Thursday, 23 July 2020

The Royal Foundation Grants £1.8 Million to Support Frontline Workers & Mental Health

Kensington Palace revealed tonight the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has awarded £1.8 million in grants to support the frontline community and the nation's mental health, through a "bespoke fund" which was set up in response to COVID-19.


The grants were made to ten leading charities who have been instrumental in the battle against the virus in recent months. In keeping with the Foundation's longstanding focus on supporting mental heath, key areas were identified and chosen to benefit from the substantial sum. It was wonderful to read the response fund - in collaboration with the National Health Service - will provide individual grief trauma counselling from Hospice UK to all frontline workers. Additionally, a quarter of a million first responders from around the UK will have access to peer support and mental health training from Mind’s Blue Light mental health support programme, building on the service already available.


Notable points from the grants awarded include: "The Ambulance Staff Charity will be able to provide an additional 2,780 hours of support for the UK’s ambulance community. Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) will be able to respond to 2,300 more contacts each month. Shout 85258 will be able to have 250 more text message conversations with people who are struggling to cope every day." In terms of charities Kate has worked closely with, teachers, children and parents will be supported by her patronages Place2Be and the Anna Freud Centre. Meanwhile, 20,000 new mothers will be supported by Best Beginnings, thanks to a community mental health training project to reach pregnant women and new parents.


The Mirror reports:

'Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, said: “We are delighted to be receiving this funding from The Royal Foundation.
“The grant will go a long way in enabling us to continue to provide support to those working in the emergency services, through our Blue Light Programme.
“It is so important, perhaps now more than ever, that the right information, advice, peer support services and training is easily accessible for our hardworking key workers, especially those of us who might be experiencing poor mental health.”

Earlier this week, William and Kate met with four representatives on the Sandringham estate from organisations benefiting from the grants - two mental health counsellors and two emergency responders. They heard about the incredible challenges they've been dealing with and their views on the months ahead.


Prince William said: "It’s great to hear how the Royal Foundation is supporting you and many others to build resilience and give you the networks you need through its COVID-19 Response Fund, which will help ten leading charities continue their crucial work."


The Duchess added: "We have all been in awe of the incredible work that frontline staff and emergency responders have been doing in response to COVID-19, but we know that for many of them the pandemic will have a lasting impact on their mental health."


Hello! shared more feedback from charities involved:

'Alison Baum, chief executive of Best Beginnings, said: "The pandemic has led to greatly increased levels of anxiety and isolation for parents across the UK and in collaboration with many charities and frontline professionals, we are here to help. This vital funding will enable us to deliver an engaging digital outreach programme as well as maternal mental health training with Home-Start volunteers and midwives."'

The Duchess wore a gorgeous white summer shirt dress by Suzannah (with thanks to Caroline Parr).


The £995 piece is described as: "A classic 1950's inspired shirt dress cut from a lightweight, Italian organic cotton printed with an all over design of small tonal blue graphic polka dots. The bodice is semi fitted, with a classic shirt collar and elbow length, cuffed sleeves. The skirt features subtle box pleats which gives the dress plenty of volume and movement at the hem. The dress is fully lined in cotton and features invisible side seam pockets and a coordinating tie belt. We are now producing this gorgeous timeless piece from our archive using sustainable GOTS certified Italian Cotton. The dress is lined in eco-cotton." 20% of sales from the dress will go to the Royal Foundation's COVID-19 fund.


Kate accessorised with her Daniella Draper cupid hoop earrings. 


Described as: "These 9ct Gold Mini Cupid Hoop earrings are a definite must-have. Gold hoops are the perfect finishing touch for any occasion."


And a new gold bracelet by Sézane Paris (with thanks to Kate's Royal Closet for a great ID).


The £70 Stephanie cuff in ecru gold is described as a "harmonious marriage of opulent material and natural stone pearl."


Kate completed the look with her Castaner Carina wedges.


There's a common misconception among royal watchers in relation to royals and financial support for causes close to their hearts. Some weeks ago, I wrote about honey produced at the Duchess of Cornwall's Wiltshire home and how funds raised are distributed every year to one of her patronages. I received some very negative feedback on it with the underlying belief it is somehow unroyal or unbefitting their positions. This is a deeply held belief and deeply inaccurate. We have seen incredible projects, initiatives and items backed by royals on our supermarket shelves with huge success.

