Wednesday, 21 April 2021

The Cambridges Pay Tribute to Prince Philip with Air Cadets Visit

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge honoured the late Duke of Edinburgh by visiting RAF Air Cadets' 282 Squadron in East London to meet young people supported by the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

It marks the couple's first public engagement since Prince Philip passed. The Duke and Duchess' last official appearance saw them return to Westminster Abbey in late March to pay tribute to those on the front line of the vaccination effort. From there, they spent the Easter break at their country home Anmer Hall before returning to London ahead of Prince Philip's funeral. It is incredibly fitting that their first engagement since then is in honour of a key area of the Duke's work.

There's additional significance for the family today, as Her Majesty is marking her 95th birthday. The Queen used the opportunity to share her "appreciation" for the "many good wishes" she's received. The statement continued: "While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world." It's understood family members living close by will call in on the Monarch whilst other members will phone and chat via Zoom.

Today's engagement highlighted a patronage passed from the Duke of Edinburgh to his granddaughter-in-law. In December 2015, the Duchess became Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets, succeeding the Duke who served as Air Commodore-in-Chief for 63 years.

You may remember this event took place directly after the Queen's 2015 pre-Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace. The choice was considered a thoughtful one, as Kate's grandfather Peter Middleton was an RAF Pilot. Coincidentally, Peter crossed paths with the Duke during a 1962 tour of South America.


During the visit, the Cambridges spoke to cadets about leadership tasks they are undertaking and field exercises.

More from the Mail:

'The couple watched a team building and leadership exercise, as the cadets moved items including a fire extinguisher and a teddy bear with ropes. 'Whose teddy bear is that?' He laughed.

He added: 'What did your friends think when you joined up? Do you guys see a career in the forces? Did you think of that when you joined cadets?' When one young boy told him they hadn't originally, but were now keen to do so, he remarked: 'Interesting. Changes your mindset.'

Kate added: Do you enjoy getting the leadership skills? Do you think you would have got these leadership skills outside of cadets. Gives you a bit of a head start, doesn't it?' said William. 'There's a satisfaction there.

'Do your friends and peers see the value the cadets offer? The hardest thing is joining up. You don't know what to expect. I bet you have changed as people, I bet you have grown a lot.'  

They also spent time with cadets who are currently working to achieve a Duke of Edinburgh Award. Annually, the Air Cadets receive up to 3,000 awards. From small beginnings in 1956, the 'D of E', as it is commonly known, was launched. It was at first "for boys" aged 15 to 18. In the beginning it was administered and largely designed by John Hunt, who had led the first successful climb of Everest in 1953, and had retired from the army to run the Duke of Edinburgh Award. It was designed to attract boys who had not been interested in joining one of the main British youth movements, such as the Scout Association. It was not necessary to 'join' any organisation or wear a uniform to participate. In the first 12 months, 7,000 boys had enrolled for the scheme. The first girls received their Gold Awards on 3 November 1959 at Buckingham Palace. From January 1965, the Gold Award for boys and girls was made more similar. The first Gold Awards were achieved in 1958, and the charity was established in 1959. It is an integral part of the Duke's legacy - one I understand we'll see Prince Edward (who will reportedly become the Duke of Edinburgh when Charles is King) will work on in particular to carry the efforts forward.


Last week, we chatted about the award touching the lives of people all over the UK and much further afield. Kate is the proud holder of a Gold DoE award, having achieved it during her time at Marlborough College. "I can remember trying to cook bacon in the soaking wet. Everything was just sopping and I was trying and trying to cook bacon. I remember saying you know what, I think we're just going to have plain sandwiches. Bread, basic bread and butter." Kate's challenge reportedly involved a hike, with less than pleasant weather conditions.


More from Kensington Palace:
'Established in 1941, the Air Cadets is a UK-wide cadet force with more than 32,000 members aged between 12 and 19 years old. Sponsored by the Royal Air Force, the Air Cadets provides hands-on experience that challenge and develop skills amongst young people to help them succeed, encourage the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

282 (East Ham) Squadron supports over 60 cadets to gain skills and qualifications across a variety of different disciplines from aviation, cyber and radio communications to adventure training, music, First Aid and air experience flying, gliding and a space syllabus. The squadron has also taken part in a number of international trips to undertake projects such as refurbishing schools, rainforest conservation and teaching English classes.

