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The Duchess Mixes Old & New for London Engagements

The Cambridges have returned to London from Anmer Hall, their country home. Today they carried out several engagements in London.

The Duke and Duchess wanted to hear firsthand the ways local communities have faced the challenges created by lockdown over the last six months and also “shine a light on individuals who have gone above and beyond to help others during this extraordinary time” per a Kensington Palace news release. 

Their first stop was the London Bridge Jobcentre

More from The Telegraph’s story by Hannah Furness

At the Jobcentre, they met Afef Ben Khaled, who lost her job in a commercial bank in May when her contract was not renewed.  

When the duchess asked her:  “Are a lot of your colleagues who were made redundant at the same time as you, are they finding themselves in the same situation?” Miss Khaled replied:  “Another colleague of mine who was made redundant thought they [employer] are using the Covid-19 as an excuse. Sorry to be direct with you, but this is the reality.” 

The Duchess speaking with job seekers.



Afef Ben Khaled said after the visit that “For me, it’s so important that the Duke and Duchess come and hear about what is going on and hear what is happening in their country. People are going through difficulties. It was important to be frank and tell them life is not great for everyone. We’re not all living in castles, some people are really struggling, with their mental health too.”

More on the visit from The Express

They spoke to community engagement manager for Keltbray, Lloyd Graham, who told them how the construction company is involved in the demolition of some local buildings for the redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle area.

William said: “The children, especially Louis would love to come and watch that, to see the diggers, they love it.”

But Kate added: “Don’t forget Charlotte! She’d love it too.

The pair then traveled to the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel. 

The royals met volunteers who have been helping by delivering hot meals, medication, and hygiene packs to vulnerable members of the community.

Financial Support for some of this work is provided by the National Emergencies Trust; William is the patron of that organization.

Kensington Palace notes that in addition to delivering those critical supplies, “the team have also been providing befriending calls to the isolated, vulnerable and elderly and critical counselling, including supporting women affected by domestic violence.”

We return to The Telegraph’s coverage: 

The mosque’s senior Imam Mohamed Mahoud brought up the issue of mental health – championed by the couple through their Heads together campaign – and said afterwards: “I highlighted the issue of people increasingly needing support with their mental health – the Muslim community as well as the rest of the UK who have been horrifically affected by the pandemic in terms of losing jobs and livelihoods.” 

He added that the visit by the royal couple had real importance for East London’s Muslims: “It’s an incredibly significant visit.”  

The final engagement was at the renowned Beigel Bake Bakery. Rebecca English reports in her Daily Mail story that “As the couple arrived, the employees cheered in delight.” 

More from Rebecca’s story

‘We are so excited to come to your famous shop,’ William told Amnon Cohen, 70, one of the co-founders, who started it with his late brother, Asher Cohen.

‘We’ve been here 41 years, thank you for coming,’ Mr Cohen told him proudly.

The couple were slightly muffled through their masks but waved at the ladies behind the shop counter, Fiona McVeagh, 64, who has worked there for 33 years, and Dalia Urbanik, 43, who has been there for 16.

‘We are so happy to see you,’ shouted Fiona.

More on the impact of the pandemic on the bakery from The Scotland Herald

Mr Cohen said later: “We had to furlough our staff. Fortunately we were later able to slowly expand our hours again and are now open 24 hours again. It’s steady, we are serving. But it’s not like it was before. It’s definitely quieter.”

Elias said the business had been helped by the fact that they had already started working on a home delivery app and have been working with a food donation programme, Feast, to distribute unsold bagels.

Prince William asked what made the bakery’s bagels so good, and also asked if they had any problems with their supply chain during the lockdown.

The Duke and Duchess were then shown how the bagels are made.

Having a look at how everything goes together, with thanks to Rebecca English for her photos.

The royals then tried making some.

Both were given big pieces of dough weighing roughly 7 pounds to be kneaded into round balls.  That ball should then make about 30 bagels.

More from Emily Nash in her Hello! story

As the Duke put the finishing touches to his dough ball, Elias Cohen, whose father Amnon founded the bakery in 1974, said: “Not bad. I think Kate wins!”

“We’ll go with that,” replied the future king, laughing as he placed his dough on a tray for shaping. “The usual story.”

As they continued to work on the dough, the Duchess laughed: “Just wait until you see the aftermath! I had beginner’s luck. They are getting worse!”

Roya Nikkhah of The Sunday Times shared a video on Twitter. 

 The individual bagels are then created.

The Daily Mirror reports: 

After impressing with their rolling skills, Fiona joked: “You’re after my job!”

She later said: “They are pretty good, especially her. She’d clearly knows how to bake.”

Those are placed into a larger container to be boiled.

A quick video from Emily Andrews of The Daily Mail

 A look at the Duke and Duchess as they were leaving the bakery. 

After the visit, “a tearful Amnon said the royal visit was the ‘proudest moment of my life’ according to The Evening Standard’s story

Now for our look at what Kate wore for the day’s engagements. 

