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Duchess Kate in Brown Catherine Walker for St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, (although today I should refer to them by their Carrickfergus title) were at Mons Barracks this morning for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade with the Irish Guards. William was made Colonel of the Regiment in 2011, shortly before his wedding, and so this event  has been a staple of the royal calendar.



Here, the baskets of shamrocks are ready for the parade earlier in the morning:

via Simon Perry
The royal couple arrived a little on the early side and spent about half an hour in the officers' mess, before appearing on the parade ground, and it was then we discovered that there was to be no green coat this March 17th. Instead, the Duchess opted for a bespoke piece in brown, by royal favorite Catherine Walker, and recycled her Betty Boop hat by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co.



As the wife of the colonel, Kate presents the little sprigs of shamrocks to the officers, but first to William (see 1:07 in video below), who always pops it right up into his hat:



Then the program really gets going as soldier after soldier presents himself for his shamrocks:





Even the dog receives shamrocks, although this year Kate did fasten them on quite tightly enough:





If you have been following Kate for more than a year, you know today's drill. After the parade, the two met with servicemen's family members and toasted the regiment. William raised a glass of Guinness this year (Did you know that Guinness sells 13 million pints of Guinness on St. Patrick's Day and that their sales in March are double any other month of the year? I read that in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago...) while Kate stuck to a tall glass of water.



Today, Kate's Betty Boop hat ties the Cappuccino beret from Whiteley at four recycles, and together, those two trail Kate's favorite hat, the "Fairy Tale" from Lock & Co. which she has worn at least five times.  It is interesting to see this hat return to its debut location. Kate first wore the Betty Boop on St. Patrick's Day 2012, when she presented the shamrocks alone since William was deployed in the Falklands at the time. 

Kate's Favorite Royal Recycles: Betty Boop, Cappuccino Whiteley, Fairy Tale /Splash

Kate stuck to another tradition, the golden, shamrock brooch. The piece is by Cartier and actually does not belong to her, or to the Royal family. It belongs to the Irish Guards, who lend it to the lady of their choice. Of course, every March 17th, that lady is HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. Interestingly, after you wander from Kate's primary jewelry designers (Kiki, Annoushka, Mappin & Webb) she has worn more Cartier than any other brand. 



To the coat...  I was in a real snit that she didn't wear green, but determined to put my prejudices aside, let's just look at this coat...as if today were not a day for tea and scones; shamrock cookies; chunky, hand-knit Irish sweaters; and bagpipe music. Let's just look over that, and at the coat. If you are able to clamber to the other side of that mountain, this is actually a really fantastic choice. The first thing that struck me was the gracious collar, I love, love, love the structure there. The second aspect that jumps out is how much more flattering this dress/coat is than the Wickstead she had modified in 2013.



Not originally made as a maternity piece, the green Emilia Wickstead was perfection when Kate debuted it, but expanded to accommodate George, it did very little for the lovely Duchess. Today's Catherine Walker, with its artful inverted pleats in the front, was excellent.


So, it is a win. I wish she had worn green, but, I am very happy that she has so improved her maternity style. Today's coat works beautifully with her figure, and the entire piece has a light and airy quality. She looks slender and lovely. The brown goes well with green and gold of both her shamrocks--she inverted the successful color palette from 2012--and blends well with the surrounding uniforms. 




51 comments:

  1. I too was a little disappointed that she did not wear green. Although I was really not expecting it. I was thinking the light blue coat or the navy one she wore the other day (St. Pats blue?) would have been lovely with the shamrocks on the collar. But after reviewing photos, I think she looks positively stunning today!! I have to say... I love her look today!!!