In a time when the charitable sector has been gutted and annual events and fundraisers shelved, put simply, a cash injection from the Royal Foundation into grants for supports and services has never been more necessary. This is precisely the direction the Foundation should be travelling in and perhaps moving forward we'll see the Cambridges following in the footsteps of royals like Prince Charles, whose Duchy Originals organic products line was set up to help small producers with all profits going to charities. There's an emphasis in the awarded grants on providing additional hours and services for mental health charities and I have no doubt all are immensely grateful, just as each and every person who contacts them will be. It's excellent news.

51 comments:

  1. After "the head together" compeign and her huge impact , this is the most big action undertaken by the Cambridge together. Thanks Charlotte for the post.

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  2. Wonderful post Charlotte! And I agree with you. There's too much misconceptions about how the royals support charity. You explained it very well. Good to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and all that will be benefited for this grants!

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  3. Great dress, but omg, I am jumping up and down that Kate is wearing a buttoned dress and UNBUTTONED THE COLLAR BUTTON! I honestly NEVER thought that would happen. I know Kate loves her buttons and high collars. But the dress looks so much better like that. Great pattern too!

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  4. Love to see the work they are doing. Fashion wise I have to join those who don't think this hair colour works well on Kate 😢. Love the print on the dress but I would put a more sleek sleave dress bottom to that top or lighter shorter sleaves to fit the bottom of the dress.

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  5. I understand the criticism. By putting a product on the market, you are competing with those whose products/income go to feed their families. Are you going to buy "my" independently produced local honey, or the "royal" one to support charity - when you go to the shop? It's a slippery slope.

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    1. I guess if the Queen can market gin and serve mulberry products from her garden with tea, this sort of thing must have the Royal sanction.

      You do make a good point, Moxie. I wonder if the prices are competitive or target-oriented. I got the impression that the Princes's items are geared toward a niche market. Perhaps not. I believe the whole effort started as an attempt to promote eco-friendly methods in plant and animal raising, not as a charity project.
      Frankly, the whole idea of royals and fundraising by selling home-grown/made products seems slightly ironic to me. How much could The Crown raise by selling some of their "stuff?" Especially in these dire times. That would certainly send a message. No need to sell pots of honey. Seems like shooting at an elephant with a pea-shooter to me.
      I do agree that this was a well-executed, well timed effort on the Foundation's part and that it is an appropriate use of funds- considering the recent complaints filed against the Foundation regarding use of funds, as well as needs arising from the pandemic.
      It is all very well to focus on the positive but ignoring the elephant in the room is counter-productive. We saw this effect with the handling of the pandemic by various governments.

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    2. What recent complaints?

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    3. I know the media reported that the Queen was marketing her own Gin, but it was actually Historical Royal Palaces, the organization responsible for running the public side of the palaces and the curioshop that accompany it.

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    4. I was being somewhat facetious, Rachel. Although...the gin is reportedly served at BP.
      I wonder if HRP is under the supervision of the Crown of the government?

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    5. Turns out, (thanks Wiki and HRP site) HRP is an "independent, registered charity." It is reportedly completely supported by private funds, usually donations, as well as income from selling various theme-related products in on site gift shops and from entrance fees.Travelyst, for example, is an independent but not registered charity in the UK.
      However, HRP is contracted through a government office to help the Queen manage the palaces. I don't know if the government pays a fee for this; probably does. The Crown/government web of connections can be complicated.
      The gin is infused with essences from the BP garden. I can understand why it was presented as a Queenly project.

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  6. I'm pleased to see them supporting Best Beginnings. If anyone is having a baby soon, Best Beginnings have some fantastic videos about breastfeeding and the experience of having a premature baby. I work as an antenatal teacher and find them incredibly useful.

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  7. Nicole from France24 July 2020 at 09:35

    Thank’you Charlotte for’your comment about the financial side of The Royal Fundations . In a time when a lot of us are more’ or less short of money , for different reasons , charities can’t only rely on sponsors funds, and as we say in France « aide toi le ciel t’aidera » .... beeing involved in a commercial business which allows both suppliers and charities to get money is not shameful or lacking dignity . Prince Charles Dutchy Originals was started decades ago and has proved both ethical and profitable . The world slowly change , and , IMO , our concern should be towards sustainability and fair trade which can bring a correct life for all of us more than towards sticking to old obsolete and useless rules , on the particular case of the BRF that’s how they will be modern .

