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Kate Is Casual For Shopping Trip to Zara Home

Friday, October 25, 2013

Life appears to return to normal, as Kate was spotted shopping in Chelsea today, accompanied by a protection officer, of course. t is nice to see her more after her pregnancy hiatus. It seems with the move into KP accomplished, and the christening out of the way, she is back in her more patterned stride. Perhaps she is tweaking the d├ęcor at her new KP apartment, since she was carrying a number of bags from Zara Home.

Kate was all casual in a loose button down shirt, light sweater, skinnies, and grey plimsolls. It is a little late in October for no coat, and it seems like the Duchess was feeling the chill more than once.

It looks like she is wearing her wedding band as well as her engagement ring, but it seems she has turned the sapphire in so that it doesn't cause attention. I haven't seen this necklace before, although I may just be noticing today. It appears to be a cluster of items including a miniature baby and a heart? Am I seeing things? Perhaps, this is her push present? Someone suggested the ring on her right hand yesterday might have been, but if that is a baby figurine then my vote would go with the necklace. 

Popsugar has loads more great snaps. Check them out here

Kate is Sleek Sophistication in Jenny P for 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala at KP

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I am listening to Handel's "Zadok the Priest" (God Save the King) which is used at coronation ceremonies, while I write this blog post. Still on my high from the last post of the historic and beautiful christening photos released by the palace today. See post here if you missed it. My brother can't stand Handel, I say God bless the man.

But, you came here to read about Kate, and I am giddy with excitement to tell you that she stunned tonight at KP in an ink blue Jenny Packham. Isn't it funny that in the last 48 hours Kate has kind of proved yet again how ordered her fashion choices are? For formal events of historical significance she almost universally opts for McQueen. To sexily dazzle at formal evening events, it's our favorite girl, Jenny P who wins the night. (Not hard to understand, this dress is drool worthy.) We can bet on Emilia Wickstead, Max Mara, and Co. for Kate's coat dress needs. 

Tonight was the 100 Women in Hedge Funds partay, benefiting Action on Addiction, which Kate and William attended the year before last, as well. Remember the red Beulah? William stayed home tonight with Georgie. Kate commented that the little prince was asleep when she left. Jenny Packham is the master (mistress?) at bringing these sleek and sophisticated looks together. Fitted and flattering, but with beautiful, soft, and feminine elements, like this almost off-the-shoulder top, and the delicate overlay of the skirt.

(Honestly, it is so dark blue and the lighting is not really great, I have run some of these photos through a little photo shop to change the shadowing and give us more dress detail. I am no expert, nor did I spend much time, but I think it helps.) In the picture above--with a little ham-handed photoshop from yours truly--we can see the layers a little better. 

Jenny P's fashion hits have usually been very light or colorful. The pale pink ARK dress, the deep teal Our Greatest Team Rises dress, the shimmering silver on-shoulder, and the sparkling Tusk Trust. Tonight was a first in terms of color for her, but obviously Jenny P retained many of her best trademarks. 

This was not my favorite Jenny P that Kate has worn, but that is not to say I didn't love it; I did. It will be almost impossible to outdo that teal dress. Tonight's dress was simple and ridiculously elegant. A wonderful choice in color change, too, after yesterday's profusion of whites and creams.  The Mirror has some great photos with better lighting. Check them out here. I wish we had a better view of the ring she is wearing on her right hand... This has been a packed and fantastic two days. Looking forward to seeing more of Kate very soon!

The Queen and Her Kings: Official Christening Photos Released

Where to begin today? We will start with the official christening photos released this evening at 10pm. They are lovely! I have led with my favorite; the one of just the three Cambridges. Kate is absolutely stunning in these photos, she looks so, so happy and content. William, whose smile often seems strained or at least polite but reserved, is genuinely glowing in this one. Georgie, the center of attention, even seems to be cheering. It is a great shot! 

Of course, the photo that everyone was waiting for in terms of historical significance was the "four generations of the monarchy in one shot", which was beautifully captured here:

This one is a little surreal for me. It really is extraordinary to realize how long these four will cumulatively hold the throne of the most prestigious monarchy in the world. Hefty stuff. I love that we have a peak at the Queen's dress here, which appears to be a very nicely detailed paisley. I assume Angela Kelly deserves a "hear, hear." I will say that George looks like Harry to me in this photo. I love how he is awake and alert in all these shots--well done!

