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Follow-Up Post: Duchess Kate's Trip to the Farm

Saturday, May 6, 2017

I am always excited for a "Casual Kate" day, but my favorite is when Kate goes country. From remote Anglesey beaches to fireside afternoons in the Lake District, when Kate puts on her boots and Barbour she is at her best. On May 3rd the Duchess headed to Gloucester for a day at Wick Court, a "small-scale traditional livestock farm, with sheep, beef cattle, pigs and poultry." 

The farm is one of several owned and operated by Farms for City Children. The charity hosts urban kids for week-long stints at their various farms where the young people, in the words of the organization's website, "learn by doing." I think this is such a great project. When the spring lambs arrived at Mount Vernon, I zipped down to see them, and there was a school group touring. The kids were hanging on the fences looking at the lambs and they didn't know the sheep were...sheep! So, the more we can get kids out into the fresh air and onto farms to learn about other living things, the better.

Kensington Palace

Kate shared that she is giving George and Charlotte a taste of the farm right at home. Daily Mail's Rebecca English reported that Kate chatted with one of the youngsters and shared details about her growing menagerie:
Rehanna , ten, chatted to the duchess at length and said afterwards: 'She said she had lots of animals at home, a dog, a hamster, a lamb and her chickens. She said she also had lots of eggs in an incubator and they were hoping they would hatch into chicks. '
Apparently George and Charlotte are hatching chicks in an incubator, so it isn't clear to me if Kate keeps chickens regularly, or if this is just a 4H project. Kate told kids gathered that she wasn't sure if the incubator would work, but that George and Charlotte check it every morning. My family hatched chicks when I was young, too. It was very, very exciting, so I know exactly how Charlotte and George feel. Once they hatch, it gets even better, obviously. All those little yellow, chirping fluff balls are super sweet.  

Farms forCity Children

The student Rehanna also mentioned that Kate had sheep. That might have turned out to be nuanced. I read somewhere that the Cambridges don't have any sheep, but that an adjacent neighbor does, and George and Charlotte go and feed that sheep. Since Kate and William don't have extensive staff at Anmer, I suspect that the sheep belongs to a neighbor, but who knows! If people wonder what Kate does with her time, we are certainly getting a sense of it now!

Kate got a full tour of the yard. How often do we see the Duchess of Cambridge leaning against a pig-pen?

Kensington Palace
It's more of a pigpen with a purpose. The kids and Kate were corralling the pigs to weigh them!

Another unusual sight is the duchess next to a horse. The rumors about Kate's alleged allergy to horses has changed so many times in the past six years that even I have not kept up. Where were we when the dial stopped spinning? She was. Then the Palace said she wasn't. Then they said she was? Who has tracked this better and can let us all know?

This picture of Kate in the barnyard, with the bricks in the background, made me think of a scene from Downton Abbey when Lady Mary is touring the estate. I just love these country shots.

Kate hit just the right note with her ensemble, of course. Although she did not wear a Barbour, she recycled her Troy London parka that she debuted in Canada just last year. There was some confusion about the sweater, but it turns out it is a new sturdy cashmere from J.Crew. The gingham blouse appears to be the Gap button down from her day at the winery while Down Under in 2014. Her trousers are the famed Pangolin Pants, which debuted on tour in India. We all know and love her Penelope Chilvers boots which she has had for years, but has certainly been giving more love these past months.

Finally, Kate finished it off with her Lauren Leaf earrings. As you all know, these aren't my favorite from her jewelry box, but today (well, a few days ago) they worked just right. I really liked them in this setting! Kate's hair has really gotten long and she chose to do a very unpolished half & half, which I loved.  It had no obvious curls or careful blowout, but was full and natural.

As I mentioned on the initial post, which left up since several days have gone by, I am really passionate about unplugging our kids and making sure they have a stronger connection to reality through nature. We are organic and I truly believe that some of our instabilities and mental health bumps stem from our isolation from reality. We have already seen Kate giving her kids plenty of exposure to reality through trips to the Farm Park in Bucklebury, raising them at Anmer Hall, even days at the polo field tumbling in the grass or afternoons picnicking at the horse trials. I am thrilled to hear that Kate is giving George and Charlotte an even more proximate experience by hatching eggs at their home. What a happy and well-rounded childhood!


  1. Again, well worth the short wait, Jane. Some lovely photos. I especially enjoyed your reference to Lady Mary's pigs. I had not made that connection yet. I would like to think the two would have understood each other. It is a fun thought-although from different motivations. Strictly a business proposition on Mary's part. I think the story line around that pig venture was more revealing of Mary's character than all the formal dinners. Perhaps Kate's, too.

  2. Wonderful followup post! I agree about unplugging our kids. The emotional and behavioral issues starting to show up in kids who have been raised with a tablet or smartphone in hand at all times is a serious problem.

    I'm still not a great fan of, what I call, armadillo kneed pants, but I think she did look just right for the day. I love when we get to hear little tidbits of their family life from what she shares while on these visits. I'm a little sad that they have to go live in the big city all the time now. Of course, we will get more photos and such, but how nice for their little family to have had so much time in the country with the privacy for the children to go out and play and have animals to care for and learn from.

    1. The move to London is probably not one that this little country family looks forward to a great deal, but I suspect they'll spend a lot of time at Amner in the years to come. I think they truly cherish their privacy and connection with nature there, and that's something that just isn't as possible at KP. Of course, life goes through changes, and I'm sure they'll learn to love their new life in the London fish bowl as well. :-)

  3. I think they are too young for 4H yet, I bet the chicks are just for adding on to Kate's flock. I wonder what kind they are, there are some really neat breeds, heritage kinds, etc.

    I hope they just use the eggs and don't eat the chickens.:( Yes, I'm very familiar with farming, cycle of life and all the jazz, but still.

    I have read several places that Carole has chickens at her house too and the kids love them.

    Looking forward to more wedding news! Happy for Pips!

  4. As an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, this makes me so happy! I am excited to hear about this program and that Kate is supporting it. It's also wonderful that she has George and Charlotte involved in raising animals.

  5. I completely agree with your assessment that a lot of our issues can stem from being detached from a simpler way of life; what sustains us. Kids, humans, need to touch dirt, feel the wind, etc. Plus, animals can be such great entertainment.

    I think she looked so happy. A really "win" of an engagement for Kate! Exactly what she is doing with her kids. IF Kate has allergies she would have taken medication before arriving, then probably suffered privately afterward.

    Since this is Anne's charity, do you think they talked about it and Kate expressed interest, and Anne was like "check it out! Go visit it!" OR is it strategic between offices and a sign Anne is shopping around to pass along this charity?

    ~ A


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