Continuing my year in review series, even though it’s nearing the end of February (hangs head in shame), let’s take a look back at the big events and achievements for the Duchess of Cambridge from 2019.
Kate receives Royal Victorian Order
On April 29, William and Kate’s 8 year anniversary, The Queen announced that she was awarding Kate the Royal Victorian Order.
The Queen has been pleased to make the following appointment to the Royal Victorian Order.
To be a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) – HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.royal.uk
For reference, Camilla received the RVO in 2012 after 7 years of marriage, Sophie received the RVO in 2010 after 11 years of marriage, and neither Diana nor Sarah ever received the RVO. So Kate is, actually, on track there then, but after years of Kate being the only royal I’ve ever covered not to have any orders, good for Kate for finally getting some orders.
The first time Kate wore her newly received RVO was for the US state banquet on June 3. For this appearance, Kate wore a white Alexander McQueen gown with a million rows of ruffles, as well as the sash and star of the Royal Victorian Order, and the Royal Family Order of QEII (which Kate received in 2017). Kate’s jewelry consisted of the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara, the Queen Mother’s sapphire and diamond fringe earrings, Diana’s four strand pearl bracelet, and Kate’s diamond acorn brooch.Embed from Getty Images
File this under “Kate’s royal firsts”. On June 6, 2019, Kate took the salute at the Beating Retreat at Horse Guards Parade for the very first time. Military Beating Retreat concerts have a long tradition dating back to the 1690s, and today they are performed on the Wednesday and Thursday every year before Trooping the Color.Embed from Getty Images
For her first Beating Retreat, Kate brought back a coat we first saw in 2016: the cream Catherine Walker coat worn on the final day in Canada and to Easter church in 2017. Kate wore the Gold Shamrock Brooch she borrows from the Irish Guards for various Irish Guards-related events like St. Patrick’s Day, and those ridiculously expensive for what they are Cassandra Goad pearl earrings I dislike.
Chelsea Flower Show garden
In 2019, Kate designed a garden for the Chelsea Flower Show for the first time; her garden was called “Back to Nature” and was a part of Kate’s ongoing “early years” focus.
Kate gave a little interview about her garden ahead of the show, and said:
There’s an amazing fact I learned recently was that 90% of our adult brains are developed before the age of 5, and, really, what a child experiences in those really early years directly affects how the brain develops, and that’s why I think it’s so important that all of us, whether we’re parents or carers or family members, really engage in quality time with children and babies from a really, really young age.
I really feel that nature, being interactive outdoors, has huge benefits on our physical and mental wellbeing, particularly for young kiddies. This is a natural, creative place for them to play, and I really hope that this woodland that we have created, and this huge collaboration here, really inspires families, and kids, and communities in general to get outside, enjoy nature, enjoy the outdoors, and really spend quality time together.Video below
This garden was a big deal for Kate, because she visited it a bunch of times: 7 engagements total listed in the Court Circular for the Back to Nature garden. And she brought her kids and William to it for a photoshoot, so it must have been big for her.
Kate continued her tradition of taking her children’s birthday photos; and KP also released another photo of the children Kate took as a Christmas photo.
Kate’s photography skills have most certainly improved over the years, so, you know, good for Kate. But including Kate’s photography in this list is mostly about posting these adorable photos of the kids I missed while I was gone.
Princess Charlotte turned 4 on May 2, and Prince Louis turned 1 on April 23.
Prince George turned 6 on July 22. Interestingly, these are the first official birthday photos for George that Kate took. Previously, George’s birthday photos were always taken by an actual photographer.
George and Charlotte’s first Christmas walk
This has nothing to do with Kate, specifically, but George and Charlotte made their Sandringham Christmas church walk debut in 2019, which is a big deal – the Queen doesn’t like children attending church until they are old enough not to be disruptive. George and Charlotte previously attended Christmas church with the Middletons in 2016 when William and Kate skipped Christmas with The Queen.Embed from Getty Images
Kate gave 7 speeches in 2019, which I’m pretty sure is a record for Kate.Embed from Getty Images
Kate’s speeches in 2019:
- January 29 – the opening of the Victoria and Albert Museum Dundee.
- February 13 – the “Mental Health in Education” Conference.
- March 19 – the Foundling Museum, after becoming Patron.
- June 12 – the Action on Addiction gala.
- September 10 – her “Back to Nature” garden in Wisley.
- October 17 – the SOS Children’s Village during Pakistan tour.
- November 15 – the opening of The Nook.
The “Mental Health in Education”, Action on Addiction gala dinner, and “Back to Nature” garden speeches all feature several of the talking points that Kate spoke about during her 5 Big Questions engagements. As in, Kate’s comment during a discussion with The Forward Trust that adult challenges can be “traced right back to” early life is a line from both the Mental Health in Education and Action on Addiction speeches. Just pointing that out because I found it interesting.Embed from Getty Images
There were several big moments for Kate in 2019, and hopefully Kate will continue that trend in 2020. Kate has already done 22 engagements this year, so it’s a good start.