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[Full] Kate in Carolina Herrera at St. Paul's Cathedral

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I remember the morning I woke (before dawn) and opened my news feed to find it filled with pictures of a high-rise engulfed in flames. In a year that felt like it had more than its fair share of tragedy and death, the Grenfell Tower blaze still seared itself into a place of prominence in the public consciousness. 

Today, William, Kate, Harry joined Charles and Camilla and a collection of celebrities at St. Paul's for a National Service of Remembrance with families and friends of the 71 victims killed that dark night. 
It would be hard not to be moved by the plight of the victims, but Kate was just at a Christmas party for children and families of the Grenfell Tower on Tuesday, so the reality of the horror and the lives that have been affected by loss, are even more concrete for her.

The royals had the opportunity to talk with survivors and family members:
There is no doubt that some of my favorite royal events are at St. Paul's or Westminster. These churches are such beautiful environments, whether celebrating, grieving, or comforting. 

Anytime Kate has a memorial service or a formal church event like this, she always hits the right note with color and construction. This ensemble was no different. The Duchess chose a navy Carolina Herrera coat that features a stand-up collar and pleated sides, plus the front buttons that Kate favors so much. 

When I saw the first picture I thought for a brief moment that Kate had altered her gorgeous blue McQueen from Armed Forces Day in 2011. This ensemble reminded me of a mix between that coat and her blue Beulah for the Afghanistan service.

The Queen Letizia Style blog shared on Twitter that the Spanish princesses have Carolina Herrera coats that are close to Kate's, which I thought was really cute! (You probably remember the red coat from Canada, it was Kate's first full House of Herrera ensemble!)

Kate's floppy hat has caused some waves, and split the fashionistas. I am breaking toward win on this. It took me off guard at first, but I don't think it is so floppy that it is inappropriately casual. It is certainly an unusual look for Kate, but variety, as they say, is the spice of life. (It's very Blake Lively, don't you think?)

Right now, this hat is a UFO, but it is very similar to her Tiffany hat (below), which is Lock & Co. However, her disc hat from the Afghanistan service (above), which could also be by the same designer, is Jane Taylor. Time will tell, I suspect. 

Kate finished her ensemble with her sapphire and diamond drops, her Cornelia James gloves, her L.K. Bennett Frome clutch, and Georgia Jimmy Choos.

Kate has such an unusual role. Global goodwill ambassador, representative of Great Britain, Princess of the United Kingdom, fashion icon, and sometimes mourner-in-chief. Today, she wore so many of these very different "hats" simultaneously as she represented her royal family, presented a polished and regal appearance, and brought her natural warmth and empathy to the sorrowing. Although it can be a hard line to walk, Kate does it adeptly and in so doing really shows the part that royalty plays at its best.

Kate Repeats Her Sparkly Séraphine for Grenfell Tower Families

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Today the Duchess of Cambridge attended a Christmas party for children affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. The party was hosted by the Rugby Portobello Trust, a charity in Kensington that has been working to support children and families from Grenfell. A week ago I said that if Kate stayed true to form for Christmas parties, she'd wear red. Kate got close, but skewed on the dark side of the red family in her purple maternity coat from Séraphine.

The Grenfell Tower burned in June of this year after a fire broke out on the fourth floor and quickly accelerated, trapping residents in the upper floors and engulfing the complex in fames. Tragically, 71 people were killed. A National Memorial Service will be held at St. Paul's on the 14th, and William, Harry, and Kate will all be at that event.

Princess Kate arrives @RugbyPortobello for a Christmas party with kids and families affected by Grenfell Tower tragedy six months ago — Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) December 12, 2017

Thursday will be (understandably) very somber, but today's spirit is much lighter as the Duchess played the special guest with a touch of St. Nick, too, as she handed out gifts.

According to Kensington Palace, the Rugby Portobello Trust runs a variety of support programs including homework clubs, and social and sport outlets, and even help with tuition.

During her visit, Kate visited some of the ongoing music workshops run by the charity. Here we have another peek at the black dress Kate has on underneath her coat. 

