Fresh on the heels of seeing the Wales family at Friday’s Carol Concert, we have a new Christmas card photo with the family, plus a video of the Wales children volunteering at a baby bank with their mother. We’ll begin with the video released today.
Above, the children carry the family’s private donations into the baby bank. Here is a portion of the video.
Baby Banks are warm, caring places for families to access equipment, products, clothes and toys to help relieve some of the stresses creating significant pressures on people caring for babies and young children.
Watch in full: https://t.co/Mg75dctBSn
A film by Will Warr pic.twitter.com/1a2d2L8AJ8
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) December 11, 2023
The children joined their mother for a volunteer shift at Baby Bank Windsor last month.
You may recall the Princess’s visit to Sebby’s Corner Baby Bank in November, an engagement designed to kickstart a baby bank holiday giving initiative from The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
More on that visit from this Telegraph story.
The Princess warned of the “desperate” times that families faced in the run-up to Christmas and expressed concern that the country’s 250 baby banks were a “hidden” resource and should be “more visible”.
She visited the charity….as she sought to encourage members of the public to donate funds, products and pre-loved items, or to volunteer their time to support their local baby banks.
If the baby bank seen in the video released today looks familiar, it is probably because of the Princess’s visit there in April.
While there, she promised to come back for another visit and spoke about bringing the children. Last month, she did just that.
More from Richard Palmer’s story in The Express.
They went after school one day last month to help out, armed with bags and boxes of goodies for children in the Windsor and Maidenhead area less fortunate than themselves.
Kate, 41, was keen to give them a lesson in helping others, something they will be expected to do for the rest of their lives whatever else lies ahead for them.
“Here there’s lots of people who give up their time and there are lots of volunteers who come and help,” she told the three children as they brought gifts into the charity’s headquarters from their car. “And so you’re the volunteers for this evening.”
In the video, you can hear Rebecca Mistry, co-CEO, saying to the children, “What we would like you to do is try and choose some presents for children who are a similar age to you guys. So if you think about what you would like to play with.”
Prince Louis appeared to be taken with a giant gorilla (I think it might be a King Kong toy), saying, “This is a big guy!”
At one point, Princess Charlotte is seen giggling with her mother as they sort clothing. She then holds up a baby onesie and says, “This is Welsh!”
More about the volunteer shift from this Telegraph piece by Victoria Ward.
The Princess of Wales wants to abolish the stigma surrounding such “vital” services, launching an initiative last month to encourage members of the public to donate funds, products and pre-loved items, or to volunteer their time to support their local baby banks throughout December.
Prince Louis helps sort clothing.
We return to The Express article.
Kate can be heard telling George: “All these bags are donations and we then have to go and then sort them and put them in all the boxes.”
And Kate is seen telling George: “You can see how rewarding the work is, isn’t it, knowing that you’re helping out others.” “Yes,” he replies.
In one part of the video, text on the screen explains the need.
With a quarter of families with a child under five years of age living in poverty in the UK, baby banks provide a vital lifeline for families in all sorts of challenging circumstances.
Supporting parents and carers, who are doing their best to provide for their families, is essential and can have a life-changing effect.
The video was made by Will Warr, who has produced other films for the family.
On social media, the Baby Bank wrote:
You may have already seen that we had a very special visit by The Princess of Wales and her 3 children a few weeks ago.They helped us at our busiest time by packing Christmas gifts for local children experiencing financial hardship. They were enthusiastic, helpful and an absolute delight to have.
The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English reports, “I spoke to @TheBabyBank, and they told me George, Charlotte, and Louis were very eager and helpful. Charlotte was exceptionally well-organized and went methodically down her list. Louis insisted on putting a giant King Kong in a gift bag because he was such a ‘big guy’!”
Co-founder of The Bank Bank in Windsor, Rebecca Mistry, told me that she was delighted the Princess of Wales made good her promise. ‘It was such a fab visit, and lovely she could bring them in. It was nice for them, too, to come somewhere their mummy had been,’ she said.
She said Princess Charlotte has already asked if she could come back to help again. ‘She was wonderful, working through the list methodically. She was so organised and knew what she wanted to do. ‘
‘It was so lovely and such a huge compliment that she [the princess] came back. ‘We saw a rise in people seeking help after her last visit, they didn’t know our service existed to help, so we know first-hand what an effect her interest..has on the ground.’
