Friday, 11 June 2021

The Duchess of Cambridge Joins First Lady Dr Jill Biden in Cornwall

It's a significant day on the royal calendar with the five most senior members of the Royal family - the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - deploying a touch of soft diplomacy at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, with several engagements culminating in a prestigious reception and dinner tonight.

It marks the Cambridges' first public engagements since their tour of Scotland wrapped up a fortnight ago. Last week, George and Charlotte were on half-term break, and the family likely spent time at their country bolthole, Anmer Hall, before retuning to Kensington Palace. There have been rumours a "royal charm offensive" was in the planning for the summit for some time, with aides confirming the itinerary for the day last night. Cornwall Live described the gathering of senior royals as "almost unprecedented", citing the presence of the monarch and two heirs as "rare". The Evening Standard described today as a "milestone in their progression" for the Cambridges.

In addition to the summit being one of a small number of events warranting a list of several senior royal attendees, it's the largest appearance since the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh. Indeed, yesterday would have marked Prince Philip's 100th birthday -- something very much at the forefront of many minds. Yesterday, President Biden said, "I want to express our condolences on behalf of Jill and I, to her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the entire Royal family and the people of the United Kingdom. We know there are a lot of people feeling his absence today." The First Lady added, "We are holding the entire Royal family in our hearts today, and wishing them peace and comfort on what would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday."

Asked about meeting with the royals, the First Lady replied, "Joe and I are both looking forward to meeting the Queen. That’s an exciting part of the visit for us. We’ve looked forward to this for weeks and now it’s finally here. It’s a beautiful beginning." Dr Jill added, "Well, we’re hoping to focus on education." That brings us to the Duchess of Cambridge's joint engagement with the First Lady in Hayle, Cornwall focused on early years education. It is a shared passion for both ladies. We know the early years is one of Kate's greatest passions and has been a key area of focus for some time.

The motorcade arriving in the Cornish village.

The First Lady and the Duchess chatting upon arrival.

Kensington Palace revealed, "The Duchess and Dr. Biden firstly visited the school’s Reception Class to hear how its pupils are supported through a bespoke Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, which uses child-led teaching to help its pupils to develop as independent, confident and successful learners. Her Royal Highness and the First Lady also joined children taking part in a number of classroom activities. Delivering education to children aged 4-11 years old, Connor Downs Academy is a member of the Aspire Academy Trust family which comprises 28 primary schools across Cornwall.  It works to create a caring and challenging environment in which all pupils are encouraged to fulfil their potential.  The school recognises and values the importance of nurturing positive relationships and actively supports the mental health and wellbeing of both children and staff."

At the Connor Downs Academy, Kate and Jill led a roundtable discussion on the importance of focusing on early years and its lifelong outcomes. According to People, Kate told Jill: "I'm committed to this for the long term. I hope that our two countries can keep sharing data knowledge and best practice for years to come."

ITV writes:

'Head of School, Janice Eddy said she – and the whole school – were "excited" by the visit which builds on the Duchess of Cambridge’s work on the Early Years – and how a child’s experiences between the ages of birth to five will shape the rest of their loves.

Both Dr Biden and the Duchess were shown how this Cornish school – categorised as a "Trauma Informed School" – places a high priority on childrens’ mental health as well as encouraging positive relationships between children and adults.'

They were joined by a number of leading experts in the field. Kate thanked Dr Biden for her interest in the area, and added she hoped she enjoyed the session.

People reports:

'Dr. Biden thanked the school for having them and had a special appreciation for "the children - who were so inspiring and so well-behaved," she said with a chuckle. She added, "Early childhood education is so important to lay the foundations of all of our students."

Dr Biden has been an educator since the 1970s. Such is her passion for teaching, she is now the first wife of a sitting US president to hold a paid position in addition to her duties as First Lady. Jill is known to stay up late in the White House reading assignments from her students. Dr Biden has said, "Teaching isn't just what I do, it's who I am."

The Palace added:

'For over ten years, The Duchess of Cambridge has seen first-hand how the root cause of so many of today’s hardest social challenges – from poor mental health and addiction to family breakdown and homelessness – can be traced right back to the earliest years of life. In that time, she has worked with experts and spent time listening to the sector, parents, families and carers about their experience of and work on the early years. Next week, The Duchess will step up her work in this area, with a major announcement outlining how she will elevate the importance of early childhood and continue the conversation on this vital issue.

