Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Cambridges Holiday in France & Autumn Canada Tour Confirmed

Hello dear readers,

We're back with news of an official announcement confirming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour of Canada later this year. Before we chat about that, William and Kate arrived in Pau, southern France with George and Charlotte yesterday for a family holiday. They landed in a £5m Cessna owned by the Duke of Westminster. The Duke's wife, Natalia, is Prince William's godmother and their son, Hugh, is one of Prince George's godparents. The news was broken by a local French newspaper La République des Pyrénées who shared a photo from the terminal of small airport Pau-Pyrenees.

La Rep de Pyrenees

More from the Express:

'Kate, 34, and others in their entourage were spotted transferring into two waiting blacked-out Range Rovers. Friends have confirmed that William and their children, Prince George, 3, and 14-month-old Princess Charlotte are also with her on the holiday.
A local French newspaper, La Rep des Pyrenees, quoted sources saying the party, which is thought to include the children's nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, were  going to stay with relatives.'

It is not known where the family are staying, although there are several potential areas close to the airport including the coastal resort of Biarritz, which became a popular resort in the 1800s when European royalty began visiting. It's also a major surfing destination. It's a beautiful time of year to visit southern France, and I'm sure the foursome will have a splendid time.

France is a very popular destination for the family. They took their first holiday as a family of four in the French Alps in March, when George and Charlotte had their first opportunity to play in the snow, and keen skiers William and Kate took to the slopes during the break. Hello! reports the family also used the Duke of Westminster's jet for the trip. A selection of photographs were released following their return to the UK.

We saw the Cambridges visit France just weeks ago in their official capacity for events commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Back to the Express story:

'The family holiday is confirmation if it was needed that after Prince Charles and Camilla's visit to the Sandringham Flower Show today, the summer season of working in Britain is over for the Royal family. On Tuesday it emerged that Prince Harry is to spend the next few weeks working on conservation projects in southern Africa after a similar trip last year.'

August is traditionally the British royals' summer holiday month. With Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh in Balmoral, the rest of the family disperse from the spotlight to enjoy the time off. Whilst it's possible William and Kate may have an engagement or two lined up for later in the month, I suspect, by and large, it will be a quiet one for the entire Royal family. There was talk of the Cambridges possibly attending the Olympics in Rio; several reliable royal sources confirmed - following much consideration - they have decided not to travel. I imagine medical advice regarding the Zika virus will have been an important factor in their decision.


Who's ready for another royal tour this year?

Earlier today, Kensington Palace confirmed the Duke and Duchess will visit Canada this autumn at the invitation of the Canadian government. A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The Duke and Duchess are delighted to be returning to Canada. They hold very happy memories from their visit in 2011 - their first overseas tour as a married couple. They are really looking forward to seeing other parts of this beautiful country and having the opportunity to meet many more Canadians along the way."

William and Kate's tour to Canada in 2011 was a particularly special one. Not only was it the couple's first overseas tour together since their wedding, the public very much got to know Kate, who was new to her royal role at the time. We saw her interacting with children, meeting crowds and officials, and taking an array of events in her stride, including the unforgettable dragon boat race.

Most memorably, it was fascinating to see the dynamic between William and Kate - on one hand a future king and queen representing the Royal family, and on the other young newlyweds in love. Five year and two children later, it seems most appropriate to return for another tour.

Of course, the question on everyone's lips is, will George and Charlotte be accompanying their parents? The official word is "they will decide closer to the date", however, it is very much expected they will. If so, we'll likely see the adorable pair for airport arrivals/departures and a couple of specially planned engagements similar to George's appearances during the 2014 Australia/New Zealand tour.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

Kensington Palace revealed the Cambridges will visit British Columbia and Yukon as part of their trip. British Columbia is known as Canada’s westernmost province, stretching along the Pacific coast, with the vibrant city of Vancouver at its southern border. Dominated by mountain ranges, it’s a major skiing destination and home to Whistler, co-host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Hikers, campers and anglers are drawn to its sprawling parks and reserves. There's a host of potential locations and landmarks the couple would no doubt love to explore. Below, we see the scenic Yoho National Park, located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Yukon, a territory in northwest Canada, is described as "wild, mountainous and sparsely populated". It’s known for dog-sledding, canoe expeditions, hiking, salmon fishing and other outdoor pursuits, as well as for the colourful northern lights sometimes seen in its nighttime sky. Kluane National Park and Reserve includes Mt Logan, Canada’s highest peak, as well as glaciers, trails and the Alsek River, renowned for rafting. Both ideal destinations for outdoor lovers such as William and Kate.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement:

“We are delighted by the Governor General’s announcement that Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will visit Canada this fall. During their stay, the Duke and Duchess will travel to British Columbia and Yukon on a visit that will showcase some of Canada’s finest natural beauty.
“This Royal Tour, the second undertaken by Their Royal Highnesses to Canada, also presents a unique opportunity for Canadians of all backgrounds to meet with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and learn more about our heritage, traditions, and institutions. Our government looks forward to providing Canadians with further details closer to the beginning of the Royal Tour.”

