread sole."

Kate accessorised with her Double Strand Beaded Satellite Necklace by Welsh brand Spells of Love.

And her Gold Disc Circle Earrings by Irish brand All the Falling Stars. It turns out both the earrings and the G, C and L necklace Kate has been wearing recently were gifted to the Duchess by the owner during the couple's visit to Galway earlier this year.

Kate's face mask appears to be the £15 Amaia Kids cotton mask in blue pepper (with many thanks to an anonymous reader). 

Just a quick note before signing off: this isn't the proper forum for discussion about face masks. The Palace has noted several times they are worn in required settings and social-distancing rules are followed by all members of the Royal family on engagements. Thank you for your understanding on this. It's been a fraught time for all of us, and it's my hope the blog will offer a spot of enjoyable royal watching in the months ahead as we approach winter.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

An After School Visit From Sir David Attenborough Delights The Cambridge Children

There was a great deal of excitement at Kensington Palace on Thursday when the Cambridge family were joined by Sir David Attenborough after school. As you can see from the expressions below, particularly Princess Charlotte's, it was a splendid visit for the children. 

Sir David brought a magnificent gift for Prince George in the form of a tooth from a giant shark which is 23 million years old. David discovered it in the late 1960s during a trip to Malta with his family. It was embedded in the island's soft yellow limestone which was laid down during the Miocene period. It's an incredibly special gift. As you can see Louis was eager to have a look too :)

'Prince George, seven, is known to have a fascination with dinosaurs, with his mother once telling a group of children during a Natural History Museum that he "loves the T Rex because it's the noisiest and the scariest."

The visit was a long time coming for the three children, who have all watched his television programmes. 

On a previous encounter with Sir David, the Duchess told him: “The children were very upset that we were coming to see you and they weren’t coming, they’re massive fans of yours."

Sir David and Prince William enjoyed an outdoor screening of Attenborough's poignant new documentary A Life On Our Planet. Kensington Palace shared this teaser on Friday.

The reflective Netflix documentary sees the renowned broadcaster "recount his life, and the evolutionary history of life on Earth, to grieve the loss of wild places and offer a vision for the future". Produced by WWF and award-winning wildlife film-makers Silverback Films, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet is described as "a first-hand account of humanity’s impact on nature and a message of hope for future generations." It's very much a stark reminder of the devastating impact on the natural world in recent decades.

It will be available to view on the streaming service on 4 October. 

A review of the documentary from The Guardian:

'I am David Attenborough and I’m 93. This is my witness statement.” There is a tremendously moving sense of finality about Attenborough’s terrifying new documentary on the climate emergency. It is being marketed as a retrospective, a look back at his life and 60-years-plus career. But make no mistake about its true agenda: Attenborough is here to deliver a stark warning that time is ticking for the planet. It is a personal film – and political, too. There is emotion and urgency in that familiar soothing voice. At one point he rubs his eyes, reddened and damp.

You could rename it The Dying Planet, a short, sharp, shocking 80-minute lesson on global heating. There is an obligatory dramatisation of Attenborough as a boy in short trousers collecting fossils. And, of course, clips from the BBC of him as a hearty young man rolling around with baby gorillas in Rwanda. What he didn’t know then, he says mournfully, was how much damage we were inflicting on the planet. “The forests and seas were already emptying.”

One of Britain's national treasures, Sir David Attenborough has been a groundbreaking force with his environmental work and his documentaries; the Life series, which collectively constitute a survey of plant and animal life on earth. Sir David's connections with the royal family are many. We've seen the Duchess with him on numerous occasions in her role as patron of the Natural History Museum. During the opening of Hintze Hall, Kate quoted him in a speech in reference to the importance of experiencing the natural world: "Sir David Attenborough has famously talked about the fact that people will not protect what they don’t first care about, and will not care about what they have never experienced." Below, David and Kate at a naming ceremony for the RRS David Attenborough last year.

The Duchess wore the elegant Gabriela Hearst Marley belted-cotton chambray dress (another amazing ID by UFO No More for their work on the look).

The $1,590 dress is from the Pre-Fall 2020 Collection. It's described as a 'midi dress tailored to look like classic shirting and has a flouncy skirt that's punctuated with mother-of-pearl snaps - undo a few to create a split and use the tabs to keep the rolled cuffs in place.' 

It's currently available in two shades of blue denim at My Theresa, Net-A-Porter and Matches.

The Duchess accessorised with a pair of Patrick Mavros Pangolin Haka earrings in silver.

Kate also wore a pair of navy pumps. 

Kensington Palace said: "With a shared passion for protecting the natural world, they continue to support one another in their missions to tackle some of the biggest environmental challenges our planet faces. This includes working together on the Earthshot Prize - the most prestigious global environment prize in history – further details of which will be shared in the coming weeks."

Kate's Favourites