Through her years as an English professor and former high school teacher and reading specialist, Dr. Biden has witnessed the struggle of students who lacked a solid foundation of early childhood care and education.  She, along with President Biden, are committed to increasing opportunities for all children and young people to grow, learn, and gain the skills they need to succeed.'

It's one of several solo events for the First Lady during the summit. CNN reports:

'In a statement to CNN, the East Wing notes in addition to acting in a supporting role to the President, Jill Biden's first trip abroad as first lady includes several solo events.

"The First Lady has an independent schedule of her own during the G7," said Jill Biden's press secretary Michael LaRosa. "At Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall on Wednesday, she spoke about the importance of supporting military families. She also hosted a roundtable with United States military spouses who are focused on the wellbeing and emotional health of service members and their families."

Responding to a question about the arrival of baby Lilibet Diana, Kate responded, "I wish her the very best. I can’t wait to meet her. We haven’t met her yet, I hope that will be soon." Asked if they had FaceTimed, she said: "No I haven’t."

Kate and Jill also met rescue bunny, Storm, and former battery chickens. 

They brought carrots over for the visit.

Hayle is a port town in Cornwall. A well-loved destination, owing to its beautiful sea views and three miles of sandy beaches.


Afterwards, Kensington Palace tweeted: "It was great to host Dr. Jill Biden and experts from the UK and the United States for a discussion on the importance of early childhood on lifelong outcomes, on the first day of the G7 Summit." In response, the First Lady tweeted "We could have kept going for hours! Thank you for having me today to talk about an issue we both care deeply about, and one that is critical to the future of both our countries."

In a very interesting joint piece for CNN Kate and Jill wrote:

'The two of us believe that early childhood care and education should be seen as among the defining, strategic issues of our time. What would happen if we really followed the science of early childhood and started focusing on the things that would make the biggest difference for children and those who guide them? We could transform the prospects of an entire generation.

This is an agenda that should unite us all. We must have new conversations in our families and communities. We need CEOs to consider how they support the parents and caregivers in their workforces. And we need leaders across the world to understand that early childhood care and education is where they can make some of the most important, long-term impacts for their nations.

We both have work to do in our own countries, but we also hope that we can work together across borders and oceans on how to elevate the importance of early care and learning for children. We should undertake new, international research projects and highlight the most successful, innovative examples of early years interventions that we can all share and learn from.'

On their Instagram post covering the engagement, KP shared an update on plans for a "major announcement" for Kate next week:

"Next week, The Duchess is looking forward to sharing a major announcement about how she is working to elevate the importance of early childhood and continue the conversation on this vital issue".

The G7 (Group of Seven) is an organisation comprising some of the world's "most influential and open societies and advanced economies", coming together for close-knit discussions on a plethora of issues. Leaders have gathered since the 1970s, with ministers convening throughout the year. Of course, Covid-19 recovery is top of the agenda; climate change and trade feature prominently, too. This year, the chosen location for the summit is the picturesque Cornish resort of Carbis Bay.


'The G7 (Group of Seven) is an organisation of the world's seven largest so-called advanced economies. They are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States. Russia joined in 1998, creating the G8, but was excluded in 2014 for its takeover of Crimea.

China has never been a member, despite its large economy and having the world's biggest population. Its relatively low level of wealth per person means it is not seen as an advanced economy in the way the G7 members are. Representatives from the European Union are usually present while India, South Korea and Australia have also been invited this year.'

Yesterday, President Biden and the First Lady spent time with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie (the couple were married at Westminster Cathedral last month). The President said, "We had a good first full day in the UK. Prime Minister Johnson and I had a very productive meeting. We affirmed the special relationship - it's not said lightly - the special relationship between our people." The Prime Minister added: "The talks were great. They went on for a long time. We covered a huge range of subjects. It’s wonderful to listen to the Biden administration and Joe Biden because there’s so much they want to do together with us. It's fantastic. It's a breath of fresh air."

If you recognise the style and silhouette of Carrie Johnson's dress, it may be because it's from a favourite retailer of Kate -- the L.K. Bennett Sina midi dress. Jill Biden sported a 'LOVE' blazer by Zadig & Voltaire, and a polka dot Brandon Maxwell dress.

The PM and the President agreed a new Atlantic Charter focusing on how the UK and US can use their combined strength to address the challenges facing the planet.

It was splendid to read Cornwall is benefitting from hosting the 47th summit and is planning new investment in its town centres and natural landscapes. More from the G7 website:

'The Town Deals announced for Penzance, St Ives and Camborne are worth over £65 million and will fund projects at the heart of communities in some of Cornwall’s most deprived areas.