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, said:

"Sharon and I will be delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Canada. Their Royal Tour will take them to the beautiful province of British Columbia and the scenic territory of Yukon. Once again, our true Canadian pride and spirit will shine and be at the very heart of this visit so they can feel at home."

There will be enormous interest in Kate's tour wardrobe, too. In India, we saw the Duchess don an array of pretty prints and long colourful dresses. Should the children go, I imagine the tour will have a slightly more informal feel, as their 2011 visit did, and there will be less evening events scheduled to ensure the couple can put George and Charlotte to bed at night. Kate's strong relationship with Erdem began during the 2011 tour and his elegant designs will likely feature.

Canadian Heritage Flickr

Kate's favoured navy blazer by Canadian brand Smythe could make another appearance during this tour too. The Duchess recently wore it for the RAF International Air Tattoo earlier this month. We'll be taking a closer look at possibilities nearer the tour.

The full itinerary will be released closer to the date. It is not known exactly when the tour will be; The Telegraph reports it will be some time in September. It should be another exciting tour and it will be a real treat if George and Charlotte go. It's interesting to see William and Kate's royal role growing; this year will be the first time they undertake two full-scale tours on behalf of Her Majesty. Are you looking forward to the tour? Do any of our readers in Canada have any suggestions they would love to see on the itinerary?


Finally, there's still time to enter our Azuni London giveaway, featuring a pair of Kate's Athena Earrings with the very pretty Hera Pendant. To enter, all details can be found in our last post.
Azuni London

We'll update the post should additional details emerge.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

William and Kate Return to Portsmouth for America's Cup World Series & Azuni Giveaway!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to Portsmouth to see the second America's Cup World Series.

Kate attended in her capacity as Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust, which aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, providing young people with the education, skills and training to become innovators of the future, and stewards of the marine environment. Its name derives from the fact it is supported by Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing), the team hoping to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain – a trophy that left these shores in 1851 and one Britain has never won.

The patronage was seen as an ideal match for keen sailor Kate who crewed a Round the World Challenge Boat during her gap year and worked as a deckhand. When HRH took on the role she said: "I am delighted to be Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust. I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age and I know it is a great way of providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence." She added she was "looking forward to being part of the journey" to bring the America's Cup back to Britain. The Duchess has attended a number of engagements in support of the effort.

The couple received a warm welcome upon arrival.

Readers will have be familiar with Sir Ben Ainslie (indeed, I believe he's a rather popular chap with a few of you :)). It's been a busy time for the most successful Olympic sailor in history. On Thursday it was announced he and his wife - sports presenter Georgie - welcomed their first child, a daughter named Bellatrix Ainslie.

The team had another royal visitor on Friday when Prince Philip, Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron, visited the base and hopped on board a catamaran.

William and Kate visited the team base to see their state of the art testing boats, and meet the team driving the advanced design and technology forward to help the team achieve their goal to bring the cup home.

William and Kate enjoyed looking around, and exchanged plenty of light-hearted moments.

A fabulous shot of the couple.

The Duchess met Zak Kay who won an 1851 Trust competition to design the trophy for the winner of the event.

William and Kate posed for a photo.

Prince William talked about George's birthday. More from the Express:

William talked about his son's third birthday, which was on Friday, when he met a young prize winner in Portsmouth who designed the trophy for which Sir Ben Anslie British crew are competing.
Zak Kay, 10, a pupil at St Paul's Catholic Primary School, Portsmouth, asked what George got for his birthday. "What did he get for his birthday? I'm not telling", William, 34, said. "He got too many things. He's far too spoilt, he 's not into boats yet."

More from The Telegraph:

The day saw the Duchess of Cambridge also spent time with young people working in the sailing and marine industry, speaking to them about working to reduce the stigma of mental health problems. 
Tiyah Windslade, 17, who presented the Duchess with a bouquet, said: "She was lovely beautiful and friendly. "I almost started crying! She said that I would be in safe hands with Ben Ainslie. "She spoke a lot about mental health and how we need to stop people from feeling ashamed about themselves and come out and be very open about their mental health. And she sad that we are the voice reaching out to people because we are working with them on the ground.
"The Duke was talking about the same priorities as the Duchess. He was really lovely too."

Last year's races had to be cancelled due to dismal weather; thankfully, that was not the case this time, and William and Kate were delighted better conditions prevailed today.

Aside from the British challenger, they watched teams from the USA, France, New Zealand, Japan and Sweden compete in three races on the Solent. Thousands of fans watched on from the Race Village on Southsea seafront.