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  8. the dress is Suzannah! https://www.suzannah.com/products/cotton-shirt-dress-blue-polka

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    1. Why thank you Caroline Parr (check abaove)?

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    2. 20% of the sales of the dress will go to this Covid fund. And there’s a 5 week waiting list for the dress.

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  9. I love this entire look. The dress is great and I love her hair with the shorter length and soft curls.

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    1. Her hair looks great but I am not sure about the color. I suspect she is using blond to cover grey and I think she needs a new colorist who will keep her naturally darker base shade and highlight to cover the grey without going the blonde/red route. Her coloring, at least for me, is better with a more brunette shade with
      lighter, but not red, highlights.

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    2. Caroline in Montana27 July 2020 at 21:36

      Ali, i have to agree with you. It wasn't so bad at first, but now i just keep looking at her hair and it is just a very un-natural shade for her. Darker is way better!

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    3. Completely agree with ali and Caroline. The lighter shade looks very un-natural and isn't flattering with her skin tone. I haven't considered that she might be hiding the grey though. From experience, it looks weird if the base looks lighter than the length. If it is just a few hairs it wouldn't be too obvious, even with natural hair being defenitely several shades darker than what she has now, but if she is starting to go completely grey that would explain the amount of blonde. Same with baldness, some people never experience it, some start balding/ going grey in their late twenties.
      C.

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  10. Kate looks fantastic but really the support and generosity is the highlight of this day for me.

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  11. Valerie in Arizona24 July 2020 at 17:32

    Thank you as always Charlotte for your blog. I find myself a bit confused about whether it's a problem that the Duchess of Cornwall makes honey or the Duchy of Cornwall markets biscuits. On the one hand, people make money off the monarchy all the time, sometimes with tatty stuff like cheap t-shirts with the Royals' photos on them, T-towels, etc. in London and in the towns that are on the foreign tourist routes and then there's the high end Wedgewood stuff like goblets, plates, etc. It keeps people in business and, in the overall Royal market, I think that there's really room for everyone. At least in times when COVID doesn't keep the tourists away from the UK. When I am in the UK and visiting National Trust sites, I can usually only afford to buy something very small because the stuff is so expensive. And I've already paid a whack of money just to visit, eaten a delicious, but expensive, tea there.... I don't know who gets the money and I don't begrudge them trying to make it. I just don't have an unlimited credit card sadly ;)

    I have felt keenly sorry for all the places that have had to close during COVID. I watch a program where an American-born British aristocrat visits a bunch of stately homes to get ideas for how she can market her own. I find her funny and engaging and looking at what it takes to keep up the stately homes, I appreciate why they have to market themselves like that. It's a way of life, a job. And I am happy that the Royal Foundation turns around and donates so much time and money to shining a light on other worthy organizations.

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  12. Great news,as said they put their money where their mouth is. Hope everyone get the help they need,hopefully people will ask,especially children in this trying time of this Pandemic.Love this shirt dress,she looks great as always'

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  13. I inherited a pair of teacups my Mum bought at the the of the coronation. Don't know what she paid for them.

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  14. Great cause, great dress!

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  15. Really liking the momentum that William and Kate are achieving this year, and what up lifting news for these deserving charities. Their initiatives seem to be well thought out, with a cohesive plan in place that are taking shape and making a diffeence. Both William and Kate look great, but this dress is so fresh, crisp and summery, love the earrings!! But like others have said, the big focus is on the generosity that this initiative will have in helping many during this trying time. cc

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    1. I agree CeCe, especially since this was obviously not the year they planned. Kate just started her Early Year project with that survey when Covid struck, it seems like ages ago. And William lauched Earthshot. But both put their person pet projects on the backburner to react to the current crisis. The whole royal family showed an agility of thought and action that has not always been associated with the royal family.

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    2. Zora from Prague27 July 2020 at 10:52

      I agree, CeCe, so glad the Royal Foundation awarded those grants.
      The dress must be very pleasant to wear since it is cotton. Kate looks beautiful!

