Yesterday, walking the red carpet with James Bond. Today, holding giant spiders in Northern Ireland...
It’s been an exciting few weeks for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Between the launch of Kate’s Hold Still photography book, a round of doubles with Emma Raducanu, and the impending release of William’s new BBC documentary, the typically low-key couple have been enjoying a little more spotlight since IRL events resumed – and we, for one, are very here for it.
Last night, William and Kate even rubbed shoulders with the great and the good of Hollywood, including Daniel Craig and Naomie Harris, at the world premiere of the latest James Bond instalment, No Time To Die.
Held at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Kate walked the red carpet in a gold sequin gown by Jenny Packham, and just about broke the internet doing it; as demand for gold dresses spiked by a staggering 550% immediately afterwards. (So that’s why they call it the Middleton effect.)
The couple chatted to the film’s cast and crew ahead of the screening, with Daniel Craig, who was marking his fifth and final turn as 007, telling Kate when she greeted him, “You look jolly lovely.”
So this afternoon’s royal visit was a bit of a departure compared to the glamour of last night, as the Cambridges touched down in Northern Ireland to chat with university students, and hold a few tarantulas and snakes while they were at it. Yep, really.
Beginning their visit at Ulster University’s Magee Campus in Derry, Kate and William stopped by the institution’s Kidz Farm well-being petting zoo, where Kate held a tarantula spider called Charlotte, and Will nervously watched on.
“We’ve had lots of animals during lockdown. During lockdown, animals are often like therapy,” Kate is reported to have told the pet handler while the spider crawled over her hands.
As the duchess struggled to keep hold of the tarantula, William joked in reference to Kate’s purple Emilia Wickstead trouser suit, “Maybe she’s not so keen on purple, or she maybe thinks you’re a flower.”
The Cambridges’ daughter, Princess Charlotte, previously revealed a fascination with spiders during an (adorable) appearance with Sir David Attenborough in October last year. While William had a go at holding a snake, meanwhile, he remarked that his eldest son, Prince George “is obsessed with snakes. He’s going to be so upset he missed this.”
The couple also attended to some more serious business while they were in the country, as they met with some of the university’s nursing students, whom they’d previously spoken to about the challenges of studying through the pandemic via Zoom earlier this year.
They also saw a specially-designed simulated ambulance which has been built to train Paramedic Science students, and met with the first cohort of medical students accepted into the university’s new School of Medicine, which Kensington Palace highlighted was “established this year in response to the nationwide shortage in the medical workforce”.
They capped off their special visit with a trip to the Student Union, where they sampled some local food (read: Tayto crisps and pints of Guinness) before listening to some of the university’s students play traditional Irish music.
“It’s great to be back in Northern Ireland for a day in Derry-Londonderry hearing from young people about how life has been during the pandemic and meeting organisations working across communities,” said of their trip on Twitter.