We are back with a quick post on the special broadcast A Berry Royal Christmas. The program aired tonight on BBC One.
We wrote about it earlier this month, a holiday-themed show featuring the Duke and Duchess with the iconic chef.
From the BBC’s release about the broadcast:
This one-off treat offers a unique look into charities that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge support. Mary Berry accompanies them on four special visits. Throughout the programme Mary also cooks some of her favourite Christmas recipes for viewers to try out at home, as she helps prepare the festive food for a very royal event to thank all those working and volunteering over the Christmas period.
As mentioned, there is a focus on charities the Duke and Duchess support and Ms. Berry accompanies William on a visit to The Passage (shown above), the UK’s largest resource center for homeless people. William is the charity’s Royal Patron. This video from Kensington Palace shows a portion of the Passage segment from the program.
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“It had a profound impact on me.” — The Duke of Cambridge on the visits he made in his youth to the @PassageCharity with his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. Established in 1980, The Passage has helped over 130,000 people in crisis through its resource centre, homelessness prevention projects and two innovative accommodation services. The Duke first visited The Passage as a child in 1993 with his mother, and has made additional visits at various points over the last twenty-five years — in February 2019 he became Royal Patron of the Passage. Watch The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge join Mary Berry for #ABerryRoyalChristmas on @BBCOne at 8.30pm on Monday 16th December.
The Daily Mail reports that “Prince William has revealed that he talks to Prince George and Princess Charlotte about the plight of homeless people they see on the streets on their way into school and ask him ‘why can’t they go home.'”
Mary also joined Kate for a visit to The Brink, an alcohol-free bar in Liverpool.
At one point in the show, Mary can be seen rustling up a non-alcoholic cocktail and asks the Duchess to take the drinks over to guests during the engagement. Kate then remarks: “Reminds me of my university days when I did a bit of waitressing.” “Were you good?” asks Mary, to which the Duchess laughs and replies: “No, I was terrible!”
Below, the Duchess during the Liverpool visit.
There are other tidbits about the Cambridge children included. In one segment William is asked about Prince George’s wish list for Father Christmas and he responds, “He loves his drawing – he’s a very good drawer. We might get him something for drawing. Or football. He is loving his football as well.”
More about the children via this Telegraph story:
We gained some endearing insights, too, into the Cambridges’ life at home. Prince George keeps a little “museum” of treasures he collects, including a crab’s claw; Princess Charlotte loves Charlotte potatoes; best of all, one of Prince Louis’s first words was “Mary”, due to a Berry cookbook being at toddler height in the kitchen.
In this video released by Kensington Palace, you hear the Duchess talking about the children and discussing the benefits of being outdoors for all children.
“Being outside and being in nature is such a great environment for children to learn lifelong skills.” — The Duchess of Cambridge on her work in the Early Years sector. #ABerryRoyalChristmas pic.twitter.com/HEFGCrBNhb
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 16, 2019
The Duchess also speaks about a family birthday tradition. More from this Hello! story: “I love making the cake,” she shared. “It’s become a bit of a tradition that I stay up ’til midnight with ridiculous amounts of cake mix and icing and I make far too much. But I love it.”
The family’s vegetable garden is also discussed. More from People’s coverage of the special:
“We grow our own vegetables,” Kate told TV chef and baker Mary Berry in their upcoming TV special, adding: “We’ve got carrots, beans, beetroot — a massive favorite — Louis absolutely loves beetroot,” the royal mom revealed in the upcoming BBC show..
Inspired by Louis’ love of beets, Berry makes a beetroot and chocolate cake during the one-hour show. “I want to create a recipe with the young prince in mind,” said the much-loved British baker…
In a fitting tribute, Kate also revealed that her 4-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte likes a certain crop of their potatoes. “Charlotte obviously likes her Charlotte potatoes,” she says with a smile. (Charlotte potatoes are the most popular salad potato in the U.K. — and similar to new potatoes with their creamy texture.)
The Duchess and Ms.Berry taped some of the show at the RHS Wisley show when the Duchess hosted the final opening of her Back to Nature Garden.
