At this point, enough hints have been dropped by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge over the years that the two can get pretty competitive that it should come as no surprise that today’s boat race in Heidelberg, Germany got heated. Both are athletic, both grew up playing sports and both appear to take genuine delight in engagements that pit them against one another – a dynamic of which I heartily approve, particularly the trash talk. And for those new to this side of the couple, take a look at this video The Telegraph compiled (in fact, take a look no matter what, it’s pretty funny).
But before boat race, there was pretzel-making. Yes, William and Kate managed to turn even that into an opportunity to best the other. Today, the Cambridges left Berlin for Heidelberg where they visited a traditional German market with the city mayor acting as tour guide.
In addition to checking out the local fare, not least of which were the baked goods for which Heidelberg is famous and Bratwurst (which William at first misidentified as a hot dog), the couple also tried their hand at candy making, gamely donning gloves and following their instructor’s lead.
Upon seeing Kate’s go at it, William responded, “Yours is better than mine. You’re making it look so easy.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly Kate is believed to be an enthusiastic cook at home and designed their home renovations to include a personal kitchen for her own use (separate from that used by the staff to cook for the family). William’s reputation is rather the opposite.
At the very least, Prince George and Princess Charlotte cleaned up as their parents took home the sweets they made, as well as those with which they were presented. Per William, “George’s sugarload is going to be over the top of the scale.”
They were then given a pretzel lesson by baker Andreas Gobes, who helped them roll out the dough and properly fold it into shape. Kate, naturally, nailed it on the first go.
William, on the other hand, required another demonstration. “Just like that,” he joked when the baker showed him again.
As Gobes put it later, “Catherine was a little bit more talented than William, but they both did a great job.”
As you can glean from the photos, the market is rather picturesque, located next to the river and near castle ruins. Not bad views if you’re taking food and drink tour through Europe.
After the market, the party headed to the water where William and Kate each coxed competing teams of rowers in a race along the River Neckar.
To her team, Kate said before the race, “No pressure, but I do want to beat my husband.”
And the odds were seemingly in her favor since an Olympic gold medalist, Filip Adamski, was chosen for her boat, while the rest were local amateurs from Cambridge and Heidelberg.
William’s response: “This could be a challenge.”
Adamski allayed Kate’s fears about crashing before the race, telling her, “If we crash, we crash together.” Well, “allayed” might not be the right word there, considering I’m not sure how much comfort that was.
Later on, he admitted to reporters that the experience was a bit nerve-wracking: “”It’s not as serious as the Olympics, but I have never raced with a princess before so I have butterflies in my stomach.”
In the end, William ended up winning, finishing about a length ahead, but in light of Kate’s culinary expertise, I think we call it a draw.
Earlier in the day the two visited the German Cancer Research Institute where they met Nobel Prize winner prof. Dr. Harald zur Hausen and visited the site’s stem cell research lab.
Biologist Dr. Michael Milsom stated:
“It’s really helpful to have a visit from the Duke and Duchess as they publicise the importance of work we do here. The UK and Germany are leaders in this field of stem cell research,’ said the expert who has been based in Heidelberg for seven years.”
Now for the fashion, Kate wore two outfits for the day engagements. She started off in a yellow Jenny Packham dress that I first thought was made out of some sort of floral brocade, but actually appears to be some sort of embroidery or lace at closer glance.
She rounded out the look with new Oscar de la Renta earrings, an Alexander McQueen clutch and nude wedge heels by Monsoon. I did a double-take when I saw Monsoon, because I’m pretty sure that’s where I used to buy one-off tops and costume jewelry back in my teen years visiting London.
I think the dress is fine, but it’s definitely not my favorite, especially compared with some of the other looks she’s debuted this trip. Kate has a lot of yellow in her closet, so good for her for being able to pull it off, but it’s very similar to a lot of other day dresses she’s worn over the years. And compared to those, this one doesn’t do much for me.
For the race she changed into a pair of J.Crew jeggings, white Superga trainers and a Breton top by German designer Hugo Boss – basically a slight German twist to a very Kate style. I actually really liked the color of this top and it might have slightly edged out the earlier dress in my book.
We’ll cover off on this evening’s reception later tonight or tomorrow morning, so check back later!