This includes creating a new network of foot and cycle paths across Camborne, Penzance and from St Ives to St Erth. Community hubs including theatres, sports clubs and historic buildings will also be restored and expanded to ensure both residents and visitors can fully enjoy the cultural heritage of the region. 

Other funding will go to sustain businesses and commercial sectors most badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and to create new business hubs in the towns which will re-establish them as economic powerhouses and centres of innovation – creating long term, sustainable jobs.

Cornwall is renowned for its beauty and landscape. The region has over 700km of coastline and 27% of Cornwall is already designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. However, biodiversity is declining in the area at a faster rate than the UK average. Over the last 30 years the populations of almost half of breeding birds have declined and half of land mammals and almost two-thirds of butterflies are found in fewer places.'

For today's look, Kate chose an elegant 'dahlia-pink' Alexander McQueen dress (with thanks to Katie's Royal Love). 


The leaf midi pencil dress features a round neck, pleat detailing, back zip fastening, short sleeves and a cinched waist. Kate's piece includes a matching belt. The dress has been sold out for some time, though the product page can still be viewed at FarFetch.


A closer look at the pleat detailing.


Emily Collins identified Kate's bag as L.K. Bennett's Milly Nude Leather Mini style. Inspired by the sixties, the piece is described as, "Crafted in Spain from versatile nude nappa leather, it has a grab handle and detachable crossbody leather strap, a gold-tone metal lock front and is finished with pretty brogue detailing."


It looks like Kate wore her Rupert Sanderson Malory pumps. 


And her Asos gold twist hoop earrings.


The talented Heaven runs the excellent Jill Biden Fashion Instagram page. She noted the First Lady repeated a pink L'Agence Blazer and wore Valentino Garavani pumps. Heaven received confirmation Jill's face mask is from LW Pearl Atelier.


Later this evening, the Cambridges, the Queen, Charles and Camilla will attend a glamorous reception at the Eden Project. The Queen, Camilla and Kate will also attend an event in celebration of the Big Lunch, an initiative spearheaded by the Eden Project.

Commenting note: this is not the place for political discussion. Thank you for your understanding on this.

83 comments:

  1. Dr. Biden is such a class act. It’s a win-win for the royal family PR here. Thank you America.

    -Team Jill

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    1. I've met her, through relatives who've been supporters of Joe Biden since he first ran for office in Delaware, and she is, indeed, a class act. She's very much upped her style game since becoming First Lady -- as Second Lady, she stood back and let Mrs. Obama shine -- and I've been interested to observe her choices. I'm not a big fan of polka dots, but I love the silhouette of that Brandon Maxwell dress. She wore another Maxwell dress, in green linen, for the convention last year that I own myself. I think he's a terrific designer and thank the Duchess of Sussex for introducing me to him.

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  2. I have a question and it stems from being American, so please take it as just wanting to learn. I find it a little amazing that the whole "main" RF are welcoming the country leaders; my feeling is that it cements the continued partnership of the US and the UK and it creates a very welcoming atmosphere for the leaders of all the other countries. Is this unusual? I don't follow RF members other that H&M and this blog, so I'm not aware of similar initiatives. Thanks!

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    1. Great question. I am speaking as a fellow country men. I do believe that history has shown that the US and UK have always been great allies. There may have been a few bumps in the road due to changing heads of state but the relationship has been steadfast. I recall William and Kate welcoming the Obamas when they were in England as well as not welcoming but meeting the entire Trump clan when they were at a reception at the Palace. I am not quoting history just my memory.

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    2. IT's indeed unusal that the 5 main royal family members are at an event alltogether. And - yes, I think it really creates a very warm atmosphere for all present. On another note I also see that it is a big PR stunt - for Cornwall, The Royal Family, The Biden Presedency and the UK in general. TRF and UK especailly need positive PR at the moment. And I adore both women and thank them for bringing the importance of the early years on the World Stage. They are so right that they are the foundation for everything later in life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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    3. I realize the blog answered my question! I find this very nice indeed -- we don't have a family or group that would say "Welcome!" without some political leaning in the US, and I think it's just extremely friendly and works to solidify the feeling that countries need to work together. The Queen may be 95 but here genes put her at a younger age, I think.