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  16. Thank you Charlotte for this interesting post. An excellent use for Royal Foundation funds and dare I say a well timed good rebuttal for recent negative press about the Royal and Sussex Foundation funds.
    I don't have a problem with the honey being sold. It is being produced surplus to need so good that it will be of benefit to charity and in the process providing jobs, which going forward is going to be the biggest focus for at least the next decade.

    William and Kate seem very comfortable in both their professional and personal lives. Strange how it is the virus that has broken the mould of both our expectations and the actual way that Royal work is carried out. The meeting with representatives of the charities at Sandringham is now seen as a Royal engagement and not a lesser event just a meeting. The press have moved on too and no longer seem to want and need a press pack at every event to report on the events. So a seismic move on all sides has come from a very unlikely source.

    I liked Catherine's dress, retro and summery and very suitable to the event. Liked the accessories as well, pretty earnings and bracelet.

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  17. It must be one of the best perks of being a royal that you have access to that type of money to allocate to worth while projects and organizations. But maybe somebody who has actually read their financial reports can help me understand here, where does the Royal Foundation get this kind of money from?
    Except for the sailing thing last year I can’t remember Kate and William doing any direct fundraising (and that was done for specific organizations not the Royal Foundation)

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    1. Valerie in Arizona25 July 2020 at 21:56

      I don't know where all of their money comes from but I think it started with money that was donated as wedding gifts to William and Kate. And the Foundation has trustees who probably quietly approach philanthropists for annual donations, much like I give to Doctors Without Borders and some other charities (not meaning I am a wealthy philanthropist!!.) By creating a separate umbrella organization, I believe that W & K can funnel the money that they receive into areas that have pressing needs at certain times. I remember several years ago William talking about (or maybe it could have been us talking about it here) how strength sometimes comes with one strong charity that can oversee needs rather than many small ones all vying for donations. But there are pros and cons with either approach.

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    2. Anybody who has better information, please correct, but to the best that I can understand the Royal Foundation was formed in 2008 by Prince William and Prince Harry to further their charitable initiatives, and Catherine was added as a patron at the time of her marriage to William, as was Meghan when she married Harry. At the time of the marriages, in lieu of gifts, donations were made in the name of the royals, as one source of income. The Foundation is separate from the Diana Royal Memorial fund which was established after her death in 1997 and for the most part what William and Harry used to carry out their charitable contributions until 2008 when they formed the Royal Foundation. Diana's Memorial Fund was dissolved in 2012, even though it had tapered down since 2008; it was still receiving contributions, even up to this last year. The remaining amount of this fund was split just recently between Prince William and Prince Harry.

      Below is from TRF webpage and as a charitable organization is obligated to follow certain regulating guidelines. This doesn't explain everything in detail, but gives an overview, and the monies appear to come from grants, like in kind donations, as well as royal and legacy donations. With many Foundations, they hire professionals who are skilled at fund raising and in seeking legacy donations, much like universities and endowment funds where alums 'will' portions of their assets from their estates to the colleges. Even in reading the statement below, it appears that the Foundation spent more money this last year hiring specialized professionals who are skilled in the nuances of the non-profit world, i.e. writing grants, fund raising, and/or requesting people to bequeath and or donate large sums of money. The pro's of the Foundation, at this time of Covid when charitable contributions are dwindling, is that it is in the financial position and had the personnel and ability to adapt to current needs in order that this large contribution can be funneled to these charities. Great wealth can continue to amass great wealth if it is carefully managed and appropriated correctly.

      https://mk0royalfoundatcnhl0.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/TRF-Annual-report-and-accounts-2019-final.pdf

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    3. The royal Family helps various charities raise money by being associated with them and promoting the particular cause. The publicity given to their attendance at charitable occasions is invaluable in this respect. Also they sometimes raise money directly for their most important charities with events like polo matches or film premieres etc. The Prince of Wales uses some of the money from the Duchy of Cornwall for charitable purposes too. inevitably there is some commercial involvement in many of these things. For example there is a charge to view the state rooms at some Royal Palaces and they sell branded goods at the shops associated with them. The system by which some firms are granted permission to advertise themselves as royal patronages must be a financial benefit to those businesses. I'm not sure how that works in practice but it is a long established system which seems to have been accepted without too many complaints.

