Kate Middleton wrapped up in a camel coat and tartan scarf as she joined Prince William in Orkney today.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand to officially open Balfour Hospital, in Kirkwall.
Kate, 39, wore a £349 Massimo Dutti coat and wide-leg trousers, which she accessorised with a clutch bag and matching pumps from Emmy London.
In a nod to her Scottish title, the Countess of Strathearn, Kate added a scarf in the Strathearn tartan from e-commerce site ScotWeb. She finished the outfit with £1,395 ‘flora drop’ gold earrings from Scottish brand Hamilton & Inches.
William, 38, and Kate travelled to Orkney from the Palace of Holyroodhouse – the Queen’s official Scotland residence, in Edinburgh – where they are staying while on a week-long tour of Scotland.
The visit is part of a broader royal charm offensive to help persuade Scotland to resist the demands of nationalists for independence.
The Duchess of Cambridge wrapped up in a camel coat and tartan scarf as she joined husband Prince William in Orkney today. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand to officially open the Balfour Hospital, in Kirkwall
Beaming! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared in excellent spirits as the opened a hospital in Orkney today
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, styled as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn, unveiled a plaque at Balfour Hospital
Take it to the max like Kate in a long camel coat by Massimo Dutti
Massimo Dutti Limited Edition cashmere camel coat
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When we first spotted the Duchess of Cambridge wearing this camel coat last year, we knew it was going to be a wardrobe favourite.
It’s a longer length cashmere style in classic camel, and it’s from Massimo Dutti. When teamed with a top and trousers in similar hues, it’s another winning look for Kate!
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The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, appeared to be all smiles as she arrived for her first engagement of the day in a caramel coat and matching trousers
Kate recycled a £349 Massimo Dutti coat and wide-leg trousers for the engagement. Kate also wore a scarf in the Strathearn Tartan, in a nod to her Scottish title, the Countess of Strathearn
History of Kate’s Strathearn tartan
The Strathearn tartan takes its name from Strathearn, a region of southern Perthshire.
The title Earl of Strathearn, now used by Prince William in Scotland, dates to 1357 Robert Stewart, High Steward of Scotland, was created Earl of Strathearn.
Evidence points towards the Strathearn tartan being a design by the famous weaving firm Wm. Wilson & Son of Bannockburn. The exact date of its creation is unknown but it dates back to at least 1820.
Some historians believe it was worn by Queen Victoria’s father the Duke of Kent, who was Colonel of the Royal Scots (First Royals) 1801-1821.
By the early 1900s it was regarded as a ‘District Tartan’, the name given to tartans representing geographical areas, rather than clans.
After decades out of favour, the Strathearn tartan has enjoyed a resurgance in popularity thanks to its association with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are styled as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland.
The couple’s first stop was Balfour Hospital opened its doors in 2019 and replaced the old hospital, which had served the community for 90 years.
The new facility has enabled the repatriation of many NHS services from the Scottish mainland, allowing Orkney’s population to receive most of their healthcare at home.
The new building’s circular design is based on the 5000-year-old Neolithic settlement, Skara Brae, making it a unique reflection of the local landscape in which many historical sites are circles.
During the visit, the Duke and Duchess met a number of NHS staff to hear more about their experiences over the past year, before formally opening the hospital.
Later the couple visited the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) – the only accredited wave and tidal test centre for marine renewable energy in the world.
Founded in 2003, the EMEC is pioneering the development of a green hydrogen economy in Orkney, having set up a hydrogen production plant in 2016, next to the tidal energy substation.
During the visit William and Kate heard more about EMEC’s role in tackling climate change and supporting the UK’s green recovery, from marine renewable energy generation to green hydrogen production and distribution.
The Duke and Duchess also visited the fuel cell and hydrogen storage trailers at Kirkwall Pier, which take locally produced hydrogen and reconvert it back to electricity, before heading out to sea to see the world’s largest tidal energy turbine, the 2MW ‘O2’.
Prince William has been in Scotland since Friday and Kate Middleton arrived yesterday. They will return to London on Thursday.
The couple kicked off their joint engagements yesterday with a visit to Turning Point Scotland, a social care charity in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.
They learned about the support the organisation provides to those facing homelessness, mental health issues and substance abuse.
Later in the afternoon they visited the pioneering Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU), and learned about the support it provides to community organisations across the country.
In the evening they were joined in the café kitchen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where they are staying, by Sikh Sanjog to prepare meals which will be distributed to vulnerable families across the Edinburgh community.
Kate sported a £59.99 Zara blazer and pleated midi skirt by Hope Fashion in the colour of the Scottish flag, which she accessorised with a pair of £1,395 ‘flora drop’ gold earrings from Scottish brand Hamilton & Inches, which has held a Royal Warrant as silversmiths to Her Majesty the Queen for more than 120 years.
Exact details of their Scottish tour schedule is being kept under wraps but the Duke and Duchess are expected to visit St Andrews University, where they met as students 20 years ago.
The couple will also host a special drive-in screening of Disney’s Cruella for NHS staff, and will join young carers from the local Fife area for a session of land yachting on the beach.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge formally opened the hospital, which first opened its doors in 2019
The Duchess of Cambridge wore £1,395 ‘flora drop’ gold earrings from Scottish brand Hamilton & Inches
The Duke of Cambridge shared a light-hearted moment with some of the welcome party outside the hospital
Excited hospital staff gathered to take photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as the royal couple opened the facility
Their visit to Scotland is understood to be part of a wider strategy to emphasise the ‘cultural bonds’ between Scotland and the rest of the union.
The Queen is passionate about the union and spends her annual summer break at Balmoral.
Her subtle comment about the independence referendum in 2014 – asking people to ‘think carefully about the future’ – while staying at Balmoral, was credited with influencing the vote to remain.
In his address on Saturday to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh, Prince William not only touched upon some of the most private aspects of his life, but also struck a conciliatory tone.
‘It is my duty today to speak, but equally I am here to listen,’ he said. ‘In Scotland this week I will have my eyes and ears permanently open. Along with listening this week, there is something I do want to tell you.
‘Scotland is incredibly important to me and will always have a special place in my heart.’
William, who is known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, was speaking in his role as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly, a ceremonial appointment dating back to the 16th Century.
He spoke of his happy time at St Andrews university as a student and training as a pilot in Inverness, adding: ‘Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also my saddest.’
In what was interpreted as a nod to longevity, he referred to his children including Prince George, who is third in line to the throne. ‘George, Charlotte and Louis already know how dear Scotland is to both of us, and they are starting to build their own happy memories here too,’ he said. ‘We have no doubt they will grow up sharing our love and connection to Scotland from the Highlands to the Central Belt, from the Islands to the Borders.’
The Queen is making plans for her traditional ‘Holyrood Week’ in early summer. Aides say there will be several ‘high-profile events where Her Majesty will be seen out and about’.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will also be involved but the decision to send the Cambridges ahead was a clear part of the PR strategy. A source told the Mail On Sunday: ‘It’s about opening a dialogue – listening and talking. All members of the Royal Family have a strong affinity with Scotland.’
Kate, 39, looked chic in a camel coat and wide-leg trousers as she boarded the helicopter in the grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence
The couple are on their way to Orkney, off the northeast coast of Scotland, where they will carry out a series of engagements
The helicopter was seen taking off outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse this morning as bystanders snapped pictures
The Duchess of Cambridge wore her hair swept back in a half-up do as she boarded the helicopter with Prince William
Prince William carried a ring binder as he strode across the grounds of Holyroodhouse towards the helicopter
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared in good spirits as they made their way to the helicopter for a busy day