Kate and William were both busy today with multiple engagements.
The couple paid a somber call on the French Embassy in Knightsbridge to offer their sympathy following the devastating attacks in Paris. Below you see the Duke and Duchess speaking with the French Ambassador to London, Sylvie Bermann.
Kate reading the condolence book.
The note reads “To all those who have died and were injured in the heartless attacks in Paris, and to all the people in France: Nos plus sincères condoléances.”
Some may recognize Kate’s suit.
We have seen it on several previous occasions. From left to right:
- in 2007 Kate wore it for an art opening in Dublin
- she wore the suit for Order of the Garter in 2008
- we saw the suit again in December of 2013 when Kate and William visited South Africa House in London to sign the Nelson Mandela book of condolence
Quoting from a previous post about the suit: “The jacket features flap pockets and decorative buttons; there is also piping on the lapels and pockets. It looks like the sleeves have self-cuffs; they can be turned back without exposing any lining or hem because they have an inch or two of the same material on the inside.” The skirt looks like a basic pencil skirt that hits Kate mid-knee.
To the best of my knowledge this is an item that has never been identified.
This evening brought a more celebratory event, The Fostering Network’s Fostering Excellence Awards. Below, Kate being welcomed by Fostering Network CEO Kevin Williams.
More about tonight’s function via The Daily Mail:
The 2015 Fostering Excellence Awards are an opportunity to celebrate success and achievement within foster care, and to share the inspirational stories of young people who have overcome so many challenges.
They are an opportunity to applaud not only those who will receive awards, but also every single foster carer, social worker, local authority, fostering service, civil servant, politician, employer and organisation who has a passion for foster care, and who puts the needs of children first.
From The Express story:
At the tea party, Kate went from table to table, chatting to award winners.
Among them were the three teenagers she was presenting awards to later.
CEO Kevin Williams noted the awards were being given to “…three young people who have shown how far determination, a good attitude, and proper support and stability can get you”.
The Duchess delivered brief remarks before the awards were presented; the following is from Richard Palmer’s story in The Express:
Speaking more confidently than before in public, she said: “I would just like to say how delighted I am to be with you all.
“It’s wonderful to meet so many remarkable and impressive people involved in the incredibly important world of fostering.”
Comments by Kate about the event were released prior to the function; we share some of those via The Yorkshire Post:
“It is such a great opportunity to pay tribute to the incredible achievements of the award winners, who represent the tens of thousands of dedicated foster carers, social workers and inspirational young people who make up the fostering community.
“It is fantastic that we are all gathered this evening to celebrate fostering and the truly transformational care that is a lifeline to so many.”
Kate and Ms. Willoughby about to present the awards.
Tonight’s winners were (from left to right) Adam Howlett, Emily Bowyer and Sian Connolly.
A little more about each from Richard Palmer’s Express story:
- “Adam, who is autistic, has lived with his foster mother Carol Webster since he was three.”
- “Emily, once an elective mute unable to eat or be in a room with unfamiliar people, won her award for overcoming her traumatic childhood and the progress she has made at college and as a babysitter. She now a real chance of achieving her goal of becoming a paramedic.”
- “Sian, in and out of care from the age of three to nine, when she entered long-term fostering, was once so troubled she engaged in disruptive and anti-social behaviour and had run-ins with the police.But she has been living independently for a year, now acts as a part-time carer for her birth mother, and has worked as a carer for the elderly during her break from college in the summer.”
The need for caregivers remains acute; more from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail story:
Many youngsters have experienced neglect and abuse, or have witnessed domestic violence or substance misuse.
Foster carers can provide these children with their first positive experience of family life – and a further 8,730 new foster families are needed this year.
There were several other awards given this evening, honoring outstanding contributions by a social worker, a foster carer, as well as a son and daughter.
Before leaving Kate was presented with quilts for George and Charlotte by Ambrose (age 11) and Rowan (age 7).
More about the quilts from Rebecca English’s story for The Daily Mail:
The Duchess was given beautiful handmade quilts to take home for them, crafted under the supervision of Terrance Gilbert, from Kent, who was also honoured for his support of fostered children.
His group, Helping Hands, has made thousands of quilts for children in foster care, which they are given as a special childhood memento.
A closer look.
Some might remember Kate’s first engagement with the Fostering Network, back in January of this year.
Today we saw Kate in a dress by a new designer, Saloni.
The Duchess was in the brand’s Martine dress, a frock made of matelassé, a textured, crinkly material that some might associate with bedspreads (at least in the US). Kate’s dress and an example of the textured fabric via Cuddledown.
Kate’s dress material is actually a polyester/polyamide blend that is very lightweight, probably a wise choice considering it has been warmer than usual in London. The Martine showcases the fit and flare style Kate is so fond of, with elbow length sleeves, a fitted bodice, snug waist and full skirt accentuated by the inverted pleats at the waist.
