#HarryWithKids – It is soo a thing

If you know are at all interested in the goings on of Prince Harry (which, if you’re not, you you’re probably on the wrong site), then you know exactly what that title means today. And you’re most likely suffering from some sort of heart malfunction at the moment.

But in the off chance you’re like, “Kelly, what in royal heavens are you talking about?” Let me fill you in. Today, with the massive help of Sentebale and Chris Jackson of Getty Images, Prince Harry melted our hearts into puddles. Last week, from December 5 – 10, Prince Harry made a private visit to Lesotho in Africa for his charity, Sentebale – and Chris and his camera were along for the ride. (Thank goodness). Plot twist! Not only did Chris capture the adorable moments of the trip, but Harry got behind the lens for a change and took some stunning imagery as well.

This trip to Lesotho focused on viewing the construction and development of Sentebale’s new Mamohato Children’s Centre. The facility will increase four-fold the number of vulnerable children Sentebale can support through healthcare and education. Using the existing Camp Mamohato initiative, the Centre will provide emotional and psychological support to children living with HIV. During the visit Prince Harry attended a number of workshops and activities that help children with HIV develop greater confidence, self-reliance and address the stigma surrounding them. You can view all of the photos here. WARNING: Please do not open the link if you have an existing heart condition. Scratch that, please just use caution if you have a heart at all. Or eyes. Just, beware k?

While this may be the best thing to ever happen in the world of Harry watchers, this is certainly not the first time we have been salivating over Sir Swoon’s moments with the kiddos. The baby in Chile this summer, pretty much every visit to Lesotho, the playground antics at the Olympic Park in London, baseball in Harlem..someone please stop me because I could go on until Christmas. Harry is a natural with kids, he always has been, but it seems lately we are seeing more and more of it through his royal work. Yes, the entire family has their moments with the little ones, William and Kate in particular, but there is something different about #HarryWithKids. Nothing against the others, but there is a spark, a look about Harry when he is with his youngest admirers that really takes a hold on you. He is his mother’s son. Although it is not always fair to compare William and Harry to their mother, sometimes it is called for – this is one of those situations. He has that sparkle in his eyes, in his smile; and that pull on all of us just as Princess Diana did. Harry has made no secret of the fact that he longs for children and a family, and I so hope he gets that wish when the time is right. In the meantime, I would settle for a photo of him with Prince George. Please, H?

Whirlwind Royal Day in the City with William and Kate

Well, that was a case of the head spins! Whirl”wind” literally – in case you missed it, today was absolutely ghastly in New York City. I’m talking water up to my ankles style rain. But as usual, they did not slow down The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The final day of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to the USA began with a somber stop at the National September 11 Memorial where the couple paused in remembrance at the reflecting pool where the South Tower once stood (and Kate placed white roses) before making their way inside to visit the newly opened National September 11 Memorial Museum. Having visited the museum earlier this year, I can tell you that it is one of the most overpowering experiences I have ever had. I am from the area and will never forget every moment of that day and the days that followed. For that, this engagement was my favorite – I knew it would be coming in. Even as we pulled up to the site, my eyes welled with tears. The fact that William and Kate visited – and stayed outside for several minutes in the horrific downpours – really tugged at my heart strings. While The Queen, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall have visited the memorial before, it is ever more developed since then.

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William and Kate then visited The Door, not too from far from the memorial, to witness the work they carry out with the CityKids Foundation. The couple toured the organization and took in performances from the youngsters. Another nod to his late mother on this NYC trip, Princess Diana was very involved with the CityKids Foundation and Prince William remarked it was the highlight of their visit.

Back-to-back GREAT receptions took the remainder of the afternoon, the first, a Creativity event attended by both The Duke and Duchess and the second, Innovation attended by Prince William. The GREAT Britain campaign is the British Government’s most ambitious international marketing campaign ever and showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer, in order to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK. The Royal Family has given strong support to the campaign since its inception in 2011 and there have been GREAT events throughout many recent royal tours. Prince Harry attended GREAT events during both South America tours and  participated in a GREAT event with Prime Minister David Cameron in New York last year, while the Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception in 2012 to highlight the excellence of the creative industries.