The third photo released was one of the Windsors:

I like how super formal this photo starts out as, and then suddenly with the Queen's gaze directed at George and away from the camera, it suddenly takes on a relaxed and familiar tone. I am betting that this was not deliberate, but a lucky shot. Photo shoots, particularly with subjects as unpredictable as babies, are very click, click, click--capture, capture, capture, and see what fun things you come up with. I am guessing that this was the lucky result. I think it a lovely mix. It also paints the story of the future represented in this photo as the Queen looks toward a boy who will be king three monarchs down the line! Wow! 

The last photo released featured both sides of the family, and I like it, too. For those of us hoping for a glimpse of Pippa's dress, it was not to be. Ah well, I know a lot of work went into that coat! I am still not sure what I think about James's beard. I am not in love with it, but it does make him look like he could be related to George V! And Michael Middleton looking so proud and happy on the right; he looks like such a great guy. They are a handsome family all around. 

I love that George and Kate are the center of this photo, as they should be. It is the same drumbeat from me, but Kate deserves this after the ups and downs, and it is so wonderful to see her, literally glowing, holding her precious little baby, surrounded by her family. 

The fun isn't over, though! Kate was at a gala tonight and she was radiant in one of our favorite labels! Post coming soon...

George's Christening: Part II, The Ladies

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

NB: this is the second of two posts on Prince George's christening. To read the first and see more of Kate, visit this post. George's Christening: Part I, Kate in McQueen

Any day the Middleton ladies are out and about is a day to watch great fashion, but when they are attending a royal occasion you can be sure they will be spectacular, and today to attend the christening of Mike and Carole's first grandchild and the future King of England, they were particularly resplendent. Carole had beautifully mixed dark blue and pale silver grey together. The lace panels on the side were certainly unusual, almost like the illusion dresses that are so popular right now, while the structured collar and straight lines of the coat gave it a formal feel. This was a great color combo and appropriately elegant for the day. Definitely a score for Carole.

My favorite part was when the Bishop of London kissed her hand. What a gentleman. This man is a dude. I have been the president of his fan club ever since his powerful homily at the royal wedding. His booming and authoritative voice helps, too.

Look at that smile! He is such a charmer--you'd think he was French. ;)

Pippa's dress was really a showstopper, and when I found out the back story, it is no small surprise.

She didn't take any chances on this event, but had a custom dress designed by Suzannah Crabb. The Telegraph reports:
"Hours of research went into the history of royal christenings. The outfit had to be both beautiful and appropriate from the length of the hem, to the style of the millinery and the subtle colour and cut," says Suzannah. "Lace has been a popular fabric choice by significant guests at royal christenings since 1926 and a dress in a style similar was worn by Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden to the christening of her daughter Princess Estelle in 2012."
The dress, called 'Paris', is described as a "modern shift, with a suitably high neckline and simple, clean lines, finished in French lace. The colour is warm, blush oyster with a pink silk lining, trimmed in oyster silk twill, with sheer panels at the neckline and the sleeves." The 100 per cent Italian wool coat sports a round neck, empire waist and gentle trapeze line silhouette with deep pleats to give movement.

The commission was a dream come true for Suzannah: "Creating a couture dress and frock coat not only for the occasion of the royal christening, but for Pippa Middleton, who is so naturally elegant and stylish is a commission that every designer dreams of. It's so exciting that British fashion has such a champion."
I'll say. Both the Middleton sisters are worth their weight (and much more) in gold. I was disappointed that we didn't really get a glimpse of the dress underneath, but she looked wonderful. Obviously, plenty of coordination went into Kate's, Carole's, and Pip's choices. I like that the girls both wore the soft whites that blended with the baptismal gown, while Carole opted for the dark color to stand out. 

Camilla, who honestly made a serious blunder at the Royal Wedding, looked wonderful today in a very, very lovely ensemble. I know people will have a melt-down when I mention this, but it reminded me of one of Diana's best evening gowns. (Notice the Bishop of London with that icon...I have no idea, but I love it.)

One of my favorite Diana dresses:

(I am serious, though, no Camilla meltdowns in the comment section. This is supposed to be a happy day, resist the urge.)

