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Farewell to New Zealand! Kate Pulls a Royal Recycle at Police College

Wednesday, April 16, 2014



Even nature cried to say goodbye to Kate. It was rainy, rainy today as William and Kate undertook their last few engagements in Wellington, New Zealand before boarding a flight to Australia. In this first glimpse we had on the live feed, blurred by the mist of the rain, it seemed this "sparkly" suit was a more homogeneous fabric, but with a little close-up it was quickly apparent that she was recycling her Rebecca Taylor from event at Goldsmith Hall to commemorate the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race to the South Pole.


The couple were visiting the Royal New Zealand Police College. The choir sang while William and Kate placed a wreath and took a brief moment of silence. 






Kate was wearing her hair in a half-do, very similar to what she wore in Christchurch.




The gifts just keep piling up. 






The two were shown around some of the facilities where demonstrations of various police techniques were underway. 


Then it was back into the rain:


There was a surprise in the truck:


Puppies! 



And that little puppy got his fur all over that Rebecca Taylor, but it was a cute photo-op.


Dog-lover that she is, Kate seemed absolutely delighted:






If you are wondering the question I am, put your mind at rest. After they deposited the little darlings back in their box, hand sanitizer and towels had been thoughtfully placed on a nearby table:


It isn't that I don't like animals!






 The two greeted guests as they made their way toward the car:









Gifts for George:




Then it was off to Civic Square for a farewell walk-about...

...where the "self-proclaimed" Duke of Wellington waited, looking might I add, like he had had a bit before toddling over:



Duchess-Spotter, who has been at the airport almost every morning to bring us breaking news on Kate's fashion, was on hand at the square to finally get her just reward. And she collected. She got to shake William's hand and got some lovely shots of the beautiful Kate. I know I speak for all the Kate bloggers and fans when I say how thankful we are that you were faithful to the "job." It gave us all head-starts on the ID work and on the blogging and it made the week so much more fun!









Despite the blurry photo, I was amused by the kid who is almost cracking is back to grab a selfie.


Until, I saw this and realized, if they work out, they can be cool: (Snap from her day in Christchurch...obviously.)


While the couple were finishing their engagements, the plane was loading up:







Kate and William waved to crowds lined along the overpass, before sliding into their car and being whisked away:


William must have heard some of your preferences, because he carried baby George to the plane and up the stairs.









This was the second New Zealand designer that Kate wore, the first being Emilia Wickstead, and just like the first, this was a recycle.  I think there was a sense from some of letdown. I think both these wears were fine and I think there might be a multitude of reasons why Kate chose the pieces she did. 

First, Kate is a member of the British Royal Family and since New Zealand remains part of the commonwealth, for now, she is a New Zealand royal as well. Since she wears both Emilia Wickstead and Rebecca Taylor in the UK, perhaps she was attempting to highlight this continuity. To bridge the gap between these two nations and remind everyone that some staples in her wardrobe are also New Zealand designers. Highlighting, she wears NZ not just for a lark on tour, but often. So, there could be a sense of unity to it.


Kate in Emilia Wickstead in 2013

The second reason could rest in the country itself. Kate has been rather savaged in the media since the birth of Prince George. No sooner had a month passed than people were complaining she wasn't working enough, wondering why she didn't get back to the job--of course now we learn by her own admission that those first five months were quite difficult. Of course, regular royal watchers knew that from watching her at her few engagements. There was a haggard appearance to the princess who is usually so ebullient and chirpy. Then, she was heavily criticized for both her annual vacation to Mustique, as well as the romantic get-away she snuck in with William a few weeks before the tour.


What does this have to do with anything? One of the reasons the Cambridges are Down Under is to shore up support for two countries with very strong republican movements. There is much talk that Australia and New Zealand will not remain in the Commonwealth after the Queen's death. Kate has to be politic in every choice she makes as a royal. She recycled multiple times on this tour; she is obviously trying to economize where she can. The Emilia Wickstead seems to be a genuinely new piece, despite the identical design, and this suit hasn't seen much of the spotlight at all, frankly, and certainly not for a while.  I think she is keenly aware of the tightrope she walks and this was a carefully planned wardrobe on multiple levels.


