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Cheltenham Festival: A Royal Staple of the Past

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cheltenham Festival kicks off tomorrow, and although I don't think we will be seeing HRH the Duchess of Cambridge at any of the events, once upon a time it was a happening four days. Cheltenham can be quite the dramathon.  After William and Kate's shock split in April of 2007, many pointed to their "indifferent chemistry" at Cheltenham the month before as early warning signs. Kate has worn some of her most memorable outfits to Cheltenham, so all of the pictures we are about to enjoy should be very familiar.

Cheltenham 2006:
Kate wore the Katherine Hooker that she later shortened for her engagement appearance in Anglesey. I think we can all agree that the shorter length is the better look, but she sure wasn't going to be cold that day.

The infamous Cheltenham 2007!
Kate and William attended the opening day together, and again Kate chose Katherine Hooker, accessorized with Chanel sunglasses. I don't think all that much can be deduced from body language here at all, but hindsight is 20/20.  Kate is often panned for this outfit, but I really liked it at the time and I still like it, although I probably would shorten the skirt--I bet Kate would, too. 

William is probably just brooding on the traffic delay here, and not plotting his upcoming split from his beautiful girlfriend, but only he knows for certain. 

Kate attended the races again on the closing day, and wore everyone's favorite Katherine Hooker jacket of all time. The bird-egg blue of the jacket, with the dark chocolate brown of her structured beret, and the rich tapestry like scarf were all too, too perfect. This is classic Kate Middleton. I absolutely love this outfit.

They split and got back together, and we saw Kate at Cheltenham one last time in 2008 before she essentially went dark until her engagement in 2010.  The change in Kate Middleton 2007 to 2008 was certainly being telegraphed in her lightly hipper vibe while still maintaining her classic elements.  (This coat was seen again in Canada, of course.)

In a recent interview, Katherine Hooker confirmed that Kate does not accept free clothes and usually comes into the shop or has items sent round to her home if she is too, too busy. Hooker said Kate is as lovely and down-to-earth as she ever was--and from what we have just seen, KH should know. Kate Middleton has been wearing her label for-style-ever.  Read more here.

I hope that after Kate and William have a few kids and settle into royal life a little more, that we will see them at Cheltenham again, but only time will tell.


  1. Hi! I love reading your blog. But what do you mean she went dark after 2008?

    1. Kate disappeared for some time. She no longer partied at clubs in London, she didn't go to many social events, there were very few pictures of her at all until she re-emerged in late 2010 and shortly thereafter announced her engagement.

  2. Hello. This means that Kate kind of disappeared of social scene in 2008. I believe in this time she and William were preparing to move in together in Wales.

    1. Yes, sorry, I see Natallie covered the question. :) She was spending a great deal of time in Anglesey, but I think there was a concerted effort to have some privacy in that last year or so before all this (happy) craziness of engagement and marriage broke loose.

  3. I love that blue jacket, too. Katherine Hooker sure is a staple for her! Wish she would go to these events more even though she's royal.

  4. Love all these pictures! Kate looks so funny in those last two photos. She does get into sports. I noticed that at the Olympics, she was shouting and making faces. I guess that is something she has in common with William.


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