The glowing Godmother, pregnant herself, stood out in a deep blue similar to Carole's hue. It was flattering, well coordinated--I just wish she had branched out on the heels. All the other ladies ditched the nude pumps for the day; it would have been nice if she has accessorized with a another color, but not a huge deal. 

As she is always last, but certainly not least, Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, wore a pale, almost cornflower blue coat with matching hat. As usual, she looked perfectly regal. (And the Bishop's icon makes a last stand...)

The official portraits should be released tomorrow. Everyone is eagerly waiting on the shot that will capture four generations of the monarchy in one sitting: The Queen, Charles, William, and George! No post is complete without a final shot of Kate! See you tomorrow...

George's Christening: Part I, Kate in McQueen

Well, if we felt pretty cheated these past three months subsisting on a few rare glimpses of Kate, or the rare quick public engagement, today was a royal feast. Senior members of the British royal family, as well as the Middleton family turned up at St. James's Palace for the christening of Prince George of Cambridge! Of course, it was a guaranteed occasion to bring out some serious royal finery and fashion, and when Kate walked down the portico toward the cameras, she delivered in every way.  She wore a beautiful ivory McQueen, which looks like a modification of this ruffle jacket, shared by @royaltyfair

I don't love the coat as sold by McQueen, it is just too much, but, I love the outfit that Kate wore today. She has that awesome knack of taking the crazy from high fashion and toning it down just enough, so she is unusual and/or surprising, but always looking classic, never crazy. Her clothes don't garner attention because they are whacked-out or pushing the envelope, they attract because they are a perfect balance. It is hard to get a great photo of the dress, but watch the video for a better sense of the movement:

We have barely seen George, and this is certainly our first good look at him, so my initial thought was, wait who is that child? It is amazing to see these three all together as a family.

Frankly, I thought that George was the spitting image of his mother today. With his dark looking hair and dark eyes, he looked more Middleton than Windsor. This is Kate below at her christening. They could be the same child!! This bodes very, very well. :)

Kate's outfit should pretty immediately remind you of her earlier McQueen choices, particularly the white ruffled coat she wore to her first Trooping in 2011 and then again to the Garter Service in 2012 where we got a better look:

Today's McQueen is even softer and more feminine. The ruffle along the jacket instead of the buttons, and the ruffled peplum, banish the more rigid military air of the other coat and add curves and interest. As soon as I saw her walking down the hall toward the cameras I was caught by this suit, and as I said before, in a good way. She is attention grabbing without being ridiculous in doing so, which is a delicate balance when you are wearing these designers. Of course, both these two pieces remind me of another white McQueen with elegant ruffled layering, and that is, of course, Kate's bridal gown:

The 22 guests didn't take long to file into the Chapel Royal. When the choir boys in their red and gold piped jackets hurried in there was an older woman smiley broadly; it was none other than nanny Jessie Webb! It was disappointing that the christening was private, although certainly very understandable.   The Chapel Royal is not my favorite royal place of worship. It has many qualities that could be fantastic, but ultimately, something is screaming 70's at me. They need to rehab.

The palace released the details, so we know that the two anthems sung were Blessed Jesu! Here We Stand (Richard Popplewell) and a personal favorite of mine, The Lord Bless You and Keep You by John Rutter. This recording is from the Queen's 60th wedding anniversary in Westminster Abbey. Clearly, it is a favorite with the royals as well:

Neither Pippa nor Harry were chosen as Godparents, but both took prominent roles in the service. Pippa read the lesson from Luke 18:
15. And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 17.Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it."
And Harry read from John 15:
1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and everybranch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
William and Kate did not give us any details into the thought process behind choosing George's Godparents, and I was surprised that they chose neither harry or Pippa. However, after thought it makes a lot of sense. Pippa and Harry will be a very close to this baby and will be pretty consistently present in his life. Given what an honor it is to be chosen, this was an opportunity for William and Kate to recognize others who won't be as close to George, but whom Wills and Kate would like to have a special connection to their son. With that in mind, their choices were not surprising. Zara Phillips Tindall, William's first cousin, was the closest member of the family to be chosen. She is obviously close to both the Wales boys and I am sure this was an important pick for William:

