Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Duchess Kate Brings Back Seraphine Marina Coat for Magic Mums Christmas Party

For a festive Pre-Christmas engagement, the Duchess of Cambridge joined children and families to celebrate the work of the Rugby Portobello Trust at its community centre in North Kensington.

The Rugby Portobello Trust in North Kensington is part of a network of centres that help local communities, and provide support by running programmes for children and parents such as homework clubs, sporting activities, social groups and tuition. RPT works with local young people to help them overcome disadvantages by providing a positive alternative to a life of crime, deprivation and social exclusion.

Kate was greeted upon arrival.

A video from Simon Perry.

Time for some festive fun!

The Duchess joined the Christmas party for the 'Magic Mums' group which supports mothers, babies and toddlers.

Kate handed out presents.

This Duchess looked delighted to meet the adorable babies and toddlers :)

A great video from The Telegraph. Watch the first ten seconds at least :)

The Trust describes itself as a 'one stop shop' for young people in the most deprived areas of London.

'The Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT) is the result of the merger in 2003 of three organisations: The Rugby Clubs, The Portobello Houseshare and The Portobello Trust which were providing a range of services to young people in a disadvantaged area of West London. Each of the three services was different: The Rugby Clubs was a youth club, The Portobello Trust provided education and training for young people and Portobello Houseshare provided housing. By joining up the three services a one stop shop was set up for young people in one of the most deprived parts of London.
We are based in Walmer Road, North Kensington at the heart of an area blighted by very high social deprivation and unemployment not only in comparison to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and other London boroughs, but to anywhere in the United Kingdom. Consequently there are much higher than average levels of burglary, street crimes and violent attacks as well as drug and alcohol abuse.

Providing community support is a key area of focus for the Trust. When the Grenfell Tower disaster occurred, they were on hand playing a pivotal role in the aftermath. They quickly established a New Homes Team to support residents into their new accommodation and to help them access the various grants that became available, both through the local authority and from private donations. The team also coordinated the distribution of IT equipment donated by Apple, Google, Fujitsu, Talk Talk and others to help families affected re-connect with loved ones and access their personal accounts, as well as essentials donated by various businesses. The team are determined to continue their efforts in aid of families affected by the tragedy vowing to continue working until "residents have been offered, and have accepted, permanent accommodation and have successfully re-settled and have received all support necessary to move-on.".

I suspect the Trust's work with Grenfell was one of the primary reasons for today's engagement. Grenfell is located about ten minutes from Kensington Palace. Kate met with families privately.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

In the image below, we see friends and families outside the Rugby Portobello Trust on the day of the fire awaiting information on loved ones.

Afterwards, they posted a thank you message outside the door.

Kate enjoyed a tour of the centre.

The Duchess learned more about music sessions at the centre.

Kate enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look.

From The Mirror:

She also looked in on a music session and spoke to Reece Yeboah, 23, from Kensington, who knew people affected by the fire.
 Kate said to him: “Did you see it effect everyone, your family, your community?”
She added about the tower block: “It’s still such a physical presence as well.”

It was also an opportunity for Kate to get into the seasonal spirit as she helped staff and volunteers set up for their children's Christmas party later in the day.

Kate set the table with eager helpers.

More from The Mirror:

'As the Duchess then helped set the table for the Christmas party which will take place later today, she asked a little boy: "Are you looking forward to Christmas time?"
 The youngster, putting paper plates down, replied: "I like Christmas." Kate, laying Christmas crackers on the table, then asked him: "What are you going to do?"
The adorable boy told her he didn't have a Christmas tree "or chimneys".

Victoria Murphy writes "One little boy just couldn't help himself with the Duchess handed out Christmas crackers to the families there. The youngster can be seen sticking two fingers up as Kate busies herself with the task at hand. But the Duchess handles to situation like a true pro, continues with what she's doing and gives the youngster her best 'you're in trouble stare".

Of course no Christmas Party is complete without crackers.

Kate said a few words praising staff and volunteers for all the hard work they do in the community.

