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Down Under Day 13: Kate Wears LK Bennet For Day in Queensland

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kate touched down in Queensland at RAAF Amberley this morning in an LK Bennett's Poppy Print sheath dress. 

It was an easy ID. I was "faux-shopping" on LK Bennett last night and this dress caught my eye. Apparently, it caught Kate's eye, too, but, unlike me, she actually bought it. The dress had already sold out, possibly because it has previously been worn by the ever hilarious and charming Mindy Kaling on her popular American sitcom, The Mindy Project. (In fact, I think it sold out sometime ago...) Ms. Mindy wears LK Bennet often and I can't help but think she is a fan-girl with the rest of us.

Mindy Project Facebook

Kate was wearing her beautiful sapphire drops and her Mappin & Webb pendant, and paired McQueen pumps and an Oroton clutch, both in closely complementing blue. Oroton is new for Kate, but a very well-known Australian label. While she may not be flying the flag prominently when wearing LK Bennett, she is adding nice national touches.

William inspected the honor guard while Super Hornets conducted a flyby overhead, before the Cambridges made their way down the receiving line together. 

Some fabulous color coordination happening below. An Australian commentator was remarking on the old ways vs. the news ways, noting how all the women were wearing hats but Kate. She didn't come all the way out and express disapproval, but she let it hang there in a very polite fashion. It just highlights how difficult Kate's task is in terms of dressing diplomatically to suit tastes, traditions, and generational divides. 

The highlight came when William and Kate inspected the FA-18 Superhornet plane itself. William climbed in, of course, while Kate stood on the steps and watched. Then, to everyone's surprise, she clambered in herself--heels and all.

After they got to inspect the real McCoy they moved inside to try the flight simulator. Flight simulators are supposed to recreate the conditions and sensation of flying in an actual fighter plane. I haven't heard if Kate took a virtual, but if she did I hope they took it easy. I would be worried about getting sick... I am sure William, an avid flight enthusiast who already has his private flying license and is now working toward a commercial license, was having a ball.

The couple moved to the memorial garden where the two planted a type of eucalyptus tree and prayed for the fallen servicemen of the airbase. I have to say, all reports are mentioning how very warm it is in Queensland, so I certainly hope she did her part quickly and let William do most of the heavy lifting. It seems royals could add arborist behind their names as they move around the world planting trees.

Holy Saturday

The couple moved to a private reception at the officers' mess hall and were at that event considerably past schedule. I was very surprised, particularly since we have seen Kate on two royals tours before this one, that there were still so many reports that Kate would be changing two to three times a day Down Under. That has not been the case in her last two tours and as we are seeing, not the case here. 

The afternoon luncheon in Brisbane was a little on the late side.

Where is Mr. Security?! 

It was 28C, which for you Yanks is over 82F and approximately 10,000 were on the streets waiting to see William and Kate. Because the royal couple were running so behind, the crowd was beginning to bake in the hot Brisbane sun, with rather nasty consequences:

At last they appeared to screams of excitement from the crowd. William and Kate worked their way down the street switching sides periodically. They had a veritable army of protective officers on hand, including Mr. Security, of course. He kind of hovers toward the back and leaps in when needed. At one point someone was sticking something out toward Kate. These shots are blurry, but in the center are Kate and Rebecca Deacon, and Mr. Security is pushing back into the crowd. Totally have no idea what was up. And it was totally exciting. 

He is very proactive. Basically, Kate is like a work of art at the museum. Don't cross the black line and get too close. Anything out too far will get Mr. Security on it "like a duck a June bug." Camera phones, gifts...hands. It doesn't matter. Stay away from the art! In seriousness, this was the most lively and excited crowd I have seen. With a 10,000 screaming people, the protection officers have to be on their game.  This little girl made the live feed several times as we waited for the royals to come out. I was really hoping she would get to meet Kate, and she did...tiara and all.

Fashion verdict: Win! We love LK Bennett. This wasn't exciting, unusual, or jaw dropping, but it was sophisticated, simple, and lovely. It was rather the Kate-norm, which was almost exciting in itself after the past ten days. Kate wears LK Bennet often, and this particular design is also a decent regular. I like that the "snorkel blue" of the poppies was a major color in LK Bennett's line, so we have seen it featured on Kate before. Adding a little touch of Australia with her clutch was a nice gesture without deviating from what is clearly her style plan: low-key. 

