Sunday, 1 December 2019

The Cambridges Join the Queen Of Baking for a Very Berry Christmas

As I begin writing this post, we are less than an hour away from 1 December (officially Christmas time in my book). I adore everything about the festive season and have already kicked off preparations in my own home. In addition to all the festivities, I always enjoy seeing at least a couple of seasonal television specials. This year will be extra special in that department for royal watchers as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined forces with the Queen of Baking Mary Berry as they serve a feast to thank those spending the day helping others. There had been rumours about this for a couple of months, and tonight Kensington Palace revealed it will air on BBC One, Monday 16 December at 8 pm.


The photo below will be especially interesting to fans of The Great British Bake Off. For those unfamiliar with the show, Mary Berry was a judge on the show until it moved from the BBC to Channel 4 a couple of years ago. They're pictured with Nadiya Hussain who was crowned the winner of the 2015 series. Nadiya recently opened up about severe trauma in her life and the role childhood sexual abuse played in her adult life and her battle with anxiety and PTSD. The photo below, which appeared to be shot just before food was served, was taken by Matt Porteous who took private photos after Prince Louis' christening and last year's Cambridge Christmas card.


Filming for the special actually began at RHS Wisley in September when Kate was joined by Mary to officially open 'Back To Nature'. With piping bags in hand to decorate cakes, the pair discussed Kate's work supporting children's earliest years. Hello! reports it's Kate's "most substantial television appearance to date", with a source adding: "You get a really good sense of who she is - maybe more so than before."


You might recall the Court Circular recorded an engagement with Action on Addiction for the Duchess on 13 November. It turns out the visit to alcohol-free bar the Brink in Liverpool saw the Duchess and Mary meet people supported by the charity at the UK's first dry bar. Kate opened the Brink back in 2012, and we can expect to see footage from the visit during the show. There's been a marked increase in private engagements for Kate of late; I think filming for this show has been partly the reason. I believe the reception with nurses at the Rosewood Hotel we chatted about last week was the setting for the Christmas party with Mary, whilst the Duchess' two days with Kingston Hospital Maternity Unit may possibly be connected to her project which we'll hear more about early next year.


We'll also see William and Mary visit the Passage Charity and meet some of the 130,000 people helped by the charity’s resource centre, homelessness prevention projects and two innovative accommodation services. William first visited the Passage with Diana as a child and became patron earlier this year.


More from Hello!:

'A source told HELLO!: "The Duke and Duchess were joined by Mary on several different engagements over the past couple of months and showed her some of the charities and patronages close to their hearts to explain a bit about why they do what they do. They wanted to show her why they care so much about these organisations and Mary comes up with ideas for recipes for the event."
In a conversation between Mary and William, filmed during a secret visit to the homeless charity the Passage last month, the future king paid tribute to his parents and grandparents for their charity work over the years. Asked where his own motivation to help came from, the Duke said: "Growing up both of my parents were hugely charitable. My father set up the Prince's Trust. He's involved in so many different organisations. My mother has done her work with homelessness and as you said AIDs and other charities and I think I've grown up in a household which has been very much a case of 'well, we're very lucky - you must give back.'
"And you know, my grandmother becoming Queen at a very young age, in the days when it was a man's world, it was very difficult for her to … make a difference. And she's done it. In her own very unique, distinct way, and you know, my grandmother and my grandfather together are the epitome of public service. And I personally get a lot out of helping people. I find that you hear and you understand and you learn so much more by giving a bit of your time, a bit of your day, to just be around."

Mary Berry said:

"I am honoured that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have invited me to join them on four of their royal charity engagements this Christmas. It will be truly special to see the causes so close to their hearts, as well as to hear all about the amazing support these charities provide. The finale is a big Christmas party and I will be cooking up a feast for them to enjoy. A-one hour Christmas special not to be missed." 