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    4. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the leader of the Government, but not the head of state – that is the monarch. Prime Ministers are not directly elected in the UK, but are generally leaders of whichever political party has the most seats in the House of Commons. Therefore as the head of state, the Queen will be meeting another head of state, Joe Biden. No doubt the other members of the Royal Family want to meet President and Dr. Biden also. There are plenty of activities planned and so the Queen won't be covering them all...she is after all 95 years old. So the Royal Family share the load. To be clear, the Royal Family is the "first" family...to use the USA phrase. It is not the Prime Minister's family.

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    5. Laura, thank you -- I guess the prime minister is often the equivalent of the US president, although we can have a president who is of the minority party. I admit I find it hard to understand the UK system, but also find the US system sometimes unworkable. :)

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    6. You can’t compare the BRF to the US first family.

      Other European royals don’t trot out to do meet and greet like we Brits. They don’t try to match the global digital footprint nor are they subsidized as heavily by the public. The current PM family is the true equal to the US first family. Both the PM and President are elected leaders. That’s why Carrie Johnson and her son was seen with Jill Biden.

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    7. They do, at least the Belgium royals do.

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    8. Anon 21:02 I agree you can't compare. Our first family changes every 4 or 8 years -- the person who is most important becomes unimportant when a new one steps in. That's probably why they personal attributes are relatively unimportant -- we don't follow their lives and their family through the years.

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    9. @ Unknown, you won’t see the Belgium royals at the NATO summit going on right now, The Belgium royals are very, very low key and poor compare to the BRF.

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    10. The Belgian royals were at the NATO summit??? Biden basically did the same pic with King of the Belgians as he did QE2.

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  3. Wonderful event for the women. They both look professional and approachable. Love Catherine's dress, purse and shoes. Love Jill's shoes and what a fun blazer.

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  4. Can I say something about fashion only? Seeing the first videos I was swooning over HRH‘s silhouette, but now having had a look at the proper photographs I am puzzled by how off all the proportions are. The shoulders are to spikey, making her head bigger, and the long hair does not seem to help either. The waistline of the dress does not really fit her (beautiful) body type, and her arms look weirdly big with the tiny handbag.

    I want to say that elements of this really could have worked, but everything put together did not really harmonize, which is interesting as it looks like a "safe" look with the neutrals and the minimal make-up (which is great!).

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

    Arienne from Salzburg

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    1. Yes, I guess your comment is probably right. Although I like her, what you have just noticed is right. YES from me!

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    2. Arienne, I second what you wrote. Though my joy about seeing our Duchess out and about surpasses any titbits about fashion. Allow me to only add I am amazed that for me Jill took the more youthful choices than Kate for this occasion: Super chic italian shoes, the pink blazer with the playful flowery lining and this white dress a 20 years old could easily love too.

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    3. I think the dress didn’t fit properly and the belt only highlighted it or maybe caused even more creases. Apart from the jewellery and the fitting issue I think the outfit was fabulous. I wish Kate would wear her hair up or back with such high necklines, especially when they are highlighted by embellishments or pleats.
      I loved how Jill Biden showed the world that you can wear a bit of a shorter hem and look absolutely elegant and professionell. I agree with everyone that Kate tries to emphasise her new role with some more conservative choices around necklines and hen lengths. If she wants that more power to her, but as we see, it actually doesn’t mean that much. She was always on the more conservative side with fashion anyway. Maybe she noticed that Jill was perfectly able the do both.
      C.

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    4. You may like or dislike the midi length or high necks trend but they’re not “not youthful”. They’re absolutely on trend. I don’t know why people here consider that Kate is dressing conservatively or matronly when she’s wearing what you can see at all shops now. Letizia, Victoria, Mary...all of them are wearing very similar midi dresses and skirts. I can’t understand why this interest in categorizing Kate as conservative.

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    5. The length of the dress doesn't concern me -- I think it's both on trend and timelessly elegant -- but the design as a whole doesn't flatter the Duchess's long-waistedness. It would have worked much better with a belt of a different color, which would have broken up the line, visually speaking. I love slim silhouettes in dresses, but the Duchess does have a tendency to choose examples that don't do her particular figure any great favors. This is one of them.

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    6. I agree Anon 19:15, don't like this labeling of Kate as matronly or conservative. She looks like neither, but rather quite professional and and sleek. Agree that Letizia and Mary are wearing a mix of midi and fitted dresses as well, so go figure. I can't see Kate wearing what Jill Biden is wearing, but both ladies' styles styles suit them each and that's okay!

