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Down Under Day 14: Easter Sunday Service in McQueen

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I don't know if anyone is even going to read this post because we all want to get straight to the part where George visits the zoo. But, slow down just a moment, because Kate really stepped up to the bat this morning. It is Easter Sunday in Australia and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by Prime Minister Tony Abbott at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney for Easter morning church service.

For this most solemn feast in the Christian calendar, Kate chose McQueen. This was certainly her most formal look of the tour thus far and was perfection in its aloof sophistication. The simplicity of the coat paired with what is a pretty daring hat for the Duchess was such a major hit for me. If I had to describe this entire ensemble in one word: graceful.

There are elements of the aubergine coat she wore to her first Christmas as a royal and later recycled when visiting Elswick Park in Newcastle. That coat was made by an "independent designer" which sounds like Palace talk for, "Kate has been moonlighting as a designer again." Just my personal speculation...

Even more, today's McQueen reminded me ever so briefly of a piece I was not fond of on its first wear. Not to revisit unhappy memories, but briefly cast your mind back to her visit to the Shooting Star Hospice before Christmas. Remember this? Not do you want to, just do you?

Anyway, for the briefest of moments I had some PTSD, but we are dealing with an entirely different bird today. This McQueen coat was just Easter perfect. The color is officially "dove grey" but I agree with many comments on Twitter remarking it looks quite blue in some of the lighting. Grey is  a striking shade on Her Royal Highness, and she was looked magnificent. Notice the prominent (but, not 80's prominent) shoulders, and I love this funnel neckline. Kate is gorgeous in v-shapes and has delicately accessorized with her Mappin & Webb pendant which has finally found the correct neckline!

The hat, a custom Jane Taylor, is certainly one of the more daring we have seen her wear.  As in all things, Kate is fairly traditional, and the unusual design of this topper is not unheard of, but out of the norm. Shaking things up with your chapeau is the perfect way to add a special touch. I loved it. Kate stayed with soft shades when she chose her shoes. These were LK Bennett "Harper" suede pumps and she finished it all with her McQueen clutch.

She was once again sporting her half-do which I thick she is finding very successful for this tour. This photo also gives a nice shot of the back of her very lovely hat:

All around a major A+ to Kate for this entire ensemble. She looked a princess from head to toe.

William and Kate got to add their names to a piece of history after the service. They signed the First Fleet Bible and Book of Common prayer both dating from around 1788. Britain used to deport their convicts to America, but after the Revolutionary War, they had to find a new location. The First Fleet was a group of 11 ships that set sail to form the first penal colony--and so the first European settlement--in Australia. It is interesting they would highlight this particular bit of history. Botany Bay in Sydney was the landing place of the First Fleet and features prominently in many plaintive Irish ballads: 
By a lonely harbor wall
She watched the last star falling
As that prison ship sailed out against the sky
Sure she'll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
While we have been consumed by this tour, the Queen hosted an historic visit of the President of Ireland, so hopefully this all speaks to the continued healing of the two nations and peoples. Kate and Wills signed the Book of Common prayer...

...and added their names to the Bible below Charles and Diana, and Andrew and Sarah... Knock on wood. Not the first thing I'd want to do on a bright Easter morning...

I can't get over how much I liked Kate's Easter choices. Obviously she was going to wear a hat, and my money was on McQueen, but this exceeded my expectations. 

William and Kate had to pop home to pick up a certain little guy who had a date with a bilby. I am going to grab some coconut water and we will push on to the next post...


  1. I loved her outfit today, Easter perfect, graceful, words cant describe. Outstanding maybe:-)) I loved your comment on the less successful grey coat-I had a great laugh. Maybe a bit lighter make up, would have been better. A.

    1. Haha, oh good. I was not a fan. :( A very rare misstep, in my opinion, from Kate. Today was breathtaking!

  2. Theresa, from ParisApril 20, 2014 at 3:07 AM

    Gorgeous ! In my opinion, the Duchess was perfection at the Easter service : stunningly elegant. And so graceful, as you said, dear Jane...
    Happy Easter to all :-)

    1. It was so perfect! I was wowed. Happy Easter in beautiful Paris, Theresa!! :)

  3. I didnt love this outfit. However she does look lovely as always and she looks elegant and appropriate for the occasion. I'm just not in love with the cut of the coat or the hat but she does look smart. Thanks for posting even though you weren't sure people would read it !

  4. So elegant and appropriate. The Duchess has a perfect sense of style and occasion.

  5. I would have guessed this coat was Catherine Walker as it reminds me of her designs. I think it is perfect and, as usual, Kate looked beautiful.

  6. This outfit is now officially my tour favorite!! So sublime, so elegant, so Kate. I love anything in the grey family so I'm pretty biased about this coat and hat, The shoes, clutch and necklace were the perfect accessories for this outfit, subtle yet very beautiful. I didn't even mind the other grey coat she wore earlier to the Shooting Star Hospice, it was just what it was styled with, blue cords and furry, black booties, that didn't do it any justice.

    Thanks for the great post Jane, I hope you are getting some rest yourself during this tour.

  7. To make it short: I love it! It is low-key but so elegant. I agree with you, Jane, absolutely graceful! Everything is well matched! Gorgeous outfit!

    Happy Easter to you all

  8. How boring he his ! Same colour, same model, same outfit. Boring

  9. Hi Jane, Happy Easter! Kate looked very elegant today. She is naturally regal. She knows what she likes and sticks to what works for her. She is not a trend setter or a trend follower. Kate is comfortable in her own skin and probably feels that she has nothing to prove. Her fashion choices are very conservative because she understands that her job is to represent the monarchy and support her husband establish his name in history.

  10. Happy Easter Jane! This is not one of my favorite hats, but if you look at H.R.H. Catherine from head to toe, she looks very elegant. The pale grey looks wonderful for Easter.

    Cannot get over the adorable pictures of Prince George. I think some of his facial expressions are similar to "cute little faces" Prince William made about the same age. While I have watched the Duchess daily to get my fashion fix, Prince George has completely stolen the show this tour.

  11. I like the subtleties of this understated outfit. Do you think it refers to what the Queen wore the same day?
    Unfortunately, there seems to be something wrong with the fit of the sleeves (wrinkles). The concealed front fastening is visible, too. – There were similar problems with the aubergine coat, I think. :(
    The hairstyle is so very beautiful to me!

  12. I'm probably reading wayyy too much into this but I found it interesting that Kate signed her name so much closer to William's than her predecessors - maybe she feels closer to him?? haha i dunnol..

  13. Elegant outfit,I only hope she won't be spoiling it in a second exit by adding some belt like she did with the aubergine independent coat

    Gabriella from Italy

  14. I go to sleep, I close my eyes and all I can see is this outfit. Stunning! May I just notice that it would look even more sophisticated with low ponytail as a hair style.


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