Designers Rosie van Cutsem and sister Lucia Ruck Keene reveal lockdown in Norfolk

Designers Rosie van Cutsem has revealed how the smart Norfolk set have been enjoying G&T sundowners and online yoga with the mother of Prince Harry’s goddaughter during lockdown.  

Rosie, 38, is among the darlings of the royal set who lives just a stone’s throw from Prince William, 38, and Kate Middleton’s, 38, lockdown pad of Anmer Hall. 

She told Tatler how she and her sister Lucia, 34, have been enjoying ‘wonderful’ evenings drinking G&T sundowners, taking part in online yoga classes with the mother of Prince Harry’s goddaughter Zoe Warren and running through fields. 

For the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, north Norfolk’s very remoteness is part of its appeal, along with its golden beaches, posh pubs and landed squires known as the Turnip Toffs. 

We take a look at the women who make up Kate’s very glossy lockdown posse.

Designers Rosie van Cutsem, 38, and her sister Lucia Ruck Keene, 34, have revealed how they’ve been ‘loving’ spending G&T sundowners and running in the countryside during lockdown in Norfolk 

Rosie revealed that Zoe Warren, who is the mother of Prince Harry's goddaughter, has been running online yoga sessions during the pandemic  (pictured at Princess Eugenie's wedding in 2018)

Rosie revealed that Zoe Warren, who is the mother of Prince Harry’s goddaughter, has been running online yoga sessions during the pandemic  (pictured at Princess Eugenie’s wedding in 2018) 

Other members of Kate's exclusive Norfolk set include Laura Fellowes, who is one of Princess Charlotte's godmothers  (pictured at the royal's christening in 2015)

Other members of Kate's exclusive Norfolk set include Laura Fellowes, who is one of Princess Charlotte's godmothers and Lady Laura Meade (pictured)

Other members of Kate’s exclusive Norfolk set include Laura Fellowes, who is one of Princess Charlotte’s godmothers  (pictured left at the royal’s christening in 2015)  and Lady Laura Meade (pictured right)

Rosie van Cutsem

Prince George’s godfather William van Cutsem is the youngest of the four lofty, handsome sons of Prince Charles’s late Cambridge University friend, Hugh. 

William van Cutsem grew up at Anmer Hall before Hugh moved to 4,000-acre Hilborough nearby and built a neo-Palladian house. It has a magnificent wild game shoot.

Prince William and William remain close to one another and have acknowledged their friendship by making each other godparents to their children. 

William van Cutsem is godfather to Prince George; Nicholas van Cutsem is godfather to Prince Louis; Prince Harry is godfather to Nicholas van Cutsem’s daughter, Florence, who was a flower girl at the Sussexes’ wedding; and Prince William is godfather to Hugh and Rose’s daughter Grace. 

Meanwhile Rosie's husband William van Cutsem is a close childhood friend of the Duke of Cambridge and is godfather to Prince George, six (pictured, at his christening)

Meanwhile Rosie’s husband William van Cutsem is a close childhood friend of the Duke of Cambridge and is godfather to Prince George, six (pictured, at his christening)  

The Duchess of Cambridge is amoung the well-heeled clients who have been spotted in the sister's designers (pictured, wearing a coat from Troy London in 2019)

The Duchess of Cambridge is amoung the well-heeled clients who have been spotted in the sister’s designers (pictured, wearing a coat from Troy London in 2019) 

He married Rosie in 2013 after meeting at a shoot in Hilborough, and the couple now live just up the road from Anmer Hall.

The same year, Rosie launched an outdoorwear label Troy London with her sister Lucia, with the Duchess of Cambridge regularly wearing items from the brand.

 At the start of lockdown, the sisters decided to isolate together at Rosie’s home in Norfolk, which she shares with her husband William and their two sons.

Lucia left her flat in Ladbroke Grove and moved into the country, with the sisters admitting they were ‘loving’ spending the family time together.

The sisters, who set up their fashion label Troy in 2013, have revealed how they struggled to get the business of the ground because they remained dedicated to making their products in the UK

The sisters, who set up their fashion label Troy in 2013, have revealed how they struggled to get the business of the ground because they remained dedicated to making their products in the UK 

Lucia said it had been ‘wonderful’ to enjoy G&T sundowners around the firepit, and running through the fields close to their house.

Meanwhile Rosie admitted she’d been enjoying growing vegetables in the kitchen garden, with the duo revealing they’d found simple pleasure in weeding.         

Polly Coke 

Palladian whopper Holkham Hall is home to Viscount and Viscountess Coke of Holkham, the Earl and Countess of Leicester while to Kate and Prince William,  they’ll be known as Tom and Polly Coke — pronounced Cook. 

The couple have four children who are free to roam in Holkham’s 25,000 acres of park, farmland and nature reserve. 

Meanwhile fashionable milliner Polly Coke is a good friend of Kate's, and lives at the palatial Holkham Hall

Meanwhile fashionable milliner Polly Coke is a good friend of Kate’s, and lives at the palatial Holkham Hall 

Polly is a fashionable friend for Kate; she is a milliner by trade and her mother is a fashion designer who’s dressed royals — her cousin is retro designer Cath Kidston, who helped her set up shop. 

The Queen spends New Year’s Eve at Holkham, but the New Year’s Day picnic — bullshots (consomme laced with vodka) and roast pheasant — is the most sought after invitation.

The jewel of Holkham is its four-mile long beach, often voted the finest in the UK.

This sweep of golden sand — as seen at the end of the film Shakespeare In Love, with Gwyneth Paltrow staring forlornly out to sea — is perfect bucket-and-spade territory for Prince George. Though not the bit where the nudists like to sunbathe… 

What a whopper: Holkham Hall is home to Viscount and Viscountess Coke... and a four mile long beach

What a whopper: Holkham Hall is home to Viscount and Viscountess Coke… and a four mile long beach

Laura Fellowes  

The daughter of Diana’s sister Jane Fellowes, Laura is married to equity analyst Nick Pettman and they have two sons around the same age as Prince George, six. 

Her family live in west Norfolk, where her father Lord Fellowes is said to be the most charming dinner guest in the county. Laura was bridesmaid to Andrew and Fergie.

Lord Fellowes was the Queen’s Private Secretary; his father was the Queen’s land agent at Sandringham.

Laura’s nickname is Mavis and she writes award- winning fiction under the name Mave Fellowes. 

Meanwhile author Laura Fellowes, whose mother is Princess Diana¿s sister Jane is another member of the Norfolk set

Meanwhile author Laura Fellowes, whose mother is Princess Diana’s sister Jane is another member of the Norfolk set 

Davina Duckworth-Chad  

Davina Duckworth-Chad is the daughter of local landowner Anthony, who lives at 40-room Pynkney Hall near King’s Lynn. 

Davina’s mother was Diana’s cousin, her father’s a friend of Charles and her brother was a royal equerry.

She is married to Tom Barber, an Old Etonian son of a baronet, and they have twins, India and Sienna, eight.

A photograph of Davina was used to launch Country Life’s website and she became known as ‘the deb on the web.’

The stylish and elegant Davina Duckworth-Chad is the daughter of local landowner Anthony, who lives at 40-room Pynkney Hall near King¿s Lynn

 The stylish and elegant Davina Duckworth-Chad is the daughter of local landowner Anthony, who lives at 40-room Pynkney Hall near King’s Lynn 

Lady Laura Meade 

Lady Laura Meade is the wife of James Meade, one of Prince William’s closest friends from Eton, who was his best man and gave a speech at the royal wedding. 

She is daughter to Julian Marsham, 8th Earl of Romney, and married James in 2013, a wedding attended by William. 

Laura is said to be godmother to Prince Louis, while James is reportedly godfather to Princess Charlotte.

The couple were spotted with the Cambridges on Sunday, as they attended church alongside the Queen. 

Lady Laura Meade (seen to the left of Kate with a hairband) is said to be godmother to Prince Louis, while James is reportedly godfather to Princess Charlotte. The couple, who also live near the Cambridges' country retreat Amner Hall, were spotted with the Cambridges on Sunday, as they attended church alongside the Queen

Lady Laura Meade (seen to the left of Kate with a hairband) is said to be godmother to Prince Louis, while James is reportedly godfather to Princess Charlotte. The couple, who also live near the Cambridges’ country retreat Amner Hall, were spotted with the Cambridges on Sunday, as they attended church alongside the Queen

Zoe Warren 

Zoe Warren is married to Darren Warren, a close friend to Princes William and Harry, who was one of Princess Diana’s godchildren, and whose father is the Queen’s racing manager John Warren.

Their daughter Zalia was a bridesmaid at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, and is one of Harry’s goddaughters. 

With their mutual interest of racing, the royal family and the Warrens are frequently spotted together at Ascot. 

Zoe Warren is married to Darren Warren, a close friend to Princes William and Harry, who was one of Princess Diana's godchildren, and whose father is the Queen's racing manager John Warren (pictured, with Prince Philip)

Zoe Warren is married to Darren Warren, a close friend to Princes William and Harry, who was one of Princess Diana’s godchildren, and whose father is the Queen’s racing manager John Warren (pictured, with Prince Philip) 

Hannah Carter 

Hannah and Kate attended Marlborough College together, where they played on several of the same sports teams.

Kate’s sister Pippa was a couple of years below Kate at the same school and also played sports.

She is married to Robert Carter, whose family are wealthy Norfolk landowners.

Both William and Kate attended their wedding in 2012.

Hannah (seen with husband Robert at the wedding of William van Cutsem and Rosie Ruck Keene) and Kate attended Marlborough College together, where they played on several of the same sports teams

Hannah (seen with husband Robert at the wedding of William van Cutsem and Rosie Ruck Keene) and Kate attended Marlborough College together, where they played on several of the same sports teams

Her sister-in-law, Sophie Carter, is one of Charlotte’s godparents.

Sophie Carter 

Sophie has been a friend to Kate for many years and is often to be found quietly by the Duchess’s side at various parties and events.

While in their younger days the girls used to party the nights away, they now mainly watch tennis (they play together and hang out at Wimbledon), though they were pictured cheering exuberantly at Cirque du Soleil for Kate’s 31st birthday.

The daughter of Norfolk construction tycoon Robert Carter, Sophie is also, helpfully, an expert in early years’ learning, having been a nursery and prep school teacher.

Sophie has been a friend to Kate for many years and is often to be found quietly by the Duchess¿s side at various parties and events

Sophie has been a friend to Kate for many years and is often to be found quietly by the Duchess’s side at various parties and events

The Durham University graduate has developed a phonics educational app, ‘Hip Hop Hen’, and also lives near the Cambridges’ Amner Hall retreat.

Sophie used to date Prince William’s pal, Thomas van Straubenzee, who is now engaged to marry Lucy Lanigan-O’Keeffe, a teacher at Prince George’s school.

Sophie is one of Charlotte’s godparents, and was seen attending her christening in 2015.

Sophie is another member of the set to be one of Princess Charlotte¿s godparents, and was seen attending her christening in 2015

Sophie is another member of the set to be one of Princess Charlotte’s godparents, and was seen attending her christening in 2015

 

Designers Rosie van Cutsem and sister Lucia Ruck Keene reveal lockdown in Norfolk

Designers Rosie van Cutsem has revealed how the smart Norfolk set have been enjoying G&T sundowners and online yoga with the mother of Prince Harry’s goddaughter during lockdown.  

Rosie, 38, is among the darlings of the royal set who lives just a stone’s throw from Prince William, 38, and Kate Middleton’s, 38, lockdown pad of Anmer Hall. 