Their Royal Highnesses also heard more about the Air Cadets’ Pre-Duke of Edinburgh’s Award ‘Blue Badge’ scheme which is aimed at cadets aged 12-14 years old, and allows them to begin to develop their skills and engage in activities before they are of age to take part in the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.'
The Duchess tried her hand at an aerial simulator.

Before the royal couple left, the Squadron took part in a Three Cheers Salute in honour of Prince Philip.

A video from the visit.

The Duchess wore her black Dolce & Gabbana coat - first seen on Remembrance Sunday 2017.

The black wool and silk-blend double breasted button-down coat features a collarless design, round neckline, buttonhole on the front, front flap pockets, long sleeves, pleated waist, mid-calf length and straight hem.

A closer look at the piece today.

Kate carried her black suede Mulberry Bayswater clutch.

Kate wore her Tod's block-heel suede pumps. The trusty pair have been a staple in the Duchess' wardrobe for several years.

And accessorised with the Queen's diamond and pearl earrings, which she has worn on a number of occasions.

The Duchess also wore a black face mask.

For those who have embarked on Duke of Edinburgh award journeys, you can share your memories here.

31 comments:

  1. Lovely engagement, always good to see them! Has Kate ever reworn a maternity coat before?? This wouldn’t have been my favorite of hers because of the gold buttons but she’s always beautiful. -PB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Kate has reworn a maternity coat a couple of times.

      Delete
    2. She has them reworked. The clearest example is the blue one she wore in Norway.

      Delete
  2. I imagine W&K are happy to do something with a connection to PP. After funerals, it's hard to move on. She looks very lovely -- I was going to say how great she looks in black, which she does, but realized that all the royal women look great in black, and part of that is the wonderful clothes they have. A beautiful coat. I liked her hair a lot today. Are those the Queen's earrings or was she gifted a pair? And can girls be cadets?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She looks very good in black. Interesting how different her two last black looks are. She was truly elegant on the funeral. Absolute perfection.
      Here she manages to be youthful and charming

      Delete
    2. I completely agree Natacha. Two completely different looks, but she does always manage to always be poised and pulled together, either elegantly or simply. She was stunning at the funeral and the coat had a very slimming effect (not that she needed it), but here the coat gives a fuller appearance. In most cases, when you see past photos of Kate, she photographs extremely well, and her looks stand the test of time.

      Delete
  3. Looking through the past photos it is impossible not to notice the many shades of Kates hair. I personally find this to be an interesting statement on her part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The two photos of her side by side, also show how a different lens can cast a different shade on her hair (and the grass and background), so may not be a statement, but lighting.

      Delete
  4. I think this was a nice way for the Duke of Edinburgh to be honored on the Queen's birthday. Knowing she can count on William and Catherine must bring her some comfort at this difficult time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great look for Dss Catherine. Nice to see them back at work. As one say life goes on.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Zora from Prague21 April 2021 at 21:33

    What a great engagement, with a special connection to Prince Philip!
    I have a feeling Kate's expression is a tiny bit different than before - as if the experience of Philip's death and funeral has left a trace or a "veil" . ..which wouldn't be at all surprising.
    Her hair looks amazing! And I loved William's "I'll hold the handbag". 😊
    I've been thinking of Her Majesty today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zora, I'm thinking the reality of the Queen not being around at some point is hitting them all hard.

      Delete
    2. I agree with you Zora about Kate's expression being a bit different. There have been a few times in this past month or so where I felt she has had this look before, like she is subdued with a hint of reservation, and a touch of sadness. But she looks beautiful, as always. Thinking of the Queen as well, it is sometimes more difficult after the funeral where the world goes back to daily life, and you are left with a void in yours.

      Delete
    3. Zora from Prague22 April 2021 at 22:47

      I agree, Allison.

