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Down Under Day 10: Sunny Touchdown in Sydney as Kate Dazzles in Roksanda Ilincic

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

While Wellington's rain was bemoaning the royal departure, Sydney's Mother Nature spread the red carpet with warm sunshine, dancing water, and clear skies.

 The reporters and photographers gathered by the tarmac:

TV cameras prepared near the Sydney Opera House where the royal family was due to go after they touched down.

Enthusiastic crowds lined the streets:

To my delight, Kate carried George off the plane again. He seemed a little taken aback by all the sunshine, and squeezed his eyes closed as he ducked his head down against the glare.

It has been asked why Kate and William hold George face forward the way they do. While I think it is partially due to maximizing visibility to the public, it primarily seems to be his preference. I think the Pilates his mom did while pregnant rubbed off on him. His standard mode of deplaning is to sit on Kate's hip and twist around, right arm thrown across her bodice, and gaze out toward the action. From videos he seems to get quite wriggly and seems very interested to watch all his surroundings. It is the Prince's Pose:

George seemed to disapprove of something, possibly the blinding sun he had just done battle with:

But, a prince must be gracious no matter the difficulties he encounters, and so he undertook his ceremonial duties with equanimity, and greeted his fans:

"But, I still love you the most!"

George took toys from his Plunket playmates and now he wants mummy's flowers. George would have really been promising as an heir to the throne in the middle ages. Around, I don't know, 1421? He would have been the kid for the job.

Kate chose an eye-catching Roksanda Illicic in yellow for her Australian debut. Apparently, the national colors of Australia are green and gold, so this was not just a bold fashion statement, but a nod to her host country. Kate has worn Roksanda Ilincic before. She wore this delicate dress in the palest lavender when deplaning at LAX...

And then recycled with stunning success at a reception at the Royal Academy in 2012:

Interestingly, today's dress was not in that style at all, instead it hearkened strongly back to many of her choices early in the 2011 tour in Canada. The sleeve length, structured sheath, and skirt slit all brought to mind Catherine Walker and several Erdems, notably this dress:

Sydney's Roksanda Ilincic frock had added interest with subtle color blocking along the side of the skirt and on the underside of the sleeves. I can tell you as a bit of a shopper, if you don't already know, that this is a very, very prevalent style. I love it. The dress is classic Kate, simple, simple, with geometric additions that add depth, and in this instance, some fun! It does seem to be bespoke, as IDed by Perth Fashions, and based on this original piece on Matches. If I may say so, Kate has made some significant improvements, not limited to the very full sleeves being taken in:

It was old-home week for the accessories. Kate pulled out her world famous and much-beloved LK Bennett Sledge pumps, LK Bennett's Natalie clutch, the oft-seen Annoushka pearl drop earrings, and the Mappin & Webb necklace she has worn so much during this tour.

Here, a view of the back of the dress and the exposed zipper. I love it!

The couple passed George to Nanny Maria and then headed to Sydney Opera House for a welcome reception. I know it was unreasonable to hope, but I wanted to see more of George! Mr. Grumpy-pants had gone down for a nap, I suspect. Meanwhile, Wills and Kate were greeted a second time by the Governor and her husband before they climbed steps along the side of the Opera House and got a beautiful view of the harbor. This is really Kate's first proper visit, and it seems William is anxious to introduce her to the country!

To the crowds disappointment, they did not undertake an impromptu walkabout, but headed straight in to the scheduled program, where among other things, George was gifted a small cricket bat. I wonder if William is commenting on Kate's cricket skills here...

Standing out in yellow on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, waving to the cheering crowds lining the streets below, they cut pretty regal figures. Some photos will go down in history with a little more prominence than others, but I think these shots will be ones for the history books. 

Mr. Security is still close this guy:

William and Kate took a boat to Admiralty House, the Sydney home of the Governor-General of Australia, where they will be staying.

George perked up pretty well when presented with more gifts. Hey, everyone has a price... This stuffed animal is a wombat, a native animal of Australia. William has said in an interview that when he was small, his mother gave him the nickname "Wombat" after a visit to Australia. Indeed, I only associate the word "Wombat" with William. Clearly wasn't paying attention to "animals around the world" class.