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    7. Vitoria, I don’t like the belt. I’m ok with criticism of the dresses, shoes or whatever. It’s the constant “she’s dressing conservatively because she’s the future queen” comment that I can’t stand. Maybe she’s wearing midi lengths and closed necks because she likes the current fashion.

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    8. Well, I agree; midi lengths are quite fashionable right now. However, I do have to point out that she is very much a traditionalist in her style and always has been, and I think she is somewhat conscious of avoiding the overly trendy or fashion-forward, because she doesn't think it suits the position she occupies. That's not a criticism, by the way. There's nothing wrong with a personal preference for the classic and traditional, not at all, and let's face it: she's about to turn 40. She's not a youthful bride any longer, and she's probably thinking about that, too. I know I made some considered changes in my look as I passed out of my 30s but without abandoning my love for fashion.

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    9. There’s nothing wrong, I agree. But I can’t see how she can be labeled traditional and classic when she’s wearing the latest trends, like midi length or culottes.
      Also, people that like to label her as conservative are not only referring to clothes and there’s no way anybody knows her personal preferences and political ideas.

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    10. Lol. I love the ditching of the hosiery protocol. About time women are allowed out- bandaid and all.

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    11. It's quite easy to integrate the latest trends into a overall traditional and classic style aesthetic. You simply choose trends that work with that aesthetic. Midi lengths certainly do, as do longish culottes with a not-too-exaggerated cut. This is pretty much how I manage my own wardrobe. As a professor, I want to look fashionable and trendy but not TOO fashionable and trendy. Long experience has taught me how to do this, and I think the Duchess is learning the same lessons I did.

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    12. I do criticise an outfit as matronly or frumpy from time to time. This one isn’t- which only shows it’s not just about that neck- and hemline. The comparison to the other ladies mentioned falls short- they are at least 10 years older and Victoria is most definitely called frumpy sometimes as well.
      It’s not just Kate but as this site talks about her alone, you will not get a good picture about what people on the internet write about the others (hint: it’s pretty much the same).

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  5. So that means two extra fashion appearances,or just one more? Thanks!!!

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  6. I am loving this color on Kate, and the silhouette is nice as well. For once (LOL) I think the wide belt was a stylish decision. Can’t wait for the dinner!

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  7. What a great event. Both of them look great. And yay, it's not another midi-length dress. This length of dress looks great on Kate. Love the color too.

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  8. Zora from Prague11 June 2021 at 16:19

    Wow! Kate looks lovely and the engagement was a great idea, given their shared interest in schools &education!
    Looking forward to more news and photos (hope there will be some!) Thank you, Charlotte!

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  9. Lovely outfit for Duchess Catherine.
    Looking forward to tonight's sartorial display!

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  10. As an American conservative person, I am so happy to see our first lady focus her efforts on matters such as education. Education is a fundamental necessity for all people and for a better society and world. The more educated people are, the better. Stable early childhood experiences along with excellent education beginning early in life should be a priority for everyone. Teaming up our first lady with the Duchess was an outstanding decision and an excellent way to bring attention to early childhood education. Thank you to both women for their genuine concern and effort towards this cause.

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    1. I so much second this, dear Anonymous 16:26

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    2. Susan in Florida11 June 2021 at 23:55

      I agree !

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  11. Lovely and important day. Education is this world’s future and it’s great to see two equal and highly educated women discussing such important issues. They both looked lovely. I think it would have been a coincidence that they were both wearing pink. Completely different outfits and shades.
    D

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    1. I am 90% there wardrobe was coordinated in advance through their assistants to make sure to provide the best foto op knowing these pictures will go around the world.

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  12. Both ladies look fabulous and healthy. They look like they have been friends for years! Thank you Charlotte for this post...looking forward to the next.

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  13. Lovely Kate - doing us proud as usual 😀

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  14. I hadn't realised that we'd be seeing Kate so this is a nice surprise. I like this colour on her and think that she looks very polished. I'm a bit on the fence about the cut of the dress although I've certainly liked similar dresses on her in the past - I can't quite put my finger on it (maybe it's the shoulders?). Excited to see what she wears at the next events.

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  15. I think the color of The Duchess’s dress looks close to the Duke of Edinburgh rose!

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    1. A very sweet observation, Sarah.

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    2. It's a beautiful shade, and yes it looks very close to the color of the rose, lovely thought Sarah!

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  16. I love Dr Jill and the positive focus on education that she brings to the table. This event today was a wonderful way to combine Catherine's focus on early childhood with Dr. Jill's visit. The school sounds like it is amazing! My son participated in an early childhood program when he was preschool age and it was a real shame when the program ended due to lack of funding.

