Kate Debuts Her Garden at Hampton Court Palace (+ the Pakistan Trip)

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The Duchess of Cambridge popped up at Hampton Court Palace this afternoon to help debut her garden at its new location after a successful stint at the Chelsea Flower Show. She invited four children representing four of her patronages for a treasure hunt, walk, and picnic in the garden.

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The four patronages chosen were the Anna Freud Centre, Evelina Children’s Hospital, Action for Children and Place2Be. It’s estimated that 19,500 visitors enjoyed the garden while it was in Chelsea, while thousands more are expected to come see it at Hampton Court.

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For the occasion, Kate wore a new dress by the French brand Sandro, which she paired with the same Castañer Carina wedges that she wore last week with the Ridley London dress. These midi-length summer dresses are having quite the moment with the Duchess this season, so I won’t be surprised if we see them a few more times before the Royal Family breaks for August.

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Worth noting is that according to a few of the royal reporters, Kensington Palace has stopped releasing details on what Kate is wearing. Up until recently (as in the last week or so), they have almost always done so with the exception of particularly solemn occasions like Remembrance Day, etc. It’ll be interesting to see if they keep this up. The obvious takeaway is that they mean to re-direct attention to Kate’s work, but there’s obviously a cottage industry focused on tracking what Kate and other royal women wear, so it’s highly unlikely this will change much except create occasions in which ID’ing a particular outfit takes a bit longer.

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The other big news in Cambridge World is that the destination of this autumn’s Asia tour was revealed on Saturday. While a host of Commonwealth countries were bandied about last week, Kensington Palace announced that the couple will in fact be traveling to Pakistan. This is definitely a surprise, but not an unpleasant one. I’m pleased to have the couple going somewhere they haven’t already traveled, and in fact they will be the first members of the RF to travel there since the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall did in 2006.

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Much like William’s visit to the Middle East last year, this tour will definitely have the couple playing a more serious diplomatic role, which sounds about right given their future roles. We’ll know more when a full itinerary is released (and that probably won’t happen until the end of summer), but royal reporter Roya Nikkah indicated the trip would last “around a week,” so they will certainly be spending some real time there by tour standards.

Last week I raised whether or not they would bring their children with them, noting that with Prince George and Princess Charlotte in school, it’s unlikely we’ll see them. I would now say it’s almost certain the kids will stay home, including Prince Louis.

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After today, it’s unclear when we’ll next see Kate, but with Wimbledon underway we should get an appearance or two in the next week or so. She usually attends once on her own (or with a friend/companion – Meghan last year, Pippa in years past, etc.) and once with William.

In other royal news, the Queen is currently in Edinburgh for Holyrood Week, Charles and Camilla are in Wales for their annual week of engagements, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex are visiting Forfar of which they are now earl and countess. I will cover a roundup of that work tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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