The Duchess brought back a much-loved gown for tonight’s Tusk Conservation Awards.
The dress is by Jenny Packham, and when the topic of Top Ten or even Top Five favorites comes up among Kate fashion followers, this dress is on most lists.
Tonight’s gala included a number of notable names, among them Ronnie Wood and his wife, Sally Wood. The musician is described by the charity as “Tusk’s longest-standing supporter and first-ever Patron since 1991.”
Also attending, Kate Silverton and Aljaz Skorjanec from the BBC’s very popular Strictly Come Dancing show.
Kensington Palace noted that “For almost thirty years, Tusk has pioneered successful conservation action in Africa by protecting wildlife, empowering communities and advancing the frontline in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.”
In this photo, I *think* the Duchess is speaking with Julius Obwona, winner of the Tusk Wildlife Ranger of the Year Award.
The event was at Banqueting House in London, a remarkable structure. It is a “magnificent survivor of the lost royal Palace of Whitehall” according to Historic Royal Palaces. The most spectacular feature at Banqueting House: the nine ceiling paintings by Peter Paul Rubens. More from HRP:
The ceiling of the Banqueting House is a masterpiece and the only surviving in-situ ceiling painting by Flemish artist, Sir Peter Paul Rubens. It is also one of the most famous works from the golden age of painting.
The canvases were painted by Rubens and installed in the hall in 1636. The three main canvasses depict The Union of the Crowns, The Apotheosis of James I and The Peaceful Reign of James I.
Back to the Historic Royal Palaces site:
Most likely commissioned by Charles I in 1629-30, this ceiling was one of his last sights before he lost his head. The King was executed on a scaffold outside on Whitehall in 1649.
When the canvases were first unrolled on the floor, Inigo Jones and Rubens’ assistants realised with mounting horror that they wouldn’t fit in the ceiling.
The problem had occurred because although both Belgium and England measured in feet and inches, each country used a different length for a foot. Drastic moderations had to be made on site to make them fit.
It appears that Rubens never saw his works inside the Banqueting House. He wrote to a friend, ‘In as much as I have a horror of courts, I sent my work to England in the hands of someone else.’
After an initial two-year delay, Rubens received £3,000 (the equivalent of £218,000 today) and a heavy gold chain as payment for his work.
Banqueting House has been added to the current list of “must-see” items for the next trip to the far side of the pond.
Now to the Awards. They stem from William’s love of Africa, well known by many royal followers. In this Hello! piece Prince William says “I first fell in love with Africa when I spent time in Kenya, Botswana, and Tanzania as a teenager.”
In September it was announced the Duke would take on the patronage of the Royal Africa Society, a position the Queen held for 64 years.
William has been Tusk’s Royal Patron since 2005. Below you see him with Prince Harry and Tusk Trust CEO Charlie Mayhew in June 2010. The trio was visiting the Mokolodi Education Centre in Botswana. William’s passion for combatting the illegal wildlife trade remains a priority.
“These awards which mean a great deal to me personally, play a huge part in our mission to preserve Africa’s precious wildlife for its people. It is vital that we recognise the dedication of these unsung heroes and the bravery of rangers risking their lives, day and night, on conservation’s frontline. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
Now for tonight’s winners. The winner of the 2018 Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award is Julius Obwana. He is the Warden-in-Charge, Law Enforcement at Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda.
There are three finalists for the Tusk Conservation Award. More from The Daily Telegraph:
Three pioneering Africans are in line for The Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa, sponsored by Land Rover, which offers an overall prize of £20,000 and runners-up grants of £7,500 each. All hail from tourism destinations, and their work has played a significant role in conserving endangered environments and species.
One is Dickson Kaelo, who heads the Kenyan Wildlife Conservancies Association, described by Tusk as “…a national umbrella body, dedicated to uniting the dynamic and diverse voices of wildlife conservancies in the country.” You can read the Tusk profile of Mr. Kaelo here.
Force Ngwira is another finalist. His Tusk profile says: “As the Country Director of RIPPLE Africa, Force has developed his passion for the environment and ability to work with people at all levels to achieve long-term sustainable change.”
The third finalist for the Conservation award is Vincent Opyene. Mr.Opyene established the Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) in Uganda, and the Tusk Awards committee say he “… has single-handedly changed how Uganda addresses the illegal wildlife trade. He risks his life on a daily basis to combat wildlife trafficking and to bring criminals to justice.” You can read more about Vincent in this profile on the Tusk Awards site.
The first-in-line to the throne’s affection for his grandchildren was laid bare last night on Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, a BBC documentary which celebrates Charles’s 70th birthday. A doting Prince Charles, whose birthday falls on November 14, was filmed gazing adoringly at Kate and Prince William’s youngest child, Prince Louis in the garden of Clarence House in September. Baby Cambridge, who was being held in his mother’s arms, was all giggles as his grandfather playfully clutched both his little hands.