The Creativity is GREAT reception hosted by NeueHouse brought out some very well known names in the creative industries, including Sir Patrick Stewart, OBE – who had a few laughs with The Duchess and Creative Director of J Crew, Jenna Lyons, with whom Kate had a seemingly lovely conversation (Kate even wore J Crew jeans last night when she met Bey and Jay). Harvey Weinstein who was particularly keen to meet Prince William and is behind the new Paddington Bear film, had a few moments to converse with The Duke.

At the event, British Ambassador to the United States Peter Westmacott spoke of the creative industries influence in Britain while the royal couple looked on, laughed and smiled. The Ambassador highlighted that film tourism (of which Kate and Georgina Chapman of Marchesa spoke about how her husband, Mr. Weinstein, loves making films in England) is booming – visits to Glencoe in Scotland after Skyfall are up 40 percent! Even Sir Patrick Stewart remarked, “It is certain that seeing the best of British talent on their home stages, many Americans make the trip to London, Stratford and Chichester to get an even wider taste of what British entertainment has to offer.”

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Prince William joined The Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, at The Empire State Building for an innovation event hosted by Shutterstock. In addition to taking in the iconic view from the 86th floor observation deck, Prince William attended a techology-themed reception and presented the winners of the GREAT Tech Awards with trophies.

Last but certainly not least – a fancy smancy gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrating the 600th anniversary of St Andrews. Which is now beginning… but as you will see from above, I’m exhausted, soaked and spent, so it’s off I go to dream of the next royal visit. More later!

Case of the Mondays, What? Royals Take On America

Today was nothing short of EPIC. Kate had NYC falling at her perfectly dressed feet, William showed up in D.C. to conquer America back in the name of Her Majesty (okay, that didn’t actually happen but whatever) and sitting courtside at a NBA game across from Beyonce and Jay-Z. AND THEY MET. And declined an offer for free nachos. I’m sorry, WHAT?! I really don’t often use the word “epic” but I’m pretty sure the word was created for moments like that.

William spent the first half of his first full day stateside with his first-ever visit to Washington D.C. where he had his second-ever meeting with President Barack Obama, to whom he confessed that he was so excited when George was born, he forgot to ask if it was a boy or girl! And yes, it will be a surprise for the second baby as well. Royals in the White House – just what this Yankee likes to see! The highlight of William’s visit to the capital was to speak at International Corruption Hunters Alliance conference, a cause extremely close to his heart and the focal point of his visit. He noted that he was “inspired by my grandfather and my father, who have championed international conservation for over fifty years.” William even blogged for The Huffington Post about his strong feelings on the subject.

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While her other half was away, Kate began her day in Harlem at the Northside Center for Child Development, Harlem with the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray. The center fosters the healthy development of children and families by providing high-quality mental health and educational services – a cause both The Duchess and First Lady’s hearts are champions of. To get in the holiday spirit, they took part in gift-wrapping and craft making with children, who adorably thought that Kate was Princess Elsa from Frozen! Which, I can tell you firsthand was the mood of the day: FROZEN. OMG, NYC SO COLD. (Which, BTW William said later in the day that he “loved.” No, Will, NO).

Photo Credit: British Consulate, New York @UkinNewYork

Photo Credit: British Consulate, New York @UkinNewYork

Then, Kate made her way to midtown to the residence of Her Majesty’s Consul General to New York, Danny Lopez, for a lunch with members of the local British community making contributions in the cultural and business sectors, including Welsh actor Matthew Rhys and Mashable CEO Peter Cashmore.

The residence had a brief break before both The Duke and Duchess attended a Conservation reception there (last minute change of plans as Kate originally was not due to attend). The reception was in recognition of the conservation work carried out by Tusk and United for Wildlife partners: Wildlife Conservation Society; Conservation International; and The Nature Conservancy. Secretary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, were present for the event and spoke to the crowd. In Prince William’s speech, he stressed that “Time is running out, but this room reminds us that time is definitely not running out.”

