Wednesday, 11 May 2022

It's Catherine Walker & Cefinn for Day One in Scotland

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, styled as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, began a two-day working visit to the country, encompassing several areas of focus today.

There's a great deal of excitement in the air as the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin to take speed with a royal tour across the UK. It's not on the scale we saw in 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Duke of Edinburgh is sadly no longer with us and the Queen, now aged 96, is not undertaking engagements outside of Windsor. For Charles, Camilla, William and Kate in particular, there's an additional representational significance. These are the visits and engagements HM would have undertaken in previous jubilees, and I'm sure they will all be sharing feedback and stories from the ground with her.

Over the summer, the Sunday Times reported courtiers were drawing up plans for the Cambridges to spend far more time in Scotland with a base at Balmoral amid fears politicians are "losing Scotland". The report read: "Palace aides want William and Kate to build on the success of a recent visit north of the border by becoming a visible symbol of the bonds between England and Scotland. Officials do not think the issue should be left to politicians because the Union is based on a united monarchy as well as a political deal. Under the proposals the Cambridges would spend far more time at Balmoral, the Queen’s Scottish estate, treating it as a regular home rather than a place for brief holidays. They would also strengthen their ties with St Andrews, the town where they met and fell in love as university students." We haven't seen significant time spent in Scotland since the piece was written eleven months ago, however it will be interesting to see if such steps take shape when William and Kate are Prince and Princess of Wales.

Kensington Palace started the day with this message on Instagram.

The eagle-eyed Christin Z shared a video of the royal arrival.

The Earl and Countess' first port of call was St John's Primary School in Glasgow.

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Hello! reports: "As the couple began their visit to the school close to the banks of the River Clyde in Port Glasgow, the Duke joked, "Can you get my wife out of here before she gets broody?"

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The couple joined a 'Roots of Empathy' session and spoke with coordinators and participants in the programme.

Kensington Palace said: "Roots of Empathy is an early intervention programme run by Action for Children (the Duchess' patronage) which has been developed to help children aged 5-13 build empathy. The programme uses a unique approach, with a local parent and baby (or ‘Tiny Teacher’) alongside a trained instructor guiding the children to develop empathy. The programme was developed in Canada and operates internationally, in countries including New Zealand, the United States, Norway, Switzerland and Costa Rica. It has been operating in Scotland since 2010."

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Very sweet scenes.

A Palace spokesperson added: "The Roots of Empathy programme is aligned to much of the Countess's long-term work on early childhood, which highlights how good social and emotional development at a young age supports us to thrive as individuals, with one another, as a community and as a society. Learning to empathise from a young age is essential because it’s only by seeing our world through someone else’s eyes, that we begin to understand it. Last year, the Countess launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood which aims to drive awareness of, and action on, the extraordinary impact of the early years."

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KP shared a tweet thanking 'Tiny Teacher' Saul, mum Laura and instructor Joan for telling them so much about the programme.

A lovely video from the engagement.

It's a gorgeous day in Glasgow.

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From there, the Earl and Countess travelled to Kennishead to visit the Wheatley Group site.

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It was an opportunity to hear about the challenges of homelessness in Scotland and the organisations working tirelessly to help those living in the most vulnerable situations. The Wheatley Group are working to transform the lives of those disadvantaged and at risk.

The Palace noted: "At Kennishead, Their Royal Highnesses met local tenants of Wheatley Homes Glasgow, part of Wheatley Group, who have been supported to maximise their access to employment and mitigate the impact of poverty. They also engaged with young people and families who have benefitted from wider support packages from Wheatley Foundation, also part of Wheatley Group, including education bursaries and a partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination library."

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Homelessness is a key area of William's work.

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William and Kate visited the home of a family supported by the Wheatley Group and are living in one of their new houses. They heard how the support has changed their lives and the future outlook for their family.

