Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sunday of Sailing Cancelled as the Cambridges Visit Portsmouth

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge supported the America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth today.


The Duchess attended in her capacity as patron of the 1851 Trust, supported by Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor in history. The Trust aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, providing young people with the education, skills and training to become future innovators and stewards of the marine environment.


Keen sailor Kate crewed a Round the World Challenge Boat during her gap year and worked as a deckhand. When Kate took on the role of patron last October she said, "I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age and I know it is a great way of providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence".


We saw Kate's love of sailing in action during a competitive race against William in Auckland during the couple's tour of New Zealand and Australia last year. Prince William also appears to enjoy sailing, perhaps one of the reasons he decided to accompany his wife today.


The Palace said the Duchess would take "the opportunity to learn more about how the charity is using this exciting time for the sport in the UK to inspire a new generation".

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

Their Royal Highnesses enjoyed a tour of international team areas at Portsmouth Naval Base before meeting team skippers and their crews.


William and Kate chatting with a group from New Zealand Team HQ.


The couple asked plenty of questions and heard first-hand experiences from crews.


After the tour, William and Kate were expected to enjoy two races and give prizes afterwards. Rumours were persistent throughout the morning the races may not go ahead and unfortunately due to extreme weather conditions the difficult decision to cancel the races was taken. Below the full statement from the America's Cup World Series:

'OFFICIAL STATEMENT
 After discussions with the America's Cup organising committee due to extreme weather we have had to take the difficult decision to cancel today's racing and Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event programme, and the site has been closed for the day, Sunday July 26.
We had hoped to go ahead with early racing, but with winds gusting in excess of 30mph we could not risk the safety of the crews and public, and their welfare is paramount. Due to high winds the Waterfront Festival Arena and Fanzone Arena is now closed, and we ask public to leave the event site.'

A look at the dismal conditions.

Yachts and Yachting Twitter Feed

William and Kate had hoped to see Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing), led by Sir Ben today - the first British team to contest an official America's Cup event on home waters since the competition began in 1851.

Land Rover BAR

Others teams participating came from USA, France, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden.

Land Rover BAR

As to the significance of this weekend's racing? More from The Guardian:

'This weekend Ainslie’s crew will race against five others during the first leg of a series in which points are earned for a final qualification event, before the two-team America’s Cup final itself. There are further events scheduled in Gothenburg and Bermuda this year, before a number of others in 2016.'

Sir Ben Ainslie wrote a piece for the Telegraph ahead of the event.

'The teams are all incredibly even and the tight racing at these speeds has already led to some big wipe outs as teams are pushing their boats to the limit. In the end it will come down to the sailing side; the boat handling, who makes the right calls on the day. 
And believe me, it will be competitive. Although these World Series races are of limited import as far as the 35th America's Cup itself is concerned, they do count towards qualification. And there will be professional pride at stake as well.'

It's obviously incredibly disappointing news for all involved.

Oliver Ing Twitter Feed

However, there is still much to celebrate for Land Rover BAR, who are the overall winners of the event.

ACWS Portsmouth Twitter Feed

Kate and Rebecca Deacon chatting between events.


William and Kate continued with the rest of the itinerary for the visit. They toured the new Ben Ainslie Racing team base to view their state-of-the-art facilities and learned more about the work being done there.


The couple appeared to thoroughly enjoy the visit.


Kate reacts as she watches the Land Rover BAR team boat being lifted out of the water from a window


Kate participated in a sailing simulation.


Gifts for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Royal Navy Twitter Feed

Speaking of Prince George, Kate revealed the tot who recently turned two thinks he is older. More from The Mirror:

'After appearing to blow air at the Duchess as she shook hands with families of staff, the son of the team’s Head Coach Rob Wilson stepped forward to say “Hello Princess, my name is Freddie Wilson. Mum Wendy Maxwell said: “She asked him how old he was and he said ‘I’m three’.
“When I said he is only two, she said, ‘George says that. He thinks that he’s older”.
Kate also stopped to chat to two-year-old George Mills and his 13-week-old brother Harry, who had fallen asleep. Mum Rebecca said: “She asked George if he likes Peppa Pig and said she hoped Charlotte would be doing a lot of sleeping too.”

Kate met a little girl who was crying and tried to cheer her up.


As always, mother of two Kate was a natural with the children she met.


William and Kate met children who had recently enjoyed their first sailing experience thanks to the 1851 Trust.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

Finally, the Duke and Duchess presented medals to the Land Rover BAR Team.


William and Kate congratulated Sir Ben.


You can view a video here.


