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Kate Says She Loves Playing With Her Children + Meghan Wears GOAT to BP Garden Party

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

It is Children's Hospice Week, and as she does every year, the Duchess of Cambridge has supported the effort. This year, she has done so via a letter of encouragement. Kensington Palace released the note along with a picture of the Duchess.  


Apparently, the theme of this year's hospice week is "Time's Short." According to Kate's letter, "[c]hildren and young people are sharing what they love most in life and reminding us of how precious time is for everyone."  She shared her own priorities, saying, "[s]pending quality time together is such an important aspect of family life and for me, as a mother, it is the simple family moments like playing outside together that I cherish."

We know Kate isn't paying lip service here. People often ask me what I think makes Kate tick, and I always reply, her family. There are regular complaints that Kate doesn't work enough, but at the end of the day, it is very clear that she prioritizes time with her kids. It is a difficult line to hold in the face of sometimes withering criticism of her work ethic. But maybe it is her work with hospices that reminds Kate when she goes home that her greatest treasure is her children, and her greatest blessing is their health and vitality. The majority of our favorite shots of Kate are of her playing with her kids, both because they are such sweet shots, but also because we are seeing where her heart is:


Switching gears to the photo. This looks like it is part of a set of photos, several of which we have already seen. First we saw the family photo they released as their 2017 Christmas card:


And then we caught a glimpse of this sweet shot of the couple in a thank-you frame they gifted while abroad in February:



I think we have actually seen this solo shot of Kate already, too, but sadly my brain is still on post-finals hiatus. [I'll tell you, the law can destroy in more ways than one. ;)]  I know one of you will remember and tell me in the comments! In any case, Kate is wearing the icy Catherine Walker she debuted on her first solo trip overseas. She wore this in the Netherlands for a series of engagements in  October of 2016.


I was very interested to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertake their first official engagement yesterday as a married couple. They attended a BP garden party celebrating Prince Charles' birthday and his work with his many patronages. Meghan really switched gears to royal style, opting for a customized dress from one of Kate's favorite labels, GOAT London. We've chatted about how Meghan's hats have been up and down, but she scored marvelously in this lovely topper from Philip Treacy, and for the first time ever, she was wearing stockings!


Can't wait to hear what you all think! 

New Official Wedding Photos + Hilarious Wedding Lip Reading

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Royal Family released three official wedding portraits from Harry and Meghan's wedding today. The first was an unusually relaxed photo that really surprised me. At first I was unsure, but it is objectively gorgeous, and after brief thought, I love that it matches their engagement photo. I hope they frame both next each other somewhere in their home.


The second two were the traditional shots you'd expect, including one with just the couple and their attendants...


And the second with the family.


A number have commented that Kate's smile looks a little strained, but she has probably been holding that smile a long time as the photographer tried to catch all the little ones looking in the right direction! 


I can't leave tonight without sharing this hilarious "lip reading" of Harry and William at the wedding. The facial expressions, especially at the end, are too perfect. I hope you laugh as hard as I have:




The Wedding of the Duke & Duchess of Sussex

Sunday, May 20, 2018

What a royal wedding we had yesterday! The springtime green, the bright sunshine, the stately stones of St. George's Chapel juxtaposed against the medieval wood frames of the surrounding buildings--it was an absolutely idyllic location for a girl from America to become a princess. Early yesterday morning a photographer reported he'd heard the dress would be Givenchy, and sure enough, when Meghan arrived at the church and stepped out of the car, she was wearing a simple but stunning Givenchy gown.


I loved this dress for Meghan. It really, really flattered her, and was in keeping with her pared down and more modern style, while still maintaining fashion oomph. Audrey Hepburn had a very close working relationship with Givenchy, and this dress seemed in that classic style profile.



There were some remarks that it was too plain, but Meghan is not the primary royal bride of this generation. That bride was Kate, whose dress had to carry the gravitas of a gown that will be displayed for years to come as that of a future Queen. Meghan got to go simpler and it suited her to perfection. I also loved the veil, which was very visibly trimmed with floral stitching that represented all fifty-three countries in the Commonwealth. What a stunning figure she cut on the steps!


The programs were printed ahead of time, of course, and still listed Thomas Markle as Meghan's escort up the aisle. Instead, the bride walked up to the Quire solo, in a scene that was very reminiscent of Maria von Trapp's wedding in The Sound of Music. 


Meghan was met at the entrance to the Quire by Prince Charles, who escorted her to the altar. I was happy that Charles stepped in. I think the father of the groom is the pretty obvious choice if there are no other significant male figures in the bride's life, and it was a nice way to give Charles a very special moment in his son's wedding. 


Harry is absolutely besotted, which is always a good thing. ;) Some people think he said, "you look stunning," instead of, "I'm so lucky." I don't have an opinion, but his smile speaks a universal language.



I thought the ceremony was a fabulous mix of the traditional pieces you'd expect at a royal wedding (The Lord Bless You and Keep You--you have to have John Rutter!), Meghan's personal touches (Stand By Me), and pieces that have become emotionally meaningful for the couple (Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Redeemer was also performed at Diana's funeral).


