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Royal Tour Down Under Day 3: Plunket Playdate with George

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Governor-General of New Zealand Flickr
George had a playdate with Plunket today (Wednesday, April 9th). If you are Googling around for Plunket, New Zealand just stop. You aren't going to find it. It isn't a town, it is "New Zealand's largest baby and toddler organization." Don't worry, I am on top of this tour more than it might seem, although I admit to knowing a significantly larger amount about clothes than babies' organizations. Anyhoo. The Cambridges arrived back at Government House in Wellington about an hour and a half before the engagement was to begin. Kate was wreathed in smiles as she waved out the window wearing the same grey Max Mara wrap that she first wore in February of 2013 when pregnant with George...

February 2013
...and again on this trip on the flight from London to Sydney.

Left at the airport in Sydney, Right today pulling into Government House

George looked like a little Mr. Grumpy-Pants in his carseat next to her. Maybe he was worried about being rained out. I love that George is such a serious little dude. It isn't even as if he is angry, he just looks subdued and thoughtful and above it all. Not going to get overly excited, you know, just doing his thing, being a royal. Stephanie shared with me an hilarious collection of grumpy-George memes fashioned after the very popular grumpy cat. You can view the BuzzFeed list here, and you know how much I love BuzzFeed lists. :)

Kate has now worn this lovely Max Mara three times, and it seems she has chosen it for her all-purpose use on this tour. As I said before when she touched down in Sydney wearing it, great choice! Designer label, formal and flattering, but relaxed--not to mention easy to pack. As much as we love it, though, we want new dresses on tour! I was not concerned that she would change. I fully expected a new piece. New items are required on the tour and it would be a downer for all those parents if Kate had worn the Max Mara a third time. It would have been insulting. She did wear a new piece, a Tory Burch.

Governor-General of New Zealand Flickr

I don't think anyone was expecting her to wear Tory Burch, an American designer! Pippa has worn Tory Burch in the past, notably when she opened a new boarding house for the Mary Hare School. I remember getting very excited. Although Burch is from Philly, the label is super popular in my city and throughout the southern/midwest states of America, and other than Ralph Lauren, the Middleton girls don't often wear American labels. But, Tory Burch is a style that fits very easily into a Middleton closet.

Mary Hare School Facebook
Notice the similar styles. Tory Burch does a lot of classic sheaths, she likes textures and prints, and there is a similar fray to the edges on Pippa's suit as on the dress Kate wore today. Kate has a penchant for this look as evidenced by the Missoni she has now worn three times, but best on St. David's Day...

As well as that beautiful deep blue suit from New Zealand designer Rebecca Taylor that Kate wore in 2012:

So, she certainly likes this style, but I am surprised that Tory Burch snagged a coveted spot on this tour! Good on her. George was his usual, charming, little self. He seemed pretty self-confident and played around on the floor while behaving himself nicely. One parent said he "owned the room" and honed in on the toys he wanted to play with and took them. So, he is already acting like a prince.

That's not a toy, George

One parent told reporters that William said he gave George his bottle at night and put him to bed, while other parents talked about Kate voicing her gratitude that the help of family and friends allowed her to balance her life as a royal and her role as a mother. She also told one of the mothers that with four or five teeth, George is now on solid food and sleeping through the night.

This is exactly what I was looking forward to! Seeing Kate just being a mom, hefting that guy around, cooing to him, encouraging him, smiling at him... It is like she is Kate Middleton again, we get to see her as a more private person rather than the poised royal. It was very, very sweet. Kate is remaining her usually classic self by dressing George in very traditional and adorable baby clothes, like this sweet, smocked onesie.

George is only 8 months old, but so far it is clear he is a happy, healthy, confident, and deeply loved little boy. Kate is just the wonderful mother we all knew she would be.
A busy day tomorrow, everyone! I have to get off to bed, but this was worth the lost sleep, eh? I will update tomorrow with more pictures and some videos of this awesome Plunket PlayDate... Happy dreams to you all!

Governor-General of New Zealand Flickr


  1. Such a beautiful mother and son! Thanks for this post!

  2. Love that last picture :)

  3. Wow! What a beautiful trio they are. Kate looks like a doting mother and she looks so comfortable with george. He is too cute for words and that last picture is truly wonderful. I'm so happy they took george along so we could see these precious moments and get an insight into the other side of kate.

    Her dress was beautiful! The perfect mix of classy, elegant, stylish and comfortable, and I adored the print, in fact it's exactly he kind of dress I would wear, altough maybe a little shorter. Her hair looked lovely and glossy and bouncy as well. A perfect engagement, my favourite one of the year so far. Thank you for posting Jane, can't wait for tonight!

  4. Gorgeous pictures.Mummy and Daddy certainly doing a good job with him, giving him the security which will stand him in good stesd for the rest of his life.

  5. I would be very surprised if Kate wore the Max Mara all the way from London. Amazingly there did not seem to be any photos of their departure from London nor their arrival into Sydney - just leaving the Sydney terminal where they had had a couple of hours and time to shower and change before boarding the flight to NZ. Certainly can't imagine William traveling in a suit for 25+ hours without looking a crumpled mess! The Max Mara looks very comfy and with the abrupt change to wintry weather here in NZ this week the long sleeves will be welcome!
    Great posts you are putting together, despite having to be sleep deprived in the northern hemisphere! Thank you

  6. I love the last photo, PG is really the star of the trip. Unfortunately the dress again is a miss for me! Tomorrow is reception lets hope for the best! A.

  7. So taken with George almost forgot the dress--loved it, pretty and elegant and ideal around a bevy of babies,.
    Don't remember hearing of this designer before, but hope to see more of her.
    Your last picture says it all, doesn't it?---had a lovely time, but now I.m tired and just want Mummy. Just a bit scared of the blue monster too!

  8. Absolutely amazing pictures!!!! And me too, THAT'S what I wanted to see. I wished for a more casual outfit so she wouldn't set herself too apart from the other parents who are in a similar situation than they are, but ok, I know, it was an official engagement, they were the VIP's and so this dress was a good choice. Not too chic but underlining who she is. Besides who cares about the outfit: George is such a cutie!! And seeing them acting together - heart-melting!!

    Thank you, Jane, for your hard work!

    Greets to you all

  9. I absolutely love this engagement... the dress Kate wore (one of my favourite ever), the lovely atmosphere, George, the babies... First of all, the family continues to look gorgeous, then Kate was stunning.. the dress is just perfect for the occasion and for her.. the silouhette, the colours, the graphic.. I adore her in this moments when she shows us who she is: a simple beautiful woman..

  10. I don't know if anyone's noticed, but Kate's Tory Burch dress is rather evocative of traditional Maori dress. Very diplomatic.

  11. I love these pictures, especially the last one! George is a cute little boy and it's lovely to see Kate and William in their role as parents.
    Kate's dress is perfect for the occasion. Can't wait to see what she'll be wearing next!

  12. I think the Max Mara dress she arrived in also serves a purpose, that being to take the attention away from what she is wearing and put it on the event and the children. Very diplomatic of her, as usual.


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