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Down Under Tour Day 6: Waikato. Kate Wears Erdem in Wellington and Cambridge

Friday, April 11, 2014


You learn things about the host country when you follow royal tours. In 2011, I discovered that Canada's Rockies are stunning. Really gorgeous--more beautiful than the U.S. Rockies. In 2012--well, I learned that tours can really be tough if you aren't hardened for the grind. And now, I am learning that New Zealand is not just the place of Hobbits and wine, but rain! It doesn't stop! The very faithful Duchess-Spotter was on-hand to live tweet the royals arrival at the airfield, and certainly a congratulatory round of applause is due her tenacity. 



The precipitation was so heavy that the airport crew rolled out a covering for the stairs to keep the Duke and Duchess dry from car to plane cabin, but it also blocked our view of a solid shot of Kate. There was this glimpse of a nude heel, but we knew it could be Kate, or another woman in the party, like Rebecca Deacon... (Later it turned out to be Rebecca. She was wearing a navy suit and nude pumps.)

I'll tell you what, this is the way to travel. No lines, no security groping, no wait. Just up and down. Exactly the way the Wright Brothers envisioned it. 



The Duke and Duchess split for the morning events. He went to an Pacific Aerospace, while she was booked to a tea party at Rainbow Place hospice. The crowds were gathering for her...


But, a local reporter tweeted the crowds for William were not so, shall we say, robust.

It certainly looks a little sparse, and obviously we all either lived through or have read about Prince Charles' jealousy of the very popular Princess Diana. I do not think history will repeat itself. Charles never could understand why people loved Diana so much. In his own words, "all she ever did was say yes to me." But, William is in love with Kate. He loves her and is proud of her. He wants her to succeed. Furthermore, he has seen this before with his own mother and he knows how it goes. The beautiful girl is always going to steal the limelight from the guy, and I am sure he would be the first to tell you his beautiful wife is a show-stopper. I believe William is a very balanced man and this isn't going to faze him...

Kate arrived at Rainbow Place for her tea party...


Did I mention it was an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter themed party?


Breaking to discuss the clothes. Kate chose Erdem. Interesting. She debuted Erdem as one of her labels on tour in Canada in 2011 and since then she has turned to Erdem often for all manner of public engagements, and has worn Erdem now on all three of her overseas tours. Fun factoid: Kate has almost only worn Erdem in various shades of blue--if you consider the patterned Erdem a blue as well as maroon. Notice the subtle pockets in the front, the silver zipper, and the detailing along the waist. there is also a pattern to the front, but it is seen better on Kate. This Erdem denominated "Allie" originally retailed at over $3,000.



Once again, Kate has not worn an NZ label. I don't have a problem with this, but I do think it is interesting. I know people are waiting for it, and perhaps she has something quite special planned for a little later, but in classic Kate form, she really is doing it her way. Sticking to the labels she knows, trusts, and often patronizes. We ahem seen Packham and McQueen, the two powerhouses in her closet, and Catherine Walker a longtime royal label. Erdem continues the trend, but makes me all the more excited to see if she will surprise or continue to wear her old faithfuls.  My bet is we will see primarily her faithfuls, with a healthy sprinkling of new/local designers.



I very much like this coat! This entire look is a hit for me! Kate is remarkably lovely in jewel tones in general, but green is one of the very good colors on her, especially highlighting her beautiful brunette hair. The coat with it's rather square silhouette and full-length zipper is so à la mode. It reminded me just a little of the green DVF she wore in Los Angeles and again to Zara's rehearsal dinner.



 Coat detail:


I will say that the color choice for the stairs was unfortunate...




We haven't seen the dress underneath fully, but from shots of it coyly peeking out, it has been identified as the Suzannah "Budding Hearts Silk Tea Dress." It is very 1930's-1940's. I could see the Queen Mother wearing this, or a character in Foyle's War. It is a pretty dress! I am sure it looks beautiful on her, but I am not a fan of the smocking under the bodice. I think it makes it look just the slightest bit cheap. I have never been a fan of that kind of smocking. But, I am sure Kate would made it glamorous. 



We are already familiar with Suzannah because Pips is a bit of a fan and wears the label with some frequency. Most notably, she chose Suzannah for her ensemble for Prince George's Christening, which I loved:



Quick, quick look at William's morning, just so we know what the two will be chatting about tonight: 



This happened:

Yes, that is a woman with trousers emblazoned with pictures of the Queen, and yes, she met William. And no, I have no idea how the chat tonight between the Duke and Duchess will go, but yes it will be funny.

