Kate Middleton visits Royal Opera House's costume department in 'personal' nod to textile boss great-great-grandad

The Duchess of Cambridge was all smiles as she was greeted for the visit, which will see her tour the costume department.

It's a visit that is expected to be of great interest to 37-year-old Kate, as her great-great-grandfather, Francis Martineau Lupton, was a successful textile manufacturer.

Francis, a mill owner, ran William Lupton & Company with his three brothers.

Wearing a £2,736 fuschia pink Oscar de la Renta peplum style dress, the mum-of-three was taken through the Hamlyn Hall at the Royal Opera House.

And she reportedly donned new shoes for today's engagement, wearing black patent heels with a gold buckle detail.

Completing the outfit, she was seen carrying a £495 leather bag by Aspinal of London.

During the tour, the mum-of-three will be shown how the costumes are dyed, hand-painted and stained.

The Royal Opera House Costume Department is responsible for creating, refurbishing and conserving thousands of opera and ballet costumes per season, with up to 600 costumes per production.

Up to 10,000 costumes are used each year by artists from The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera House.

As part of the visit, Kate will also meet with Royal Ballet Principal Dancers Lauren Cuthbertson, Laura Morera and Vadim Muntagirov.

The Duchess will be given the chance to watch them rehearse.


It's been a busy week for the 37-year-old, who yesterday visited the Islington Community Garden for her first official Royal engagement of the year. 

The mum-of-three chatted to the young students and made pizza with them – admitting her eldest two Prince George, five, and Princess Charlotte, three, would be sad they had missed out on the day.

And she laughed as one cheeky eight-year-old asked her if the Queen ate pizza.

She replied: "That is such a good question, I don't know.

"Maybe next time I see her, shall I ask?"

The mother was gifted honey, picture and bird feeders from the kids, telling one: "I'm going to go put that in the garden and hopefully the birds will come."

The Royal Family will be out in force today, with the Duchess of Cornwall also undertaking two engagements in Scotland.  Prince Charles' wife will head to the University of Aberdeen as part of her role as Chancellor.


Meghan Markle is also expected to step out today, making it a busy day for the Royal Family.

The Duchess of Sussex will visit the Mayhew this afternoon, her first visit to the animal charity since being named patron.

Tonight, the mum-to-be will attend a premiere of Cirque du Soleil's Totem in Support of Sentebale at the Royal Albert Hall.

The evening will raise awareness and funds for Sentebale’s work with children and young people affected by HIV.

Pregnant Meghan has hit the ground running this year, with today her third official Royal engagement in just two weeks.

She this week headed to Birkenhead with husband Prince Harry, delighting fans as they revealed they were expecting their baby to arrive in April. 

The former actress also visited Smart Works, another of her new patronages, last week. 

There, she gave fashion tips to women at the charity, even helping them prepare for job interviews. 

The roles are a vote of confidence from the Queen for the former actress after she joined the Royal Family last year.

She has recently been plagued with speculation that she and and Kate Middleton have clashed, with rumours the Duchess of Cambridge was brought to tears during a bridesmaid's dress fitting for Princess Charlotte.

Meghan is also rumoured to have been nicknamed Duchess Difficult by staff.

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