The Duke & Duchess of Sussex visit Birkenhead

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.

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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 visits her new patronage Smart Works

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.

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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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The Duchess of Sussex announces first patronages

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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.

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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.

Christmas Service 2018

Editor’s Note: I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Things are horribly behind schedule on the blog – I am hoping to catch up with everything before the new year starts – definitely stay tuned!


The British Royal Family is traditionally celebrating Christmas at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. The Royals are attending a church service this morning at St. Mary Magdalene Church. Most Royals walked from Sandringham Estate to the small church, while the Queen traveled by car with the Duke of York. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex walked with the Prince of Wales.

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Royal Variety Performance 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are attending the 2018 Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium Theatre tonight. It has long been tradition for members of the Royal family to make an appearance at the Royal Variety Performance – it dates back all the way to 1912 when the inaugural performance was watched by King George V and Queen Mary. It is the first Royal Variety Performance that the Duchess of Sussex attends, but we can be sure that many appearances at the event will follow in the future.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex (now with the Duchess of Sussex) have been alternating the attendance at the Royal Variety Performance over the past few years. The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge attended in 2014 and 2017, the Duke of Sussex attended in 2015 and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended in 2016. It will be their turn again next year.

The event is held in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, formally, the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, of which the Queen is patron. The money raised from the show helps hundreds of entertainers throughout the UK, who need aid and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health or hard times. Since it was founded in the early 1900s the charity has had an unbroken line of patronage from the sovereign.

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After being received at the London Palladium Theatre ahead of the show, the Duke and Duchess took their seats. They will no doubt enjoy their night together with a wonderful show! Among the performers tonight is Take That!

After the show, the Duke and Duchess met with performers on stage.

The Duchess is wearing a new top and skirt by Safiyaa London. She is also wearing her Birks ‘Snowflake’ earrings.

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