The video closes with text thanking “those who so generously support baby banks across the country.” It also notes, “Whether you would like to offer support, or are in need of support yourself, find out more about your local baby bank on the Centre for Early Childhood website.” If interested in donating, the Baby Bank has a Just Giving page here.
Here is the full video; it runs about 1:50.
Now for a quick look at what Kate wore. She appeared to be in a Reiss sweater, the British brand’s Edina Relaxed Wool/Cashmere Blend Rollneck Jumper (£158, about $200 at today’s exchange rates).
The sweater is 94% wool and 6% cashmere, with raglan sleeves, a split hem, and deep ribbed trim at the neck, hem, and sleeve cuffs. It is offered in several colors. Thank you to UFO No More and Middleton Maven for this ID.
The Princess accessorized with her See by Chloé boots, shown below as worn on another occasion.
As best I can tell, her earrings are the Accessorize Pearl and Disc hoops (originally £8, now sold out).
I am in the process of putting Kate’s Kids Wore on hiatus, and will include information here on what the children wear. In the baby bank video, Princess Charlotte wore pieces by Paris-based Cyrillus: the Jumper With Frilly Neckline ($28) in cotton with a touch of cashmere and the Denim Skirt ($43), which comes with front pockets at elastic at the back waistband. Thank you to Found by Bojana for these IDs.
Prince Louis appeared to be wearing the Amai Kids Ralph Checked Shirt in navy and burgundy, previously worn by his older brother. Atop the shirt, his sweater is very much like the Brora Shetland Fair Isle Yoked Jumper jumper but in a slightly different colorway than seen in the product photo below. The cuffs on his sweater are tipped in a medium blue.
I do not yet have information on what Prince George wore.
Also today, a few royal Christmas card photos, beginning with the Wales Family’s picture released late Saturday.
The photo was shot by Josh Shinner earlier this year in Windsor. Mr. Shinner wrote on Instagram:
It was such a pleasure to photograph The Prince and Princess of Wales and their family for the Christmas portrait this year. Without doubt one of the most relaxed and enjoyable sittings I’ve ever had, and I now have a whole new set of jokes that are right on my level thanks to the children…
A huge thanks to the @princeandprincessofwales for having me.
Mr. Shinner shared a sketch of how he originally planned to compose the photo, saying “I gave up trying to draw faces long ago, and I felt like attempting to draw the @princeandprincessofwales was something that could only end in dismal failure, but this was the starting point for the final composition….”
View this post on Instagram
This year’s photo is something of a departure from previous photos, but it is not the only time a formally posed image was used for the seasonal greeting. We have a quick review, beginning with last year’s photo, taken by Matt Porteous in Norfolk over the summer. The Duchess wore the Mabel Shirt by MiH Jeans and her Superga Cotu Classic sneakers.
This 2020 image was shot by Matt Porteous, and taken at the family’s country estate, Anmer Hall.
In 2019 there was one photo released without the Duchess because she took the photo.
This photo was also used in 2019, taken during a family vacation. The Duchess wore a dress by Boden, the retailer’s Aurora Wrap Dress.
The 2018 photo was also shot by Matt Porteous at Anmer Hall, with the Duchess in a Fjällräven sweater and gingham checked shirt.
In 2017, a formal posed image was used for holiday cards taken by Chris Jackson, Getty’s royal photographer. The Duchess is seen wearing a Catherine Walker suit first worn during her solo trip to the Netherlands in October 2016.
For their 2016 Christmas cards, the family used a picture from a children’s party held during their 2016 Canada tour. The Duchess wore a See by Chloé dress in that picture.
The first time the family released an official photo for Christmas was in 2015, sharing an image with a very young Princess Charlotte and older brother Prince George, taken by Chris Jelf at Kensington Palace. I don’t believe we definitively identified the shirt or sweater seen in this image.
For the 2014 holiday season, the family released a series of pictures showing a jolly-looking Prince George on the steps of Kensington Palace. Edward Lane Fox, Prince Harry’s former private secretary, took them.
The King and Queen also released their Christmas card photo this weekend. It was taken in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace after the coronation in May. Hugo Burnand shot the photo portrait.
🎄 This year’s official Christmas card features a photograph of The King and Queen taken in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace on Coronation Day by Hugo Burnand. pic.twitter.com/nTawKRUAFZ
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 9, 2023