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New Kate Contributors Announced!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hello All! I am excited to announce that From Berkshire to Buckingham's sister website, Kate's Clothes: the Online Encyclopedia of HRH the Duchess of Cambridge's Wardrobe is launching a group of fantastic and very talented contributors! If you are not familiar with Kate's Clothes, it launched last year and is a massive and meticulously ordered database that allows you to browse Kate's clothes generally, or look for something specific. 


There are tabs that take you quickly to various categories, including the Jewelry Box, where you can browse her sparklers and on that page you are offered a selection of jewelry specific boxes with which to search her pieces, including a designer list:


Or you use the fast tab to browse her hats, also by color, specific style, and more:



You can search by tour, event, date, etc. It is a very thorough resource both for professional reporters, but also for the very meticulous fan. :)  Today, I am excited to add more interactive content to this wonderful website in the form of knowledgeable contributors!  I would like to introduce them to you here, and each has written a short snippet to say hello and to put a face with a name!

You have already heard from Amanda, who continues writing for Kate's Clothes and bringing you a range of wonderful RepliKates! 
My name is Amanda and I’ve been a long-time fan of Kate’s fashion since she started dating William. My grandmother and I bond over our mutual admiration for the Duchess and Queen Letitizia. I am from Spain, but currently living in Los Angeles pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.
Kate's Clothes Contributor Amanda

Joann is joining the Kate's Clothes contributors and she will writing a monthly column on RepliKates under $100! 
My name is Joann and I’m from Lubbock, Texas. I am so excited to be joining the Kate’s Clothes blog as a monthly contributor. I will be focusing on affordable “replikates”. So many of us would love to dress like the duchess but cannot afford the price tags. I will seek to bring you great Kate-inspired alternatives under $100 so you can dress like the princess but still have funds in the bank!
Kate's Clothes Contributor Joann


Katherine is coming on board to write a column I know many of you will be very excited to hear about. Katherine's column is called "Curvy Couture!"
Hi, I'm Kate! I've been a fan of royal watching before I knew royal watching was a thing. And of course, who doesn't love a Duchess who shares the same name? When I'm not admiring royal fashion, I am an attorney in Maryland. I love to travel, and am a competitive karaoke singer

Here's a brief description of my column: We all know that finding a great repliKate is awesome. However, for those of us who are a little bit on the curvier side, the straight-sized repliKates that you find on most websites aren't always workable. My column will pull together some of the best plus-sized repliKates on the market, so that even us curvier girls can dress like royalty. From outerwear to formal wear, there are some great options out that will have you duping the Duchess no matter what your size.

Kate's Clothes Contributor Katherine
 Tess is going to be writing a column that focuses on Kate-related questions, "from ancient customs to modern etiquette!" Hers is actually the first post we are running, and if you click here, you can read Tess's own introduction/first post at Kate's Clothes
Tess Mize is a freelance writer, Navy wife, and new mom. Aside from being an avid royal watcher and Anglophile, she loves literature, theatre, yoga, and a good glass of wine. She was raised in the Southeast but currently lives in California with her husband, daughter, and dog.
P.S. Anyone recognize the dress Tess is wearing for her beautiful daughter's baptism?


I am so pleased that these talented ladies are excited to spend time thinking about Kate and giving their input on her style and life as we continue to take inspiration from HRH the Duchess of Cambridge.

I want to also take this opportunity to remind everyone of another sister site in the Jane Barr blogging family, and that is Charlene: Princess of Monaco. Katie Coble writes that blog and it is nothing less than gold. I think--although I am not sure--that the blog is the only fashion blog dedicated exclusively to the Princess of Monaco and I believe it is ranked on Google's first page. I am so proud of Katie and of the Princess Charlene blog. If you love the French, Monaco, Charlene, Dior, or a combo of the above, definitely make our Princess Charlene blog a stopping spot!


[Update with IDs] Kate Takes the Royal Helicopter Back to Norfolk

Sunday, February 7, 2016

For those of us who enjoy the occasional candid... :) After her engagement in London today, Kate headed back home to George and Charlotte in Norfolk. The Duchess was snapped making her way to the waiting royal helicopter parked on a green in Hyde Park.

A photo posted by WEARFORE (@wearfore_by_ng) on



It looks like Kate was wearing a dark dress--posisbly the dress she wore under the McQueen and dark boots, maybe her Half 'N Halfs. I thought at first she was wearing the Reiss "Delaney" but this coat is a little too long to be the Delaney. She might be carrying the "Explorer HoldAll" or a large Longchamp we have not seen before. A Twitter fan, Meghan Patterson, took a few snaps which she shared on Twitter. This is a close up:


Someone on twitter mentioned seeing William, but the man with Kate is an aid, not the Duke. I don't think William made the trip with Kate. 


And they are up and away:


[Update] A better photo emerged from an Instagram account: @rainbowceline!



As I suspected, Kate was carrying her Tunsting bag, and the coat is new! The Duchess wrapped up in the Paddington coat from Mulberry's AW 2015 collection. The coat is in a chic, blue mohair:



Meanwhile, Kate's video in support of Mental Health Week has been released. I will blog on that tomorrow! 

Kate First Public Event as Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets

This morning, Kate undertook her first official public engagement of 2016! The much anticipated return of the Duchess saw her appearing in her capacity as the Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets at St. Clement Danes Church in the Strand, London.


You probably remember that this is a patronage Kate just took on in December. When she attended the annual Christmas lunch that the Queen hosts at Buckingham Palace every year, Kate sent her children home after the meal and stayed on for a ceremony at which the Duke of Edinburgh passed onto his granddaughter-in-law the position he has held for 63 years. Kate seemed understandably delighted to be taking on this role, which has such patriotic and personal roots.


