|Kensington Palace Twitter Feed|
With their two-day trip to Paris just a fortnight away, the announcement would seem to confirm stories reporting the Cambridges' overseas trips in 2017 would focus on locations closer to home rather than Commonwealth destinations, with Brexit looming. Certainly, in the current political climate, it is not unrealistic to think the Foreign Office is eager to deploy members of the Royal family in an ambassadorial capacity to strengthen ties with a touch of soft diplomacy in the changeable months and years ahead. William and Kate are undoubtedly a very solid choice for this. They are immensely popular and, like their trip to Paris next month, July's visit will mark their first joint trip to both countries. Media coverage and exposure during the visit a certainty with the young royals guaranteed to grace front pages. We are unlikely to see Her Majesty making such trips as she approaches her 91st birthday and, equally, Prince Charles' schedule is incredibly busy. This year is said to be something of a transition point for William and Kate, and such visits abroad are quite a step-up given their significance at this sensitive time. How long will the trip be? At this point very little is known with all details to be released in due course. I would be surprised if they are not spending two to three days in each country, so perhaps six days in total - the same length as their tours of India and Bhutan and Canada last year.
ITV's Royal Editor Chris Ship reports:
"So Kensington Palace has just announced William and Kate will visit Poland and Germany in July. They already have a planned visit to France - they're going to Paris later this month. You might argue the government is using them as ambassadors for the UK just as Theresa May triggers Article 50 and the negotiations get underway over our divorce from the EU. Kensington Palace says the visits to Paris, Poland and Germany are taking place "at the request of the Foreign Office" - although that's not new. All visits by members of the the Royal Family take place in collaboration with the government based on its priorities at the time.
Nevertheless, you can't help but note all the official tours by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this side of the summer are to EU countries. Just at the moment when the UK starts on the path towards its departure.
A diplomat tells me the visits are not officially related to Brexit but the royal tours could help to reinforce the message that "Britain might be leaving the EU but it's not leaving Europe."
'Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has asked the couple to make an official visit to Poland and Germany in July amid claims that the couple are becoming Britian's "brexit ambassadors" The visit to Germany is likely to be particularly significant and officials hope that it will help "detoxify" negotiations and smooth the way for a future trade deal. The Duke and Duchess are expected to meet Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, during a visit to Berlin.
During the trip to Poland they are expected to meet Beata Szydlo, the Polish Prime Minister, and visit the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp. A Government source said that the visit will help show Britain's desire to retain strong links with European nations after Brexit.'
Below we see Prince William with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Dusseldorf last year. William gave a memorable speech during the visit in which he said: "This partnership will continue despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union. The depth of our friendship with Germany and with North Rhine-Westphalia will not change. Bilaterally and internationally we will continue together to lead efforts to promote prosperity, security and stability in the world."
More from the Mail Online:
'The British monarchy has close ties with the European country, as a succession of sovereigns from George I, born in what is now modern Germany and who acceded to the throne in 1714, to William IV, who died in 1830, were also rulers of Hanover in Germany. The 300th anniversary of what is known as the “personal union” was celebrated in 2014, and the year before the milestone, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie visited Germany to highlight the event. During a state visit to Germany in 2015, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visited the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to mark the 70th anniversary of its liberation by British forces.'
The President of Poland shared the following statement on his website:
'The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine will pay a visit to Poland in July. "The Polish presidential couple will be happy to welcome them to our country in July of this year," presidential minister Krzysztof Szczerski told PAP on Friday.
"The presidential couple received the news with joy. The Duke and Duchess will be very welcome guests. The Polish presidential couple will be happy to welcome them to our country in July this year," Minister Szczerski said. "We see in this visit a confirmation of cordial ties between our countries and peoples. It is our intention the visit of the princely couple includes elements of an official visit and private time between both couples," the presidential minister added.'
We will keep you updated as news becomes available. Speaking of relations with Europe, it's looking quite likely King Felipe and Queen Letizia may be paying a state visit to the UK in June. It would be a great one for William and Kate to play an active part in.