She told Tatler how she and her sister Lucia, 34, have been enjoying ‘wonderful’ evenings drinking G&T sundowners, taking part in online yoga classes with the mother of Prince Harry’s goddaughter Zoe Warren and running through fields. 

For the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, north Norfolk’s very remoteness is part of its appeal, along with its golden beaches, posh pubs and landed squires known as the Turnip Toffs. 

We take a look at the women who make up Kate’s very glossy lockdown posse.

Designers Rosie van Cutsem, 38, and her sister Lucia Ruck Keene, 34, have revealed how they’ve been ‘loving’ spending G&T sundowners and running in the countryside during lockdown in Norfolk 

Rosie revealed that Zoe Warren, who is the mother of Prince Harry's goddaughter, has been running online yoga sessions during the pandemic  (pictured at Princess Eugenie's wedding in 2018)

Rosie revealed that Zoe Warren, who is the mother of Prince Harry’s goddaughter, has been running online yoga sessions during the pandemic  (pictured at Princess Eugenie’s wedding in 2018) 

Other members of Kate's exclusive Norfolk set include Laura Fellowes, who is one of Princess Charlotte's godmothers  (pictured at the royal's christening in 2015)

Other members of Kate's exclusive Norfolk set include Laura Fellowes, who is one of Princess Charlotte's godmothers and Lady Laura Meade (pictured)

Other members of Kate’s exclusive Norfolk set include Laura Fellowes, who is one of Princess Charlotte’s godmothers  (pictured left at the royal’s christening in 2015)  and Lady Laura Meade (pictured right)

Rosie van Cutsem

Prince George’s godfather William van Cutsem is the youngest of the four lofty, handsome sons of Prince Charles’s late Cambridge University friend, Hugh. 

William van Cutsem grew up at Anmer Hall before Hugh moved to 4,000-acre Hilborough nearby and built a neo-Palladian house. It has a magnificent wild game shoot.

Prince William and William remain close to one another and have acknowledged their friendship by making each other godparents to their children. 

William van Cutsem is godfather to Prince George; Nicholas van Cutsem is godfather to Prince Louis; Prince Harry is godfather to Nicholas van Cutsem’s daughter, Florence, who was a flower girl at the Sussexes’ wedding; and Prince William is godfather to Hugh and Rose’s daughter Grace. 

Meanwhile Rosie's husband William van Cutsem is a close childhood friend of the Duke of Cambridge and is godfather to Prince George, six (pictured, at his christening)

Meanwhile Rosie’s husband William van Cutsem is a close childhood friend of the Duke of Cambridge and is godfather to Prince George, six (pictured, at his christening)  

The Duchess of Cambridge is amoung the well-heeled clients who have been spotted in the sister's designers (pictured, wearing a coat from Troy London in 2019)

The Duchess of Cambridge is amoung the well-heeled clients who have been spotted in the sister’s designers (pictured, wearing a coat from Troy London in 2019) 

He married Rosie in 2013 after meeting at a shoot in Hilborough, and the couple now live just up the road from Anmer Hall.

The same year, Rosie launched an outdoorwear label Troy London with her sister Lucia, with the Duchess of Cambridge regularly wearing items from the brand.

 At the start of lockdown, the sisters decided to isolate together at Rosie’s home in Norfolk, which she shares with her husband William and their two sons.

Lucia left her flat in Ladbroke Grove and moved into the country, with the sisters admitting they were ‘loving’ spending the family time together.

The sisters, who set up their fashion label Troy in 2013, have revealed how they struggled to get the business of the ground because they remained dedicated to making their products in the UK

The sisters, who set up their fashion label Troy in 2013, have revealed how they struggled to get the business of the ground because they remained dedicated to making their products in the UK 

Lucia said it had been ‘wonderful’ to enjoy G&T sundowners around the firepit, and running through the fields close to their house.

Meanwhile Rosie admitted she’d been enjoying growing vegetables in the kitchen garden, with the duo revealing they’d found simple pleasure in weeding.         

Polly Coke 

Palladian whopper Holkham Hall is home to Viscount and Viscountess Coke of Holkham, the Earl and Countess of Leicester while to Kate and Prince William,  they’ll be known as Tom and Polly Coke — pronounced Cook. 

The couple have four children who are free to roam in Holkham’s 25,000 acres of park, farmland and nature reserve. 

Meanwhile fashionable milliner Polly Coke is a good friend of Kate's, and lives at the palatial Holkham Hall

Meanwhile fashionable milliner Polly Coke is a good friend of Kate’s, and lives at the palatial Holkham Hall 

Polly is a fashionable friend for Kate; she is a milliner by trade and her mother is a fashion designer who’s dressed royals — her cousin is retro designer Cath Kidston, who helped her set up shop. 

The Queen spends New Year’s Eve at Holkham, but the New Year’s Day picnic — bullshots (consomme laced with vodka) and roast pheasant — is the most sought after invitation.

The jewel of Holkham is its four-mile long beach, often voted the finest in the UK.

This sweep of golden sand — as seen at the end of the film Shakespeare In Love, with Gwyneth Paltrow staring forlornly out to sea — is perfect bucket-and-spade territory for Prince George. Though not the bit where the nudists like to sunbathe… 

What a whopper: Holkham Hall is home to Viscount and Viscountess Coke... and a four mile long beach

What a whopper: Holkham Hall is home to Viscount and Viscountess Coke… and a four mile long beach

Laura Fellowes  

The daughter of Diana’s sister Jane Fellowes, Laura is married to equity analyst Nick Pettman and they have two sons around the same age as Prince George, six. 

Her family live in west Norfolk, where her father Lord Fellowes is said to be the most charming dinner guest in the county. Laura was bridesmaid to Andrew and Fergie.

Lord Fellowes was the Queen’s Private Secretary; his father was the Queen’s land agent at Sandringham.

Laura’s nickname is Mavis and she writes award- winning fiction under the name Mave Fellowes. 

Meanwhile author Laura Fellowes, whose mother is Princess Diana¿s sister Jane is another member of the Norfolk set

Meanwhile author Laura Fellowes, whose mother is Princess Diana’s sister Jane is another member of the Norfolk set 

Davina Duckworth-Chad  

Davina Duckworth-Chad is the daughter of local landowner Anthony, who lives at 40-room Pynkney Hall near King’s Lynn. 

Davina’s mother was Diana’s cousin, her father’s a friend of Charles and her brother was a royal equerry.

She is married to Tom Barber, an Old Etonian son of a baronet, and they have twins, India and Sienna, eight.

A photograph of Davina was used to launch Country Life’s website and she became known as ‘the deb on the web.’

The stylish and elegant Davina Duckworth-Chad is the daughter of local landowner Anthony, who lives at 40-room Pynkney Hall near King¿s Lynn

 The stylish and elegant Davina Duckworth-Chad is the daughter of local landowner Anthony, who lives at 40-room Pynkney Hall near King’s Lynn 

Lady Laura Meade 

Lady Laura Meade is the wife of James Meade, one of Prince William’s closest friends from Eton, who was his best man and gave a speech at the royal wedding. 

She is daughter to Julian Marsham, 8th Earl of Romney, and married James in 2013, a wedding attended by William. 

Laura is said to be godmother to Prince Louis, while James is reportedly godfather to Princess Charlotte.

The couple were spotted with the Cambridges on Sunday, as they attended church alongside the Queen. 

Lady Laura Meade (seen to the left of Kate with a hairband) is said to be godmother to Prince Louis, while James is reportedly godfather to Princess Charlotte. The couple, who also live near the Cambridges' country retreat Amner Hall, were spotted with the Cambridges on Sunday, as they attended church alongside the Queen

Lady Laura Meade (seen to the left of Kate with a hairband) is said to be godmother to Prince Louis, while James is reportedly godfather to Princess Charlotte. The couple, who also live near the Cambridges’ country retreat Amner Hall, were spotted with the Cambridges on Sunday, as they attended church alongside the Queen

Zoe Warren 

Zoe Warren is married to Darren Warren, a close friend to Princes William and Harry, who was one of Princess Diana’s godchildren, and whose father is the Queen’s racing manager John Warren.

Their daughter Zalia was a bridesmaid at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, and is one of Harry’s goddaughters. 

With their mutual interest of racing, the royal family and the Warrens are frequently spotted together at Ascot. 

Zoe Warren is married to Darren Warren, a close friend to Princes William and Harry, who was one of Princess Diana's godchildren, and whose father is the Queen's racing manager John Warren (pictured, with Prince Philip)

Zoe Warren is married to Darren Warren, a close friend to Princes William and Harry, who was one of Princess Diana’s godchildren, and whose father is the Queen’s racing manager John Warren (pictured, with Prince Philip) 

Hannah Carter 

Hannah and Kate attended Marlborough College together, where they played on several of the same sports teams.

Kate’s sister Pippa was a couple of years below Kate at the same school and also played sports.

She is married to Robert Carter, whose family are wealthy Norfolk landowners.

Both William and Kate attended their wedding in 2012.

Hannah (seen with husband Robert at the wedding of William van Cutsem and Rosie Ruck Keene) and Kate attended Marlborough College together, where they played on several of the same sports teams

Hannah (seen with husband Robert at the wedding of William van Cutsem and Rosie Ruck Keene) and Kate attended Marlborough College together, where they played on several of the same sports teams

Her sister-in-law, Sophie Carter, is one of Charlotte’s godparents.

Sophie Carter 

Sophie has been a friend to Kate for many years and is often to be found quietly by the Duchess’s side at various parties and events.

While in their younger days the girls used to party the nights away, they now mainly watch tennis (they play together and hang out at Wimbledon), though they were pictured cheering exuberantly at Cirque du Soleil for Kate’s 31st birthday.

The daughter of Norfolk construction tycoon Robert Carter, Sophie is also, helpfully, an expert in early years’ learning, having been a nursery and prep school teacher.

Sophie has been a friend to Kate for many years and is often to be found quietly by the Duchess¿s side at various parties and events

Sophie has been a friend to Kate for many years and is often to be found quietly by the Duchess’s side at various parties and events

The Durham University graduate has developed a phonics educational app, ‘Hip Hop Hen’, and also lives near the Cambridges’ Amner Hall retreat.

Sophie used to date Prince William’s pal, Thomas van Straubenzee, who is now engaged to marry Lucy Lanigan-O’Keeffe, a teacher at Prince George’s school.

Sophie is one of Charlotte’s godparents, and was seen attending her christening in 2015.

Sophie is another member of the set to be one of Princess Charlotte¿s godparents, and was seen attending her christening in 2015

Sophie is another member of the set to be one of Princess Charlotte’s godparents, and was seen attending her christening in 2015

 

Who’s the most patriotic royal dresser post-lockdown?

The Duchess of Cambridge is flying the flag for British fashion post-lockdown as other European royals champion designers from their respective countries, research by FEMAIL reveals. 

Kate Middleton, 38, who is living at Anmer Hall, Norfolk, has worn dresses from  big name UK designers including Suzannah, Stella McCartney and Emilia Wickstead in recent weeks. 

FEMAIL analysed the outfits worn by four leading European royals – the Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Letizia of Spain, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Queen Mathilde of Belgium – to determine who has been the most patriotic dresser.   

Flying the flag for local fashion! How the royal women stack up 

Outfits from the 10 most recent royal engagements, whether virtual or in person, were examined and a note made of the nationality of the designer behind the ‘main’ piece, for example a dress, or top and trousers. The entire outfit was then attributed to this nationality. In instances where the brand featured could not be determined, this was passed over and replaced by the next outfit in reverse chronological order. 

THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE: 8.5/10

Kate Middleton was given a rating of 8.5/10. The Duchess wore majority British designers on 80 per cent of her most recent engagements. The 0.5 is attributed to one outfit when her top was by a UK designer but her bottoms were by a Spanish designer. 

