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."

40 comments:

  1. The children are SO cute! I can't believe how light Princess Charlotte's hair is in the new pictures.

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  2. Such a beautiful family. The children are getting so tall. Thrilled to see William bringing awareness to these issues and involving his family. I feel that all the Cambridge children will be well educated in environmental issues and will carry on the work of their parents and grandfather Charles.
    Catherine looks so happy and relaxed, I sense that she's really blooming and comfortable in her life. Just lovely to see these photos!

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  3. So lovely to see the children's delight.

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  4. Such an unexpected treat from the Cambridge family. The children are precious and growing up so fast. Thank you Charlotte for this post. And of course, they all look great!

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  5. The whole family looks like they are really enjoying the event. How fun. One question, the color of the dress in the photos of Catherine looks so different from the company photos, and in fact the company photos look like different colors. I see three different shades of blue, a denim, and a lighter blue in the stock photos and then on Catherine a bright almost neon blue. Is this jus a good example of the differences in lighting or does the dress come in different colors?

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  6. I noticed that Prince George is wearing long pants now that he is 7 years old 😀

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  7. What a lovely family. I love how Catherine and William effortlessly combine work and parenting. They manage to raise their children in a happy normal private way. They should be very proud.

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    1. Amen! I think back to how much criticism they received for not being more active in Royal Duties.... many of us had a hunch that they were playing the long game, with the full permission of HM & it appears they have done that in spades! They have so many years to focus on Royal Duties.... you never get these years back, to lay the foundation of one's family & really nurture the parent/child relationship! The Cambridge kids will be so well suited to handle the many pressures & demands that will be placed on them, when the time comes, because of all the time & nurturing that W&K put into these early years! Well Done!! :)

      Becca USA

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    2. Well said Anon and Becca! W&K have made parenting a priority and it shows. Also like that they are including their children gradually into activities, this seems like just the appropriate event to include them at their age as it gives them exposure to an interesting topic as well as an important one in the long run. Love that the children are the focus, and motherhood looks great on Kate!!

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    3. Anon 115:34

      I totally agree with everything you said! The fact that they stuck to their path, despite what others where saying, shows what a Team they are & what good "long game" judgement/priorities they have for themselves & the children. :)

      Becca USA

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  8. How lucky are they to have Sir David visit and with a very special gift. We must listen to his message and make our governments take action on this climate emergency no more heads in the sand! Unfortunately I don’t subscribe to streaming services so won’t see what I’m sure is another brilliant doco by David Attenborough I’m glad the Cambridge’s will help spread his message.

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  9. What a nice outing. Sir David Attenborough is indeed a very enigmatic and captivating character. His documentaries are widely popular (at least in Europe- don’t know about the rest of the world) and he has one of the greatest narrating voices ever. Prince Wiliam supporting his latest film is great and especially that they got the whole family involved.
    Don’t know how I feel only bringing such an incredible gift for PG though. But it’s always nice to see the whole family. I am a sucker for the old school British way to dress young boys. It just looks very tidy but cheeky in my opinion and I have yet to encounter a child that actually expressed they are cold in it. (Like I was shivering away in a fleece and hat while my British relatives and their kids happily paddled in the North Sea).
    As for Kate, $1,590 for what is basically a thin denim dress is really not my thing. She has at least 25 dresses in her closet that would have looked almost identical apart from the denim.
    C.

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    1. Maybe he was the one given a present because he’s enthusiastic about dinosaurs. If the other children do not have such a big interest on fossils why would they be given a present? We’ve heard that Charlotte loves ballet, if she meets a big figure of ballet maybe she will get a present she would appreciate but her siblings won’t.

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    2. The gift was in extremely poor taste and it is only becoming more apparent today. At the outset to only bring a gift for 1/3 children is incredibly rude. And now it appears it was not even his to give as the nation of Malta rightfully owns it. The British preservation/museum culture is rife with misappropriated artifacts like this, and the Royal Family consistently missteps in how they choose to be seen showing them off.

