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Kate Debuts a New Teardrop Beret & £3,000 Earrings for Commonwealth Day

Monday, March 9, 2015

Kate has a packed schedule this week. She has a public engagement on every day but one, and two of those are formal services. Today, Kate was at Westminster Abbey and on Friday she will be at St. Paul's. Given two church events in one week, it was likely she would recycle for at least one, and indeed, she pulled the pink McQueen for this afternoon's event.



The royals were marking Commonwealth Day. Commonwealth Day began as Empire Day in Canada in 1898, and spread to Britain and other parts of the empire in the following years. In 1958 Empire Day was changed to its current denomination and in 1975 a uniform date was adopted: the second Monday in March. Pictured below are the preparations for Commonwealth commemorations in Hyde Park this morning:

The Army in London
Flags of Commonwealth nations were flying outside Parliament this morning:

UK Parliament 
It was a busy morning of preparations at the Abbey, too, including a dress rehearsal with the procession of the flags and a tweeted snap of the three bouquets being readied for the Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duchess of Cambridge. Since flowers are often matched or coordinated with the color scheme of a visiting royal's ensemble, I was betting we were going to get pink from the ladies. Not a risky wager, although, in the end, only Kate wore the spring shade. Her Majesty wore a neutral ensemble, while Camilla opted for a deep blue.

Westminster Abbey 

I loved the shots of Kate with her in-laws, particularly this snap of Kate and Camilla. Don't you find this the most awkward part of a social gathering? I do. I try, but inevitably land on one of two extremes.  Either I "abort, abort!" and do a flyby with no contact, or I end up in a full-on collision of cheekbones. Kate appears to be far more relaxed:



She first wore this bespoke coat for Trooping in 2013. It was her final appearance before George's birth, and I hoped that we would see the coat again since, anytime she wears a new piece to Trooping, it is short-changed. The limited view in the carriage and then on the balcony never really gives an outfit a fair shake. Today, we finally saw it full-length and in motion, both showing it off to full advantage.



By adding this new Jane Taylor hat, Kate has given the entire ensemble a fresh twist. The hat, described as a "teardrop beret" is a special structure that Ms. Taylor created for Kate and will only make for the Duchess. The first time we saw the design was in Australia when Kate wore the "Lupin" to the Easter Sunday Service.  The shape made a big splash then, and again when Taylor made Kate an icy-blue version with delicate lace leaves for Trooping the Colour 2014. I love, love, love this shape. It feels very fashion forward and flatters Kate's face really well. Bring on a fleet of them!

Kate's "Teardrop" Berets by jane Taylor

Kate's hair is not just pulled back, but beautifully styled with lots of body and extra lift, which nicely works with the back of the hat.



Her demi-chignon also puts on display an exciting addition to the royal's wardrobe. These are brand new Kiki McDonough' "Morganite and Diamond Cushion Drop Earrings" and cost £3,400. Could she have chosen better accessories? These are drop-dead gorgeous.

Kiki McDonough
Fashion verdict: Super win. Seeing this coat to its full advantage, given we were in no way assured of seeing it again, was a real treat. I shouldn't have been surprised by the fabric's easy movement, (after all, it was made in summer-weight) but that just added to the graceful final product. The hat, the Prada pumps, and her peachy Prada clutch all worked exceptionally well together, too. I know those weary of the Sledge heels must have been particularly pleased. Kate looked very polished; relaxed, beautiful make-up, perfect hair. A+, Your Royal Highness.


53 comments:

  1. I loved this coat the first time she wore it & loved that she wore it again. And the earrings are divine. The whole look was just so lovely. xo

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  2. Earrings gift from William??? She and William looked so happy. Love the way she looks at him there is so
    Much love there.

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    1. Or a personal splurge. We know Kate shops for herself, too. But, they could very well be a gift from William. Hard to say. They are cute together, I agree. :) xoxo, Jane

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  3. The 2014 Trooping the Colour photo is the first I've seen that shows how much Catherine's smile is like Carole's. Don't know why I've never noticed it before. Her look is completely different if you seen her profile vs. her frontal appearance. Thanks for these pictures. It is obvious there is no friction between the Cambridges and Charles and Camilla as has been reported in some dubious articles. Happy to see all is well.