Favourite labels: Suzannah, Stella McCartney, M&S, Emilia Wickstead. 

QUEEN LETIZIA OF SPAIN: 7/10

Queen Letizia is in the fortunate position of having plenty of high street heroes to choose from, including Massimo Dutti and Zara. 

Favourite labels: Massimo Dutti and Zara.

QUEEN MATHILDE OF BELGIUM: 7/10

Queen Mathilde wore majority Belgian designers on all but three occasions when she wore pieces by Italy’s Giambattista Valli, Spain’s Zara and Britain’s Erdem. 

Favourite labels: Mathilde’s go-to label is Beglium’s Maison Natan 

Massimo Dutti and Zara. 

None of Maxima’s 10 most recent outfits have been by Dutch designers. Instead she favours looks by Spanish high street labels Massimo Dutti and Zara, as well as Belgian brand Maison Natan. 

Favourite labels: Zara, Massimo Dutti, Maison Natan.  

Results reveal the Duchess of Cambridge is the most committed to promoting local designers, followed by Queen Mathilde and Queen Letizia. Only Queen Maxima has worn no outfits from national labels. 

Speaking to FEMAIL, stylist Susie Hasler explained the Duchess of Cambridge wants to give British brands ‘a much needed boost in the wake of Covid-19. 

She said: ‘The Duchess of Cambridge has long championed British brands, and we are used to seeing her wear high street looks from the likes of LK Bennett.

‘However, throughout lockdown, Kate has ramped this up, waving the flag for British designers with the majority of her outfit choices. 

‘Because of Covid, the British economy is struggling and British fashion brands need support – and the most powerful thing our future queen can do to support that is be seen wearing them.

‘She is shining a light on national designers to give them a much-needed boost.’

DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE: 8.5/10 

AUGUST 7, BRITISH: Kate looked typically elegant in the £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead, which she complemented with a pair of chic tan wedges and a pair of Alia Hoops from SpellsofLove – a small independent jewellery designer – in Wales

AUGUST 4, SUZANNAH: Kate wore a timeless £1850 dress by Suzannah and recycled £531 mock snake skin heels by Tabitha Simmons for an outing to Baby Basics in Sheffield

AUGUST 4, SUZANNAH: Kate wore a timeless £1850 dress by Suzannah and recycled £531 mock snake skin heels by Tabitha Simmons for an outing to Baby Basics in Sheffield 

JULY 23, BRITISH: Duchess of Cambridge in a £995 polka dot shirt dress from Suzannah for an engagement with the Duke of Cambridge in the grounds of Sandringham, Norfolk

JULY 23, BRITISH: Duchess of Cambridge in a £995 polka dot shirt dress from Suzannah for an engagement with the Duke of Cambridge in the grounds of Sandringham, Norfolk

JULY 13, BRITISH: The Duchess of Cambridge wears a £1,565 Emilia Wickstead dress paired with wedges to launch BBC's Tiny Happy People at Sandringham, Norfolk

JULY 13, BRITISH: The Duchess of Cambridge wears a £1,565 Emilia Wickstead dress paired with wedges to launch BBC’s Tiny Happy People at Sandringham, Norfolk

JULY 10, BRITISH: Perfect for a virtual Wimbledon engagement with Sir Andy Murray, Kate chooses a £665 dress printed with tennis player by HVN, Harley Viera-Newton's label

JULY 10, BRITISH: Perfect for a virtual Wimbledon engagement with Sir Andy Murray, Kate chooses a £665 dress printed with tennis player by HVN, Harley Viera-Newton’s label

JULY 5, BRITISH: The Duchess of Cambridge wears a £525 midi dress by favourite label Beulah London for a visit with William to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk

JULY 5, BRITISH: The Duchess of Cambridge wears a £525 midi dress by favourite label Beulah London for a visit with William to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk 

JULY 1, BRITISH: For a video call with hospital staff in Canada, Kate wears a dress by Alexander McQueen. She is joined by husband Prince William at their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall

JULY 1, BRITISH: For a video call with hospital staff in Canada, Kate wears a dress by Alexander McQueen. She is joined by husband Prince William at their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall

JUNE 25, AUSTRALIAN: A fresh summer print was the order of the day when Kate wore a £180 dress from Faithfull the Brand for a visit to a children's hospice in Norfolk

JUNE 25, AUSTRALIAN: A fresh summer print was the order of the day when Kate wore a £180 dress from Faithfull the Brand for a visit to a children’s hospice in Norfolk

JUNE 19, BRITISH/SPANISH: The Duchess of Cambridge dressed down in a shirt from Jaeger (British) and jeans by Massimo Dutti (Spanish) for a visit to a Norfolk garden centre

JUNE 19, BRITISH/SPANISH: The Duchess of Cambridge dressed down in a shirt from Jaeger (British) and jeans by Massimo Dutti (Spanish) for a visit to a Norfolk garden centre

JUNE 18, BRITISH: Kate championed the British high street in a £39.50 dress from Marks & Spencer to deliver an online assembly to schoolchildren across the country

JUNE 18, BRITISH: Kate championed the British high street in a £39.50 dress from Marks & Spencer to deliver an online assembly to schoolchildren across the country

QUEEN LETIZIA OF SPAIN: 7/10 

JULY 30, SPANISH: Queen Letizia donned a midi dress from Spanish high street label Massimo Dutti as she joined King Felipe for an outing to a waste treatment facility in Gijon

JULY 30, SPANISH: Queen Letizia donned a midi dress from Spanish high street label Massimo Dutti as she joined King Felipe for an outing to a waste treatment facility in Gijon

JULY 29, SPANISH: Letizia looked fresh and summery in a jumpsuit by Uterqüe for a visit to a market in Cantabria as part of her tour of the country with her husband and children

JULY 29, SPANISH: Letizia looked fresh and summery in a jumpsuit by Uterqüe for a visit to a market in Cantabria as part of her tour of the country with her husband and children

JULY 27, FRENCH: In a rare break from Spanish designers, Letizia opted for a long-sleeved dress by Sandro Paris for a visit to the cerebral palsy association in Navarra

JULY 27, FRENCH: In a rare break from Spanish designers, Letizia opted for a long-sleeved dress by Sandro Paris for a visit to the cerebral palsy association in Navarra

JULY 25, SPANISH: Queen Letizia opted for a flattering belted shirt dress from affordable Spanish label Pedro del Hierro for an outing to a church in Santiago de Compostela

JULY 25, SPANISH: Queen Letizia opted for a flattering belted shirt dress from affordable Spanish label Pedro del Hierro for an outing to a church in Santiago de Compostela

JULY 23, SPANISH: Queen Letizia was joined by King Felipe and their daughters on an outing in Merida. The mother-of-two wore a tweed waistcoat from Zara for the engagement

JULY 23, SPANISH: Queen Letizia was joined by King Felipe and their daughters on an outing in Merida. The mother-of-two wore a tweed waistcoat from Zara for the engagement

JULY 22, SPANISH: In yet another show of support for her country's designers, Letizia opted for a slinky star-printed dress from local label Poete for another outing in Merida with her family

JULY 22, SPANISH: In yet another show of support for her country’s designers, Letizia opted for a slinky star-printed dress from local label Poete for another outing in Merida with her family

JULY 20, SPANISH: In another triumph for the Spanish high street, Letizia wore a favourite sky blue dress from Pedro del Hierro as she joined husband King Felipe in Tarragona

JULY 20, SPANISH: In another triumph for the Spanish high street, Letizia wore a favourite sky blue dress from Pedro del Hierro as she joined husband King Felipe in Tarragona

JULY 17, SPANISH: Queen Letizia turned to favourite Label Zara for this floral creation, which she wore on a visit to the HQ of the San Prudencio Foundation in Vitoria

JULY 17, SPANISH: Queen Letizia turned to favourite Label Zara for this floral creation, which she wore on a visit to the HQ of the San Prudencio Foundation in Vitoria

JULY 16, AMERICAN: Queen Letizia was the picture of elegance in a dress by Venezuelan-American designer Carolina Herrera as she paid tribute to Covid-19 victims in Madrid

JULY 16, AMERICAN: Queen Letizia was the picture of elegance in a dress by Venezuelan-American designer Carolina Herrera as she paid tribute to Covid-19 victims in Madrid 

JULY 15, GERMAN: Another floaty floral dress, this one by German-based Hugo Boss, was chosen for Letizia's outing in Vinuesa as part of the royals' national post-lockdown tour

JULY 15, GERMAN: Another floaty floral dress, this one by German-based Hugo Boss, was chosen for Letizia’s outing in Vinuesa as part of the royals’ national post-lockdown tour

QUEEN MAXIMA OF THE NETHERLANDS: 0/10 

JULY 17, SPANISH: Queen Maxima looked summer-ready in this chic white suit by Spanish high street label Massimo Dutti as she joined her family for a photo shoot in The Hague

JULY 17, SPANISH: Queen Maxima looked summer-ready in this chic white suit by Spanish high street label Massimo Dutti as she joined her family for a photo shoot in The Hague

JULY 9, BELGIAN: Demonstrating her love of bright, block colours, Maxima chose a pink ensemble from Belgian fashion house Maison Natan to present a prize in Hilversum

JULY 9, BELGIAN: Demonstrating her love of bright, block colours, Maxima chose a pink ensemble from Belgian fashion house Maison Natan to present a prize in Hilversum

JULY 8, SPANISH: Queen Maxima turned heads in this vibrant two-piece suit from Zara as she visited a climbing forest and camp site in the province of Zeeland

JULY 8, SPANISH: Queen Maxima turned heads in this vibrant two-piece suit from Zara as she visited a climbing forest and camp site in the province of Zeeland

JULY 2, BELGIAN: Queen Maxima relied on the tried-and-tested colour combination of navy and white for a sunny outing to a mental health service centre in Schagen last month

JULY 2, BELGIAN: Queen Maxima relied on the tried-and-tested colour combination of navy and white for a sunny outing to a mental health service centre in Schagen last month

JULY 2, SPANISH: For an outing to a funeral home in The Hague, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands stepped out in a fittingly sombre grey suit from Spanish label Massimo Dutti

JULY 2, SPANISH: For an outing to a funeral home in The Hague, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands stepped out in a fittingly sombre grey suit from Spanish label Massimo Dutti 

JULY 1, BELGIAN: Choosing yet another look from her favourite Belgian label Maison Natan, Maxima looked breezy and elegant as she spoke to entrepreneurs in The Hague

JULY 1, BELGIAN: Choosing yet another look from her favourite Belgian label Maison Natan, Maxima looked breezy and elegant as she spoke to entrepreneurs in The Hague

JUNE 25, BELGIAN: Bringing a splash of colour to a sunny day in Apeldoorn, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands opted for a tangerine-hued dress by favourite Belgian label Maison Natan

JUNE 25, BELGIAN: Bringing a splash of colour to a sunny day in Apeldoorn, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands opted for a tangerine-hued dress by favourite Belgian label Maison Natan

JUNE 16, BELGIAN: Once again turning to go-to label Maison Natan, based in Belgium, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands stepped out in a statement top with bow detailing in Puttershoek

JUNE 16, BELGIAN: Once again turning to go-to label Maison Natan, based in Belgium, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands stepped out in a statement top with bow detailing in Puttershoek

JUNE 11, SPANISH: It was a mix of Spanish designers for this outing in Rotterdam, with Maxima pairing Zara pants with a Massimo Dutti knit top, worn under a shirt from the brand

JUNE 11, SPANISH: It was a mix of Spanish designers for this outing in Rotterdam, with Maxima pairing Zara pants with a Massimo Dutti knit top, worn under a shirt from the brand