Finally, time for some Friday fun! We saw the Duchess sport a variety of different looks in February. I thought it might be a fun time to vote on your 'Favourite February Look'. From casual looks, to new and repeated skirt suits to a glamorous evening gowns we saw an array of styles. Obviously there are varying degrees of formality, so if you wish to vote for one of the more casual ensembles and one of the formal looks simply tick the box at both options and click vote!
Vote For Your Favourite February Look
Engagements began on Sunday, 5 February. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry got their running shoes on as they joined a training day with the runners taking part in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon for their campaign to change the conversation on mental health, Heads Together. Kate debuted the $450 Perfect Moment Mini Duvet Quilted Down Ski Jacket teamed with, a black polo neck, black jeans and New Balance / Sweaty Betty Trainers. Kate wore the exact look again over a week later, filming with Nick Knowles for Heads Together.
William and Kate attended the Place2Be Big Assembly hosted at Mitchell Brook Primary School where Kate said: "I think that every child should have people around them to show them love and show them kindness, and that is what Place2Be is doing so amazingly here in your school." The Duchess brought back her much loved red Luisa Spagnoli suit for the day teamed with her black suede Gianvito Rossi Pumps. It's such a lovely suit and it worked so well on multiple occasions.
The Duchess donned Oscar de la Renta for a Guild of Health Writers Conference focusing on mental health. The ultraviolet tailored jacket is rendered in a wool blend and features a pointed collar, dual breast pockets, and a pleated, flared hem, and is teamed with a full pleated skirt. Both pieces come from the Fall 2015 Collection.
For the BAFTAS, Kate dazzled in an off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown with a floral print and tiered skirt. I thought it a very fresh and stylish choice, quite different to anything else on the red carpet that night. Kate is loving the off-the-shoulder trend lately too.
They say it's all in the details...and an added bonus on the night came in the form of a sparkling pair of statement earrings, the Queen's wedding gift bracelet and sleek Prada pumps.
Kate was definitely embracing red in February, selecting the PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI Double-breasted twill blazer. The £760 claret blazer is part of the Resort '17 collection, and inspired by the work of French designer Jean Bouquin who is famed for dressing the St Tropez jetset in the '60s and style icon Brigitte Bardot. Kate debuted the blazer at a Valentine's Day engagement with RAF Cadets. Kate styled it with her black polo neck, black jeans and black flat boots.
The burgundy Paule Ka suit Kate wore for a visit to Wales in support of her new patronage, Action for Children, sparked quite the debate on the blog with many feeling it was too short. I imagine I'm in the minority here because, whilst I fully acknowledge the skirt is very much on the shorter side, I thought the styling (black polo neck, tights, flat boots) offset it.
I simply loved Kate's look for the UK-India Year of Culture Reception at Buckingham Palace earlier this week. It's always interesting to observe what the Duchess wears when she attends functions with the Queen, as we tend to see repeats or appropriate looks not worn to detract attention. I thought the beautiful Erdem Rhona dress hit all the right notes offering simple elegance. The metallic lace in silver photographed beautifully and complemented Kate's colouring to perfection (I'm guessing you have a good idea of which look won my vote :)). With a nod to the evening Kate chose earrings by Indian designer Anita Dongre.
And of course those shoes... The Duchess wore the new Oscar de la Renta Platinum Lamé Cabrina pumps. The shimmering $690 pumps are described: "Our enduringly classic Cabrina pumps are reworked for the new season in glistening platinum lamé. This Italian-made pair has a sleek, architectural silhouette with a pointed toe, scalloped sides and raised back."
And last but not least, HRH surprised us in a familiar but new Rebecca Taylor sparkle tweed suit when she officially opened Ronald McDonald House, Evelina London. Kate's jacket is described: "Loosely structured, this tweed jacket blends feminine details with classic style. Concealed snap front with spilt collar, patch pockets, ruffle hem and frayed finish throughout - all with a hint of sparkle."
Finally, for fans of Kate's Smythe jackets, you can avail of 20% off (about $119) at ShopBop with the discount code GOBIG17. Kate's much-loved $595 Navy Duchess Blazer is available in sizes 2-12 and the Green Blazer Kate wore in Haida Gwaii is also in stock.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I expect the Paris itinerary will be released shortly :)