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    1. You are right! I hadn't put my finger on it, but she does look a lot like her mom there!

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  4. I love the hat, complements the whole ensemble. When she wears a new pair of earrings do they come from the royal family jewels or is it something that she would have purchased herself or been given as a gift?

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    1. Well, it all depends on the earrings. :) These are Kiki McDonough and so recently purchased. Whether Kate bought them herself or whether William or a friend gifted them isn't currently known, and may never be public knowledge. Obviously, sometimes, Kate wears royal family jewels, such as the diamond necklace she wore to the National Portrait Gallery. When she wears family pieces, it is usually announced or immediately known, since those do tend to stick out. :) She really has not dipped into the vaults much at all in her time as a royal. I suspect the pieces are too much for her current style, but as time moves on, I am sure we will see more.

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  5. She looked stunning as ever! Every time she debuts a new hat, it makes me want to move to London and so I can wear one ever day! Oh, precious USA, gets hats tending again!!

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    1. Or at least to formal occasions! :) It is interesting how Europe (or at least Britain & France) has really held onto hats and we have let it go. It would be nice to still wear hats to formal events. :)

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  6. Getting a full length view , both back and front, really shows off this coat and that there seems to be a matching dress.
    The shape of the hat is lovely and suits Catherine.
    The whole effect is quite stunning.

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    1. Yes, there is a matching bespoke dress. I agree, the ensemble is very well put together. As much as I loved the Jane Corbett she paired with this the first time, someone on Facebook said they preferred this Taylor hat with it more, and I agree. I think this edgier shape balances the coat a little better. I was so lovely.

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  7. Kate looks just amazing, stunning! Loved the colour on her. Hair looked great and perfect accessories. It would be nice to see a different shape hat though - not that I disliked it but some variation would be nice to shake things up a bit.

    I find it interesting how the Royals celebrate the Commonwealth like this. Most Commonwealth nations, particularly Australia, NZ, do not have the same rights of entry to the UK, as do the EU countries, even though we have a large percentage of population with English ancestory. It will be interesting to see if this celebration continues into Williams time on the throne.

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    1. I think that William will continue to promote the Commonwealth as long as possible, but these issues you address will make it harder and harder for the BRF to remain constitutional monarchs in these places, and possibly even to hold these nations in the Commonwealth. We shall see...

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  8. Kate looked wonderful. The color is very flattering on her.

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  9. I didn't think they looked happy at all. If you look at more of the pictures the other outlets are showing, William is rarely smiling, except at Kate. Those two are happy, but their interactions with Charles and Camilla are strained, especially on William's end. The multiple reports of Charles being upset about his access to George and his rather harsh words for the Middletons is rather sad. And quotes from Camilla's friends, I find disgusting.

    I saw Kate trying to put a good spin on an awkward situation and William seething. I hope Charles can see how blessed he is with his family.

    One of my favorite outfits of Kate's is the dove gray suit and hat she wore to Australia pictured above.

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    1. I think you are presuming that what you read in the Daily Mail is actually true. I think it should be taken with a hefty grain of salt..

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    2. That was exactly my impression of the interaction when I looked at the series of photos from other sources.

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    3. There have been at least three articles about it. Most news about the royals is learned this way. DM has reported many things like this, much of it true. Then you have the BBC reporting that Charle's private secretary was behind the leaks about Harry when he was a teen (drugs, drinking)! It is very much a cloak and dagger atmosphere. If
      I was Charles or Camilla, and it wasn't true, I would issue a statement in support of the Middletons or send a public message of support somehow. This is his child and grandchild, those trying to hurt their relationship should be stopped. Yes, people will always talk, but this is much deeper than that. And Camilla's friends should be silenced too.

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    4. If it is true (and I am not convinced that it is!), I think the Royal Family have long ago realised that publicly responding to these kinds of things is a bad idea. They tried it in the 1980s - I'm thinking particularly of the documentary "Charles & Diana - In Private, In Public" - where they addressed various criticisms that had been made of them. Looking back on it now - the questioning, and the fact that they answered - is mind boggling. There was another time when Diana publicly responded to print allegations that she drank too much. The critics will never be silenced, and responding just further invites the public to speculate on their private lives. I think they have learned a lesson from then so now never comment on private issues. Such an interesting conversation to have, thanks Anonymous!!

