Kate Middleton is radiant in mint green custom-made gown at Buckingham Palace garden party

The Duchess of Cambridge was delighted to be reunited with an old friend as she and her husband, Prince William, stood in for the Queen at today’s Buckingham Palace garden party.

Kate made a beeline for Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg, 92, whom she has met twice previously, most recently talking to him over video call last year to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Mr Goldberg, who was with his wife of 61 years, Shary, was a German-born Jew sent to the ghetto, forced labour camps and eventually Stutthof concentration camp near Gdansk in Poland by the Nazis when he was just 14. His younger brother, Herman, was murdered there.

Catching sight of the couple, Kate – elegant in a green flowing dress, made by her private dress maker, with a matching hat and sheltering under an umbrella – broke into a broad smile and clasped his hand.

‘Manfred,’ she beamed, ‘it’s so lovely to see you again. How are you? When I saw your name on the guest list I thought ‘yes!’ I am so happy to see you! How have you been?’

The Duchess of Cambridge was delighted to be reunited with an old friend Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg, 92, as she and her husband, Prince William, stood in for the Queen at today’s Buckingham Palace garden party

The Duchess of Cambridge was delighted to be reunited with an old friend Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg, 92, as she and her husband, Prince William, stood in for the Queen at today’s Buckingham Palace garden party 

Kate, who last wore her custom-made dress for Prince Charles investiture anniversary in March 2019, paired the look with matching accessories

Kate, who last wore her custom-made dress for Prince Charles investiture anniversary in March 2019, paired the look with matching accessories 

The Duchess of Cambridge has met with Manfred on a number of occasions in the past (pictured in July 2017 in Poland)

The Duchess of Cambridge has met with Manfred on a number of occasions in the past (pictured in July 2017 in Poland) 

She referred to a recent project he took part in organised by the Prince of Wales where he, alongside other Holocaust survivors, had his portrait painted.

‘Since I saw you last you’ve had your portrait painted. How was it? ‘

Chatting warmly with the elderly man and his wife she said: ‘I think everyone has missed coming out and enjoying things like this. ‘

Afterwards Mr Goldberg who was liberated in 1945 and came to England where he married and went on to have four children and 12 grandchildren, joked of having met the duchess: ‘These are some of the perks granted to us as a consequence!’

Despite the weather in London, the mother-of-three was in high spirits and could be seen beaming as she chatted to attendees of the garden party

Despite the weather in London, the mother-of-three was in high spirits and could be seen beaming as she chatted to attendees of the garden party 

The Holocaust survivor, 92, who shares a close friendship with the Duchess of Cambridge  

Manfred, 90, who was born in Kassel, central Germany, in April 1930, was three years old when the Nazis came to power, nine when the war broke out and 11 years old when he was sent to the camps, along with his mother and younger brother, Herman.

His father had escaped to England just two weeks previously and was unable to reach his family.

Manfred and his family were initially deported from Germany to the brutal Riga Ghetto in Latvia. 

In August 1943, just three months before the ghetto was finally liquidated, Manfred was sent to a nearby labour camp where he was forced to work laying railway tracks, before being moved again to Stutthof the following year.

He spent more than eight months as a slave worker there, as well as Stolp and Burggraben. The camp was abandoned just days before the war ended and Manfred and other prisoners were sent on a death march in appalling conditions, before he was finally liberated at Neustadt in Germany on 3 May 1945. 

Some of the nation's last remaining Holocaust survivors were hailed by Prince Charles last night as he unveiled portraits commissioned as a lasting reminder of the horrors of the Nazi regime, including Manfred Goldberg

Some of the nation's last remaining Holocaust survivors were hailed by Prince Charles last night as he unveiled portraits commissioned as a lasting reminder of the horrors of the Nazi regime, including Manfred Goldberg

 Manfred, 90, who was born in Kassel, central Germany, in April 1930, was three years old when the Nazis came to power, nine when the war broke out and 11 years old when he was sent to the camps, along with his mother and younger brother, Herman

Zigi and Manfred met one another at the concentration camp and are pictured at Lensterhoff, Germany in 1945 after surviving Stutthoff in Poland

