With less than a day to the Coronation, things are hopping in London. Today the Prince and Princess of Wales attended a Buckingham Palace Lunch.
King Charles hosted the event for Realm Governors-General and Prime Ministers on the eve of his Coronation tomorrow.
There were 42 attendees in total, including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and Prime Minister of New Zealand Chris Hipkins.
Guests arrived in the white drawing room before a drinks reception in the music room followed by lunch in the blue drawing room.
The Princess is seen speaking with New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
In this image, you also see Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence (far right).
Here you see the Duchess of Gloucester, Prince William, Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence. I believe Princess Anne attended the event. With apologies, I don’t know the names/titles of the woman with the red shawl or the gentleman in the center of the photo.
Another view of the Princess.
The Prince and Princess.
In this photo, the Princess is speaking with Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese.
After lunch, there was an unexpected walkabout outside the Palace.
So pleased to see so many of you looking forward to the Coronation weekend! 👋 pic.twitter.com/4u8SL3AEfK
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 5, 2023
Below, the Prince and Princess, as they arrived.
The Princess with well-wishers.
The weather was delightful for the walkabout, but it hasn’t been that way all day. Those camping out to save their place on the procession route have faced some nasty rain and wind.
From the BBC’s coverage.
The King laughed and shook hands with members of the public, who had brought union jacks and pretend crowns.
At one point, it looked like the Princess was on the phone.
It turned out she was. You can hear more in this video.
Here is Princess Kate talking to the aunt of Debbie Hoover. Debbie is from Texas, her aunt is in Tennessee and broke her leg and couldn’t fly with the family for the #Coronation pic.twitter.com/ndtdzX2nwQ
— Chi Chi Izundu (@blondeafro) May 5, 2023
We hear more about the walkabout via this Daily Mail story.
People cheered and could be heard shouting ‘God Save the King’ as the senior figures of the monarchy arrived to shake hands with well-wishers. One woman told Charles: ‘You look much younger in the flesh’ – causing him to jokingly grimace.
This could be the grimace referenced in the story.
Back to the Daily Mail’s article.
William spoke with well-wishers about his grandmother’s death last year as he strolled alongside Princess Kate and King Charles in an impromptu walkabout in The Mall on the eve of the Coronation.
Chatting with retired nurse Tess Hart, 69, from Leeds, he spoke of Queen Elizabeth’s passing and said she would be in his thoughts.
Mrs Hart told William she was in The Mall last September for her funeral.
William said: ‘Tomorrow will be more joyous. That day had a different mood. But I will remember the Queen tomorrow. We will miss her.’
Another video snippet.
“We’re just going to go wherever the fun is.”
The Princess of Wales speaks to well-wishers on The Mall, ahead of the #coronation on Saturday.
Warning: this video contains some flash photography.https://t.co/hULI6v2ePU
📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/1XHLhlrJV6
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 5, 2023
We return to the BBC piece.
Speaking to a BBC reporter on the Mall, the princess revealed her children were “a bit nervous” and “excited” and could not wait for the day.
Prince George is set to play a starring role in the coronation and Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are also expected to attend the historic day.
“It is a moment of celebration; enjoy tomorrow,” Catherine said to one woman.
The crowd has swelled significantly across Friday, with thousands arriving to claim their spot ahead of Saturday‘s procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.
The trio stopped to shake hands and chat with people lining the barricades, thanking them for their support and sharing in their excitement for the weekend’s events.
More from news.com.
“How are the kids doing? Are they very excited?” one woman asked Kate as she worked her way through the crowd.
“Excited, a bit nervous, obviously – a big day ahead. But can’t wait, actually,” the Princess of Wales responded, before joking: “Hopefully it’s like swans – relatively calm on the outside, a bit paddle-y on the inside.”
One more photo from the walkabout.
Now for our look at what Kate wore for the lunch and walkabout.
It is a dress many of us believe to be a Jenny Packham design, partly because of its similarity to other dresses worn by the Princess. Some will remember the blue sheath worn in Northern Ireland in October 2022. Today’s dress also has a resemblance to the black design worn to view floral tributes in mid-September at Windsor following the Queen’s death. Some minor differences exist, but I think this is most likely a bespoke Jenny Packham piece.
The Princess accessorized with a new pair of Aquazzura pumps, the Bow Tie Pump 105. The design showcases a pointed toe, side cutouts, a 4.3″heel, and the distinctive wired bow at the back.
It is not the first time the Princess has worn the design; we saw her in the blush/beige Bow Tie Pump at the June 2021 G7 reception in Cornwall.
It also looks like the Princess carried her black Prada clutch. Thank you to Emma 4About Royals for her insight on the bag.
We saw the return of the Bahrain Pearl and Diamond Drop earrings.
More information about them comes via Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault:
One of the wedding gifts received by Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in 1947 was a pearl shell containing seven large pearls from the ruler of Bahrain at the time. According to the Royal Collection, two of these pearls were used not long after to create this pair of earrings.
The earrings each contain one large round diamond and four smaller ones, three baguette diamonds, and a Bahrain pearl dangling below.
Most recently, they were worn at the funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Today’s post is a little shorter than normal, largely because I need to move on to the next post covering tonight’s reception.
In this image, you see the Princess of Wales speaking with Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, and Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark. The Princess is wearing a Self-Portrait frock, with thanks to UFO No More for the ID. I am off to work on that post now!
I’ll leave you with this speedy Kensington Palace video.
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) May 5, 2023