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The Mail reports:

'Wheatley Homes Glasgow tenant Joanne Wales, 31, opened the front door of her new-build home to welcome Their Royal Highnesses. Inside they met son Jason, four, and heard from Joanne how the energy-efficient house design is helping reduce her energy bills.

Joanne said: 'With four young kids then energy bills is a big concern. There's always a need for a new pair of shoes or new clothes. I had a meeting with the energy advice team and they gave me great tips on how to use my electricity to keep my bills low. I don't need to put the heating on as much during the day in my new home. It's made a big difference.'

Outside, the couple spent time meeting locals and well-wishers.

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Wheatley Group Chair Jo Armstrong said: 

“We were delighted to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and show them how Wheatley Group is ‘Making Homes and Lives Better’.

“They were very interested in the work of our Foundation, about how Wheatley is giving young people the best start in life and also how we are creating new job and training opportunities so customers can reach their full potential. We also explained how Wheatley is playing a key role across Scotland in tackling homelessness and giving people a home of their own.”

For the third engagement of the day, it was the University of Glasgow. 

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Students looked incredibly excited.

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As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the engagement was planned to meet students and alumni to discuss mental health and wellbeing.

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The warm reception inside.

Researchers and students in the university’s School of Psychology and Neuroscience are focusing on mental wellbeing and how this can be influenced, both positively and negatively. Their work, and the work of others, is helping to inform some initiatives at the University, and in the wider community of Glasgow, designed to support student mental health. These include peer support initiatives and student-led projects which William and Kate heard about today.

Kate was on hand to help one student crack a crossword puzzle. The Telegraph reports:

'The Duchess of Cambridge, much to her apparent surprise, helped a university student complete his crossword on Wednesday as she was faced with the clue “Forerunner of the Sovereign Grant, the funding provided to support the official duties of The Queen”.

Confirming the answer was “Civil List”, the Duchess looked “thrilled”, the student said, after fearing she “wouldn’t live it down” if she got it wrong.

Jack Baird, a 21-year-old second-year student, caught the Duchess’s eyes by waving a printed-out copy of an old crossword puzzle from The Times.

The Duchess, who has a 2:1 degree in the history of art, accepted the A4 piece of paper and offered her best guess. Speaking afterwards, Mr Baird said: “I was stuck on a clue. It was seven down, which was ‘Forerunner of the Sovereign Grant, the funding provided to support the official duties of The Queen’.

“It was two words of five and four letters. I couldn’t get the second word. I gave it to Kate and asked her as I’m sure she would have known. And she said it was ‘Civil List’.”

I'm a big fan of Kate's look today. The colour palette of cornflower blue and navy and tailoring of the entire ensemble offered a very professional and versatile outfit ideal for the varied selection of engagements.

The Duchess wore her dark blue wool coat by Catherine Walker. The bespoke piece is becoming a staple in Kate's wardrobe after debuting during a West Midlands trip last May. She most recently wore it for a visit to the Imperial War Museum last November.

Kate sported the elegant CEFINN Riley Funnel Neck Blouse. The £170 blouse in 'cornflower blue' is described as a "perennial CEFINN bestseller". The piece is equally geared toward a meeting in the boardroom or to wear casually with a pair of jeans.

It comes in multiple colours. Below, the blouse in red and cream.

The brand was created by Samantha Cameron, wife of former PM David Cameron. Before life in No 10, Samantha worked as creative director of Smythson (another British brand Kate supports) so it was long thought a natural progression for her to take the next steps and launch her own business after Downing Street. Below, Kate with the Camerons during London 2012.

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Kate wore her L.K. Bennett Frieda trousers.

We saw Kate's mini No 7 POLÉNE PARIS bag again today.

Kate wore her Rupert Sanderson Malory pumps.

Kate accessorised with her Annoushka pearls and Kiki McDonough hoops.

