Kate Middleton Finally Realizes She Should Wear a Face Mask

Courtesy of @kensingtonroyal

There are times when it’s acceptable to remove one’s face mask, and a brief photo op is arguably among them. That would be especially true for a public figure like Kate Middleton, who resumed her regular royal duties—which is to say meet and greets—in June, starting with a visit to a Fakenham garden center ahead of its reopening. 

Since then, Middleton and her husband, Prince William, have kept (relatively) booked and busy. They’ve met with staff and volunteers at a local hospital, and even joined some for afternoon tea. They’ve met with two emergency responders and two mental health counselors to launch a mental health and frontline support fund in response to COVID-19. On her own, Middleton has met with parents and toddlers for a BBC segment, met with the staff of a children’s hospice center, and gardened with families and volunteers.

Each engagement was intended to address the difficulties of the pandemic. And while the Duke and Duchess have (sometimes, sort of) kept (some) of the NHS’s recommended 6.5-feet distance, on each occasion, they failed to wear a face mask. 

🙌🌟 Say hello to @bbctinyhappypeople! Tune into @bbcbreakfast 📺 on Tuesday 14th July to join The Duchess of Cambridge and three families involved in its creation. Tiny Happy People is a BBC Education initiative providing a range of free digital resources, specifically designed to support parents and carers in developing children’s language from pregnancy to the age of four. Take a look at the resources via the link in our bio #TinyHappyPeople

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As non-essential shops start reopening in parts of the UK, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited two independent businesses to hear how they have been impacted by coronavirus, and how they are returning to a new normal. The Duke of Cambridge visited Smiths the Bakers, who have been serving Kings Lynn for 50 years. With the owners of the bakery and members of staff, The Duke spoke about how coronavirus restrictions have impacted on the family-run business, with 80% of the company’s wholesale customers having to close their own operations. The Duchess of Cambridge visited Fakenham Garden Centre, where she met the centre’s owners, before speaking to staff members, and heard more about the measures which that the garden centre has implemented to ensure that customers are able to visit and shop safely. The Duke and Duchess’ visits come as The Queen, Patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, sent a message of support to business communities as they continue to reopen — visit @theroyalfamily to read Her Majesty’s message.

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As non-essential shops start reopening in parts of the UK, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited two independent businesses to hear how they have been impacted by coronavirus, and how they are returning to a new normal. The Duke of Cambridge visited Smiths the Bakers, who have been serving Kings Lynn for 50 years. With the owners of the bakery and members of staff, The Duke spoke about how coronavirus restrictions have impacted on the family-run business, with 80% of the company’s wholesale customers having to close their own operations. The Duchess of Cambridge visited Fakenham Garden Centre, where she met the centre’s owners, before speaking to staff members, and heard more about the measures which that the garden centre has implemented to ensure that customers are able to visit and shop safely. The Duke and Duchess’ visits come as The Queen, Patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, sent a message of support to business communities as they continue to reopen — visit @theroyalfamily to read Her Majesty’s message.

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So when Middleton and William turned up at a Sheffield food bank for baby supplies wearing masks on Tuesday, it marked a milestone: the very first time they’ve covered up during a mid-pandemic public appearance. The move made international headlines, and dominated the covers of tabloids like the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, and Metro. Express even enlisted a body language expert to analyze Middleton’s appearance, concluding from her “compensatory gestures” and “expressive eyebrows” that the mask increased the duchess’s confidence and made her feel “more assertive.” Naturally, the mask in question—a floral design by Amaia, which donates 30 percent of mask proceeds to the NHS—sold out. 

And yet, by the next day, the mask was gone. Though the workers Middleton and William met with on a surprise visit to Wales didn’t seem to mind; in fact, many of them weren’t wearing masks either. 

👋 from Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 • More to come from The Duke and Duchess’s time in South Wales later today…

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Thankfully, Middleton and William aren’t done with mask-wearing just yet. Both pulled theirs out for the second time ever at another point on Wednesday—ironically enough while they were outside, even though the coronavirus is known to spread more easily indoors. 

The Cambridges’ favourite Bingo partners! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 • Having entertained the Welsh care home as bingo hosts in May, The Duke and Duchess re-visited Shire Hall in person! It was great to see firsthand the amazing work done by staff and families to keep Shire Hall safe throughout lockdown.

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In fact, as of July 24, Britons are required to wear face masks before entering and while inside enclosed public spaces in England. There are several exceptions—like children under 11—but royals are not among them. And they seem to realize as much: Four days after the rule went into effect, Duchess Camilla became the first British royal spotted wearing a cloth mask. 

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