    I am excited to see the new initiative that Catherine will announce next week!

    Border Terrier lover

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  17. They look like old friends. Such lovely, elegant ladies, and their focus on education is right on target.
    I am also proud of our wonderful First Lady, Dr Jill Biden.
    A bit of trivia; Jacqueline Kennedy used to say that she didn’t like the term “First Lady”, as it sounded to her like a racehorse’s name!

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    1. And I think it is increasingly going to fall out of favor. With the very real likelihood of women presidents (as have already been seen in many other countries) or LGBT couples the historical context of First Lady as “wife and social hostess” is going to make less and less sense. Those that are wives are increasingly accomplished in their own right. The past several have all had advanced degrees and established careers of their own. Vice President Harris’s husband Mr. Emhoff is being a great sport about the “second gentleman” designation but he’s also a well regarded entertainment lawyer and law professor.

      Interestingly when Bernie Sanders was a front runner at various times his wife was pretty clear she would not participate at all and would continue her own job and life in Vermont and he would essentially commute.

      Jacqueline Kennedy, despite being perfect for the more old fashioned model, was not fond of the role, and actually spent quite a lot of undocumented time away from the White House and US even. (To be fair also some personal tensions in her marriage)

      I’m a bit of a First Lady history buff! And I’m thrilled to see Dr. Jill thriving in the role. Great outing for both her and the Duchess today!

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    2. The word "lady" has become burdensome in my view. I guess "Spouse" or "Partner" will be necessary soon. It was rumored that Doug Emhoff might like Second Dude, but alas it was not to be. He and Dr. Biden are so much more than hostesses, so perhaps it would be best just to say the president's wife or husband or partner and forgo the "first" altogether.

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  18. Pretty in pink. The Duchess looked beautiful today,as does Dr Biden. Great to see both these amazing lady's working together. Looking forward to seeing them at dinner tonight. S.

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  19. Caroline in Montana11 June 2021 at 18:47

    I really like her look today! This is a great color on our girl, I like the length and I really love the nude accessories. The purse is super cute! The only thing that made me laugh/cringe was the shoulders, reminded me of a bridesmaids dress I had to wear back in '94 when the puffy high sleeve shoulder was so in:) But I didn't think it detracted from the overall classy polished effect with her hair down, it almost covered it up! Don't think I would have liked it as much if she would have had her hair up?!

    Thought Jill's coat was pretty, especially with the flower pattern on the inside, the white dress was a bit underwhelming IMO. though I could go either way on her nude shoes, just not sure about that detail on the top?

    They looked like they really enjoyed each other and this seemed such a great way for them to team up both being so passionate about the early years. Interested to see what the announcement will be next week, Glad she is keeping momentum going on the greatest of causes.

    Are we going to see pictures from tonight's dinner? feel like we haven't seen our girl in a gown forever!! Thanks Charlotte.

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    1. Caroline we will indeed see photos shortly :)

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  20. Fashion aside - both women look lovely, and their delight in supporting such an excellent cause is clear - can I say (as someone only a bit younger than Dr Biden) how impressed I am with her stamina and energy after a long flight and a major time change. Last time I flew to England from Canada it took a few days for me to get up and running, and I believe that school visit was scheduled for 8 a.m. Well done, Dr. Jill and Duchess Kate!

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  21. She's looking very regal in white Tonight. S.

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  22. Why didn't Jill just tailor her pink jacket to fit instead of rolling up the sleeves like that? Yikes!

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    1. Rolling up shows the pretty lining! Casual

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    2. It’s meant to show the floral accent. This is pretty common for women’s suiting.

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    3. People used to do this in the 1990's - haven't seen it since, and the designer is not showing the jacket styled like this (another blog showed the designer's pictures). The floral accent lining is pretty, but I'm afraid the roll up cuffs just look like she quickly borrowed a jacket in a pinch from a taller friend.

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    4. I'm with you on this LilyBart. Not a criticism, but not quite the expected 'polished' look given the significance of this visit. That's one of Kate's strengths in dressing and looking back on photos she always looks pulled together. Great pairing though of two advocates for education!!