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    3. This sort of thing is rightfully deplored, but it is only in recent years that countries are speaking up about their cultural artifacts being misappropriated. Museums throughout Europe, North America and Russia are full of these cultural treasures which their archeologists have been digging up in poorer countries, including their colonies. However you are a bit harsh in your criticism. I think David Attenborough didn't intend to do anything illegal and the shark tooth was gifted unwittingly. I am also not sure that the Royal Family has constantly misstepped as you claim, unless you are saying that items that previous monarchs purchased for themselves are "misappropriated artifacts" (eg the Leonardo da Vinci notebooks held in the Windsor Castle library.) No doubt the Cambridges will have to now hand over the shark tooth to Malta and there will be embarrassment all around. However no one is above the law and maybe this will encourage the British Museum to return to Greece the marbles which Lord Elgin brought back to UK many years ago. I personally think they should go back to where they belong and where they can be appropriately housed in the excellent new museum near the Parthenon in Athens.

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    4. Valerie in Arizona29 September 2020 at 02:04

      Oh please, it's only the media that have zeroed in that the gift was for George. Attenborough brought a gift, George was especially taken with it. It's like when I bring a housewarming gift for a family with several children and I don't want to get one for every child. I bring a neutral gift and one ends up playing with it more than others. As to whether Malta "owns" the shark's tooth or not. I understand about the Elgin Marbles and I believe they really ought to be returned to Greece. However, a shark's tooth is not the Elgin Marbles. Unlike being created by someone Maltese, the shark's tooth happened to be deposited there by nature. Just my opinion :)

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    5. As you’re so well informed about today’s developments you’ll know that Malta’s government has said the following:

      “The minister initial comments were based on the related national legislation in particular the Cultural Heritage Act, 2002 which superseded the previous legislation being the Antiquities (Protection) Act of 1910 and the Antiquities (Protection) Act of 1925. The minister would like to note that with reference to this case, it is not the intention to pursue this matter any further.”

      Also, if it’s bad taste, which I disagree, it would be A’s bad taste and not the Cambridge’s I assume?

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    6. Valerie, not to put too technical point on it, but it was the KP press release that stated specifically that the tooth was a gift to Prince George. And yes the media was quick to pick it up and ran with it. In retrospect the KP staff might want to rethink the way they phrased it.

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    7. I don't see how this is a gift in 'bad taste'? If anything I believe W&K to be the type of parents to have talked to their children about not expecting a gift everytime they have visitors or that they would each receive something. It's a lesson in graciousness and appreciation for something precious that they can all share in, regardless of who it was given to. The message is take nothing for granted and be appreciative of all things.
      I truly doubt that Sir David, of all people, was trying to rob Malta of an artifact and that the Cambridge's would somehow benefit from it. To Valerie's point, it was a gift of nature left to be found, not a cultural artifact created to be admired. The gesture was innocent and well intended.

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    8. I think it is ignorant to suggest that an animal fossil belongs to a nation. The natural world is not "cultural". Culture refers to the creations of people. And this fella's misapplied complaint managed to change the conversation on a very important topic by a leading expert. One that Prince Charles has been advocating his whole life. It was a thoughtful gift to Charles' grandson, and his heir.

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  10. Love Sir David! What a legend he is :) It’s funny how William & David are sitting in each other’s chairs 😂
    That shark’s tooth is fascinating! The look on the Cambridge children’s faces!
    What a lovely dress the Duchess is wearing 😍 The price is a bit steep, but I’d love to own that in my wardrobe.
    Such a special engagement - considering he’s the Queen’s age, it’s incredible that David is still making thought-provoking documentaries.

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    1. The chairs made me laugh. I wonder if they noticed :)

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  11. I love this! A nice sense of normalcy. I can relax. The children are adorable. I didn't think we would see them for a while.
    Kate's dress looks pretty on her. However I didn't like it in the modeling pictures. It doesn't really matter what she wears. Kate Always looks wonderful.
    David Attenborough's voice is pleasant to listen. How great that he is still working. A true Englishman.
    Thank you Charlotte! Hope you are well ❤️

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  12. What an important subject for Sir David to tackle. It should be everyone’s first priority. I love the children reacting to his visit and his gift. God bless him.
    It’s incredibly kind to call Kate’s dress ‘elegant’. The skirt is lovely but my impression is a terribly over-priced casual look from the Fifties. It’s good to be wealthy!

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    1. I remember years ago visiting Knole, Vita Sackville-West's ancestral home and being shocked how ragged the upholstery on the antique furniture was. But of course they were worth thousands. It was pointed out to me that "True aristocrats don't worry about things like that!" When you think about it the Queen is actually not at all fashionable.

