The Countess of Strathearn has arrived in Scotland to join her husband, The Earl of Strathearn, for 4 days-long visits to the highlands. Prince William and Catherine hold very special memories of Scotland. They met for the first time in 2001 when they were studying at the Scottish University of St Andrews in Fife.
Prince William arrived in Scotland on Friday. The tour came after his appointment as the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He undertook a series of engagements on the weekend after giving a very heartfelt speech at the opening of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
William reflected on many of his personal memories that are linked to the highlands.
“Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also, my saddest. I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died. Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning. And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep. And yet alongside this painful memory, is one of great joy. Because it was here in Scotland – twenty years ago this year – that I first met Catherine. Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart. George, Charlotte and Louis already know how dear Scotland is to both of us, and they are starting to build their own happy memories here, too.”
Today’s first stop was Turning Point Scotland – a social care charity providing services to adults with complex needs. In North Lanarkshire, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge heard how the organisation helps and support people with mental health and addiction challenges.
Turnaround delivers targeted programmes to address the complex and interrelated issues of offending behaviours and problematic use of alcohol and other drugs, which often result in patterns of re-offending. Turning Point Scotland believes in taking a holistic approach to promote the recovery, self-determination and inclusion of people accessing services by focusing on their strengths and the valuable contributions they can make to their communities. The approach acknowledges the stigma attached to the reasons that bring people to services for support: citizenship is strengthened by developing a positive identity and through the experience of belonging and value to communities and society. It also works with those with learning disabilities, brain injuries, early-onset dementia and other disabilities such as autism.
About the visit, Kensington Palace said, “Over the past ten years, through her official engagements and charitable work, The Duchess of Cambridge has gained an understanding that the root causes of adverse challenges, including addiction, can very often be traced back to the earliest years of a person’s life, and have an impact over generations.“
During the visit, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke with individuals supported by Turning Point Scotland’s (TPS) Turnaround service. They joined a video call with staff and service users from TPS’ Glasgow Overdose Response Team (GORT), to hear how the service works to reduce drug-related deaths by providing real-time crisis support for people who have experienced a near-fatal overdose.
Turning Point CEO, Neil Richardson, said, “The couple was very well-tuned into how the organization supports people with mental health challenges and some of the barriers that they face. I think they recognized a lot of what they heard today.“
The second stop of the day was The Scotland Violence Reduction Unit in Cockenzie, East Lothian. The Scottish Violence Reduction Unit is a national centre of expertise on violence. Part of Police Scotland, the SVRU targets violence wherever it occurs whether it’s on the streets, in schools or in homes. Supported by the Scottish Government the unit has adopted a public health approach treating violence as an infection that can be cured. The SVRU is the only Police member of the World Health Organisation’s Violence Prevention Alliance.
The Palace said, “The Scottish Violence Reduction Unit is a national centre of expertise in tackling violence, motivated by the belief that violence is preventable, not inevitable. The unit was founded in 2005 by Strathclyde Police, who in the face of rising homicide rates wanted to try a different approach to tackling violence. Addiction and violence are among the most challenging social issues we face as a society. Scotland isn’t alone in trying to tackle these challenges but the organisations we saw today showcased that work is being done to reframe this. It’s also a reminder that for many of those affected by addiction and violence, the root causes can be traced back to the earliest years of a person’s life.“
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also met with the members of the Heavy Sound C.I.C. . Heavy Sound is a Scottish community interest company providing music, creative arts and sports activities primarily in areas of multiple deprivations. The Duke and Duchess learnt about its workings – which utilises music, Djing and music production.
Keep up the incredible work @vruscotland in leading the way in finding compassionate, holistic, human-led solutions.
Oh and please do delete that music… pic.twitter.com/wnuOgvDpTI
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 24, 2021
The Duchess of Cambridge tried her hand at the sound production and produce the music for cats. William joked about Catherine’s skill and said, “What’s that? It sounds like a cat. It’s hurting my ears.” Clearly, William is not a cat person just like his Grandma.
The next leg of the day involved some cooking at the café kitchen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are staying at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Queen’s official residence in Scotland.
William and Catherine were joined by the community group Sikh Sanjog to prepare meals that were distributed to vulnerable families across Edinburgh. Sikh Sanjog is a charity set up in 1989 to support women in the Sikh community in Edinburgh. It is Scotland’s only Sikh family support charity in Scotland. Their efforts largely focus on supporting women from the Sikh community to integrate into wider Scottish society.
During the pandemic, they expanded their range of services and began providing hot curry meals twice a week to those in need in the community. That service is still ongoing with volunteers helping to meet demand.
For the first appearance in Scotland, The Duchess of Cambridge chose a blue outfit matching the Scottish flag. She was wearing her blue Zara blazer that was first seen in May 2021 to mark the end of the ‘Nursing Now’ campaign.
The £59.99 double-breasted blazer features lapel collars, long sleeves, pronounced shoulders and front flap pockets with metal button detailing.
Catherine paired the blazer with a new skirt today. She was wearing Hope Contrast Hem Pleated Skirt in cobalt blue. The £95 skirt was described as, “A move on from the Satin Pleated Skirt last season, this time in bold, confident colours and with a contrast asymmetric hem. The upper is made from polyester sateen which has a silk-like softness and the lower is made from polyester georgette which gives a semi-sheer finish to the hemline. ” The skirt is available in two colours; Cobalt with Cobalt hem and Sunset Orange with Peach Sorbet hem, both have Trapeze tops in coordinating colours to create that column of colour look.
The Duchess was carrying her Métier London Roma Bag debuted in December 2020 when she arrived in Batley for the third stop of The Royal Train Tour.
She brought back her Jimmy Choo Romy 85 Suede Pump.
Catherine chose Amia Kids The Duchess blue Phoebe adult face mask.
Another new element of the outfit was Hamilton & Inches Flora Drop Earrings. Thanks to innominate_93 for the id. The £1395 earrings are described as, “Hamilton & Inches Flora drop earrings consisting of marquise cut citrine, cabochon cut rutilated quartz and round brilliant cut diamonds, mounted on an 18ct yellow gold post and scroll fitment. The total diamond weight is 0.16cts, the total citrine weight is 0.50cts, and the total rutilated quartz weight is 2.00cts. ”
The Duchess teamed up the outfit with Spells of Love Double Strand Beaded Satellite Chain Necklace.