The Earl and Countess of Strathearn were welcomed by pipers when they arrived for their engagement on Day Two of the Scotland tour. The couple was in Orkney, an archipelago off the country’s northeastern coast, for the official opening of Balfour Hospital.
More from Simon Perry’s story for People.
On day two of their mini-tour of Scotland, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their first official visit to the northeastern tip of the British Isles.
The royal couple, who are on a mini-tour of Scotland this week, landed for their first official visit to the remote spot about 310 miles north of the Scottish capital Edinburgh on Tuesday.
Kensington Palace reports the “new facility has enabled the repatriation of many NHS services from the Scottish mainland, allowing Orkney’s population to receive most of their healthcare at home.”
The new building has a circular design based on a 5000-year-old Neolithic settlement on Orkney called Skara Brae, making it a unique reflection of the local landscape in which many historical sites are circles.
Richard Palmer of The Express shared a video of the couple as they met staff.
William and Kate meet staff. pic.twitter.com/PQuWo0gAgy
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) May 25, 2021
The new facility replaces the community’s 90-year-old hospital. More from Robert Jobson’s Evening Standard story:
During the visit William, 38, praised trauma nurse Dr Tariro Gandiya. He said: “It must he reassuring to know we are all in this together.” Kate added: “Well done”.
Paul Maguire, catering assistant, spoke to Kate and William in the hospital’s sensory garden.
He said afterwards: “We spoke about how it has been in the last year and I explained how we split into two teams so I hadn’t seen most of my colleagues till now. Its been tough.
Mr. Jobson pointed out in his article the hospital “is the biggest construction on the island since its Cathedral was completed in 1168.”
There was the traditional unveiling of a plaque to mark the occasion.
The hospital staff was eager to get some video of today’s visit.
A quick video.
Opening the new Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall
Thank you to all the staff that came out to meet us! pic.twitter.com/CcuRe5nLRU
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 25, 2021
Before heading to their next engagement, the couple enjoyed a cup of tea.
They are seen relaxing with a local family, the Bichans, in the family’s garden.
The Duchess changed into a more casual ensemble for the next engagement.
That was a visit to the European Marine Energy Centre, also located in Orkney.
Here you see the duo chatting with schoolchildren eager to meet them.
Emily Nash of Hello posted a cute video; you can hear a youngster ask the Duchess, “Are you the Prince?”
“Are you the Prince?” “I’m not the Prince, no, I’m the Duchess of Cambridge.” Very sweet kids meeting William and Kate at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney today: pic.twitter.com/9BsWmLTmRO
— Emily Nash (@emynash) May 25, 2021
The young man on the left looks very excited to see the couple.
Founded in 2003, the Marine Energy Centre is the only accredited wave and tidal test center for renewable marine energy in the world.
Richard Palmer reports the EMEC is “pioneering the development of a green hydrogen economy in Orkney after setting up a hydrogen production plant in 2016, next to the tidal energy substation.”
The couple learned about “EMEC’s leading role in tackling climate change and supporting the UK’s green recovery, from marine renewable energy generation to green hydrogen production and distribution,” per Kensington Palace.
The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English shared a video of the couple seeing the world’s largest tidal energy turbine.
William and Kate have also viewed the work of the European Marine Energy Centre – the only accredited wave and tidal test centre for marine renewable energy in the world #royalvisitscotland pic.twitter.com/aT6MhuyPls
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) May 25, 2021
The Duke and Duchess also visited the fuel cell and hydrogen storage trailers at Kirkwall Pier, which take locally produced hydrogen and reconvert it back to electricity, before heading out to sea to see the world’s largest tidal energy turbine.
The couple were shown how the turbine works and were given a cup of whisky to bless the machine.
Now for our look at what Kate wore.
Many recognized her coat right away, the Massimo Dutti Limited Edition Cashmere Wool Camel Coat. The garment is 95% wool/5% cashmere and features double-breasted styling, front flap pockets, peak lapels, and a deep back vent.
One note related to the heavy coats: Samantha shared on Facebook the temperature was running between 8° – 12℃, about 45° – 54℉.
UPDATE: With thanks to Emily for the ID, it looks like the Duchess may have returned to Temperley London, a brand we’ve not seen her in for several years. She appears to have been wearing the Cordial Sleeve Knit Top (£190, about $270 at today’s exchange rates). It is a viscose/metallic polyester/polyester blend with a ribbed design.
The Duchess carried what appears to be a new bag by Emmy London, another Natasha Clutch ($375) in a color called saddle brown.
The bag measures roughly 5″ x 8″ and has a magnetic closure. It looked like the Duchess wore a matching pair of pumps by Emmy, the Josie style. UPDATE: The style is now available online, the Josie in saddle brown ($425).
Thank you to Regal Fille for the alert about the shoe’s availability.
We saw the return of the Strathearn Tartan Scarf. Made in Scotland, the piece is made of wool, measures 86″ x 10.5″, and is hand-knotted and fringed.
The Duchess wore her hair partially up.
She brought back yesterday’s Flora Drop Earrings (£1395) by Edinburgh jeweler Hamilton and Inches.
Thoughts on the look from The Telegraph’s senior fashion editor, Caroline Leaper.
Kate certainly has the height and figure to pull off longline coats and wide leg trousers, layered up in complementing tones, with added height provided by block heel suede tan shoes. The overall look works because the proportions of each piece are well pitched; her top beneath is tucked into the wide leg trousers, giving the illusion of a higher waist, and the length of the coat is not so overwhelming as to mean the trousers cannot be seen. The patterned scarf also serves to break up the overall block of colour.
And now our look at the second ensemble.
You may remember the Seeland Woodcock Advanced Jacket first worn by Kate in late April. It features multiple pockets, including fleece-lined handwarmer pockets, as well as a removable hood, as well as an adjustable waist and cuffs.
It appeared she might have also had on her Seeland ‘Hawker’ quilted jacket shown below.
Beneath the jacket, the Duchess was in a knit sweater and what looks like a new shirt. Initially, I thought it was her Sézane Marguerite shirt, but that piece is all white while the neckline on this garment has a dainty multicolored pattern.
Kate brought back her See by Chloé Liegi Ankle Boots.
I think the Duchess wore her ‘Katie and Millie’ print (£15) mask by Amaia Kids.
One more shot from the first engagement.
And one from the second engagement.
The Royal Family Channel has about 1 minute of video from the hospital opening.
And they have roughly 4 minutes from the second engagement.
A video from The Orcadian newspaper.
- The Daily Mail’s coverage is here; The Evening Standard’s story is here;
- The Daily Mail’s coverage is here;
- Simon Perry’s People article is here; Danielle Stacey’s piece for Hello is here; a Town and Country story is here; Tom and Lorenzo’s thoughts on the ensemble are here; Caroline Leaper’s Telegraph fashion column is here.
- A BBC photo gallery is here;