This morning William, Kate, and Harry returned to the Thiepval Memorial to tour and open the Thiepval Museum before a service to commemorate this anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
The Museum tells the story of the conflict, attempting to convey to a new generation something of the mind-boggling destruction wreaked upon those at the Somme. The museum includes a room with a wall of photos of those who were killed and whose bodies were never recovered.
|War Graves Commission|
The three young royals were joined by the PoW, the Duchess of Cornwall, François Hollande, and David Cameron among others during the course of the day.
French and British school children helped decorate the graves and were standing at attention when the royals arrived. The Cambridges and Harry got a chance to practice their French with the youngsters.
According to royal reporter Emily Nash, Kate got great marks in her language skills:
Verdict from the French school kids is that #Kate "parle bien le francais".. #Somme100 pic.twitter.com/oaLZkMZhuc— Emily Nash (@emynash) July 1, 2016
Here Cameron is trying to explain his thoughts on BREXIT to William while Hollande stands by awkwardly. Kate is like, should we rescue him? And Harry is like, "are you kidding me?! Let's watch this play out!" I am joking. I have no idea what they are talking about, but that seemed as good a guess as any. ;)
Unfortunately, there was more than a spot of rain this week. The umbrellas had to go up during the event. William--ever our charming umbrella man--had his up quickly, protecting Kate's fashionable "Lion Tamer" hat from Lock & Co. while Harry struggled to get his brolly unbuttoned.
The rub with two intersecting umbrellas is that the rain drizzles down in the center, in this case right on Kate. Oops, chivalry fail. I think she wanted the boys to sort that ASAP.
I don't know what I think about this ensemble. I have always loved this hat, which Kate has worn on a number of occasions, in public and private. You probably remember it from Trooping in 2011. It was just as perfect today as it has been on every other occasion.
The dress is what is tripping me up. I love the black and tan of the ensemble. I like the peplum and the pleated shoulders. Usually on board for the Peter Pan collar, I don't know that I love it here. It might have been just a bit too much. Ladies, I don't know. I like the colors in the abstract, but something is just a tad off. I think the lace looks too heavy and too matronly. I know many of you had a similar critique of yesterday's coat, which I liked very much, but today I would be inclined to agree. The taupe lace with the black lining isn't working for me. It isn't a miss, I didn't look at it and say, what was she thinking! At the same time, it isn't a hit. Ah well. As the French would say, c'est la vie.
Kate wore her Annoushka pearl drops, Gianvito Rossi pumps, and carried her trusty Bayswater clutch from Mulberry. She looked polished and stylish, even if the entire effect didn't set my fashionista heart thumping.
Apparently, according to initial strategy, the British forces were meant to be back-up at the Somme for the French, but the Germans engaged the French in February and so the British became the main offensive force for the Somme encounter, resulting in their terrible losses. The battle that diverted the French was another major conflict spanning from February to December of 1916, with hundreds of thousands of casualties. It was Verdun. I love Michel Sardou, so I leave you--particularly my French readers--with another song that I listen to often.