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  13. Very nice dress casual but right for the occasion. The children look lovely and so grown up.

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  14. What a nice event with Sir David Attenborough, and the whole family looks great and happy. I like that Kate wore a Denim Dress that is tailored and causal at the same time. From my observation Kate and her advisors purchase many outfits for various events and non-events way in advance and possibly in case something comes up, so purchasing a beautiful interesting denim dress with Mother of Pearl snap buttons that is Kate style was probably just in case there was a backyard or front yard event with this pandemic still happening. Kate wearing her navy block pumps she is able to walk on grass/garden events. I have commented before that she needs to purchase a nice pair of navy espadrilles, that are nice with dresses, pants & Capri pants. You can see William is semi causal with blazer, but needs to get these brown suede shoes he like in Navy. They are both dress respectfully with the family and event. They all looked lovely 💙.

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  15. This brightened my Sunday- what a lovely family 😀

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  16. Tammy from California28 September 2020 at 04:08

    LOOK how blonde all those babies are! My goodness. Such a darling little family.

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  17. I like what the Duchess is wearing, it suits the occasion and suits her perfectly. I was surprised at the cost, expensive for what it is.

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  18. Great post, thank you, Charlotte! Seeing the Cambridges with Sir David warms my heart. The kids are so so cute and lovely! I love how thrilled Princess Charlotte was! A friend's girl used to do exactly this gesture when she was excited :) I'd love to know where George put his shark tooth: on the shelf? in a special box?😉 Hope he'll have a chance to show it to his Great-Grandparents (possibly via FaceTime!)

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  19. What a touching compelling film! Prince George, Britain's future king, will surely remember this meeting with Sir David Attenborough and the significance of his gift throughout his life. K

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  20. A question please. I wrote a comment, a positive comment at that regarding this post. I wrote my comment when the sight notes 0 comments at that time. Actually, early on. This is the second time my comment has not been published and I was wondering why. Both of these lost comments have happened recently, yet my reply comment in regard to the first go round did appear. Just asking...

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    1. Hello USA Granny,

      Thank you for getting in touch. The only comment I didn't approve was one with a reference to weight as it's a topic I try to avoid on the blogs for multiple reasons. I'm not sure this was one of your comments at all? If not, please let me know.

      I apologise for any delays/errors in publishing comments, Blogger has entirely changed it's interface, and it's been a work in progress in recent weeks :)

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  21. Both the Duchess and the Princess look beautiful. The Royal lads are looking very smart. As a future King, I'm sure George will never forget this and his amazing gift from Sir David. It's just a pity he's being asked to return it.... Shark doesn't need it anymore. Princess Charlotte with her lighter hair and cheeky smile reminds me of the late great Princess of Wales... She would be so proud of her son, his beautiful happy family and the great work there are doing.

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  22. this is so cute and I love david attenborough i cant wait for the netflix special

    thanks charlotte

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  23. Since we missed out on the late summer polo game and we might not see the kids again until Christmas, I am very glad the Cambridges included the kids in this.
    But I don’t think the whole shark tooth thing turned out the way they planned. I have to admit that I am surprised that between Sir David, K&W and the KP-team nobody stopped for a moment to question the optics. The Cambridges don’t often make that type of mistake.

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    1. You are right that the shark tooth didn't work out as planned, but don't think it was a 'mistake' on anybody's part. It is a momento from a boyhood trip and I am sure there weren't warning signs on the beach at the time that said, 'any artifacts are not to be removed'. It's a gesture from one naturist to another budding young one, done without malice or ill intent. It's unfortunate that this gesture is being turned into something negative, but it's still early. Even though Malta has since stated they will not pursue this, we don't know that Sir David and the Cambridges might make an even grander gesture and gift the gift to Malta, where many can enjoy it.

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  24. oh i love the touching moment these cambeidge young family was great the duchess cambridge really looks good in her outfit im sure the young kids will treasure these little memory

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  25. Valerie in Arizona29 September 2020 at 16:36

    Re the flap about the tooth, Malta’s Minister reversed himself: http://www.wboc.com/story/42696049/malta-u-turn-prince-george-can-keep-his-shark-tooth-fossil.
    I thought the advice given my Matthew Galizia in the article something that we could all ponder in this media-hungry world. Let’s keep our perspective, there are much bigger issues to worry about.

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