Queen, Kate and Camilla make rare public appearance
John Size, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, March 1, 2012 8:59AM EST
Queen Elizabeth II, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall made their first public appearance together Thursday, enjoying a tour and tea at London's posh Fortnum & Mason store.
"I can tell you this is probably the first time the Queen has been shopping in 60 years," CTV's London Bureau Chief Tom Kennedy quipped on CTV News Channel Thursday.
In fact, the only one of the three, which included Prince Charles' wife Camilla, who is probably good at shopping is Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, Kennedy said in an interview from London.
Kate lives with her husband Prince William in a Welsh village where he serves as a search-and-rescue pilot, but she has no domestic staff, he said.
"I think she's quite used to this and don't think the other two are very used to this at all," he said.
The three royals received luxury gift baskets from the tony store containing delicacies such as champagne truffles and dog biscuits.
The Queen is a noted corgi lover and Kate and William own a cocker spaniel puppy named Lupo.
Kate, Camilla and the Queen were all dressed in shades of blue for the appearance.
The Queen wore a pale blue outfit with a matching hat, while Camilla was dressed in a navy blue coat with white horizontal stripes at the top.
Kate was wearing a mid-blue, above-the-knee coat.
The appearance is part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations marking her 60 years on the throne, Kennedy said, noting the Fortnum & Mason store has been tempting the palates of the well-to-do in the country for more than 150 years.
The store is sending food packages to soldier posted overseas as part of the Jubilee celebrations, he said.
The store is also located in Piccadilly, a major street in central London running from Hyde Park Corner east to Piccadilly Circus, which is undergoing rejuvenation this year. The Queen unveiled a plaque as part of the event.
The appearance also garnered a lot of interest from the public. One of the main boulevards around Piccadilly was almost closed to traffic, while people lined the sidewalks waiting to get a glimpse of the trio, he said.
"It's such a rare event, of course, to see the Queen out in the public, but to see these three generations out there, it was really quite a big deal for people who were watching," he said.
The royals also stopped for tea with some of the store's staff, suppliers and former employees.