The royals choice of Grange is more important than their choice of jacket
While many of us might covet Kate Middleton’s wardrobe, Amii McKeever reflects that there are more important things to spend our money on - food being one.

Our Irish Country Living “royal correspondent for a week”, Odile Evans, was a little flummoxed following her journalistic posting to Grange last week to cover the visit of Prince William and his wife Kate (Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Sussex) to the Teagasc research centre. This bemusement was evident when she posted a query into our WhatsApp group: “With the monumental focus on what Kate was wearing, I am keen to share the William look – any ideas?”

The impact of this endorsement can be phenomenal for a retailer

You can read her rundown on the outfits of both the Duke and Duchess here. Although Odile was baffled by the interest shown by the media in relation to Kate’s outfit, there is probably not a clothes designer, boutique owner or boot manufacturer in the country that would not give their right arm and a leg to have the royals wear something that they made. The impact of this endorsement can be phenomenal for a retailer.

Fashion is big business in Ireland, employing an estimated 40,000 people

Although the royal family are not allowed to make political statements, Kate has often been judicious in the choice of her outfits. But perhaps disappointingly for some, the Duchess limited her Irish design choices for her visit here to “green” and Dubarry. Nice for Dubarry of course! Fashion is big business in Ireland, employing an estimated 40,000 people and we have a lot of homegrown talent.

Paul Costelloe who dressed Princess Diana several times benefited from the royal effect. And while Meghan Markle has chosen not to be a “royal” any longer, her choice of a Don O’Neill ballgown for a trip down under a few years ago did not do the Kerry native any harm.

As producers of high-quality food, it can be a bugbear that food can be so devalued in favour of less-important items, like clothes

While Kate does shop in the high street, a lot of her clothes are beyond the affordability factor for most of us. I like her style and, if I am honest, I often save pictures of her with the intention of “replicating” some of her clothing choices for myself in my own sewing room.

As producers of high-quality food, it can be a bugbear that food can be so devalued in favour of less-important items, like clothes for example other than the essentials. We all hear talk of the amount of money we spend on food as a percentage of our income and how that has decreased over the years. As we became wealthier the percentage of our income allotted to food has decreased.

With the negativity surrounding beef production currently, by choosing a visit to Grange, it was good to get a positive

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been a major factor in helping to bring down consumer food prices. The latest official data from the CSO (2017) shows that our spend, as a country, on clothing and footwear rose by almost 8% that year, compared with 2016, to €3.6bn. Food consumed in the home was just over double that amount at €7.8bn. With the negativity surrounding beef production currently, by choosing a visit to Grange, it was good to get a positive, globally covered endorsement, from the royal couple for our high-quality system.

With so much attention given to the clothes people wear and the way that women look, I want to call out the sentiments expressed by Irish hockey star, Katie Mullan, in our agri careers article this week.

At the recent Certified Irish Angus Schools competition she said that the Irish hockey team are constantly trying to “fight the battle of social media and body image”. They try to portray a strong healthy body as a positive and that “seeing girls with biceps is actually a good thing”.

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That is not how any industry should work

Laying the groundwork for more to follow