Friday, 21 July 2017

The Cambridges Conclude the Royal Tour in Hamburg & A New Photo of George!

The Cambridges spent the final day of their royal tour of Poland and Germany in Hamburg.

The Duke and Duchess travelled from Berlin to Hamburg via train this morning.

They were warmly welcomed at Dammtor Railway Station.

Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city, and home to its largest harbour. It is known for its strong links to the UK, which go back to the Hanseatic League in the 13th century.

The first stop for the Duke and Duchess was the Maritime Museum on the bank of the river Elbe. The visit was planned to "celebrate" the joint UK-German year of science, which this year is focused on oceans.

The couple briefly met members of the crowd.

The museum houses a huge collection of model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art, amounting to over 40,000 items and more than one million photographs.

It opened in a former warehouse in 2008. The private collection was started in 1934 by Peter Tamm - former chairman of the board of Axel Springer AG. Tamm said his interest was sparked when his mother presented him with his first model ship when he was six years old.

The building is the oldest preserved warehouse in Hamburg, built between 1878 and 1879 by the architects Bernhard Georg Jacob Hanssen and Wilhelm Emil Meerwein. It was built with a supporting structure of wood and steel columns, the outer walls of bricks also supporting the building. It was designed in neo-Gothic style.

More from the Museum's website:

'Three thousand years worth of maritime history are displayed on nine ‘decks’ with precious exhibits, model ships and paintings. There is an entire deck dedicated to marine research. 
At the beginning there was the ocean. Humans stood at the shore, ready to sail unto new horizons. From there the journey through three thousand years of seafaring history begins. Historical documents and sea charts reveal how the modern world-view has developed. Particularly valuable: a copy of the "Atlantis Majoris" from 1657, the first nautical atlas printed in the Netherlands.
Hand painted crown compasses and shining, golden sextants lead into an era in which a keen eye and steady hand were required to determine the course. A signal station with Teletype machinery and signal codes demonstrates how seafarers communicated up until the twentieth century. Selected models show various strands of development in shipping: from Phoenician galley and Roman trireme to Viking dragon boats, from cog ships of the Hanseatic period and the explorer’s caravels to the last of the windjammers.'

William and Kate viewed a model of Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia, the former royal yacht of the Queen, in service from 1954 until 1997.

In 1997, the Conservative government committed itself to replacing the Royal Yacht if re-elected, while the Labour Party refused to disclose its plans for the vessel. After Labour won the general election in May 1997, it announced the vessel was to be retired and no replacement would be built. The Queen wept openly at the moving decommissioning ceremony for Britannia.

The visit will have been of particular interest to the Duchess who revealed during a speech last week: "I have always been in awe of the sea." The Palace said Kate has a "particular interest in ocean ecology".

The couple listened to a presentation.

The museum houses a model of the Queen Mary II made entirely of lego.

William and Kate made their way through Hamburg’s dockside warehouse quarter to the Elbphilharmonie.

Opened in January 2017, the "Elphi" was built with the aim of creating a new city landmark. It is one of the biggest concert halls in the world and renowned for its advanced acoustics.

They joined the orchestra on stage, before listening to a special performance by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. The audience was filled with children from all corners of the city, with the aim of inspiring a new generation to develop a passion for music and perhaps play at the venue in years to come.

Kate conducted a few bars of Beethoven's 5th.

Simon Vigar reports:

Simon Vigar Twitter

On the Elphi with the Mayor.

The Duke and Duchess then departed by boat and travelled down the River Elbe to their final destination for this tour: Airbus.

The scene on the River Elbe.

The company’s base in Hamburg is home to production, maintenance and training facilities. The couple toured the complex and met apprentices, both German and English.

The Duke and Duchess visited the final assembly line of an A320 aircraft and viewed the cockpit of a near-complete plane.

One the final walkabout.

William put a big smile on this little boy's face :)

Then it was time for the Cambridges to head back to London.

Charlotte took a tumble after stomping her feet when Kate took some papers away from her... Kate quickly caught her.

William and Kate comforted her.

The two-year-old was a little upset but quickly recovered.

A handshake for the Princess.

A video from Sky:

George and Charlotte joined in to explore an EC145 helicopter - the same one William flies with the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

George very much enjoyed taking a look around!

I think someone might be following in his father's footsteps as a pilot in the future :)

It's wonderful to see George in his element. The birthday boy celebrates his fourth birthday tomorrow. No doubt he's returning to a special party and plenty of presents. 

Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland! Goodbye Germany!

Kate opted for a vibrant pop of colour for the final day of the tour - wearing a lavender bespoke dress by Emilia Wickstead. The knee-length dress features long sleeves and a set-in waistband.

The lavender shade is a favourite of Wickstead, featuring prominently in the designer's Fall 2015 Collection. Below the similar Esther Wool-Crepe Midi Dress, and currently available in a similar colour, the Live Cloque Midi Dress.

