You see the Princess above with Gubby Ayida, Evelina London’s Women’s and Children’s Services chief executive. You may remember the Princess has been the hospital’s royal patron since 2018. People’s Simon Perry shared a brief video of the Princess after she arrived.
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The Children’s Day Surgery Unit is housed within the Children’s Day Treatment Centre and treats a variety of conditions such as tonsillitis, removal of adenoids, hand injuries, minor plastic surgery and ophthalmology.
One of the first people that Princess Kate spoke to inside the unit was receptionist Alice Green.”I was really anxious earlier, but she was really lovely and down to earth,” Green tells PEOPLE. “I thought it might be formal and strict, but it was so comfortable speaking to her. She was asking about our roles — and said that we are the face of Evelina, the first contact people. She wished us Merry Christmas.”
Evelina London cares for around 104,000 children and young people each year across its dedicated children’s services, in hospital and in the community.
The new facility aims to transform care for those who need surgery, by providing everything in one place, enabling Evelina to treat an extra 2,300 children a year in addition to 11,000 already receiving surgery.
The Princess saw the new operating theaters and heard “how families benefit from a one-day service, with pre-surgery checks, the operation and recovery all taking place in one purpose-built unit,” per the Standard’s story.
In the recovery area she met four-and-a-half-year-old Saya Stephenson, who was resting in bed after an operation that morning to remove excess skin for her ears.
The Princess hugged her mother, Miwa Stephenson, who said she had been anxious about the surgery despite it being a relatively minor procedure.
Kate replied: ‘It’s always a worry though for a parent. We have to keep our cool. It’s so hard.’
Below, the Princess and Ms. Stephenson.
Embed from Getty Images
Kate also reunited with Tony Hudgell, nine, a young boy who lost his legs after being abused by his birth parents. He raised more than £1.6 million by walking 10km on his prosthetic legs in aid of the Evelina London Children’s Hospital which cared for him. The young amputee previously charmed Kate and Prince William at her festive carol concert in 2021. It was reported at the time that the royal couple ‘spent ages’ chatting with Tony, and his adopted mother.
Here you see the Prince and Princess with Tony at the 2021 carol concert.
During today’s outing, Kate also met Ella Moth, nine, who won a competition to design the artwork for the new unit at the Evelina Children’s Hospital.
Ella’s space-themed drawings were inspired by the death of her father, Piers, who was treated for brain cancer at Guy’s hospital before he died in 2021. She says he has now ‘gone to the stars’.
In this video from The Mirror’s Russell Myers, you see the Princess with Ella and another young patient, Chloe.
Kate meets 9 year old Ella who designed the artwork on the wall and Chloe, 10, the unit’s first patient pic.twitter.com/BUVMjrXTbj
— Russell Myers (@rjmyers) December 5, 2023
Ella and Chloe also helped the Princess with the official ribbon-cutting.
The Princess of Wales officially opens the Children’s Day Surgery Unit at the
Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.
Full story 👆 pic.twitter.com/qvLrbgk1Z7
— Russell Myers (@rjmyers) December 5, 2023
Before leaving, 11-year-old Burac Abrahams, the unit’s second patient, gave the Princess a lovely bouquet.
We return to the People coverage. The first portion quotes the young man.
“She was being nice and saying thank you for these flowers. She is a good person,” he says.
His mother, Gamze Oksuzoglu, tells PEOPLE, “It’s fantastic she is here. It sheds a light on all the sick children that they have at the hospital and, hopefully, do good. She was so engaged with the children upstairs, sat down and asked their names, smiled.”
Kensington Palace posted a brief video about the visit.
Thank you to all the brilliant staff for your commitment to looking after the children in your care. pic.twitter.com/6Cto3g1HBD
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) December 5, 2023
Now for our look at what Kate wore for today’s engagement.
Today’s ensemble had the answer for those of us curious about the Princess debuting new looks by Sarah Burton after the designer’s departure from Alexander McQueen this fall. The Princess was in a new trouser suit by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, likely acquired before Ms. Burton left the label.
The blazer is the Peak Shoulder Leaf Crepe Jacket ($2590) in what I think is the ‘electric navy’ color. The single-breasted style is made in a blend of 52% viscose and 48% acetate, with peak lapels, sharply angled front flap pockets, and a double back vent. Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus offer the blazer in color called ‘denim blue,’ but it looks like it could be the same as the electric navy at McQueen. The Princess also wore the brand’s Leaf Crepe Cigarette Trousers in matching fabric, featuring side pockets, a front zipper, and a jetted back pocket. (I’ve not found these available online in this colorway.)
If my count is correct, today’s ensemble would put the McQueen trouser suit collection at six. It is a key component of her working wardrobe, essentially a part of her uniform. From left to right, you see the blue from today, the black tuxedo jacket and trousers worn at a January 2023 Early Years advisory board meeting, the purple shown here when arriving in Boston in November 2022, the navy seen during a September 2022 Windsor Castle audience with crew members from HMS Glasgow, the pink worn for a June 2022 Early Years meeting, and the white, seen here at Windrush Day engagements in June 2022.
Sarah Burton was honored at last night’s British Fashion Council Fashion Awards. Below, the designer at last night’s gala with British Vogue editor Edward Enninful.
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More from Vogue’s coverage of the event.
One of the most powerful moments came when British Vogue’s departing editor-in-chief Edward Enninful presented a special achievement award to the former creative director of Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton: a leading light of British fashion over the past decade (and, as Enninful’s speech made clear, even further back).
Describing the East End as a “playground” on his nights knocking about with McQueen in the early ’90s, Enninful recalled the legendary designer telling him about a new girl he’d just hired, whose talents he was immediately excited by. “This excitement was well founded, as it transpired that this young woman was the incomparable Sarah Burton,” said Enninful. “Not just one of the great British designers, but one of the greatest designers on the planet. You have given us a lifetime of beautiful designs, but you’ve also given us a legacy for Lee that—through the pain—we didn’t know was possible at that time.” Burton’s own speech was self-effacing, in her typical style. “I’m definitely not worthy of all that, Edward,” she said, as the room erupted into cheers.
Returning to today’s outfit, it looked like the Princess brought back her ‘Katherine’ Cloud Cashmere sweater by Jigsaw, first seen during the 2016 Canada tour; the ribbing at the neckline and cuffs look the same. The piece is 100% cashmere, semi-sheer, and long ago sold out, but Jigsaw still offers pieces in its Cloud Cashmere line. Thank you to the Canadian Duchess on Instagram for the ID suggestion and Parky’s Princess for sharing it.
We saw the return of the navy suede Ginavito 105 pumps ($795), and the UFO navy blue belt.
We’ll see you tonight for the annual diplomatic reception with its white-tie dress code, which means evening gowns and tiaras.
The Royal Family Channel has almost three minutes of coverage in this video.