The program culminates with a Christmas party thanking staff and volunteers from various charities, with special appreciation going to those who will be helping others by working during the holidays. The Duke and Duchess face off in a contest making meringue roulades to be served at the party. Each had expert help: Prince William worked with Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain and the Duchess had assistance from Mary Berry. Below, Kate hard at work.
More from a fun Daily Mirror story, “William and Kate both hilariously caught cheating during Mary Berry baking challenge”:
Before the bake-off, William joked: “I’ve made hundreds of roulades, loads. I’m going to write a book about roulades and it’ll be a bestseller.”
William, 37, and Kate, 37, had to make meringue roulades – where a sheet of meringue is covered in a cream filling and rolled up – for a TV special, as they held a party for emergency workers who will be on duty on Christmas Day.
Both William and Kate were caught cheating during the challenge, in a bid to beat each other. Prince William got his expert helper, former Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, 34, to assist him in rolling up his roulade “while Mary’s not looking”.
Kate, meanwhile, broke the rules by sprinkling icing sugar on her creation after the time set for the challenge had ended.
Here you see the foursome and their finished creations.
And another view of Kate with one of the roulades.
The program isn’t all laughter and gaiety. I liked Rachel Thompson’s review of the show for Mashable; this portion focuses on the program addressing the harsh reality that the holidays are not filled with happiness for everyone.
This time of year can be tough for people who’ve lost family members. Instead of glossing over the grief and sadness that can come with this time of year, Berry acknowledges it head on and talks about her own personal struggles. “Prince William lost his mother at a very vulnerable age,” Berry says on her way to meet up with the Duke. “We lost our son, aged 19, in a car accident. So we know what it is to be without someone very special.”
“Christmas, for us, holds mixed emotions and I try to think of others who might not be having the best time,” says Berry
But there’s a lesson in this episode that’s not difficult to spot: Christmas isn’t just about delicious food and presents, it’s about family, it’s about helping people, and sometimes it’s about loss.
Some of the other organizations taking part in the program: Nursing Now, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, London Air Ambulance, Action on Addiction (the parent charity for The Brink), Centrepoint, Royal Marsden Hospital, Child Bereavement UK.
As of this point, there do not appear to be any plans to show the program elsewhere. The broadcast is on YouTube in its entirety, although this doesn’t look like an official BBC post, so it may disappear at any point. UPDATE TUESDAY MORNING: The content is now blocked.
Now for our look at what Kate wore in A Berry Royal Christmas.
In the majority of the program, we see Kate wearing the “Pleated Polka Dot & Petals Silk Print Dress” by Alessandra Rich. The piece as worn by the Duchess has some minor modifications.
The dress Kate’s frock is based on is available in limited sizes at Net-a-Porter ($970), in sizes 36 and 44 at Matches Fashion ($952) and also in sizes 36 and 40 at Moda Operandi ($1164). There are more details on the look in our original post on the program.
Until this afternoon we did not know what Kate was wearing in the footage from Liverpool. It turns out she is in a Massimo Dutti style, the label’s High Neck Dress with Belt. The knit dress is a blend of viscose, polyester, and polyamide.
The midi-length design features an A-line silhouette, ribbed top and plain skirt, side bodice inserts, and a turtleneck neckline. Kate has replaced the belt that came with the dress with one of her own belts. Here is a closer look at the piece, with an arrow highlighting the inserts on the side of the bodice. (I digitally lightened the photos to better show the details.)
If I understand the exchange rate properly, the RSD $12990 (Serbian Dinar) is roughly $125 in US dollars. A big thank you to CopyKate on eBay for her identification of the dress, and to Emma (@Emma4AboutRoyal) for sharing screengrabs of the Duchess in the dress. Kate has replaced the belt that came with the dress with one of her own belts.
In video of Kate in the Alessandra Rich dress, it looks like she could be wearing the Queen’s diamond and pearl earrings that are on loan to her. We show them below as worn on Kate’s 2016 solo visit to the Netherlands when they were first noted.
If I’m not mistaken, the consensus after initial media coverage of the broadcast was that the Duchess was wearing the UFO hoops in two-tone metal.
We will be back Wednesday when we hope to see photos of the Cambridges arriving at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Christmas luncheon!