She was given a round of applause as she presented a letter from her, William and Harry. "Every member of your team - from cooks to youth workers, fundraisers to teachers and army of volunteers - has dedicated themselves to supporting the community. We were able to hear first-hand about your help for those bereaved during our visit to the Grenfell Community Hub in September, and we know how crucial your efforts have been at a time of overwhelming grief and sadness." Royal reporter Victoria Murphy tweeted a photo of the letter.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

The Duchess was presented with beautiful flowers before leaving.

Kate brought back one of her most popular maternity pieces today; the Seraphine Marina Maternity Coat she debuted during a trip to New York in 2014 when she was expecting Princess Charlotte.

The coat is described as "Designed in Séraphine’s London based studio and worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, the MARINA maternity coat is made in a luxurious wool tweed bouclé. Subtle silver threads add a touch of sparkle to the rich purple hue, making it the perfect choice for elegant styling before, during and after pregnancy. The long-line silhouette is accented with a delicate frayed trim and finished with black velvet ribbon."


More on the fit of the coat:

'This piece has been designed to wear before, during and after pregnancy; however for customers not requiring a maternity fit, we recommend ordering one size down to give a more tailored look.'

It is available in most sizes for £275 on the Seraphine website.

Seraphine served as Kate's staple maternity brand throughout her first two pregnancies. When Kate was expecting Prince George she ordered several pieces from the brand to see her through her first pregnancy and the months that followed in style. Séraphine founder Cecile Reinaud discussed her delight upon discovering Kate was a fan at the time: "The Kate effect is huge and we have been enjoying a 400% growth in sales since it became public that Kate bought Séraphine dresses back in April 2013". Below we see Kate in the fuchsia Jolene Dress for the first official portrait of Prince George taken by Michael Middleton. Kate also wore the piece in Lavender Blossom Knot when they brought newborn George to Bucklebury.


Other items worn by the Duchess included the baby blue Natasha Coat and Florrie Dress. In New York, Kate also wore the black Vanessa Turtleneck dress.

Kate teamed the coat with her TOD's suede pumps.

My Theresa

Kate accessorised with her pavé diamond Asprey 167 Button Earrings with an amethyst in the centre.

And completed the look with her Mulberry clutch.


Also today, Kensington Palace released the dates of William and Kate's royal visit to Norway and Sweden. "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Sweden and Norway from Tuesday 30th January to Friday 2nd February 2018 at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. TOUR OUTLINE Tuesday 30th January: Stockholm, Sweden Wednesday 31st January: Stockholm, Sweden Thursday 1st February: Oslo, Norway Friday 2nd February: Oslo, Norway." More details will be announced in due course.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

William and Kate have been awarded a very special badge for their work in support of Heads Together. The couple received their Gold Blue Peter Badge in Salford before they attended the Children's Global Media Summit in Manchester last week.

The BBC Reports:

'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have followed in the footsteps of his grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, by being awarded a coveted Gold Blue Peter badge it was announced today. The Gold Blue Peter badge is the programme’s highest award, only a handful of which are presented each year to individuals who show great expertise in their chosen field, are considered to be role models, and who inspire children across many generations.
They were introduced to members of the Blue Peter team and heard how the very popular Blue Peter website gives young people a safe space for children online with its Fan Club. They also learned about the hundreds of thousands of letters the programme receives each year and met local children who had achieved their own Blue Peter badges.
Her Majesty the Queen was awarded a Gold Blue Peter Badge during her Golden Jubilee year in 2002 and her grandson and his wife were delighted to have joined this select group, which also includes Sir David Attenborough, JK Rowling, Steven Spielberg, Mary Berry and David Beckham.
Receiving his badge, His Royal Highness said: “That’s very touching thank you very, very much. We’ve still got a long way to go yet but we are getting there. A shift is happening and we will hopefully crack a problem that should have been cracked a long time ago.” He then joked that he would now be able to compare Gold Blue Peter badges with his grandmother.'

I was delighted to see the couple participating in the Blue Peter Christmas special. For those unfamiliar with the show, it is a British children's television programme - the longest running children's show in the world. When Kate was given her badge she said "It's hugely special. Mental health has been a learning process for us too... We want to get everyone talking about it so it hasn't got that stigma it's had." In the future, it would be wonderful to see William, Kate and Harry participating in an interview about the Heads Together campaign and their views on the topic.