A rather nice photo of two handsome fellows, wouldn't you agree ladies :)


Both William and Kate sported Ben Ainslie Racing pullovers by sailing outfitter Henri Lloyd showing their support for the team. The piece is available to purchase online for £70. (with thanks to Kate & Pippa Style).

Henri Lloyd


The women's Land Rover BAR  Aura Half Zip fleece is described this way:

'Micro stretch fleece for lightweight insulation. The ergonomic shape and high stretch properties of this garment guarantee incredible comfort and ease of movement. The extended half zip can be opened for extra venting. BAR logo to left chest Henri Lloyd logo to right shoulder Official America’s Cup Challenger logo to left sleeve 11th Hour logo to right sleeve Union Jack woven label to lower right hem.' 

William and Kate's pullovers were personalised.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

The piece is not available internationally due to distribution rights, however the folks at Henri Lloyd have asked those who cannot purchase directly from their website to contact them via email.

Henri Lloyd Twitter Feed

Otherwise, Kate chose what has become known as her sporting uniform. The staple of this look is a Breton stripe top - the Duchess owns several and we regularly see her wearing them for official events, and most recently for the polo. Several people noted the top is most likely one of Kate's Me + Em tops.

Me + Em

Kate's navy skinny jeans are by Zara.


Kate's incredibly popular Sebago Bala boat shoes were a stylish choice complementing the rest of the casual look.

Sebago

Our favourite photographer James Whatling snapped a close up shot of Kate's pair.


Kate wore her hair in a ponytail and accessorised with her Annoushka pearl drops and Kiki McDonough diamond hoops.


The Duchess made a quick change for the prize-giving ceremony - opting for her navy ZARA blazer.

ZARA

And her trusty Stuart Weitman Corkswoon Wedges. The $398 blue suede wedges are available at NordstromZappos and Stuart Weitzman.


Stuart Weitzman

You can watch a brief arrival video here. There's an interesting moment where Rebecca Deacon gives the press pack a friendly wave. There's also a longer video available on You Tube.


Thank you for reading. I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend :)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

New Photo Released to Mark Prince George's 2nd Birthday!

As you all know, a very special little boy is celebrating his second birthday tomorrow :)

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed / Mario Testino

To mark the occasion Kensington Palace released a new photo of the prince via their Twitter Feed. The photo was taken at Princess Charlotte's christening earlier this month, and shows the prince in his father's arms, smiling and leaning towards the camera.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed / Mario Testino

The Palace shared a teaser tweet this morning, revealing they would be sharing a photo of Prince George. It had been expected we wouldn't see the release of another photograph as we've seen quite a lot of George in recent months, but much to the delight of royal fans this was not the case. Once again, we're seeing the Palace using social media to release images of the Cambridge children - a trend we expect to see continue and grow in the future.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

The post on the British Monarchy's Facebook Page read "It captures a very happy moment on what was a very special day for the Duke and Duchess and their family".

The British Monarchy Facebook Page

Prince George's first birthday portraits were taken at the Natural History Museum. As you can see, he's grown quite a bit since then.

Clarence House Twitter Feed

How will Prince George be celebrating the day? It is believed Kate has planned a low-key family affair at the family's home Anmer Hall in Norfolk. Unlike last year's bash at Kensington Palace, when the Irish Guards played "Happy Birthday" it will be a more modest affair.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed / Mario Testino

More from the Telegraph:

'His grandparents Michael and Carole Middleton will be visiting, as will Auntie Pippa, friends and godparents. But the other set of grandparents - Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall - will not be attending as they are on an official visit to the West Country.
 They plan to spend some quality time with George and Charlotte, who is almost three months old, at Sandringham at the end of the week.
Prince William has just started working as an East Anglian Air Ambulance helicopter pilot, so he may not be able to make the party due to work commitments.'

There's been some interesting and rather fun articles written to mark the future monarch's birthday. including the Telegraph's 'Prince George at 2: What our future king has learned so far'.

'Being a toddler is the best practice ever for ruling a country. Most mothers of children in this age group spend a lot of time persuading their offspring that not everything is “mine” (which may be harder when your son is the heir to the throne).Two-year-olds are control freaks – “me do it!” – with no fine motor skills. They see no difference between giving you a sweet snuggle and smacking you in the face with a toy hammer.
Toddlers have no bodily fears or concept of gravity. They never stop moving and never want to sleep. They’re clingy and whiny and shouty, and so, so heavy (my goodness, they’re heavy). But all it takes is one spontaneous little kiss and you’d forgive them (almost) everything.'

The Mirror has captioned an adorable set of photos of George in their piece, Prince George birthday: What is the royal toddler really thinking?