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  18. Great news, this is an area that needs so much support, have been so happy to see William and Catherine supporting mental health for many years. She looks great as usual, the dress is professional but not my favorite, maybe too much white and stiffness? Not sure why it does not work for me but happy to see it not buttoned up to the top:)

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  19. I'm not clever enough to put a link, but if you go to the Charity Commission website you can look at the Foundation's accounts. They say more about what they spend their money on than where it comes from, but they spend a fair bit on fund raising.

    Incidentally, this pretty dress is similar to one I had as a child in the 1970s, which probably cost just a few pounds - imagine paying nearly £1000 for a cotton frock!!

    Sarah UK

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  21. Dress is so retro. Kate's summer hair color is not my favorite. Love her in her natural dark shade. Interesting that each summer she has the desire to change her hair color. If it had been enhanced to add to sun kisses hair from time spent at the beach/shore I could understand. The crimping iron has really been overdone with the look in my opinion. I always say, if its not broken don't fix it.

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    1. While I love the retro look for sure, I am with you about the 'overdone' look with the crimping iron. Not really a fan of it, prefer Kate's straighter and slightly curled looks when she has it down. Prefer the darker hair, but don't mind the sunkissed look, maybe has some 'touch ups' to blend it making it seem more than usual.

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  22. I'm so glad to see the support for Emergency Responders. The personal cost to their mental health as a result of seeing so much trauma cannot be overestimated.

    And on a more frivolous note, I very much like Kate's dress.

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  23. im so happy to hear this fantastic news over such an important cause. Kate's dress looks lovely but not a fan of the hair I think it is the wrong shade.

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  24. Is it too much off-topic to mention the sweet video snippet of Prince Wiiliam receiving a curry delivery at Kensington
    Palace and joshing with Peter Crouch?

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    1. Not off-topic at all Cecilia :)

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    2. Caroline in Montana30 July 2020 at 22:26

      OMG! i had to google that. the video is adorable:) thanks for sharing!!

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  25. Bravo, Charlotte! And thank you for taking time to support their charitable initiatives. I appreciate so very much the example the Royals set for service. And love, love her bracelet!!!

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  26. Thank you. It certainly seems to me that anyone interested in the way in which the Duchess is developing must also be interested in the parallel personality of her husband.

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  27. Valerie in Arizona31 July 2020 at 22:43

    Cecilia, you are right, I am just as keenly interested in William's initiatives as Kate's because the two are such a team and seem to be so influence by each other.

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  28. It seems the Cambridges are vacationing on the Isle of Scilly with their children. They are on the island of Tresco, a place where Diana and Charles took William and Harry when they were children. So very happy that they are enjoying exploring their own beautiful island of England.

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    1. I love that while they do still have their trips to Mystique (in nonCovid times), ski-trips (although they haven’t done that in a while) they also work in holidays in the UK with the kids. Last year it was the Lake District and this year Isle of Scilly and then there is always a week or two in Scotland. And that is only the ones we know about. They keep it quite under the radar, also proving that it is possible.

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  29. Hello, off topic, but i saw some photos of Tresco where William and Catherine and the kids escaped to for a few days. It looks gorgeous. Is it worth a few days stay if we are visiting the UK? Thanks.

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    1. Ali, Tresco Island is absolutely beautiful and very family friendly. Ideally, the best time to go is in the summer when there's a strong possibility of good weather. It's not accessible by land though. It is a significant distance from London if you are considering basing your trip there. The train journey to Newquay is at least five hours. I believe there's flights (not sure what the current schedule is) which take just over an hour.

      All relevant information on getting there via ferry and air options is below.

      https://www.tresco.co.uk/arriving

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  30. Thank you. Tresco looks so lovely. I will explore the link you provided.

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  31. What a nice summer cotton dress by Suzannah, just perfect for weather and still very appropriate for the event, has great detail and I love the cuff bracelet. Would have like to see her wear either a little blue or white shoe. Catherine looks great. William’s outfit is a summery appropriate outfit that matches Catherine’s outfit perfectly. I have notice in the last few years William has step up his wardrobe and is looking terrific, 💙🤍💙 the whole look of both of them.

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