Viewers can see William and Kate being presented with their badges in Thursday’s live Blue Peter Christmas special (December 14, 5.30pm on CBBC).

On Thursday morning, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul's Cathedral. It will be televised on BBC1 from 10.30 a.m.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Kate's Pre-Christmas Engagements, Royal Gift Guide & More

Happy Friday, dear readers,

We're back with a brief post before the weekend beginning with calendar updates and a look back at Kate's Christmas engagements. The Duchess of Cambridge will undertake two engagements next week with with links to the Grenfell Tower fire. On Thursday, 14 December, William, Kate and Harry will join Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul's Cathedral. The service will be broadcast live on BBC One from 10.30 am.

Clarence House Twitter Feed

Before that, on Tuesday, 12 December, Kate will join children and families to celebrate the work of the Rugby Portobello Trust at its community centre in North Kensington. The Rugby Portobello Trust is part of a network of centres that help local communities, and provides support by running programmes for children and parents such as homework clubs, sporting activities, social groups and tuition. The Trust and the centre staff in Kensington have also been pivotal in supporting people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. During the visit the Duchess will join the Christmas party for the 'Magic Mums' group which supports mothers, babies and toddlers.

A 'Christmas Party' style pre-engagement is becoming something of an annual tradition for Kate. Last year, the royal trio joined youth helpline the Mix for a volunteer Christmas party in support of their mental health campaign, Heads Together. It was a nice way of closing the year with an event for the Heads Together charity partners.

With a good dose of festive fun.

In December 2015, the Duchess of Cambridge was guest of honour at Anna Freud Centre's Family School Christmas party.

Kate joined families in festive activities designed to help pupils reflect on the positive progress they have made during the term, not only academically but in their communications and social skills. The children were very excited to have a 'real life princess' at the party.

I loved this engagement; Kate never shines more brightly than during engagements with children. Royal engagements are of course planned down to the most minute detail and quite formal in their nature. Events like these are particularly special because we get to see more of Kate's personality and the expressions on the children's faces are priceless.

In December 2014 when Kate was expecting Princess Charlotte, the Cambridges travelled to New York for a 'mini-tour'. At the Northside Center, Kate joined staff and volunteers for a gift wrapping session. 

You might remember this memorable video went viral. 'Keep Wrapping'. :)

Kate tends to opt for festive red for Christmas parties; perhaps we'll see a repeat of her new GOAT Eloise dress for the 'Magic Mums' party.


We also have a couple of updates from the Court Circular to share. Yesterday, William and Kate held a meeting at Kensington Palace for the Royal Foundation.

Cepe Smith Twitter Feed

And on Wednesday, the Cambridges were represented by their former private secretary and most trusted adviser Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton at the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Mr Anthony Gordon Lennox in Southwarn Cathedral. Mr Lowther-Pinkerton, who is also Prince George's godfather, was listed as 'Extra Equerry'. He has been credited time and time again as someone the young royals trust completely and turn to for advice. I'm not at all surprised to see he's still officially involved in a much smaller role. Anthony Gordon Lennox tragically passed away in October, aged just 48. He served as a voice coach to Kate, who acquired his services before the Royal wedding. Below, Jamie with Kate at one of her pre-wedding engagements in Anglesey.

Embed from Getty Images


Last year, we put together a 'Christmas Gift Guide' for fans of the Royal family. From items worn by the Duchess, to Repli-Kate's, commemorative gifts and edible treats, there are endless options when it comes to gifting to the royalist in your life (or to yourself).


Hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead. For fans of Netflix's hugely popular The Crown, series 2 is now available to stream. The royals are actually fans of Peter Morgan's depiction of the early years of the Queen's reign, with Prince Harry admitting he enjoyed it.  I'm looking forward to a night by the fire and a glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc while watching this!

To get you in the festive mood, take a look at this tweet posted by Clarence House. I suspect George's police car is in there, and whatever present Charlotte is hoping for. :)

See you all next week!

Kate's Favourites