Thursday, 23 June 2022

The Cambridges Enjoy a Day of Engagements in Cambridgeshire

Following their visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum for the unveiling of their first joint portrait, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge undertook several engagements in Cambridgeshire.

Looking through the itinerary, coupled with the unveiling of the portrait, I think it quite likely this day may have been intended to mark their tenth wedding anniversary officially. Given the challenges the pandemic represented, a shift to a summer's day (the weather played ball nicely) coinciding with both the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and Prince William's 40th, it offered the perfect opportunity for the Cambridges to celebrate Cambridgeshire.

The day saw a focus on areas close to their hearts including homelessness and family supports. They visited Kate's patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices in Milton.

EACH revealed it marked three milestones: a decade since Kate became Royal Patron, her first public visit to the Milton hospice, and William's first time accompanying his wife to see the work of the charity.

The Evening Standard reports:

The duke and duchess were then greeted by Kirsty and Gary Carlin, whose four-year-old daughter Libby lay sleeping on the floor beside them.

After learning about her rare genetic condition, Libby’s parents offered to wake their daughter before the duke said: “Please don’t wake her.”

“We know what happens when you wake a sleeping child,” Kate added.

The pair also took part in a small art session, where a canvas full of handprints was laid out in front of them.

Kate sat with an eight-year-old girl called Willow Bamber, who suffers from a severe neurological condition called Leigh’s disease.

The duchess invited the youngster to paint her hand, and as she tentatively started, Kate said: “Don’t be shy.”

The video below has very sweet footage of the arts and crafts session.

The hospice was opened by the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1989.

The visit coincides with Children's Hospice Week. This year's theme is #ForTheChildren -- showing how important each individual child is to the expert care children’s hospices provide.

To mark the week, Kate shared a letter of support.

In her letter Kate wrote: "For any parent, coming to terms with the news your child has a life-threatening condition and may die young is heart-breaking and incredibly frightening. Families can often feel isolated, but having the support of a children’s hospice means they don’t have to face that future alone. Every day, the UK’s 54 children’s hospices are a vital lifeline for families caring for a seriously ill child, and over the last ten years I have been privileged to see first-hand the incredible work they do."

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The Duke and Duchess toured the facility. EACH currently provides care and support for more than 580 children, young people and family members across the region, with 211 currently using services through Milton.

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Chief Executive Phil Gormley said: "We very much enjoyed welcoming Their Royal Highnesses to Milton. It was The Duchess’s first public visit to Milton and the very first time we had the pleasure of welcoming The Duke to one of our hospices so it was a very special, memorable and momentous day for everyone connected with EACH. The Duchess met our fantastic staff and volunteers at Milton, who work tirelessly with children and their families needing our services. They had the chance to explain the difficulties they have faced in recent years, particularly in light of the pandemic and the isolation they have felt through shielding."

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Mr Gormley added: "The visit was the perfect opportunity to celebrate ten years since Her Royal Highness became our Royal Patron. Throughout the decade, The Duchess has been immensely supportive by championing our cause. Her continued support comes with warmth, empathy and understanding, including beyond public view, and her Patronage is enjoyed and appreciated by everyone at EACH. We are extremely thankful and consider ourselves honoured and very lucky  to benefit from her hard work, generosity and support."

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More from Cambridgeshire Live:

The Duke and Duchess also met with a bereaved family in the gardens. Parents Henry and Jane White, and their daughter Clara sadly lost their son Douglas in February 2018. He had Neuroblastoma and was just four years old.

Jane said: “Coming back (to the hospice) brings back all the memories”.

Will Self, EACH Chair of Trustees, celebrated and honoured the 10-year anniversary of the Duchess being Royal Patron: "It's been an incredibly special year for us, as we proudly celebrate 10 years of your Patronage."

Kensington Palace tweeted: "We’re always reminded of the inspiring resilience of the children here, the strength of their families and the unwavering support of staff members."

From there, the Duke and Duchess visiting homeless charity Jimmy's

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Kensington Palace said: "Jimmy’s was set up in 1995 and offers safety and support for individuals experiencing homelessness. Services include mental health support, workshops on life skills, and onward housing provision. The charity has been trialling a new modular home offer for some of its residents. These homes are moveable, small-scale spaces that provide residents with separate living, cooking, sleeping and bathroom areas as well as their own front door. Cambridge is the first city in the UK to explore modular homes and Jimmy’s has 22 sites across the city."