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    5. Totally with you on that question! There was the potential for FLOTUS to look perfect…..nice dress, pretty color jacket, high end shoes. But instead, jacket lacks tailoring, jacket has 2 hankies hanging out of its pocket and sleeve (the reason for a small handbag), and she has a Bandaid on her leg not camouflaged a bit by hosiery. The DOC at 39yo wears hosiery. The 70yo FLOTUS can, too, this isn’t the beach! If I had 1000 cameras taking photos of me, I’d make sure early last nit of my appearance was perfection! As I look at these 2 women, the DOC was the one that nailed it.

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    6. Oh stop. Let not criticize women’s bandaids!!! People have ailments that should not be fair game for fashion criticism. And preferring hosiery I’m afraid is an extremely outdated view of women’s apparel. Most women do not wear it anymore. It’s warm and when serving a role such as this with words and actions scrutinized, I’d rather our public figures be comfortable and not thinking how their panty hose are hot or irritating. Catherine may be comfortable in hers, and that’s fine. But I think the comparing of women here is a bit tasteless.

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    7. Kate isn’t wearing hosiery here that I can tell. I think the critique of a 70 year old woman’s skin vs a 39 year olds is extremely déclassé. I love the floral accents on her sleeves she looks perfectly polished to me.

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    8. I think Dr Biden is more focused on issues of greater importance, hence her earlier jacket with LOVE on the back. Perfection is not important, and as you age and get experience, you realize this. The horrible media that focuses on every teeny imperfection, hair out of place, skirt length, etc. is part of the unkindness to women who must be photographed so often and with such scrutiny.

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    9. Totally agree with you anon 21.04

      S.

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    10. I always roll my sleeves up. Daytime and evening wear. Not a 90's thing at all. It's done all the time.

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    11. It must have been warm because Kate ditched the hosiery for the G7 summit too.

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    12. Ok. Bandaid is now fair game. It’s flesh tone. Can we talk about that? I mean like can we have darker tones or ones that are floral or paisley pattern. I love that kids have so many fun choices.

      In all seriousness, I think we should start a petition banning compulsory hosiery from protocol in a world facing climate change. The stuff is made out of PLASTICS and doesn’t last and is bad for the environment. As the world warms up, why should people be forced to wear this uncomfortable thing that just ends up in landfills. Silk is even worse from the environment and equally unsustainable.

      - team free the legs ;)

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  23. My sartorial comments first, I think Kate looks as beautiful as usual, with this a very pretty color for her and its silhouette perfect on her with that wide belt. I love the neckline pleats. Don't love the shoulders, but they're okay. The nude shoes and purse are great.

    Dr. Biden looks wonderful; I want to look as good when I reach age 70 (getting close now!) and especially to have such good health as she obviously does. I love her shoes; I can't wear heels anymore, alas! I love her jacket, but I also think her dress is outstanding. The close fit of the bodice down past the natural waist with the narrow panels opening out into the widely gored skirt is very flattering for a mature woman's figure. The length, as others have said, is perfect. The shade sets off her jacket with its pretty flowered lining. Well done.

    I'm so happy to see them together addressing early childhood care and education. Kudos to that school for its emphasis not only on academics, but on mental health and well being too.

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  24. At first view, the Queen looks so Spring-ish and friendly in the lovely floral print. No hats! I couldn't figure out why she looked different at first and it just came to me now. :) Probably to put the other women at ease. Kate's dress looked very, very attractive on her. It feels like a happy occasion tome -- happy to see so many leaders getting together to try to make the world better as best they can.

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  25. Kate looks lovely and Jill looks very elegant too . Hope she didnt injur herself I notice the band aid on her leg

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  26. Dr Jill Biden and the Duchess of Cambridge shared their love and admiration for the kids and love that they have passion of early childhood education hmm both ladies very eager to hear stories from the public oh don't get me wrong I love Harry an meg but the reporter from the America ask about little her niece lilibeth she very uncomfortable and I think inappropriate to us when they are focusing their work

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    1. I think the reporter asking just made things worse frankly. I don't know how she thought that was appropriate, and I'm the biggest H&M fan ever! Even if Kate had seen Lili, this was not the forum for details. :)

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    2. The reporter from America was Andrea Mitchell. One of the most respected journalists in the world. This is a public interest story related to the royals and specifically a branch of the royal family that lives in America. So the American press is interested. It’s a fair game question in this environment. What is the forum you would prefer? The duchess should have been prepared for the question, I honestly sometimes find her lack of preparation as evidenced by some occasional stumbling communication a bit problematic for a person in her role. I like Kate very much. And Meghan. And their husbands. I don’t mean for this to be controversial. But it’s a bit glaring to me Kate wasn’t prepared for an obvious question with a set talking point. I think the royal rota has a very specific and predicable method of covering the royal family. So perhaps this question wouldn’t have been asked if it wasn’t international press. But this is the premiere international event in the world at the moment, with global press. Reporters not part of the royal rota are not bound to traditional coverage rules. It was an expected question, Andrea Mitchell is not in the business of gotcha journalism, and the duchess should have had a better talking point. The royal family is not unaware of the attention and controversy around H and M. If they really wanted to right what has become a bit of a PR debacle, they’d be coordinating a prepared and positive message.