Meghan wore the Queen Mary Bandeau tiara, which she had on loan from the Queen. It is a stunning piece, and I thought its art deco decadence was a nice complement to her simple dress.
For many, the cellist's solo was their favorite of the musical moments throughout the ceremony. 
My favorite is generally when everyone sings God Save the Queen. There is something special about that moment, when you are singing the National Anthem and it also happens to be paying tribute to your grandmother, or your new grandmother-in-law.
A lot of people have asked, and the couple did bow to the Queen, but the cameras cut away just at the wrong moment.

Dave Seow

The couple obviously didn't have a balcony appearance, but they did give the crowd and the world a kiss on the steps before embarking on their carriage ride:



One of our fellow royal-watchers, Haley H, got a front-row view of Harry and Meghan along their carriage ride!! Haley's aunt took her to Windsor and the two were decked out in beautiful fascinators to wave to the newest member of the BRF...who waived right back.


Of course, I was waiting with baited breath for the bride, but also for her soon-to-be sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate arrived with her little ones and stepped out of the car beaming as she helped the little attendants up the stairs to the church.


There has been intense debate over what Kate wore. Some say she was recycling her McQueen coat-dress initially worn for Charlotte's christening, and again for Trooping the Colour, and a third time in Belgium. Others are positive it is a new coat in primrose yellow. I am not sure. There are discrepancies--some of the darting is a little different and the collar does appear to be more narrow. But, for the following reasons, I think it is a recycle.


First of all, KP claimed the dress was primrose yellow, and I think that is false. It appears cream to me. McQueen primrose yellow is a more obvious yellow, and Kate's coat still looks creamy white when pictured next to Charlotte. KP has given false information in the past and I think this is one of those occasions. Whether this is a brand new coat or her initial coat reworked might end up remaining a mystery. Because I believe the color is cream and that any yellow hues are a result of the yellow flowers in the hat drawing the yellow from the cream color, and because the darting that is different is around the bust--where one would expect alteration--I think the coat was likely reworked.


I generally do not think that Kate wears clothes to deliberately deflect attention, but a recycle (or if you believe this is new, a "style recycle" certainly) to Meghan's wedding was very likely driven by a desire to stay well out of the bride's limelight. Contrary to some of the criticism I have heard, there appears to be no ban on shades of white for those attending British weddings, as there is in the United States. Given the fact that Meghan chose stark white rather than a cream color, I think Kate was doubly safe in her choice. [I love this shot where everyone is distracted by this and that, but Doria has her eyes glued on her daughter--a brand new duchess]



Kate was wearing new Kiki McDonough earrings, and a ring that looks like it matches the earrings. A note on this picture--although Kate arrived with George, Charlotte and several other children, the Cambridges departed as a family. Also, notice that George has his initials sticked on his shoulder.


Running through some of the guests, Pippa and her husband James were there. Pippa chose a Fold London dress. I heard a few weeks ago that Pippa was invited to the wedding, but not the Frogmore reception. I hope that is inaccurate, but I haven't heard confirmation one way or the other this morning.


Mike, Carole, and James Middleton were also there. Carole always hits the spot at these events. I don't know who she wore, but she likes Catherine Walker a lot, and this looks in that style profile.


Other guests included Harry's exes Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy, celebrities George and Amal Clooney, Oprah, the cast of Suits (obviously), and various members of the royal family. It was an eclectic mix. Some were personal connections, but I think others were obviously invited with an eye toward potential charity alliances in the future. [I am a closet Amal Clooney fan, although this ensemble disappointed me a little]


Kate fans will be pleased to see that Rebecca Deacon and her husband were invited. Remember, she got her start working for William and Harry before she became Kate's PA.


The 600 guests all had the opportunity to congratulate the couple at a reception hosted at the castle directly after the service (and Harry and Meghan's carriage ride). Harry and Meghan's stunning lemon and elderflower cake was on display in baroque gold bowels--a touch that really made the beautiful cake stand out even more.


It wasn't until later in the evening that Meghan and Harry departed to Frogmore House for their more intimate reception to which only 200 guests were invited. Meghan debuted her second wedding dress. Unlike Kate, who chose McQueen for both her ceremony gown and her evening dress, Meghan opted for a new designer, tapping Stella McCartney for this sexy halter-neck.



Meghan was also sporting a ring that belonged to Princess Diana, which appears to be Harry's gift to his new bride. Asprey London created the piece in 1997 and the company's social profilees were in overdrive last night sharing the exciting news:



Asprey's IG also shared this picture of Diana wearing the ring:



Later in the night, fireworks were seen above Frogmore House, as the couple continued to celebrate with friends late into the evening. 

It was a beautiful wedding. Perfect weather, a beautiful bride and a handsome prince, a stunning church and snazzy guests. Kate looked beautiful, but certainly didn't steal any headlines wearing an ensemble that we've seen so many times already. I am disappointed that we didn't get any picture of Kate in her evening gown, but that isn't surprising given the wedding venue was a walled castle and the reception such a private venue--tough to get a snap. If anything surfaces, I will let you know. In the meantime, congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!




Meghan Markle Arrives at St. Georges in Givenchy

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I am going to have to do a full post, but for the moment, the wedding is underway! The bride chose Givenchy and I love her veil! She is wearing a little worn bandeau tiara on loan from the Queen. 

This sweet moment will certainly be a fan favorite.