Charlotte keen on ballet after ‘little introduction’, Duchess of Cambridge says

Princess Charlotte has a keen interest in ballet after being given a “little introduction” by a member of the Royal Opera House.

The Duchess of Cambridge mentioned three-year-old Charlotte’s interest as she thanked a member of the Royal Opera House for giving her daughter “a little introduction” – adding “lucky her”, and saying that Charlotte has been “so keen ever since”.

Review of the Year – Young Royals
Review of the Year – Young Royals

Dressed in a magenta Oscar de la Renta jacket and skirt, which retails for £2,700, with a black Aspinal of London bag, Kate spent two hours at the Royal Opera House’s costume department on Wednesday.

According to royal staff, the duchess is passionate about learning more on textiles and costume design due to her family history – Kate’s great-great grandfather ran the family’s successful textile manufacturing company, Francis Martineau Lupton, in Leeds.

Her visit is expected to be the first of many relating to the industry.

Duchess of Cambridge visit to the Royal Opera House
Duchess of Cambridge visit to the Royal Opera House

Principal dancers from The Royal Ballet, Lauren Cuthbertson, Laura Morera, Vadim Muntagirov and Thomas Mock, met the duchess to explain how their costumes work as they perform, before she watched a rehearsal of the Two Pigeons ballet, which premieres on Friday.

Ms Morera shared a laugh with Kate as she explained her excitement at fitting into a costume she had first worn when she graduated from the Royal Ballet School in 1995, saying: “It was rewarding as a woman.”

Later, the duchess asked the dancers if they “like having the feeling of structure” in their costumes, to which Ms Cuthbertson quipped: “I like to have as much stretch as possible!”

Duchess of Cambridge visit to the Royal Opera House
Duchess of Cambridge visit to the Royal Opera House

Kate also commented on the build of the dancers, saying: “I was asking if the men’s costumes had shoulder pads and they said ‘no they don’t need them’,” adding that after seeing the dancers the reply now “makes more sense”.

Artists from The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera House use up to 10,000 costumes each year.

The costumes department is responsible for storing and refurbishing opera and ballet costumes, some dating back to 1861. Many of these are used time and time again, with the entire refurbishment of a costume taking the workroom around 1,500 hours.

Duchess of Cambridge visit to the Royal Opera House
Duchess of Cambridge visit to the Royal Opera House

During her visit the duchess also visited the pattern room, where she was shown the process of working and creating costumes for a new production with designers, including sourcing fabrics and samples.

The duchess was then shown the dye shop, where staff showcased different techniques including dyeing, hand-painting, staining garments and digital printing which allows the team to reproduce historic fabrics no longer available.

Duchess of Cambridge visit to the Royal Opera House
Duchess of Cambridge visit to the Royal Opera House

As designers explained the process of creating each costume, Kate said: “It’s wonderful to see the detail and the skill set involved.”

She added the team were “so talented” and the costumes were “amazing”.