Today, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine, hosted a Christmas Party at the orangery of Kensington Palace for the families and children of military personnel from RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham serving in Cyprus over the festive period.
The Duke of Cambridge is the Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire that is home to Typhoon squadrons which deploy military personnel to Cyprus and fly operations in support of Op Shader, the UK’s contribution to the ongoing campaign against Isis. They work alongside 31 Squadron, a Tornado GR4 unit based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, which is also involved with the campaign. It is being reported that during the festival season 11000 serving personnel will be away from their homes deployed in 35 countries across the globe.
Ahead of the party, the Palace said, “Their Royal Highnesses wish to deliver a message of support to deployed personnel and to acknowledge the fact the many Serving personnel are away from their families at this time of the year”. The event was support by the Royal British Legion in recognition of the unique contribution and sacrifices serving personnel and their families make year-round, and especially when they are separated during the festive period.
The party was a fun event where a snow machine was rented.
William and Kate take the short walk from their Kensington Palce home to the Christmas party for military families @people #royal #dukeandduchessofcambridge #princewilliam #kateMiddleton #princesskate pic.twitter.com/Zg3OEPD2Yz
— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) December 4, 2018
It seems the fake snow gave a small start to The Duchess making the couple cackle when they took a short walk from their home to Kensington Palace Orangery.
Children enjoyed many events organized by the British party planners Sharky and George that included decorating stockings or snow globes, making crackers and creating Christmas party kits. Prince William learning how to make crackers.
The party area was decorated with Christmas trees and much to children’s joy there was a Santa Claus. There were a photo booth and a post box where guests took pictures and send messages to their loved ones in Cyprus.
From the Telegraph, “Asking children to bring any presents or letters they would like to give their mothers and fathers serving overseas, the Duke and Duchess will gather them from a special post box to hand-deliver tomorrow. On Wednesday morning, they will fly to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, where military personnel from RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham are deployed to support Op Shader, the UK’s contribution to the ongoing campaign against Isis. There, they will personally hand over letters and gifts from children to their parents, delivering a message of thanks for their service throughout the Christmas period”.
During the party, Catherine, who is the mother of three kids, played with toddlers. This photograph is simply precious.
Speaking at the event, The Duchess shared her experience as RAF wife,
“As someone whose husband has served, I know how hard it feels when a loved one leaves to do the job they trained for. When William served in the Falklands or in Search and Rescue, I remember how it felt, but I can’t imagine how it feels when your loved ones are away in active service during Christmas. The absence of people you love must be especially hard at this time of year.”
From Simon Perry’s article, “As the royal couple departed, members of their team tossed snowballs to them. William caught one before tossing it back, and Kate caught one as well, holding it as they walked away.”
For the party, The Duchess of Cambridge, stepping away from her formal look, chose a very lovely festive dressed down look. Catherine wore a black button-down cashmere top from Scottish cashmere firm Brora. It was label’s cropped cardigan in black.
The $375 cardigan is described as, “Designed to accentuate a smaller waist, this neat knit is the perfect, feminine cover-up for tea dresses, midi skirts and high waist trousers“.
The cardigan is available in four colourways: White, Black, French Navy and Swan. Crafted from two-ply Scottish cashmere the top featured round neck with ribbed trim, three quarter sleeves with ribbed cuffs and cropped length neat fit.
Catherine paired the top with a festive red Emilia Wickstead Pris Pleated Tartan Flannelskirt. The skirt was from the label’s Autumn-Winter 2018 collection that was inspired by 1970’s film ‘Love Story’. The skirt was described as, “Pris’ skirt is cut in an a-line silhouette from sturdy flannel that has sharp knife pleats throughout. Cinched with a belted waist, it’s designed in classic tartan check“.
A closer look at the skirt’s print. Crafted from Polyester and elastane the pleated skirt has a buckle-fastening at front. The Multi-colour tartan skirt originally retailed for $1295 before going on selling out at $777.
Susan from WhatKateWore noted that the tartan pattern used in Catherine’s skirt is available in this pleated tartan dress.
Catherine was wearing a new pair of suede Pointy-toe boots. I will update the post once they are identified.
Her Mapping & Webb Empress earrings finished the look along with Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.
Tomorrow the couple fly to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to meet with Serving personnel, families living on the base, wider station personnel and members of the local community. RAF Akrotiri is the home of the Cyprus Operations Support Unit which provides joint support to British Forces Cyprus and operations in the region to protect the UK’s strategic interests.
Later tonight, Queen Elizabeth II will host annual Diplomatic Corps Reception at the Buckingham Palace. William and Catherine have attended in the past, so they might attend tonight also.
Dress Like Duchess