The Duchess of Cambridge is visiting the Costume Department of the Royal Opera House in Central London this morning.
The Duchess will find out more about the scale of the department’s work and their use of textiles before hearing from dancers from the Royal Ballet about the design of their costumes. The Duchess’ great-great grandfather, Francis Martineau Lupton, was a mill owner who ran a textile business, so she is keen to hear more about their work.
The Duchess will also see dancers rehearsing romantic Ballet The Two Pigeons.
The Duchess is an avid fan of ballet and she has been attending performances by the Royal Ballet several times since her marriage. She took princess Charlotte to see a rehearsal of the Nutcracker in December. Apparently, the young princess is a big ballet fan like her mother. Currently, the Queen is patron of the Royal Ballet while the Prince of Wales is President.
The Duchess is wearing her purple Oscar de la Renta jacket and skirt, which she has worn twice before.
The Duchess of Cambridge is visiting King Henry’s Community Garden in Islington today to see how the project brings people together through gardening and food growing. The garden opened in 2007 following the hard work of locals in the area. It contains growing plots for cultivation by local residents, where the use of organic gardening methods helps to promote a diversity of plants and wildlife. Alongside community cohesion, the garden has helped to reduce problems such as anti-social behaviour in the area.
The Duchess joined local school children to bake pizzas with ingredients from the gardens outside and make bird boxes. One of the bird boxes will feature in the Duchess’ garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in May (more on that below). The King Henry’s Walk Garden in Islington is run by volunteers and helps kids in the community get outside.
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in Birkenhead, Merseyside, for a day of engagements today. As the drive to Birkenhead from London is a bit over 4 hours long, I guess they either took the train from London and traveled the last bit by car or took the helicopter. They will first visit Hamilton Square where they’ll view a new sculpture to mark the centenary of war poet Wilfred Owen’s death. The sculpture was erected in November.
Wilfred Owen was an English poet and soldier. He is one of the lead poets in the First World War. His poems are world-famous. His war poetry described the horrors from the war, unlike many other more patriotic poetry that was written in the time. Among his most famous works, many of which were published posthumously, are ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ and ‘Futility’. Owen was killed in action shortly before the end of the war in France. He died exactly one week before the signing of the Armistice at the age of 25.
The Duke and Duchess met with local veterans from the Birkenhead Old Boys Institute. Wilfred Owen also belonged to this Institute. The veterans helped to get the statue commissioned.
The couple embarked on a walkabout on Hamilton Square to greet the crowds. The couple were given many presents for their baby, including a big teddy bear.
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The Duchess of Sussex is visiting her new patronage Smart Works this morning. The surprise visit comes after Kensington Palace announced her first four solo patronages earlier today. She will visit the other three organizations in the coming weeks (very probably before the start of her maternity leave). While she has met with all four of the charities in private meetings since her wedding, she hasn’t yet paid a public visit to either of the four of them. The Duchess will meet with women who benefited from the support of Smart Works at St. Charles Hospital in London. She’ll also help some of them find appropriate outfits and sit in on interview preparations.
The Duchess has met with many women who have benefited from Smart Works’ support. Smart Works helps long term unemployed and vulnerable women regain the skills, confidence and tools to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives. Smart Works has helped over 11,000 women in their 5-year existence with clothes and training for job interviews. Meghan has visited the charity a few times before in private and has even coached job training sessions already!
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Kensington Palace just announced the first four (solo) patronages for the Duchess of Sussex. The organizations reflect the causes and issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare. A list:
- The National Theatre: The Duchess is a strong believer in using the arts to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together. The National Theatre’s mission is to make world class theatre that’s entertaining, challenging and inspiring – and to make it for everyone.
- Association of Commonwealth Universities: Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate of accessible education for all. The ACU is the world’s first and oldest international university network, and the only org representing higher education across all 53 Commonwealth countries.
- Mayhew: The Duchess has long understood the connection between animals and community welfare. The Mayhew uses innovative ways to reduce the number of animals in need through proactive community, and educational initiatives and preventative veterinary care.
- Smart Works: The Duchess has met with many women who have benefited from the charity’s support. Smart Works helps long term unemployed and vulnerable women regain the skills, confidence and tools to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives.
Her Majesty the Queen passed on two of her patronages to the Duchess, who has been a member of the Royal Family for eight months now. The Queen has been patron of the National Theatre for 45 years and of the ACU for 33 years. She must no doubt be very pleased to see her granddaughter-in-law take over the roles.
The Duchess will pay a visit to Smart Works this morning. She will visit the other three organizations in the coming weeks (very probably before the start of her maternity leave). While she has met with all four of the charities in private meetings since her wedding, she hasn’t yet paid a public visit to either of the four of them. The Duchess will meet with women who benefited from the support of Smart Works at St. Charles Hospital in London. She’ll also help some of them find appropriate outfits and sit in on interview preparations.
More on each patronage can be read here. The Duchess’ full patronage list can be viewed on her patronage page here.