The wildlife conservation spotlight then led the couple to another borough – Brooklyn, for a NBA game, or “off to shoot some hopes or whatever it is the Americans call it,” according to William. Talk about throwing the royals out of their element! The game played between the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers was in support of the partnership between the Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife and the NBA. King [LeBron] James? SMH, it’s all about the future king and his future queen. Oh, and the fact that they met Bey and Jay courtside. And they were so cute, so enthusiastic throughout their time watching the game. It was purely precious.

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via @UkinNewYork

via @UkinNewYork

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GAME OVER BYEEEE! Oh wait, there’s still tomorrow.

Welcome to America, William & Kate!

The day we have been talking about for what seems like a lifetime is finally here… this afternoon, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge touched down in New York City. Where I live.

Before I get into the royal arrival, some operational notes if you will. I am thrilled to say that I will be Royal Central’s eyes and ears on the ground here in NYC for the royal couple’s visit. However, it will not be anything to the level I was able to do during Harry’s US tour last year; in fact, it might be almost on-existent at times, but I will be doing my absolute best of course! I will do a daily recap of events and be tweeting and snapping as much as possible, so stay with me and Royal Central on Twitter.

The Duke and Duchess arrived in the Big Apple at 4:37pm at JFK airport after a slight delay with their British Airways flight on the other end of the pond, and checked-in at The Carlyle, a famed luxury hotel on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The Carlyle is actually a part of Rosewood Hotels, which opened an incredible property in London last year – The Rosewood. The Carlyle has special significance, as it was the place Princess Diana called home when visiting New York City. Obviously there were plenty of fans waiting outside (I was not one of them).

via @EmilyNash of The Sun

via @EmilyNash of The Sun

Of course, Kate looked flawless in a deep purple Seraphine maternity coat as she and William arrived at The Carlyle and fans and media got a two second glimpse outside. I cant tell you this, I look nothing like that when I get off the plane at JFK from Heathrow, that’s for darn sure.

The arrival was the only “public appearance” for the royal couple today, but have no fear – the next two days are absolutely packed with engagements. Tonight, they will attend a private dinner reception for the American Friends of the Royal Foundation at the home of advertising mogul at the home of Sir Martin Sorrell. So, what’s on tap this week?

Tomorrow, Prince William will make the quick jump down to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., for the International Corruption Hunters Alliance conference where he will make a keynote address. While there, he will also meet with President Obama (whom he and Catherine met in London following their honeymoon in 2011). Simultaneously, Kate will visit Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem with the First Lady of New York City. You may recall her brother-in-law made a splash in Harlem during his visit last year. Then, it is off to the Consul General’s residence for a lunch with members of the British Community in New York from culture, arts, hospitality, and business sectors. The Duchess will then take a break while The Duke returns to New York City and makes his way to Consul General Danny Lopez’s residence for a Conservation reception that Hillary and Chelsea Clinton will attend; co-hosted by the Royal Foundation and Clinton Foundation. To end the day, it will be perhaps my favorite engagement of them all – it’s off to Brooklyn for a Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers NBA game. Where there is the possibility of a Cambridge/Beyonce and Jay-Z photo opp. The game will support the on-going collaboration between the Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife and the NBA.

Tuesday is full-on, starting with an emotional and somber visit to the National 9/11 Memorial. Something tells me this will be the biggest events of the program  – it means the most to the people of New York City, and the location lends itself to the opportunity for the biggest public crowds. The rest of the day will see the duo attending an engagement at The Door for the CityKids Foundation, a Creative industries reception supporting the UK government’s GREAT campaign, an Innovation is GREAT event with Shutterstock at the Empire State Building (Prince William only), and last but not least a glamorous gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrating St Andrews University 600th anniversary.

So much royal my head is going to explode. I. Cannot. Wait.

Visiting Royal Britain: William and Kate’s Britain

As my fair city prepares for a little thing called “the royal visit,” this month’s Visiting Royal Britain is taking a look at the destinations that have played a role in William and Kate’s life together.

As it’s Christmas time, let’s begin with Sandringham – the country estate where the firm celebrates the holidays. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have just completed renovations at their home on the property, Anmer Hall, where they are expected to host Christmas celebrations this year. Although you can’t crash the royal residence in Norfolk, Sandringham House, the museum and the garden are open for visitors in the spring, summer and early fall.