JUNE 10, SPANISH: Another mix of Spanish high street names was on show when Maxima stepped out in a Zara shirt and wool Massimo Dutti suit for an engagement in The Hague

JUNE 10, SPANISH: Another mix of Spanish high street names was on show when Maxima stepped out in a Zara shirt and wool Massimo Dutti suit for an engagement in The Hague

QUEEN MATHILDE OF BELGIUM: 7/10

JULY 21, ITALIAN: Queen Mathilde opted for a pretty, feminine dress by Italian label Giambattista Valli as she joined her family at a care centre, in Brussels, on national day

JULY 21, ITALIAN: Queen Mathilde opted for a pretty, feminine dress by Italian label Giambattista Valli as she joined her family at a care centre, in Brussels, on national day

JULY 21, BELGIAN: Mathilde wore a stunning floral dress by Dries Van Noten, one of the biggest names in Belgian fashion to watch the parade at the Royal Palace, Brussels, on national day

JULY 21, BELGIAN: Mathilde wore a stunning floral dress by Dries Van Noten, one of the biggest names in Belgian fashion to watch the parade at the Royal Palace, Brussels, on national day

JULY 21, BELGIAN: In a show of support for a national label, Queen Mathilde wore a dress by Maison Natan for a service at Sainte-Gudule Cathedral, Brussels, on the country's national day

JULY 21, BELGIAN: In a show of support for a national label, Queen Mathilde wore a dress by Maison Natan for a service at Sainte-Gudule Cathedral, Brussels, on the country’s national day

JULY 15, BELGIAN: Queen Mathilde donned a vibrant pink cape dress from Belgian designer Maison Natan's Spring/Summer 2020 collection as she joined husband Philippe in Brussels

JULY 15, BELGIAN: Queen Mathilde donned a vibrant pink cape dress from Belgian designer Maison Natan’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection as she joined husband Philippe in Brussels

JULY 8, BELGIAN: Proving there is no question over her favourite designer, Queen Mathilde chooses an ensemble from Masion Natan for a visit to a youth camp in De Pinte

JULY 8, BELGIAN: Proving there is no question over her favourite designer, Queen Mathilde chooses an ensemble from Masion Natan for a visit to a youth camp in De Pinte

JUNE 27, SPANISH: Queen Mathilde of Belgium opted for a smock-style top from Zara as she joined children Elisabeth, Emmanuel, Gabriel and Eleonore on their annual summer holiday

JUNE 27, SPANISH: Queen Mathilde of Belgium opted for a smock-style top from Zara as she joined children Elisabeth, Emmanuel, Gabriel and Eleonore on their annual summer holiday

JUNE 23, BELGIAN: Another show of royal support for Maison Natan, Queen Mathilde stepped out in a floral dress by the designer to visit the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Tournai

JUNE 23, BELGIAN: Another show of royal support for Maison Natan, Queen Mathilde stepped out in a floral dress by the designer to visit the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Tournai

JUNE 16, BELGIAN: Queen Mathilde wore another matching dress and mask combo, thought to be by go-to label Maison Natan, for a visit to the Gruuthusemuseum, in Bruges

JUNE 16, BELGIAN: Queen Mathilde wore another matching dress and mask combo, thought to be by go-to label Maison Natan, for a visit to the Gruuthusemuseum, in Bruges

MAY 28, BELGIAN: In yet another bright colour, Queen Maxima donned a top and trousers by Maison Natan for a visit to a world-renowned flower nursery in Oostnieuwkerke

MAY 28, BELGIAN: In yet another bright colour, Queen Maxima donned a top and trousers by Maison Natan for a visit to a world-renowned flower nursery in Oostnieuwkerke

MAY 19, BRITISH: Fetching florals by UK-based label Erdem were on show as Queen Mathilde joined husband King Philippe at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels

MAY 19, BRITISH: Fetching florals by UK-based label Erdem were on show as Queen Mathilde joined husband King Philippe at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels 

Kate Middleton’s fashion favourite Jigsaw becomes the latest high street victim of coronavirus 

Jigsaw will shed jobs and shut stores as it becomes the latest high street victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fashion brand, owned by Carphone Warehouse tycoon David Ross, has been a fixture in the wardrobes of middle-class British women for 50 years and is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, who once worked in its stores.

The precise number of job losses will not be revealed for a few weeks as it prepares for an insolvency process known as a Company Voluntary Agreement, Sky News reported.

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge visits Henry Fawcett Children's centre, London, on March 12, 2019,  Wearing a Gucci, top, Jigsaw trousers, high-street brand

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge visits Henry Fawcett Children’s centre, London, on March 12, 2019,  Wearing a Gucci, top, Jigsaw trousers, high-street brand (right). Left, another pair of Jigsaw trousers

The Jigsaw Ladies Clothes shop in Amersham Old Town, Buckinghamshire, was temporarily closed during Coronavirus lockdown

The Jigsaw Ladies Clothes shop in Amersham Old Town, Buckinghamshire, was temporarily closed during Coronavirus lockdown

Masks disaster: PPE in ministers’ £252m deal can’t be used by NHS 

Fifty million face masks will not be used by the NHS amid safety concerns over their fastenings, officials have confirmed.

There are fears the masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough for healthcare staff.

They were bought by the Government as part of a controversial £252million contract from Ayanda Capital. The company, which is registered in Mauritius, said the masks met Government specifications.

But legal papers have revealed many of the FFP2 respirator masks are failing ‘face fit’ tests as they do not create a sufficient seal.

A further 150million masks are not thought to be affected but will be subject to further testing before any are released for use in the NHS.

Boris Johnson said he was ‘very disappointed’ but legal proceedings were under way so he would not be drawn on the specific example.

He said: ‘We have achieved a colossal race against time to produce billions of items of PPE, sourcing them from abroad but now increasingly making them here in the UK as well, and stockpiling them now in case we have a second wave in the autumn and the winter.’

Campaigners have demanded an inquiry into the contract, which court papers suggest was instigated by a Government trade adviser who also advises the board of Ayanda.

Businessman Andrew Mills has denied any suggestions that his position played a part.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, said: ‘The Government has serious questions to answer over this shocking waste of taxpayers’ money.’

Ayanda said that the contract had been successfully fulfilled and that proper procurement processes had been followed. They said the masks went through a ‘rigorous technical assurance programme’. 

It follows the collapse of Oasis, Warehouse, Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley which have shed close to 3,000 jobs between them. Jigsaw employs 900 staff.

Last night foreign exchange firm Travelex also went into administration with the loss of 1,300 UK jobs. 

The company said it had been ‘acutely’ hit by lockdown and the collapse of travel, along with a cyber-attack on its files this year. Some parts of the business – and 1,800 jobs in the UK – have been saved.

Yesterday, the coronavirus bloodbath continued as Wetherspoon’s announced it would shed up to a third of its head office staff, taking the total jobs toll this week to 8,000.

Jigsaw, founded in Brighton in 1970, was struggling even before the pandemic struck as tough competition in women’s mid-market fashion left the chain nursing losses.

The closure of its 75 stores and concessions during lockdown, together with shoppers’ concerns over the virus, has tipped it over the edge.

Even after it reopened, experts said the cancellation of weddings and events meant shoppers were shunning its tailoring and formal dresses in favour of comfier, casual clothing.

And employees’ failure to return to the office means that working women are not buying workwear.

The store closures have already begun, with closures in Newbury, Berkshire, and Aberdeen. 

Jigsaw told customers in Newbury: ‘The UK retail sector has been struggling for some time as customers of all ages move to the convenience of online shopping and the coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated this.

‘We have therefore taken the difficult decision to close a number of our stores and carry out a wider strategic review of our business.’

The chain has been accused of mismanagement after seven directors, including a former aide to Samantha Cameron, left earlier this year.

The controversy centres on Mr Ross, 54, estimated to be worth £600million, who bought the brand two years ago from founder John Robinson. 

The tycoon has placed the company up for sale after it made a loss of £10.5million for the year to September 2018. 

The plan to close stores, cut rents and shed jobs will take several weeks and will only go ahead if it is approved by three-quarters of Jigsaw’s creditors.

Companies House documents also suggest that Mr Ross was forced to inject a further £7.5million in loans to see Jigsaw through the crisis.

He gave £279,000 to the Conservative Party before last December’s general election and arranged part of Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’s holiday to Mustique over New Year.

A Mail audit found 107 of the largest UK companies have cut close to 230,000 jobs since March 23 and at least 132,000 of those are in the UK. 

Kate Middleton’s fashion favourite Jigsaw becomes the latest high street victim of coronavirus 

Kate Middleton’s fashion favourite Jigsaw becomes the latest high street victim of coronavirus

  • Jigsaw has been a fixture of middle-class British women for the last 50 years
  • Precise number of job losses at the brand will not be revealed for a few weeks 
  • It follows the collapse of Oasis, Warehouse, Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley

Jigsaw will shed jobs and shut stores as it becomes the latest high street victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fashion brand, owned by Carphone Warehouse tycoon David Ross, has been a fixture in the wardrobes of middle-class British women for 50 years and is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, who once worked in its stores.

The precise number of job losses will not be revealed for a few weeks as it prepares for an insolvency process known as a Company Voluntary Agreement, Sky News reported.

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge visits Henry Fawcett Children’s centre, London, on March 12, 2019,  Wearing a Gucci, top, Jigsaw trousers, high-street brand

Masks disaster: PPE in ministers’ £252m deal can’t be used by NHS 

Fifty million face masks will not be used by the NHS amid safety concerns over their fastenings, officials have confirmed.

There are fears the masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough for healthcare staff.

They were bought by the Government as part of a controversial £252million contract from Ayanda Capital. The company, which is registered in Mauritius, said the masks met Government specifications.

But legal papers have revealed many of the FFP2 respirator masks are failing ‘face fit’ tests as they do not create a sufficient seal.

A further 150million masks are not thought to be affected but will be subject to further testing before any are released for use in the NHS.

Boris Johnson said he was ‘very disappointed’ but legal proceedings were under way so he would not be drawn on the specific example.

He said: ‘We have achieved a colossal race against time to produce billions of items of PPE, sourcing them from abroad but now increasingly making them here in the UK as well, and stockpiling them now in case we have a second wave in the autumn and the winter.’

Campaigners have demanded an inquiry into the contract, which court papers suggest was instigated by a Government trade adviser who also advises the board of Ayanda.

Businessman Andrew Mills has denied any suggestions that his position played a part.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, said: ‘The Government has serious questions to answer over this shocking waste of taxpayers’ money.’

Ayanda said that the contract had been successfully fulfilled and that proper procurement processes had been followed. They said the masks went through a ‘rigorous technical assurance programme’. 

It follows the collapse of Oasis, Warehouse, Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley which have shed close to 3,000 jobs between them. Jigsaw employs 900 staff.

Last night foreign exchange firm Travelex also went into administration with the loss of 1,300 UK jobs. 

The company said it had been ‘acutely’ hit by lockdown and the collapse of travel, along with a cyber-attack on its files this year. Some parts of the business – and 1,800 jobs in the UK – have been saved.

Yesterday, the coronavirus bloodbath continued as Wetherspoon’s announced it would shed up to a third of its head office staff, taking the total jobs toll this week to 8,000.

Jigsaw, founded in Brighton in 1970, was struggling even before the pandemic struck as tough competition in women’s mid-market fashion left the chain nursing losses.

The closure of its 75 stores and concessions during lockdown, together with shoppers’ concerns over the virus, has tipped it over the edge.