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday in Australia. My fingers are crossed for something exciting in the wardrobe department for the services at St. Andrew's Cathedral! 


  1. Hi jane, she is so beautiful in this . You are right it is classically kate , tried and tested shape and cut and she looks great! I've been loving her hair lately as well I hope she carries on when she gets back to windy London. I love the blue and white with the navy courts and the blue clutch. She is a very thoughtful dresser I must say. I think over the last few days it has shown just how much planning and preparation must go into her tour outfits, and how consuming that must be. We appreciate it kate you look amazing!:)

    1. Hi simmy,
      I've thought about the preparation, too. So many engagements, different cultures, different occasions, different people, different weather, etc. And there is such a big choice. We know she has her favourite labels but there are a lot of styles anyway plus considering designers from the host country. Puuh. She probably has help but I think in the end she decides. It must be quite difficult.

      I agree with you both. What a nice look today. I especially like the cut of the dress. Absolutely winning!

      Thanks again, Jane, for bearing up. Great picture choice (as always ;-) )

  2. Agee she looks wonderful.I am sad that NZ didn't manage to turn on it's usual stunning Autumn weather for them all.
    Kate looks great! NZ Dy

  3. Hi Jane, I love your comments about Mr Security :)
    In New Zealand Kate's "close protection" officer was a woman. In all the pictures and videos you can see her next to Kate, scrutinizing the crowd.
    In the pictures you showed with all those security officers, there is only Kate ; I wonder if William has a personal close protection officer as well. For Christmas at Sandringham I noticed that Kate had much more officers than William.

  4. This is just Catherine--elegant and beautiful. The tour so far has been perfect----great clothes; nothing over the top, but everything suitable for the occasion. I agree with Simmy---that takes planning and a lot of time.
    Looking forward to seeing George again tomorrow and Catherine in another hat.

  5. For me she was mind blowing, perfect, everything. This is the Kate I love/like/follow. And no wedges Jane whatsoever:-))))Thanks for your work, and happy easter!!!A.

  6. Ok, I know I've said it before but, this outfit is my favorite of the tour so far! I love the white/blue combo, those colors together are so fresh and vibrant. The abundance of flowers around the waist really compliment Kate's figure and the clutch and shoes are the perfect accessories. Also, loving her hair the last few days, the half up/half down style seems to work so well for her. Since her hair is away from her face it must be easier for the folks in the crowds to see her clearly, plus she isn't fidgeting with it all the time. I wish she had worn this style for her speech at Bear House, it's kind of distracting watching her hair fall into her face over and over.

    I agree with you Jane, there don't seem to be as many outfit changes on this tour. I was hoping the reception would be in the evening so maybe Kate would wear some fabulous evening dress, but alas it was not to be.

  7. I saw someone on Twitter blast this dress. I cannot imagine why! I think it is beautiful and it looks fabulous on Kate. I only wish she would have her hair completely up. The few times she has done that I thought were fabulous; she seems to me to look more regal when her hair is up. But maybe that's why she doesn't do it...she doesn't want to appear as if she thinks she is above everyone? (Or maybe she doesn't want to spend the time it would take. Either way, I cannot blame her, but it still would love to see it up.

  8. This dress is by far my favorite! I love that she climbed into the cockpit. It's time that she gets to climb into a plane like William! I wasn't sure if you saw or not but! The Duke and Duchess were spotted at a rugby match! I love that they finally took some time to themselves and have some fun! I know they probably have been but it's nice to see them looking relaxed and looks like William is even enjoying a beer! Keep up the good work!

    1. I hadn't seen it, no! I posted and went to sleep. :( Thank you so much for the head's up! I found another cute photo of them at the game. Check out the new post!!

  9. Theresa, from ParisApril 19, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Just loving your reports, Jane :-) Such fun...
    I liked this look, just as I really liked yesterday's.
    I have a feeling there will not be any glamorous evening events, as at the time of Princess Diana. But I'm still enjoying every second of this tour. Really brillant... The Duchess' fashion choices are maybe less exciting than during the Asian tour, but she is so lovely. Her charm is incredible every time.
    Happy Easter :-)))

  10. I love this dress and the fact that Kate seems to be wearing her hair half up a lot more.
    Also, more Mr. Security


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