My favorite moment of the visit came when Kate set the table with the help of some of the little ones.

I love that they had Christmas Crackers for this party. I suspect most everyone is familiar with these, but if you aren't, they are the absolute best holiday table accessory. You pull them open by the tabs, and they pop/crack as they split apart (I am sure George loves these). Inside, there is generally a paper crown, a little joke or a riddle, and a little trinket in the form of a miniature game or toy. They add a lot of festive excitement to the dinner table. You can find them at most home goods stores around this time of year--World Market carries them, and the Middletons' Party Pieces company is selling a number of cute designs including reindeer crackers. I was just looking them over yesterday... :) 


Kate closed off her visit by presenting the centre with a thank-you letter for all the hard work the organization accomplishes. Victoria Murphy shared this video on Twitter:

Kate chose to recycle for this event and wore the tweedy maternity coat she first debuted on her chilly evening arrival at the Carlyle in New York.  I think this is one of Kate's most popular maternity looks thus far, and social media is pleased as punch to see it back again.

Because this is a party for people who experienced one of 2017 most notable tragedies (as large as that number has been, regrettably), it provided a bit of a style challenge. Kate hit the mark with this rich aubergine tweed shot through with sparkle thread. It's a nice balance, after all, despite the tragedy, today's event is a party, not a funeral.

Kate carried her Bayswater clutch from Mulberry and wore her new Tod's pumps, but I am most excited to see her wearing her Asprey Button Pendant earrings. These earrings are a relatively new addition to Kate's closet...

...but they match her necklace which the Duchess has been wearing for many years. Below, Kate wears it to the Savory wedding in 2010.

This is a big win for me. As a number of you have mentioned, at this stage in her pregnancy, Kate really does need to wear maternity coats instead of trying to make larger sizes of other outerwear pieces work. This coat is so flattering on Kate and gave her polished and festive look for this sweet event. Choosing the Asprey earrings, which feature a small center amethyst surrounded by diamonds, was the perfect choice to match the coat and add sparkle. This look was perfect from tip to toe.

Earlier this morning, Kensington Palace tweeted this clip of teh Duke and Duchess receiving the Blue Peter badge for their workin mental health. As one commenter remarked on Twitter, the two seem genuinely delighted ot receive the honor:

A final comment, I have posted another Kate's Clothes Quiz on my Instagram Stories. It will expire tonight at 6pm EST. Run and test your Kate Credentials before it disappears!

Kate in GOAT's Elodie & L.K. Bennett's Delli in Manchester

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

William and Kate made a joint appearance today as the couple attended the Children's Global Media Summit in Manchester. By the looks of the photos, they had a grand time. 

The Duchess of Cambridge arrived wearing a houndstooth patterned coat from L.K. Bennett. Apparently Donna Air has been pictured wearing the same coat, so perhaps Kate took some style inspiration from her? 

The coat is L.K. Bennett's Delli Check, and the Duchess paired it with another new dress from GOAT London! When I said this would be the GOAT London pregnancy, even I didn't realize Kate would take it this far. But this choice has delighted me. Notice the Elodie's darling "gathered funnel collar," and pleated sleeves.  Just enough sweet detailing to make this simple dress flirty and fun. 

She pulled the two pieces together with black stockings and accessories (her Tod's pumps and Bayswater clutch), and added a hint of sparkle with Mappin & Webb's Empress earrings. 

A video of Kate greeting little fans:

William revealed that prince George played the sheep in his school's nativity play, which sparked a million jokes about Love, Actually and the lobster. Doubtless a humble role, but hey, at least the lamb was at the nativity, which cannot be said of the lobster. I am sure George's costume was tons of fun to wear, too. Below is a picture of Prince Harry playing a shepherd when he was a little guy. I don't think we will see photos of George, but maybe someday they will be shared as historical shots.

