Friday, 12 November 2021

The Duchess Hosts a 'Conversation Between Generations' for Remembrance Centenary

To mark Remembrance and Royal British Legion’s centenary, the Duchess of Cambridge hosted a lovely conversation spanning generations at the Royal Hospital Chelsea earlier this month.

The Duchess participated in her role as Co-president of Scouts and invited ten-year-old cub scout Emily Edge along with Italy Star Veteran, Colonel David Blum OBE. It comes during a week of poignant remembrance which will see Kate and members of the Royal family attend the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow evening. On Sunday morning, it has been confirmed, the Queen will be present at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Ceremonies. We'll see Her Majesty, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge and other royal spouses.

Kate was in the role of interviewer, and opened by saying, "It's lovely to meet both of you. And it's wonderful to be here at the Royal Hospital Chelsea to talk about Remembrance, especially during the centenary of the Royal British Legion. I just wanted to start off by hearing a little bit about both of your stories and a little bit about both of you."

Colonel David Blum recalled: "I was a Pimlico boy and I got called up for the Army. I was actually called up to Aberdeen. Then I was selected for commissioning and I went to Sandhurst." It was something of a coincidence given William's connections to the royal military academy, which Kate noted: "It was probably tougher then than it was when my husband did it, but I've heard a lot about Sandhurst." Colin replied, "It had its moments."

It's hard to believe it's been fifteen years since William's Sandhurst graduation.

Embed from Getty Images

Emily told Kate she's excited to move up from the rank of cub :): "I, hopefully, should be soon moving up to Scouts." The Colonel revealed he was in the Scouts "for many years" before the war, and credited the skills he learned as a "useful background". Emily said it's helped her "courage, confidence and sense of teamwork".

On Remembrance, the Duchess asked, "I'd love to hear what Remembrance means for you and why this time of year is so important." Colonel Blum recalled, "I have to say I lost a few friends. One in particular I remember, he was killed a day or two before the war ended. That, I must say, affected me quite a bit. You wrote to their families, to say how sorry you were to have to tell them about this." Emily joined and gave an incredibly thoughtful response: "I think it's important to remember all of the servicemen and women who risked or sacrificed their life so that we can live freely and happily today." The ten-year-old discussed learning about Remembrance at school, and the importance of wearing poppies. Kate noted "Remembrance has been part of the fabric of our society" for a century.

The trio looked at photos of the scouts during the war, and Emily in action as a cub. David showed Kate and Emily a photo of his wife whom he sadly lost 18 years ago.


18-year-old David.


Scouts watching over London during fires in the war.


He added, "Sadly for me, there are fewer and fewer people around now who I'm able to share memories with. It's a fact that when you get to 98, as I am, they've mostly gone, which is sad. I turn out every Remembrance Day. I used to go up to Whitehall, but now I have to do a local parade with the British Legion in Staines, where I live."

Emily showed Kate and David how to make poppies. Kate said, "Emily, yours is far more beautiful than mine."

The Duchess had a special surprise in store. Hello! reports:

'This year, Scouts across the country have been taking part in activities to commemorate the centenary of the Royal British Legion, which was created by Earl Haig in 1921. The occasion has also been marked by the creation of a new Scouts' Centenary Remembrance Badge, an initiative spearheaded by the Duchess, which can be awarded to all those who take a meaningful part in Remembrance – including completing activities such as poppy-making or taking part in a local service.  

Kate told Emily: "You're a huge inspiration to lots of young people," as she awarded her with her Remembrance badge for the activities she has taken part in, including the creation of a poppy display for her local church. '

Afterwards Kate tweeted: "It was a true honour to spend time with Colonel Blum and thank him for the sacrifices he made for our country. Speaking to him highlighted again to me why Remembrance is so important, and why we must pay our gratitude to those who fought and died so we could live in peace today. We must keep their stories alive for generations to come. And many congratulations to Emily for receiving her Centenary Remembrance Badge!"


The Duchess opted for forest and deep shades of green.




The piece is described as:
'This longline sophisticated wool coat has a more-relaxed silhouette than some of our super-fitted tailoring. Perfect to layer with a classic tee or styled with our super-chunky knitwear. Made from the finest UK woven wools, this coat has been hand cut and proudly made in England.'

Middleton Maven identified the Iris & Ink √Čloise ribbed merino wool-blend turtleneck sweater and matching skirt

The $190 sweater is described as: "Not only is Iris & Ink’s '√Čloise’ sweater a lush evergreen hue, it’s also an everlasting investment – the downy-soft merino wool fibers have been sourced from farms that responsibly tend to their animals and land. It has an insulating turtleneck and neatly contrasting ribbed panels for a figure-skimming fit". The $215 skirt is "Snug at the hips and relaxed through the hem". They are both available exclusively at The Outnet.

More on the sustainable ensemble:

'This item has been made with wool derived from farms that take a progressive approach to managing their land, practice holistic respect for its sheep and respect animal welfare. You can enjoy your new find in good conscious knowing the planet and its sheep have not suffered from its production.'

The look also comes in camel. 

Kate Middelton Style notes it appears the Duchess wore her Emmy London Rebecca pumps in greenery suede.


