The Duchess did her first public engagement since March when she visited a local garden center yesterday.
She went to the Fakenham Garden Centre not far from the family’s country home, Anmer Hall.
More from this Hello! story by Emily Nash.
Keen gardener Kate wanted to encourage people to visit local businesses as they start to reopen. She said: “I’ve been food shopping, but I have to say I haven’t been out a huge amount more but it’s good and so important, now as things start to ease, people know they can go out and particularly to places like this.”
The Duchess said George loves playing with Venus fly trap plants and that he and his siblings have been growing tomato plants at home. “They were very excited to grow them from seeds and now they’re as tall as them,” she added.
The visit is part of a coordinated effort to boost small business. This morning, Prince William visited a local bakery.
More about the visit from Simon Perry’s People article.
For his part, William headed to Smiths the Bakers early on Friday. At the bakery, which has been serving King’s Lynn for 50 years and reopened on June 15 after 11 weeks of closure, William spoke to members of staff about how the coronavirus restrictions have impacted on the family-run business.
And he was told how the business had to furlough a number of staff members but also how it adapted its business model during lockdown by operating a delivery service to local residents. It has also been selling new lines of products to meet the demand for baking ingredients such as flour and sugar.
And in her role as Patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, HM released a statement today.
Returning to Prince William’s bakery excursion, here is a look at the cake he was presented with in honor of his 38th birthday tomorrow.
The Duke chatted with the bakery owners about life at home. The Daily Mail’s Emily Andrews shares more via Twitter.
Below, the Duchess speaking with the garden center’s owners, Martin and Jennie Turner.
The center reopened in mid-May, and Kate heard from the Turners about the challenges they experienced dealing with the pandemic.
Hannah Furness reports in the Daily Telegraph that Mr. Turner, “…told her about some of the difficulties…the last three months, having to shut completely for a time, furlough 15 out of 50 staff and make redundancies….”.
But the Turners say business has been good since they reopened. We return to The Telegraph article:
“There’s been a massive upsurge hasn’t there as people have been spending so much time outdoors and in their gardens,” said the Duchess.
She was delighted when Mr Turner told her that they had seen a lot of people who had never gardened before.
“Really?’ she smiled. ‘That’s great. And now people have the time to do it.”
The Turners also spoke about some of the operating changes they have made as a result of the pandemic.
This was a terrific choice for a return to in-person engagements.
The Duchess’s love of the outdoors and gardening is well known.
The Daily Mail’s Emily Andrews shared this photo of the Duchess doing a little shopping and talking with another customer.
Emily tweeted that the Duchess “….also chatted to customers – who had no idea who she was until she spoke!”
And Emily also posted a quick video of Kate at the garden center.
And Kate also browsed the herb? section as they have been particularly difficult to get hold of in the UK during lockdown.Apparently there has also been a run on compost.The garden centre has had a tough time, having to furlough & make redundancies, so Kate bought ? to support. pic.twitter.com/0z0mQU8BQs
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) June 19, 2020
Another view of the Duchess.
As a refresher, the last public outing for Kate was back on March 19 when the Cambridges visited a London Ambulance call center.
Now for our look at what Kate wore yesterday.
She had on a new vest by Fjällräven, the Women’s Sormland Padded Vest ($217) in the Dark Olive colorway.
The piece is made of polyester and Fjällräven’s G-1000 fabric. It features two front bellows pockets with flaps, a snap front, and a pocket on the back. Our thanks to Irish Sara for her speedy identification of the vest. Thanks also to Emily Andrews and KatiesRoyalLove, they were just moments behind Sara.
Beneath the vest, Kate appeared to have on her Jaeger Linen Shirt in aqua.
The garment is 100% linen with three-quarter sleeves, tabs to keep the rolled-up sleeves in place, a back yoke, and a button-front. If interested, I added some repliKates here.
The piece was first noted in images released last year of the Duchess working on her Back to Nature Garden.
These close-ups of the cuffs show the tab that is used to keep the rolled-up sleeves in place.
It looks like the Duchess also wore Massimo Dutti, the brand’s Skinny Fit High-Rise Satin Trousers ($69.90).
The trousers are made of a cotton/lyocell blend with a polished finish, five pockets, zip front, belt loops, and a snug fit. The product description points out the fabric is “TENCEL®Lyocell…. made of wood sourced from sustainably managed forests that guarantee reforestation.” Many thanks to Innominate for this ID.
We saw the return of Kate’s Superga Cotu sneakers in the ‘Sherwood Gum’ colorway.
The shoes are available at End Clothing ($65 with import duties paid & $9.99 FedEx shipping to the US) and also at the Superga UK site ($59 but shipping to the US is $25). One note about sizing comes via WKW Facebook friend Katie; she bought both the Sherwood Gum and white Cotu sneakers and says, “they run large so you might think about ordering the size below your normal one.”
It was terrific seeing the Duchess out and about!
For anyone wondering, masks are not required in England except for specific circumstances (public transport, hospitals); they “are encouraged in certain situations where social distancing is more difficult, such as in small shops.” (Let’s refrain from commenting about face masks policies; that is not a path I want to go down in this space. Many thanks in advance for your help with this!)
Channel 5 News put together a video of both the Duke and Duchess out shopping. It runs about 3:20.