The Duchess looked Berry Festive in a bespoke Alessandra Rich red dress based on the designer's Silk-Jacquard Midi Dress (with thanks to Danielle Stacey). From the Autumn/Winter 2019 Collection, and inspired by elegant styles from the 1940s, the dress is adorned with white polka dots and petals. It retails for £1,455 at Net-A-Porter. Kate's version has a pussy bow at the front.


I'm very much looking forward to watching it. For those outside the UK, I'm sure it will become available on YouTube within a day of airing.

If you're just joining us, our post on Black Friday/Cyber Monday is here. The team from Black.co.uk are offering readers 30% off their collections.


We'll see the Duchess on Tuesday for the NATO reception at Buckingham Palace.

45 comments:

  1. Great Post Charlotte! I love Mary Berry and Kate's friendship. I love Mary, and I miss her on GBBO. Nadiya is my favorite winner. Her speech at the end, always makes me tear up.

    "I'm never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I'm never gonna say I can't do it. I'm never gonna say 'maybe'. I'm never gonna say, 'I don't think I can' I can and I will."

    I can't wait to watch the Christmas Special and I hope it drops on YouTube pretty fast.

    Also if anyone wants to watch another great Christmas Show, you should check out a Kacey Musgraves Christmas show Amazon Prime. Kacey has a pretty decent Christmas Album and it shows in her special. Dan Levy another favorite of mine the co creator of Schitt's Creek is the narrator and is so funny, also there are some nice Christmas songs.

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  2. Love thisπŸŽ„❤️πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’š

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  3. Excited about this engagement and possible more details forthcoming. I love how Kate looks in those dresses but I swear no one without her height and figure could make them look so good - most of us would just look frumpy!

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    1. I don't know about that, USA. I'm 5'2" and had similarly styled dresses in the 1980s. They looked flowy and fabulous. As long as you're slim enough and keep the hemline in the right place for your legs they can look elegant; however, too many pounds over or too long and the look can drift to dowdy.

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    2. Philly, I appreciate what you are saying. I was agreeing with Amy in wearing the dress as designer intended as a midi as is current style and the drop waste really requires an extremely thin frame or it can draw attention to ones derriere in a very unflattering way. Happy for you that you can still walk the runway in dresses from the '80s.

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  4. I can’t wait to watch this! Kate looks lovely and I know it would never happen, but I’d love to see her in the original design. πŸ˜‰ Most of all Charlotte, thank you for including William’s comments praising both his parents and grandparents. I found this quote to be one of the most inspiring I’ve heard as he lays the foundation for his future role as King

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    1. I'm with you. I prefer the original design.

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    2. Have to agree but the original neckline is very low, maybe just adjust that up a bit. I am not a fan of the bow ties at the neck for most outfits. Pretty color and general shape looks lovely on her but too buttoned up and fussy at the neck with the tie.

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  5. This red dress is a miss for me. While festive, it doesn't look good, even on Kate. Her hair forever looks fabulous!

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  6. Sarah from Calif.1 December 2019 at 01:25

    Love this too!!!! πŸ’–

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  7. Sheryl from BC Canada1 December 2019 at 01:28

    Aha! Thats where Mary Berry got to. :) I watch The Great British Bake off here in Canada on our CBC station and occasionally on the PBS stations and lately, Mary was nowhere to be found. The mystery solved. I'm so happy that she and the Duke and Duchess have joined up for a Christmas season special. Can't wait to see it. It was lovely to see the two ladies in the Back to Nature special...

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  8. I love the collaboration of Kate and Mary, and am very excited to see that William has joined in!! What a wonderful way to pay tribute by tying in all the charities. Kate looks lovely, William dashing, and Mary very festive, cannot wait to watch this special and learn a little bit more about the people involved with the charities!! Love William's comments expressing admiration and gratitude to his parents and grandparents for their service and what it has taught him. Particularly pleased how he praises the Queen, very touching. I see William maturing into his role and life's work. Love the dress and Kate's signature twist, and secretly hope that she maybe has on a pair of shoes like the model is wearing, at least just once for the holiday season! What a nice intro to the holiday season. cc

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    1. Zora from Prague1 December 2019 at 17:42

      Well said, CeCe, and I especially agree with what you say about William! I believe he shares a special relationship with his Grandma.
      A very nice gift on the 1st Sunday of Advent πŸ˜€
      Thank you, Charlotte!

