Tuesday, 27 April 2021

It's an Away Day in County Durham for the Cambridges!

In a welcome return to 'away days', the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to County Durham for a very enjoyable visit to a fifth-generation farm near Darlington.

It marked the Cambridges' first joint trip outside of the capital this year - hopefully the first of many as the UK continues to lift restrictions and we look optimistically to a much brighter summer.

A shot of the couple arriving, which was taken by Teesside airport who were "delighted" to welcome the Cambridges.

At Manor Farm, William and Kate were taken on a tour with owners Stewart Chapman and Clare Wise.

The duo spoke about their shared passion for protecting the health and welfare of livestock. They showed the royals tools they are utilizing, including grass monitors, feed samples and land rotation in addition to measures they are implementing to improve sustainability.

Four-year-old Wren Chapman presented Kate with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and wheat bound with British wool.

Speaking to the National Farmer's Union, Clare Wise said, "We were absolutely delighted to host The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today. We’re thrilled that they wanted to shine a light on the importance of a mixed farming system and a family farm, as we believe we’re the backbone of the industry. We showed them how we’re using affordable technology on farm to push our business forward, to hopefully be able to meet our net zero goals and have a really bright and optimistic future."

Kensington Palace said, "Their Royal Highnesses then joined a discussion with local farmers who are supported by the National Farmers Union about their experiences of the last year, including the mental health impact of COVID-19 for farmers and the challenges of balancing home-schooling with farm work. Ahead of the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this year, the group also spoke about the work that is being carried out across the industry to improve environmental impact and help deliver the UK’s commitment to ‘net zero’ carbon emissions." I believe this would be called a "round-bale" discussion :)

More from the Evening Standard:

"William said: “Home schooling must be difficult. Home schooling and farming is another level.”

He added: “The pandemic takes away your coping mechanisms we all have ways getting through the days when you strip that away and at home all the time it starts to wear on people."

As always, Kate loved every minute of the outdoors visit and was excited to get behind the wheel of a tractor. After William had a go, Kate said to him, "Ready to swap?"

The Duchess stepping off.

William and Kate joined Clover and Penelope Chapman to meet lambs Dumbledore and Heather.

According to the Northern Echo, the children were incredibly excited as they only discovered the Cambridges were visiting this morning during breakfast. Clover described the experience as "exciting" and "nerve-wracking". She revealed Kate asked her if her friends are surprised by how well trained the lambs are when they come over for a visit.

More from the Northern Echo:

'Clare said that the children were beyond surprised that Kate and William were visiting the farm. She said: "They didn't believe us at first, they thought we were playing a joke on them! 

"Certainly for the children, the Duchess, who they just think is beautiful and wonderful, it is a real life princess come to visit - it does't get much better for little girls does it."

She added: "I think being the younger royals it has been lovely for our children because they are role models for our children and it has been a really special moment.

"And for them to actually be so knowledgeable about farming and for us to be able to have what's felt like a really beneficial discussion on both sides, I hope they've gone away perhaps having learnt something and we have come away having learnt some new things too, so that's great."

NFU North East regional director Adam Bedford participated in the discussion. Afterwards he said:

"It was an incredibly proud day for the region’s farmers, who were given a wonderful opportunity to sit down with Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and talk openly about their farming passions – everything from sheep welfare to soil improvement – and how they have coped over the past year.

I would like to thank Clare and Stewart for their wonderful welcome. They really did us all proud and their family farm provided the perfect backdrop for a truly memorable day.

I know we were all delighted to experience the genuine interest showed by The Duke and Duchess about the farm, the challenges of the pandemic and the contribution that farming can make to the nation. British farmers not only provide a fantastic menu of delicious, nutritious, sustainable food, but also a superb farmed environment that has contributed so much to people’s mental health and welfare over the past year."

From there, the couple visited the Cheesy Waffles Project, a charity supporting young people and adults with additional needs in County Durham. The charity strives to empower its members with skills to enable them to live an independent and happy life.

The charity "encourages members to engage in community work making gifts for others, working with local trusts, fundraising for chosen charities and supporting local community projects...this encourages self-esteem and confidence and raises their profile in the local community". They rely on funding from grants and donations and fundraising to subsidize activities. They were given a boost of support in 2011 from the Royal Wedding Gift Fund which raised over £1 million for 26 charities.

The Palace added: "During their visit to the Cheesy Waffles Project, Their Royal Highnesses met a group taking part in a project currently going through The Key Framework, and heard how they have found the process of working to deliver a wellbeing and mindfulness project. The Duke and Duchess also heard more about the other initiatives that are delivered by the CWP."