She brought back the Calla Dress by Beulah London (£550, $721). 100% silk with a cotton collar, the piece features a shirt dress silhouette with a concealed front placket, A-line skirt, and slender back tie.

The Duchess elected to tie the belt in front.

We first saw the dress worn during a May video call kicking off Mental Health Awareness Week in May. 

Kate debuted a new pair of shoes today. They look like they are by Ralph Lauren, the retailers’ Celia style ($675).

The Celia is a classic point-toe pump in calfskin with a 4.1″ heel. Thank you to Middleton Maven for this shoe ID. 

Kate brought back a handbag we first noted during the final day of the Poland/Germany tour, an Anya Hindmarch clutch. Below left you see it as used today; on the right, the bag when the Duchess carried it in Germany in July 2017.

It is made of lizard skin, measure roughly 6″ x 10″, and has goldtone hardware. A ‘thank you’ to Lady Parky and Valerie Nijssen for their help refreshing my memory on the handbag.  

Kate also sported a new pair of earrings by Missoma. It looks like she was wearing the Rhodochrosite Gold Mini Pyramid Charm Hoops ($110).

They are 18ct Gold Vermeil on Sterling Silver with Rhodochrosite, described as featuring a “crystal that radiates love, compassion and all-around good vibes.” Many thanks to Regal RepliKate and Courtney Flower on Twitter for their earring ID! 

Kate has worn Missoma before, during the Pakistan tour last November

That style was the London-based jeweler’s Zenyu chandelier hoops ($149.). 

Kate wore the Amaia Kids mask we have seen previously. 

Our standard reminder this isn’t a place for a debate on face mask policies.  The couple adhered to the current UK policy on all three engagements today.   


Here is the Royal Family Channel’s video from the Jobcentre visit. 

And from the Mosque engagement.

Along with coverage of the Bakery visit. 



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Sunday 11th of October 2020

That was a lot of different engagements to have to dress appropriately for: first you are meeting people struggling with unemployment, so something too high fashion is out of the question; then visiting a mosque, where it would be disrespectful to show a lot of skin; then heading to a bakery and having a go in the kitchen. I think Kate's choice was absolutely appropriate for all of three. The midi/tea-length dresses that are in style right now have sometimes been described as reminiscent of the depression era, which is not a dissimilar situation many people find themselves in now. The fitted sleeves were ideal for baking. The fit and colours of this dress make it one of Kate's nicer dresses in this style, IMO. I am, however, not crazy about the shoes as they don't really seem to go with any part of the outfit. Something in a cream tone that brought out the lighter hue of the dress could have been great!

I love Beigel Bake, I always make an effort to go there when I find myself on Brick Lane. How lovely to see Will and Kate pay them a visit, the employees and founder really seemed to feel the appreciation. :)


Thursday 24th of September 2020

I don't like midi floral frumpy dresses kate seems to own alot of them!I also don't like the colour of the shoes or the fit her mask is pretty though and her hair.

Jack Bing

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

I admire that Kate has worn the same mask for every engagement since it became necessary to wear one. It shows that you don't need a different bespoke mask to coordinate with every outfit, which I have noticed some European Royals doing.


Sunday 20th of September 2020

It is so nice to see Kate and William out and about. I’m sure it means so much to small, local businesses when they visit, or when individuals are recognized for their non-profit work. I wish someone Royal would show up at my workplace in fancy clothes to tell me I was doing a good job! Positive reinforcement :-)

I think Kate’s dress is gorgeous, although I know other people are tired of these long-sleeved, button-front midi dresses. She certainly owns a lot of them! That being said, I think this Beulah dress stands out from the crowd of (many) other midis because it fits like a dream, and has gorgeous, sharp details like the contrasting red and white, the beautiful lace cuffs and the pointed collar. I DO wish Kate had worn her hair up 1) so we could see the collar detail better and 2) because she was working with food, but that’s a very minor quibble. Kate is tall and lean, and I think a midi length dress suits her and looks very elegant.

I defer to other people’s opinions about the shoes. Not being a shoe person myself, I have no idea what is or is not a good shoe for a dress.

RF Mezzy

Sunday 20th of September 2020

I think the longer dresses are a sign of respect. She was visiting people who are struggling at the moment and being all fashionable and trendy would be inappropriate, in my view. This dress was just the right amount of "I'm a Royal" combined with "But Not Unsympathetic to Your Plight." This makes her special and accessible at the same time. I loved all of it -- the look, the visits, the regular people being thrilled and appreciative of the opportunity to meet the Duke and Duchess.

I always wonder what makes her wake up and say, Oh, I need a new pair of shoes, since we know she has hundreds. But then again, we (readers) get tired of the repeated trusty old LKBennetts, etc., don't we? I can't even look at her poor feet in those shoes. I don't know how anyone manages that amount of distortion.

All in all, a delightful, cheery, uplifting post!


Sunday 20th of September 2020

I love that description- “I’m a Royal” combined with “But Not Unsympathetic to Your Plight.” It’s a tricky line to walk, but I agree Kate does it well.

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