People flip out at Kate’s gloves…
But Diana did it first
The Princess of Wales looked absolutely stunning on Sunday, when she attended the BAFTAs with Prince William. Resplendent in a white Grecian-style one-shouldered gown, even giving William a tap on the bottom, it was Catherine’s decision to accessorise with full-length black evening gloves, which hit the headlines. Opinion was divided – on the one side, fashion editors loved the Bridgerton-esque look, calling it a “bold decision,” while others thought the gloves didn’t work.
Held at the Royal Albert Hall, Catherine re-wore an Alexander McQueen dress she first sported to the same event in 2019, updating it by removing the flower corsage and replacing it with a white train. The black velvet gloves, which matched William’s jacket, are £160 by Cornelia James, who has a royal warrant from the Queen. She also wore Aquazurra gold stilettos and a Jimmy Choo bag. And the stunning ear-rings? A total bargain - £17.99 by Zara, although they sold out in hours.
And while it seems bizarre that we can still be talking about gloves in 2023, it’s not the first time a Princess of Wales has hit the headlines for them. Diana loved opera gloves, but when she wore one black and one red glove with her flamenco-inspired Murray Arbeid gown at the America’s Cup Ball in 1986, it caused an absolute media furore.
As social media continued to flip out at Kate’s sartorial choices, she couldn’t give a toss – quite literally, as she fluffed up her pancake skills in Slough on Tuesday. The Princess, who was visiting Oxford House nursing home, tried to toss her pancake for Shrove Tuesday, but ended up folding it into a lump. “Definitely don’t eat that one,” she laughed, adding her children wouldn’t want her pancakes after they saw her skills.
Scotland’s loyal royal rugby fan
With rugby union’s Six Nations well underway, we’ve noticed Princess Anne loves nothing better than popping on a tartan scarf and singing Flower of Scotland at every one of their games. Today, she’ll be in Paris to watch Scotland take on France this afternoon.
In fact, as royal patron of Scottish Rugby since 1986, the Princess Royal takes some well-deserved time off from being the firm’s hardest-working member by rarely ever missing them play. And this weekend there’s all to play for, with Scotland and Ireland leading the competition on 10 points each after the first two games.
But did you know the family connection extends to her son, Peter Phillips. As a schoolboy at Gordonstoun, he became the first (and only) member of the Royal Family to win an international cap in 1985 playing for the Scottish under 18s. And it’s good to know it’s still happy families down on Anne’s Gatcombe estate. Son-in-law Mike Tindall, the former World Cup-winning England rugby star, once said: “She has a great sense of humour and she is very knowledgeable about many things, especially rugby.”
Unlike Anne, the Welsh half of The Royal List (Maria) has totally lost her sense humour over this year’s tournament. See Prince William (patron of Welsh Rugby Union) and Catherine, Princess of Wales (patron of English Rugby Union) at the Wales v England match yesterday, here.
Charles meets Ukrainian troops
It’s now over a year since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. President Biden marked the anniversary with an historic visit to Kyiv and also this week, King Charles visited Ukrainian soldiers in the UK being trained by the British Army.
On Monday, the monarch was in Wiltshire watching a basic training exercise and met some of the soldiers on the 35-day course. The recruits arrive with little or no military experience and, since the course started last June, 10,000 Ukrainians have completed it and returned to defend their country. It is expected another 20,000 will be trained in the UK this year.
On Friday, the King posted a message of support to the people of Ukraine: “It has now been a year that the people of Ukraine have suffered unimaginably from an unprovoked full-scale attack on their nation. They have shown truly remarkable courage and resilience in the face of such human tragedy. The world has watched in horror at all the unnecessary suffering inflicted upon Ukrainians, many of whom I have had the great pleasure of meeting here in the U.K. and, indeed, across the world, from Romania to Canada.” Read the rest of his powerful message here.
The Queen of books
We love Camilla’s book club and are excited it’s going to the next stage. On Thursday, the Queen Consort held an event to mark the second anniversary of The Queen’s Reading Room and appeared to take aim at the modification of old novels, such as Roald Dahl’s children’s books.
“All of you here must take the most enormous pride in your profession and in the part that you play in bringing joy, comfort, laughter, companionship and hope through your writing,” she said. “Human beings have always needed the connection of literature – its wisdom as well as its sheer escapism. In today’s challenging climate, we need it more than ever. Please remain true to your calling, unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination.” She also announced the first Queen’s Reading Room literary festival, at Hampton Court, on June 11. For tickets, visit here.
Camilla also launched the Coronation Champion Awards, with the Royal Voluntary Service, recognising Britain’s unsung heroes. To enter, visit here.
Get your Coronation goodies
While Camilla muses over Bruce Oldfield designs for her Coronation gown, we’re happily picking out new Coronation crockery. Yes, it’s sip, sip, hooray time, as Emma Bridgewater, the Staffordshire-based company and one with close ties to the Royal Family, launches a glorious limited-edition range, from half-pint mugs to plates, teapots, tea caddies and even tea towels. Many are selling out already so add to basket fast, here. FYI, we’re loving the £15 trumpet tea towel.
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