The Princess of Wales brought back Catherine Walker and Alexander McQueen designs for a visit to Hayes Muslim Centre.
The Prince and Princess visited the center to thank those fundraising and delivering aid following last month’s devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Above, the scene in Hatay, Turkey, in mid-February.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquakes rocked huge parts of Turkey and Syria on February 6.
The Disasters Emergency Committee, an organization of fifteen leading charities, launched an immediate appeal following the earthquakes. Funds are being used to “provide emergency shelter, medical care, hot food, blankets, clean water, and safe spaces for children in Syria and Turkey where many people still live in tents,” per a news release.
The couple referenced their support for the DEC appeal in a February social media post.
Today the royals met representatives from the Muslim Centre who, through bucket collections and other donations after prayers, have raised more than £30,000 for that DEC appeal.
More from The Daily Mirror’s article.
Their visit to the centre comes as the British public has helped the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal raise £121 million, which has included donations from King Charles and the Queen Consort and William and Kate.
Members of the Centre raised the money through bucket collections and other donations after prayers—more from Robert Jobson’s Evening Standard story.
The Prince and Princess of Wales were at the centre in Hayes to thank those involved in aid and fundraising efforts following the earthquakes which killed more than 50,000 people.
At the Hayes centre lead fundraiser Zia Rehman said they had broken their own record over 30 years of fundraising for different causes. “For this, we broke the record,” he said after speaking to the couple. “Within two hours we were able to raise £18,000. Normally it is anything between £10,000 and £12,000. But this time the community came forward amazingly. Altogether we have raised £30,000 for Turkey and Syria.”
The Prince and Princess met 6-year-old Jess Jorden, who helped raise £50 for earthquake victims.
In the photos, you also see Jess’s mum Esther (2nd from right), and Inma Lopez from the British Red Cross (in blue).
The couple heard from aid workers who recently returned from Turkey.
We return to the Evening Standard article.
William asked about the long-term mental health needs of the earthquake survivors, and about how effective efforts were in getting aid to all parts of Turkey and Syria. He said: “I bet it’s quite a large area, as well as all the other barriers you have to compete with. Two countries on the border, it’s not easy.”
Salah Aboulgasem, an aid worker with Islamic Relief who spent time in both Turkey and Syria, told him that in the first few days aid workers were going out when it was -9C at night. “People were struggling. It was really tough.”
Because of the problems in getting aid to Syria, people were trying to free people trapped in collapsed buildings with hammers and bare hands, he said. “They were hearing voices underneath and hammering the concrete. You’re working, and you know you are not going to achieve anything, but you continue to do so.”
Below, an Uzbeki search and rescue team in Syria in mid-February.
Per a news release, the couple heard from representatives from Save The Children, Islamic Relief, Action Against Hunger, Age International, and the British Red Cross.
And from The Daily Mail’s coverage:
The Prince and Princess also joined two pupils from Waldegrave School; Dila Kaya, 14, Lina Alkutubi, 15, and their teacher Natasha Rustam to help make an origami crane, a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times.
And from People’s piece.
During the visit, Prince William and Princess Kate got their own lesson in making origami cranes, guided by two young women who were raising funds by making hundreds of of the paper birds.
“Yours has got proper airplane wings,” Prince William said about his wife’s creation, according to a video shared on Twitter by royal reporter Valentine Low.
Here is the Valentine Low video referenced in the People article.
William and Kate folding cranes at Hayes Muslim Centre pic.twitter.com/CWSN9mVeuP
— Valentine Low (@valentinelow) March 9, 2023
The People story also notes, “One girl told the couple, ‘It’s really important to fold cranes together because the more people put one crane together, the more power they have.'”
The Prince and Princess as they left the Centre today.
A brief video from the visit was posted on Kensington Palace’s social media accounts, with the message: “Here in Hayes, more than £25,000 has been raised from bucket collections and other donations after prayers. An amazing effort @HayesMuslimC! For everything you have done and are continuing to do, thank you.”
The generosity of the human spirit is at the heart of the Hayes Muslim Centre.
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) March 9, 2023
Now for our look at what Kate wore for the visit.
It is almost identical to the ensemble worn to look at floral tributes for the late Queen at Sandringham last September.
The coat is believed to be a Catherine Walker design. It is similar to the navy long coat the Princess has worn on multiple occasions. The dress is a version of an Alexander McQueen design, the Ribbed Bodice Long Dress ($2400, now sold out). The knit bodice is finely ribbed with crossover bands at the waist (the Princess does not have these on her dress), with a finely pleated skirt and side zipper.
The Princess wore a dupatta today by Élan, an upscale Pakistani brand. It is part of the ‘Royal Garden‘ set, a design worn by the Duchess when visiting SOS Children’s Village during the 2019 tour (below left). The design features “delicate floral and tribal embroideries in ebony silk thread on a pristine ivory base.”
Today we saw the return of the Grace Han Love Letter Small Top Handle Bag ($2425).
The bag’s “distinctive envelope closure is an ode to Love Letters of the past, present, and future,” per the product description. It has a detachable shoulder strap, magnetic snap closure, and gold-tone metal hardware. It measures roughly 10″ x 8″ x 4″ wide.
We saw the Princess’s Gianvito Rossi 105 pumps ($695).
It’s possible today’s earrings are the In2Design Baroque Pearls ($156) shown below as worn on another occasion. This is simply a guess based on the photo of the couple leaving today’s engagement. UPDATE: With thanks to Erin and others for their comments and messages, the earrings are probably the Shyla London Chunky Knot Baroque Pearl Earrings (£72), shown below as worn at Windsor Castle in January.
I’ll leave you with one more image from today’s engagement.