Even after it reopened, experts said the cancellation of weddings and events meant shoppers were shunning its tailoring and formal dresses in favour of comfier, casual clothing.

And employees’ failure to return to the office means that working women are not buying workwear.

The store closures have already begun, with closures in Newbury, Berkshire, and Aberdeen. 

Jigsaw told customers in Newbury: ‘The UK retail sector has been struggling for some time as customers of all ages move to the convenience of online shopping and the coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated this.

‘We have therefore taken the difficult decision to close a number of our stores and carry out a wider strategic review of our business.’

The chain has been accused of mismanagement after seven directors, including a former aide to Samantha Cameron, left earlier this year.

The controversy centres on Mr Ross, 54, estimated to be worth £600million, who bought the brand two years ago from founder John Robinson. 

The tycoon has placed the company up for sale after it made a loss of £10.5million for the year to September 2018. 

The plan to close stores, cut rents and shed jobs will take several weeks and will only go ahead if it is approved by three-quarters of Jigsaw’s creditors.

Companies House documents also suggest that Mr Ross was forced to inject a further £7.5million in loans to see Jigsaw through the crisis.

He gave £279,000 to the Conservative Party before last December’s general election and arranged part of Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’s holiday to Mustique over New Year.

A Mail audit found 107 of the largest UK companies have cut close to 230,000 jobs since March 23 and at least 132,000 of those are in the UK. 

Kate Middleton donned £62 hoop earrings from Welsh female designer yesterday in Wales

Kate Middleton supported a local brand by donning new ‘bohemian’ £62 gold hoop earrings by a Welsh female designer for a day of engagements

  • Kate Middleton, 38, joined Prince William, 38, for visits in South Wales yesterday 
  • Donned £62 hoop earrings from Welsh designer Hayley Jones for engagements
  • Independent brand ‘mixes bohemian feminine influence’ with modern aesthetic
  • Described online as creating pieces in eco-friendly and ethically conscious way

The Duchess of Cambridge showcased her support for local businesses yesterday by donning a pair of earrings by a Welsh jewellery designer, as she and Prince William made a series of visits in the country.

Kate Middleton, 38, selected the £62 18k gold plated Alia hoops crafted by female designer Hayley Jones for her brand Spells of Love for the engagements in Barry Island and Cardiff.

The mother-of-three recycled a blue floral Emilia Wickstead gown for the occasion, sweeping her hair into a classic bouncy wave, and tucked her locks behind her ears to reveal the dangling earrings. 

The brand is described online as crafting pieces with a mix of ‘bohemian feminine influence’ and ‘trend-led modern aesthetic’, with a focus on ‘ethical production’. 

Kate Middleton, 38, opted to wear £62 gold hoop earrings from an independent Welsh female designer during her visit to the country yesterday 

Arriving for the visits yesterday, the royal opted for a natural makeup look, sweeping a dark eyeshadow across her lids and a touch of blusher on her cheeks.

The hoops are described online as ‘best selling’ and are sent to customers in a ‘100 per cent plastic free and biodegradable bag.’

The brand is described online as a ‘demi-fine jewellery company’ which operates from ‘a small studio in the heart of Wales’.

It was launched in August 2019, and has since become a favourite for British reality stars and models including Emma Louise Connelly, MIC’s Sophie Habbo and TOWIE’s Chloe Lewis.  

The Duchess of Cambridge donned the gold hoop earrings as she and Prince William visited Barry and Cardiff

The Duchess of Cambridge donned the gold hoop earrings as she and Prince William visited Barry and Cardiff 

The brand, which was founded by designer Hayley Jones in August 2019, describes crafting  'bohemian feminine influence with a trend led and modern aesthetic'

The brand, which was founded by designer Hayley Jones in August 2019, describes crafting  ‘bohemian feminine influence with a trend led and modern aesthetic’

The pieces are described as being ‘designed with love and intention’ and ‘mix bohemian feminine influence with trend led and modern aesthetic’. 

Hayley creates her pieces in an ‘eco and ethically conscious’ way, designing her pieces ‘with the intention of making women feel beautiful’ in order to ‘enhance their inner beauty.’ 

The Duchess is known for her love of affordable jewellery, and often selects earrings by high street brands including Accessorize. 

She donned the earrings as she joined Prince William for a visit to Gavin & Stacey’s slot machine arcade in South Wales on Wednesday.

The Duchess swept her hair behind her ear during her visit to a cafe on Barry Island, revealing the delicate gold hoops

The Duchess swept her hair behind her ear during her visit to a cafe on Barry Island, revealing the delicate gold hoops 

The couple hit the real-life beachfront family attractions made famous in comedy favourite Gavin and Stacey. 

The couple laughed as they played in Island Leisure amusement – the iconic setting for ‘Nessa’s Slots’ at the Welsh resort – but the prince, who is pals with James Corden, admitted he had not seen the classic BBC show.

Later they visited the Shire Hall Care Home in the Welsh capital three months after speaking to staff and residents via video link and calling out the numbers for their weekly bingo session.

The gold hoop earrings, which are currently listed as in-stock on the Spells of Love website, are crafted in an eco-friendly way (pictured, the Duchess yesterday)

The gold hoop earrings, which are currently listed as in-stock on the Spells of Love website, are crafted in an eco-friendly way (pictured, the Duchess yesterday) 

Kate Middleton and Prince William visit Gavin & Stacey slot matching arcade in Barry Island

Kate Middleton cut a stylish figure in a recycled floral dress as she joined Prince William to visit Gavin & Stacey’s slot machine arcade in South Wales on Wednesday.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, hit the real-life beachfront family attractions made famous in comedy favourite Gavin and Stacey. 

The couple laughed as they played in Island Leisure amusement – the iconic setting for ‘Nessa’s Slots’ at the Welsh resort – but the prince, who is pals with James Corden, admitted he had not seen the classic BBC show.  

In the hit BBC comedy show, Nessa has a series of odd jobs – including working the slots at the Island Leisure Amusement Arcade along the promenade – which features everything from flashing machines and even a board outside which says, ‘Nessa’s Slots – Come and see what’s occurrin.’ 

And it seems the invite was enticing for the royals – whose visit to Barry Island has come as businesses in Wales have started to reopen their doors to the public as lockdown measures have started to ease. 

Kate typically elegant in the £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead, which she complemented with a pair of chic tan wedges.

The mother-of-three first donned the pastel blue belted dress, which featured a pink floral pattern, when she opened her Back to Nature garden at RHS Wisley in Surrey in September 2019.   

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge threw balls in a bid to knock down figures on an arcade game at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey is filmed, as they visited South Wales on Wednesday

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge played a grab a teddy game as the Duchess picked up a blue toy and celebrated with her thumbs up - only for it to slip from the claws before reaching the winning chute

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge played a grab a teddy game as the Duchess picked up a blue toy and celebrated with her thumbs up – only for it to slip from the claws before reaching the winning chute

Kate and Prince William (pictured) then joined vendors from some of the other businesses based on Barry’s promenade at Marco’s Café

Kate and Prince William (pictured) then joined vendors from some of the other businesses based on Barry’s promenade at Marco’s Café

Prince William confessed to never having seen the show while speaking to Marco Zeraschi whose family has owned Marco’s Cafe since 1958, which also features on the BBC hit comedy.

He said: ‘It’s one of the few boxsets I haven’t already watched. I’ve never actually watched it. But I know how much it has done for the economy here and it’s a wonderful series.’

The couple fooled around inside iconic Island Leisure amusement where Nessa played by Ruth Jones works in the show.

They praised owners Hilary and Andrew Phillips who reopened the attractions for the first time since lockdown today – whose grandchildren Erin Phillips, 5, Hollie Case, 5, and Jamie Case, 7, showed the royals how to play the games.

Kate and Prince William hurled balls at the Down the Clown coconut shy-style game after paying one pound a go, before trying their hand at a grab machine – but they failed to win a stuffed toy.

Kate cut a stylish figure in a pastel blue £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead as she joined Prince William to visit Gavin & Stacey's slot machine arcade

Kate cut a stylish figure in a pastel blue £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead as she joined Prince William to visit Gavin & Stacey’s slot machine arcade

Kate, who paired her floral ensemble with tan wedges, first wore the designer dress when she opened her Back to Nature garden at RHS Wisley in Surrey in September 2019. Pictured, with Prince William

Kate, who paired her floral ensemble with tan wedges, first wore the designer dress when she opened her Back to Nature garden at RHS Wisley in Surrey in September 2019. Pictured, with Prince William

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) paid a secret visit to the iconic 'Nessa's' arcade in Barry Island, where they heard from local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) paid a secret visit to the iconic ‘Nessa’s’ arcade in Barry Island, where they heard from local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector

In the hit BBC comedy show, Nessa (pictured) has a series of odd jobs - including working the slots at the Island Leisure Amusement Arcade

In the hit BBC comedy show, Nessa (pictured) has a series of odd jobs – including working the slots at the Island Leisure Amusement Arcade

The royals also played a teddy game as the Duchess picked up a blue toy and celebrated - only for it to slip from the claws before reaching the winning chute

The royals also played a teddy game as the Duchess picked up a blue toy and celebrated – only for it to slip from the claws before reaching the winning chute

The Duchess picked up a blue toy and celebrated

The toy slipped from the claws before reaching the winning chute

The Duchess picked up a blue toy and celebrated – only for the toy to slip from the claws before reaching the winning chute (pictured, left and right)

The Duke of Cambridge handed a coin to Jamie Case, 7, so he and his friend, Erin Phillips, 5, (left) and sister Hollie Case, 5, (front) could play on a grab a teddy machine at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade

The Duke of Cambridge handed a coin to Jamie Case, 7, so he and his friend, Erin Phillips, 5, (left) and sister Hollie Case, 5, (front) could play on a grab a teddy machine at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to Erin Phillips, 5, during their visit to the arcade

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to Erin Phillips, 5, during their visit to the arcade

Kate and Prince William hurled balls at the Down the Clown coconut shy-style game after paying one pound a go

Kate and Prince William hurled balls at the Down the Clown coconut shy-style game after paying one pound a go

The couple fooled around inside iconic Island Leisure amusement

The arcade is where Nessa, played by Ruth Jones, works in the show

The couple fooled around inside iconic Island Leisure amusement where Nessa, played by Ruth Jones, works in the show (pictured, left and right)

Both paid £1 each for the game and had a prize in the grasp, which fell out before they could deposit into the winning tray.

They also found the chair used by Nessa in the show, which is surrounded by Gavin and Stacey merchandise.

Although the visit was kept secret to avoid crowds, hundreds of holidaymakers flocked to the barricades and waved to the couple, who were more than happy to stop and speak to the well-wishers. 

They also heard with Marco, 62, and daughter Mariana, 39, whose family have owned the cafe since 1958, how the attractions are reopening to tourists.

Marco said: ‘I told them we have James Corden as prince and Ruth Jones as princess of Barry Island but said I have changed my mind now. They were very charming.’

Character Stacey, played by Joanna Page, worked in the cafe in series three.

During their visit, the Duke and Duchess heard about the impact that closing has had on the businesses during a typically busy period for the seaside resort, which attracted 424,000 visitors in 2019, and the measures they have put in place to allow them to start reopening in a safe and secure manner. 

They visited the beach huts on the eastern end of the promenade which have been installed as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s £6m regeneration project in Barry. 

The project has also seen the restoration of the promenade and shelter, and the installation of new public art and entertainment spaces, a climbing wall and water feature. 

