The Duchess was in familiar pieces for engagements with Prince William commemorating Windrush Day.
The day marks the anniversary of the Windrush migration on June 22, 1948. The HMT Windrush arrived at the Tilbury docks in Essex on the 21st, but passengers didn’t disembark until the 22nd. More from the Royal Museums Greenwich.
Many people from British Commonwealth countries travelled to the UK between 1948 and 1971, encouraged by the 1948 British Nationality Act that granted citizenship and right of abode to all members of the British Empire.
On arrival in the UK, people were often met with racism, lack of acknowledgement of their professional skills and very different living conditions.
We mark this day to celebrate British Caribbean communities and acknowledge the sacrifices and contributions the Windrush generation and their descendants have made to British society.
The royals started with a visit to ELEVATE in Brixton, South London.
The organization offers “learning, enrichment, training, and work opportunities for young people aged 18-30, and professional development opportunities for cultural and educational professionals.”
More from Hello’s story.
The royals were given a warm welcome and were introduced to younger generations of the British-Caribbean community, and other diasporas, who represent the next generation of British creative talent.
The couple speaking with a workshop participant.
Another view of the Duchess.
The Duchess learned about camera skills.
We return to the Hello piece.
Davinia Clarke, 22, an illustrator and visual artist who learnt how to use the camera during a course, said of Kate: “She wanted to understand how to put it on and move it around.
“I thought, ‘Let’s try and put it on her.’ She was up for it! She did better than me. At one moment it literally just dropped off my arm. I was like, ‘Oh gosh’ She said it was really heavy, and you need a lot of upper body strength.”
Many readers will know there is more to the Windrush story than the June 1948 arrival of the HMT Empire ship carrying Caribbean immigrants. Below, the ship as it arrived at the docks in Essex seventy-four years ago.
There is also the Windrush Scandal, described in this Associated Press story.
The Windrush scandal came to light in 2018, when Britain’s news media uncovered stories about long-term legal residents from the Caribbean who were wrongly caught up in a Home Office crackdown on illegal immigrants. Thousands lost jobs, homes and the right to free medical care, many because they arrived as children and couldn’t produce paperwork proving their right to live in the U.K. Some were detained, and an unknown number were deported to countries they barely remembered.
The scandal gets its name from the Windrush Generation of immigrants who came to the U.K. in response to a government call for people from throughout the British Empire to help rebuild the country after World War II.
The day’s second engagement was at Waterloo Station, where a new National Windrush Monument was unveiled. More about the monument from the UK government.
Designed by renowned Jamaican artist Basil Watson and delivered with £1 million funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Monument symbolises the courage, commitment and resilience of the thousands of men, women and children who travelled to the UK to start new lives from 1948 to 1971.
Below, Basil Watson with the original model for the monument. This Guardian story notes the artist “…spent part of his childhood in the UK after his parents traveled from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation.”
Below, you see the royals arriving for the unveiling with Baroness Floella Benjamin, head of the Windrush Commemoration Committee.
The Baroness is an author, television presenter, and special BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award winner. More from the Black History Month site.
I am very much part of the Windrush generation because I came to Britain from Trinidad as a 10-year- old in 1960. Many of my childhood experiences in that new culture and unbelievably hostile environment, were character building. They gave me the tools and fortitude to become the person I am today.
Below, the Baroness speaking at today’s event.
From a story in The Voice, quoting the Baroness.
“You have to be strong, and that’s what the Windrush monument is all about. I want to see monuments like that all over the country, not just in Waterloo, because people who came from the Caribbean dispersed across the country, to Norwich, to Liverpool, to Manchester, to Birmingham, to Bristol, you name it, they went there, and they helped rebuild this land.
The Duke delivered remarks at the event. We learn more from Simon Perry’s People article.
William spoke of the wide-ranging areas of British life which have been shaped by the work and skills of the Windrush generation and their descendants including commerce, manufacturing, sport, science, engineering and fashion.