Recently, William has been focusing quite a bit on cyber bullying, and the Duke gave a speech today about the concerns he feels as a parent surveying the digital landscape in which we now live. I hope William encourages parents to limit digital technology to their children even more, so that the young minds of the next generation can develop and form by interacting first and foremost with the natural world. Apparently, both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates limited their children's access to digital devices because of the impact digital devices can have on mental development, which I think is very interesting. I am glad William is shining the spotlight on this area, because it is such a crucial concern for society. You can read his speech here

The verdict on Kate is definitely a win! The berry Elodie was sweet and fun and looked great paired with her black stockings, and I also enjoyed that she wore a chic coat, too. We got two separate looks today, which was a real treat. 

This is, I think, the last of the abridged posts as I am about to wrap up those deadlines I had. :) Looking forward to getting backing the swing of things here on the blog. On another personal note, prayers to all of you in southern California. I know it has been a harrowing and horrifying 48 hours, and that the winds are picking up again tonight. I am praying so hard for you, for the firefighters, and for your homes. 

Kate In A New Evening Gown for Diplomatic Reception

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Good evening all! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace this evening. It's the annual royal tease-fest, when we get just enough of a peek at the fancy clothes and glittering diamonds to whet our appetite, but not enough to satisfy. Oh well. Better than nothing! 

Kate's tiara, the Lover's Knot, has been her signature piece for several years now. It is an absolutely stunning tiara and Kate loves pearls, so it is a great choice in and of itself. Nevertheless, I think the connection to Diana, who made this tiara famous, plays a part in Kate's decision to make it her tiara, too. To me it is her subtle way of embracing her role as the future Princess of Wales. It is a very substantial and regal piece, with so much glamour and history. By wearing it so proudly, Kate seems to confidently embrace her role in the royal continuum, and the glamor and history she will write in her chapter. I really love that she wears this tiara!

Kate is wearing a new evening gown, which we can't see much of (per usual with the Diplomatic Reception), but it looks in lock step with Kate's preferences. Unlike her last bejeweled dress, though, this one looks like something I might really like. I hope it is an Empire waist with a flowing and airy chiffon skirt... Whatever it is, the pristine white with the sparkling diamond necklace (on loan from HM!) and her Collingwood Pearl earrings, I am sure she was absolutely striking tonight. 
You all have been asking about Pippa lately, well we got a bunch of pictures today. Pippa is an ambassador for the British Heart Foundation, and she was recently at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children as part of the Christmas appeal. She looks fantastic, and although I am not always on board with her ensembles, I love this skirt and turtleneck!

Seeing her in these photos reminds me how much I have missed seeing the Middletons around. It's been a quiet fall with Kate under the weather and down for the count. (Ring alert belong!)

Tonight was Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund Carol Concert, and Harry, Pippa, and Carole Middleton all attended, as they do most years. Obviously, William and Kate were otherwise occupied, but even when the Cambridges don't have the Diplomatic Reception, we haven't seen Kate at this Christmas staple in so many years. I love it for the opportunity to see Carole and Pippa, but...I do miss the old days. You can see pictures of the guests here

Comment Section Malfunction

Monday, December 4, 2017

I've been getting the emails and the messages that we've hit the 200 mark in the comment section, which means further comments won't load. I know it is very frustrating. Unfortunately, it is a problem that Blogger has had for a while, and there isn't much I can do about it. Disabling the thread feature would fix it (I hear), but that's just messy and makes it difficult to follow different conversations. Ultimately, despite the trouble it can be to get used to at first, I should probably switch us to a 3rd party platform. I will likely do that sometime this month. Until then...bear with me! 

Kate Spotted at King's Cross + Meghan Markle's First Public Engagement in Nottingham

Friday, December 1, 2017

As Harry and Meghan made their way to Nottingham this morning for Meghan's first public engagement with her prince, the Duchess of Cambridge was pictured arriving at King's Cross in London. The Duchess was keeping the chilly morning weather at bay in her new tartan coat (just debuted on Wednesday as she was pictured leaving Kensington Palace with her mom) and carried her Mulberry Polly Push Lock satchel.  