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    1. If she is going to deviate from green, I would love to see a deep navy, as she has worn to the Irish Guards before. She was stunning today, yes--she overcame the brown. ;) I really like brown on Kate. I just..wanted green. :)

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  2. It's a beautifully tailored coat and I do love that hat, so I will join you in overlooking the lack of green. ��Happy St. Patrick's Day!��

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    1. Oh, the hat never has a bad angle! Happy St. Patrick's Day!! :)

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  3. No question, the coat is fabulous and, I agree, much more flattering than the green Wickstead. The shamrocks really do stand out against the brown as well. However, I'm finding today's ensemble uninteresting. Although I am one of her fans of her monochromatic looks, I don't care for the chocolate brown hat and shoes with the charcoal brown coat and gloves. Too many
    browns of different shades perhaps. Kind of fits into the slightly dull category for me. Anyway, she looks lovely as usual. Very relaxed and happy :-)

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    1. I can see why you would say that, even though I liked the look. Someone (off the blog) pointed out to me that the pop of green from the shamrocks made a huge difference. She definitely needed the color, which I think supports your thesis. :)

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  4. I LOVE this!!! I'm usually not one for brown at all, but since the regiment was wearing brown and tans today, it certainly blended with them very well.
    -TMM

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    1. I think she wore the brown today because of the soldiers uniforms.
      She looked just stunning.
      Love the looks Wolli and she shared. So much love there.

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    2. When I saw the uniforms, I had the same thought Pauline. I happen to love this look very much. For me, it's right up there with the navy outfit from the other day.

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    3. She did coordinate beautifully with the regiment. She may have been disregarding the Irish, but she wasn't wholly unthoughtful...I half jest. ;)

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  5. Btw royalfan, I think this also qualifies as her rocking the retro look again today.

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    1. Oh, yes. It definitely qualifies. :))

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  6. She looks stunning.
    The coat is an excellent foil for the shamrock and the brooch. She has quite a few green coats, but doubt any would fit her at the moment
    Her hair is lovely--been trying to make out just how it is done.Either she has a new hairdresser, or her usual one has been taking some lessons.

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    1. I wonder if she could have squeezed into the Mulberry. She is much smaller this go-round. But, I agree, had she worn green, it probably would have had to have been new--although, this is new. :)
      The hair was SO interesting. Again, much better than 2013's chignon.

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  7. I also wish she had worn green. But if I forget about that, the look is just perfect.

    I'm in love with that hat since its first outing exactly 3 years ago. I think it's just so beautiful and has the perfect shape for her face.

    I also really like her hair (is that a chignon?). In my opinion, thr length of the dress is also perfect!

    1- (A- in England/USA ??) Because it wasn't green ;) everything else was great!

    Sonja

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    1. Yes, I gave it an A- too, in my head. :) I agree, that hat really has never had a bad wear! The Fairy Tale cannot say the same, after several appearances at a bad angle, but Betty Boop is pure sterling. The chignon was delightful--better than 2013, which just wasn't...as perfect. :)

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  8. LOVE!!! She is really bringing her A game! Yes, green would have been best, but I'll take this elegant look any day.

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    1. You are correct--she looked smashing, even if she was not wearing green. :)

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  9. I love this look on her and I am not a fan of brown. You really are cute, Jane. I could tell from your first tweet about this earlier this morning that you were not happy it was brown, but you've recovered beautifully. And you're correct, overlooking the color choice, this look is a true Win. Honestly, in some shots, you can't tell she's pregnant at all. The cut is truly stunning. A great look for our Duchess this morning. Tough to argue with perfection.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.

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    1. Jane in Canada, you're making me laught about Jane Barr since I, too, could tell that our author was not happy. Great bounce back, Jane Barr! I couldn't agree more with your final paragraph; your assessment is on point. My, that is a lovely collar, neckline. The inverted pleats, too, along with buttons on the cuffs. I don't find anything boring here since the elegance is grand. Katherine USA

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    2. Haha, thank you , ladies both. My mother always tells me I am too transparent in my feelings... I was surprised by how irrationally peeved I was, though. I didn't realize how special it was to me until she didn't wear green. Oh well. I almost never wear green on St. Patrick's Day--even last year I wore brown, too. Anyway. I tis a pleasure to"royal watch" Kate the Great with you lovely ladies! xoxo, Jane

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  10. I love the outfit except for the color of the coat - it's so drab! My boyfriend rightfully called it "off-black." The ensemble makes me want to go put on the brightest clothing I own. I think I have a rainbow plaid dress somewhere...

    She's been wearing so many neutral shades lately, with the exception of the blue coat from the Emma Bridgewater tour. (Am I imagining things, or does Kate have a tendency to wear very muted colors during pregnancy?) I'm looking forward to seeing her in something with a pop of color, which she wears so well, but we'll presumably have to wait until after the birth of Tiny Royal #2.

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  11. I love the outfit except for the color of the coat - it's so drab! My boyfriend rightfully called it "off-black." The ensemble makes me want to go put on the brightest clothing I own. I think I have a rainbow plaid dress somewhere...

    She's been wearing so many neutral shades lately, with the exception of the blue coat from the Emma Bridgewater tour. (Am I imagining things, or does Kate have a tendency to wear very muted colors during pregnancy?) I'm looking forward to seeing her in something with a pop of color, which she wears so well, but we'll presumably have to wait until after the birth of Tiny Royal #2.

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  12. OK, Jane, I promise I will stop discussing colour blocking after this but...This time I didn't think it worked either. The colour looks great on her and it looks fantastic paired with the citrine earrings and I completely agree that the style of this coat is spot on - but the head to toe brown just isn't working for me...

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    1. I kind agree with you. I think the coat is wonderful and I love this hat from the first time. I wouldn't mind the all brown ensemble, I love brown and I think it fits her well, but the pieces are not the exact same shade of brown, and that isn't working well for me.

      But for me the most wow today is her hair. It is beautiful!! Loved it!

      MC

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    2. And I think she must love this event as she looks always so happy on St Patrick's :D

      MC

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  13. Well how many green coats can one own? I think it was o.k. to spice it up once in a five years, and it was a good choice & went great with the uniforms, as you've already pointed out. And maybe her bump just was more graciously covered like this.
    I actually like that she's recycling and re-using her clothes, together with surprising us every now and then with new ones.
    It also works great for comparing between styles, watch her change of hair-style and jewelry choice etc.
    I have to point out that I adore her hair. Again. So great!
    Thank you for your post, Jane, much love
    Alice

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  14. Beautifully cut, but I wish it was green as well. Or at least not such a drab shade of brown! It didn't even match her hat. It was just "off" for me.

    Which earrings does she have on?

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    1. Kiki McDonough, Classic citrine pear drop earrings

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    2. Thank you!

      Kate seems to be very into symbolic jewelry/motifs. Wonder why she wore citrine instead of something green. Perhaps a nod to her grandfather who served in the military and passed away in November (since citrine is November's stone)? Or maybe she just likes them.

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  15. WOW. :) Kate is on a roll with the monochromatic look and I love it. And the hat is one of my favorites; I like the vintage aspect of it.

    She looks so very elegant, sophisticated and beautiful.

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  16. Where as Kate looks so good in green coats (and seems fitting for the Irish Day), I can see where the brown fits in with the soldier's uniforms. But I so love the style of the coat (especially around the neck and shoulders) and how it fits her very pregnant state with a slimming effect in several photographs. I do not know if it is just me, but many are the comments that will say this is the color of her outfits are for example: navy, brown, etc, and it is hard to see that particular color...and such is today, it is so hard to see a shade of brown for the coat in the photographs when clearly the hat is brown. Regal and royal Duchess Kate has looked in last Friday and today's event.

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  17. Wow! I don't think the shape of this coat could be any more flattering! I don't mind that she has repeated this hat so many times, because it always looks great. I also like how the pictures of her and the guards almost look like they could have been taken several decades ago!

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    1. Speaking of decade ago... :)

      http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/catherine-duchess-of-cambridge-and-prince-william-duke-of-news-photo/466114890

      "Vintage" is fast-becoming my favorite look on her. She wears it well.

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    2. Oooo, great picture!

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  18. Yuck to all of it. I love Catherine Walker, but since her death, her line just isn't the same. (Although I loved Carole's suit at the wedding.)

    I think Kate has a hard time bringing together a polished look, this was one of those times.

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  19. Has Princess Diana ever presented shamrocks to the Irish Guards? What were her military duties?

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  20. I thought Kate looked lovely. I don't think the Queen Mum wore green every time she presented the shamrock. Imagine how many green clothes you would end up with.