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    5. But they do respond to these issues, that's what these tit for tats are all about. Publicly having lunch with Kate or doing something with the Middletons, an invitation, etc. would go along way in denying that these allegations are true. That is the quiet PR which normally happens. By Charles letting his son and the Middletons, especially Carole, be slammed in the press with the pointed darts coming from him and Camilla, it is appalling. This isn't a tiff between Charles and his siblings, this is his son. William has never once commented against Charles or Camilla, let's face it, I'm sure that would be a doozy. Or sent his friends out to do his dirty work.

      The PR in the '80s never worked with Diana and Charles because the rumors about them were true! (I don't remember Diana ever being accused of drinking too much, she was a health nut.)

      I think the comments attributed to Charles and Camilla are true. And it is sad on so many levels. It really is a betrayal for William. Everyone knows the thing William hates most is having his family business drug through the proverbial public mud.

      Nice "talking" with you too, Dale.

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    6. Anon 11:27, well said. I couldn't agree more.

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    7. Anon 4:44 (and royalfan, I rarely disagree with you, but on this I must). The ITN video shows William smiling and talking to Charles. It also catches William going around Charles to warmly greet Camilla. I think this is a much more accurate picture of the situation than random still shots taken out of context!. I have a feeling the so called "row" is nothing more than the usual stirring the pot against the Middleton's. The fact that Charles may wish to have more contact with George may be true, but he is a very busy person and I doubt he is ready to care for an 18 month old active little boy!!

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    8. Anon 12:44, I have a feeling this is one of those "where there's smoke there's fire" scenarios. For there to be a reference to friends of Camilla, I think there's something to it.

      But do agree that Charles is a busy man and I don't see him necessarily wanting to spend a three day weekend on the floor with a toddler. He may be a very good grandfather, but it may be in smaller doses. Not meant as a criticism of Charles, just based on his schedule and upbringing.

      And if anyone can post the ITN video, I would appreciate it. Today is not my lucky day! I haven't been able to find it. :(

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    9. P.S. For the record, I do believe that Kate has a good relationship with Charles. From pictures I've seen of them, I think he is quite fond of her. And IMO Kate's actions (yesterday) were consistent with the feeling being mutual.

      I don't think Charles is the problem here. Sure he may have commented innocently about the time W/K/G spend with the Middleton's, but I don't believe HE is the pot stirrer. [And now, I'm putting duct tape over my mouth.] ;)

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    10. Royalfan, Here is the web site : http://news.itnsource.com/?cat=Royal.

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    11. Royalfan, didn't mean he was the pot stirrer, but the media and those who think the Middletons are so called "social climbers".

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    12. Anon, thank you for posting the link. :)

      The greetings between C&C and W&K were as expected while they are on duty. IMO, these photos capture the awkwardness. It looked like Charles and Kate enjoyed a longer and warmer exchange (perhaps intentional on Kate's part) , but I don't see Camilla being on the receiving end of the same level of warmth. Certainly not from William.

      http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/catherine-duchess-of-cambridge-prince-william-duke-of-news-photo/465680292
      http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/catherine-duchess-of-cambridge-and-prince-william-duke-of-news-photo/465680260

      And I apologize if you thought I was implying that you thought Charles was the pot stirrer. No. It was my way of stating what *I* really believe to be true. Camilla wants to be seen as warm and friendly in front of the cameras, but in reality it is not in her best interest for W&K to be seen in a favorable light. She undermined Diana and now she will do it to William, given the opportunity. Just my opinion, of course.

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  10. Ditto to all of those who are wowed by this coat; wish Kate would/could wear more bespoke coats. I do hope that the lovely earrings are hers, and not something she borrowed from Mom or Sis--and to the poster who wondered if these came out of the Royal vaults, forget it; these are modern, delicate, and pretty, as opposed to old, clunky, and ugly. (The current Queen has never demonstrated any inclination to update Royal jewellery--maybe she was too busy paying off her mothers debts.)