William and Kate then both left their respective events and headed for Cambridge where they would continue their day together. A quick walkabout took place reported via Twitter, while we watched a live feed of a horse's rump. Breaks of the game. Sometimes the live feed just isn't all that great.


The royal couple arrived at the city hall to screams from the people. A 10,000 strong crowd turned out to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Cambridge, New Zealand. I noticed watching the live feed the zippers on Kate's sleeves/cuffs, and the waist detailing. This is a beautiful, beautiful coat, which is not surprising given the designer, but it deserves the accolades. Kate accessorized in black, which stood sharply against the green. Episode Angel pumps, and a black Mulberry clutch.


There was a fifteen minute break for lunch. Talk about scarfing a meal down. Thankfully, it is unlikely Kate needs anything more than a quarter of an hour to consume a meal, but still... 


William and Kate conducted a walkabout, where the adjusted estimate according to Richard Palmer was 15,000 people! To put this in perspective, Cambridge, NZ has a population of 18,000. People were excited! This certainly puts to bed the comments that the Kiwis were not enthused by the royal visit. 



The couple moved from their walkabout to the war memorial where they paid their respects by placing flowers:




William and Kate's final engagement was opening the velodrome, Avantidrome. Not being a particularly sporty girl, I had never heard of a velodrome until Kate went to the Olympics and spent almost a month it seemed inside one. It seems to be a permeant, albeit rotating, fixture on her calendar. I am sure you remember some moments that William and Kate have spent at velodromes:




And a certain someone received a toy. You guessed it, Georgie-pants got a bike at the Velodrome. This child is going to have way too many toys. Kate is smiling thinking, how lovely, and William has a look on his face that says he knows it is time to rein it in.



William opened the Velodrome with a few remarks and christened it by officiating the first race. And that about wrapped it up!

I will 

I will be back later to update with some more pictures, and of course we will have the wrap up tomorrow. After we all get some sleep and drink some coffee out in the spring sunshine. In the meantime, the obligatory umbrella shot.  God bless you, New Zealand... 

27 comments:

  1. I loved this coat, too. Erdem seems to be a choice she likes when on tour, as you said the Canada tour highlighted several. It was a great chic and made her stand out in the crowd. I hope we get to see the dress at some point. I would be interested in your opinion if you saw it on her instead of just the picture. Thanks, Jane! You are doing a great job!

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  2. Hi Jane, thanks for the great post, again!! You sure have been working hard, keeping up with the Cambridges, I hope you are able to enjoy a glass (or two) of champagne in the evening. :)

    Unfortunately, I disagree with you on Kate's look for today. While green is wonderful color for her, really what color isn't?, I just don't like this coat. I find it rather busy, a full zipper in front,with tabs both top and bottom, zippers on the sleeves, detailing on the bodice, just too much going on for me. Also, I found the fit a little off, a little too boxy, I don't think it compliments her figure. And when, oh when will she be wearing an Aussie designer?? I've read in other papers that she choose some jewelry from a local design team and keep hoping that she will wear them soon, I guess I'm too impatient! Lol

    I did think William looked very handsome today! I like the darker suits on him as opposed to the lighter blue suit he wore a couple of days ago. And George sure is racking up the gifts the last two days! Will and Kate won't need to buy many Christmas or birthday gifts for quite some time. I wonder if they keep these gifts, put them in some storage room somewhere or donate them to charity.

    OMG, does the lady in the leggings not own a full length mirror?? Her whole outfit is a hot mess, a Chanel jacket, a scarf headband and those leggings!!! I agree with you, Will and Kate will have a good laugh over this. It looks to me like the logo is the same one from the Sex Pistols album cover, what was she thinking??

    Looking forward to tomorrow's wrap up.

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  3. Sorry, just not feeling the love for this coat (and here in the Upper Midwest, ladies normally have at least 12 coats for winter, which has seemed particularly long this year). Color and length are great, love the throw back dress, but all the seaming comes off as too busy, the zippers distracting, the funny little tabs on the side trying to decide if they're a belt or just there to be annoying. She's done way way better and this isn't it.

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  4. Sorry to say this... She clothes herself like a fifty years old woman.

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    1. needs to dress her age, the longer hemlines make her much older. she wear clothes so well and everyone adores what she selects. Let her be the girl William feel in love with.