The Duchess spoke to a group of members about their experiences.

In addition to the connection to their wedding, another reason for the visit are the charities' close links to the Duke of Edinburgh award. The couple spoke to Evan and Lee who recently completed their DofE gold awards. William said, "He would have been so pleased that you got your awards."

Next, it was time for outdoor activities and a spot of golf.

Kate missed the ball on her first go, much to her amusement.

More from People:

'Kate threw her head back in laughter before taking another swing and connecting, which was rewarded with cheers from the crowd.'

The video below from the engagement is filled with sporting moments.

Kate was in several familiar pieces for today's look.

The Duchess wore the £189 Seeland Woodcock Advanced Jacket (with thanks to Em Collins).

The piece is described:
'Although featuring a traditional and stylish outer, the Woodcock Advanced jacket for Women is a modern garment with its windproof and waterproof membrane to protect you from wind and rain. The jacket is made from a stretch fabric for optimum freedom of movement. It has large cartridge pockets with QuickLoad function and drain holes for those rainy shooting days.'

The Duchess brought back her Brora/Troy sweater from the Royal Train Tour. "Made in the north of Scotland on a whole garment machine meaning absolutely zero waste, these very special knits feature beautiful colour combinations, a flattering shape and lovely cuff detail.

Underneath, Kate wore her SΓ©zane Marguerite blouse.

Kate accessorised with her £15 Orelia London Chain Huggie Hoop earrings. The Duchess also wore them for a Mentally Healthy Schools engagement last month.

And Kate's trusty Penelope Chilvers tassel boots.

For the second engagement, Kate changed into her See by Chloe Leather-trimmed suede ankle boots.

And her Barbour Longshore jacket.

Before signing off, I want to share news of two splendid fundraisers by supporters of the Cambridges celebrating their anniversary. A lady named Grace is fundraising for causes close to the couple's heart -- Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Action for Children, East Anglia's Children's Hospices and Place2Be. Grace has already raised over £1,000. Grace's reason for creating the effort? She revealed: "As we reach the 10 year anniversary of their wedding day, what better way is there to say thank you, than to help make a difference, even in a small way? For me, the reason I'm doing this is far more personal. Without realising it, the Duchess of Cambridge saved my life -- twice. This is my way of giving something back." If you would like to donate please click here.

The Kate Ranger's team have been working closely with Baby Basics to encourage donations for families and children in need. The Duchess worked with the charity last summer when she brought a range of British retailers together to donate items with demand at critically high levels due to the pandemic. For this initiative, in lieu of monetary donations, you can choose an item directly from a specially created Amazon wishlist to be delivered to the team at Baby Basics. Below, a look at the much appreciated items ordered already.

It's a wonderful way to mark the happy occasion and a more important time than ever to donate to worthy causes.

I expect there's a solid chance we might see a photo or two to mark the Cambridges' wedding anniversary. Perhaps unseen images from the big day?


  1. Looking forward to this - I love the casual events.

  2. Wonderful day for the Cambridges highlighting important aspects of British life. I see the importance of supporting something like the Cheesy Waffle Project and affordable technology in British farming. I'm not sure whether the funding went specifically to this farm family, or to a farming organization itself that supported this farm family in leading the way in some aspect of farming?

  3. Love the photo of Kate whiffing. We have all been there at one time or another.

  4. These are lovely visits! The first thing I noticed was the sweater -- it is just stunning. I thought it must be a re-wear at first and wondered how I had missed it earlier, so I was to glad to see it's new. Kate looked just perfect and that sweater really stood out for me. A wonderful farm visit, and the CWP looked very worthy.

    1. It’s not new.

    2. Anon 21:14 Whoops -- I didn't read carefully! Well, for some reason, it really stood out to me this time. I guess because it's so vibrant and authentic.

  5. It is so nice to see William and Catherine out together with ordinary people of the UK. They fit in so well - relaxed and comfortable with themselves & others. The only part of Catherine's 2 outfits that I don't like is the sweater. The neckline is not flattering and the pattern unattractive. She has many other sweaters that I think would have been a better choice. William's choice of clothing for this outing is just right.

  6. I imagine they went by plane as they wanted to do the whole trip in one day and be back for the kids tonight but I must say I am a little shocked at the idea of flying from London to Teesside, especially as part of what they were discussing at the farm was reaching net zero emissions...!