And her Monica Vinader Siren Wire earrings.

I found the conversation incredibly interesting and the unique perspectives from David and Emily fascinating. Kate did a splendid job hosting. I know like many of you I was amazed by how remarkable and knowledgeable ten-year-old Emily is. David's memories were a timely and important reminder -- we must never forget.

I'll see you tomorrow evening for the Festival of Remembrance.

23 comments:

  1. Just so lovely. A beautiful and touching engagement. Really quite moving. Thank you, Charlotte.

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  2. Oh I love this. Especially as Kate makes it completely about those two. No reference to herself at all, just the tiny tidbit about Sandhurst. She understood it’s not about her or her experiences/family. Stepping back to support, showcase and honour is import and I think she nailed it.
    Her outfit is nice, I definitely like her general dark blue/green/brown palette she has shown around those events. I have hoped for a repeat, just because she has worn some absolutely beautiful pieces at military/remembrance events and I prefer them to this new combo.
    C.

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  3. Such a lovely chat in a room that reminds one of years ago. And I very much appreciate that the wool sweater is from a humane source.

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  4. Absolutely LOVE this look, and love the event even more! What a beautifully comfortable and warm setting, the Duchess is at her best.

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  5. The interview was very timely in conjunction with Remembrance Day or as we say Veteran's Day in the USA. The history of the remaining survivors is tremendous and so educational.
    We have now gotten use to Kate speaking over the years so there was no great expectation on my part of it not being appropriate. My pleasant surprise came in listening to Emily as a ten years old articulate her feelings in such a cohesive manner participating in the conversation. It was such a pleasure to listen to her. Beyond the reason for the interview, Emily was the star. Well done!

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    1. While we may place emphasis on what Kate is doing, I don't think she ever tries to take the focus away from who she is meeting with or the topic at hand, on the contrary believe that she is very happy to let others shine. Emily was definitely an impressive young lady, a lovely conversation between all three, very heartfelt.

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    2. Yes Emily was impressive. But I was even more impressed by colonel Blum. He seems so much younger than his 98 years. And such a lovely sense of humor. I loved the conversation between all three,at the beginning a bit of stiffness but very soon so natural and touching. Simple and moving.
      I agree Kate has the gift of letting others shine.

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    3. I agree that Emily was so well-spoken and thoughtful! What an impressive young lady, and I love the focus on remembering. I think this was such a beautiful video showcasing the wisdom of the elderly and the potential of youth.

      This was a beautiful look in Kate! Love the outfit, shoes and coat. Sue.

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  6. I was reading, and now noticing, that Kate is not carrying an obligatory handbag and hasn't recently -- I like that!

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  7. What great opportunity to learn about your own history, from men and women, who actually have been there, not just what is written in a book. I hope people jumet at the chance to talk and listen.

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  8. Absolutely beautiful, and such a touching engagement. The lighting in the group photo is so soft and elegant. It looks like a painting from the old masters.

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    1. Ditto, Lori! You said it all for me! :)

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    2. Lori, yes! The lighting was exquisite - definitely reminded me of a painting from long ago.

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  9. Tammy from California12 November 2021 at 20:34

    I love EVERYTHING about this. I have such a heart for soldiers, kids and country. I sure wish we had a patron to shine a light on these same holidays here in the US. It has become such a political hot-button issue that we are losing the remembrance part as well as the appreciation for civic duty groups like the scouts. Wish it would come back.

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  10. Thank you Charlotte. A meaningful engagement highlighting past and future and cross generational interaction. I liked that the photographs reflected the vibe of Kate's Holocaust photographs.

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    1. Yes, that was a fitting tie-in with the images that she took of the Holocaust survivors.

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  11. Oh I loved the conversation! We seem to be hearing more of Kate’s voice recently...perhaps because of those pandemic Zoom meetings...and we really get a sense of how understated and supportive she is while remaining on point and on target with the topics at hand. She really is an empathetic and engaged listener, and so fundamentally kind.

    I also loved the interactions between the 98 year old Colonel Blum and the ten year old Emily. What a lovely intimate setting to commemorate a public event like Remembrance Day.

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    Replies
    1. That’s a good observation. Kate improved a lot in the ten years but she never became a natural/comfortable speaker. It seems those smaller settings, talking face to face to only a couple of people work much better for her than addressing a faceless crowd.
      If they can find a balance in the future that’s going to work great. She puts a lot of effort in delivering her speeches and tries her best, and can truly shine from a screen or in a personal conversation.
      C.

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  12. Love this engagement and Catherine's outfit. Gorgeous cant and sweater/skirt. Beautiful.

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  13. Love this event and Catherine's outfit. Gorgeous coat and sweater/skirt set. Beautiful.

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  14. This was beautiful. Thank you, Charlotte for sharing it all

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  15. its was lovely too see the duchess Cambridge really connect her work to the duke pf Cambridge talking conservation envior3ment

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  16. I find over the years I care less about the clothes because I'm so impressed with Kate's work. She always presents herself in an appropriate manner but has learned how to make her causes shine. What an impressive woman. In the beginning I really wanted her to have the glitz and jewels of Diana but Kate is her own person doing so much impressive work her way. It's wonderful.

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