Emilia Wickstead

The Duchess embraced the colour-block trend by teaming the dress with a red clutch.

Guilia identified it as the Anya Hindmarch Snakeskin Clutch with gold-tone hardware and tonal stitching throughout. Below, we see it in black.

Anya Hindmarch

Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Lavender Amethyst Pear and Oval Drop Earrings.

Kate debuted the pair in Bhutan last year - they are stunning and work perfectly with the dress.

Kiki McDonough

Kate wore her Gianvito Rossi praline pumps again.


And that brings the tour to a close. I want to thank all of you who followed the tour on the blog with us; I am immensely thankful for all the kind and supportive comments you left. One of the most enjoyable aspects is hearing your thoughts. There was, as one expects with a tour, an influx of new posters (welcome!), and with that I would like to encourage everyone to continue posting using a moniker, as it adds greatly to the quality of conversation. And the most important rule for the comments section: please be respectful to each other. I enjoyed the tour and thought it encompassed some lovely moments. William and Kate meeting the public, including several readers, was a wonderful experience for them, a focus on history and the visit to Stutthof in particular was the stand out moment of the tour for me.

We saw the Duchess opting for a mix of favoured and new designers as she continues to achieve sartorial diplomacy. There's been an increase in bespoke pieces on tours in recent years and less high street choices. It was great seeing George and Charlotte too; it's always a treat to catch glimpses of them growing up and their personalities. We'll look at Kate's wardrobe in depth next week during our Post Tour Polls. Finally, a big thank you to photographers James Whatling, Andrew Parsons, Stephen Lock and all who worked on the Pool Rota throughout - it would be impossible to produce these posts without your photographs. What did you think of the tour? What were your highlights? You can view all the Royal Tour coverage here.

Earlier we mentioned Prince George celebrates his fourth birthday tomorrow. To mark the occasion Kensington Palace released a darling new photograph of the Prince, taken by Chris Jackson at KP last month. Chris is married to Kate's PA/Stylist Natasha Archer. The photographer wrote on Instagram "I'm thrilled and honoured that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to release this portrait I took to celebrate Prince George's 4th Birthday. He is such a happy little boy and certainly injects some fun into a photoshoot!" The photo was released with the message "TRH are very pleased to share this lovely picture, and would like to thank everyone for all of the kind messages they have received".

Kensington Palace

It's a terrific photo of George, sending the little Prince the happiest of birthday wishes!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Kate in Bird Print Markus Lupfer Dress & Diana's Pearl Bracelet for ClÀrchens Ballhaus Reception

The Duke and Duchess attended a reception in the vintage mirrored hall of ClÀrchens Ballhaus tonight.

Ahead of the reception the British Council said: "Both the British Council and Their Royal Highnesses William, the Duke of Cambridge, with his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, share the same passion about strengthening the intercultural and international links between Britain and the world. During their visit to Germany, Prince William and his wife Catherine aim to learn what makes Berlin such a strong magnet for artists from all around the world - especially for British creative professionals."

A warm welcome upon arrival.

The Duke and Duchess were joined at the reception by some of the most creative, innovative, and exciting new names in the world of art, culture, style, fashion and technology in the city.

Opened in 1913, ClÀrchens is one of the last remaining old ballrooms in Berlin.

An interesting review of the venue from The Guardian:

'Amid the sleek new cafes, offbeat shops and modern art galleries of the buzzy Mitte district, one cultural icon looks much the way it did a century ago. Founded in 1913 by Fritz BĂŒhler and his wife Clara, affectionately known as ClĂ€rchen, this two-storey ballroom has an air of gracefully faded grandeur.
 I’d heard about this peculiar urban timewarp long before I stumbled across it one afternoon while looking for a bite to eat. The attached beer garden, decorated with exposed bulbs and dense greenery, looked so intriguingly out of place that my friends and I stepped in without thinking. After brusque bow-tied waiters served us schnitzels that dwarfed the plates beneath them, we took a peek inside the building’s well-worn facade. There, under the neon lights and silver streamers, a group of maybe 20 people were enthusiastically tangoing away. It felt oddly like trespassing on a high school dance from decades past.
I’ve since been back to ClĂ€rchens Ballhaus as a participant rather than a voyeur, doing my best to cha-cha with two left feet. But as much as I love the nostalgic vibe on the ground floor, it is the chandeliered Spiegelsaal (mirror hall) upstairs, all towering ceiling, baroque detailing and huge mirrors, that draws gasps, and crowds. This hallowed hall has witnessed raucous 1920s nightlife, covert sword duels, allied bombing, balls for war widows and, more recently, a dramatic revival, thanks to David Regehr and Christian Schulz, who saved it from dereliction in 2005.'

Looking inside is like stepping back in time.

