It’s been a busy week for the RF, even excluding all the news coming out of the Prince of Wales’s visit to Romania and the ongoing to trip to Italy. This is particularly true for the younger set of royals, especially the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
- First up, paparazzi shots of William and Kate leaving the London home of James Matthews and Pippa Middleton were published today. Apparently the couple joined a dinner party ahead of the family wedding scheduled for late May, which includes James’s parents and younger brother, Spencer (of reality television fame), as well as James Middleton. No sign of Michael and Carole Middleton, but the wedding reception is due to be held on the property of their Berkshire home. It’s rare to get a paparazzi shot of Kate these days, which is interesting given that’s essentially how the public was first introduced to Kate prior to her marriage – *all* those photos of her coming and going from her Chelsea flat. Her dress has been ID’d as Temperley, the same brand of the lace gown she wore to the National Portrait Gallery gala on Wednesday. I actually quite like this dress from the photos on the website, but don’t love how Kate wore it – I think what’s fun about it is unfortunately lost when it’s worn up on the shoulders. There’s also been some speculation that the white package Kate was seen carrying when she left might have been a bridesmaid dress for Princess Charlotte – it’s still unclear what roles exactly Kate and her children will have at the wedding, but safe to say they will be in attendance and the event will be well-staked out by the press.
- In other Cambridge news, discussions are underway about William and Kate attending an investiture in London to each receive the Tuvalu Order of Merit in honor of their 2012 visit to to the country. News on the topic has been a bit uneven, so there aren’t a ton of details off which to work, but there has been some raised eyebrows about whether visiting is worth receiving an Order. However, the best argument in its favor came from another blogger on Twitter who pointed out she had never heard about Tuvalu before the royal tour and now she’s familiar with their culture. Fair enough.
- Following up on Prince Charles’s visit last week to King’s College Hospital, William visited St Thomas’s hospital to meet with medical staff who treated victims of the recent Westminster terrorism attack. He also honored Keith Robbins, the police officer killed on the job during the incident, by leaving a wreath at the base of a blue police map during a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum. With it was a personal note from William.
- Heads Together, the mental health initiative patronized by William, Kate and Prince Harry, released 10 short videos this week featuring a variety of people who have addressed issues like anxiety, alcoholism, depression, trauma and eating disorders. Current efforts are focused on reducing stigma and encouraging people to take the first step of reaching out for help, even if only by confiding in friends, family or other trusted individuals. It was also disclosed this week that Harry has received professional training to counsel servicemen and women while working with London District Personnel Recovery Unit.
- And in Harry-related news, his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, was featured in Vanity Fair in her capacity as UN Women Advocate for Women’s Leadership and Political Participation. Meghan was selected for a photo shoot on Parliament Hill in Ottawa alongside former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson. She told writer, Fatima Bhutta, “The energy is palpable and to be able to be part of that is an honor.”