    Whilst not crazy about sheeny-shiny hats and shoes, this look is such an improvement over some of those that Kate has worn recently that I give it a hearty two thumbs up. The question is: is this as good as it gets, or did Charles somehow find the money, out of the 20 million GBP he rakes in annually, to allow Kate to purchase a few other, new killer outfits, or, are we going to be treated to more ill-fitting high street outfits?

    JC

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    1. You know, JC, you usually find something nice to say about the Duchess, but then you always counter it with a criticism of something else she wore or did. This theme of yours about Charles not being able to afford new clothes for her is just nonsense. There is no basis in reality for that kind of comment and once may be dismissed as a fleeting comment, but it's become a mantra of yours. It really isn't respectful to Charles or to Kate.

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    2. Please don't insult Charles or High Street clothing. High street dressing can look as expensive as bespoke or not depending on the items chosen. The problem is no stylist to help her sort between what looks good, what needs tailoring, and what to not choose. The polka dot mini mini she wore at the Harry Potter studios when pregnant with George comes to mind as an item better left on the rack.

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    3. Mary Jane and Anon 8:40 - totally agree with your assessments

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  11. Jane, another wonderful post. I do look forward to whatever your comments might be! I was laughing and laughing over the greeting. Better to miss than shatter cheekbones. :) Looking forward to this almost full week of Kate. Thanks for this greta blog! Melinda

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  12. Faith from BostonMarch 9, 2015 at 7:04 PM

    I just wanted to say that I agree with everything you said in the blog. She looked fabulous!

    Lauri from CA, I hope all is well. I always looked for your comments are a fellow skinny jean and coat dress non fan.

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    1. Faith from BostonMarch 9, 2015 at 7:13 PM

      That would be 'as' . I really need to stop multi tasking :-)

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  13. What a beautiful look for the lovely Duchess. A perfect ensemble for this special occasion. Thank you for another great post.

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  14. Can I ask where you read that the teardrop beret is a design exclusive to Kate? I couldn't find anything about it anywhere else and hats that Kate has worn are available for purchase on Jane Taylors site - including the one she wore in Belgium and the one she wore for the state visit welcome.

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    1. Hi Danielle:
      I read it in some magazine in the last six-months, but to clarify I asked Jane Taylor and she reiterated to me that, yes, it is a design exclusive to the Duchess.
      A number of Jane's designs for Kate are for sale on her website, including, as you say, the Fleur from Belgium, the Dolly, which is not the exact same, but an early "prototype" of Kate NZ hat, the christening hat, and several others. But, the hat Kate wore for the Singapore State Visit welcome was the Lupin recycled from Australia. That is the exclusive shape and is not for sale. )I do not think the Lupin is for sale. Perhaps, you were looking at a different hat? Or, are you referring to the Taylor hat Kate wore while on tour in SouthEast Asia, with the turquoise beading? That was initially bespoke, but Jane then released it to general availability. I think you must be referring to that one? Hope this clears things up!
      Jane

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  15. She looks so lovely, and relaxed as well. Hard to believe she is 8 months pregnant. Thanks as always for the informative posts!

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  16. Love the soft pink tone on Kate... gorgeous as per usual. Great Post thank you.

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  17. I find the whole thing - shiny material, Peter Pan collar - to be juvenile. Her drove grey ensemble in Australia was one of my favorites ever and seeing it again reminds me how much I wish she'd stick with more sophisticated looks. The cerise Mulberry coat in NYC was an example of fun and young but still mature, showing it can be done.

    Lovely earrings (though seemingly way overpriced??) and looking forward to seeing them with more outfits, though she really does have comfort zones that she never seems to leave in nearly all articles of clothing (skinny jeans, striped tops, Kiki gemstone jewelry, McQueen formal coats)!

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    1. I love these earrings, but I was surprised to see them because she does have a number of very similar ones. In her place, I would have bought something in a different style. I suppose that underlines she isn't budget constrained--most would splurge on something a little different. She must very much likes the style and wanted the twist on a favorite, as she is displaying with the teardrop berets. It does make the times she changes things up all the more dramatic. :)

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    2. I too think the earrings are overpriced and wonder why she tends to duplicate so many KiKi earrings. For 5000 dollars, they certainly aren't much to look at. Yes, the jewel is large, but not exactly a precious stone. Personally, I would have gone for a smaller stone, but better quality.

