Kate didn't schedule any public engagements while William is visiting Japan and China, but today, she made an off-the-books stop at The Goring Hotel, to the surprise and pleasure of many.
Kate was at The Goring at it celebrated its reopening after the beautiful hotel closed for a month to undergo extensive refurbishments. Excited fans, to whom we are very grateful, stood outside and snapped pictures of our favorite Princess as she left, and you can view high-quality snaps here at the Daily Mail.
Kate did not attend in any official capacity, but as a private individual. It is unusual for Kate to accept one of the doubtless countless invitations that she receives, apart from the weddings of close friends, and so this is a special mark of favor on her part.
Everyone is, of course, aware that Kate and her family chose The Goring as Ground Zero in the run-up to what was the wedding of the decade. The hotel was the center of excitement as Kate arrived the night before the wedding, flanked by her beaming mother and sister, and waved to the cheering crowds.
The Middletons rented out the entire hotel for themselves and for their guests. It is believed that Kate stayed in what is now referred to as The Royal Suite, and which The Telegraph describes thus:
The hotel’s Royal Suite...runs the entire length of the top floor, with French windows in each room that open on to a balcony overlooking the hotel’s private garden...[the] walls are hung with silks, opulent yet cossetting, from The Gainsborough Silk Company and include two powder blue silks, a gentle champagne pink, a rich red stripe and a dusky green silk originally woven in 1910 for the First Class Dining Room of the Titanic. The Suite is filled with antiques – Georgian decanters, engraved glasses, wooden tea caddies, books, clocks, silver and prints...
When the family left for the final, and most exclusive, reception at Buckingham Palace, they graciously hosted a wedding reception at The Goring for any of their guests who had not made the cut for the private reception at the Palace:
Kate's family made their final Royal Wedding photo-op on the steps of the grand hotel, so it received quite a bit of press attention:
They seem to have an affinity for the hotel, as they were back just a few months later for the Basil's Bar party, when The Goring recreated the favorite Mustique watering hole, complete with a celebrity visit from Basil himself:
Perhaps, the Middletons are drawn to the hotel because of its strong personal history. The Goring was founded in 1910 by Otto Goring and remains a family run establishment. Or it could simply be the very warm memories they all must have for the that exciting time around the wedding and, for Kate, one of the biggest days of her life. Showing up for this opening was a thoughtful gesture, as it once again prominently places The Goring in the spotlight, and hopefully gives them a boost as they get into the swing of things again. I do wonder, though, if they have some further connection.... In any case, below is a video from Instagram of Kate leaving the party:
Kate chose designer for the party, turning to a favorite label, Erdem. The Darla floral print dress in silk chiffon features an Empire waist, perfect for the pregnant Duchess.
I was interested to see that the dress has this cut-out back. It is an element Erdem and Kate seem quite fond of. The silk chiffon "Meryl" Erdem that Kate wore while on tour in Singapore had a cut-out:
When she had a bespoke maternity dress made by Emilia Wickstead, Kate had a square back included:
Fashion verdict: I thought this Erdem particularly flattering on her, and can think of several dresses I wish she had traded out for this lovely piece when on a public engagement. She completed her ensemble with her mystery drop earrings, Muse clutch, and custom McQueen pumps--both in complementing navy. Everything was perfectly put together; she looked great! It is nice to see Kate getting out while William is away, too, even if she didn't plan any official appearances.