Of course, there are the other factors such as color and style, which no doubt only sweetened the choice. It was blue and nicely complemented the uniforms at the police academy, and it is a farewell, so it doesn't seem necessary to wear something new and stunning. She will now change to something new and--hopefully--quite arresting for her entrance in Sydney.

Ultimately, I think it was a thoughtful and reasonable recycle and I personally approve this suit very much. I liked it fine when she first wore it, but this wear struck me. She looked slimmer and more beautiful than ever. Most of all, I would like to say that Kate is just shining these past few days. The whole tour, thus far, actually. She is absolutely, luminously beautiful. I am so struck by how stunning she has been! Kate certainly has brought her A-game.

See the video of William, Kate, and George boarding their plane in Wellington for their flight to Sydney here.

That is it for New Zealand!  See you later for their touch down Sydney, Australia.

George, you unimpressed princeling, you are just begging to make the internet rounds as a viral meme with these faces.









42 comments:

  1. Lovely hair, lovely dress, I was suprised this amount of recycling this is not what you have seen before. I dont really get your explanation why she did that, to be honest. She recylced because she is royal, she was attacked by many for not doing "anything" but holidaying, economize????? But we never find out the truth. I have also my doubts about being the most successful tour so far but wait and see how it is shaping up..A.

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    1. Sorry! I shouldn't blog tired... Ok, in short my thought is that public opinion is split. Some people love the royals, some think they are spendthrifts leeching on the people, and some are in the middle. So, with this forecast she clearly decided to try and be as "frugal" as possible in her wardrobe. It probably would not have been the best plan to come Down Under and over-dazzle with thousands and thousands of pounds worth of clothes in a country that already has strong republican sentiment. If they are trying to salvage the monarchy, they want to win as many people to them as they can, and she ay have seen bad PR in her future if she looked like an endless fashion parade of brand new dresses. She is already battling the bad press she received for her vacation to Mustique and the Maldives. I think she chose recycles to present a more grounded monarchy and to connect her fashion staples to the commonwealth.
      I hope that is a little more clear. Some things we only get to speculate on, since they don't let us know what goes on in palace strategy sessions. But, this is my guess... :)

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    2. You should have written this in the first place:-))) I totally agree. Although I must say such iin life balance is everything. What I mean is sometimes you see her wearing a 4000 coatdress, the other day she cheaply rebuttons a coat or wearing the same worn jeans, wedges. But I see balancing, jungling btw being royal and an ordinary person is extremely difficult. I just hope she will improve a bit and satisfy all needs.:-))Thnaks for answering and your enormous amount of energy, dedication, and last but not least entertaining us all the way through.A.

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    3. Haha, sorry. Sometimes things just don't come out right the first time.... Yes, she has to find that balance, and sometimes she may go too far in one direction or the other. She'll just get better and better, though!
      Thank YOU for reading. I am really excited to see all the people checking in every day to follow this tour. It is very tuna dn energizing!

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  2. In regards to your comments, I think the republicanism movement is stronger in Australia than in NZ. Being in the commonwealth is not what it used to be for either country. For example, there are now age restrictions on who can work in the UK from NZ and Oz (27 is the cut off point) as opposed to those who can enter freely from Europe for example Romainian immigrants. Post World War 2, Britain was one of the biggest export destinations for NZ primary products, this is no longer the case. It is deeper than who is the figure head of the State.
    I too believe that Kate's recycling did come from a frugal aspect. She is trying to honour the host country but ensure that the expenditure was not extreme. Many people are still feeling the pinch from the recession and this may be a reflection of that. No matter what she does, not all will be happy, but she is doing her best to accomodate all opinions and I think she has done a great job.

