The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Birmingham, taking on three different engagements around the city. Representing the Queen, members of the Royal Family turn up for these day trips (occasionally two days, depending on the location) that are akin to a mini-tour, but obviously domestic. Kate recently expressed a desire to visit more places in the UK and today certainly checked that box.
The first stop was Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull manufacturing facility and the Jaguar Land Rover Experience Centre. Both William and Kate took turns behind the wheel of a Land Rover, trying their hand at off-road driving.
Reporter Victoria Murphy captured a few videos of Kate at the helm:
Next up was a jaunt over to the Aston Villa Football Club (of which William is a fan) to see the work Coach Core in the area. If you recall, Kate accompanied William and Prince Harry to a Coach Core engagement last month, one of her surprise appearances when she was beginning to come out the other side of her HG.
William ha visited Villa before, most recently turning up for a match in late 2013.
Per the Daily Mail:
Keith Wyness, club chief executive, also spoke with the Duke and then turned to Kate to quip: ‘Welcome back to the home of one of your husband’s other passions.’
The Duchess, smiling, replied: ‘Yes, he’s been very excited by it.’
William, who is President of the Football Association, laughed and said: ‘It’ll be interesting to see if she’s been listening to any of my conversations about football’, causing Kate to joke ‘I knew I should have.’
Finally, the couple headed over to Acme Whistles, the makers of the first police whistles. Both were given a tour of the facility and learned about the production process.
Last but not least, they joined staff for the official unveiling of a plaque commemorating their visit.
Kate recycled a black and white Goat coat (my God, this is the autumn of Goat) that she first debuted when in New York City pregnant with Princess Charlotte. As we saw with the Diane von Furstenberg gown she’s donned twice in the last few days, she first wore those pieces at a similar point in her second pregnancy, so it makes sense that they’re getting another wear this time around.
She dressed the coat down a bit today with what appears to be black skinny jeans, a black turtleneck sweater and a pair of black suede Russell & Bromley riding boots. Her earrings are Kiki McDonough 18ct yellow gold and pave diamond leaf motif drop earrings.
Re: the coat, I think it’s fine. It’s never been my favorite and I do think it works better dressed up, but I get that her options are slightly limited at this in-between stage of pregnancy. I actually think the pink Mulberry coat she wore on the same NYC trip would have been better.
For the Coach Core engagement, she switched coats, choosing her red Perfect Moment mini duvet jacket that she first wore this February for a Heads Together team training session.
Kate got some flak last month for wearing these skinny jeans for the Coach Core engagement, with some people commenting they seemed stretched out and weren’t formal enough for her to be wearing when out and about on official duties. I didn’t mind them then because of the nature of the visit, though I will say I noticed them slightly more today even they were more hidden. Then again, considering that the engagements involved another athletic activity and taking a spin behind a Land Rover, I’m not sure a dress and heels would have made any sense. I continue to give these a pass, but I don’t necessarily disagree that Kate may need to spend some time tweaking her “casual” engagement attire post-pregnancy.
As for Meghan, I am pleased to report that she turned up in London yesterday for an afternoon of shopping. It was reported that she arrived in the UK on Saturday after finishing up Suits, a move widely seen as her official departure from the show and a clear step closer to an engagement. More and more people are speculating that she’s moved (or moving) in with Harry at Nottingham Cottage as we speak and that an engagement is literally due any day now.
According to the Daily Express, the Archbishop of Canterbury hasn’t raised an objection to a church wedding despite Meghan’s divorce and it sounds like the Palace is preparing to be locked and loaded as of when they announce.
We shall see, we shall see. I’m keeping my eyes peeled and will update as we learn more!