The Princess of Wales brought back an Alessandra Rich ensemble for a visit to Southampton today.
The Princess was in Southampton, roughly 90 miles southwest of London, to visit Hope Street, described as “a pioneering residential community for women and their children.” A video as the Princess was welcomed inside.
The Princess of Wales is opening Hope Street, a pioneering family-friendly residential community piloting a new approach to supporting women in the justice system, in Southampton. pic.twitter.com/us0BFtKd2m
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) June 27, 2023
Hope Street was designed and developed by One Small Thing, a charity with a mission to “redesign the justice system for women and their children.” Below, the Princess as she toured one of the eight flats in the facility.
More on Hope Street from The Telegraph’s story by Victoria Ward.
On arrival, the Princess said: “Well done, it’s fantastic. I love the location as well as it’s not out on its own, it’s in the community in many senses.”
It offers a “safe community alternative” for mothers by allowing them to remain with their children in a home environment that offers tailored support rather than being sent to prison.
It is hoped that magistrates will choose the privately-funded project so that low-level criminals convicted of minor crimes such as theft or antisocial behaviour do not clog up the prison system and avoid children being put into care.
In the photos, you see the Princess with Lady Edwina Grosvenor, founder and chair of One Small Thing.
More about Lady Edwina from this Tatler piece.
Photos of the engagement showed Kate chatting animatedly as she toured the facility with Lady Edwina Grosvenor: a criminologist, prison reformer, philanthropist ….the daughter of the late Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, and his wife Natalia, now the Dowager Duchess of Westminster, Lady Edwina is also a personal friend of the Wales’s and sister to Prince George’s godfather, the Duke of Westminster.
The Daily Mail reports, “After walking through the doors, Kate’s face lit up as she greeted Edwina – who, in turn, placed her hands on Kate’s shoulders. Kate said to Lady Edwina: ‘How are you? Well done!'”
Permission to develop Hope Street was initially given back in March 2020, but things were put on hold because of the pandemic.
We return to The Telegraph piece.
The Princess chatted to two new residents in the building’s common room.
One of them was in tears as she described having her children taken into care and that Hope Street made her realise “people care about me”‘
The Princess said: “I understand your story and your journey.” She added: “Just looking around and seeing the flats it’s an inspirational place.”
The Daily Echo reports the Princess met with employees of the community’s café, which will be open to members of the public.
We learn more from this story:
One of the employees told Catherine she ‘wouldn’t be here’ if it wasn’t for initiatives like Hope Street.
“I managed to rebuild my relationships with my kids, and sort myself and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without my opportunity here,” she told the Princess.
Hope Street can house 24 women and eight children.
In this photo, you see the Princess with Lilly Lewis, the Women’s Involvement Advisor for One Small Thing.
After the tour and conversation, Lady Edwina addressed a group of staff, employees, and guests.
You may notice the tree with tags hanging on it; those are inspirational messages left for residents. The Princess wrote her own message on one of the tags. It read, “I see you and I am with you. Good luck in all that lies ahead. Catherine.” Here is a quick video via Richard Palmer of The Express.
A royal message on a tree. pic.twitter.com/eJKM7ZU8ar
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) June 27, 2023
As she was leaving, the Princess met Rosie, 10, and her grandmother. They heard the Princess was visiting Southampton and wanted to meet her. Rosie brought flowers for the Princess.
Now for our look at what Kate wore for the engagement.
It is made of 100% silk and features a wide collar, puffed and gathered sleeves, a peplum waist, and a bow at the neckline.
Here is a closer look at some of the details.
The Duchess brought back the same accessories seen with the Wimbledon engagement, including her Alessandra Rich ‘Fab 105’ two-tone heels ($745, sold out).
And her white Amberley bag by Mulberry. The bag measures roughly 5″ x 7″ and comes with a detachable metal link strap.
The bag has long been sold out, but Carly at Kate Middleton Style shared the news that Mulberry has an almost-identical bag available online (£795, roughly $1015 at today’s exchange rates). The only distinction I see: the new bag has silver metal hardware, while the Princess’s bag features white hardware.
The Princess wore her Shyla London Chunky Knot Baroque Pearl Style Earrings (£72), done in 22-carat gold on silver.
We’ll see you tomorrow when the Princess officially opens the Young V&A, formerly known as the V&A Museum of Childhood.
The Royal Family Channel offers more than three minutes of coverage in this video.