In the hit BBC comedy show, Nessa has a series of odd jobs - including working the slots at the Island Leisure Amusement Arcade (pictured) - which features everything from flashing machines and even a board outside which says, 'Nessa's Slots – Come and see what's occurrin'

In the hit BBC comedy show, Nessa has a series of odd jobs – including working the slots at the Island Leisure Amusement Arcade (pictured) – which features everything from flashing machines and even a board outside which says, ‘Nessa’s Slots – Come and see what’s occurrin’

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were seen leaving Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey is filmed before walking along the promenade, during their visit to Barry Island

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were seen leaving Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey is filmed before walking along the promenade, during their visit to Barry Island

The royal couple even took the chance to play a grab a teddy game at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where the BBC it comedy Gavin and Stacey was filmed

The royal couple even took the chance to play a grab a teddy game at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where the BBC it comedy Gavin and Stacey was filmed

The couple's visit to Barry Island has come as businesses in Wales have started to reopen their doors to the public as lockdown measures have started to ease

The couple’s visit to Barry Island has come as businesses in Wales have started to reopen their doors to the public as lockdown measures have started to ease

Kate looked typically elegant in the £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead

The royal opted to wear her brown locks loose and kept her makeup minimal

Kate looked typically elegant in the £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead and opted to wear her brown locks loose and kept her makeup minimal

During their visit, the couple (pictured) spoke to local business owners about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism sector

During their visit, the couple (pictured) spoke to local business owners about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism sector

Later, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were left in stitches today during a face-to-face meeting with care home residents they had entertained as virtual bingo callers during lockdown.

William and Kate were visiting Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff three months after speaking to staff and residents via video link and calling out the numbers for their weekly bingo session.

Introduced to Joan Drew-Smith, 87, who made headlines in May when she said the royal bingo game ‘wasn’t as good as it should have been’, the Duke said: ‘Hello Joan, do you remember we did the bingo with you? You said we weren’t very good!’

‘Yes,’ she replied. ‘You did a bloody s****y job.’

The royal couple, briefly taken aback by her blunt assessment, roared with laughter, ut they got a kinder response from fellow resident Margaret Stocks, 95, winner of the virtual game.

‘I did enjoy it,’ she told them. ‘I hadn’t played it before.’

‘Neither had we!’ replied the Duchess. ‘That’s why we were so bad!’

‘We enjoyed it just as much as you did,’ William added. ‘It was a new experience for us.’

William and Kate both sported masks during the visit to the care home’s garden, making it tricky to make themselves heard at times.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Island Leisure amusements arcade to meet the owners and staff members ahead of the arcade reopening to the public later in the day

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Island Leisure amusements arcade to meet the owners and staff members ahead of the arcade reopening to the public later in the day

Kate and Prince William spoke with staff at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey is filmed

Kate and Prince William spoke with staff at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey is filmed

Prince William and Kate were seen talking to the Hughes family as they visited beach huts, during their visit to Barry Island, South Wales, to speak to local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector

Prince William and Kate were seen talking to the Hughes family as they visited beach huts, during their visit to Barry Island, South Wales, to speak to local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with MD of Vale of Glamorgan Council, Rob Thomas, as they arrived by car to visit beach huts, during their visit to Barry Island

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with MD of Vale of Glamorgan Council, Rob Thomas, as they arrived by car to visit beach huts, during their visit to Barry Island

The royal couple were more than happy to stop and speak with well-wishers who lined the streets to greet them

The royal couple were more than happy to stop and speak with well-wishers who lined the streets to greet them

The Duke, who donned a blue fabric face covering, told Joan: ‘We have to wear masks because of the virus, but it’s difficult to hear sometimes when you can’t see someone’s mouth.’

‘Is that your assistant?’ Joan asked him, pointing at Kate.

‘Well I am your assistant,’ laughed Kate, putting a hand on her husband’s shoulder. ‘I have been for a long time!’

The meeting took place in a marquee set up for afternoon team just as the heavens opened.

‘We timed it right!’ said the Duke, who later told staff: ‘I love Joan, she’s brilliant. If only everyone was as honest as her.’

Shire Hall provides residential, nursing and dementia care and is part of Hallmark Care Homes, a family-run care provider with 20 care homes across England and Wales.  

Staff spoke about the measures that have been put in place in order to allow the residents to safely receive visits from family members and friends. 

The Duke and Duchess then met a small number of residents and their family members who spoke about the challenges of being unable to visit their loved ones at the beginning of the lockdown, how they kept in touch, and the impact of now being able to visit the home.  

Kate Middleton and Prince William visit Gavin & Stacey slot matching arcade in Barry Island

Royals at the amusements! Kate Middleton recycles Emilia Wickstead floral dress to visit Gavin & Stacey slot machine arcade with Prince William in Barry Island to boost UK tourism

  • Kate Middleton and Prince William, both 38, carried out two engagements in South Wales on Wednesday
  • The mother-of-three cut a stylish figure in a summery dress and wedges for the visit
  • It comes just one day after royal donned a face mask for first time and visited a baby bank in Sheffield

Advertisement

Kate Middleton cut a stylish figure in a recycled floral dress as she joined Prince William to visit Gavin & Stacey’s slot machine arcade in South Wales on Wednesday.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, paid a secret visit to the iconic ‘Nessa’s’ arcade in Barry Island, and were spotted by daytrippers arriving on Paget Road, before heading to the rear of the Western Shelter. 

The mother-of-three looked typically elegant in the £1,635 designer dress by Emelia Wickstead, which she complemented with a pair of chic tan wedges.

Kate first donned the pastel blue belted dress, which featured a pink floral pattern, when she opened her Back to Nature garden at RHS Wisley in Surrey in September 2019.   

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, 38, paid a secret visit to Gavin & Stacey’s slot machine arcade in South Wales on Wednesday (pictured)

The couple firstly visited Barry Island where they heard from local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector, before travelling to Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff where they spoke to staff, residents and their family members. 

The visit to Barry Island has come as businesses in Wales have started to reopen their doors to the public as lockdown measures have started to ease. 

The Duke and Duchess visited Island Leisure amusements arcade to meet the owners and staff members ahead of the arcade reopening to the public later in the day, before joining vendors from some of the other businesses based on Barry’s promenade at Marco’s Café. 

There, they heard about the impact that closing has had on the businesses during a typically busy period for the seaside resort, which attracted 424,000 visitors in 2019, and the measures they have put in place to allow them to start reopening in a safe and secure manner. 

The Duke and Duchess also visited the beach huts on the eastern end of the promenade which have been installed as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s £6m regeneration project in Barry. 

The project has also seen the restoration of the promenade and shelter, and the installation of new public art and entertainment spaces, a climbing wall and water feature. 

They then visited Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff where they spoke to some of the home’s staff, residents and their family members in the home’s garden. 

In May, The Duke and Duchess joined staff and residents from Shire Hall via video call, and took their turn as guest bingo callers for a game in the home’s cinema. 

Shire Hall provides residential, nursing and dementia care and is part of Hallmark Care Homes, a family-run care provider with 20 care homes across England and Wales. 

During today’s visit, Their Royal Highnesses were able to meet some of the staff and residents from the call in person and heard how the home has continued to adapt in response to the pandemic. 

Staff spoke about the measures that have been put in place in order to allow the residents to safely receive visits from family members and friends. 

The Duke and Duchess then met a small number of residents and their family members who spoke about the challenges of being unable to visit their loved ones at Page 2 of 2 the beginning of the lockdown, how they kept in touch, and the impact of now being able to visit the home.  

Family who lost son, 9, to rare disorder visit sunflower Duchess of Cambridge planted in his memory

The family of a little boy who died from a rare organ condition has paid a visit to the sunflower that the Duchess of Cambridge promised to plant in his honour. 

In June Kate Middleton, 38, spoke to Stuie Delf, 13, from Huntingdon, whose adored brother Fraser lost his battle against Coats plus syndrome – a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities – in January aged just nine. 

On a video call to Stuie and his parents Carla and Stuart, for which the Duchess of Cornwall also dialled in, the Duchess pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of brave Fraser, who was cared for at East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Milton shortly before he died.

Not long after the call, Kate visited EACH’s The Nook, a hospice in Norfolk which she officially opened in November, where she helped plant a sensory garden.

The family of a little boy who died from a rare organ condition has paid a visit to the sunflower that the Duchess of Cambridge promised to plant in his honour

On a video call to Stuie and his parents Carla and Stuart, for which the Duchess of Cornwall also dialled in, the Duchess pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of brave Fraser, who was cared for at East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH) in Milton shortly before he died

On a video call to Stuie and his parents Carla and Stuart, for which the Duchess of Cornwall also dialled in, the Duchess pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of brave Fraser, who was cared for at East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Milton shortly before he died

There she planted a sunflower which was moved to the hospice in Cambridgeshire where Fraser spent the last few weeks of his life.  

Yesterday the EACH Instagram account shared a photo of the family visiting the flower, now in full bloom.

The caption read: ‘The Duchess promised to arrange the tribute in memory of Fraser, who died in January of Coats plus syndrome, during a video call with his mum Carla, dad Stuart and 13-year-old brother Stuie for Children’s Hospice Week. 

‘She delivered on that promise days later, when she joined staff and volunteers at The Nook to create a sensory garden.

In June Kate Middleton, 38, spoke to Stuie Delf, 13, from Huntingdon, whose adored brother Fraser (pictured together) lost his battle against Coats plus syndrome - a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities - in January aged just nine

In June Kate Middleton, 38, spoke to Stuie Delf, 13, from Huntingdon, whose adored brother Fraser (pictured together) lost his battle against Coats plus syndrome – a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities – in January aged just nine

‘The sunflower has since been moved to our hospice in Milton, where Fraser spent the last few weeks of his life. 

‘The family saw the sunflower in its new home for the first time last Friday (31st), choosing to wearing pink – a colour Fraser loved.

‘Mum Carla said: “The sunflower looks so bright and beautiful, just like Fraser. The centre looks like a heart shape, just perfect. 

‘I recently saw a poem that said sunflowers choose to live their brightest lives as they know they won’t be around for long and that really fits with Fraser.”‘ 

Kate and Camilla talked to Stuie and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died

Kate and Camilla talked to Stuie and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died

Kate and Camilla talked to Stuie and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died

Carla, 37, pictured with Stuie and dad Stuart, told the two Duchesses about the kindness and dedication of staff at the hospice, who even got a vicar in and arranged for her and Stuart to renew their wedding vows to please Fraser, who had never understood why he was not in their wedding pictures

Carla, 37, pictured with Stuie and dad Stuart, told the two Duchesses about the kindness and dedication of staff at the hospice, who even got a vicar in and arranged for her and Stuart to renew their wedding vows to please Fraser, who had never understood why he was not in their wedding pictures

Fraser, a cheeky and loving boy, pictured with his father, had been ill since he was born but deteriorated badly in his final year

Fraser, a cheeky and loving boy, pictured with his father, had been ill since he was born but deteriorated badly in his final year

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic. 

What is Coats plus syndrome? 

The term ‘Coats plus’ refers to an eye condition called Coats disease, plus abnormalities in the brain, bones and gastrointestinal system. Those with Coats disease have abnormally enlarged (dilated) blood vessels in their retina. These leak fluid causing the layers of the retina to separate in retinal detachment. This often results in loss of vision.

Brain abnormalities in this condition cause progressive difficulties such as slow growth, seizures, movement disorders and decreasing intellectual function. Osteopenia is common, as is anaemia causing pale skin and extreme tiredness. Abnormal bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, portal hypertension and liver failure can be life-threatening. Life span is shortened and does not often exceed 30 years.

Less common symptoms include malformed fingernails and toenails, prematurely grey hair and abnormalities in pigmentation, such as light brown patches on the skin.

