Tonight saw the end of William and Kate’s second day in Ireland with one of Kate’s sexiest looks in recent memory – gone were the headbands and rewears she’s been rocking as of late and in came a ponytail and a glamorous, vintage, magenta Oscar de la Renta number that her late mother-in-law would have approved of.
Kate (and William) were at a reception in Dublin at the Museum of Literature Ireland hosted by Irish minister for foreign affairs Simon Coveney, where they closed out day two of the Ireland tour with a powerful speech from William, who reflected on the often-tense history between the U.K. and Ireland. Kensington Palace said in a statement that this tour’s aim is to “focus on the relationship between the two countries and build on the theme of remembrance and reconciliation…[William and Kate] are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people.”
In his landmark speech, William said: “Ladies and gentlemen, legal treaties are vital in underpinning the relationships between states. But relationships between people are equally, if not more, essential – especially between the people of our two countries, whose lives, histories, and futures are so deeply intertwined. I am confident that friendship, understanding, and a shared vision for a peaceful and prosperous future will ensure that the unique and precious bond between our people is not broken. My family is determined to continue playing our part in protecting, preserving, and strengthening that bond. Growing up, I remember seeing the troubles that took place, which affected so many people across the U.K. and Ireland. This explains why one of the truly profound moments for Catherine and me took place yesterday at the Garden of Remembrance. It was a reminder of the complexity of our shared history, and that as my grandmother said during her visit in 2011, ‘Our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache and turbulence.’ But it was also a reminder about how far we have come. It is right that we continue to remember those who suffered as a consequence of our troubled past. And whilst many wrongs have been done, it is important that we are not bound by these.”
It is already being considered one of William’s most triumphant diplomatic speeches yet.
Earlier in the day, Kate stepped out in a major throwback piece, rewearing a cream coat by Reiss that she wore as far back as 2007, long before she and William were even engaged. (I am shocked she still owns this coat, and less shocked she still fits into it!) She was also spotted wearing riding boots she’s worn for over 15 years. The pair started today at the Jigsaw Center in Dublin, where they spoke with students assisted by the mental health charity. Then it was off to a research farm in County Meath, where they learned about sustainable farming methods. They also took a walk along the cliffs overlooking the Irish Sea between the U.K. and Ireland. In total, the Cambridges undertook five engagements today.
“As we stood on the cliffs at Howth and looked across the Irish Sea – a mere 50 miles for the British coastline – it was easy to see why so many people find the lure of this beautiful country so difficult to resist,” William said. “And beyond the breathtaking landscapes, we have received such wonderful hospitality and friendship from all those we have met. This morning we were privileged to meet a group of remarkable people who are working to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate. Their commitment and desire to help is truly inspirational.”
At the evening event at the Museum, William and Kate fawned over a signed first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses before William’s speech, which said, in part, “Today, our relationship goes far beyond two countries that are simply neighbors. ‘We are firm friends and equal partners,’ my grandmother put it…The links between our people, businesses, and our culture are inextricable, and we should all be proud to see how strong those bonds are. As we look ahead to some changes in our relationship, we must never forget how far we have come together in recent decades in transforming the relationships across our two islands.”
The tour concludes tomorrow, and it has already been a smashing success.