The Duchess wore Max Mara for today’s engagements in Portsmouth, located on England’s southern coast.
Kate was visiting the new headquarters of the 1851 Trust; she is the charity’s royal patron. The Trust works with young people, providing them with “…the education, skills and training to become innovators of the future, and stewards of the marine environment.” The Trust’s new offices are located at the headquarters for Ben Ainslie Racing. (In the picture above you can see Sir Ben just behind Kate.)
Kate spent time admiring a giant mural painted by local students from Portsmouth and Isle of Wight schools, it runs along a wall adjacent to Ainslie Racing headquarters.
Kate met many of the students, who have been painting for weeks.
They clearly enjoyed speaking with the Duchess.
Kate added her own touch to the mural.
Evidently Prince George has also been painting. More from The Daily Telegraph’s story about today’s events.
Art teacher James Waterfield from Park Community School in Leigh Park, Havant, stood alongside the Duchess as she did her painting.
“I was so worried about getting paint on her fantastic white coat,” he said.
“She told me she was painting yesterday with baby George and she should have brought him down because he loves doing all of this.”
Kate and Sir Ben chatting with more students.
Kate then spent time with community leaders at the Spinnaker Tower, an iconic structure in Portsmouth, and a symbol of the community’s rebirth and growth. The Duchess saw items that will be on display at the 1851 Trust Visitor Centre.
The new facilities for BAR (Ben Ainslie racing) are sizable; the team is committed to mounting a strong challenge for the Cup. Below, Kate meeting other members of the Ben Ainslie Racing team.
In this photo the Duchess is trying out a 3D racing simulator.
Having the headquarters in Portsmouth is bringing much needed publicity and tourism to the area. There will be a visitor center at BAR headquarters, it is slated to open in June. That heightened profile will grow, as Portsmouth is hosting 2 America’s Cup World Series events in July, part of a 2-year race series around the world.
Many will recall that Kate was on hand in June when Sir Ben launched his bid to bring the 2017 Cup to Great Britain. The Cup is considered the oldest international sporting trophy and Sir Ben has noted it is “the last great historic sporting prize never won by Great Britain.” As detailed on the America’s Cup website, Sir Ben is the most successful Olympic sailor in history. Below you see Kate with Sir Ben and other Team GB sailors during the London 2012 Games.
Some background on Kate’s interest in sailing, as detailed in a story in today’s Express:
During her gap year, Kate crewed a Round the World Challenge boat in the Solent – the spiritual home of English sailing. And during her student days she worked as a deckhand.
Her love of sailing has managed to cross over into her royal duties through her work with the 1851 Trust.
When she took on the role in October last year, saying: “I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age and I know it is a great way of providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence. “It is a hugely exciting time for sailing as the British challenger bids to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain.
The Duchess has taken part in multiple sailing events as part of her royal duties. Below you see her heading out to watch Olympic Sailing competition during the London 2012 Games.
And here she is in New Zealand last April, when she and William raced against each other in America’s Cup boats.
Now on to what Kate wore in Portsmouth. She had on a new coat by Max Mara, the brand’s Villar style.
The coat is all wool, featuring double-breasted styling, notched lapels, a fitted bodice with a full skirt. House of Fraser has the coat, but in very limited sizes at this point. It originally sold for £580 (about $900), but was discounted to £345 (approximately $530).
The Duchess wore another favorite designer today, Alice Temperley. But Kate’s dress didn’t come from any of the usual Temperley collections; instead, she opted for a piece from the Alice Temperley Somerset for John Lewis collection, the brand’s diffusion line. We have featured the collection before; there have been some lovely pieces that are more accessibly priced. Kate went for a nautical theme today, wearing the Boat Print Dress from the Somerset collection.
The £99 dress (that’s about $150 USD) has a black background, it is 100% rayon, with side pockets, short sleeves and slightly tapered bodice. It was a good choice for the day: the nautical motif was obviously a nice touch, and the price was relatively reasonable for a dress Kate may wear very little. Today’s tip of the tiara goes to Ashley Marie for identifying the dress, as well as Sophie & Samantha on the WKW Facebook page.
Here’s a closer look at the print on the dress, including a sample edited down to roughly the same scale as Kate’s print.
If you miss out on the dress, or simply like the pattern, there is also a top available.
As well as a pair of ‘relaxed’ trousers.
Kate accessorized with her ‘Georgia’ heels by Jimmy Choo.
And carried her Frome clutch in blue suede from LK Bennett.
Kate being given flowers, seen in a photo shared by Ruth Scammell on Twitter.
Sir Ben and Sir Keith Mills (Chair of the 1851 Trust) presented Kate with a gift for Prince George: his own Ben Ainslie Racing Junior T-shirt.
- Learn more about the 1851 Trust at the charity’s website here, via its Facebook page here, the group’s Twitter feed may be seen here; the Trust also has a strong Instagram presence here
- The Ben Ainslie Racing website is here, its Facebook page may be viewed here, the Twitter feed is here, Instagram page is here and the You Tube channel may be viewed here
- Ben Ainslie Racing has posted a story about today’s visit and photos here
- For more information on the America’s Cup World Series click here, to read more about the specific Series events in Portsmouth click here
- The Daily Mail’s coverage is here, the Daily Telegraph’s story is here, the Daily Mirror’s story and Gallery are here
- The Portsmouth newspaper has posted a video here of Kate greeting people,