      Delete
  7. Does anyone else dislike The Duke’s suede shoe collection or is it just me? 🥴 Especially today, the brown really stood out. Otherwise The Duchess looks beautiful as always. ❤️

    ~Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, you made me laugh! At least they are dark brown. I think it's a way if being more relaxed or more individual, not giving in to the total blue suit experience! I think Harry wears the same. Maybe to stay in the younger generation. :)

      Delete
    2. caroline in montana22 April 2021 at 17:28

      I am also laughing! though I do like his suede shoes, better than the navy wing tips IMO. I feel like it brings formal down a notch when needed and almost (I did say almost:) makes him appear more stylish?!! lol

      Delete
    3. Anonymous, you have read my mind. They are casual shoes and the royals seems to wear them with everything. A simple leather loafer or driving shoe would look so much bette for these occasions. Suede bucks are most often seen with jeans or khaki pants. I always find them to be such a distraction especially standing next to Kate who is matched from head to toe.

      Delete
    4. A loafer or/ driving shoe would not be worn with a suit; both are far too casual. The lace-up suede-buck Oxford, is the traditional/classic footwear to be worn with a suit, as a step-down from a wing-tip or/ a cap-toe shoe.

      Delete
  8. The coat is lovely. But why, oh why, are those ugly Tod's block-heel suede pumps back?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tod’s are a classic brand, with excellent support & comfort; for those like HRH Duchess Catherine who stand in their feet for long periods of time. Tod’s also have nubby soles for traction, and are sturdy for wear, and a semi-formal alternative to traditional heels/pumps.

      Delete
    2. caroline in montana22 April 2021 at 17:31

      I love these heels, they look comfortable and easy to get around on all surfaces. I think there comes a time when one can no longer wear stilettos, I certainly would not want to wear them in the grass or in gravel or jamb my toes into them! to each their own.

      Delete
    3. Well said Anonymous as I look down at my Tod penny loafers on my feet.

      Delete
    4. Different strokes for different folks, love these shoes for all the reasons Anonymous states. An attractive pump and a great alternative to stiletto heels!!!! Comfort meets fashion!

      Delete
  9. A great first engagement after Prince Philip's death - both because it honoured his work, but also because it had a 'light' touch with its focus on young people and their future hopes. It felt like a gentle return to the public sphere after the grief of the Prince's funeral service, beautiful though it was.

    On a personal note, the Duke's work with the Award and the Cadets really has had a global impact. My husband (now passed away) was a Air Cadet who later became an Australian military pilot - and then a commercial pilot, and my son completed his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, in Canada, before becoming a paramedic (currently transporting many Covid patients there). It is remarkable, to me, that our family, living on two different continents, so far away, has so directly benefitted from his legacy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. caroline in montana22 April 2021 at 17:33

      What a wonderful tribute and how nice to hear directly from someone who has first hand experience and knowledge of the benefits of such a wonderful program. Thank you for sharing! Long live PP's legacy!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Caroline.
      .
      And yes, may Prince Philip's legacy long continue

      Delete
  10. Susan in Florida22 April 2021 at 00:38

    It’s nice to see them out on the Queen’s birthday and in honor of Prince Philip. It is me or has this past year to focus on the children helped the DoC become more confident in public ?

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's nice too see the Duke and duchess Cambridge with the consent of the queen in which I think they are great comfort to her love the Duke Cambridge just like us any husband holding wife bag and I love the duchess keep rewearing the pieces in just light mood honour her prince Phillip

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great Engagement. Lovely to see them out and about and both looking nice. Re William's Shoes I think they work as his outfit appears to not be a suit but a sports jacket and more casual cotton/khaki style pants so I think the shoes work well.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am not sure why they were masks off and on. What does it mean? They and people around them wear it sometimes, and not other times. This very engagement is a good example.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are most welcome! Constructive discussion is always encouraged but off topic or hateful remarks will not be published.

We ask you use a name when posting (a pseudonym such as the name of a royal you like or anything you wish). If you do not wish to use the sign in options, simply select the "Name/URL" option on the drop down menu and insert your name, and if you wish the country/state you're from. You can leave the URL blank.

If there are a large number of comments, it is necessary to click the 'Load More' button at the end of the comments section to see the latest additions.

Kate's Favourites