“This is something that resonated with Catherine and me after our visit to the Caribbean earlier this year,” he continued. “Our trip was an opportunity to reflect, and we learnt so much. Not just about the different issues that matter most to the people of the region, but also how the past weighs heavily on the present.”
In a speech to those who had gathered for the unveiling, which included Windrush passengers and high-profile members of the black community, William talked about how the nation would be poorer without their efforts and how he and Kate had learned a lot on their recent tour of the Caribbean.
“Only a matter of years ago, tens of thousands of that generation were profoundly wronged by the Windrush scandal. That rightly reverberates throughout the Caribbean community here in the UK as well as many in the Caribbean nations.
“Therefore, alongside celebrating the diverse fabric of our families, our communities and our society as a whole – something the Windrush generation has contributed so much to – it is also important to acknowledge the ways in which the future they sought and deserved has yet to come to pass.
In social media posts, Kensington Palace noted, “We know without question, that the Windrush generation have made our culture richer, our services stronger, and our fellow countrymen safer. Without you all, Britain would simply not be what it is today.”
After the speeches, the new monument was unveiled.
Two passengers on the Windrush, Alford Gardner and John Richards, helped unveil the statue. Below, the Duchess speaking with Mr. Richards.
A group shot.
And here you see the British Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove (L), as he speaks with Mr. Gardner.
Mr. Gardner and the monument.
The Duchess chatting with some of the children at Waterloo Station.
Now for our look at what Kate wore for the day’s engagements.
It looks like she brought back the white Alexander McQueen blazer first noted when worn in Jamaica during the Caribbean tour, and possibly the trousers worn during the tour when the couple departed Belize. (I don’t know who made the top worn beneath the jacket.)
The Duchess carried her Amberley Crossbody bag by Mulberry.
The Duchess wore earrings we’ve not seen before, the Florence style by Chalk (£70, about $86). The walnut and acrylic pendants are part of a collection inspired by “the ornate details and geometry found within the main stage auditorium ceiling of the Royal Opera House.”
Chalk is a London-based jewelry studio founded by Malaika Carr, a practicing architect. Below, the artist/architect in her studio. Many thanks to Kristin Contino, whose Page Six Style article has more about the earrings and designer.
One other quick note: the Duke and Duchess released a photo over the weekend to mark Father’s Day. It was taken last autumn when the family was in Jordan by an unnamed person (the Duchess did not take the photo).
Many will recognize the children and Prince William wearing the same styles seen in the family’s 2021 Christmas card photo.
The dress is described on resale site Poshmark as featuring “…crochet tassels/pompoms, three-quarter long sleeves with cuff and button detail, gathered waistband, v-neck, embroidered detailing, button front and hidden pockets!
More about the brand from this piece in The Lifestyle Edit.
Spend an afternoon downtown in New York and chances are you’ll spot countless women wearing New York-based contemporary label, Sea. The funny thing is, unless you’re in the know or have bought their clothes from one of their many retail partners – think Net-a-Porter, Barneys, ShopBop and Harvey Nichols – there’s a big chance you’ve never heard of it before. Since the brand’s inception, co-founders and longtime friend duo Sean Monahan and Monica Paolini have shied away from courting celebrities, have never shown at fashion week nor do they court collaborations or advertise.
Today’s final note is a gentle reminder about the site’s comment policy on the cost of the Duchess’s wardrobe: “While comments about the cost of a specific garment are welcome (“that doesn’t look like a $900 dress to me”), this isn’t the place for general discussion on the cost of Kate’s wardrobe; it is a topic that often turns into a conversation/debate of a political nature, the role of the monarchy and other issues.” I am responsible for approving comments and have published many over the past several months; they seemed a relevant contribution, particularly during the tour. That was my error, no one else’s, as we have comments on every post now about the prices of specific items and the overall expense for the wardrobe. I will return to stringent enforcement of the policy and apologize for creating and/or allowing confusion.
We’ll see you tomorrow for Cambridgeshire County Day! Here is one more photo from the monument unveiling.
The Royal Family Channel offers coverage of the Brixton Theatre engagement.
And here is coverage of the monument unveiling.