After the events of the day, Kensington Palace shared personal tweets from William and Kate expressing their sadness at news Deborah James is receiving end of life hospice care. Deborah has fought a courageous battle and worked tirelessly to raise awareness of bowel cancer despite being so ill. She has raised £3 million thus far. The tweets read: 'Every now and then, someone captures the heart of the nation with their zest for life & tenacious desire to give back to society @bowelbabe is one of those special people. We are so sad to hear her recent update but pleased to support Bowel Babe which will benefit the Royal Marsden NHS among others. Deborah, our thoughts are with you, your family and your friends. Thank you for giving hope to so many who are living with cancer. W & C'. The Duke and Duchess have donated to the Bowel Babe Fund.

More from Sky:

'Podcast host Deborah James said she is "absolutely exhausted" and left "no stone unturned" as she receives end-of-life medical care for bowel cancer.

The much-loved presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C was speaking from her parents' house as her cancer fundraiser raised almost £3 million.

The 40-year-old campaigner told BBC Breakfast: "You know, I always said to you I don't want to leave a stone unturned.

"I don't think there is a stone that we haven't tried to turn in order to make my liver work again, in order to kind of get my body functioning, but unfortunately I'm exhausted, I'm absolutely exhausted.

"We've got to the point now where I just... I know I can't really do anything more."

I haven't seen any concrete details regarding tomorrow's itinerary apart from a solo engagement for William. I'll keep you updated if I see anything more. Day one in Scotland was absolutely lovely and filled with memorable moments. 

31 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I like her outfit. I follow her closely but had no memory of her wearing the coat before so it's still a very fresh look for me! I like the fit of the trousers and when I first saw the top I thought it had a tie on it! I like it.

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    1. Anon, the trousers are wonderful! I had ordered them months back in black and their fit is phenomenal, even in a larger size than I am sure what Kate wears. Very flattering trouser and definitely worth the cost as a closet staple.

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  3. Your dedication and elegance are an asset to the crown. Thank you for sharing the pictures of the things you do.

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  4. Love the clothes but not the center parted hair.

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    1. I agree with you Anon 20:16. The outfit is fantastic...the current hair style is not good :(

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  5. Must be quite chilly up there in Scotland! It's 84F where I am, but the weather here is changeable until July. I could be breaking the coats out again next week!

    And I'd love to have this coat to wear if I needed one. The tailoring is elegant, and I especially like the length. One of my pet peeves is coats that are too short to cover long skirts and dresses. The Duchess's trousers are also beautifully tailored, but I think that slightly-lower block heels would have worked better with this casual look.

    The blouse is great -- the first Cefinn piece I've seen that I would seriously consider buying. The high neck and simple front pleat are quite sophisticated in design. I'm puzzled by the fabric, though. I'll have to look it up.

    Finally, I think the bag is charming, though these small bags are hugely impractical. Clutch bags are also easier to tuck under your arm if you want to carry a bag but need to get it out of the way while you are greeting people. Shoulder straps are helpful, too.

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    1. Didn't Kate just wear another Cefinn piece recently? I remember looking at the website and saw a few of the pieces that I would consider. The blouse is already sold out in the cornflower blue but its made from their 'Signature Techni Voile', which is combination of triacetate and polyester but has an appearance of linen without the wrinkling! It's a very flattering blouse and Kate looks very professional and effortlessly chic!

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    2. If I could add: I've been following the Deborah James situation. Please, everyone, get a colonoscopy. Her case, at such a young age, is rare, but you never know.

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  6. Lovely outfit. Catherine and William look wonderful. Agree with a prior post that the jacket is gorgeous but I too found it hard to see it on the ground when she squatted down...but then again she has someone to clean it and it is a coat and at least it ws not rainy.:) Ali

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  7. There’s a picture of an old man crying while hugging William which is one of the best pictures I’ve ever seen.

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    1. I saw that too Anon and it is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Definite contender for 'best photo' award!!!!

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  8. This is a lovely smart and chic outfit. Love the funnel blouse, its elegant. The blue bag is divine.

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    1. I agree Ava, everything just looks so good together. I'd wear every one of the pieces!!