 

Stuie, who was cheered on by neighbours, had initially aimed to raise £500 to fill the gap and thank staff for the cherished memories of the time he spent there with his family but ended up exceeding all expectations.

His JustGiving page shows he’s managed to raise an impressive £16,615 – and the Duchess branded his fundraising ‘amazing’.

Stuie told Kate during the call: ‘Fraser wasn’t just my brother, he was my best friend.’ 

Camilla added: ‘Captain Tom has done a lot for this country, hasn’t he? He’s inspired so many people. 

‘You must be very fit, Stuie.’

The two women talked to him and his parents about the seven weeks they spent living in the hospice with Fraser before he died.

Fraser, a cheeky and loving boy, had been ill since he was born but deteriorated badly in his final year.

Carla, 37, told the two Duchesses about the kindness and dedication of staff at the hospice, who even got a vicar in and arranged for her and Stuart to renew their wedding vows to please Fraser, who had never understood why he was not in their wedding pictures.

‘They are just such amazing people, they really are,’ she said.

‘The care was amazing, not just towards Fraser making sure he was comfortable, but our wellbeing was met.’ 

The sunflower has been adopted as the emblem of hospice care, a symbol of joy with the seeds representing patients and the surrounding petals love, care, and compassion.

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic

Inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, Stuie vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day during lockdown in May to raise funds for the EACH site in Milton, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic

Kate, who became patron of EACH in 2012, described the work of children’s hospices as ‘extraordinary’.

She added: ‘It’s a credit to the staff that they can provide the environment, the nurturing space for those families to help them go through long or short term care. It’s really awe-inspiring.’

Camilla said: ‘We’d like to thank everybody that works for hospices across the UK for the incredible job you do and allowing families to treasure their moments together.’ 

Kate Middleton ditches her wedges for trend-led new look with white trainers and cool headband

The Duchess of Cambridge ditched her favourite wedges and opted for a trendy fashion-focused look as she made a private visit to a baby bank in May.

New photographs of the Kate Middleton’s, 38, visit to Baby Basics in West Norfolk were released last night as it was announced the royal has launched a new initiative she has spearheaded, getting 19 major UK retailers and brands to donate more than 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks across the UK.

The mother-of-three, who spent lockdown with her husband Prince William, 38, and their children, George, six, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, in Anmer Hall in Norfolk, opted for a £112 green shirt dress from quintessentially British brand Boden for the visit earlier this summer.

She paired the trendy garment with a pair of fresh white Superga trainers and a cool £59 Lela Sadoughi headband. 

Kate Middleton, 38, opted for a trendy fashion-focused look as she paid a private visit to a bank bank in May, pairing a £112 green Boden shirt dress with a cool £59 headband and white trainers 

The royal swept her hair from her face with the £59 brown velvet headband as she paid a visit to Baby Basics in West Norfolk during lockdown

The royal swept her hair from her face with the £59 brown velvet headband as she paid a visit to Baby Basics in West Norfolk during lockdown

The natural beauty wore her hair in a bouncy blow-dry, and kept her make up natural for the occasion.  

Meanwhile the mother-of-three added to her off-duty cool look with a set of gold hoop earrings.

Perfect for the British summer weather, Kate’s midi shirt dress features a pretty floral print in a forest green shade.

The dress is described online as perfect for ‘brunch in the morning or dinner in the evening’ and is made from ‘a crinkle lightweight fabric.’

The royal appeared to have ditched her favourite brown wedges for a more casual and relaxed look for the visit (pictured, in wedges during a visit to The Nook in June)

The royal appeared to have ditched her favourite brown wedges for a more casual and relaxed look for the visit (pictured, in wedges during a visit to The Nook in June) 

Meanwhile the garment also features a tie belt waist that makes it adjustable for your shape. 

While known as a quintessentially British brand, it may also have been chosen by the Duchess for it’s credentials in sustainability. 

The brand has proved itself to be a favourite of the Duchess during the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, the royal selected a £120 baby blue wrap dress from British brand Boden for a virtual visit to a maternity ward. 

The Duchess added to her relaxed look by swapping her usual go-to brown espadrilles for a pair of white Superga trainers.

The new photographs of Kate's private visit were released as she launched a new initiative at  Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics in Sheffield yesterday

The new photographs of Kate’s private visit were released as she launched a new initiative at  Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics in Sheffield yesterday

Kate beamed as she met those who volunteer to support some of the most vulnerable families in the UK by providing essentials including nappies and bedding 

During her visit, the Duchess of Cambridge revealed how in recent months, she had heard from families who have been supported by baby banks through the 'most difficult of times'

The royal (pictured) added she had been 'deeply moved' after hearing from parents about how baby banks have provided them with support

During her visit, the Duchess of Cambridge (pictured left, and right) revealed how in recent months, she had heard from families who have been supported by baby banks through the ‘most difficult of times’

Kate (pictured) cut an elegant figure for the visit and opted to wear her brown locks down, keeping her eye makeup minimal

Kate (pictured) cut an elegant figure for the visit and opted to wear her brown locks down, keeping her eye makeup minimal

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) spoke to CEO Baby Basics UK Cat Ross, Founder of Abernecessities Danielle Flecher-Horn and CEO Little Village Sophia Parker during a visit to Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) spoke to CEO Baby Basics UK Cat Ross, Founder of Abernecessities Danielle Flecher-Horn and CEO Little Village Sophia Parker during a visit to Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics

Over the past few years white sneakers have become an essential casual shoe in a woman’s wardrobe. 

Kate has worn the cult 2750 trainers on multiple occasions, including at her Back to Nature Garden at Chelsea Flower Show in September last year and at Fakenham Garden Centre during her first official engagement since the start of lockdown. 

Superga have been making shoes for over 100 years and originally began production in Turin, Italy after creating their first Classic Superga 2750 heritage style shoe. 

The Duchess made the visit to Baby Basics West Norfolk earlier this year as she prepared to launch a new initiative she has spearheaded, getting 19 major UK retailers and brands to donate more than 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks across the UK. 

During the visit, Kate packed up Moses baskets with supplies and spoke to families who had received support from the charity.  

Baby Banks are a crucial nationwide service, run by volunteers, helping to support some of the most vulnerable families in the UK by providing essentials such as nappies, clothing and bedding. 

The banks have proved to be a lifeline for many struggling parents during the coronavirus crisis, but have found their services under increasing pressure, both as a result of demand and because they have been unable to accept second-hand donations on health and safety grounds. 

After hearing of this, Kate decided to put out feelers for donations from brands and high street retailers. 

In all, she has persuaded nineteen brands to donate more than 10,000 items to Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities, who operate more than 40 baby banks across the UK. 

Yesterday she cut a stylish figure in an elegant white £1850 dress by Suzannah as she launched in initiative in Sheffield. 

The Duchess, who paired her ensemble with £531 mock snake skin heels by Tabitha Simmons, which she first donned during the 2011 royal tour of Canada, could also be seen wearing an apron and rubber gloves as she helped to unpack the first donations, which included clothes and toys. 

Despite her vertiginous heels, she pulled boxes from a pallet with ease and carried them inside, helping staff from Baby Basics UK which started ten years ago in Sheffield, who have teamed up with two other baby bank services, Little Village and Aberdeenshire-based AberNecessities. 

Inside their temporary distribution centre – which with the help of couriers DHL is transferring the donations as far afield as Aberdeen and Hastings – Kate helped unpack some of the boxes – exclaiming as she picked up a bottle of Child’s Farm shampoo, which she clearly recognised.

Cat Ross, CEO of Baby Basics, told her: ‘Often in a world where there is a lot of judgement and stereotyping about being poor, that additional stress can be even more difficult for parents who are doing amazing things to keep their families going with such strength, such determination.’

‘Yes,’ replied Kate. ‘One of the mums I met was a nurse. These are families who do fantastic jobs and even they are struggling. All of the research shows how vital things like this are for them and that they are being recognised.’

The Duchess also talked at length about what the impact of Covid-19 would be, particularly for children. 

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) has brought together nineteen British brands and retailers to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) has brought together nineteen British brands and retailers to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide

The royal was photographed wearing a face mask for the first time

The Duchess of Cambridge cut a stylish figure in the 'Flippy Wiggle' dress by Suzannah

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured, left and right) cut a stylish figure in the ‘Flippy Wiggle’ dress by Suzannah for the visit, which costs £1,850 online

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) sported a pretty floral face mask and cut a stylish figure in an elegant white £1850 dress by Suzannah

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) sported a pretty floral face mask and cut a stylish figure in an elegant white £1850 dress by Suzannah

Following her arrival (pictured), Kate set about opening some of the boxes and chatted with the helpers about organisations they worked with to offer emotional support to families

Following her arrival (pictured), Kate set about opening some of the boxes and chatted with the helpers about organisations they worked with to offer emotional support to families

After her hour-and-a-half visit, the duchess left by car, still sporting her mask, after saying a muffled goodbye to the volunteers

After her hour-and-a-half visit, the duchess left by car, still sporting her mask, after saying a muffled goodbye to the volunteers

‘It’s difficult for sure but there is a lot of fear about worry about when furlough ends and what it means for families,’ said Miss Ross.

‘But one of the positives to come out of it is the strength of communities across the UK and people wanting to help, volunteering and wanting to provide for each other. Organisations like us want to harvest that and it keep it going as much as possible.’

‘It’s been wonderful during lockdown, hasn’t it?’ said the duchess, ‘about the way everyone has been busy knitting away and actually it is those small volunteering acts that everyone can contribute to that make such a difference. 

‘That inter-generational support system has been amazing. Knowing that you can make such a big difference to another family is wonderful.’

Sophia Parker, Chief Executive and Founder of Little Village, agreed, adding: ‘We say the currency in this is kindness, this is what this is all about.

‘It’s really special being able to facilitate people to support others. They are often just looking for that opportunity to do something.’

Kate added: ‘It’s about finding new ways of still providing people with the support they so desperately need.’ 

Kate showed support for the initiative, explaining that it's necessary to find new ways to provide people with the support that they desperately need

Kate showed support for the initiative, explaining that it’s necessary to find new ways to provide people with the support that they desperately need  

The Duchess of Cambridge wore her glossy brunette hair in a relaxed style, opting for subtle makeup and minimal accessories for the visit

The Duchess of Cambridge wore her glossy brunette hair in a relaxed style, opting for subtle makeup and minimal accessories for the visit 

The Duchess of Cambridge donned a face mask as she visited Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics - which is a volunteer project supporting families in need struggling to provide for their newborns

The Duchess of Cambridge donned a face mask as she visited Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics – which is a volunteer project supporting families in need struggling to provide for their newborns

Kate (pictured) spoke of how she went home and wept after visiting a baby bank helping vulnerable families at the start of lockdown

Kate (pictured) spoke of how she went home and wept after visiting a baby bank helping vulnerable families at the start of lockdown

The Duchess of Cambridge, who opted for a timeless dress by Suzannah, could be seen lifting boxes as she helped unpack donations at the baby bank

The Duchess of Cambridge, who opted for a timeless dress by Suzannah, could be seen lifting boxes as she helped unpack donations at the baby bank 

Baby banks aim to support and empower families by ensuring every child has the essential items they need to thrive. Pictured, Kate unloading a pallet of supplies

Baby banks aim to support and empower families by ensuring every child has the essential items they need to thrive. Pictured, Kate unloading a pallet of supplies

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) revealed how she has been left in tears after hearing the stories of families coping amid the coronavirus pandemic

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) revealed how she has been left in tears after hearing the stories of families coping amid the coronavirus pandemic 

Kate, who donned a floral face mask amid the coronavirus pandemic, helped to unpack vital supplies for families struggling and in need of them the most (pictured)

Kate, who donned a floral face mask amid the coronavirus pandemic, helped to unpack vital supplies for families struggling and in need of them the most (pictured)

The mother-of-three could be seen donning a pair of safety gloves and mask amid the pandemic as she engaged in a socially distanced conversation with the Founder of Abernecessities Danielle Flecher-Horn, CEO Little Village Sophia Parker and CEO Baby Basics UK Cat Ross (pictured)

The mother-of-three could be seen donning a pair of safety gloves and mask amid the pandemic as she engaged in a socially distanced conversation with the Founder of Abernecessities Danielle Flecher-Horn, CEO Little Village Sophia Parker and CEO Baby Basics UK Cat Ross (pictured)

Kate then set about opening some of the boxes and chatted with the helpers about organisations they worked with to offer emotional support to families.

