The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – or the Earl and Countess of Strathearn as they are known in Scotland – carried out engagements in Dundee today, not too far from their alma mater, St Andrew’s University. The couple last visited the city in 2015, but today’s primary purpose was the opening of a new V&A museum – the first design museum in Scotland – of which Kate became patron last year.
The new museum is part of a larger local effort to build up the waterfront and drive economic and social value to the area. In addition to being given a tour of visual arts housed there, Kate also made a brief speech congratulating the team on what has been a successful introduction to the region. The full text of her remarks is below.
I’m always a fan of Kate’s engagements at museums and love her patronage of both the V&A and my own personal favorite, the National Portrait Gallery. Given her background in art history and hobby in photography, she does seem to get true enjoyment out of these outings as perhaps can be gleaned by how often she carries out engagements for them.
Following the museum visit, the couple went to the Crescent Community Centre where they met Lord Provost Ian Borthwick, local Councillor John Alexander and staff. They were given the opportunity to speak with employees and their families affected by the closure of the Dundee Michelin factory, and from there it was on to the Michelin Action Group which aims to repurpose the plant and provide job and skills training for laid off workers.
For the occasion Kate wore a green and plaid Alexander McQueen coat that long-time observers will certainly recognize. It made its debut in December 2012 during an engagement that has likely stuck out in some minds as the Duchess’s final appearance before her pregnancy with Prince George was announced. She wore it again for Christmas at Sandringham in 2013.
The coat was paired with her black suede Tod’s heels, a new green handbag by Manu Atelier and a green scarf. For me, the splash of the brighter greens pushed this solidly into a “win” and I thought she looked fantastic.
There’s no word on when we’ll see Kate next, but the BAFTAs are on Sunday, Feb. 10 so there’s a chance we’ll get a red carpet appearance from the couple. In the meantime, the Duchess of Sussex will carry out three engagements this week, including a day in Bristol with the Duke of Sussex on Friday. We’ll cover all of that here and then squeeze in some more history over the weekend.
Full Text of Kate’s Speech
“William and I are so pleased to be back here in Dundee to celebrate the opening of this wonderful museum today. Thank you so much for inviting us.
“Last February, I was delighted to become Patron of The V&A in London. Now, nearly a year later, I’m thrilled to be standing in a brand new V&A: one which has been built for the city of Dundee and for Scotland, and which is already picking up international awards. In its first four months alone, it welcomed over 360,000 visitors – a truly remarkable feat.
“Walking around this world-class space, it’s easy to see how Scotland’s first dedicated design museum is already inspiring the next generation, by providing a new learning space for discovery. I have been captivated by the breathtaking architecture, and the sheer range of design on display.
“But most of all I’ve been moved by the passion of the people who work here, and the dedication of all those who have helped make this important project to succeed.
“I believe we should celebrate all our leading galleries, museums, and cultural centres playing a greater role in communities, not just in London, but up and down the country too. The cultural riches of the UK belong to all people of the UK.
“This is what V&A Dundee has achieved. The partners involved in this project from the local area, Scotland, and the UK more broadly all deserve enormous credit for the way you have collaborated to make this happen.
“I hope that this museum will serve as an inspiration to others, by showing how great things can be achieved when different communities all pull together. With this thought in mind, I am pleased to declare V&A Dundee “officially” open. I wish you all every success for the future.”