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    3. Anon 17:21, I generally would agree and at points this has surprised me as well, but today, what gave you the impression that she was unprepared and did not have a positive message? It'd say it was a rather cute message, she wished the baby all the best and said she would love to meet her soon. She maybe looked 'surprised' but more in the sense that she wanted to appear genuine and spontaneous.

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    4. Fair response anon 12:34 and my apologies. I was a bit sensitive to the “not the appropriate forum” in the comments. It’s not clear to me what would be? They’re public figures who have made recent news and the press was there. I don’t know what would be the appropriate forum if not that. And I sometimes see a lot of “defense” of Kate as still learning the ropes and building her communication. And I just feels like that sells her short. I agree she did handle this pretty well, but I have seen a lot of comments on other sites attacking Ms. Mitchell for being unprofessional and frazzling poor delicate Kate. And I suppose I was knee jerk responding to that. It was a fair question and working royal family members should be prepared to be questioned. Kate doesn’t need our defense of her at this point in her role. And I agree she actually did pretty well given the awkward nature of family dynamics recently. :)

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    5. I'm an American and I find the question surprising, how on earth would Catherine have had an opportunity to see the baby? Knowing the history of how their phones were tapped and the ease of breaching private communications, as well as William's known disapproval of electronic devices for his children, I sincerely doubt that there is much electronic communication between the Royals in the US and Britain.

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  27. Such an important cause early years education so glad this has been a highlighted. Dr Biden looks lovely. Kate looking lovely in this colour and her accessories are a lovely match. I like the length of the dress I do think the belt has ruined the fit a little making it bunched around the waist but that’s no big deal she still looks elegant.

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  28. A great color for the Dss. Kate is very children oriented. She has three of her own and I believe she wants them to get the best Education anyone can teach, they will needed later in life. I hope the Education system is better in Europe then here right now, because what the children learn now will follow them into adulthood.

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  29. I know this is a blog about Kate, but it was great that Dr. Jill was able to work in meetings with groups that she is focussed on as first lady which - education and military families. Sounds like she had meaningful agenda of her own beyond the agenda planned for spouses. Obviously because early years is a focus for Kate and hence the school visit and round table, but it would have been nice to see an event with Camilla. I think they would have worked very well together.

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  30. The intractable and undeniable truth is early childhood education is poorly funded in the UK and US. The latest UK report is quite damning and reveals the massive budget shortfall this past decade in the UK.

    The truth is no matter how many visits by the First Lady or Queen and Duchesses, education needs critical funding now and without it, it’ll be another generation lost. For many parents seeking quality or even sup-par childcare, the cost puts these lofty goals remain out of reach. I love the sunlit photos and the warm smiles, but for many families, this is all a fairy tale. It’s hollow PR.

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/jun/15/ministers-knowingly-underfunding-childcare-sector-england


    The high cost of good childcare makes this out of reach for many middle class families as well as low income ones.

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  31. Bluefire and Anon 12:34 I also found Catherine's answer a perfectly fine response, she did not appear unprepared or overly surprised but a personal family question about someone not involved with the days activities I thought was a bit odd.

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    1. I agree Ali. The answer was all right, but the question was unexpected and out of place. Like if the reporter had asked Jill Biden about her grandchildren out of the blue.

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  32. The reporters did ask Jill Biden other non softball questions but they weren’t highlighted and made a big deal of.

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  33. I think people need to stop feeding into this narrative shaped by the media trolls. The question was fine. The answer was fine. Kate’s not helpless.

    Jill is not the imperial “First Lady” like Nancy Reagan or Jackie Kennedy. She’s not about fashion and has independent interest throughout her adult life. She has travelled abroad with and without her husband so this isn’t her first rodeo. She actually knows Prince Harry through their mutual work with vets. It may be that she will do something with Kate. Great. Jill is much older with a life and career well established.

    We, as women, need to stop pitting women against women, especially over ridiculous things like protocol and clothing.

    -X2

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