Well! Two big events (unexpectedly) happened today – the Duchess of Cambridge carried out her first joint engagement with the Queen and she was named patron of the Foundling Museum before visiting this afternoon. The Queen and Kate have certainly made appearances together in the past (separate and apart from events featuring the entire family), but this was oddly enough their first engagement together without anyone else.
In March 2012, nearly a year after Kate’s wedding, she joined the Queen in Leicester, however that was before the Duke of Edinburgh’s retirement and he was very much there. The obvious question is whether today was prompted by the attention that the Queen’s engagement with the Duchess of Sussex last year garnered, and my guess is yes, that has something to do with this. Showing favor to Meghan so soon after her own wedding was a welcome show of approval, but I can understand the feeling that the same should quickly be bestowed on Kate given her status as a future queen.
Today, the Queen and Kate visited Bush House, the newest building in King’s College London’s Strand Campus. They were introduced to alumni and donors who had worked to open the new building, and then shown the view from the top. Next up was a tour of the new facilities, including a visit to meet students and staff working with robotics. While Kate gamely shook a robot’s hand, the Queen declined, which feels on-brand.
Finally, the two made their way to the auditorium where the Queen, as patron of the university, unveiled a plaque to formally open the building.
In the midst of that activity, Kate’s new patronage of the Foundling Museum was announced by Kensington Palace. The Duchess then made her way to her second engagement of the day, meeting participants of the museum’s “Tracing our Tales” program, which aims to train young adults without how to develop museum-based workshops. She met with some of the same people during a visit two years ago and today was given the chance to hear how things have progressed.
She also visited an exhibition called “Bedrooms of London,” which captures the living conditions of the city’s most disadvantaged children.
On the fashion front, I honestly first thought this look was a repeat of the grey Catherine Walker coatdress that Kate first debuted at Balmoral last summer, and then recycled for a day in Leicester with the Duke in November. Naturally, I was wrong, and this is in fact a new grey coatdress by, you guessed it, Catherine Walker. This one features a black collar and a wider belt, while Kate included a black hat when she was with the Queen earlier in the day (and then promptly ditched at the museum).
I like this fine – and in fact, it’s an improvement over the first coatdress, which was a bit short-waisted. Right now I’m a big fan of grey garments with black collars, inspired, no doubt, by Kate’s Smythe blazer last fall that I absolutely loved.
With that, Meghan made a surprise appearance today and I’m going to try and cover that either later tonight or tomorrow morning. TBD.