It’s almost surprising we made it this far in the Scandinavian tour without a snowstorm disrupting the itinerary, but it finally happened. Kensington Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s final engagement in Stockholm at the Uppsala Airbase was canceled due to the weather. Instead, William and Kate flew straight to Oslo to begin the next leg of their tour after receiving a briefing on the Swedish Armed Forces’ operational capabilities.
Before we move to Norway, however, I want to call out an interesting thread that cropped up on Twitter from royal reporter Richard Palmer discussing the lack of coverage in Sweden of the royal tour. Indeed, most of the news coming out of the trip thus far stems from British outlets. According to Palmer, there weren’t any Swedish reporters in the press pool, which prompted a response from Swedish royal reporter Elias Giertz (who we can thank for sharing the snaps of the Cambridges arriving on Monday evening). Elsewhere in the thread it’s noted that when the “engagement” is purely a walkabout, or rather only an opportunity for pictures, it’s essentially treated like a photo-op and an additional photographer is sent instead of a reporter. This has prompted some criticism of how the Palace is handling coverage of the tour with the insinuation being that it’s controlling the narrative, but I’m hoping we’ll hear more on this dynamic once the dust settles from the trip. If anyone has additional insight, let me know!
Anyway, Norway, let’s get into it. Kensington Palace shared this little tidbit of some in-flight entertainment:
William and Kate were greeted at the airport by their hosts, Crown Prince Haakon and his wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Frankly, watching Kate maneuver the airplane steps and snowy weather in heels made me nervous (and cold), but she made it through! Her coat is a new one by Catherine Walker. As you have likely picked up on from this tour – and as you may recall from Paris and the Poland/Germany tour – Catherine Walker is a designer on which Kate relies heavily for these high-profile moments. She first debuted the label while in Canada back in 2011 and while she has certainly worn them in the UK, its most memorable moments seem to come from key moments abroad such as arrivals and departures.
Today was no exception, though I will say while I think the coat is absolutely fine, it’s very reminiscent of the blue Sportsmax that she just recycled last week. And so with that, I will take the time to note that I’m genuinely surprised that we’ve seen as many new pieces as we have this trip. I’m less surprised by the evening wear debuts since there are only a handful that Kate has (to our knowledge) from her previous pregnancies – and most came when she was less far along – but she does have a plethora of coats, etc. that could likely have been repurposed. I’m not disappointed since the debuts are frankly more fun, but I am concerned we’re going to hear rumblings over her spending.
Moving on: the first meeting on the table was a luncheon at the Royal Palace with Haakon, Mette-Marit and King Harald and Queen Sonja. The couples posed for photos before dining, giving us a glimpse of the Palace’s beautiful interior.
Here, of course, Kate removed her coat and debuted a new blue dress by her favorite maternity lable, Séraphine, featuring a lace bodice and a frilled collar and sleeves. I actually like this dress quite a bit – it’s extremely falttering and very “Kate” with its high neckline and lace.
After lunch, William and Kate were given a tour of the Palace’s sculpture park by the family, including Haakon and Mette-Marit’s eldest daughter, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, for whom the park is named. Notably, Ingrid Alexandra and William actually hold the same place in the succession so it is her and not her father who is William’s true Norwegian counterpart. For the walk, Kate put her coat back on and added a brown Alpaca fur hat.
Some video from the walkabout:
As you may be able to glean from some of the images, the sculptures are designed for and by children based on art competitions held through Norway. At this time there are four, but more are expected to be added in the future.
Next up was a stop by MESH, a co-working space for entrepreneurs and startups. The couple tried their hand with some of the technology, which resulted in William taking a virtual reality tour of St. Andrews. Memories and such.
All in all, it was a warm and seamless welcome into Oslo. Tonight we’ll see the couple again when they attend a formal dinner at the Royal Palace, during which William is expected to deliver a speech. We’ll cover that here in a separate post.
Photo of the day has to be this gem: