The Prince and Princess of Wales visited Hayes Muslim Centre today to thank those involved in aid efforts following the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
A series of horrifying earthquakes ruptured Southern Turkey (Türkiye) and North-West Syria taking 50,000 lives and leaving over 18 million people in urgent need of food, shelter and medical care. The first earthquake struck with little to no warning and the severity and frequency of further disastrous events meant the urgency in terms of aid requirements was on an incredible scale. DEC charities were imminently deployed and have been working tirelessly on the ground to help as many survivors as possible.
Saleh Saeed, Chief Executive of the DEC, said: "The UK public have once again excelled and supported people when they need it most. All of us at the DEC are incredibly grateful. Your donations are already helping and will continue to provide emergency shelter, warm blankets and food for the families who have lost their homes, urgent medical support for the injured and psychosocial support to children to help them start to cope with their experiences."
The Disasters Emergency Committee comprises of fifteen leading charities including Action Against Hunger, ActionAid, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern, International Rescue Committee, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.
A number of famous faces including former 007 Daniel Craig were enlisted in a public awareness campaign. The James Bond actor recently said: "The public's generous response to the DEC’s appeal for survivors of the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey has been incredibly moving to see. The earthquakes lasted seconds but the aftermath will last for years. Since I filmed the broadcast appeal, the numbers of people confirmed as killed or injured have gone up by tens of thousands. Hospitals, schools and businesses have been reduced to rubble, and hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless in freezing winter conditions. Please do what you can to help them by supporting the DEC appeal."
William and Kate first shared their support in early February via a Kensington Palace tweet which read: "We have been horrified to see the harrowing images coming out of Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the earthquakes this week. Our thoughts are with the communities affected and we are pleased to support the DEC Appeal campaign which will aid the response on the ground." A statement was also released by King Charles and Queen Camilla, and on Valentine's Day, the King stepped out in London to meet volunteers doing trojan work.
By late February, the Disasters Emergency Committee raised an astonishing £100 million -- the bulk of which was donated in under a fortnight. The DEC noted the total included "generous" donations by Charles, Camilla, William and Kate. You can continue to donate by clicking here.
Kensington Palace tweeted: "The generosity of the human spirit is at the heart of the Hayes Muslim Centre."
The generosity of the human spirit is at the heart of the Hayes Muslim Centre.— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) March 9, 2023
Since the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria last month, volunteers and charities – including those brought together by @decappeal - have raised millions to help. pic.twitter.com/jIRk8QAg6S
During the visit, the Prince and Princess met representatives from Hayes Muslim Centre who have raised over £25,000 via donations and bucket collections.
Kensington Palace said: "Their Royal Highnesses then meet representatives from DEC member charities, including aid workers who have recently returned from the crisis zone in Turkey. Representatives from Save The Children, Islamic Relief, Action Against Hunger, Age International and the British Red Cross will share the latest on the situation on the ground and the impact incoming aid is having on communities across the region."
The couple heard about the vast ongoing work happening on the ground.
Another view of the Princess.
'Kate said: "It’s sad that there’s a need to do funding – it’s amazing there are communities like this here raising (funds)."'
The couple spent time with a number of people from several communities and charities, including the Turkish Women’s Association, an organisation based in Richmond, who partnered with a local community and a number of Richmond schools to raise more than £10,000 for the appeal with an event at St Stephen's Church Primary School at the end of February. Stalls included Turkish coffee, homemade bakes and origami crane making run by pupils from Waldebridge School, which is a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times.
Prince William joining in.
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One girl told the couple, "It's really important to fold cranes together because the more people put one crane together, the more power they have."'
A video from the engagement.
The Princess was attired for the occasion in a tailored black Catherine Walker jacket, Alexander McQueen custom-made dress, black tights and a familiar headscarf.
The Princess wore the coat and pleated dress to meet the public at Sandringham shortly after Her late Majesty died.
Kate also carried her Grace Han Love Letter Small Top Handle Bag. The £1,595 piece is described as "a perfect companion with its elegance and classic shape. Its distinctive envelope closure is an ode to Love Letters of the past, present and future".
Whilst we haven't previously seen Kate wearing the headscarf, it is the matching piece for an Élan outfit, featuring an embroidered Kurti and white trousers worn when leaving Pakistan in 2019.
Kate completed the look with black pumps.
On Monday, the King, as Head of the Commonwealth, and the Queen accompanied by the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, will attend the annual Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. Afterwards, the Prince and Princess of Wales will join members of the Royal family for the Commonwealth Day reception at Buckingham Palace.
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This was a very good visit to today. It really is heartbreaking to see what has happened in Turkey and especially Syria where they was already so much pain and suffering. I think the couple highlighting this is very important, especially when everyone is so focused on the war at the moment. I loved the coat and dress when she first wore them. I know The Princess covered her head out of respect but I'm not too sure about the scarf. She looks beautiful in some photographs but in others it doesn't look as good. S.🙂.ReplyDelete
This was a wonderful visit today. The Royal couple highlighting the problems in Turkey and Syria is vitally important. Catherines outfit was respectful and appropriate. I love the scarf, she looked refined and elegant.ReplyDelete
Kate, beautiful and respectful as usual. Why did the last man in the welcome party not shake her hand ?ReplyDelete
Some Muslim men do not touch women who are not their family, as a sign of respect.Delete
Some Muslim men won't have any physical contact with any female unless it's their wife or very close family. He showed respect to The Princess by putting his hand on his chest and bowing his head. S.🙂.Delete
The Daily Mail said the following: "Placing a hand on the heart with a nod or slight bow is considered a polite way for a man to greet a woman in some Muslim traditions.Delete
According to some codes of conduct, a man and a woman won't shake hands unless the woman extends her hand out first and the man is willing to reciprocate the gesture.
Others describe the idea of making physical contact with a female who isn't his wife or a very close relative as 'haram', the Arabic word for a sin."
I might mention that this is also the case in ultra-Orthodox Jewish denominations. Women who encounter devout Muslim and ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who will not shake their hands should not be offended.Delete
She ought to have been better briefed by her team. It’s not the custom for imams or many other traditional Muslims to youch any female besides a spouse. I’m sure Catherine would not have extended her hand if she had known.Delete
Amazing engagement, deeply touching. How thoughtful and respectful to wear a headscarf. Both yesterday's and today's engagements are a big hit in my books.ReplyDelete
This was a terrible quake, with aftershocks themselves registering high on the Richter Scale and far worse than anything I experienced while living in California. Sadly, the people of the region are not yet as experienced as the Californians with the necessity to build to code, so the destruction and death toll have been devastating. My husband works for a major non-profit that has been providing assistance, and through it, we've donated to relief efforts. I urge everyone to do so.ReplyDelete
The Princess's coat is beautifully fitted, like all of her Catherine Walker pieces. I don't actually remember this dress, but then, she and the other royals wore so many black items in the days following Queen Elizabeth's death that they've all run together in my mind. (Well, except for the Duchess of Sussex's terrific cape dress. That stood out.) I wish I could see the top of the dress better, but I very much like the knife-pleated skirt.
It's rather a somber, funereal look, though, especially with the black opaque hose (or "tights" as the British say) and the black shoes. I'm not sure so much black was called for, despite the tragedy that was the reason for the visit. The mostly white headscarf actually leavens the look. A black scarf would have been far too much.
I saw a claim on another site that the coat is gray, but if so, it's such a dark gray that it might as well be black. And I don't think the Princess would have worn anything but black in public during the week after the Queen's death.