It was a delight to see Kate in a piece from this designer, the brand was on my list of possible labels for Kate to wear during the India tour. Saloni Lodha was born and raised in India and at one time based her company in London; she now resides in Hong Kong. More from a 2014 NY Times profile:
While her clothes may be inspired by her native India, Ms. Lodha does not consider her company to be Indian.
“We are based in London, my studio is there and I pay taxes there, so I consider ourselves a U.K. brand. But because I am from India, we sometimes are thought of as Indian,” said Ms. Lodha.
Some of the notable names seen in Saloni include Samantha Cameron and Michelle Obama; the Martine dress Kate wore today was also worn by actress Carey Mulligan. (Click here to see the actress wearing the Martine.) More from the Saloni London website:
“I always keep in mind my Indian heritage while designing but don’t translate it literally into our clothes. I think the way we as a brand celebrate bold colours and patterns is our way of bringing the spirit of India into the collections”.
Saloni’s signature and iconic dresses have been worn by international celebrities including Emma Watson, Carey Mulligan, Helena Christensen, Samantha Cameron, Naomi Watts, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jessica Alba.
The Martine is from the designer’s pre-fall collection; below you see Ms. Lodha wearing the dress.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a 1964 musical film starring Catherine Deneuve, informed the feeling of Saloni Lodha’s latest effort. “The ’60s, yes, but also the incredible color palette,” said the designer at her New York showroom.
Three styles from this year’s pre-fall collection.
The Duchess wore it for the Place2Be Wellbeing in School Awards party at Kensington Palace, almost exactly one year ago tonight.
The Duchess had her hair styled in a partial updo.
And wore her Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoop earrings again.
Evidently Kate also had another engagement this evening, she filled in for William at a dinner at the Kensington Palace state apartments. That news comes from Cepe Smith on Twitter.
The function was for the Defence and Rehabilitation Centre, a facility under construction that will be provide state of the art rehabilitation for severely wounded military personnel, while also involving their families in their recoveries. Prince William was slated to be at the function but his schedule changed over the weekend as a result of the attacks in Paris. More on that below.
As a rule we don’t cover William’s activities in depth. But tonight we need to, as the Prince attended the France vs. England soccer match at Wembley in his role as President of the Football Association, taking part in special ceremonies related to last Friday’s attacks in Paris. This evening’s match is what is called a ‘friendly,’ essentially an exhibition. That’s what last Friday’s match was too, when Germany and France were playing at the Stade de France in Paris.
Tonight’s match has long been on the schedule; in light of what transpired Friday the French team was given the option of canceling this evening’s match, but they elected to carry on and play in London. Below you see England’s manager Roy Hodgson, Prince William, and French manager Didier Deschamps carrying floral tributes onto the pitch at Wembley prior to kick-off.
From The Mirror’s story about this evening’s match:
A stadium-wide rendition of French national anthem La Marseillaise was belted out by a near 80,000 crowd in London, before a minute’s silence was perfectly observed.
A French tricolore flag of sorts was made when fans held up colored placards during the French national anthem.
It was an extraordinary sight, especially with tonight’s Netherlands match against Germany being cancelled because of fears of another terrorist attack, and that stadium evacuated.
The French Government posted this photo on Twitter after tonight’s match, showing Wembley Stadium lit as it has been since the weekend, in the tricolore of the French flag; the government’s message of gratitude has been added to the photo.
We want to share a quick note about our StyleRocks Giveaway: please join me in sending great good words of congratulations to Andrea B., the lucky winner of a $1000 gift certificate to spend as she likes at StyleRocks. Here is Andrea’s comment about how she would spend the gift certificate if she won:
A reminder about the special offers for WKW readers shopping at StyleRocks:
- If you purchase a Russian Rings necklace you will receive 2 additional chains. Each necklace comes with one chain, but there are three lengths available. So for example, if you order a 45cm chain with your necklace, Pascale will also include a free 60cm chain and 80cm chain, a $50 value.
- Anyone spending $400 on non-Russian rings merchandise will receive a complimentary pair of Double Pearls Tribal Earrings.
Many, many thanks to everyone who entered, particularly those taking the time to share wishes about how, and why, they would spend the gift certificate if they won.
We will see you tomorrow for Kate’s engagement at the Place2Be Headteacher Conferences.
NOTE: Please forgive the late (and lengthy!) post, I had a commitment that kept me out of pocket most of the afternoon.
- learn more about the Fostering Network by visiting the organization’s website here, or follow the charity here on Facebook, the full news release about tonight’s award recipients is here
- The Daily Mail’s photo-laden story is here, Richard Palmer’s story in The Express is here
- The Mirror’s story about tonight’s soccer-related events is here
- The full NY Times piece about Saloni Lodha is here