Although the Daily Mail didn't really have any details, it appeared Kate was meeting someone at the station that she knew. The third picture above shows her spotting and reacting to something, likely someone. In any event, she wore this Iris and Ink turtleneck to a Cub Scout meeting in December of last year:

Reader Cepe has told me that Prince William flew into Norfolk yesterday and the current guess is that the couple are likely taking off for Anmer Hall. In years passed, Kate has been pictured shopping in the little villages near her country home before Christmas, and most years the Cambridges have enjoyed taking their children to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. Maybe all that gardening earlier in the week got Kate itching to get back to the country. She might also be planning to host Meghan Markle at her home over the Christmas holiday and therefore off to decorate and prepare? Hard to say. 

Daily Mail

Speaking of Meghan Markle... As Meghan carries out her first official engagement with Prince Harry today, many are pointing to Kate's visit to Anglesey in 2011 as her first royal appearance. But, Kate made her first public engagement as a royal-fiancée in Norfolk at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular on December 18, 2010.  

Meghan's debut is certainly faster than Kate's was, and certainly more "real engagement" than Kate's early forays, but that might have something to do with the fact that Harry is older now than William was when he got engaged. When William got engaged, both boys were still pursuing their "other" careers, and obviously now Harry has transitioned toward charity work. I don't think it is odd that they would make a public appearance so soon, and that it would be a full fledged public engagement.

Turning to Nottingham today... Used to Canadian winters, Meghan Markle wrapped up for her first day of official engagements in a Mackage coat, and wore a maxi skirt from Joseph underneath. The happy couple were super hands on throughout the day, which made for some great photos! 

I really enjoyed watching Kate on her first walkabouts, so I have pulled together video of Meghan doing her first royal walkabout! It is so interesting to hear an American accent in this context!  

And a quick photo of the couple with their coats off:

William and Kate have added a new engagement on the 6th, and I will keep an eye out for any further confirmation about Kate's trip. 

[Updated] Princess Kate in Barbour at Robin Hood Primary School

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kate made a visit to Robin Hood Primary School today to see the fruits of the students' participation in the Royal Horticultural Society's Campaign for School Gardening in London. It called for a casual and ensemble and Kate put together some absolute favorites for a really winning ensemble.

The Duchess is wearing a Barbour jacket and her Temperley London Honeycomb sweater. She has this sweater in cream and black, and it is one of her classics, and my favorites. This black one paired with soft, black skinnies and her Penelope Chilvers boots is the perfect classic casual Kate. The princess really loves those Lauren Leaf earrings from Kiki McDonough, and she is wearing them here today.

This video by Rebecca English is from the back where the press must have been standing, but you can hear Kate's remarks quite clearly, as she tells students her fond memories gardening and the skills she is trying to pass on to George and Charlotte. We did hear a few years ago that Kate grew potatoes and other vegetables at Anmer Hall, and it is fun to imagine them all in such a normal and down-to-earth (literally) environment. 

A birthday celebration, which this was, of sorts, demands cake. I am just going to admit that I follow a million different cake decorators and wedding planners because I love cake decorating. I never do it myself, but I dream about it. Someday... Based upon my extensive "knowledge" of the industry, this shabby chic cake is super en vogue. :)  I love the flowers all over it. It looks so good, too.

Kate cut the cake, and I hope she had a bit, too.

Kate also got her hands dirty, today, as she spent time gardening with the kids. Her natural dialogue with them is different from her official presentations, and I imagine very much the way she talks seriously to little Charlotte and George.

In this photo you can see Catherine Quinn in the background. Kate also appears to have put on leather  gloves...

This is a huge win for me. Not only did we get some old school Kate Middleton style, but I love when she reflects on the various projects and activities she does with her children, particularly something like gardening. I have lots of memories of watching my dad plant his tomatoes and sometimes getting my hands muddy, too, under his direction, or watching the beans slowly grow on the trellis by the back door until it was time to pick and eat them. Those are really happy memories and it's great to see Kate is working with the RHS to promote outdoor activities for youngsters in her London community, and that she is creating these experiences with her own kids.

William gave a statement about Harry & Meghan's engagement. I really like William. I think he is a great royal. He balances the job really well. He is personable and natural and comes up with clever comments that don't sound like a cliche. I also think sometimes he is too uptight about the press, but that's for another day. No one is perfect. Enjoy his cute comment:

Meghan and Harry to Wed at Windsor

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It was a busy day for royal watchers as Kate the Great made a stop at the Foundling Museum, and the Palace released a bunch of data on the upcoming royal wedding! 

Here are the highlights:

  • The couple will wed in May of 2018 (this suggests that Kate is probably due in early April).
  • The wedding will take place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. You will recall that Prince Charles had his marriage blessed at St. George's Chapel after he married Camilla in a civil ceremony, and Autumn and Peter Phillips married at St. George's Chapel. That was a wedding Kate attended, and the occasion she first met the Queen! 
  • Harry and Meghan are keen to involve the public, and I am hearing the wedding will be televised. I don't know that that has been confirmed yet.
  • Official engagement photos have not been taken.  
  • Meghan and Harry will undertake their first official engagement together on Friday in Nottingham. 
  • Meghan will break ties with all current charities and join Harry, William, and Kate at their Royal Foundation. (Smart move, even if disappointing to her current charities)
  • Meghan will become a British citizen.
  • She will be baptized and confirmed in the Church of England before her marriage. 
  • The dog she had to leave in America will not be joining her in the UK.
  • Harry and Meghan were spotted arriving at Buckingham Palace today. The couple waved enthusiastically to the crowds as they were chauffeured in. I suspect this was tea with the Queen to chat about wedding plans. 
  • Harry was spotted later in the day at the gym. :) 
  • Meghan will also be traveling for a few months to spend time with friends before her wedding. 
Royal reporter Emily Andrews shared the actual press statement she got from Harry's office at KP, and you can read it below for yourself. Big thanks for that, Emily! [the above bullets were sourced throughout the day from Emily Andrews, Rebecca English, Richard Palmer, and Niraj Tanna]

N.B. I am running on a truncated schedule here, because Harry and Meghan's very happy news coincides with a few weeks of very important deadlines on my end. But, I will keep you up to speed, even if I am a little less wordy than usual, and we will be back to regular programming in a jiffy. Following all this engagement news is making me nostalgic for William and Kate's engagement. I think everyone knows that I follow Kate for more than just the fashion, and I know the hubbub of this new engagement has stirred up our quiet little corner of royal watching. A little stirring can be a good thing, and I am excited to share more of my thoughts about Meghan and Kate over the holiday season. I do want to clarify, though. I will cover Harry and Meghan's engagement and wedding, because I am following every detail and excited for it all, and I know the overwhelming majority of you are following it, and it is a huge part of Kate's focus these days, too. But, this will not be a joint blog moving forward. More on that later. But, I hope we all enjoy this season of excitement together in a spirit of goodwill. 

Ok kids. Onward! 

 P.S. Best photo of the day. I just love this Princess. 

Duchess of Cambridge in Kate Spade at Foundling Museum

Yesterday's engagement announcement was certainly exciting, but it is good to get back to the Duchess of Cambridge! Kate is visiting the Foundling Museum in London today, and HRH arrived wearing a dress by Kate Spade. She is carrying her Bayswater clutch in burgundy and wearing Gianvito Rossi heels in a matching hue. 

Of course, every royal is being asked thoughts on Harry's happy news. Kate was ready with a warm and friendly answer, one of the rare times she has spoken directly to the press. 
“William and I are absolutely thrilled. “It’s such exciting news. “It’s a really happy time for any couple and we wish them all the best and hope they enjoy this happy moment.”
In that department, we should hear this afternoon more details about the wedding including month and venue, perhaps, and maybe even the actual date!  

This dress is certainly a win for me. I love the burgundy and pinks, which work so well on Kate, and I love that she is wearing a dress with a bit of an Empire waist-line. Also, anyone notice the buttons are little pearls? So pretty, and so Kate. Most of all, I am happy to see Kate today.