      It reminds me of an interview I read recently from another jewelry designer who was lucky enough to have Kate wear an item from their line. The piece of jewelry Kate wore was around $100. In the interview, the designer said Kate bought about 6 different pieces and the total was over $2000. I was shocked that she described Kate's purchases in such detail and by price. I cringed for the designer.

      But it got me thinking. I would have taken the $2000 and bought a nice piece of jewelry instead of many pieces of not so nice jewelry. And I have the same feeling about Kate's clothes sometimes. I know many think she is trying to save money with the cheaper clothes, but I wonder if this is really true. Ten pieces of crappy clothes can buy you one really nice piece. I would rather limit my wardrobe to wonderful pieces.

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    3. Faith from BostonMarch 10, 2015 at 6:05 PM

      Rather than consider the go to items in her wardrobe her comfort zone, I think they simply define her personal style. Like Jackie O with her oversized sunglasses , Kate has adopted several signature looks, one of which is the Kiki drop earring, that are readily associated
      with her. In combination with the teardrop beret they are exquisite. I like that see wears unusual stones because it feels more modern and she can go larger in size which does photograph well.

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  18. @ Mary Jane. You mistake my intent; I do respect Kate.

    JC

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    1. @JC. Your comments say otherwise.

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  19. everything in pale pink seems a bit boring to me...

    MC

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  20. I thought Kate looked wonderful - this shade of pink really suits her. There's one thing that slightly ruined this for me though and it's the blush pink from head to toe, including in the jewellery. There have been a few other times when Kate has 'colour-blocked' an entire outfit and I can't say I'm a major fan of the look...A bit of variation in colour in the shoes, bag and earrings (including just wearing a clear stone - I'm not suggesting it needs to be another colour all together) would finish this better in my view but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, Jane?

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    1. Hi Georgia Rose! So sorry to be so long in responding. It was a busy week having Kate out almost every day and balancing everything else on this end... I don't mind color-blocking. Example: I loved Friday's blue ensemble. When Kate has customizes everything as she did on that occasion, it works really well for me, because all the colors go together. But, sometimes, I do agree she goes overboard. Remember the blue outfit she wore to the Place2Be conference? She mixed MaxMara with... Oral Kiely, I think. I liked it at the time, but looking back, the gloves and bag, and shoes were too much. The colors didn't match enough, although part of that is the flash from the cameras. Nevertheless, it probably would have been better to have complemented the colors on that occasion rather than match/matchy. I also think the color plays into how successful the outfit it. Blues are really hard to put together, while lighter shades like grey and light pink, to me, can have a range of shades and still work well together. Because the shoes, bag, and even the hat had satin sheens, I thought that pulled the accessories together well. I liked this and I like Friday. Looking back, Place2Be was overboard. So, I see your point, certainly. I think it is a case by case basis.

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    2. I just saw this, Jane! After seeing the blue outfit at St. Paul's I totally agree with you - I thought the all blue was a great success so I do now think this needs to be taken on a case by case basis :)

      And on that note, I have a comment on today's Irish Guard's outfit but I will wait until you post that :)

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  21. Yesterday was our last day in London with my husband,and what a fantastic miniholiday it was!I absolutely enjoyed every moment of it!In the afternoon we arrived at 14:15 at the Abbey,we could find a really good spot opposite the entrance.We saw the Cambridges and the Prince of Wales with his wife arriving.Kate was smiling and wawing from the car.:-)Unfortunately the police did not stop the traffic,so when the Her Majesty arrived a bus was standing in front of us.I was really angry then.:-)I made some pictures,not so good quality,but who cares?:-)Big thank you to my husband who waited patiently with me!

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    1. This sounds so fun! Thank you for sharing your experience. Oh my, I would have been hopping up and down with frustration at that bus. :)
      I think a man who can be patient with my Kate preoccupation is a fine one indeed. Congrats to you and your husband; he is a good man. :)

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  22. Kate looks beautiful, but tired. It shows around her eyes and mouth. I've thought the same thing looking at pictures of her last several outings. I was exhausted with my second pregnancy, so I feel for her.

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  23. For me she is too light pink. I'd use some piece there a lit bit darker to make some contrast.
    Besides, i think they look a bit down, not all smileys as they usually are. What do you think?

    MB

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