The work goes on. Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out a series of engagements in Bradford, a town in West Yorkshire, for their first joint appearance of the New Year. It’s also the couple’s first away day of 2020, which the two have been doing more and more of over the last two years in an effort to see and be seen by more of England.
Before we turn to today, however, I want to briefly mention an investiture ceremony William handled on the Queen’s behalf this week. He honored Alex Duguid for services on behalf of deaf people and British Sign Language education, and for the occasion William learned how to sign “Congratulations, Alex,” providing a very heartwarming moment during what can be very staid ceremonies (at least by outward appearances). Anyway, I loved this, and I think it’s a nice change of pace after the last couple days!
Today began at City Hall where William and Kate met a group of young people and representatives from local businesses and the community. Outside in Centenary Square, they did a walkabout to meet and greet residents who came out to welcome them.
From there they visited the flagship MyLahore, a chain restaurant serving British Asian food. Apparently this stop was requested by the couple following their tour of Pakistan last year where they spent a day in Lahore. They learned about the company’s community service efforts and met students from Bradford College who are on a kitchen apprenticeship scheme.
Naturally this turned into a group project of concocting mango lassis, hence the many photos of Kate and William commandeering the blenders.
Next, the couple sat down with the UK Women’s Muslim Council and those who have benefited from the Council’s Curry Circle, a project sponsored by MyLahore that provides the homeless with two hot meals a day.
Then it was off to one of Bradford’s Khidmat Centres, which support vulnerable members of the community from minority backgrounds, and Near Neighbours, an organization that fosters communication between different ethnic and religious background.
So, a full day. This moment was captured by royal reporter Rhiannon Mills and is now making its way through Twitter:
On the fashion front, Kate debuted a new green coat by Alexander McQueen, and a black and white dress by Zara. Her handbag is Aspinal of London, her shoes are Gianvito Rossi, and her jewelry is Zeen, debuted in Pakistan and a graceful nod to their engagement at MyLahore.
Unfortunately I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this look, but honestly, it was a nice change of pace to have an engagement on the books without any extra baggage. We’re next due to see the couple on Monday when they host a reception for the UK-Africa Investment Summit at Buckingham Palace, and I would imagine further engagements will be announced for the last two weeks of January, before we see them again at the BAFTAs on February 2nd.
Over in Canada, the Duchess of Sussex was spotted in Vancouver visiting a women’s center. The couple’s official channels didn’t promote the visit, so I think it’s safe to call this private. Certainly this is in keeping with Meghan’s interests, but I’m surprised that she’s venturing out in the city where she knows it’s likely she’ll be photographed. I’m not sure how I feel about this, to be honest. On the one hand, it’s hard to criticize charity work, but on the other, there’s a lot going on right now and this might be a time to keep a lower profile. I don’t know – I need to think about this, but welcome your thoughts.
As for other site news, well, there isn’t much right now since last week’s news derailed my editorial calendar! I had hoped to get another Richard III post up last week, but that’s on hold now until next week. There are four more installments I want to cover, and then I have a few posts on Lancastrians, Tudors, and Stuarts planned for February and March. So, for those holding out hope for more history, it’s coming! In the meantime, there are a few more Sussex-related posts I want to get up – tomorrow I want to address the latest update in the tabloid lawsuit, and in the next few days I do want to cover the Royal Family’s relationships with the tabloids more comprehensively. Until then, Happy Wednesday 🙂