‘Sometimes it’s just about having the opportunity of offload,’ she said. ‘And once someone has received a basket do you often see them coming back for support in different areas?’

After helping with the packing, Kate met with one family who have been helped by Baby Basics UK in Sheffield, Ali Wartty and Sahara Mrs Hamawandy, both 47, who have lively triplets San, Shan and Laveen, aged one year.

The family came to the UK from Iraq seeking asylum and were given leave to remain, but with no access to public funds.

Mr Wartty, who is self employed, a managed to buy a one-bedroom, 12th floor flat from Sheffield Council, but the couple – who were initially told they were were having twins but found out about their triplets at their 20-week scan – have struggled financially, emotionally and practically with three young children.

They were referred to Baby Basics by their support worker who have helped them with basic necessities including a triple pram, as well as Moses baskets and starter packs, as well as clothes and toiletries as the babies have grown.

‘Hi, all of them, of course they are triplets! ‘ exclaimed Kate. ‘Gosh they are all doing very well and sorry to intrude on your family time.’

‘Yes it’s so fun!’ she said, as Shan cooed and blew raspberries as he toddled. 

In an emotional conversation, Mrs Hamawandy told Kate how she had struggled to cope.

‘Is was living on the 12th floor of a block of flats and trying to cope with the three of them,’ she explained.

‘It must have been so stressful,’ sympathised Kate. ‘Is that when you sought the help Baby Basics? Is the fact that someone talked to you and someone listened to you, is that what made the difference? ‘

Mrs Hamawandy replied: ‘Yes, it wasn’t just the practical help, it was having someone to reassure me and give me a chance to have five minutes to myself.

‘I wasn’t coping at all, my brain wasn’t coping. I had huge anxiety. Is wasn’t able to go out with three babies. How do you take your three babies down from the 12th floor without a pram? We weren’t able to go out at all. After eight months I tried to take them out. But when I tried to take them out I was crying because I couldn’t.’

She told Kate that she had no family or friends that could help – her sister here in the UK is herself ill.

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) talked at length about what the impact of Covid would be, particularly for children

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) talked at length about what the impact of Covid would be, particularly for children

The mother-of-three talked to other baby banks on a teleconference during a visit to Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics Sheffield on Tuesday

The mother-of-three talked to other baby banks on a teleconference during a visit to Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics Sheffield on Tuesday

During her visit, the Royal spoke to the family of Ali Wartty, Sahara Hamawandy and their triplets San, Shan and Laveen, who got supported by Baby Basics

During her visit, the Royal spoke to the family of Ali Wartty, Sahara Hamawandy and their triplets San, Shan and Laveen, who got supported by Baby Basics

During the visit, the mother-of-three spoke to parents about how baby banks have provided them with invaluable support when they have needed it most. Pictured, talking to the family of Ali Wartty, Sahara Hamawandy and their triplets San, Shan and Laveen, who got supported by Baby Basic

During the visit, the mother-of-three spoke to parents about how baby banks have provided them with invaluable support when they have needed it most. Pictured, talking to the family of Ali Wartty, Sahara Hamawandy and their triplets San, Shan and Laveen, who got supported by Baby Basic

‘That must have been so difficult for you,’ Kate said. ‘It must have been even harder with lockdown. Did that make things more difficult?;

‘Yes it was even worse as I couldn’t go out,’ she replied. ‘When they started to walk and I was in the house by myself, it was really difficult. It really was a very bad time.’

Kate replied: ‘I am so sorry to hear that. Do you still feel now that it will affect you in the long term, the struggles you had at the beginning? Do you feel you get support emotionally, as well as the physical support?’

Speaking after meeting the duchess, Mrs Hamawandy said it had meant a great deal to her to have the chance to tell her story to the duchess.

The following organisations have generously donated items such as nappies, bedding and clothing to Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities: 

Bloom and Blossom

Boden

Bramley

Childs Farm

Frugi

Green People (Organic Babies)

John Lewis

JoJo Maman Bébé

Kit & Kin

Kokoso Baby

M&S

Mamas & Papas

Matalan

My Little Coco

Sainsbury’s

Tesco

The White Company

Trotters

She continued: ‘I wanted to tell her for a family like me, especially with three children, that mum needs help. If mum is not feeling good, it will affect the baby. 

‘To give support to mum means giving support to the whole family. If mum has the chance to sleep for half an hour or get a little help, it helps the whole family. I was really devastated and shocked and crying all the time. 

‘I didn’t get the chance to look after myself and get at least ten minutes to myself. I couldn’t even find half an hour to lie down in the day because I was always getting up to check on each one of them. I didn’t have any support or family to help.

‘That’s why the charity has been so important to a mother like me. It gave me power. It transformed me. I just want to say thank you to everybody. ‘

The duchess also spoke via Zoom on a lap top to mothers helped by two of the other baby bank charities, Little Village and AberNecessities.

Chatting to Amy Cotton, who fled a violent home with only her baby son Ricky, now three, and the clothes on her back, and has received a buggy, clothing and toys for her child.

She now works as volunteer for the Little Village and has a 12-week-old daughter, Ellie-Rose.

‘Do you feel it is good for you being part of that volunteering community, helping mums who have been in the same position as you?’ asked the duchess.

Amy said it had mean a great deal of her to say thank you.

Kate added: ‘It’s so valuable. You hear so often that its very hard for parents and families to reach out for support because of the stigma about saying “I’m finding it really hard and I’m struggling’. Is that something you’ve come across, particularly with the families you are working with?”

Amy told her that it was, but added: ‘We all want to do what’s best for our children.’

‘It is brave and not often the easiest thing to do but it is really fantastic that you’ve reached out, that you are so open about your own struggles but also the fact that you are in such a fanatic place now. 

‘I suppose it is real credit to you, the journey that you’ve undertaken and the courage and strength you’ve shown to get there. So well done. And I love the fact that you are volunteering too,’ smiled the duchess.

She also chatted to Ella-Mae Michalski, who has twin girls Bella and Ruby, born prematurely and who are now 21-months-old and was helped by Little Village with a double pram., clothes, muslins and other essentials.

She has been shielding during the coronavirus outbreak because the girls have chronic lung disease.

‘As a mum the one thing you want too be able to do is to provide for your children and it was difficult not to be able to do that but Little Village helped,’ she explained.

‘It must have been heart-breaking and such a huge worry and anxiety for you during pregnancy and after birth,’ Kate said.

Ella-Mae replied: ‘Yes, Little Village is amazing. It’s something as basic as getting a cup of tea when you come here and people asking how you are and being able to offload without fear of what people might think.’

Kate then asked: ‘Do you feel there is a judgement around being able to put on a facade and pretend that everything is going great? Is it places like this that are needed in communities where parents don’t feel judged and mums can go and be honest and feel like they are being listened to?’.

‘One hundred percent,’ she was told.

The Duchess of Cambridge was also pictured donning a pair of rubber gloves as she spoke to Founder of Abernecessities Danielle Flecher-Horn, CEO Little Village Sophia Parker and CEO Baby Basics UK Cat Ross

The Duchess of Cambridge was also pictured donning a pair of rubber gloves as she spoke to Founder of Abernecessities Danielle Flecher-Horn, CEO Little Village Sophia Parker and CEO Baby Basics UK Cat Ross

During her visit, Kate (pictured) told how baby banks work every day, up and down the country, to provide immediate, tangible and practical help for parents and carers when they are most in need

During her visit, Kate (pictured) told how baby banks work every day, up and down the country, to provide immediate, tangible and practical help for parents and carers when they are most in need

The Duchess of Cambridge praised the generosity of the companies taking part in this initiative

Added that thanks to them, baby banks across the UK will be able to support even more families through this 'particularly challenging time'

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured, left and right) praised the generosity of the companies taking part in this initiative – and said thanks to them, baby banks across the UK will be able to support even more families through this ‘particularly challenging time’

After her hour-and-a-half visit, the duchess left by car, still sporting her mask, after saying a muffled goodbye to the volunteers.

Speaking after the visit, Baby Basics CEO Cat Ross said: ‘Having her visit and seeing the work we do has been just amazing. It will really help people to hear and know about Baby Basics and the work we do. A lot of people have heard about food banks but don’t necessarily know about the baby banks and what we do. ‘

The charity, she explained, helps families including those in economic poverty, teenage mothers, women seeking asylum, women fleeing domestic abuse and trafficking.

She added: ‘Having someone like the Duchess behind us is amazing and her helping us by getting in all these amazing brands has been incredible. We can get more to families and treat them to the goods they would never, ever get. It’s just fantastic. ‘

Announcing her initiative, Kate said: ‘Over recent months, I have heard from families who have been supported by baby banks through the most difficult of times and I have been deeply moved by their stories. 

‘Having somewhere to turn to for support is important for all families, and baby banks work every day, up and down the country, to provide immediate, tangible and practical help for parents and carers when they are most in need.

‘Baby banks are driven by incredible volunteers, demonstrating the power of community spirit in supporting families and coming together to raise the next generation.

‘Thanks to the generosity of the companies taking part in this initiative, baby banks across the UK will be able to support even more families through this particularly challenging time.’ 

The royal donned mock-crock grey £531 heels by Tabitha Simmons, which she first donned during the 2011 royal tour of Canada. Pictured, during a socially distanced chat with CEO Baby Basics UK Cat Ross, Founder of Abernecessities Danielle Flecher-Horn and CEO Little Village Sophia Parker

The royal donned mock-crock grey £531 heels by Tabitha Simmons, which she first donned during the 2011 royal tour of Canada. Pictured, during a socially distanced chat with CEO Baby Basics UK Cat Ross, Founder of Abernecessities Danielle Flecher-Horn and CEO Little Village Sophia Parker

The mother-of-three (pictured) was on a visit to launch a new initiative she has spearheaded, getting 19 major UK retailers and brands to donate more than 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks across the UK

The mother-of-three (pictured) was on a visit to launch a new initiative she has spearheaded, getting 19 major UK retailers and brands to donate more than 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks across the UK

Despite her vertiginous heels, Kate (pictured) had to trouble pulling boxes from a pallet with ease , before carrying them inside

Despite her vertiginous heels, Kate (pictured) had to trouble pulling boxes from a pallet with ease , before carrying them inside

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) opted for a pretty floral print mask and earlier in the day, donned an apron and rubber gloves to help unpack the first donations, which included clothes and toys

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) opted for a pretty floral print mask and earlier in the day, donned an apron and rubber gloves to help unpack the first donations, which included clothes and toys

In total, nineteen brands have donated items to Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities, who operate baby banks across the UK. Pictured, Kate talks to the family of Ali Wartty, Sahara Hamawandy and their triplets San, Shan and Laveen

In total, nineteen brands have donated items to Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities, who operate baby banks across the UK. Pictured, Kate talks to the family of Ali Wartty, Sahara Hamawandy and their triplets San, Shan and Laveen