Zigi and Manfred met one another at the concentration camp and are pictured at Lensterhoff, Germany in 1945 after surviving Stutthoff in Poland 

After meeting in the concentration camps, Manfred and Zigi have remained friends for years and have continued to share their stories to educate younger people about the Holocaust

After meeting in the concentration camps, Manfred and Zigi have remained friends for years and have continued to share their stories to educate younger people about the Holocaust 

The Duchess of Cambridge first met Manfred and Zigi while visiting the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland in 2017 alongside the Duke

The Duchess of Cambridge first met Manfred and Zigi while visiting the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland in 2017 alongside the Duke 

Holocaust survivor Zigi and his friend Manfred spoke with Kate Middleton during a video call which was released last year (pictured)

Holocaust survivor Zigi and his friend Manfred spoke with Kate Middleton during a video call which was released last year (pictured) 

Manfred explained that his own life – he was 13 when his brother was killed – was spared as he was able to work in the camps.

As Jewish schools in Germany were closed in 1938, he told the duchess that he had no education for seven years but came to England and had a ‘wonderful’ life.

In the UK Manfred managed to catch up on some of his missed education and he eventually graduated from London University with a degree in Electronics. He and his wife, Shary, have four sons and 12 grandchildren.

He met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they visited Stutthof, in Poland, in 2017. 

Last year, he spoke to Kate Middleton about his experiences in the camp alongside fellow survivor Zigi. 

‘That is what saved my life. I was always fairly strong for my age. 

‘We were facing a selection which meant shuffling along single file until we faced an SS man who would say “left or right”. 

‘And by that time we knew that left meant death today, right meant survive until the next selection at least,’ he recalled.

‘I was sent to those to be spared, my mother was sent to those to be murdered. And she resourcefully managed – it was miraculous.

‘As I shuffled forwards the man behind me whispered to me, “if they ask you your age say you are 17”. In fact I had just passed my 14th birthday. But as he primed me and he [the SS man] did ask me that question and I said 17.

‘I have pondered on it, but I will never know [whether] that man saved my life. I never saw him again. He was behind me, I don’t know which way he was sent. He’s in my thoughts, as my angel who primed me. 

‘I don’t think I would have had the resource myself to say 17. But possibly that helped save my life.’

He told Kate: ‘Well, I know that many survivors have not had a peaceful night’s sleep, many even to this day. Invariably they have nightmares.

‘I was really very lucky, perhaps one in a million, who had both parents alive after the war. All of my friends, including my friend Zigi, none of them had two parents alive. I had a home life.’

As Jewish schools in Germany were closed in 1938, he told the duchess that he had no education for seven years but came to England and had a ‘wonderful’ life.

‘I must tell you in all honesty that when I arrived in this country in 1946 I did not dream in my lifetime I would ever have the privilege of seeing, never mind connecting, with royalty.

 ‘It confirms to me that I will never appreciate fully how lucky I was to be admitted to live my life in this country in freedom, ‘ he explained emotionally.

‘My life really began when I arrived here when I was 16 years old. I didn’t know the meaning of life.‘

The Duchess shared a sweet moment with Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg at the unveiling of Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust

The Duchess shared a sweet moment with Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg at the unveiling of Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust

Camilla posed with Holocaust survivors Zigi Shipper and Manfred as their portraits were unveiled on Monday as part of an exhibition to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Camilla posed with Holocaust survivors Zigi Shipper and Manfred as their portraits were unveiled on Monday as part of an exhibition to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

 

His wife said: ‘She is so sweet.’

Mr Goldberg continued: ‘It is such an honour to be here. Undreamt of when I arrived here as a 16-year-old. She admires the work I have been doing for many years now. I have come to the firm conclusion that hearing testimony from a survivor is one of the most effective ways of educating people into understanding that silence is all that’s needed for evil to triumph.

‘I have a power point which I use in in talks and the most effective image is an enough pile of shoes. This photograph was taken by a Russian soldier after liberation and I ask people to visualise that each pair of shoes belongs to one person to had gone to the gas chamber. People agree that is one of the most effective ways of trying to understand the magnitude of evil we are talking about. ‘

The first time he met Kate was in 2017 when he returned to Stutthof for the first time since the war and she and Prince William were visiting to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, as well as the survivors.

