Wednesday, 29 September 2021

It's Tarantulas, Guinness & Rugby During Derry 'Away Day'

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland today to meet young people and hear how organisations in the area promote positive relations in local communities.

The couple's away day follows a late night at the Royal Albert Hall for the premiere of No Time to Die. As you've no doubt already seen (if you haven't click this way), the Duchess looked spectacular in a gold caped Jenny Packham gown. Even 007 took notice of the look, telling the Duchess "you look jolly lovely".

Today's engagements began with a visit to Ulster University's Magee Campus.

They were warmly welcomed by students upon arrival.

During a Zoom call from Norfolk in February, the Duke and Duchess spoke with students from the university as they participated in practical clinical sessions with their lecturers. Kate praised the role of nurses in all stages of the profession during the conversation, including students who were entering the coalface: "Nursing is one of the most trusted professions in the country, so you couldn't have chosen a better career choice and it's needed now more than ever. You've got almost three generations now. Those coming back from retirement, but also you guys doing your training who are stepping up. It shows real commitment and real teamwork, and it should really be celebrated."

Today they met some of those students in person.

Kensington Palace added: "The Duke and Duchess saw a specially designed simulated ambulance – the only one of its kind in the region – built on campus to train the very first year group on the brand new BSc Hons Paramedic Science programme in Northern Ireland. This course, which started just last week, is offered by the university to support the development of the paramedic profession in Northern Ireland and further afield."

The Duke and Duchess then held a meeting with the first cohort of medical students accepted into the university’s new School of Medicine.

The school was established in response to a nationwide shortage of medical professionals. A £1 million investment will train doctors -- many of whom will go on to make a difference in Northern Ireland.

More from the Telegraph:

'After watching a pair of students practice the procedure of taking blood, they were shown a lifelike model arm which the Duke picked up, pointed at his wife and joked: "There's lots of games you could have with that."

The Duchess asked about extracurricular care, saying: "Your well-being, and how you are, is that being introduced now?  There must be a lot of stress to cope with."'

From there, William and Kate dropped into the Student Union to learn more about their 'Culture Sock' events.

Learning more about student life outside of lecture halls, the couple had the opportunity to sample local whiskey, Tayto crisps and wheaten bread. They also had the opportunity to meet talented musicians performing at the university.

More from Hello!.

'William and Kate also spoke to the University's talented musicians playing traditional instruments.

As they listened to the music, one student shouted out "Dance," with William gesturing to Kate: "You should! She loves dancing," but Kate laughed: "No, no, no!"'

They sat down to play a game where Irish names were shown on the screen and they had to pronounce them. "I'm going to have another drink -- I'm not doing very well at this," William joked. They learned local phrases including "let's head out for a wee dander" and "this is pure wick, so it is". The couple enjoyed half pints of Guinness.

The Duchess laughed as she held a tarantula called Charlotte during a visit to the campus's petting zoo -- quite a story to tell the children later.

Roya Nikkhah reports Kate said, "We've had lots of animals during lockdown. During lockdown, animals are often like therapy."

Hello! writes:

'As Charlotte started moving up his wife's hand, William joked that the spider was animated by Kate's outfit: "Maybe she's not so keen on purple, or she maybe thinks you're a flower." 

The Cambridges' daughter, Princess Charlotte, has previously revealed her love of spiders as she and her brothers posed questions to Sir David Attenborough in October 2020.'

William revealed George is "obsessed with snakes".

A video from the visit with plenty of fun footage.

From there, it was a quick change before dropping in at the City of Derry Rugby Football Club.

They met coaches and volunteers involved in the ‘Sport Uniting Communities’ initiative.

The project is a collaboration between the Irish Football Association, the Ulster Gaelic Athletic Association, and Ulster Rugby. It aims to promote peace and reconciliation.

The Palace noted, "Sport Uniting Communities uses the reach of each sport to promote meaningful, purposeful and sustained contact between individuals from different backgrounds – particularly across the religious divide – resulting in a change in perception and relationships."

Meeting a young player and her coach.

The Duchess didn't miss a chance to get straight into the sporting action, kicking off with rugby...

...and taking her best shot in football.

The Duchess was chic in a fuchsia Emilia Wickstead suit from the Autumn/Winter 2021 collection for the day (with thanks to Lady Parky & Kate's Closet).

The Dida peak lapel wool flannel jacket is described as "shaped in the UK with defined shoulders and peak lapels for a confident take on classic tailoring". It's available in grey at Matches Fashion, retailing for £1,200.

Kate accessorised with her Liv Thurwell bobble hoop earrings.

The Duchess sported her Emmy London Jose block-heel pumps in navy suede.

And carried her quilted Jaeger bag.

For the rugby engagement, Kate changed into the Define Jacket Luon by Lululemon (with thanks to Emily). The £98 piece is described as "body skimming", with thumbhole cuffs and secure front pockets. The Luon fabric is cottony soft, breathable and supportive. It's available in a variety of colours on Lululemon's website and Matches Fashion.

It looks like Kate wore her New Balance x Sweaty Betty trainers.

A splendid day of engagements and wonderful to see an away day.


  1. First she knocked us out with that gorgeous dress last night and now this beautiful suit. Perfection at night and in the day. Totally loving this color!!

  2. I usually don't like something about the pants she wears but this purple outfit is just perfect: fits beautifully and is very flattering.