    Kiwi Nic

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    1. have heard that--thank you for confirming! I heard it is really Australia that is tougher and that is why they started the tour in NZ. Friendlier reception to kick it off. I am really interested to read your comments about the Commonwealth. Essentially, you are saying you all don't get the same perks you used to and so it is less and less valuable to you to stay? Interesting. That is a flaw in design. :)
      Thanks for weighing in so often with your locals perspective. I know we are all enjoying it! :)

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  3. As a kiwi I was disappointed that she did not showcase any of the local designers. I was really hoping Kate would!!! A nod from the Duchess to one or two new kiwi designers would be in the country's best interests, rather than a distraction from what the tour hopes to achieve - a strengthening of the bond within the commonwealth and a promotion of NZ to the international arena. We saw beautiful shots of Queenstown, the America's Cup team in Auckland and a whole host of other ventures to highlight NZ on a world stage. So where did it fall short with our designers? Don't get me wrong - I love Kate and all that she does. I am a true Monarchist and I love Kate's wardrobe pieces... But going forward I only hope she plays fair and goes down a similar route with her Australian tour choices and sticks to her already established wardrobe staples, otherwise it will be slightly insulting to NZ fashion!!!

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    1. I have to agree with that. I think we were all surprised that she did not wear a budding NZ label. If she sticks to her staples than fair is fair. I think she is going to. I mean, she is going to wear a few Australian designers, but it is looking like she will wear them about as much as she did NZ. I can't imagine they didn't consider the balance on that. We shall see!

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  4. Very difficult to use New Zealand designers, unless they have premises in the UK---how would she get them fitted.
    In my opinion her choices have been superb, but some people will disagree---otherwise we would all be walking clones of each other.
    Then, also, we have those for whom she can do nothing right---will never persuade them.
    George is just so cute and takes everything in his stride.

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    1. "How would she get them fitted." With all due respect, you must be joking right? That's a very poor excuse to make up for the fact she did not wear a new designer. Please do not refer here to anybody as she can do nth right for some people. Taste defer whether you like it or not.A.

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    2. Kiwi designes would fly to London just for the fitting. That is how valuable it is for them to be seen on someone like Kate. Its priceless advertising for them. Its a poor excuse to say just because they are not in London she did not use them. It may have been more like she may not know of any NZ based designers or was not willing to take a risk with an unknown. It might be an area in which her team needs to do a bit more work. In saying that, Im sure if they really wanted to know they would have found out.

      Kiwi Nic

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  5. Beautiful suit! It looks quite smart on her. And her hair...just lovely (as usual). And the dogs are too cute! I'm sure George would have also enjoyed a playdate with those cuties.
    Now, speaking of Prince George...that little boy cracks me up! That constant 'I'm not impressed and very sceptical' look on his face is just too cute and hilarious. I hope he keeps that up for the entire trip :)

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    1. I think we can safely assume we will get a lot more quietly aloof and lightly judgmental looks from Prince George. :) Everyone is absolutely eating it up. It is so cute.

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  6. I think Prince George should receive an A+ for how darling he has looked every time we were fortunate to see him in New Zealand. It is hard to see this adorable little baby and not think how much Princess Diana would have been head over heels in love with him.

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    1. Yes, he is doing very well. Diana would certainly have been thrilled with him as I am sure Carole is. Can you imagine the fun they had while William and Kate were in the Maldives?

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  7. Beatrix in New YorkApril 16, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    "George, you unimpressed princeling, you are just begging to make the internet rounds as a viral meme with these faces."
    I love your ending to this post. It is so true, lol !!!!

    Jane, what would be the benefits of remaining in the commonwealth for New Zealand and Australia?
    I was unaware that they are interested in leaving the commonwealth until after the Queen's death. I think that is quite telling.

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    1. Hi Beatrix in New York

      The benefits of remaining in the commonwealth is what the big question is for us Kiwi's and Auzzies. I have mentioned in a post above that we don't really get a lot out of it like we used to. For everyday individuals the big thing is being able to have "working holiday" or what we call down here an "OE" overseas experience. A lot of Kiwis will go to the UK for a couple of years but this is restricted to those between the ages of 18 and 30. Beyond that you are cut off it you wish to work there after that age - which is sad because a ;arge proportion of Kiwis have UK heritage. If you have a British grandparent or parent, you have the right to live in the UK. We can serve in their armed forces and be a civil servant in their country. New Zealand use to have huge trading ties to the UK in which most of our primary produce (butter, meat etc) would be sent to. They were our largest export country post WW2 but not anymore. The advantage is that being part of the Commonwealth can give the country more impact on a global arena. It indicates that we all share certain values but overall, not a lot of benefits anymore. It is more like a group of friends.