The Air Cadets were launched during World War II to prepare young Brits to join the RAF. It has continued in a similar capacity, acting as a character building, discipline enhancing organization that exposes young people to the service and--if they so choose--acts as a conduit to the military. For US readers, some of you may be familiar with the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corp. It's the same idea. Military training for high school students, many of whom then  advance to real military service. Kate's grandfather was an RAF pilot and her husband Prince William served in the RAF for a number of years. Kate is "one of the family" and shares the same deep loyalty that comes from a personal connection. 


After the service, Kate attended a reception at the Royal Courts of Justice. This is obviously a point of interest to me. The Royal Courts of Justice is one of the largest courts in Europe and houses the High Court and Court of Appeal. It is a magnificent building:


As a law student, we read some mid-19th century cases from England to gain an understanding of where our American law began and how it has changed on this side of the pond, so seeing Kate at the Royal Courts of Justice is exciting. She looked very in-command of the event in this photo--matching the majestic surroundings. 


The Duchess recycled her bespoke McQueen coat first debuted in New Zealand:


And then worn again to the D-Day commemorations in France:



You might recognize today's hat. It is by Lock & Co. and Kate first wore it on March 26th to a memorial service for Richard Meade at Bath Abbey. (Details here.) 


I like it very much. It is interesting and it has personality, but it is still reserved enough to be very elegant. I thought it was the perfect complement to this coat. 


Kate was wearing new Gianvito Rossi shoes. Kate seems to have a fleet of these pumps (just like her many Muse clutches in different colors) and this is the third color we have seen her wear. (See all her Gianvito Rossi pumps here. )  These navy pumps retailed at a little over $600, but as of right now, they are no longer available on Net-a-Porter: (NB: one of my readers has alerted me that there is disagreement on whether these are GR or Rupert Sanderson. Kate has worn Rupert Sanderson in the past, see here. I will update when I have a chance to look more closely!)



She carried her navy Muse clutch, speaking of the Muse fleet, and she was also carrying her bow gloves, although we never saw her put them on:



Kate chose to wear her mystery drop earrings we saw as early as 2012. They have not been IDed, but they resemble pieces from the Asprey collection. Although Kate does like to mix in fake pieces, it is likely these are quite expensive. (Kate's Clothes page here.)


This coat is an odd one. It is one of those coats that you dislike and then love all in the space of 60 seconds and six pictures...and repeat. I look at it from some angles and it just doesn't get my heart racing, and then I see another shot and I am in love. Ultimately, I think the length of the pockets was a bold try and had the potential to really pay off, but they didn't work. They weigh down the front of the coat and make, what is actually a beautifully structured and fluid piece, look stiff and boxy. When you see the coat from the side and the back, it is just lovely. 



In any event, I think today might be its best wear. I loved Kate's first wear with the sleek ponytail, but given how much personality this coat has, I think she needed to balance it just a bit more with her hair. When she wore it to France, however, I wasn't in love with the hat. Today seemed perfect. With her locks loose, she balanced out the coat a little more, but the shorter length she is sporting also meant that it wasn't too heavy.  This was a great start to February and a great start to the official engagements of this brand new 2016! 



Queen Gives Kate a New Patronage + Happy Birthday Carole!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I think that for many of us, Kate has been Queen of Wimbledon for some time. From the moment the new Duchess made her first appearance at the match as a princess, there has been speculation that someday Kate would have an official role.



Today, Roya Nikkhah broke the news in The London Times that the Queen will divest herself of some of her duties as she hits 90, including her patronage of the All England Club:
After 64 years as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, which hosts the Wimbledon championships, the Queen will this year pass the role to the Duchess, a keen tennis player and fan of the game.
Kate follows the matches with close concentration and her smiles and grimaces are always headline news after a match. 


Kate has been at Wimbledon every year but 2013, when George's birth coincided too closely with the world famous Grand Slam event. As a talented and competitive player herself, Kate is the perfect choice to take on this role. William once admitted Kate's proficiency: “We are both very competitive. She beats me at tennis and skiing but I am better at the rest." Their flirtatious rivalry has been a reoccurring theme across a number of public engagements.  


I have a theory about this announcement. Kate goes to Wimbledon every year, and sometimes to more than one match. It has been the cause of tension over the past few years as people complained that Kate didn't have time to "work" but that she could take time for a tennis game. This ignores the obvious fact that as the Duchess of Cambridge in the royal box, it is both work and play for Kate. As a princess of the United Kingdom, her job is to highlight Britain! Wimbledon is an international event in London and by being present Kate supports the All England Club, supports the British competitors, and draws attention to the event and the host country. She also enjoys it, but there is no law against loving your life. Regrettably, these fun appearances have become a source of scrutiny and angst. I think it is very wise for the Queen to pass on this position to Kate so that she may continue to do what she has been doing all along, but moving forward she will do it with a certain "official sanction" which should silence the critics. It's a brilliant move.


Finally, today is Carole Middleton's birthday! While she is holidaying in Mustique, it looks like William and Kate were not able to make it to the get-away. They were spotted in London on the 27th and I do not think they could have gotten to Mustique without being spotted. As you know, they have been able to sneak away to other locales at different times of the year, but given this is an annual event and there are only so many ways to get to the island, I think they'd have to be airlifted in to escape detection...and even then. :)  I know someone in the comments mentioned that the Cambridges might be holding off for a winter holiday. I think George might be getting toward the age that he can begin on the little bunny slope. It will be interesting to see if they take a family ski holiday this year, as they have given it a miss these past few years!