An avid Art fan and an ex-Art student, the patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the Gallery in the snowy night.
This major exhibition is the first to examine the relationship between four ground-breaking Victorian artists: Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Lady Clementina Hawarden (1822–65) and Oscar Rejlander (1813–75).
Drawn from public and private collections internationally, the exhibition features some of the most breath-taking images in photographic history. Influenced by historical painting and frequently associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the four artists formed a bridge between the art of the past and the art of the future, standing as true giants in Victorian photography.
The Duchess of Cambridge visits @NPGLondon to see the Victorian Giants photography exhibition. An art history graduate, she has curated a special "Patron's Trail" and written labels for her favourite images pic.twitter.com/DGUAbmM3qo
The exhibition explores the birth of art photography in England and provides a fresh perspective on one of photography’s formative periods.
Before the engagement, Duchess Catherine wrote a foreword to the exhibition catalogue in which she discussed her interest in 19th-century photography that was also the subject of her undergraduate thesis while an art history student at the University of St Andrews.
“This period of history has long interested me. Photographs of children in particular, which feature predominately within the exhibition, are of real interest to me. The photographs allow us to reflect on the importance of preserving and appreciating childhood while it lasts. Children held a special place in the Victorian imagination and were celebrated for their seemingly boundless potential. The notion still rings true for us today and it underpins much of my official work and the charities I have chosen to support, and, indeed, my role as a mother of a young family.”
For this visit, putting her academic background to the use, Duchess helped to curate the exhibition at the gallery.
Catherine selected several Victorian photographs and wrote captions which are displayed with the images for a special ‘Patron’s Trail’.
Upon arrival, Catherine enjoyed the tour of the exhibition. The exhibition will run until May 20th.
She also met lenders and supporters in the Gallery’s Ondaatje Wing Main Hall.
Cut to a flattering figure-skimming fit, the eye-catching floral dress features a High neckline with a soft velvet band to the trim, smock front panel with ruched detailing and soft velvet trim, velvet ribbon collar and invisible zip back opening.
Today once again Duchess of Cambridge had a busy schedule. In the morning Duchess attended the first Royal Foundation Forum with Duke of Cambridge Prince William and Prince Harry. In the evening Duchess visited the National Portrait Gallery to see the exhibition ‘Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography’.
The Royal Foundation was established by royal brothers Prince William and Prince Harry in 2009. In 2011, Duchess of Cambridge became the 3rd Patron of the Foundation and hence the name The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. You can find out about the foundation more at the official website here.
Before the Forum the Royal Foundation released a statement saying, “Creating the Foundation was a new style of how the Royal family could engage with causes that are close to their hearts. It allows them to work together across this generation as well as bring others together to focus on areas they are each passionate about. Once the Duchess of Cambridge became Patron, Their Royal Highnesses established a key focus of working together, as well as convening others to help tackle society’s biggest challenges. Together we use the passion and unique influence of our Patrons to change mindsets and make a lasting difference on the issues that matter to them and to society. We never begin a project thinking we have the answer. From day one, the Foundation was built with an open door, and whatever we do, we invite the best and brightest to sit with us around the table to help find solutions.”
Today’s Forum was the first of the foundation held under the theme ‘Making a Difference Together,’ the event showcased the programmes run or initiated by The Royal Foundation and included a number of delegates who have been involved in key projects.
The Forum was hosted by BBC presenter and Radio 1 newsreader Tina Daheley.
Speaking at the Forum Duchess remarked,
” I’ve learned a huge amount from the patronages I’ve worked with but also from the amazing experts I met along the way and you know, you can’t help but then reflect on your own life. It’s definitely had an impact on how I mother, how we work as a family and how we hope to bring up our children.”
Prince William told the hostess that Heads Together was the child of Duchess’ brain. On this Kate said,
” I think there’s a lot that I’m hugely excited about with the Foundation and from the Foundation’s perspective. Imagine if we were able to do a Heads Together campaign with another generation of members of the Royal family. I think that’s so exciting and with so many more of us working on the same cause or similar causes, we could make a real impact.”