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  9. Wow! This ensemble is stunning, very chic. I love her hair with the centre part - on trend, flattering.

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  10. So many lovely engagements! I also love the photo of William and the emotional man. :) I like this outfit better with the coat on, and I love the purse!!! It’s crazy how wildly different the potential moves are- Windsor area or Scotland??? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’m looking forward to more engagements tomorrow and the horse show! Sue

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  11. Kate is always beautiful in her favourite colours of blue! I love how she settles right in with the children and is hands on.

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  12. This 'look' is reminiscent of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Personally speaking, I would have preferred less tapered trousers.

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  13. I like this outfit on Kate. Agree that the coat "adds" to the outfit. Those trousers really fit Kate well. The blouse is far more expensive for the look that it provides IMHO. Other than that - and yes, the coat is very long and therefore hits the ground during Kate's signature eye2eye greetings, which I think is fine (it's not raining) - they both look incredibly engaged and happy. Can't wait for tomorrow!

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  14. Lovely event with William and Kate.
    Tedi

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  15. I like the outfit but why does she have to wear one colour from head to toe? It's blue or nothing - no white / black shoes or bag. Kinda frustrating.

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  16. Kate is beaming! Especially when among toddlers and kids she is in her element, and we can definitely see it here. Empathy is a key element of our development and we should never forget it, at any stage of life.
    What amazed me is that this couple is always prepared, professional but open and emphatic. Look at William hugging that man...Wow!
    I just admire them so much, and don't know how they stay strong and don't cry in some delicate situations. Maybe it's just me, I'd cry all the times...
    Mental health is so important! It's still a taboo, so we don't really talk that much about it because we seem weak. But it is so relevant.
    Anyway, I really like and admire them.
    Kate is elegant today. The coat and trousers seem to match as a coordinated ensemble. Well done. When with children, I do prefer her in 'countryside outfit & ponytail", but it wasn't appropriate today, of course.
    I look forward to other events.

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  17. Good to see her wearing the trousers :-), I just wish she could move away from the pumps with trousers and go for a pair of elegant flats or block heels.

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  18. It seems students were more than happy to see them, big crowds inside and outside. So much for all the people saying that they’re not popular among the youth…

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  19. Wow! The causes they’re supporting are wonderful & I hope many benefit. I love it when Kate wears less dressy outfits - outfits that are relatable to more of us, but as mentioned a shoe with a less dramatic heel might be a better idea.

    I love reading about their causes; often it’s things I never thought about.

    I’m in the USA and am hosting a 1 person Jubilee lunch the first week-end in June. If I grow up I want to be like The Queen!

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  20. Andrea in London12 May 2022 at 15:20

    What a great look, everything is spot on, the blue colour palette is fresh and professional, loving the centre parting. And oh wow, they really look like they had such a great time! This couple bring such joy ans energy with them.

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  21. It's a solo day for William in Scotland, it looks like Kate returned to London yesterday. We'll see Mental Health Minute 2022 released tomorrow.

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  22. I have a question. If Kate and William are slated to spend more time, possibly live at Balmoral, how does that work? I ask because all reports are showing they are moving to Windsor and moving schools etc. Would they uproot again?

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  23. My first thought was that the outfit was underwhelming -- but then decided it was very attractive and professional, while also being very approachable, and totally appropriate for the visit. Seems like she wore some low heels the first year or so after they were married. I thought that she might prefer high heels because William is so tall.

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  24. I like her outfit. I follow her closely but had no memory of her wearing the coat before so it's still a very fresh look for me! I like the fit of the trousers and when i saw her she looks good and fresh i love her style now she trying to be different and change her style im loving it mental health is very important right now and in times of pandemic to endemic

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  25. I like how the whole outfit comes together when she has the navy coat on. But when indoors without the coat, I feel the blouse could use a trendier edge, the plain long sleeves makes it seem a little too plain/serious, especially in this blue shade. Maybe puffy short sleeves or cap sleeves or sleeveless?

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