Today’s post is a mix of things, beginning with news updates, much of which many of you will have already read about. I want to cover news about the King and Princess of Wales briefly so we have some information as part of the WKW record going forward. We begin with Monday’s announcement of the King’s cancer diagnosis.
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Here is the full Buckingham Palace news release for anyone who may have missed it.
The King is reported to have personally notified Prince William, Prince Harry, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, and the Duke of Edinburgh about the news—more from an editorial in The Telegraph.
The King will carry on reading his boxes and holding key meetings with the Prime Minister and the Privy Council, so there should be a seamless continuation of the functioning of the state.
…from all accounts, the prognosis is good, with the Palace saying that the King is anxious to return to full public duties as soon as possible. The key to dealing with cancer is to catch it early and that appears to have happened here.
Following the King’s visit on Tuesday from Prince Harry, the King and Queen then traveled to Sandringham. Below, the couple as they headed to Buckingham Palace for their helicopter flight from London to Norfolk.
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More from Russell Myers in today’s Mirror.
The King is expected to return to London for “highly specialized” hospital treatment as an outpatient once a week, staying at his Clarence House home. The monarch is likely to return to Sandringham in Norfolk for the remainder of the week to rest and recuperate, it is understood. The King’s public duties have also been postponed to minimize the risk of infection or exposure to viruses while he undergoes treatment, which is understood to be “pioneering and less invasive” than other options.”
I will provide updates as information becomes available. UPDATE FEB 9: Last night the Queen had an engagement at Salisbury Cathedral.
The Queen spoke about the King when chatting with one of the guests at the event. Below, a video from Duncan Stone.
Her Majesty attended a musical evening at Salisbury Cathedral and commented on The King’s health. “He is doing extremely well under the circumstances. We are very touched by all of the letters and messages the public have been sending from everywhere. That’s very cheering.” pic.twitter.com/tIZmKEAsaz
— Duncan Stone (@DuncanCStone) February 9, 2024
Yesterday, Prince William undertook his first engagements since the Princess of Wales was hospitalized for abdominal surgery on January 16th. She has been home since January 29th, when Kensington Palace announced she had returned home and was “making good progress.” At yesterday’s engagements, the Prince spoke of his gratitude for the messages of support directed to both the King and the Princess. The first engagement was an investiture ceremony, where the Prince is reported to have told Patricia Spruce, who received an MBE, that the Princess was being looked after by two “amazing and kind nurses.”
The second function was a London Air Ambulance Charity gala fundraiser. On his way into the event, the Prince said, “We really appreciate everyone’s kind messages, thank you.”
More from People’s coverage of last night’s fundraiser and the Prince’s speech.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, also, for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days,” William continued. “It means a great deal to us all.”
Keeping the mood light, Prince William quipped, “It’s fair to say the past few weeks have had a rather ‘medical’ focus. So I thought I’d come to an air ambulance function to get away from it all!”
Among those attending last night’s gala was actor and pilot Tom Cruise.
Below, a social media post from Kensington Palace.
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) February 7, 2024
In his speech, Prince William told Cruise: “If you wouldn’t mind not borrowing either of the new helicopters for the next Mission Impossible, it would be appreciated. We have all seen on our screens that – how can I put it – you seem to have a different take on ‘normal wear and tear’ to the rest of us. It’s not the kind that buffs out, that’s for sure.”
When speaking with Mr. Cruise, the Prince mentioned his footwear from the 2022 premiere of Top Gun: Maverick.
The Prince’s Crockett and Jones ‘Albert’ velvet slippers were custom-embroidered with F18 jets and generated lots of buzz about the fashion-forward look.
The Prince and Mr. Cruise.
UPDATE FEB 14: In a Daily Mail column, Richard Eden reports the Princess is making good progress, joining
The Princess of Wales, who underwent ‘successful’ planned abdominal surgery more than three weeks ago, is on the mend.
And, in a clear sign of her improvement, she was able to join her husband, Prince William, and their three children as they set off yesterday morning for a half-term holiday on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, where the King is also convalescing.
NOTE: I thought I posted this on Friday, February 9th, when the story was published, but clearly forgot to hit “save” to ensure the updated content was part of the post.
Now, a very (VERY) hard turn to fashion and another poll looking at styles worn by the Princess of Wales in 2023. Today we are considering new coats worn by the Princess. Our first candidate is the Alexander McQueen design worn for a visit to Leeds in late January.
The tailored double-breasted design is fitted and midi-length with padded shoulders, peak lapels, button cuffs, front pocket flaps, and a defined waistline.
The Princess owns a similar style in red; that piece is significantly longer than the green style.
Our next design prompted an interesting debate: is it old or new? I’m talking about the Hobbs London ‘Celeste’ style worn in early February for the Prince and Princess’s first joint visit to Cornwall as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.
The coat features wide notched lapels, asymmetrical front closure, leather stud fastening cuff straps, and a matching belt.
It was very similar to the Hobbs Celeste coat first seen in 2012 and worn several times after the initial appearance. Below, the Princess of Wales last February and the Duchess of Cambridge visiting Liverpool on Valentine’s Day 2012.
Hobbs released an updated version of the Celeste in late 2022 or early 2023. Not only was the 2023 coat much longer than the original Celeste, but there were other differences, like the pockets.
In late February, the Princess sported a new coat during engagements with Prince William in South Wales.
The cream-colored coat showcased a fitted bodice, notched lapels, three-button front closure, flap pockets, lightly padded shoulders, and flared cuffs. It was in the UFO (Unidentified Fashion Object) category until December of last year. When the Princess wore a coat in December by Saville Row tailor Chris Kerr, the folks at Royal Fashion Police got in touch and asked if this ivory design was also a Chris Kerr design, and the response was “yes.”
When the Prince and Princess marked St. David’s Day with the Welsh Guards on March 1, the Princess chose a vibrant red coat by Alexander McQueen.
The Slim Fit Wool Coat features a double-breasted design with padded shoulders, peak lapels, flap pockets at the hip, and a chest welt pocket. The off-the-rack version of the coat has an asymmetrical hem, a feature eliminated in the Princess’s coat.
The garment features a slim silhouette with princess seams, a stand collar, angled pleats at the upper bodice, a deep back vent, an attached waistband, and flared cuffs. The sets of four buttons echo those on the Guards’ uniforms, which are arranged in groups of four.
Our next style is not technically a coat but a cape by Catherine Walker worn in November for the Korea state visit.
It was created to go over the Catherine Walker Beau Tie coatdress previously worn by the Princess.
Below is the Beau Tie coatdress, which was first worn by the Princess in December 2021 while taping the first Christmas carol concert at Westminster Abbey.
Our next design appeared to be a Sportmax past-season style, seen when the Princess visited a baby bank in late November. The single-breasted style features a fitted, darted bodice, broad notched lapels, a deep back vent, self-belt, and flap pockets. There is also a closely spaced row of tortoise buttons. Sadly, that is the only photo available showing the Princess in the coat. All other images from the event show her without the coat.
The Princess debuted a new Chris Kerr design in early December at the taping of “Royal Carols: Together At Christmas.”
The single-breasted coat features peaked lapels, angled flap pockets, a deep back vent, and flared cuffs with one button.
Our final coat in the poll is the Alexander McQueen design seen on Christmas Day.
The bespoke piece is a structured style with notched lapels, flap pockets, an inset waistband with buttons, sleeve bands, and a back vent.
It looks like the same style worn in green for welcome ceremonies in Boston last November.
And here is the poll!