During her speech Duchess joked:
“After seeing the video, I should be sporting my headband but sadly I left it at home. We are all so proud of the work we did without our partners to challenge the stigma. Since our roles are lifetime roles, our commitment to the work we do through the Foundation is genuinely long term. The work we do can and should have a long-lasting resonance. For this reason we’re able to support causes we’re passionate about for decades into the future. Like the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales we feel strongly we have to take a long-term view that is measured in generations.”
After the forum, the royal patrons met the invited guests, supporters of the Royal Foundation, and programme partners and beneficiaries backstage.
For the forum, Duchess recycled her £99 Seraphine Royal Blue Tailored Dress. Cut for an elegant A-line shape and draping beautifully to the knee the dress is made in premium stretch woven fabric and adapt to growing curves throughout pregnancy.
Today Duchess of Cambridge carried out two engagements as well as announced two new Patronages. Catherine visited the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London then officially launched Nursing Now 2020 campaign at Guys and St. Thomas.
Ahead of the engagements, Kensington Palace announced two Patronages for Duchess. She became Patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and Patron of the Nursing Now campaign. Now Duchess of Cambridge Catherine is the patron of 16 charities.
On new endeavour, The Palace remarked “The Duchess has seen first-hand the impact of front-line medical professionals during visits to hospitals and hospices, and through her work in support of children’s mental health and early intervention. The Duchess’ patronages at RCOG and Nursing Now provide an opportunity to shine a light on these vital professions, both in the UK and internationally.”
Today’s visit to the Royal College of Obstetricians Gynaecologists was to learn more about the College’s global health programmes to reduce maternal and newborn mortality worldwide.
At RCOG Duchess was welcomed by Professor Lesley Regan, who met Duchess at a round-table discussion on maternal mental health at Kensington Palace in November.
Speaking about today’s visit and new patron Professor Regan said, “I am absolutely thrilled that The Duchess of Cambridge has graciously accepted our invitation to become the RCOG’s second Patron, after Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. It is a great honour for the College, now in its 89th year, and its 16,000 members in the UK and around the world. We are very grateful to Her Royal Highness whose support will help to raise our profile as a medical charity that champions the provision of high-quality women’s healthcare at home and beyond. We know that maternal health and mental wellbeing is an issue close to The Duchess’s heart, as a young mother herself. We hope that this new relationship will build on our work to improve healthcare for women everywhere, and ensure that women’s views on the care they receive are at the heart of everything we do.”
Duchess Catherine is 2nd Patron of the RCOG in its 89-year-old journey after Queen Mother Elizabeth I. RCOG was founded in 1929 and works in the UK and globally to set standards for clinical practice, provide doctors with training, and advocate women’s healthcare.
It has been 71 years since the College last welcomed a Patron when in 1947 Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother accepted the role on the award of the College’s Royal Charter. Two years later, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship and in 1957 laid the foundation stone of the RCOG’s current home at Sussex Place. The Queen later opened the RCOG’s current home in Regent’s Park in 1960.
The College has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Royal Family. Before becoming the first Patron, as Duchess of York, with her husband, the future King George VI, opened the RCOG’s former home on Queen Anne Street in 1932. Since then, the RCOG has awarded an Honorary Fellowship to 10 members of the Royal Family, including The Queen (1949), Princess Margaret (1966), Princess Royal (1979), Diana, Princess of Wales (1987) and Sophie, The Countess of Wessex (1996).
Duchess had visited RCOG last year to launch a series of films focused on maternal mental health. Drawing on her own experiences, Catherine admitted to a lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance as a mother.
“It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together. Your fundamental identity changes overnight. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost.”
AT RCOG Catherine was shown a painting of The Queen opening the College’s current London home in 1960.
Duchess learnt about the education, training and global health programmes & view demonstrations in essential clinical skills and safe surgical techniques at RCOG.
During her visit to the RCOG, trainees demonstrated how to perform keyhole surgery on a model.
The Duchess joined a discussion at the RCOG about the ways in which the stigma around women’s health, in particular, maternal mental health, can be challenged.