Later today--which is tomorrow in Australia--the royal couple will undertake a full day of engagements. So far, this tour is off to a great start...

Apologies for being tardy. No wrap-up today, since I think we covered most everything. See you in a bit! 


  1. I like this dress. The cut is very Kate, but I think the colour blocking is unusual for her. Because of that it was a little surprising to me. It's fresh, modern, low-key with a little brash wink (difficult to explain that in english :-/ ). I like the zipper in the back and the alternative sleeves (but would have been interesting to see her with the original ones)

    George is too cute. Carrying him face forward is quite usual. Most babys turn in this position when holded in another way because they must have an overview of everything. Probably he behaves well in this position (and is less stressful to be carried ;-) )

    I'm looking forward to another exciting week with you all!
    Nice post as usual, Jane! Thank you so much!

    Kind regards

  2. Are the royals allowed to keep all of the gifts that they receive? They've gotten quite a few this trip, but I'm not sure what the "policy" is for stuff like that. Just curious.
    Great coverage Jane! Love the pics and your write-ups. :)

    1. Thanks, Zoe! Glad you are enjoying it! They keep their gifts. The gifts are itemized and that list is released to the public. Whether they keep the gift, give it to staff, donate it somewhere all depend son the gift, I guess. They never accept free items from say, designers. Those are always politely returned, since they can't look like they are cashing in, but these gifts they accumulate on their tours can end up a variety of places.

  3. Theresa, from ParisApril 16, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Just love this dress ! A perfectly beautiful Duchess... One of my favorite looks so far.

    And as usaul a great post, Jane... Just love your way of presenting them. Thank u :-)

  4. I'm italian and i'm a great fan of Kate and the Royal family.I just wanna say that i really love your blog, it's so different from the others i follow about Kate, so detailed and full of interesting considerations,much better than the others :) congratulations! Katia from Italy

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  6. The security guard you spoke of can be seen standing with his wife on the front row of the main aisle at The Royal Wedding. His wife looks at Kate with obvious joy. It's a sweet shot.

    1. YES!!!! Seriously? I need this photo! So great! He has become my favorite security guard. He is protecting the princess, that is for sure. :) I will look for the photo, thanks for the tip-off!

  7. Thank you for the great comments and the unusual photos. Gives a really complete view of the events, unlike other websites. I love Kate -- such a breath of fresh air to the royal family. They are lucky to have her. And George is magnificently cute!! The yellow dress…well, at least it makes for a change. Not my favorite, but she does look good in it, as she does in most things.

  8. Really like this dress today. Very unusual and sharp. Did you notice in the last picture the security guard over Kate's right shoulder is FINALLY smiling. Must be because they're leaving! Great work Miss Jane. - Joan M. from Ohio

  9. I love this dress! The coulour is great on her she looked beautiful. George is such a serious little character, he was probably tired bless him. :)

  10. "This follows on from yesterday’s stunning wattle-yellow frock from Serbian designer Roksanda Ilinncic — although seems hubby perhaps wasn’t the biggest fan of yesterday’s outfit: “William said I look like a banana,” Kate was quoted as saying last night."

    From an article I read earlier, I thought it was quite funny. Lol.

  11. Kate looked simply lovely today. She can wear these bright colors so well, maybe she's taking a page out of the Queen's fashion book, wearing bright colors in order to been seen through the large crowds. I really like her new hair do, it shows her face so well. And how great to see her trusty Sledge heels making a come back today. I was wondering if we would see them on this tour.

    I love your comments about George, he is a solemn little guy, I can't wait to see a smile from him. Maybe George and security guy have been hanging out together! :)

  12. love love love every minute and detail of it!!! Loved the video clip to of them getting off the plane. GAWD I'd love to have Rebecca Decans job. On another note - as someone living with a toddler, sometimes it is just so much easier to carry them facing forward. They can see everything and look around plus you have two hands to carry them with! makes them lighter. It looked like on the video Kate was hefting George up a couple times. Little bundle of pudge that he is :D


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