St Andrews is quite obviously very near and dear to William and Kate as they met and fell in love while studying at the university. Did you know that it is known as the UK’s top match-making university? One in ten graduates have a chance of meeting their mate for life there! Maybe I need to go back to college? St Andrews is a top travel destinations outside of strolling through the university pretending to reenact Will & Kate’s courtship (c’mon, you know there’s people out there that do that). St Andrews is famous for golf, especially the Old Course, and its beaches have graced the silver screen in films such as Chariots of Fire. The Duke and Duchess’ final engagement in New York City will be a gala celebrating 600 years of St Andrews University.

VisitBritain Images

VisitBritain Images

Everyone is familiar with The Isle of Anglesey,  the isle off the coast of North Wales that William and Kate called home for many years until last year after Prince George was born. The beautiful beaches, small village atmosphere and nearby village/train station of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch have become a favorite of tourists and locals alike.

VisitBritain Images

VisitBritain Images

Saved the “duh” for last – Kensington Palace. The royal residence is not only where Prince William grew up, but where he has made a home with Kate and Prince George since marrying. Kensington Palace is one of the many palaces open to visitors ( but no, you cannot actually go into the Cambridge’s apartment).

VisitBritain Images

VisitBritain Images

A Very Royal Thanksgiving… Wait, What?

Yes, I realize the royals do not celebrate Thanksgiving. However, Thanksgiving (IMO) is one of the few legs up (turkey legs, that is), we have on the Brits… so KKHO is going to celebrate, okay? Don’t worry, there’s a royal spin to it.

Thanksgiving is all about counting your blessings (and loading up yummy food, duh), and what better way to show thanks than to give back? Enter, the royal connection to this American holiday. Royals LOVE giving back – it is what they do. From Her Majesty to Princess Beatrice, each member of the firm has causes and patronages close to their hearts. AKA – this post could go on until the Fourth of July. Don’t worry, I will spare you… I have loads of mashed potatoes to eat, after all.

 Ahead of William and Kate’s upcoming visit to NYC, I would like to focus on The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which will be at the center of the visit’s activities. Sidebar – they should’ve come for Thanksgiving, hellooo a day dedicated to eating, Kate could even rock Joey’s Thanksgiving pants and get away with it because she is actually pregnant. Not only is it a timely choice, but this foundation encompasses all of the causes close to the three royals’ hearts, and thus, giving you all plenty to give back to. The foundation, established in 2009 and becoming fully operational two years later, is the main vehicle in which William, Kate and Harry carry out their charitable duties and passions.

From conservation efforts (William will be in the US in large part due to his work with United for Wildlife), armed forces (Prince Harry’s Invictus Games just announced the bidding process for next year’s host destination) and children and young people (another focus of the NYC visit and Catherine just stepped out in support of EACH Hospices in Norfolk), The Royal Foundation embodies everything important to the trio.

Bringing it back to America once again, around this holiday, The American Friends of the Royal Foundation was setup in 2011, which works alongside The Royal Foundation in support of its initiatives – an organization you will see out and about come December 7th.

For more information on The Royal Foundation, The American Friends of the Royal Foundation and how you can give back this Thanksgiving please visit The Royal Foundation’s official website. The site includes further details on the individual charitable organizations.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS – Harry, if you married an American you would get to celebrate this amazing holiday… #justsaying

Kate Takes Manhattan – But Who Should She Wear?

ICYMI: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are coming to the Big Apple in a few weeks.. who am I kidding, no one has missed that. What is one of the most exciting parts of every Kate engagement? The clothes, duh.

So, who should Kate wear on her first-ever visit to New York? American designers, of course! Ah, winter in the city is so magical…but oh, so cold. Think of all of the fabulous coats! We could all spend ages picking out our dream outfits and designers for Kate (let’s be honest, we do… that’s what twitter is for), but let’s take a look at a few I think would be perfection. (Few is a relative term here, I had to cut myself off from playing Kate’s stylist…)

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What would you like to see Kate in during her trip to America?