USAToday reports on the rest:
• Oliver Baker, who attended the University of St. Andrews with Will and Kate.
• Emilia d'Erlanger, wife of David Jardine-Paterson, who attended Marlborough College (high school) with Kate and also is an old friend to William. D'Erlanger introduced Will and Kate.
• Hugh, Earl Grosvenor, the son of the Duke of Westminster.
• Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, who served as private secretary to William, Kate and Harry from 2005-2012 and continues to serve part-time as principal private secretary and equerry, and whose son was in the royal wedding.
• Julia Samuel, wife of Michael Samuel, who was a close friend of William's late mother, Princess Diana.
• Zara Phillips, wife of Michael Tindall, William's cousin, granddaughter to the queen, daughter of Princess Anne the Princess Royal, who married rugby star Mike Tindall in 2011 and is pregnant with her first child.
• William van Cutsem, a childhood friend of Will's, son of Hugh van Cutsem, one of Prince Charles' oldest friends who died a few weeks ago. Will is godfather to van Cutsem's daughter Grace, who was in the wedding.
They all make sense. Old friends and family.  Harry and Pippa didn't need to be singled out. The ceremony took around 30 minutes, not long at all, and then they were emerging from the chapel. Kate was holding George this time and they looked amazing together. It seemed their dresses had been color coordinated. George's stunning baptismal gown was a profusion of lace beautifully complimenting his mother's ruffles. Not to get too excited, but they made an awesome pair!

ITV has great footage here of the royals leaving the service, and so great shots of Kate, the baby, William, and her dress! St. James's Palace is an old palace, built during the reign of Henry VIII, but it is right by Clarence House. So, after the service Charles and Camilla hosted a tea to celebrate. One of the tiers of the fruit cake was served!

This was so fun I will do a second post on the Middletons!

She's Baaack: Kate is Fit and Fabulous for SportsAid at Olympic Park

Friday, October 18, 2013

Her sparkly number at the Tusk Gala left mixed reviews among her fans, but Kate returned to the spotlight again today leaving no opportunity whatsoever for discussion. Kate was at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for SportsAid, and if her signature skinnies didn't tell their own tale, her enthusiastic participation in some volleyball certainly ended all debate. This Princess is back in top form. 

I had been hoping for an event where we would see her in a fabulous coat dress by Emilia Wickstead or keeping warm in MaxMara, but she looked gorgeous nonetheless in her JBrand skinnies, Breton striped shirt, and her sky-high cork wedges by Stuart Weitzman. I honestly cannot figure how she walks in those, let alone plays some volleyball. 

This is obviously a look with which she is pretty comfortable, since she wore almost the same get-up to the Olympics last year. I think every piece is a recycle. Certainly the wedges are very familiar to us all, I can't be 100% certain, but I think this Smythe blazer is the same one she has worn in the past including the NA tour, and today's Ralph Lauren striped top looks very much like the one she was spotted grocery shopping in a month or so ago. 

Duchess of Cambridge in 2012
(Brief break to go to the store for new batteries. Seriously, the whole rechargeable batteries for a cordless mouse thing is starting to feel like a scam.)

Kate shopping in August of 2013
This video is not great resolution at all, but it was the only one I saw on YouTube right now.

False alarm, found one from the MailOnline:

Kate's hair has gotten a lot longer and darkened up a bit since the summer. I felt like her eyebrows stood out pretty darkly today, too, which I loved with her hair and make-up. She really looked relaxed today, frankly, much better than the Tusk Gala. She seemed tense and tired that night. She looks much happier and healthier today. My favorite picture below:

Just yesterday, Prince William officiated at what I believe was his first investiture service, marking yet another step toward full-time royal. There was a healthy amount of speculation about what William would wear--he had a choice of three armed services' uniforms or a plain suit. He went with the air-force. 

Among the various individuals who were honored was UK tennis star Andy Murray. Kate, an avid tennis fan, has been spotted many times enjoying Murray matches, and William and Kate have been to watch him play more than once.

Well, sometimes they watched him play, sometimes not so much...

Sometimes it seemed they were making plans for later, the nature of which I will not speculate... ;)

Anywaaay, it has been a solid fourteen days since I last posted and has felt like absolutely forever. All this week seemed focused on one highlight: Kate's Friday appearance. It is so, so fun to see her out again and to finally get to blog, too! 

We have George's christening next week on the 23rd and then there is a 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala at KP on the 24th. One of the drawbacks of William and Kate throwing parties at their new digs is we miss out on arrival and departure shots. So, I am less excited about that party plan than I was before... Still, I expect photos to be released, so it is sure to be a fun week ahead!