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Jimmy's impact has been felt and appreciated for almost three decades.

William and Kate visited a resident in their modular home to hear about how it has made a difference to their life and helped them learn how to live independently.

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William and Kate previously visited during their first day of engagements in Cambridge in 2012. You'll all remember speculation was fever pitch regarding 'Baby Cambridge'. It was announced just days later Prince George was on the way.

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More from Cambridgeshire Live:

'One of the residents of the Modular Homes Pete, who met their Royal Highnesses Prince William and Kate Middleton on their first visit, and again today, said: "They did (remember) it was nice. He said he’d come and see me in another 10 years. We spoke about my past and getting to where I am now. They’re both really nice people, definitely. And they’re just interested in how far I’ve moved since the last time and I said, well, without Jimmy’s help I wouldn’t have done it and I’ve got my own flat now and everything."

Eamonn Kelly, 52, lives in one of the modular homes and chatted to the royals about his experience as he showed them his home. He said: "I got on very well, they were down to earth people, they were very genuine. They were interested in you as a person, not your past or your future, you just can’t get any better than those two people, but only for this person (Mark Allan, Jimmy's CEO), I wouldn’t be here the way I am today, it’s them, Matt Wiseman, Zoe, it’s all them that have made it possible for both me and Pete to be where we are today."

It appears that Eamonn made an impression on the Duke, as Prince William asked him for a photo together as he was leaving. While walking back to their car, Prince William said: "Eamonn come here, I'd like a photo with you", before summoning him over for a once in a lifetime opportunity for the resident.'

William and Kate with Eamonn Kelly.

Taking a peek at the photo.

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And a wave goodbye.

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Jimmy's CEO Mark Allan told Cambridgeshire Live: "The fact that they're coming to Cambridgeshire today and they chose Jimmy's as one of the charities they wanted to visit means a lot. Because it shows, and in the conversations that we had today with the residents and the staff, they're interested in how you resolve homelessness, they're interested in what support works best for people who end up homeless and how to get them out of that quickly or how to prevent it."

Finally, to celebrate the very best of Cambridgeshire, the Duke and Duchess will visit the first-ever Cambridgeshire County Day at the July Racecourse, Newmarket.

Comprising 120 exhibitors from Cambridgeshire businesses, charity, community and public sectors, the Duke and Duchess visited a number of stalls and met members of the public.

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Ahead of the event, organizers revealed: "With more than 6,000 attendees expected, the event will provide a wonderful opportunity for the county’s diverse and vibrant community to come together and get inspired by the best of Cambridgeshire, as local business, charities, clubs, voluntary groups and public sector organisations from every corner of the County showcase what they do and why they are great."

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The County Day was planned to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Year.

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The Duchess was asked if she was enjoying the day.

A kick from Kate.

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Kate looked lovely in a summery ensemble.

Kate wore a sleek, tailored baby blue coat which is currently unidentified.

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The Duchess wore her much-loved L.K. Bennett Madison dress, a piece she's had for years.

For the earlier engagements, the Duchess wore her Emmy London Rebecca pumps...


...and carried the matching clutch in 'riviera'.

The Duchess changed into her Castaner Carina wedges.


And completed the look with her gorgeous unidentified aquamarine earrings.

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If you're just joining us, click here for the post on the Cambridges' first joint portrait.

Wimbledon starts on Monday. I do expect we'll see the Duchess at some point during the week.

28 comments:

  1. Love this dress! It looks polished yet comfortable. What a fun day of engagements !

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  2. That coat photographs beautifully! From the side I love the angle of the pocket. They both look so harmonious together in color. What an excellent line up of thoughtful visits today- I’m really impressed. So glad they went to a hospice center during this week. And how wonderful to see jimmy’s providing excellent next steps. I’ve always like this dress and the pink one. Thank you for you hard work today, Charlotte! Sue

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    1. Zora from Prague25 June 2022 at 21:57

      Ditto Sue! I love blue and this colour combination is so gentle and soothing on Kate! Great choice for these engagements. Good to see William visiting Kate's charity with her and Kate hearing about homelessness with him. They complement each other so well! Kudos to them.

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  3. It was bad enough to have a couple of elderly relatives in hospice. I can't imagine having a gravely-ill child needing hospice care. An important organization.

    I quite like this unidentified coat, which is beautifully cut. It appears to fall nicely in the back, judging by that one picture taken from a distance. I wish I could get a better look.