The couple joined thousands of spectators to cheer on the teams.

This photo offers a look at the scale of the turnout.

The America's Cup Twitter Feed shared this video.

William and Kate take to the sea.

Watching Sir Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR team racing from a chase boat.

Ben Ainslie and his team celebrate a much deserved win.

Afterwards, they visited the competing teams in the Race Village where they met the six international skippers and their crews, and were also joined by children involved with the 1851 Trust.

Kate meets the New Zealand team.

The Duchess chatted about the race with Ben Ainslie.

William and Kate meet Oracle Team USA.

Before departing, the Duke and Duchess headed to the main stage to present the event winners with their trophy.

The Duke and Duchess were delighted to present Ben Ainslie with the trophy.

There was a huge cheer for Ben Ainslie and his team.

The Duke and Duchess supported the team by wearing official gear. Kate wore the £50 Land Rover BAR Replica Pique Women's Polo from Henri Lloyd.

It is described: "Inspired by the iconic Henri Lloyd Polo, the Land Rover BAR Polo is a replica of the team Polo and constructed from 100% cotton pique. The polo features a rib collar and raglan sleeve design for additional comfort."

Henri Llloyd

The Duchess wore skinny jeans.

Upon arrival, Kate sported her Monsoon Fleur wedges, first seen during the royal tour of India and Bhutan. The $79 espadrille wedges feature an almond toe and gripped soles that ensure a comfortable stride.


Before racing began, Kate changed into her Adidas Pure Boost X trainers in core black/shock green. The £90 shoes are "built for nonstop motion. Made for runners with a neutral gait, a snug, sock-like upper delivers nonrestrictive arch support so you can move with instinct, while a boost™ midsole invigorates every step with light, fast energy. An optimal fit plus dynamic cushioning means you're ready for any challenge." They are available at Nordstrom and Footlocker.


Kate completed the look with her Kiki Lauren earrings.

Kiki McDonough

We saw Kate sport an array of hairstyles today. Which is your favourite? I thought the ponytail looked great with her casual look and was ideal for the windy conditions.

You can watch a video here.


We also have a lovely giveaway today from our friends at Azuni London. The brand are giving one lucky reader a pair of the ever-popular Athena Earrings, as worn by the Duchess on several occasions, including in Tuvalu.

Azuni London

And the elegant Hera Pendant Necklace, also in aqua chalcedony. The pendant is one of the most-eye catching pieces from the Hera range, which is the brand's most contemporary collection to date. It is described: "With puffed marquis cut semi precious stone, the collection features clean lines, highly polished finishing on the 'eclipse' shaped stone charm, and each piece feels like an item of substance, with a reassuring weight and feel. The single stone necklace comes on a richly plated cable chain adjustable at 16.5" and 18.5"."

Azuni London

The collection's name, Hera, is inspired by the ancient Greek goddess of women and marriage. Describing their take on the goddess, Azuni wrote: "Hera was said to have beautiful, alluring eyes, symbolised by the rounded marquise stones characterising this strong, empowering collection. Immortal in its simplicity, Hera reflects timeless design through the use of bold yet elegant shapes that express a harmonious bond with its wearer." Below, the Hera Semi-Precious Earrings in Stone Aqua and Black Onyx.

Azuni London

Azuni London

Azuni London

To celebrate summer Azuni are offering 25% off everything with the code SUMMER25 until 31 July.

Azuni London

The discount applies to all items sitewide including Kate's earrings (the discount reduces the price from £25 to £18.75) which come in a variety of stones. Below we see the Athena in Turqoiuse and Aqua Chalcedony with a silver finish.

Azuni London

At Azuni, they are constantly creating new pieces for their collections. There's an eclectic mix of stones and designs - any of the colourful pieces would make a great wardrobe addition for summer and the ideal accessory for holidays. Below, the Athena Wave Earring, the Artemis Gemstone Bracelet, the Cleopatra Coin Pendant and the Delphi Large Twin Stone Earrings.

Azuni London

Vibrant items from the Venice Collection include the Venice Bracelet.

Azuni London

Back to the giveaway, to win a pair of the Athena Earrings and the Hera Pendant (they look great together) let's take a look at the entry options:

Azuni London

Entry options:

  • To enter, sign up for Azuni's Newsletter (scroll down the homepage to do so), and leave a comment letting you know you did so.
  • For additional entries: Like Azuni on Facebook or Follow on Twitter, and let us know you did so in your comment.
  • Share the giveaway on social media or on your blog, and let us know you did so in your comment.

Wishing all entrants the very best of luck! With thanks to Azuni for sponsoring the giveaway. A reminder the 25% site-wide discount code SUMMER25 is valid until 31 July.

I hope you're all having a great weekend! :)