The Mirror

We've seen Prince George much more than anticipated over the past year - from official appearances to outings with Kate - and it's been wonderful to see him continue to grow into such a happy, delightful child. In his most recent interview Prince William described his son as "a little monkey".

Clarence House Twitter Feed

The boisterous toddler is said to be incredibly active and much like his parents adores the outdoors. From what we've seen he loves nothing more than a day out at the local pet farm or an afternoon of playing with his cousins at the polo.


Richard Kay wrote a piece for the Mail Online noting how similar Prince George is to his father.

'Like many a toddler — and to the exasperation of his parents — George has a habit of opening and slamming doors. Anything of value has to be placed out of reach. One visitor who left her bag open found the young Prince attempting to empty the contents. And without a strong parental hand — as William found at Charlotte’s christening — George will soon resolutely strike out on his own.
Three decades ago, the infant William was known by his father Prince Charles as ‘whirlwind Will’, with an alarming habit of flushing shoes down the royal loo, pushing the palace panic buttons and threatening to behead his friends or lock them up in the Tower of London.'

Perhaps my favourite George appearance over the past year was seeing him arrive at St Mary's hospital to meet his baby sister. There was a very sweet moment when William encouraged him to walk, but upon seeing the world's media at his feet, decided he would prefer if his dad carried him. We saw early glimpses of his royal wave too :)


The biggest change for George over the last year has been Charlotte's arrival. Going from being the only child to big brother can be quite the adjustment for any child. Judging by Kate's photos of the pair taken at Anmer Hall it looks like he adores his little sister!

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge / Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

In May it was revealed George would become more visible to the public. A royal aide said, "The duke and duchess feel most people have been very supportive of the measures they have taken to protect his privacy. But they do realise there is a good-natured interest [in him] from people." Below we see the tot making his debut at the first of many Trooping the Colour appearances.


The prince wore the same outfit William wore for his first Trooping appearance in 1984.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

Another unforgettable moment for royal watchers was seeing the Cambridges together as a family of four for the first time at Princess Charlotte's christening. George made the walk to St Mary's holding William's hand. Once again, the Cambridges referenced William's childhood, dressing their son in a red and white Rachel Riley ensemble - almost identical to the outfit William wore to meet Harry in 1984.


If you haven't seen this video of George toddling outside the church on his tip-toes, you must click here :)


And of course Mario Testino's father-son shot will no doubt take pride of place somewhere in the Cambridges' home.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed / Mario Testino

Wishing our favourite little prince a very Happy Birthday!

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We have a handful of other updates to quickly share today. ISSA has re-released Kate's engagement dress renaming it the Phyllis. Crafted from midnight-blue. silk-blend jersey and gathered and wrapped at the waist it is a classic piece. It's a darker shade than Kate's dress, retailing for $650 at Net-A-Porter. It's also available at Harvey Nichols.

ISSA

Kate's much loved L.K. Bennett Lasana dress has been re-released in black with a striking pink poppy print. It's available for £250 in most sizes on the website (with thanks to Christin).

L.K. Bennett

Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale is currently ongoing with a selection of fantastic Kate-inspired bargains available. Andrea was in touch to share news she snagged a pair of Aquatalia Riyan Booties - an updated version of Kate's Royal Boots. They are discounted from $495 to $269 at Nordstrom Rack.

Nordstrom

Our friends at Black.co.uk are celebrating their 9th birthday with 25% off all collections until 27 July. The luxury accessories and gifts brand specialises in timeless, elegant pieces. Below we see Kate's Cornelia James Bow Gloves in satin lycra, the Foldable Ballet Flats and the Medici Silk Scarf.

Black.co.uk

Check out the new arrivals page to see the latest pieces also included in the sale.


Black.co.uk

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We have a request from one of our lovely readers, Amanda, who is moving to Manchester and hoping to reach out to other readers in the area:

I am a longtime reader of the blog who will be moving to the UK (Manchester) for a filmmaking program this fall.  I would love to connect with some local readers who are within a couple hours' distance - for friendships and also possible projects and conversations. (My background is in sociology, and I am so fascinated by the mix of fashion/feminism/critique/pressures that surround HRH) contact: amanda.manuk at gmail.
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Finally, I'm away at present and it is one of the reasons the comments section in our last post became out of hand. We all want a friendly place which encourages debate to discuss the Cambridges - instead it is descending into unpleasantness and becoming out of control. Let's try as a community to respect all opinions expressed, and respond in a calm, measured fashion. Due to the number of complaints expressed in recent days, I will be moderating more closely. Thank you all for taking the time to visit the blog, I want it to continue to be an enjoyable place to stop by!

We'll see you on Sunday when William and Kate will be supporting the America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth.