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Kate Wears Opal Matthew Williamson Coat for Her Away Day In Wales

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Kate was all smiles this morning as she arrived at the Valero Refinery in Pembroke to tour the facility. It was the first of two engagements in Wales for the royals during what is described on the press beat as an"Away Day."

The press release from the Palace gave some background on the refinery and its importance to the area. The plant was opened in 1964, and American energy corporation Valero acquired the refinery in 2011. 
The Pembroke Refinery was officially opened in 1964 by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. It became the first major industrial employer in South Pembrokeshire since the closure of the Pembroke Dock in 1926. This year celebrates the refinery’s 50th anniversary and offers an opportunity to highlight the prosperity the Refinery has brought to the county, through employment and community engagement.

The couple met with workers:

Got an inside look at the control room:

William and Kate also met with locals who are positively impacted by the refiner, were guests at a short performance by a group of young people connected to the refinery through the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and unveiled a plaque and a painting by a local artists, which looks absolutely lovely: 

Kate surprised me by opting for a Matthew Williamson. She chose one of his wool coats in what the label describes as Pacific Opal. 

This coat opened Williamson's Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear collection. reported at the time:
Matthew Williamson must be cursing the schedulers at BFC, because at precisely the time of his show, a few hundred meters away, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lupita Nyong'o, Prince William, et al were making their red-carpet entrance at the BAFTA Awards. Talk about a potential thunder stealer.
Little did (possibly cursing) Williamson know that despite the thunder-stealing hubbub, one of his show's pieces would still catch the eye of a certain Princess in Kensington Palace. So, today, Williamson got the last laugh as he proudly confirmed on Twitter that HRH the Duchess of Cambridge was indeed wearing his coat.

You can still purchase the coat, but it will cost you £1,195.00 or, north of $2,000:

Matthew Williamson is a dark horse in Kate's closet. If you were passing the time before this event running the odds on which label would get the nod today, it is unlikely that you would have even considered him. Kate has worn him before, though, when she attended the African Cats premiere. That was a fantastic ensemble. So picture perfect for the event and flattering on her. 

Kate used contrasting black accessories: her Aquatalia Rumba boots, black stockings, and her Stuart Weitzman "Muse" clutch. She opted for her clear and light Kiki McDonough amethyst drop earrings to add the needed sparkle. Under the coat, Kate was wearing the Animal Shirt Dress in chocolate brown from Hobbs. 

I loved the blue opal paired with black. The double pocket flaps at the waist are specifically meant to highlight the waist, and with Kate's tiny bump just filling the coat out, I think they played their part just as designed. It was a very flattering piece on Kate.

I am not a fan of the dress. Pale blue and black are a great combo, but adding brown into the mix makes for a dissonant symphony of colors. I also have to say that something about the color and the way the print looks as if it is almost embossed makes me think of 1970's men's fashion...which probably wasn't the vibe for which Kate was shooting.  It is a minor issue, since the collar was only noticeable in close shots, but it is a surprising aberration for the detail-oriented Duchess. This coat can go with black or brown, but she should have chosen just one.

The couple travelled from the refinery to Cardiff to watch Wales take on Australia in a rugby match. William is the Vice Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union and the Patron of the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust. While Kate loves sport, I don't know that rugby is her favorite. I love how everyone is oriented toward the royal couple:

Most games we have seen her at she appears relatively passive to the play on the pitch, but she lit up when the two met with wounded servicemen during the halftime break. She may have been feeling a bit chilled, though, since she had put on her Cornelia James gloves during the match. 

There was a reception after the match and royal commentator Katie Nicholl reported that William got to have a piece of chocolate biscuit cake. Chocolate biscuit cake is rumored to be William's favorite cake, and his frequent request when he visited the Queen for afternoon tea while at Eton. It was his groom's cake at his wedding, so I believe he must like it quite a bit. I tested multiple recipes in 2011 and came up with one that most closely matched the official McVitie's cake. You can see that recipe here if you fancy a royal treat tomorrow.

All in all, a fun (albeit chilly looking) day for the Duke and Duchess. Kate looks so much better. Hopefully, her holiday in Scotland helped to speed her recovery. Speaking of the trip to Scotland, for those of you who love the little stories: on their flight to Scotland, my awesome "Scottish Spy" told me that Kate sat in the window seat with George on her lap--thankfully it isn't a long flight--William was the gentleman and took the dreaded middle seat, and Nanny Maria snagged the aisle. I imagine this also served to provide Kate and George with as much privacy as possible, and with Nanny Maria on the aisle, it kept the Cambridges low-profile.  A security officer took the seat behind the royal party.

Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday. I cannot imagine that Kate will not be present, so we should be seeing her quite soon! She will be wearing black and a hat. :)  

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