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    2. Zora, I agree, but I have recently decided that all of the grandchildren are very close to the Queen. She seems very close to Eugenie and Bea, and I think Sophie's kids see ehr often as they also live close. And I have read often about how fond she is of Anne's children -- we just don't see them often at gatherings.

      I used to feel balcony gatherings and such were family get-togethers, but have decided that they actually are just business. I think the real gatherings are not shown to us, which makes sense.

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  9. its christmas time already i love the christmas season

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  10. Duchess Kate and Mary Berry! Two of my favorites. I hope to see this program in the US soon!

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  11. I can't wait to see the special. Living outside of the UK, I hope someone will post the YouTube link when it is available. I have watched and rewatched the reruns of the Great British Baking Show as it is known here in the states and it never grows old.

    Catherine's dress is very much in the holiday style and the color is great on her. And good for her for keeping her long sleeves clean after a bout of baking, I would never be able to do it myself!

    Border Terrier lover :-)

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  12. This is a great project and I'm so glad the Cambridges did this. However am I the only one who wonders how Kate actually baked in that outfit? Her hair is so voluminous -- surely for baking it should be tied back? (Remembering the hairnets I used to have to wear in my very brief stint in a restaurant). Also the pussy bow OVER THE APRON and loose sleeves in the red dress look like a kitchen disaster in the making.

    Don't get me wrong, I think this is great. I just don't see how Kate could have actually baked in that outfit.

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    1. Maybe if we wait for the show to be aired we will see how she did it. William’s apron is dirty so it looks they actually cooked something. Remember when Meghan visited the bakery and helped decorate a cake? She was not wearing a hairnet, gloves, etc so please let’s not make a scandal now about Kate.

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    2. Ivy Lin, the pictures that we see are clearly staged - not meaning "fake", but meaning "posing in a certain way particularly for this picture". It doesn't mean Kate had the pussy bow out all the time while baking. I think none of us would pose for a photo with a pussy bow bulging underneath their apron and we are not even royals :-)

      I think at this point, with having seen just two posed pictures, we don't have to jump to a conclusion that Kate somehow "plagiarised" cakes.

      I can't wait to light up a christmas candle and watch the special.
      Ella

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    3. Oh seriously, can't we wait for the show before we start nitpicking? Obviously she isn't covered in icing sugar and cocoa powder so she probably didn't wear it to actually BAKE. It's like I cooked like mad on Thanksgiving morning and then changed my clothes before my guests arrived. The others in the photo are also dressed up, are you going to comment on their outfits as well?

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    4. Valarie:):):) Agree

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    5. We don’t know until we see the show that she actually did bake at all. The blog mentions only decorating and serving.

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  13. What did Kate wore at the event of action in addiction? Is it a new black midi skirt together with her polo neck sweater from "other stories"? And the boots? I would appreciate a post about this engagement. Thank you in advance.

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    1. I wondered the same, I like this dress a lot.

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    2. I’m waiting for more pictures to be released too of that outfit!
      Of course this project is amazing and I can’t wait to see it, I love that they have teamed up with someone so loved by the British and with the public TV but my frivolous part is loving the whole black look!

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    3. Hello,

      We only have the photo above from the Action on Addiction visit. We should definitely see more and get a better look at the outfit when the documentary airs :)

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    4. I love the entire idea very much, surely it will be memorable and of course, the attention is appropriately brought to the organisations. :)

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  14. I love this dress, so festive! I prefer the version on the model but can understand why Kate wore a version with less exposure. Can't wait to see this on You Tube (hopefully!). We're big fans of the British Baking Show (as it's named in the US) in my family and were disappointed when Mary left the show.