He recalled how the duchess was so moved that she ‘wiped away a tear from her eye’.

The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a mint green gown as she joined Prince William, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Beatrice to step in for the Queen to host a garden party at Buckingham Palace today

The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a mint green gown as she joined Prince William, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Beatrice to step in for the Queen to host a garden party at Buckingham Palace today

It's raining cats and dogs! The Duchess sheltered beneath a pretty white parasol at she arrived at the garden party this afternoon in the drizzel

It's raining cats and dogs! The Duchess sheltered beneath a pretty white parasol at she arrived at the garden party this afternoon in the drizzel

It’s raining cats and dogs! The Duchess sheltered beneath a pretty white parasol at she arrived at the garden party this afternoon in the drizzel 

Time for tea! The Duke and Duchess both appeared in high spirits as they stepped in to host the garden party for the Queen earlier this afternoon

Time for tea! The Duke and Duchess both appeared in high spirits as they stepped in to host the garden party for the Queen earlier this afternoon

Time for tea! The Duke and Duchess both appeared in high spirits as they stepped in to host the garden party for the Queen earlier this afternoon

Crowds appeared in high spirits at the event, despite the pouring rain in London, with many sheltering beneath umbrellas as they awaited the arrival of the royal family

Crowds appeared in high spirits at the event, despite the pouring rain in London, with many sheltering beneath umbrellas as they awaited the arrival of the royal family 

He also clasped his wife’s hand lovingly and said: ‘The best day of my life was when she did me the honour of saying yes.’

Around 8,000 people thronged the gardens at Buckingham Palace yesterday for the last of the three annual garden parties thrown by the Queen to thank the unsung heroes of communities up and down the country, as well as members of the diplomatic service, military and church.

Also in the royal party were the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Beatrice and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

Prince William, smart in a top hat and morning suit, repeatedly apologised for the rain as the heavens opened.

‘Sorry about the weather,’ he sighed.

And he chatted to dozens of visitors, discussing everything from how maths wasn’t his strong point at school to the charity work they undertook, as people lined his route desperate to grab a picture.

The Countess of Wessex spoken to Mencap worker Lesley McCormack, 38, from Liverpool, who went above and beyond during the pandemic making sure clients and fellow staff were ok – even visiting people on Christmas Day.

Princess Beatrice was also in attendance at the event, where she wore a pretty checkered dress and a headband as she chatted to attendees

Princess Beatrice was also in attendance at the event, where she wore a pretty checkered dress and a headband as she chatted to attendees

Princess Beatrice was also in attendance at the event, where she wore a pretty checkered dress and a headband as she chatted to attendees 

The crowds appeared in high spirits, despite the rainy weather in London earlier this afternoon, and quickly gathered to speak to the royals

The crowds appeared in high spirits, despite the rainy weather in London earlier this afternoon, and quickly gathered to speak to the royals 

The Duke of Cambridge shared a smile with a group of attendees as they chatted at the garden party at Buckingham Palace

The Duke of Cambridge shared a smile with a group of attendees as they chatted at the garden party at Buckingham Palace 

Crowds were quick to gather around the royal couple, despite the downpour, who stood and chatted with attendees (left, Prince William, and right, Kate Middleton)

Crowds were quick to gather around the royal couple, despite the downpour, who stood and chatted with attendees (left, Prince William, and right, Kate Middleton)

Despite the rainy weather, the Duke of Cambridge appeared in good spirits and beamed as he chatted with attendees of the event today

Despite the rainy weather, the Duke of Cambridge appeared in good spirits and beamed as he chatted with attendees of the event today 

She said: ‘It was an absolute shock to get the invitation. I did what I did instinctively. But what an honour it was. I just had no idea what to say to her [Sophie].’ 

The annual garden parties, which are held between Buckingham Palace and Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, are a way for the monarch to celebrate and reward those who have distinguished themselves in public service. They require the royal hosts to spend more than an hour on their feet as they make their way through the crowd. 

The Queen, who will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee next week, is increasingly relying on senior royals including Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William to stand in her stead at high profile engagements.

However she has made a number of appearances over the past week – including visiting the Royal Chelsea Flower Show and opening the Elizabeth Line. 

