Wednesday, 7 October 2020

The Cambridges Host Buckingham Palace Audience with Ukraine's President and First Lady

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge held an audience with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and First Lady Olena Zelenska at Buckingham Palace earlier today.

William and Kate held the meeting on behalf of Her Majesty, who has returned to Windsor Castle following a spell at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate with Prince Philip. It is the first time the couple has been separated since restrictions regarding the pandemic were imposed seven months ago. The appearances follow news all receptions and investitures, including the much anticipated white-tie Diplomatic Reception, will be cancelled for the remainder of the year.

Given the enormous change to the royal schedule this year, it was great to see today's meeting proceeding at BP and to see the Cambridges stepping in. Whether it's a brief audience at the Palace or the pomp and ceremony of a State visit, participation from the Royal family has long been a key element in welcoming heads of state from other nations. This is an area I would love to see William and Kate increasingly involved in - especially as it will be a central part of their duties as Prince and Princess of Wales.

ABC News reports:

'London's Buckingham Palace held its first royal event in more than six months on Wednesday as Prince William and his wife Kate welcomed Ukraine’s president and his wife.

Buckingham Palace, the queen’s central London residence and the monarchy’s administrative hub, has not been used for a royal event since March when the coronavirus lockdown was announced. Its State Rooms are usually open to the public during the summer, but they have remained closed along with other royal attractions.'

We've seen a marked reduction in the number of official visits from other countries this year. President Zelensky and the First Lady are making an important two-day stop in London with a ministerial delegation. The President will sign the Ukranian-British Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement with the Prime Minister tomorrow. It is understood he will also sign a number of bilateral documents related to defense and financial support for joint projects.

The Mail reported additional details on the visit:

'Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the agreement is a 'clear demonstration' of the UK's commitment to Ukraine's prosperity and security.

Mr Raab will meet Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba today to reaffirm support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of what the Foreign Office called 'malign behaviour from Russia'.

The Foreign Secretary will announce £5 million in humanitarian aid to support communities in eastern Ukraine who have been affected by conflict and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The aid will go towards the provision of food, water, medical supplies and psychosocial support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, the Foreign Office said.'

On social media, President Zelensky noted the importance of "people-to-people" contact for countries, adding a friendly meeting was enjoyed by both couples with a focus on topics of shared interest between Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

The Duchess was elegant in a blue V-neck belted dress. It's thought the piece is a bespoke Emilia Wickstead creation. Royal Wikipedia notes Kate's dress is very similar to a belt the Duchess owns by the designer in black.

Kate wore her praline Gianvito Rossi 105 pumps.


The Duchess accessorised with Diana's sapphire and diamond earrings and a new matching necklace.

Liz from Kate's Closet and All Things Royal suggests the stones may in fact be from Diana's sapphire suite. It certainly makes sense, I've long thought we would see other jewels from the set in Kate's rotation. Below, Diana wearing a pair of earrings in Australia which may have been used for the pendant.

Embed from Getty Images

A great look for the Duchess!

40 comments:

  1. Now this is perfect! The color, the length, the simplicity..She looks great. Kate and William are forging full ahead for the Monarchy, and doing so with style and grace. The other couple looks good as well.

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  2. Zora from Prague7 October 2020 at 16:21

    Kate looks lovely and the two couples seem to be very well suited! What a great gesture of support for the Ukraine!

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  3. Valerie in Arizona7 October 2020 at 16:24

    Wow, first time for a royal audience? Have they ever done that before without either HM or Prince Charles around too? Symbolic? Charlotte, I was wondering if the sapphire necklace is also a piece from Diana’s collection of sapphires? I saw a program on True Royalty about Diana’s jewels and she was given quite a few sapphire pieces wasn’t she?

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    1. Valerie, that is an interesting thought that the new necklace may come from other pieces of jewelry from Diana's collection. Somehow, when I saw "new" I assumed it may be a gift.

      I like the idea of Kate wearing jewelry from William's mother and styling it to meet her taste.

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  4. We have all commented over the years that it was very clever of the Cambridges and HM to focus om the long game and give them time to be a family before becoming fulltime royals. But today I realsied it was also very clever in terms of job satisfaction. Taking into account that it could still be years before William becomes king, their job could easily become monotonous of they did all the exciting stuff immediately. They have been married almost 10 years and while this is not the first time they meet a head of state, it is their first time representing HM in this context. It must have been quite exciting for them and give them a feeling of moving up the ladder.

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  5. Kate and William both are dressed in a professional, classic manner perfect for the occasion as are the guests they are hosting. Simple always hits the mark. I have rarely been in agreement with Kate's jewelry selections for particular events. The sapphire and diamond necklace in my opinion is better saved for a nighttime function. High end pieces other then worn in the form of engagement/wedding rings can miss the mark. HM is a wonderful example of simple daily jewelry accessories in her pears and random pins.

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    1. I too was taught "pearls by day, diamonds by night", but I don't think this necklace misses the mark for this occasion, it is a state visit. The piece is very simple and not overly formal. It's a perfect compliment to her dress and fits Kate's style. Definitely HM is a wonderful example of her daytime jewelry accessories, but like that Kate is finding her own way with her jewelry, and even more so if this piece is from William's mother's jewelry, a nice little touch.

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    2. The Queen has wonderful jewelry, but her pins that she wears in the daytime are most often chockfull of diamonds and other precious stones. Most of her pins are not what I consider simple pieces, but she is consistent in what she wears:). I find Kates choices hit and miss but not this set, I like it and find it lovely for the occasion.

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    3. I do agree with you. Its a very nice piece of jewellery and I think when you have so many jewels at your disposal I think the pearls day/diamonds night rule would go out the window!! well it would if it was me ; )
      I like the dress and love the praline shoes I think the Ukranian first lady looks very nice too.

