On February 12th, 2015 the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) visited Camber Docks in Portsmouth to visit the Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) headquarters.
The Duchess visited BAR HQ to see how work on a new Visitor Centre for the 1851 Trust is progressing, and to hear more about the progress of BAR’s bid to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain.
As you may recall, Kate is Royal Patron of The 1851 Trust, an organisation dedicated to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry. The Trust is the charitable arm of Ben Ainslie Racing.
The 1851 Trust Visitor Centre will be hosted at the Ben Ainslie Racing headquarters and will be an interactive showcase for the sport, sustainability and innovation.
While at BAR HQ, Duchess Kate met with children from six local schools.
The children helped create the mural at the site, which you see in the background. It was a community art project, created in collaboration with local street artists James Waterfield and My Dog Sighs.
More about the art project from Strong-Island.co.uk –
The project involved 6 schools from Ryde, Portsmouth & Leigh Park with over 80 pupils taking part painting ships, yachts and more on a sea mural over 100 feet wide. As well as the help of three local street artists the young people also had sailors from the BAR crew, trustees of the 1851 Trust plus the Minister of Portsmouth help out.
During today’s visit, Kate added her own artwork to the mural, she was very careful not to splash paint onto her white coat:
Kate painted part of a docking rib boat, two of which will be used in the 2017 America’s Cup attempt:
During her visit, Kate also tested a pair of 3D virtual reality goggles. From the Ben Ainslie Racing Twitter account:
The Duchess of Cambridge looks up the virtual rig of ‘Rita’ on our 3D simulator
Later in the afternoon, six-month pregnant Kate headed over to the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays to get a bird’s eye view of the America Cup base, and to meet with community leaders and local ambassadors. Kate also toured a display of exhibits destined for display at the 1851 Trust Visitor Centre.
Here’s a photo of Kate trying out the Power Grinder during her visit to The Spinnaker Tower – photo via the 1851 Trust on Facebook:
The centre is due to open to the public in June 2015.
A final picture of Kate inside the Spinnaker Tower, again from the 1851 Trust Page on Facebook:
Kate was announced as Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust on October 2014; you may recall she attended an engagement organised by BAR and the 1851 Trust at the National Maritime Museum in June 2014.
Kate has a keen interest in sailing, with her love of the sea-going right back to childhood. During her gap year, Kate crewed a Round the World Challenge boat in the Solent and worked as a deckhand during her student days. During last year’s royal tour, Kate and William raced America’s Cup sailing boats around Auckland Harbour. You can read more about Kate’s love of sailing in this article from The Express.
Kate’s outfit in Portsmouth:
Kate opted for a nautical themed outfit in Portsmouth today, pairing a white coat with blue coloured accessories and a boat print dress.
The white coloured coat was from Max Mara Studio. It’s the label’s “Villar” coat in ivory. The double-breasted and belted coat is made from 100% wool. It originally retailed for £580 ($890).
Under the coat, Kate wore a sailboat print shift dress from Somerset by Alice Temperley, a collection designed exclusively for British upmarket department store John Lewis.
The £99 dress features a “delicate all-over print that boasts little red sailboats with white sails for a dainty aesthetic.” Here’s another look at the dress, this time on the model:
The dress features short elbow-length sleeves, a round neckline and a subtly tapered bodice. One key aspect of the dress is its figure-skimming fit, perhaps it was this element of the dress that Kate favoured, as she is six months pregnant and starting to show a small baby bump. Another picture via @KensingtonRoyal:
Somerset by Alice Temperley stocked a number of items with a nautical sailboat print –
Kate’s accessories will be familiar to you if you’re a regular Kate follower. The Duchess carried her L.K. Bennett Frome clutch bag in blue suede.
Sadly, this piece sold out a couple of years ago.
Kate also wore her coordinating Jimmy Choo Georgia heels, also in blue suede.
Kate added a little bling to her outfit with her Cartier ‘Ballon Bleu’ watch (33cm) –
And finally, she wore her blue sapphire & diamond earrings (thought to be adapted from a pair worn by Princess Diana).