The Duchess chose a dress by Beulah London for an afternoon tea party.
To celebrate the NHS’s 72nd birthday, the Duke and Duchess attended the party at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, located about 20-25 minutes from Anmer Hall.
More about the NHS origins from Historic UK.
On the 5th July 1948 an historic moment occurred in British history, a culmination of a bold and pioneering plan to make healthcare no longer exclusive to those who could afford it but to make it accessible to everyone. The NHS was born.
Today’s party was the couple’s first joint engagement in person since the lockdown began back in March. A video of the Duke and Duchess shortly after they arrived.
— The QEH King’s Lynn (@TeamQEH) July 5, 2020
Kate and William sanitizing their hands before joining the party.
This afternoon’s tea also celebrated Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s 40th anniversary. A look at some of the festive decorations before the party.
More from The Lynn News.
…Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital got a very special visit when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came in person to say thanks to staff.
The founding of the NHS is dated to June 5, 1948, making this the 72nd anniversary.
In this tumultuous year Kate arrived wearing an appropriately coloured outfit, light blue, the colour of the National Health Service.
In addition to marking the anniversaries, the couple also wanted to thank staff who continue to offer vital support in response to COVID-19. Below, Kate and William chat with Dr. Frankie Swords, the hospital’s medical director.
The British Monarchy’s social media sites noted: “Whether you are existing staff, former staff members who came out of retirement, volunteers or key workers – we thank you for the resilience, perseverance and hope you’ve shown our nation.” And this is from the KensingtonPalace Twitter feed.
Today we mark the 72nd birthday of the NHS, in a year when it was needed more than ever as the nation responds to COVID-19.Whether you are existing staff, former staff members who came out of retirement, volunteers or key workers – we thank you for the resilience, perseverance and hope you’ve shown our nation.
Listening to stories from staff.
Below, you see the Duke and Duchess seated across from nurse Suzie Vaughan; she worked on the COVID Intensive Treatment Unit and COVID Emergency Department.
More about the Vaughans from this June story in The Telegraph:
Suzie Vaughan, 43, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, surprised Hettie, seven, and Bella, nine, after spending more than two months away from them while she worked on the front line of the health crisis.
The children have been staying with Ms Vaughan’s sister, Charlotte.
Ms Vaughan told the PA news agency: “We had said it was only going to be for a maximum of a month, but nobody knew at the beginning of this how it was going to go.
In this video, you see Ms. Vaughan and her girls when they were finally reunited.
Just in case you missed it. Here’s the girls being reunited with Mummy after 9 weeks of being away so she could help save lives. Please feel free to share x pic.twitter.com/KhPGNAqwD8
— Charlotte Savage (@Lottsoflove21) June 2, 2020
Below, Ms. Vaughan and her daughters before today’s party.
We learn the family’s reaction to meeting Kate and William via this Shropshire Star article.
Afterwards, Ms Vaughan said: “It was amazing to see the them both. I told them about being away from the girls for so long.
“They asked how I coped away from them for so long. He said how amazed he was. That felt amazing.”
Hettie added: “It was fun. I told her I had never met a real princess before. And she said she was as pleased to meet me as I was to meet her.
“I told her how proud I was of my mummy.”
A video of the royals at today’s party via Richard Palmer of The Express.
It doesn’t get more British than attending an afternoon tea party to mark the 72nd anniversary of our National Health Service, the jewel in Britain’s Crown. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, to thank staff for their work. pic.twitter.com/6scWrE04Vh
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) July 5, 2020
Another view of the party.
The duo was given gifts from the staff for George, Charlotte, and Louis. The Shropshire Star reports they are “…three small Knitted Angels keyrings of doctors and nurses which were made by hospital staff.”
They brought a giggle to Kate’s face.
A closer look at the Knitted Angels, which look darling.
There have been observances celebrating the 72nd anniversary for several days. National landmarks were bathed in blue light as part of the “Light It Blue” campaign honoring the service. Below, the Round Tower at Windsor Castle.
The iconic London Eye.
This afternoon there was also a Clap for our Carers observance, which the Cambridges took part in privately. We have seen them clapping before; below, mark the occasion on April 23rd.
Following today’s party, the hospital’s medical director, Dr. Frankie Swords, said, “They came. They saw. They were incredibly friendly and interested, and it was our absolute pleasure to meet them.”
Now for our look at what Kate wore to this afternoon’s tea.
She was in the Beulah London Shalini Midi Dress (most recently sold at £130).
The dress is 100% silk crepe de chine; the fabric was digitally printed in Italy, while the dress itself was constructed in England. It is midi-length with a contrasting white point collar and cuffs, concealed front placket, fitted waist, flared skirt, and self-belt. A closer look at the cuff and placket.
There are also epaulets on the shoulders.
There were comments on the Facebook page about today’s dress being similar to the Alessandra Rich worn when Kate visited Bletchley Park in May of last year. Here is a side-by-side view of the two garments.
Kate wore pumps that look like her Rupert Sanderson’ Malory’ heels, as best I can tell.
We finally have a good closeup of the earrings that were a challenge to identify back in May until Martina suggested they were by Patrick Mavros.
It appears they are the Ocean Tides Milky Quartz in 18ct gold ($3049) style. We thought they were the Smokey Quartz style but can now see the difference with the closeup photo.
My favorite part about today’s engagement was seeing the Vaughan family again. I remember watching the video shown above when it happened in early June and my ongoing amazement in seeing another example of the dedication and sacrifices being made all over the world by essential workers.
We’ll leave you with one more photo from the day.
A gentle reminder that we need to avoid the pitfalls and politics of discussing national health services, either in support of, or opposition to, nationalized healthcare.
ITN’s Royal Family Channel offers about 3:30 of raw video from today’s function.
- The Mirror’s story is here; the Shropshire Star piece is here; The Telegraph’s article is here; The Evening Standard’s story and gallery are here; The Daily Mail’s story is here; The Express coverage is here;
- A Harper’s Bazaar piece is here; Hello’s article is here; People’s story is here
- The hospital’s coverage of today’s party is here; A BBC piece about the Vaughans is here
- For a Hello! story showing Princess Mary in the dress, click here