      Kiwi Nic

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    2. Sorry just to add. We are not considering leaving the commonwealth. Just not having a monarch as our Head of State.

      Kiwi Nic

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    3. Beatrix in New YorkApril 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      Thanks for your reply Kiwi Nic.

      I also assume a special tax is given to the monarchy as well? Is this also correct? Do they receive anything resembling a "tribute" and are they expense to have as head of state?

      Regards,
      Beatrix :)

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    4. Glad you enjoyed it, Beatrix. :) I think the Nic has your question pretty well covered. Although it does seem from these remarks that the Commonwealth does not provide what it once did for all member countries, I get the impression as well that it is the constitutional monarchy that is in greater danger than anyone leaving the commonwealth. And, as I mentioned in the post I wrote about it, who will be the next Head? Those are the two concerns for the BRF as I see it.

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  8. Good morning! I think your observations are spot on, especially about Kate sending the message that she wears NZ designers often, and not just on tour. I also agree with you that while I liked the Rebecca suit fine the first time Kate wore it, I am really loving it this second time around.

    I wonder how her suede shoes hold up in all this rain...I have always thought that water ruins suede. Is that a myth?

    (By the way...I was absolutely thrilled when you responded to my comment a few days ago. Total fangirl moment :) )

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    1. That's a good point. Rain is supposed to ruin suede, although I try not to test the rule. Aquatalia, a Kate favorite, makes rain-resistant suede shoes and boots. I notice Kate wears those in the snow and inclement weather. I wear them, too, and have exposed them to varying degrees of precipitation. So far, so good. You have to brush them up a little afterward. These got pretty soaked. It will be interesting to see if she wears these pumps again and in what condition they appear to be at that time.
      Oh, thanks!! Very flattering of you to say! I love getting everyone's comments here. Keeps things fun! :)

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  9. Good morning! I think your observations are spot on, especially about Kate sending the message that she wears NZ designers often, and not just on tour. I also agree with you that while I liked the Rebecca suit fine the first time Kate wore it, I am really loving it this second time around.

    I wonder how her suede shoes hold up in all this rain...I have always thought that water ruins suede. Is that a myth?

    (By the way...I was absolutely thrilled when you responded to my comment a few days ago. Total fangirl moment :) )

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  10. I love this suit the coulour, the cut, the fabric everything! I also love that she has been wearing her hair partially up as well it really compliments her face. It's been a crazy week I cant believe they are leaving for Australia already. Cant wait too see what she wears getting off the plane in oz. Thanks for all your hard work Jane, its been alot of fun checking in everyday.

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    1. I know, the tour is just flying by! Hard to believe it is half over!

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  11. Are Australia and New Zealand considering leaving the Commonwealth? Thought the question was whether they wished to remain a Constitutional Monarchy, with HM as Head of State, or become a republic.
    The Commonwealth is different---just a collection of friendly nations---most of which (but not all) were once part of the British Empire and most of which are republics with just a few keeping the British Monarch as their Head of State
    The Queen is head of the Commonwealth---but who succeeds her in that position, will be decided when the time comes.

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    1. Yes, the biggest issue is, will they remain a nation with a constitutional monarchy. That is the tough sell.
      I think it seems you have a pretty clear handle on it, so I won't elaborate. :)

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  12. I think in the back of our minds, we are comparing Kate to Diana. Diana never seemed to wear the same outfit twice in public. But Diana had use of the Duchy of Cornwall credit card with it's limitless credit limit. Kate doesn't have that credit card. Her clothes are paid for by her father-in-law, Prince Charles who uses his private funds. He is well known to be frugal. So she must have a budget. Can you imagine having your father-in-law looking over your clothing bills? I think Kate is doing a wonderful job at staying down to earth, not letting her position go to her head.

