Usually I like to start at the beginning of a day, but for this post we’re going to start with the headline news – the state dinner and the Duchess of Cambridge receiving the Family Order – and work back from there. The big takeaway is that after over seven years of marriage, Kate has finally been given the Elizabeth II Family Order.
Tomorrow King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will kick off a two-day state visit to the UK, during which they will meet with the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. On Tuesday evening the two will also attend a state banquet held in their honor at Buckingham Palace, which will serve as home base while they are in London.
The final cherry on top of yesterday’s royal tour sundae was the appearance of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a reception held in honor of the Queen’s birthday. Hosted by the British Ambassador Jonathan Knott, the party was held at the Orangery in Lazienki Park.
And among nearly 600 guests, Kate certainly stood out in a black and white dress by Gosia Baczynska, the first Polish designer to ever be featured at Paris Fashion Week.
We’re finally here! The Cambridges’ tour of Poland and Germany has officially commenced with the family touching down in Warsaw earlier today. Two quick things before we get started: 1) I’m going to cover only the day events in this post and will follow up with the reception later this evening or tomorrow AM and 2) I have to flag that I made quite the faux-pas yesterday and misidentified the dress Kate wore to Wimbledon. Turns out it was Catherine Walker and that’s been corrected in the original post.
That’s all, folks. This morning King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain said a formal goodbye to Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace after a whirlwind 72-hour trip.
The week behind him, Philip has reportedly bid a final adieu to state visits, making this one of his last high-profile appearances as a full-time working royal. When he and the Queen make their annual sojourn to Balmoral later this summer, he will finally be able to enjoy a proper retirement at the ripe old age of 96.
Is this British enough for you?
For King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s second night in London they were gifted a banquet hosted by the Lord Mayor of London at Guildhall. Their escort for the evening was the Queen’s daughter, the Princess Royal. I have to say, it was the same for me last time I was in London. Bit over the top, but I did appreciate the gesture.
While perhaps not on quite the same scale as the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace, Guildhall isn’t exactly messing around and, as you can tell from everyone’s apparel, neither were the guests.
It would be hard to top the pageantry of yesterday’s procession and banquet, but the schedule was chock full of engagements for King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain as they embarked on the second day of their state visit to the UK. This morning, Felipe accompanied the Duke of York, the Queen’s second son, for a UK-Spain Business Forum at Mansion House. Apparently Felipe made a speech, however, I’ll be honest with you, I can’t find coverage of this engagement anywhere, which is a bit strange as I don’t recall seeing that it was a private event.
What a day! I had hoped to be able to dash off a quick mid-point update, but unfortunately work precluded that lofty plan. I will say that it was exciting to see the new engagements hit the news as I sneaked glances at my phone in-between meetings. A state visit, particularly a royal one, might be even more fun than a tour, but who’s to say? (Well, we can after next week, I suppose.)
Anyway, I’m going to break the day’s events up into two posts, saving the state banquet for a little later this evening, so check back to see Kate in all her tiara and lace glory. For now, we’re going to focus on King Felipe & Queen Letizia’s formal welcome by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, including that fantastic procession down the Mall and the hilariously awkward greeting with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
Last month, in a nod to the upcoming royal visit, I posted about Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, the last marriage alliance between Britain and Spain. Now, days out from the arrival of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, I thought it appropriate to offer some background on these two, as well as what we know so far about the itinerary July 12-14.