Before we get into today’s engagement at Bletchley Park, let’s quickly catch up on the last couple of days. Royal reporters are saying that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were due to meet their new nephew “early this week.” Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who were traveling in Germany last week, are due to stop over at Frogmore Cottage later this week and meet the newest Windsor addition.
We’re also a week out from the Chelsea Flower Show. In February, Kensington Palace announced that Kate has been working with the Royal Horticultural Society to a design a “Back to Nature” garden that will debut this year. Photos of Kate working behind-the-scenes were released, as well as drawings of the garden itself. Yesterday, KP followed up with a few more photos of Kate, highlighting its goal to emphasize the benefit being outdoors can have on mental health.
Back to today, Kate visited Bletchley Park to view a D-Day exhibition in the Teleprinter Building in honor of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The engagement is meant to highlight the role of Bletchley Park codebreakers, and Kate is a natural fit given that her paternal grandmother, Valerie Glassborow, was one such codebreaker during World War II.
She previously visited the site in 2014 where she had the opportunity to meet with codebreakers who had actually worked alongside her grandmother. Pictured below:
Valerie and her sister, Mary, were also honored today by having their names added to new bricks on the “Codebreakers Wall,” which was shown off as a surprise for the Duchess.
Kate again met with former codebreakers today:
She also met with schoolchildren who are learning codebreaking skills as apart of a STEM learning activity. Part of the exercise includes letting the students use an actual Enigma machine.
Style-wise, Kate recycled her navy and polka-dot Alessandra Rich dress that was featured in Charles’s 70th birthday photos last fall. This was the first time we really got to see the dress move though, and I was surprise to see how high that slit is! It’s easy to see why Kate was attracted to this piece – it’s very structured and buttoned-up on the top, with a flowing skirt and just a hint of skin. On-brand, as always, but while I wasn’t over the moon about this when we first saw it last year, I’m now officially on board for it.
This dress was quite a hit with celebrities last year, and in fact one of the Duchess of Sussex’s former co-starts wore it to her wedding last year. And Kate’s sister, Pippa Matthews, wore a similarly-cut Alessandra Rich dress to Prince Louis’s christening last summer.
In other royal news, garden party season officially kicks off tomorrow at Buckingham Palace. The Queen usually hosts the first, but it’s been confirmed that Charles will actually fill in for her. No reason was given, but it’s believed the Queen’s health is fine and this is yet another example of her slowly, but steadily, scaling back her duties and handing them over to the next generation.
The senior royals usually spread out their presence at these garden parties, and since Charles and Camilla will be there tomorrow, it’s unlikely (though not impossible!) that William and Kate will be. Other royals’ attendance isn’t announced in advance, so we’ll see. There will be another two the following week, so there’s plenty of opportunity.
And finally, one year ago today, I put up a post on the marriage of James II and his second wife, Mary Beatrice of Modena, for those looking for a history fix. At the same time, we were five days out from Harry and Meghan’s wedding and things were getting a little nutty for the KP press office(!)