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  5. I was at the Avantidrome today Jane. It was great..and I don't have terribly much to add about it!! It was quite surreal seeing them 'in the flesh'.

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  6. Sorry, don't like this coat. I love the colour and like the collar, but the cut - it does nothing to her figure, i think and I don't like the pattern on the breast either :-(. Well, she won't hit everyone's taste...

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  7. I love this coat! I want one and I want the dress she wore for the plunket engagement, I would wear them together. The green really sets of her beautiful complextion and rich toned brunette hair. Love it very elegant and chic. A winner from kate ! :)

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  8. Until the Cambridge's arrived we had had weeks of hot, sunny weather and the countryside was in drought. Since their arrival last Monday Wellington has now had the longest run of wet weather ever and its set to continue till they leave - then guess what, its fine agin! The drought stricken farmers around the country are hoping their patch is on the royal itinerary so that long awaited rain is guaranteed. As for the rest of us we are fed up with rain, fog and low cloud and desperately sad our beautiful country is not being shown off to full advantage!

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    1. Haha, oh gosh, isn't that always how it goes. :( I am still thinking that New Zealand looks incredible, if that makes you feel better. The shots from Queenstown yesterday were quite stunning!! I am thinking I need to plan a trip. :) I will say that I am glad for the farmers. Droughts are so destructive to that important industry.

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  9. Can I say that I disliked this dress? Too "old" and baggy for her and IMO it didn't suit her... I haven't seen great dresses so far :-(

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    1. Yes, you may. :) I know lots didn't like it. I am intrigued by the very split feeling on this piece! I liked it, as you know, but you have lots with you in the "not so great" camp. Hopefully, today will be great!!

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  10. Hi Jane! Thank you so much for all of your posts and updates - I'm a new reader and love how dedicated you are to keeping us up to date. My husband and I recently moved to Auckland, NZ and went out yesterday to see William and Kate in the harbour. It was amazing and I can assure you, the crowd cheers just as loud for William as they do for Kate. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and even in a crowd of 6,000 I still felt special to get a chance to see them. Of course I rushed home to see your update and more professional shots. Such a wonderful day and I'm always grateful for your recaps and posts!

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    1. I am so happy to hear from all the new readers, this is awesome. Welcome! Glad you found us! Wow, I had a friend who was living in St. Andrews when they visited right before their wedding. He went and lined up to see them, and I thought it sounded so amazing. It is a really special thing, and yes, probably once in a lifetime. Good for you guys, sounds fun!! If they come to America for the Pelly wedding I may have to travel to Memphis. :) Hope you continue to read and enjoy the blog! Best, Jane

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  11. Do you think Kate and William make time to work out on these types of tours? They both seem to be physically fit and talking this much time off from exercise would be difficult for people who are in the habit. Also, are they not allowed to touch one another? There are times in some of these pictures where it would seem more natural for Kate to take William's arm (like under an umbrella) or after they caught up with one another after the yacht race yesterday. After the race, they seemed a little awkward in the video. Kind of like "I want to hug you but we should not in public". Loved her coat today. Wondering if it will be next year's St. Patrick's Day coat? Keep up the good work. We are enjoying your posts.

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I too have wondered about their ability to work out while on tours. It seems that they have more time off on this one, not many evening engagements so maybe they are able to squeeze in a work out or walk with George. I've also wondered about the food they are served, while I'm sure they are served nothing but the best, what happens if it doesn't agree with them or if they don't like it? Silly thing to think about, but I have a very sensitive tummy so this thought enters my mind quite often. lol

      I don't think there is any rule about touching, rather a habit from their college days, when they made a pact not to touch in public in order not to arouse suspicion and talk. Sophie and Edward hold hands in public and William and Kate did on their Christmas morning walk, which was rather surprising, first time I've ever seen that!

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    2. I was thinking about that just the other day. I think that Kate at least must take time to workout at least every few days. It depends on what she is eating, but if she is eating lovely (read: calorie high ) meals she can't go three weeks with not workouts without a set back in her fitness goals. Plus, a sweaty workout is very stress relieving. So, I doubt they are working out every day, as you say, but I am sure Kate is either fitting in some Pilates in the morning or getting the elliptical in at night every now and again.