  3. This pantsuit is absolutely divine! I wouldn't expect such a stunning hit from Emilia Wickstead. Kate rocks it and it is an amazing example of power dressing. You can absolutely tell from Kate's posture and suit that she is a strong and confident person. I love that she is back to darker, longer hair. Suits her the best IMO.

  4. WOW again! Love, love, love the color of this suit on her. So pretty, and not an easy color to pull off. She really makes anything look great! The casual outfit is darling as well! Well done 👍🏻

  5. Two hits in two days! I love that she’s wearing more suits and this one looks spectacular.

  6. Great color suit she looks very professional. Also at the sport event.

  7. The tailoring on this suit is perfection!

  8. I keep looking at her holding that tarantula. I really want to get over my fear of eight-legged creatures, but it's not happening yet. At least I can applaud Kate for doing this and teaching her children not to fear such things as spiders and snakes.

  9. It took yesterday's outfit 24 hours to sink in my mind... Then I saw today's purple suit, and it hit me. It's not about the attire, whether it is a golden-bond-girl-va-va-voom-gown, or a 2-parts-vivid-purple-suit. It is about the confidence of the woman, who carries them both so well, that is so striking. Duchess Kate is approaching 40, in the good sense of the word. The 10 years encompassed between a woman's 30 and 40 can be life changing. Pregnancies, motherhood, marriage, career, you need one hell of endurance and strength to manage it all. But if you do, and you master the art of managing it all, you are one hell of woman at 40. And from where I stand, Duchess Kate has definitely made it successfully to this peak, and she certainly knows it (and enjoys it!)
    As a woman at her same age, all I can say is... I sure enjoy to see it.
    Shira, Israel

    1. Shira this is an amazing point and great observation on your side! Kate definitely evolves within her role. I hope this shift happens to me, too :-)

    2. So well said, Shira! Duchess Kate has reached a stage in her life (well, it happened some time ago, after the birth of Louis at the latest, IMO) where she is comfortable and sure of herself, and it shows. I've been following her for about eight years now and I really admire her.

    3. Shira, I love your comment. Your are so right about Kate. Her confidence and commitment to her goals are evident in everything she does. She is not affected by rumors or gossip or publicity. Thank you for your comment.

    4. Thank you for commenting on my comment, I am personally touched by it, being a woman + 3 kids the same age.
      Anon 6:32 - I am sure you'll make it there, too :) In my opinion, it's all a matter of awareness and determination :)
      Zora - I completely agree, I also noticed that when Louis was born!
      Sheila - Yes, I also think that Kate's ability to be well settled within herself provides her with the ability to not be affected by senseless rumors, and I am sure that greatly contributes to her quality of life :)
      Sending you all my warmest wishes. Shira

  10. This is a lovely pantsuit, it fits perfectly. Love the splash of colour. Shoes and clutch work in well together. The Duchess looks fabulous.

  11. I think it’s a fun color and like it paired with a turtleneck. Would love to see the look again with the blazer buttoned. Sue

  12. She is on a roll. She should wear more jewel tones like this, it obviously agrees with her, the fit is great, too.

  13. What a beautiful suit! That color looks great on Kate! Two stellar looks in a row! I would have liked it with a lighter colored top underneath, but that's just a minor tweak. Maybe next time she'll wear it that way. As always she looked like she was enjoying herself immensely especially during the sporting part!

  14. Lovely purple suit! The tailored fitted pants is an elegant look that fits Kate better than some of the flared or loose pants that she’d worn in the past.

  15. I just love the suit. The colour looks great and in my opinion slim pants flatter her figure much more than wide legged ones. I am also happy that she has her hair back and in a pony tail. While I do envy her long hair, sometimes the whole look just looks better when she ties it up. That’s a very bold but relatable look. You would see the style (maybe not exactly the colour though) a million times in working places. Maybe now that more come back into the offices they let themselves be inspired to tackle those bright colours.
    I start to get a feeling that Kate and I might find back to each other in the fashion department after all.

  16. Wow the duchess looks good and she look the duchess looks really fine she was a great she looks not afraid vto hold the tranulla and she really. Adventures and always enjoyed herself in her visit

  17. Agree with the other comments here, this suit fits her well. The color is stunning very similar to her ODLR skirt suit that I have always loved. Paired with the navy - perfection. Just a nice change. Of course agree again, would love to see it with with a light gray silk blouse or one of Kate's lacy cream blouses to change up the look. Lastly, yes, it's her confidence that makes her shine (and the fact that she can wear anything and everything :-)

  18. Great color on the Duchess and the cut and tailoring of the pantsuit is very flattering. Love it in the grey, the material looks beautiful. In typical Kate style she has shown us she can go from full on glam one day, to a work look the next day, with an casual moment to boot with such ease and grace. She does make it seem very effortless and most importantly she brings with it her smiling, positive attitude. Wish she could bottle some of that up and sell it, cause I would sure buy some.

  19. What a beautiful color. Kate looks fabulous. She’s been knocking it out of the park.

  20. Princess Mary and Duchess Catherine are just amazingly strong, well educated and so fantastic at their jobs. They have such warm and lovely compassion for everyone they meet. They manage motherhood and royalty with ease and still manage to have a normal life with their children. Catherine looks powerful, happy and engaging. She definitely looks the epitome of a Duchess.

  21. I like the cut of the suit. Dislike that shade of purple though. Kate needs to wear pants more. She looks good in them with her long legs.


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