The Countess of Wessex donned a baby blue gown for the occasion

The Countess of Wessex, who donned a baby blue gown for the occasion, could be seen chatting to guests about the weather amid the drizzling rain

The Countess of Wessex, who donned a baby blue gown for the occasion, could be seen chatting to guests about the weather amid the drizzling rain 

Meanwhile Prince William appeared dapper in a black top hat and tails as he wandered across the lawn to speak to attendees at the event

Meanwhile Prince William appeared dapper in a black top hat and tails as he wandered across the lawn to speak to attendees at the event 

A typical spring day! One group sheltered beneath two umbrellas as the rain poured down on the Buckingham Palace lawn earlier today

A typical spring day! One group sheltered beneath two umbrellas as the rain poured down on the Buckingham Palace lawn earlier today 

The Duchess last wore the mint green gown for Prince Charles’ investiture anniversary in March 2019, when she paired it with nude accessories.

Today, she swept her hair, which had been carefully styled into loose waves, behind her shoulders and opted for a matching fascinator for the garden party.

Meanwhile she kept her makeup neutral, with a sweep of eyeliner and a touch of blusher on her cheeks.

Kate was joined by Sophie Wessex at the event, who also repeated an outfit from a previous event.

The Countess opted for a stunning blue midi gown by designer Emilia Wickstead, which she previously wore to Ascot. 

Meanwhile Princess Beatrice wore a pretty cap-sleeved tan coloured midi dress for the occasion, which she paired with a matching headband. 

It is the first time the garden parties have been held since 2019 after they were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Buckingham Palace released a statement last month revealing the Queen would not attend the annual events but did not offer an explanation. 

Speaking on the absence, royal expert Angela Levin said: ‘It’s a good decision for the Queen not to attend garden parties as there would be too much standing. What a shame though.’

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by the Earl and Countess of Wessex for the event earlier today, and stood on the steps of Buckingham Palace during a rendition of God Save the Queen

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by the Earl and Countess of Wessex for the event earlier today, and stood on the steps of Buckingham Palace during a rendition of God Save the Queen

Guests were left sheltering beneath umbrellas at the event as London suffered a downpouring of rainy showers

Guests were left sheltering beneath umbrellas at the event as London suffered a downpouring of rainy showers 

It is the first time the garden parties have been held since 2019 after they were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic - with many attendees sheltering beneath umbrellas for the occasion

It is the first time the garden parties have been held since 2019 after they were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic – with many attendees sheltering beneath umbrellas for the occasion 

The annual Buckingham Palace garden parties, started in the 1860s by Queen Victoria, are a way of recognising and rewarding public service and see people from all walks of life enjoy high tea on the lawn to the sounds of a military band

The annual Buckingham Palace garden parties, started in the 1860s by Queen Victoria, are a way of recognising and rewarding public service and see people from all walks of life enjoy high tea on the lawn to the sounds of a military band

Guests gathered on the lawn of Buckingham Palace despite the intermittent showers in London this afternoon

Guests gathered on the lawn of Buckingham Palace despite the intermittent showers in London this afternoon 

The annual Buckingham Palace garden parties, started in the 1860s by Queen Victoria, are a way of recognising and rewarding public service and see people from all walks of life enjoy high tea on the lawn to the sounds of a military band.

Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the parties. At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed.

For the occasion men are asked to wear morning dress or lounge suits while women are invited to wear a ‘day dress, usually with hats or fascinators’.

Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the parties. At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed

Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the parties. At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed

Three garden parties will be held at Buckingham Palace in May, followed by a party at Holyroodhouse in August

Three garden parties will be held at Buckingham Palace in May, followed by a party at Holyroodhouse in August

Three garden parties will be held at Buckingham Palace in May, followed by a party at Holyroodhouse in August. 

This year there was also a ‘Not Forgotten Association Annual Garden Party’ which took place on May 12 and was hosted by Princess Anne, who is patron of the charity.

The Not Forgotten Association provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for ex-service men and women with disabilities.

The Garden Party for the organisation, which will also be held at Buckingham Palace, will bring together more than 2,000 beneficiaries of all ages and from all services.

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