    KiwiNic

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  21. Hi Jane!
    It's a long time that I'm not commenting here, but I'm always enjoying very much reading your posts! A really nice break! I liked so much all her outfits during the last few weeks...a great improvement as, lately, I found all her coats too big and not very flattering. I think it's incredible how good she looks even at the end of a pregnancy. Today I find the fit of this coat one of the best of this pregnancy. It seems to be tailored. I like the collar and the fact that the sleeves are the right size and not too big. In addition to that, I find those slits on the front very flattering...The colour is not my favourite but I think it coordinates well with the shamrocks and I love that heels too. I like so much that coat that I would suggest her to buy another one in a new colour to leave the hospital when the baby will be born...maybe in pink?? I hope so! hihi

    Cinzy from Rome

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  22. Well...I am on record as not being a general fan of brown, however, I do like the deep chocolate colour of this coat, aided and abetted by its fine tailoring and superb fit. Must be bespoke. The milk chocolate colour of her hat (one of my favourites) and shoes doesn't detract--at least, not for me. Two thumbs up here--although I do think the coat, as a standalone, sans yellow gold jewellery and/or a corsage of flowers might well render this coat drab.

    JMO, but Kate needs to be careful not to follow Sophie, wife of Edward, into fashion no-mans-land during her best years. ( Again, JMO, but Sophie, I suppose due to lack of money, became dull and drab. Recent attempts to revive her image ( I gather that she and Edward benefitted from the new royal payment formula) are not working. She is a young 50, but 50 nevertheless. Sophie will never be anything more than a support to the monarch; Kate, on the other hand, will, I hope, become Queen Consort, an entirely different kettle of fish. She needs and deserves more than to wallow in the fashion doldrums for a decade.

    JC

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    1. I think everybody has hit or miss period or pieces, as Sophie had and so as Kate. Anyway taste means different to everybody. There is nothing wrong with that. My point here was there is no need to compare the two ladies because it takes us all a territory which is better left alone.

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  23. What I think is nice, looking at these photos, is how comfortable Kate looks at this event. It's an event she has done several times and she is clearly very much at ease. She is not an outsider anymore. She and William are a couple and this has become one of her traditions. On the bespoke maternity coat -- I am excited to think that Kate, who has definitely found her maternity style -- has such a beautiful coat as she intends and hopes to have several more children. Then Kate and William will be truly rich in God's blessings. And there will be lots of pictures!

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    1. That is a GREAT point about buying a bespoke maternity piece signaling a plan for more children in the future! And if that's the case, having it in a neutral color like brown would be the smart thing to do.
      -TMM

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    2. I completely agree. I've also been thinking that debuting this many new outfits in the late stages of her pregnancy indicates she expects to have use for maternity wear in the future.....

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    3. That thought occurred to me also. The next thought was-"Oh no! Another bout with HG." What a brave young
      woman, as are all those must endure this.
      The style lends itself to re-use down the road. The coat is nearly timeless. The color (I call it "olive") makes the
      garment much more flexible. She could wear this style and color anywhere and to any event.
      I think it possible that some outfits considered "retro" are actually closer to timeless. Yes, we saw a similar
      style in the past; we could as easily envision it in the future.

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  24. Love love love this coat. I say pituey on the green. This is fabulous from head to toe!! The tailoring is spot on and how can she be 8 months pregnant?? I have loved every Catherine Walker piece Kate has worn and this is no expection. Beautiful, elegant and flattering.

    Great post Jane. Thank you. You have become my go to blog for all things Kate!

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  25. I don't like this look at all. It's so drab and stuffy. I suppose she didn't have to wear green, but nothing about this outfit says St. Patrick's Day to me. There's way too much brown. And, what a dull shade! Sorry, everyone, but this is one of my least favorite outfits ever.
    Betsey, NYC

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  26. I really liked the whole look, one of my favourites of her whole pregnancy. But I think it is because I love this hat and love when she brings it out again. Speaking of which, this is actually her 5th wear of this hat. (X2 for St Patrick's Day, christmas, Swiss Wedding and day at the races). I dont think it is possible to style this hat wrong.

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