The Duchess wore Catherine Walker as she joined HM at King’s College London today.
They were at KCL for the opening of Bush House, the newest education and learning facility on the campus.
Her Majesty is Patron of King’s College London. Below, the Duchess is greeted by former Prime Minister Sir John Major.
The pair toured the new facilities and met people who supported the development.
They spent time on one of two Roof Terraces.
As you can see, the location offers a terrific view of London.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 19, 2019
A lighthearted moment.
The pair watched a robotics demonstration.
They also saw a demonstration showing how sensors made from textiles can measure useful information about the body. Below, Kate speaking with students.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets students at @KingsCollegeLon — the university has played a major role in many of the advances that shape modern life, including the discovery of the structure of DNA. pic.twitter.com/HrYPMOU6JZ
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 19, 2019
HM and the Duchess as they started to wrap up the visit.
The Queen unveiled a plaque marking today’s visit.
The Queen and Duchess as they left King’s College.
Technically, this is Kate’s first official public engagement with HM where it is just the two of them. Previously she joined The Queen at Buckingham Palace for a preview of the way her wedding ensemble would be shown to the public.
The Duchess accompanied HM and the Duchess of Cornwall to Fortnum and Mason in March 2012.
She attended a Buckingham Palace reception with the Queen featuring the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
That was in February 2014.
The Duchess joined the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh when launching the Jubilee Tour in March 2012 in Leicester.
And she joined HM and Prince Philip for a March 2013 visit to Baker Street Station, part of London’s Underground.
So this was technically the Duchess’s first public engagement outside of the Palace with The Queen.
We have other news today: the Duchess has been named Patron of the Foundling Museum, where her second engagement was this afternoon. More on this news in a bit, but first, more about the Museum from a news release:
The Foundling Museum tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and public art gallery. The museum works with contemporary artists, writers and musicians to develop learning programmes that are meaningful for young people…
Kate during her 2017 visit to the museum.
Today the Duchess viewed the “Bedrooms of London” exhibit, described as documenting the “…living conditions of London’s most disadvantaged children.
More from The Daily Mail:
One of her guides, 20-year-old Callum, has lived in 14 different homes and told her he had selected a favourite photograph which featured a black bin liner because it represented his own experience of never feeling able to unpack his belongings.
You see Callum on the far left, below.
She met young adults who have been through the museum’s “Tracing Our Tales” program, an initiative that trains them to run creative workshops for visitors to the museum.
On the left above, Rohima Poosch, who was part of the original group of young people who started training in 2017. More from The Telegraph’s story by Hannah Furness.
In discussion with Rohima Poosch, 20, who is one of the major success stories of the programme and now works at the museum, the Duchess asked how she had heard about the traineeship and how it had helped her.
“Sometimes at museums there is a feeling, particularly for young people, going into museum spaces is quite intimidating,” the Duchess said. “They don’t know it’s for them.
“But when you step inside and see the different programmes going on, they realise [it’s for them].”
Her words echo those of Britain’s arts leaders, with major institutions working for years to overcome reputations of elitism or inaccessibility to encourage young people through their doors.
In today’s class, the focus was on block-printing techniques. Below, a closeup of Kate working on a piece.
The Duchess also delivered a brief speech at the Museum.
In her remarks, she spoke about art and what it can do for individuals.
Your work connects and celebrates two subjects that are deeply important to me: children, and art.
I have always believed in the power of art, not only to unlock that creativity, but also to bring us joy, and to inspire, challenge and positively change our lives.
“I have always believed in the power of art, not only to unlock that creativity, but also to bring us joy, and to inspire, challenge and positively change our lives.” — The Duchess of Cambridge @FoundlingMuseum pic.twitter.com/AJDP8FCYEg
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 19, 2019
As we mentioned, today it was announced the Duchess is the patron for the Foundling Museum. More from a news release.
Larissa Joy, Chair of Trustees – Foundling Museum, said: ‘We are delighted and honoured that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has become Patron of the Foundling Museum. We could not imagine a more perfect Patron. We look forward to working with her as we fulfil our mission to inspire people to make positive impact on society through the arts.’
Caro Howell, Director of the Foundling Museum, said: ‘The Foundling Museum is thrilled and honoured to receive The Duchess’s patronage. Her support is a huge boost to our work transforming the lives of vulnerable young people through the arts.’
One more photo of the Duchess at the Museum.
Now for what was worn to the day’s engagements. HM was wearing a Stewart Parvin ‘Old Rose’ cashmere coat and a silk dress of ‘autumnal woodland in shades of grey fuchsia & olive,’ per Emily Andrews of The Sun.
Her hat is by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, and if speculating on HM’s gloves, I would bet on Cornelia James.
The firm is glovemaker to the Queen, holding the Royal Warrant since 1978.
The Duchess was in a new Catherine Walker dress.
NOTE: The original information from the media was that this was a “coat dress,” but now that I have had time to look at the garment, especially hi-res photos, I think it is really a dress. You can see an invisible zipper on the back in some images. (I will keep looking for one that shows it better than the images I have.)
Initially, I thought it was the same design worn to church with HM and in Leicester last year. You can see the difference between the two garments below.
It has some resemblance to the Zeline dress, at least from the belt down; the box pleats are very similar. UPDATE MAR 20: The dress is also much like the Josie design, shown lower left.
Most specifically, the bodice, neckline and collar.
Another view of the dress as worn this afternoon.
The buttons appear to be covered in the same velvet material as the collar, and the sleeve has a marked flare. UPDATE MAR 20: I missed it yesterday, but there is more than a simple flare at the cuff, there is a pleat providing additional material. Another new tidbit: the velvet buttons on Kate’s dress pair perfectly with the velvet buttons on HM’s coat.
It looked like Kate carried her Bayswater clutch by Mulberry.
She wore her fairly new Gianvito Rossi ‘Piper 85’ suede pumps ($695).
If the Duchess’s hat looks familiar, you may recall its first appearance: the 2012 Jubilee Tour visit to Leicester shown above. It is the John Lock ‘Fairy Tale’ style.
Arguably it is Kate’s favorite chapeau, worn at least seven times when including today.
The Duchess also wore Kiki McDonough earrings. In some photos, they look like the Pink Morganite Cushion Drops (no longer available), and in others, they look like the White Topaz Cushion Drop Earrings (£1166, about $1545 at today’s exchange rates.)
This Royal Family Channel piece is focused on the Foundling Museum visit and runs about 4 minutes.
And this video covers the engagement with HM at King’s College London.
- Visit the Kings College London site here; the Facebook page is here; you can follow the Twitter feed here; an Instagram page is here
- The Foundling Museum website is here; the Facebook page is here; an Instagram page is here & Twitter feed here
- The Kensington Palace news release about today’s engagement and the patronage announcement is here
- The Daily Mail’s coverage by Rebecca English of the King’s College engagement is here; Rebecca’s Foundling Museum piece is here; a Daily Mirror story from Russell Myers on the King’s College engagement may be seen here; The Telegraph’s Foundling Museum piece by Hannah Furness is here
- Simon Perry’s People article is here; Town & Country’s slideshow is here; a Hello! piece is here; the Fug Girls post is here