After a whirlwind five days, the final day is upon us. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left Berlin this morning for their last few engagements in Hamburg and then they head back to the UK. Considering this trip has been on the horizon since the early spring, it’s hard to realize that it’s already behind us, but here we are. In the last few days we’ve seen nine outfits from Kate, five cities, three sights of Prince George and Princess Charlotte at airports and one meeting with Chancellor Angela Markel where she wanted to know how much German Kate spoke (hint: none).
Today began with a quick train ride to Hamburg where William and Kate honored the joint UK-German “Year of Science” by visiting the Maritime Museum.
Without a doubt, the highlight was William coming across a model of HMY Britannia, the Queen’s yacht that saw a considerable bit of 20th century history but was unfortunately put away in 1997. Today it’s permanently stationed at Ocean Terminal, Leith in Scotland, but once upon a time it ferried the Royal Family millions of miles around the globe for their public obligations and private holidays. The loss of it is said to have genuinely upset the Queen, so perhaps it’s no surprise that William has distinct memories of it.
Taken by surprise, William asked, “Is that Britannia?” upon seeing the model. “It’s beautiful. Amazing.”
Taking a look at the replication, William admitted that he didn’t know it that well, all things considered. “I will have a careful look,” he said. “I will get my magnifying glass out! But I’m not an expert. My father, being a naval man, would know. And my grandmother would definitely spot anything. But it is the most wonderful model.”
Apparently it’s a complete coincidence that the model was completed in time for William and Kate’s visit, having only been ordered two days ago.
Next up was a visit to the Elbphilarmonie Concert Hall (or the “Elphi”) where the couple were given a performance by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra for children. And Kate took a moment to act conductor by climbing up on stage and waving a baton.
The final engagement was to visit Airbus’s training facilities where William and Kate met apprentices on site and viewed the final assembly line of A320 aircraft.
As we have gleaned from George’s excitement to board and retiscence to leave airplanes, the final engagement was a perfect moment for the children to join their parents.
George and Charlotte took seeming delight in boarding the aircraft, which may have served as little pre-birthday treat for George who turns four tomorrow.
And unlike Wednesday when it was George who seemed a little out of it, rubbing his eyes and generally appearing pretty over this tour, today it was Charlotte who seemed picked up at that baton, probably wondering where the hell her airport bouquet was.
Her mood wasn’t improved my a mini-tumble, but luckily Kate was there to quickly scoop her back up.
And frankly, her slight tantrum at the airport really puts Charlotte in the running as my new favorite Windsor:
For the last day, Kate chose a new lavender Emilia Wickstead dress, rounding out my point from this morning that she has really doubled-down on her style debuts over the past several weeks. My favorite part of the dress was without a doubt the color – we don’t see Kate in as much purple as we should given her preference for blue.
The dress is customized – it appears that Kate added a fuller skirt and a belt to the original, which was a slightly more classic sheath.
The cut of it reminded me of a black Jenny Packham that she wore in New Zealand in 2014, despite there being considerable differences, not least of which hare the neckline and the hard-to-miss silver embroidered fern. Even so, the cut and tailoring of today’s Wickstead immediately called it to mind.
I would put this dress in the same category of Wednesday’s blue Catherine Walker coat dress – perfectly appropriate, beautiful and classic, but not necessarily exciting. It does however, do its job, segueing Kate from her day engagements to the family’s formal departure.
The tour behind us, we now return to business as usual. There aren’t any events on the horizon for William and Kate and if I were betting, I’d say August will be pretty quiet. It usually is as far as engagements go, but in this case it’s not only coming on the heels of a pretty packed July, but it’s the last month of freedom for young George before he starts school in September and the Cambridges move back full-time to London. If I were them, I’d be soaking up the last days of summer in Norfolk, but then again, I’ve already been surprised by how time the family has spent at Kensington Palace so far this year.
As for George’s birthday tomorrow, it’ll be interesting to see whether an official photo is released to commemorate it. There usually is, but given how much we’ve seen of him this week, it wouldn’t shock me if they held off, treating the photographs taken today as more than enough. Or perhaps they’ll follow the example set with Charlotte’s birthday coming just weeks before Pippa Middleton’s wedding when they released a single image in honor of the day.
We shall see, and certainly if there is one, I’ll write something up on it tomorrow. I’ll also be pulling together a short poll where you can all vote on which of Kate’s looks you liked best from the tour, so keep an eye out for that over the weekend.