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The Duchess Debuts a New Brand as She Helps Plant Children’s Hospice Garden

The Duchess helped plant a garden at The Nook Hospice last Thursday as part of Children’s Hospice Week.

The Nook is part of EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices). Kate’s history with EACH goes back to 2012; it was one of her four initial patronages. 

Emily Andrews of The Daily Mail tweeted a video of the Duchess arriving at The Nook. 

 Here you see her being given the rubber bracelet from Sonny Pope-Saunders.
 More from Emily Nash’s Hello story

Tracy Rennie, acting chief executive of EACH, told her: “Sonny’s got you a present!” as he held out a white wristband inscribed with his fundraising slogan “Sonny Smiles” for her to take. Crouching down to chat to him, Kate said: “Hi Sonny, Wow, is that for me? Thank you very much Sonny, am I allowed to take it? Are you going to give it to me later?” After handing it to her with a smile, she popped it straight onto her right wrist.

Kate with Sonny (far left) and his family (from left to right): mother Kelly, brother Hudson (8), father Jordan, and sister Star (11).

The Duchess’s bracelet.

Sonny’s family hoped to raise enough money through a Go Fund Me effort for him to go to Disneyland Paris, but that trip may no longer be an option.  Back to the Hello! story:

…mum Kelly… told Kate how she had taken her son to see the GP in February because he wasn’t himself. Within days he had been diagnosed with the difficult-to-treat brain tumour. 

“It all happened quite quickly,” said the Duchess, who looked visibly moved and shook her head as Kelly added: “And then lockdown hit.”

The family had planned to take Sonny to Disneyland Paris in April and had to postpone but as his illness is now more advanced, it may no longer be possible.

Below, Kate with Sonny, his father, and sister Star. 

Hannah Furness reports in her Telegraph story, “…the Duchess got her hands dirty teaching Star Pope-Saunders, 11, her brothers Hudson, eight, and six-year-old Sonny how to loosen roots from the new pots to replant them.”

More about the garden from Simon Perry’s People story

Once at the Nook, she worked for about an hour with a volunteer gardener, EACH staff and some families helped by the charity, to plant the garden using sensory plants including lavender, bay, and rosemary. The calming scene also has strawberry plants, herbs, geraniums, and hydrangeas in a lilac color scheme.

EACH reports the team used plants Kate bought when she visited Fakenham Garden Centre.

Back to Hannah Furness’s piece for The Telegraph

The Duchess of Cambridge this week turned her green-fingered talents on her local children’s hospice, planting a summer haven of strawberries, lavender and sensory herbs for families.

The Duchess….put the finishing touches to a newly-designed patio area and boost the spirits of children living at and visiting the hospice.

You may remember Kate speaking with the Delf family during a Zoom call the first of the week: Carla, 13-year-old Stuie, and Stuart.

The family lost 9-year-old Fraser Delf in January. While speaking with the family, the Duchess promised to plant a sunflower in memory of Fraser.  Yahoo reports, “The sunflower has been adopted as the emblem of hospice care, with the seeds representing the patients and the petals representing love, care and compassion.” Below, Stuie and Fraser Delf.

Here is the Duchess with the sunflower she planted for Fraser today.

Fraser’s mother was touched to learn about the sunflower. Russell Myers has more in this Daily Mirror piece:  

His mum Carla, 37, said: “I’m speechless. We are very touched as a family that she has done this and will be going to see Fraser’s sunflower when we can.

“Fraser was always quite girly, and he would have loved to have known a princess was planting a flower for him. He would be very honoured.”

It looks like Star Pope-Saunders helped with the sunflowers. 

Emily Andrews reports in The Daily Mail the Cambridge children are also growing sunflowers: “As they planted the seeds, Kate revealed that her children, George, six, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, are having a sunflower-growing competition. ‘Louis is winning so George is a little grumpy about that,’ she said.” 

The Duchess also spent time with Liam and Lisa Page and their baby, three-month-old Connor, born with severe brain damage.

The Duchess also thanked EACH staff while she was there, saying, “The care and the nurture that you provide children and families in the most unimaginable circumstances is just awe-inspiring.”  

Kate seemed to thoroughly enjoy her time at The Nook.

A quick review of Kate’s EACH involvement begins in March 2012 as she arrived for the official opening of The Treehouse, an EACH facility.

In 2014 the Nook, where Kate was on Thursday, was in planning stages: an architect’s rendering, fundraising goals, and a lot of hope.

The Duchess was part of the formal fundraising launch for the Nook in November 2014

Here you see her at the launch with the founder of Britain’s iconic Emma Bridgewater pottery. A line of Emma Bridgewater ceramic pieces was created and sold as a fundraiser for the Nook.

Other Nook campaign engagements included a visit to the Emma Bridgewater pottery factory to showcase the limited-edition items being used for the fundraising drive.
Another event was a black-tie fundraiser in June 2016.

That function was held at historic Houghton Hall.

In January 2017, the Duchess received an update on the Nook status when visiting an EACH hospice in Quidenham

She took part in an art therapy session with 6-year-old Isabella Benton (above) and heard the latest on the Nook’s progress.