Modest dress means covering arms , knees and sometimes the head. If you look at the rug under their feet , it looks like a prayer rug. You can see a repeat pattern with spaces for people to be. The other indication for it being a space for prayer is that they took off their shoes. So she was dressed the right way. Wearing black or a dark color was correct.Delete
Of course the Princess needed to dress modestly, but you'll notice that some of the other women at the venue were not wearing dark colors. The Princess has visited Islamic sites before, and she wore bright or light colors on those occasions. See, for example, her visit to an important mosque in Pakistan below. My guess is that she chose black here because of the great loss of life in Turkey and Syria, but normally, one doesn't need to wear black or dark colors while visiting a Muslim place of worship.Delete
I think it was a respectful look and she was appropriately dressed. Being black didn't bother me given the gravitas of the visit, and the scarf did brighten the look. At first when I saw the tights, I thought maybe too much, but then immediately in the next photo she isn't wearing her shoes and felt it was a smart move on her part. I liked this look when she wore it during the mourning of QEII and feel it suits this occasion.Delete
Thank you Charlotte for the post. Such an important engagement. If we are honest very few of us can comprehend the reality of the scale of devastation and the effect on the inhabitants - very bad in Turkey but infinitely worse in Syria,where not much aid is getting through. This is one of the strengths of Royalty, the ability just by an engagement like this to bring the disaster back to our notice as we are very quick to move on to the next two second wow moment.ReplyDelete
I agree. And I include myself in that - I benefitted from a reminder of what happened. Even though it was recent, my very ordinary life is busy enough that I haven't thought about the earthquake since shortly after it happened. It's heartening to read about it and really good for royalty to acknowledge and thank those who haven't forgotten and are actually doing something to help. On a frivolous note, I liked what she wore.Delete
The Princess was dressed perfectly for this visit. I’m so sad for the people in Turkey and Syria to have to go through this. I’m glad this visit reminds the public that this crisis is nowhere near over .ReplyDelete
at both appointments this week, kate showed herself to be incredibly multifaceted and I really liked both of them. she shows a very independent and down-to-earth side of herself. it also looks totally authentic and approachable. I thought the appointment as colnel of the irish guards for women's day was outstanding. that made her unobtrusive but strong for women. Today she was beautiful and compassionate. I think the headscarf and the black dress are perfect for the occasion. I would like to see a lot more such strong eventsReplyDelete
I normally love black and wish K would wear more of it. In this case though the look is very heavy and definitely at odds with how casually W is dressed. The scarf is beautiful.ReplyDelete
I liked this outfit when she wore it in September and it is a lovely rewear with the added head scarf. Glad they are able to dine a light in this generosity that is so needed! Thanks Charlotte! SueReplyDelete
What a wonderful engagement. We appreciate them highlighting this and enjoyed their interaction with the various people. Catherine looked lovely and very appropriate. AliReplyDelete
hmm the princess of wales was a stunning I liked this outfit when she wore it last September and it is a lovely rewear with the added head scarf. was lovelyReplyDelete
It's just an overwhelming tragedy, like what's happening hourly in Ukraine, as well as all the other disasters in the world. It's hard to know how to help.ReplyDelete
The Red Cross is doing great work. S.🙂.Delete
It's the enormity of it all, added to what's happened/happening in Ukraine and the severe suffering in so many countries, that overwhelms me. I try to just make a tiny dent in cat rescue, while there's so much need in the world. Allison in USDelete
I think this outfit is very suitable for the occasion, lovely dress and coat. I like the scarf but for me it is too long, and it detracts from the impeccable style of the dress and coat I think it looked a bit untidy. A shorter length scarf would have been better and maybe tucked under lapels of coat to keep the look streamlined? Sue in WAReplyDelete
Anyone notice how Kate is greeting first lately? Doesn't royal protocol dictate the born royal goes first?ReplyDelete
My husband is a Dr. & (as we go back to University days) we've been together through all his Schooling/Training years & being out in practice/now in Administration at a big University Medical Center. All that is to explain, that we have a wide bredth of friends & colleagues from a variety of Middle Eastern, Asian & Indian backgrounds/Faiths. We've attended countless Weddings, Funerals, Family Gatherings & the like over the years. I can say that it is always a bit stressful to find/figure out the nuances of the particular family's customs, in order to dress accordingly! Lot's of phone calls back & forth between other colleagues attending each function.ReplyDelete
Often it's been confusing, because even if the Dr./friend or colleague doesn't practice their customs religiously, these events are often dictated by the greater family re: customs followed. Luckily, I don't think we've made any huge faux pas over the years.... (fingers crossed) but I really feel for Kate, with regards to wanting to make sure that one respects the given customs etc. Especially for Kate.... as all eyes are on her & she (representing The Royal Family) really needs to get it right! No easy task!
I think she looks Wonderful! Just like the adage says that it's better to be overdressed, than underdressed..... I believe that it's better to be over proper than not proper enough. Just my 2 cents.
I remember first hearing one of the definitions of "Good Manners", which is to put others at ease & I've never forgotten that! She always does a lovely job & I'm sure it's always appreciated!!
You're right, Becca -- so much better to be sure you don't offend.Delete
Lovely comment, Becca! I agree, it can't be easy... but well done Kate! Zora from PragueDelete