The building has protected status as a Berliner Kulturdenkmal (cultural monument).

Well-known faces included Sam Riley and Game of Thrones star Thomas Wlaschiha, who plays Jaqen H'ghar on the hit show. During their chat on BBC Radio 1, William revealed they are both big fans of the show. Richard Palmer reports "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attempted to persuade Mr Wlaschiha into revealing the closely guarded secrets of what happens next in Game of Thrones after season seven premiered on Sunday. But even the popular royals could not wriggle out any hints from the tight-lipped actor. The 44-year-old thespian said: “They said they really liked Game of Thrones and have watched every series. “They wanted spoilers but I said I couldn’t tell them. I’m surprised they have time to watch such a long running series.".

Mingling with guests.

A great shot.

Kate enjoyed a look around with British Council director Rachel Launay.

An overview of the party. Can you spot the Cambridges?

A highlight of the evening was a performance by Sam Hall, aka DJ Goldierocks.

With years of DJ experience and a theatre degree from Goldsmiths, University of London behind her, Sam is known for her theatrical flair as well as her cutting-edge playlists. As host of the British Council's radio show The Selector, Goldierocks reaches a global audience of over three million. Each week she brings listeners the brilliance and diversity of British music, promoting the sounds, talents and musical culture of modern Britain to an international audience. The award-winning radio show covers all styles of music from indie, dubstep, folk, soul, electro and everything in between.

William and Kate with DJ Goldierocks.

The Duke and Duchess leaving.

Kate selected the 'Wild Sparrow Dress' by German designer Markus Lupfer tonight (with thanks to HeavenQRF). The teal jacquard dress is from the Pre Autumn/Winter 2017 Collection. It's a very fresh choice for Kate; quite different from the usual styles she favours.

Markus Lupfer

Kate's dress is not available yet, but for those fond of the print the Markus Lupfer Melissa dress featuring the same print is available at Harrods.


Markus Lupfer graduated in 1997 from London’s University of Westminster with a first-class honours degree. With his refreshingly unique style and artful way he redefined everyday basics; his critically-acclaimed final year collection was immediately bought by London boutique Koh Samui. It was in quick succession that he was awarded the British Fashion Council’s New Generation Award in 2001, providing the platform to begin showing on an international level the label that bears his name. Markus Lupfer became a regular on the London Fashion Week schedule before becoming Design Director at Spanish fashion house Armand Basi in 2006. In 2008 Markus Lupfer won ‘Best Designer of the Year’ at the Prix de la Mode Awards in Spain. Fans of the brand include Madonna, Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Cara Delevingne, Olivia Palermo, Anna Kendrick, and of course Pippa Middleton.

Markus Lupfer

The Duchess added her own chic belt, which really complemented the look.

Kate teamed the dress with her  Prada Scalloped Suede Sandals from last night. They are described: "Prada's sandals have been made in Italy from smooth black suede. Set on a vertiginous stiletto heel, this pair has three precision-cut straps that are strategically placed to flatter your foot." They remain available in limited sizes at Net-A-Porter.


Kate accessorised with her Soru Jewellery Baroque Pearl earrings.

Soru Jewellery

A closer look.

Kate wore a triple strand pearl bracelet.

Initially it was thought to be the same one she wore for Order of the Garter in 2008...

Upon closer inspection, the eagle-eyed Order of Splendor and (our) Rebecca noticed it's actually Diana's Triple Pearl and Diamond Spacer bracelet. Diana wore the elegant piece on a number of occasions - most memorably with her Catherine Walker 'Elvis' outfit and Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara. The bracelet features very distinctive 'spacers'. It would certainly seem William has gifted Kate quite a few pieces from his mother's collection. It's a beautiful bracelet.

And Kate carried a new clutch.

Today's earlier post:

Today's earlier post covering the Cambridges' day in Heidelberg and the fun rowing race can be viewed here.

Tomorrow's Schedule:

  • The Duke and Duchess visit Hamburg which is Germany’s second largest city, and home to its largest harbour. The Duke and Duchess will visit the Maritime Museum on the bank of the river Elbe. Here The Duke and Duchess will celebrate the joint UK-German year of science, which this year is focused on oceans.
  • William and Kate will make their way further through Hamburg’s dockside warehouse quarter to the Elbphilharmonie. The Duke and Duchess will join the orchestra on stage, before listening to a special performance by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.
  • The Duke and Duchess will then depart by boat and travel down the River Elbe to their final destination for this tour: Airbus. The company’s base in Hamburg is home to production, maintenance and training facilities. The couple will tour the complex and meet apprentices, both German and English. The Duke and Duchess will then visit the final assembly line of an A320 aircraft and view the cockpit of a near-complete plane.
  • Afterwards, William, Kate, George and Charlotte will return to London.

To view all of the Royal Tour Poland/Germany coverage, click here.