      I was just thinking yesterday as I watched the newsfeed that they seem to be touching far more than usual! When they got engaged and were newlyweds, he was always guiding her with his arm. There was a lot of contact. Of the two pictures we have of them really hugging, after the boat race in Canada and at the velodrome during the Olympics, the first was a case of teasing. Kate was pretending to push William off the pier after she lost. It evolved into a half hug and of course we grabbed a lot of stills from it. The second, at the velodrome, was purely a spontaneous moment of excitement form William. It was also a split second that was snagged on camera and made frontline news across the world. I think that they try not to have those moments, honestly. Just so that they can fight the privacy battle. That is one reason that the tour is fun, they relax a bit and we get to see a little more normal interaction between the two. The kind we know they have in private, but that we never get to see in their usual faster and professional public engagements in the UK.

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    3. I've often thought about the "hugging and touching-thing". I also wondered if there's a etiquette or soemthing not to touch because they never do. I agree with Anonymous. I had the same feeling of awkwardness after the race. It's a pity we don't have more natural behaviour. I love these two moments Jane described and the holding hands Lauri mentioned. But unfortunately I have to accept that they are professionals in public and they want to keep the privacy barrier. Maybe I would act the same in their stead. I'd like to be a fly on their wall but they are as human as I am and I don't want my privacy to be discussed in public. So I think they try to separate as good as they can. What a tightrope walk for them between private person and "duty"
      Loved Jane's post about that duty-topic: http://fromberkshiretobuckingham.blogspot.de/2013/11/does-kate-really-workenough.html

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    4. Yes, I think they want to be natural in front of the crowds, but also are afraid that too much will only increase the public's feeling that we "own them" in public and private. It's just tough.
      Glad you enjoyed that post, Vicky, it was certainly a controversial time on the blog. :)

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  12. Hi Jane! You are the best tour guide! Thank you for a wonderful post. I have to say that I'm not crazy about this green coat. I read that William thought it was "too bright". The zipper in the front creates an awckward restraint and makes it appear stiff and boxy. I do looove the outfit that lady wore: a mix of class with a bit of jazz! Lol. Just kidding of course! Poor thing, she looks like she came straight from a hospital with a bandage around her head. Which goes to show that fashion and style is personal.

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  13. Hi Jane. You are the best tour guide for this royal visit! I have to say that I'm not crazy about this green coat. The zipper creates an awkward restraint and makes the outfit appear stiff and boxy. I read that William thought the coat was "too bright". Now, I loooove that lady's outfit: classy on the top and jazzy on the the bottom. lol Just kidding of course. Poor thing, she looks like she ran out of a hospital with her head all bandaged up! Which goes to show you that style and fashion is subjective.

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    1. Ahh, yay! Thank you! I am glad people like the more live-blog kind of set-up with the tweets, etc. I thin it helps to give you a sense of how the day progressed, glad it is being received well.
      I think this outfit was the most controversial of the week. Really strong opinions on both sides. :)
      Haha! That lady. Wow! She was an officials wife, or something. Pretty wild.

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  14. Love this coat----we are so used to seeing her in fitted coats or sporting a belt, this is a nice change.
    Seems to me that the crowds are happy to shake hands with either William or Catherine.
    Charles had been so used to being the centre of attention for 10 or so years that Diana taking centre stage came as a shock, but William isn't his father and seems to have become more at ease when Catherine is there too. Reminds me of the effect the Queen Mum had on her husband George VI. There were photos of them holding hand after the boat race.
    I hope they didn't both have indigestion after the 15 minute lunch,
    Thanks for keeping us so well informed and for fellow bloggers who make their criticism politely and kindly.

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    1. No, you are absolutely right! People are excited to see William, too. He is a very popular royal. I think he is more popular than Charles was, because some of the Diana-mania transferred to him. As her son, he is the recipient of her star-dust. :)

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  15. I also have mixed feelings on this coat. In some photos it looks lovely on her, in others it seems boxy and the zipper up the middle looks awkward. I love the color on her and the collar, but it seemed heavy in pictures. The length of the coat was fine but i felt with her hair down also, that it might be just a little heavy looking. Maybe better than the McQueen because it is a bit shorter in length. I also think she could have opened the coat so we could see the dress and it might have looked and photographed better in some pictures. Not a miss by any means, the color is fabulous on her, but just boxy in some pictures.

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    1. It had some awkward photos, I will give you that. Her hair up might have been nice. I actually think this would have been great with booties, like the Aquatalias her mom sometimes wears. It is a beautiful piece, but it definitely divided people.

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