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  15. Wow looks like a great collaboration highlighting great causes Kate looks stunning and Will dashing as always Can’t wait for the special to air x

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  16. I love this! If you consider the number of people who love Mary Berry and add those who love Kate and William, this should be a very popular, enjoyable special. I love Kate's red/white dress; it looks like beautiful Christmas wrapping paper! Not so fond of the all-black outfit. If Kate and William, and even Mary, baked, maybe they wore different clothes and then changed to finish the products.

    This seems like a win/win all around. William is an equal partner to the women, he mentions his father and grandmother, the charities are mentioned. It makes me think of those Christmas specials that used to be more prominent.

    It occurs to me---and please tell me if I'm wrong---that this could not have occurred in an earlier generation. Of course, when the Queen and PP were just married, there were no colorful TV specials, but it still is something new.

    I also like that Kate is doing something she enjoys. I believe that one of her roles is to help others; another role is to just be herself and let people see what she's like. And she deserves to enjoy herself; the Queen has her special personal interests, too.

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  17. I absolutely love this post Charlotte! All of my favorite topics in one post πŸ₯°. The royals, baking, and Christmas time!!! I hope we can see the special in the U.S. πŸ™πŸ»

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  18. I have a general question, because the current events got my mind going. If there was a point at which Anne or Edward were not receiving as much money as they wanted, could a royal make money by being on a board of directors or some other job or position or consult? Would they have to give up their royal title in order to do so? Or would they just have to be "non-working royals" like Eugenie and Beatrice? Thanks.

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    1. They would have to be non-working royals. Sophie had to give up her PR business.
      But they have their title by birth, or marriage ,and it is who they are, independently of what they do. They can't give it up like that. It is like you can't change your surname like that.

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    2. Thanks, Natacha. I think Charles and his sons are coming across as looking very admirable, as they should. :)

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    3. It is very difficult to avoid a conflict of interests when you are a royal. After her marriage Sophie tried to keep her PR business but ended up being trapped because people only used her company for her royal connections.
      Princess Marie-Louise of Norway have recently announced that she will not use the title princess unless she is representing the crown after a very controversial book and book tour she and her partner did.

      Rather than a consulting or director position they would be better of taking a service position, like William’s stint at the air ambulance or King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands who still sometimes pilot KLM planes.
      But that of course will not do much to make them rich.

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  19. Love the idea! The dress is a miss for me. The print is fine, but looking at the model and what we see of Kate's it isn't my favorite. I don't like pussy bows -- they remind me inescapably of the 80s. The drop waist and midi just isn't flattering IMO. I mean Kate will make any dress including a shapeless burlap bag look amazing, but I've liked a lot of her other choices better.

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  20. I enjoyed this post. Thank you, Charlotte for sharing.

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  21. Does anybody know what that really delicious pastry they are holding in the 2nd picture? it looks like a yule log.

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    1. Guess we have to watch it to find out!! :)

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  22. Yes, Charlotte, preparation for Christmas begins in my home on the first Sunday of Advent. I miss Mary Berry so much, and Nadia was one of my favorite winners. I enjoyed watching the show here on American Public Broadcasting (PBS). I am not wild about the 1980s restyle of Kate's dress, but the red is festive and she looks as well as anyone could from that generally frumpy decade. It's entirely suitable for a queen-in-training. I wore those bows. The stuff of nightmares. It's bound to be a very popular show and I will look for it on YouTube.

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  23. Kate is keeping a low profile at the NATO meeting. The only photos I see are of the Queen looking very in charge with all the "leaders" around her and of Charles/Camilla. Everyone seems to be dressed very business like (except Melania), though, seeing Kate's green dress glimpse and Camilla's outfit.

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  24. oh i love these one i would love it to buy these

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  25. Caroline in Montana9 December 2019 at 18:17

    Really would love to see the action on addiction outfit in full, I really like it in just the one sitting. This red dress was interesting to me, I think it looks very good on her. Close up if you just focus on the pattern im not so sure but from far away and in photos, very flattering. Not really a fan of the pussy bow but I see why she altered from the original. Love seeing them together! hope I can watch the special.

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