    Otherwise a very sweet trip - I enjoyed seeing Kate interact with the lambs.

  7. Zora from Prague27 April 2021 at 20:26

    What a fantastic "away day", thank you so much for the post, Charlotte! The Cambridges were completely at ease with everyone and I'm sure they brought joy to many people. I loved seeing them sitting on the bales, riding the tractor (brava Kate - she was probably glad the field was so large and flat! πŸ˜‰) and walking with the lambs. I also admired the natural way in which they met the young people supported by the charity. The boy who showed William how to hit the golf ball was wonderful! And how lovely that there was a connection with DofE. Well done W&K!! Looking forward to their anniversary. 😍

    1. Zora from Prague27 April 2021 at 22:10

      Sorry - driving the tractor, not *riding it! πŸ™ƒπŸšœ
      PS. I need the jacket from the first engagement!!

    2. I need the jacket too Zora, and the sweater, and the boots, but then I would need to be as thin as her and well, that's not happening! William and Kate are very natural together and seem very much in their element in this setting, they are a joy to watch. Glad to see them showcase the 'family farm', it's not an easy life and I often wonder how the world food supply is sustained. Good on William and Kate, and Happy Anniversary!

  8. Catherine does such a wonderful job of connecting with individuals and groups! She seems so at ease both with herself and with those she meets. I love her laugh. She and William both looked great. I thought her outfit looked great.

  9. Dss Kate looks great. She is one of the women, who looks better the older they get. In two days they are married 10 years. Time flies. Happy Anniversary to them both.

  10. This casual event was even better than I’d hoped for!

    I loved everything about it; the reason, the causes, what was worn.

    This just ended my day on a very happy note.

    Can you imagine the joy of leaning a PRINCESS is stopping by?

  11. First of all, I was very excited to see them at live engagements. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a little normalcy. They seem very genuine and looked to be having a great time.

    I read that they were at Catherine’s park at Sandringham over the weekend. Maybe we will see some family pictures from their visit for their anniversary or Charlotte’s birthday. My coworker and I are also in hopes to see some new pictures from their wedding day. I can’t believe ten years have gone by already!!

    Hope from USA

    1. I share your hopes, Hope!! Also love that you and a coworker both follow Kate, that's nice! It is hard to believe that many of us have been following her for all these years. Whatever photos Kate and William share, it is sure to make us all very happy as they have been more forthcoming about letting us have glimpses into their private life! Seeing them together and the way they look at each other even still, restores my faith in the kind of love that stands the test of time, much like HM and PP, it really does exist. Wishing them many more happy years! Congratulations William and Kate!

  12. Thank you Charlotte what a lovely post. If anyone is interested in a farm's journey to zero emissions it would be worth reading James Redbanks's book English Pastoral, beautifully written and currently short listed for major awards. #buylocal #supportfarmers

  13. Orang County Momma28 April 2021 at 05:17

    I hope William makes their Anniversary a vey special day for Kate. Maybe he will take her away for the weekend. She is a wonderful mother and a very loving wife. William could not have pick a better person to be his wife.
    Happy Anniversary to you both❤️❤️🎊

  14. Wow what a lovely day of their wedding anniversary I hope these the new beginning of normalcy miss all these I'm pretty sure that they will realease I photos on the wedding anniversary and charlotte birthday

  15. I loved reading about this trip and seeing the photos - thanks Charlotte. They both look like they are on great form and it's clear people enjoyed meeting them. Looking forward to seeing more 'normal' events as the year goes on. Can't wait to see more personal photos over the coming days (anniversary and birthday). I'm really hoping for an unseen photo from the wedding and a recent one of the couple. It's a shame that coronavirus would probably make it inappropriate to do a dressed up tiara photo of them because I'd really like to see that (the European royals sometimes do those types of photos). Or, maybe they could show a photo from a diplomatic reception a few years ago, one of the dresses we couldn't see clearly.

  16. I love these two. Casual Kate, dressed for a day in the country is charming to see! They always look so happy together. Just saw the 10th anniversary photos, what an absolutely joyous couple. Genuine love.

  17. Already 10 years, they are going strong. The 3 children are fun to watch and each one is different. George is a bit shy maybe, Charlotte is outgoing and little Louis is as cute as one can be. I wish them a very happy Anniversary and many more to come and the best for their future. Also very nice they let us partake in their children growing up.

  18. I sure would like to know what kinds of jeans she has on I love them and it seems always to be overlooked help plz


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