The Duchess returned to a favorite dress in a new video marking Australia’s Thank a First Responder Day.
This is the first year the day is being celebrated in Australia.
The special day is being managed by Fortem Australia, a non-profit “focused on improving the mental health and wellbeing of those who protect, defend, and care for our communities.” In the video, William speaks about the tireless efforts by first responders to protect communities from Australia’s deadly wildfires, saying “The world was watching your efforts, and we were deeply moved by what we saw.”
The Duchess then speaks:
Sadly, you’re now on the front line of yet another emergency.
The COVID-19 outbreak has brought first responders across Australia together again.
Day in, day out paramedics, police, firefighters and support staff work tirelessly to keep everybody safe, often risking not only their physical health, but also their mental wellbeing.
Here is the full 1:18 video.
Kate adds that first responders “all deserve our huge thanks” and William sends best wishes and thanks.
Kate brought the dress back at Wimbledon 2016 as she watched Serena Williams take on Elena Vesnina. The colorblocked dress showcased a square neckline, inset fabric panels, and elbow-length sleeves.
The Ryedale is from the spring/summer 2014 collection. Crafted of 100% wool crepe, it is lined in a silk/cotton blend. The dress also incorporates many features Kate is fond of in a dress: the off-center slit at the hem on the front, exposed back zipper, and defined waistline.
Can you spot the distinctions between the off-the-rack design and Kate’s dress?
The Duchess had the neckline squared off, instead of the round neckline you see above. She also had a significant amount of fabric taken out of the belled sleeves, and the colors were ‘reversed’ so that what is white in the photo above is yellow, what is yellow becomes white. This is also the dress about which Kate said, “William said I look like a banana.”
The Duchess in 2014, 2016, and again today.
You may have noticed she also brought back her Catherine Zoraida Fern Drop Earrings (£165/$202), shown below when worn during a previous engagement.
Also today, word that the Duchess has joined other royal women in making calls to people who are elderly, self-isolating, or in other vulnerable circumstances, through a Royal Voluntary Service program; the Duchess of Cornwall is that organization’s President.
More from this People story.
The Duchess of Cambridge — along with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex — has been participating in the volunteer organization’s “check-in and chat” initiative.
One of the calls Kate placed was to Donna Williams, a 42-year-old mother of two who is currently keeping her daughter Alessandra, who has a rare form of Type 1 Diabetes, safe and healthy.
The calls were made in advance of the annual Volunteers Week in the UK, held June 1 -7. The Daily Mail notes in this story that the RVS “is in charge of organising the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who opted to help the NHS during the pandemic. The scheme has now completed its 250,000th task and is averaging 7,000 jobs a day…”.
It looks like the Duchess has been busy going through photos being submitted for the Hold Still photography project that was launched in early May. You may remember the endeavor asks UK residents to document life in lockdown, submitting photos that fit in one of three themes: Acts of Kindness, Helpers and Heroes, and Your New Normal. 100 photos will be selected for a virtual Hold Still exhibition next summer.
This week eagle-eyed followers noted that the Duchess was leaving personal comments on some of the photo submissions shared on Instagram. Below, an image from the Muswell Hill page, showcasing pictures from that north London suburb. The photo was taken by photographer Zoe Norfolk, who is doing a series of lockdown portraits. You see the text describing the photo, the photo, and then the comment, distinguished by the ‘C’ for Catherine.
If wondering about the word ‘allotment,’ that is akin to a ‘community garden’ in the USA, referencing a small piece of land rented to a person(s) so they can grow food.
This terrific image was shared on AnnaFMehta’s Instagram page.
Here is one more, this one was posted on Instagram by EsmeandFlo.
I chose the rainbow as the final image because, well, we all could use a rainbow right now. Any sign of hope, especially here in the US. This post has been finished for some time but I waffled on whether I should hit ‘publish’ or not. I am doing so, but want to raise the flag that I feel I’m getting close to the it-doesn’t-feel-appropriate line as the level of trauma and devastation increases every day. Let me know your thoughts.
I am sending a hug to everyone in the WKW family coping with lockdown, loss, and anxiety about the future.
- a Town and Country story about the call is here; the Daily Mail’s piece is here; an Express article is here
- The Daily Mail’s piece on the Duchess’s Hold Still comments is here; an Evening Standard piece about it is here