    The dress is another of the Duchess's rather uninteresting tea-dress affairs. Although the fabric is pretty, I'm glad that she's mostly moved on from L.K. Bennett. On the other hand, I am a great fan of wedged espadrilles with ankle ties, so I love these. I own a pair in a very similar pale-caramel color. They go with so many summer clothes.

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    1. I should add that I just saw a picture of Queen Letizia of Spain wearing these wedges in black.

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    2. Then for sure, Kate is in good company!

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  4. I love wedges, but not those wedges. Otherwise, I adore the outfit and coordination with the coat, bag, and shoes. Nice to see her change it up.

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  5. Veronica Miller23 June 2022 at 21:33

    Dear Charlotte,
    thank you for that informative post - as always ;-). I just saw Kate‘s earrings and they very much reminded me of the earrings she wore in Malaysia with that gorgeous Beulah dress. Has she worn them ever since?
    Thank for your answer and my best wishes!

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  6. I have always liked this dress on Kate. If I remember correctly, she has this L.K. Bennett dress in three colorways (she wore the pink at polo and the darker blue for the Obama visit). It looks like the same silk fabric.

    I have a top in this fabric from L.K. Bennett and it looks better in person than how it photographs.

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    1. My mistake! I should learn to get my facts before I post. The dress Kate wore with the Obama's was the long sleeve version with cuffs at the wrists. The L.K. Bennett is the Addison. The Madison is the one worn above and the pink. Three very similar L.K. Bennett dresses, but not exactly the same.

      I admit, I sometime purchase duplicates if I like the fabric, fit and style.

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  7. Allison in US

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  8. Like this whole outfit, the coat is very nice. Very well put together.

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  9. Is this the same dress Kate wore years ago for a day with William and/or to meet the Obamas? I do like it and really like the color of the clutch and heels. I've read that W's monarchy will focus on a few issues; I hope children's hospices and homelessness are two choices.

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    1. I think she wore this dress to a private dinner several years ago. The Cambridges were photographed on the street, I think waiting for or getting into their cat.

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    2. Ooops—Car not cat!

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  10. Wonderful day of events. Some quite poignant. The duchess was gorgeous, as always.

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  11. What nice surprises today! An away day that includes a new portrait! The engagements with hospice and Jimmy's were so very touching and important. I think this beautiful blue coat was a touch heavy for the airy dress and liked the outfit better when she took the coat off. Castaners are not my favorite shoes especially when they lace around the ankles.

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  12. e always liked this dress on Kate hmm i think its recycle the duchess looking pretty and she knows her causes ' and view on how to her cases

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  13. What a lovely day for all they visited I'm sure William and Kate love them too. Kate is knocking it out of the park for me lately I love todays look I love the coat, dress and shoes and then making it a little more casual with espadrilles and kicking a ball in high wedges well done Kate! I love Kates hair how she had it cut in the photo from when she visited Jimmy's centre in 2012 I think the fringe (bangs) suit her face. Sue in WA

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  14. Love that Kate is pretty much up to anything and has fun doing it!

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  15. Her earrings is a her "old" pair of aquamarine set from Easter Day, few years ago - https://katemiddletonjewelry.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/aquamarine-drop-earrings/.

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    1. Veronica Miller24 June 2022 at 14:15

      Thank you for the link!

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  16. I have always liked this watercolor dress. Love how the sleeves look so floaty and casual but looks so polished with the long line coat.

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    1. Exactly, Anon! It's a great combination. And I'm absolutely in love with that coat!

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  17. Tammy from California24 June 2022 at 18:38

    That picture of Eamonn teared me right up. Makes me love the Cambridges more than I already do.

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  18. Wow! What a day! Lots of activities and is so good to see C. & W. directly involved. These are all causes they really care about and I like to read about the homeless centre they first visited in 2012. I love their long-term & practical commitment as well as their genuine interest.
    As for Kate outfit, is just fabulous. Fresh, summery, the flowing dress seems to match her wavy hair. Just perfect! I remember her wearing the pink version and she looked fab, too. Can't wait to see her at Wimbledon... Will it be with black&white or green dress? Let's wait and see...

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  19. Love the color combination of this outfit, but my eye is looking for a bit of embellishment to pull it together. Perhaps a long necklace, blue ribbon around the bodice seam or lapel brooch - something. It just seems a bit flat to me.

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