Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Kate, a cake and a hamster called Marvin

And here's one I made earlier - the Duchess of Cambridge is rather impressed with the cake on show at Hampton Court Palace today
(photo Kensington Royal Twitter)

No one predicted this one. Ahead of Kate's trio of engagements (there will be another post on the evening do at the National Portrait Gallery) expectation that the day would turn out to be dominated by a huge pile of sugar and a tiny little hamster was slim to non existent. But in the end, it was the cake and Marvin which dominated the day.

Yes, Marvin is the name that the Cambridges have given to the newest pet at Anmer Hall. Lupo has a rival. While we're used to the dog barging in on official portraits, until Kate let slip we had no idea he was sharing house space with another royal pet. And this one is rather unusual. Kate and William have bought the kids a hamster.

We don't know who chose the name Marvin but that is what this royal rodent is called. Kate shared the news of Marvin's existence with some of the children she met while opening the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace. They were very excited while the Duchess of Cambridge seemed equally fired up by the garden itself, at one point threatening to throw off her heels and run around. Given the news about the hamster, that might have been too much for anyone to handle.

The Magic Garden is a play area for children set in the former tiltyard of Henry VIII. It has a Dragon's Nest which seemed to find favour with its modern royal visitor as well as a sleeping dragon. There are towers, there are battlements and there are mythical beasts dotted around the garden which is inspired by the fairytale like side of Hampton Court.

Kate wore a blue tweed coat for the event which seemed very hot in the bright sunshine but which was the right length and shape for climbing all over flower beds and into Dragon's Nests.  And once she'd revealed Marvin existed, no one really noticed anyone such was the excitement over the royal hamster.

There was a cake, again featuring the dragon motif, which is about as spectacular as any Kate has cut or ever will cut and there was a plaque to unveil. There is always a plaque to unveil.

Leaving the hamster shocker behind her, Kate headed into central London for a lunch in aid of the Anna Freud Centre, her first official engagement with it since becoming its patron.

The Duchess of Cambridge at her first official engagement as patron of the Anna Freud Centre

The mental health charity is aiming to build a centre of excellence to provide support for people experiencing mental health issues and Kate heard more about that at the lunch.  She also met parents from the Anna Freud Centre school which provides education for the whole family.

The Duchess of Cambridge meeting parents involved with the Anna Freud Centre
(photo @KensingtonRoyal Twitter)

Kate left her coat in the car and headed inside showing off her dove grey Roksanda Ilincic dress in all its glory. This is one of the Duchess of Cambridge's best ever looks and this rewear is a total treat. It looked as good as it did the other two times we've been treated to it and perfect for the sunny weather. Let's hope it's becoming a regular.

Kate headed off into the sunshine of London to get ready for the National Portrait Gallery event where she will see an exhibition containing some of the photos taken of her for Vogue magazine to mark its centenary. But she probably already knows that while she enjoys the snaps, everyone else will still be talking about that hamster called Marvin.

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