The Princess of Wales was in familiar styles for engagements with the Prince of Wales in Merseyside today .
This the couple’s first official engagements of the year. They began their day at Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Here is a quick video as they arrived.
The Prince and Princess of Wales at The Royal Liverpool Hospital today pic.twitter.com/88ajBiT0N0
— Matt Wilkinson (@MattSunRoyal) January 12, 2023
The royals were there to formally open the hospital, which has been operational since last October.
Liverpool World reports in its story, “The Prince, 40, and Princess of Wales, 41, received cheers from NHS staff at the newly opened Royal Liverpool University Hospital as they entered on Thursday afternoon.”
A news release notes, “The state-of-the-art hospital is the biggest in the country to provide patients with 100% en-suite bedrooms, improving patient experience, safety, and enhanced recovery.”
Another view of the couple.
During their visit to the critical care unit, the Royals were pictured laughing and smiling with staff as they thanked them for their service. William had met some of the critical care nurses at the hospital previously on a Zoom call. He said: “It’s such a long time ago now, what three years?”
We return to The Liverpool Echo article.
As the Prince and Princess of Wales stopped to speak to porters and catering staff, they could be heard asking staff about patients and their care at the hospital. After thanking them, Prince William asked: “Are you looking after yourself?” To which they replied yes they are.
Prince William was also heard telling the staff they do an amazing job, adding, “The hospital can’t function without all the care you provide.”
The Prince and Princess.
More about the visit via a post on the hospital’s website.
Sarah Lawson was one of those critical care nurses who met with The Prince of Wales. She said: “Today has been so special. I met The Prince of Wales over a video call nearly three years ago, so to get the chance to meet him in person has been amazing. Their Royal Highnesses were so genuinely interested in talking to us about staff wellbeing and mental health. Everyone was over the moon to meet them.”
As mentioned above, there was quite a crowd of employees eager to see the couple.
You can imagine how many wanted selfies.
The Princess surrounded by staff and volunteers.
The Princess was presented with a posy of flowers, which included sea holly, Merseyside’s County flower, by volunteer Marjorie Jenkins. The hospital reports Ms. Jenkins “played a pivotal role in helping support with the transition to the new hospital, and currently volunteers in A&E.”
Here you see the couple meeting Jim Mowbray, a volunteer, and Rosie the therapy dog.
The Prince and Princess with Rosie.
No one will be surprised the Princess wanted to spend a little time with Rosie.
And a wave goodbye.
The next stop for the couple was Open Door charity in Birkenhead.
We learn more from Simon Perry’s People piece.
…the Prince and Princess of Wales headed to a vibrant organization that helps support young adults on Thursday. The Open Door Charity in Birkenhead uses culture and creativity to inspire and engage people. Prince William and Princess Kate — who have placed the support of well-being at the heart of their public work for the last decade — immersed themselves in the charity’s exciting and colorful Bloom Building.
They spent time with Open Door’s volunteers, mentors and staff to hear about the progressive therapeutic models that have been developed to help young adults face any number of challenges. The Bazaar program blends elements of cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness to help young people and young adults aged 17 to 35 understand their minds and give them the training, skills, tools and techniques to support themselves.
Here you see the couple listening to Lee Pennington, founder of Open Door.
Below, people gathered in the “‘Shroom room,” so called because of the vibrant mushroom wallpaper. I believe this chat was with Open Door mentors who have been through the program and are now helping others.
And from this North Wales Pioneer story:
Hearing about the work the organisation does to combine creative areas such as art and music with mental health support for young people, Kate said: “While everyone is talking about mental health a lot more now, often it has a negative association. This is really exciting because it makes it a positive conversation around mental health, something that normalises it so it changes the way we talk about it.”
Returning to the North Wales Pioneer piece:
One of the young people, Reece, said: “They were really down to earth. I thought it was going to be stressful but with Will and Kate it felt like I was being heard.”
Speaking to mentors at the charity, William said the youngsters were “very articulate”.
He said: “It’s not easy at that age, even as adults we don’t understand what’s going on.
The meeting was specially with staff, I believe.
The couple heard about the Oomoo program, a project created to help young people ages 11 – 18.
Oomoo is designed to help them navigate life’s ups and downs and offers activities such as “Boxercise,” “Let’s Dance,” film nights and other well-being activities.
We return to the People article.
Lee Pennington, founder and director of Open Door Charity, tells PEOPLE it was “surreal but beautiful” to have the couple. “It was a bit nervy at first but then after a bit, it was chilled and interesting and great,” he says.
“It was beautiful to speak candidly with people in the world that they inhabit,” he adds. “And what came across loud and clear is that they care about, and value, the same things in the world that the people involved in this organization do. They care deeply about ‘how can we make this happen work better and make sure we are building the best to support people in what is the biggest health needs of our time — the mental health needs of young people. But boil it down, and they care about the same things that we do.”
Now for our look at what Kate wore in Merseyside today.
The Princess brought back her Holland Cooper Double-Breasted Black Watch Coat (£749, roughly $915 at today’s exchange rates).
The garment was first seen in a video marking 100 years of the Royal British Legion. Most recently, it was worn for a December tree-planting ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Beneath the coat, the Princess wore a knit dress that very much looks like the Cefinn Studio Eva Dress ($440) in navy. Made of a ribbed merino wool knit with a touch of nylon, the Eva is a key piece for the label. On the site it is described as “…the perfect versatile knit. Crafted in a super-soft merino-wool blend that’s both machine-washable and pill-proof, you’ll feel pulled together even on the busiest of days.”
The dress features a funnel neck (sometimes called a mock neck in the US), a fitted bodice that falls into a flared skirt, blouson sleeves, and small pleats at the shoulder where the sleeve is set into the garment. Thank you to Middleton Maven for the speedy dress ID.
It’s believed the Princess wore this same design in black on September 9th when she was seen leaving Windsor Castle.
Her heels appear to be the navy suede Gianvito Rossi 105 pumps ( at today’s exchange rates). They are available at Net-a-Porter ($775), and also at My Theresa (£530, roughly $645), as well as Farfetch ($508, very limited sizes).
The Princess wore her hair down with a loose curl. It could be my imagination, but it looked as if the Princess may have had a few inches of hair taken off. She wore her go-to sapphire and diamond earrings.
Here is one more photo.
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