Duchess Kate is showing the world a new talent: She brings a big smile to the face of Queen Elizabeth II, a woman long famous for her carefully neutral, enigmatic expressions in public.
The former Kate Middleton, now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband, Prince William, joined his grandmother the queen in Nottingham, England (yes, as in the legend of Robin Hood) today for another of the monarch's Diamond Jubilee visits marking her 60 years on the throne.
They attended a reception, hosted a jubilee picnic, visited a park and inspected a swimming pool -- all the usual things done on a royal engagement. But what's telling from the pictures beamed from the event is how the queen is wreathed in smiles while sitting next to her granddaughter-in-law, who looks equally delighted.
Ordinarily, her husband, Prince Philip, would be there, too, but he has just been released from the hospital for treatment of an infection that caused him to miss the last two days of the just-concluded four-day Diamond Jubilee celebration in London. Touched by the outpouring of affection from millions of Brits, the queen has been more animated than usual during jubilee engagements, especially when Duchess Kate is along.
In Nottingham, the queen wore her usual pastel-colored hat and coat, while Kate opted to recycle the blue knit boucle with fringe trim coat by M Missoni that she wore in March with her first engagement with the queen. She wore her Zara dress in a matching color underneath (the dress she wore the day after her wedding last year) and a navy saucer-shaped hat she has worn before, too.
No matter what they're wearing, Will and Kate like to fully participate during their engagements, so both of them tried their hand at throwing a foam javelin during a children's sports event at the park.