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    4. Anon 04:08, I agree with you that the Ukranian First Lady looks very nice, I especially love her style of shoes, a lower slightly heel and a longer last. Both couples looked very well turned out and nice to see W&K doing this type of event, great 'ambassadors' for the Queen.

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    5. Ali, agree about HMTQ. For example, yesterday she wore a corn flower blue dress adorned with a sapphire and diamond brooch for a video appearance from home for World Sight Day. I think it may be one Prince Albert gave to Queen Victoria. One of my favorites of the royal brooch collection.

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  6. Now that’s a lovely dress! I don’t normally love EW’s designs, but this one suits the Duchess to a tee. I love the colour & neckline; it’s so flattering on Kate. Such a pretty necklace, too.

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  7. Dss Kate looks spot on,very nice color blue. The Ukrainian First Lady wears a very nice dress as well.

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  8. Definitely new. I really hope it is from the late Princess of Wales sapphire collection. Looking at the picture, I don't think it's from the Saudi set. I hope in time we will see all of Diana' sapphires on the Duchess. The large choker and the lovers knot set with the Queens Dubai sapphires.... Now that would be a sight to behold. The Duke and Duchess are doing great work on behalf of Queen and country.

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  9. When they are newlyweds they have audience with the Obamas. Since some time William does those audiences and investitures to help the Queen and his father and they did replace the prince of Wales in 2015 with the Chinese president. I feel that the dress have the empreintes of Catherine Walker more than weakstead who's design are more Edgy and modern.

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  10. Nice nod to the colour of the Ukrainian flag.

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    1. Nice observation, it's a very pretty shade of blue!

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  11. The sapphire gift from the Saudi Prince had 13 sapphires. Possibly this is the smallest one from the watch. The fact that we have seen very little of Diana's jeweller on the Duchess, I think it's being held by the Crown for the next Princess of Wales. She has worn the lovers knot and the Japanese pearl choker. Both owned by the Queen. I think the only confirmed pieces worn are of course the engagement ring and a pearl bracelet. Anything gifted to Diana was hers. The bigger jeweller gifted to the Princess of Wales goes back to the Crown.

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    1. And of course Kate will be the next Princess of Wales. It is interesting that the Queen seems to have complete control over the more important pieces of British royal jewelry. The Scandinavian royal families in contrast share it around more.

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  12. Beautiful in blue

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  13. William and Catherine both look wonderful and so polished. Love the dress, color and style and the fabric from what little I can tell looks gorgeous. Her jewelry is spectacular, but I love sapphires.

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  14. Looks to me like Princess Diana's cabochon sapphire earing set below a diamond. Different to the Saudi suite.

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  15. since they where newlyweeds the duke and duchess cambridge have been royal audience of the obamas since then the duke and duchess cambridge master these royal audience rhwy veen w great team

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  16. I love this!!! She looks stunning and I love how they are stepping up to present not only the Queen but also how it will be with them in the role as King and Queen. I love love love how she looks!!! Stunning and elegant as always. Charlotte my dear, you have absolutely no idea how much joy
    I get in seeing a post like this and all the events you cover of them. ♥️♥️

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  17. Or maybe the dress could be Jenny Packham.

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  18. Susan in Florida8 October 2020 at 03:27

    I love the Duchess in blue. I am partial to sapphires myself. I hope Diana’s jewels are admired and worn by both her daughters-in-law. I was just a bit breathless seeing the Cambridges at BP by themselves representing the Queen. I know it’s eventual , may it be far forward in the future , it was just a moment for me.

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  19. This is classic Kate at her best! The dress is a perfect backdrop for the jewels. My only wish is that she would return to the chestnut hair color she wore so well.

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  20. In my eyes, William resembles more and more his grandfather, Prince Philip! - Two lovely tasteful couples,and certainly some kind of support for Ukraine. Here we have a fine example for the muted way the RF does international political opinion.

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    1. I agree Nora, William looks most like Prince Philip!! Love your comment about the 'muted way' of the RF, think that's pretty much William and Catherine's approach. But then they had a good example in the Queen and Prince Philip!

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    2. You are right Nora! I hadn't noticed the resemblances before you mention it.

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  21. So impressed with William’s Earthshot prizes! It’s a HUGE project!

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  22. Beautiful in blue! I know I’m in the minority, but I really like Kate’s hair a lighter colour with her complexion. I hope her necklace is made of Diana’s gems, designed by Kate in her own taste. What a lovely sight to see them reworked.

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  23. I have always liked those praline pumps, that style of frock on Catherine, and it’s my favorite shade of blue. Fashion win for me. This is a step forward in their evolving role as monarchs to be. They will excel.
    William and his climate initiative. Cannot say enough good things. It’s the most important issue of the decade.

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  24. I totally agree! It's lovely to see them serving in this capacity. They have truly grown so marvelously & steadily into their roles. Bravo! :)

    Becca USA

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  25. I'm having trouble posting, I hope this goes through..... I love everything you all have been saying! Especially Dear RachelZA! You said it all so beautifully! Though they drew lots of heat in their early years, the long game has paid off on so many levels for them as a couple, as individuals & as a family! Well Done! :)

    Becca USA

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  26. As a future Princess of Wales and Queen, I think it's important that the jewels worn by the late Princess are reserved for Kate and in time Prince George's wife. As far as there value, beyond priclesss. Sapphires suit both ladies very well. It's interesting so little of Diana's jeweller has been worn. Time will tell i suppose.

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  27. They are fabulous, and look like a King and Queen.

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    1. I absolutely agree! They are just lovely. A joy to see them.

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  28. she looks lovely! i love to see her wearing Princess Diana's jewelry.

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