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    1. Haha, good point! I would be uncomfortable having anyone look over my clothes bill... Thankfully, William has his mother's inheritance, as well. Plus, the clothes are part of the business, so although it is a little odd, it isn't like it would be if you just had expensive tastes and your father-in-law picked up the tab. Camilla, Kate, all the royal ladies have to dress the part and the men understand that. Charles probably does have an ideal budget, but frankly, the system is probably pretty removed. They aren't sitting down in the office and discussing how much she spent on that Jenny P last month.
      I agree with you, though. Kate is doing a great job of being a royal and a normal woman!

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  13. I commend you on your insightful political commentary–keep up the excellent, informative work!! Great blog!!!

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    1. Thank you very much! I appreciate the encouragement!

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  14. BTW-and sorry about back to back posts, I love the picture of Rebecca Deacon wearing what seem to be LK Bennett's...!

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    1. Ladies who spend a lot of time together tend to start dressing the same. I always enjoy seeing Rebecca Deacon and wish we got more pictures of her! She always is very tastefully dressed! Kate's security guard, too. The female, one, not the guy we are getting so fond of. :)

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  15. Jane u keep using the term "very strong republican movement" in both countries, and kate is being sent there for political reasons.> As an American I don't really think u know what is going on. The Queen is showing us the new generation of the monarchy and that is all. William and kate are the future. Young people are growing with them. There's nothing political about it all.

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    1. Sam, I think it's VERY political :)

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    2. I think its a bit of both.

      Kate and Wills are going to be a future Monarch duo to these 2 countries if they remain with a Monarchy as a Head of State. They are being introduced to help cement those ties which in itself is a political move, both for the Monarchy as a firm but also to keep the ties between UK and the commonwealth close. They are invited here by the countries but visit on diplomatic passports, which is essentally what they are - diplomats. Diplomacy is about closer ties between countries.
      The Queen meets with the British Prime Minister every week to discuss issues. I believe that there has been 12 Prime Minsiters within her reign, so she herself has a certain amount of knowledge about ways of doing things too, even if she is just used as an advisor. She is apolitical in that she does not directly interfer with governmental issues, but it is arguable that she may advise in a round about way. However, this not to the point where the PM has to act on what she says.

      So yes, the Queen is showing off the new generation but they also hope to gain something out of it as well.

      Kiwi Nic

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    3. Hi Sam! I think Nic put it pretty well, and I also wrote a extended piece on why I think this is political. I know Americans can sometimes give he impression we have no idea what's up :) and I wasn't raised in the system, that is true. But, I think I have a handle on the situation, or certainly an informed opinion.
      I agree the Queen is showing the new generation, but I think there is more than one motive. Anyway, I assume you saw my thoughts on that post, those were my two cents! :)

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  16. I just love your blog and all the great updates of Will & Kate's tour! Prince George is so darn adorable! I love your comment about a viral meme of his faces! I am commenting because I am curious about your comment referring to Kate's struggling the first five months. I had not heard that before and was hoping you could write a little more about that?

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    1. Hi Kristin. I started responding to this and it got longer and longer and I realized I wanted to use pictures to explain my point, and you know where this is going. I will make it a blog post, so I can elaborate a little more and use pictures for clarification. Look for it soon! And thanks for commenting! I love these comments that spark Kate-chats. :)

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    2. Thanks and I look forward to your post!

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  17. Jane, it's a great analysis of Kate's choices, particularly about the recycling of the NZ designers.
    I agree she's more radiant than she ever was, and she seems much more self-confident, too. She knows better how to act with both the officials and the crowd. Motherhood can change a girl into a woman... And I think William is a great support to her, too.
    In the past few months we didn't much see her, but every time she seemed exhausted. Whatever people may say, I think she really needed that break in Mustique without George.

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    1. Yes, she needed them both. She needed to get away with her family and George and I think she needed that time alone with William being pampered...without Mr. Cutie. :)

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