And then the Duchess was back for the official opening of the Nook in November 2019

She toured the new facility and spent time with patients and their families before delivering remarks. 

As I mentioned in Tuesday’s post, the financial impact of the pandemic has been dreadful for children’s hospices, as well as non-profits around the world. More on the repercussions EACH is facing from this April background piece

We are experiencing a devastating drop in income as our shops are closed and the vast majority of our supporters’ fundraising activities and our own events are cancelled or postponed. In the next 12 weeks alone, our loss of income is expected to be around £1,800,000.

We have had no choice but to suspend our planned care activities; including short breaks, wellbeing therapies, groups and events, face-to-face counselling and our Help at Home volunteering service.

The charity launched a COVID-19 emergency fundraising appeal in April. Click here to visit the Just Giving page for that fundraiser.   

A financial sidebar from another of Kate’s patronages: Action on Addiction announced The Brink Café would not be re-opening. You may remember Kate was on hand when the alcohol-free bar and café first opened back on Valentine’s Day 2012.  More from Action on Addiction

We are very sorry to announce that as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19, The Brink Café in Parr Street, Liverpool, will not reopen when the government’s restrictions ease. Like many people and organisations, Action on Addiction, which has continued to support The Brink Café since its inception in 2011, has been adversely affected by Covid-19.

This is, however, a very sad moment for Action on Addiction. We are humbled by the strength of feeling that exists in relation to The Brink Café and would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt messages of support. 

Now for our look at what Kate wore last Thursday. 

She was in the Marie-Louise Midi Dress ($189) by Faithfull the Brand.

Done in the label’s Nefili Floral Print, the handmade, hand-dyed & hand-printed piece is 100% rayon.  It features a vee-neck and faux front closure with self-covered buttons, a shirred panel to define the waist, puffed sleeves with rows of elastic at the cuff, an invisible back zipper, and a floaty A-line skirt. A closer look at the details.

The dress is available in limited sizes at Net-a-Porter ($189); as well as at Faithfull ($189); it is on sale at The Iconic (AUD $149.25, about $102).  Many thanks to Sophie for her quick ID of the dress!  

The print is also featured in the Mid-Summer Mini Dress ($169 AUD, about $115 at today’s exchange rates) and the Cuesta Midi Skirt ($159). 

Faithfull The Brand is based in Bali, Indonesia. It was started in 2012 by two friends, Australian Sarah-Jane Abrahams and Norwegian Helle Them-Enger.  More from this Harper’s Bazaar story

When it came to setting up the business, Indonesia was the obvious destination, Them-Enger says: “It was where we met and where the idea for Faithfull came about. It was a natural place to begin our business.”

Choosing Bali as the base allowed the company to give opportunities and support to local artisans and to communities who eventually became very closely linked with the business.

“It is important to us that we know how our products are made and who is making them. We want to keep a personal connection with each and every one of our employees to ensure they are well taken-care of. By being based in Indonesia and working so closely with these local communities, we are able to support and encourage local artisans to create beautiful handmade products.”

Kate brought back her Coco-nut Espadrilles (£135, about $167 at today’s exchange rates) from Russell and Bromley. 

And we saw her Twisted Circle Drop Earrings (£5) by UK brand Accessorize. 

We’ll leave with this photo of the Duchess. 

NOTE: 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.”  Again, no comment, please on mask policies; that is not something I want to litigate in this space. Many thanks in advance for your help with this!


The Royal Family Channel has 3-minutes+ of the garden planting at The Nook. 

Here is 1:10 of raw video from ITV. 

 This April piece from EACH explains the financial crisis the charity is facing because of the impact of the coronavirus. It runs about 1:45. 


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Friday 3rd of July 2020

Echoing a lot of comments here but:

The dress is lovely. I've often had my eye on dresses from that brand but have never taken the plunge on one, they look perfect for hot and humid NYC summers.

Kate looks very well, very tan and healthy, she's clearly been enjoying the outdoors.

It kills me that R&B doesn't ship outside the UK, they have so many fabulous shoes.


Thursday 2nd of July 2020

By the way, I've loved your coverage of Kate's fashion and all the flashbacks, it's been such a breath of fresh air since the pandemic started. I appreciate you always being diplomatic and trying to strike the right balance with delicate issues.

Anyways I like the intention behind this event. Kate's dress is a pretty generic and bland floral but it makes sense given that she is there to help with planting and to talk to kids. It is cheery and bright and while not memorable, a fun summer dress. I don't like the wedges paired with the dress, they do not go with the look at all but Kate's forté has never been shoes I've noticed. Her hair looks really good here. No wayward random curls and nice and sleek. It also looks recently cut.


Wednesday 1st of July 2020

I am quite certain that Kate is the only woman in the world that could come out of quarantine thinner, tanner, with better hair, and make that dress look good. She’s beyond incredible.


Thursday 16th of July 2020

Dee, Well said.


Tuesday 30th of June 2020

Absolutely love the straight hair!


Tuesday 30th of June 2020

Love the hair, the tan, the dress, the shoes... she looks 10 years younger. This just seems more Kate which should be more of the time.

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