She heard about the RCOG’s global health programmes like Leading Safe Choices which aims to support family planning professionals in South Africa and Tanzania.
The Duchess also saw how the College’s workshops and continued training support trainee doctors to develop safe surgical techniques and essential clinical skills in obstetrics and gynaecology.
Catherine learned more about the work carried out by the RCOG’s Centre for Women’s Global Health, which supports communities across the world with women’s maternal and gynaecological health, and aims to reduce maternal and newborn fatalities.
To mark her new patronage, The Duchess was presented with a certificate by Professor Lesley Regan, the President of RCOG.
Presenting the certificate, Professor Regan said, On behalf of everyone here present, I would like to extend our very best wishes for the birth of your third child.
“I’m confident that you will receive excellent care from the wonderful team at my own hospital, as indeed you received for the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Thank you once again for visiting the college today, becoming our patron and for showing such passionate interest in our work. We look forward to a very long and fruitful relationship with you and your family”
Duchess was presented with a posy of flowers by Ruby Lyon, aged 8 who was just 10 weeks old when her older brother, Harry, passed away 18 months after suffering profound brain damage due to lack of oxygen at birth.
Catherine signed Royal Visitors’ book after accepting the patronage. Here in the picture behind is a series of photos of members of the Royal Family at the RCOG including Her Majesty The Queen & Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother signing the same book.
Lovely video from HRH Duchess of Cambridge meeting a midwife who helped deliver Princess Charlotte. (Source: German TV) pic.twitter.com/ESL57fDQbl
At RCOG Duchess saw a familiar face Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, a midwife who assisted with the birth of George and Charlotte. Professor Dunkley-Bent described it as “a surprise and an absolute pleasure” to be reunited with Kate today.
Before leaving Duchess thanked Professor Regan and said: “It was great to see Jacqui as well”. Thanking the Duchess RCOG tweeted,” Thank you to HRH The Duchess of Cambridge for visiting us at the RCOG today and accepting the patronage. We look forward to seeing you again soon!”
The next stop of the day was St Thomas’ Hospital to officially launch a campaign to promote nursing worldwide.
Nursing Now 2020 is a global campaign that aims to raise the worldwide profile of nurses and enable them to take a greater role in health policy decision making.
Upon arrival, Duchess was welcomed by the staff and families receiving facility at the hospital.
As the health professionals closest to the public, nurses are the lynchpin of effective health teams, playing a crucial role in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment. The Nursing Now campaign will support nurses to become leaders so they can play a greater role in health policy decision-making, helping countries meet the pressing health challenges of the 21st century. The campaign will run to the end of 2020 – the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and a year when nurses will be celebrated worldwide.
About the new patronage of Duchess, Lord Crisp, Co-Chair Nursing Now Campaign, said, “On behalf of Nursing Now supporters across the world I am delighted to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cambridge as our Patron. Our campaign aims to improve health globally by raising the profile and status of nurses worldwide – influencing policymakers and supporting nurses themselves to lead, learn and build a global movement. “We are delighted to have a patron with such a strong commitment to nursing and a history in her family of volunteer nurses. We look forward to working with Her Royal Highness as we support nursing and nurses across the world.”
At the STH, Duchess first visit the Snow Leopard ward where she met highly-specialised nurses who care for children that need help breathing to stay alive.
In the ward, Duchess was briefed about how they help train carers and relatives to use ventilation equipment safely to prepare them for when their child is home.
Catherine met Lauren at the ward whose one-year-old daughter, Amara, has received the care in Snow Leopard Ward since January.
The Duchess joined a round-table discussion with nurses from different countries at various stages in their careers, The Duchess was able to hear first-hand about the positive impact the NursingNow2020 campaign could have on the profession.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Duchess Catherine remarked,
”This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses. They would have learned first-hand from working with the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Red Cross about the care and compassion that sometimes only nurses can provide. I would like to congratulate and thanks all nurses everywhere on what you achieve on a daily basis. The difference you make should not go unrecognized”.