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Kate Wears ASOS for Visit to Home-Start

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Today, Kate was at Brookhill Children's Centre in London for charity Home-Start. The Duchess debuted a new dress, and wore a coat with an intriguing background. More on that in a minute.


The Princess arrived, accompanied by Rebecca Deacon, of course, and Mr. Security, who held her door as she popped out of her chauffeur driven Range Rover. There have not been a great deal of pictures from this event, perhaps we are short press who are in the United States with Charles & Camilla right now. PA reporter Alex Diaz, though, was amazing with his Vine videos, several of which I have shared in this post. 





Kate was privately briefed on the charity and the work they do. Among other things, Home-Start helps families who might be struggling to cope with children suffering from mental health or disabilities, both issues about which Kate feels keenly.

via @alexjldiaz

The visit began with a "coffee-meeting" where she met families assisted by Home-Start.




She took her coat off once inside, so let's break briefly to discuss the clothes. Kate's new dress is by ASOS maternity, and retailed for £35; sold out within half an hour! On Kate, it appeared to be much longer than it looks pictured on the ASOS model, which perplexed me, but was certainly more flattering. 

ASOS Maternity Dress


Overtime Kate wears polka dots, I smile. She loves polka dots and has been drawn to them for years.


The label of the coat Kate wore has long been a mystery, although she has worn it multiple times in private. It is distinctive thanks to the ruffled edges and carefully tailored structure. Today, however, there was a very exciting development in the fashion department, thanks to Rebecca English of the Daily Mail. Rebecca was able to ID the coat, confirming that it was made by Kate's private dressmaker. Below, Kate is pictured leaving a dinner with William and friends at LouLou's, wearing the then mystery ruffle (or fringe) coat:


Carly at Kate Middleton Style believes that this coat, and the Arosa pink coat, also a mystery item, were made by Sarah Burton and given to the Duchess as personal gifts.



She notes design elements that are very much in keeping with the McQueen creative director, and I think it is a very reasonable argument. These coats are quality pieces and it would not surprise me in the least if Miss Carly turns out to be right. 

@RE_DailyMail

Kate seemed to have a lovely time visiting with families and getting to know how Home-Start operates and the programs that they provide. Here she was learning more about a program called Big Hopes Big Futures--getting children ready to be successful in school:

Home-Start UK Facebook

As always, she spent plenty of time giving attention to the little ones, all of whom looked precious as could be.

Home-Start Uk Twitter


The fashion verdict is certainly a win. Kate is perfect in these wrap dresses and I love v-necklines. The playful pattern was spot-on for the occasion, while at the same time, the structured coat kept the ensemble chic and streamlined. Her hair was also fantastic today, with plenty of bounce in those curls. This is the kind of maternity style I always envisioned Kate wearing; Empire waists and flattering jerseys. She started with a similar piece, the MaxMara in 2013, but as we have discussed, she has experimented with a range of options. Still, great to see last week's winning streak just continues to extend.



When Kate christened the Princess Cruise ship, it was announced as her last public engagement before George's birth. They did not announce that this was her last engagement. It remains to be seen if Kate has one more event still up her sleeve, or if they will confirm later that this was the swan song.  Kate told parents today she is due mid to late April, nothing we didn't know there, so it is possible she could squeeze another event in. There have been whispers of one more, but rumors are just that...rumors.  [More than one royal reporter has confirmed that Kate does have more engagements!] Kate has announced more events, see her calendar here I'll keep you in the loop! 

72 comments:

  1. Thanks Jane. If this is her last engagement before the "big event", its a great one. She looks picture perfect - comfortable, elegant, youthful, stylish, and, oh yes, a little pregnant! Love the coat. I must ask my private dressmaker (lol :)) to make one for me! A great cause for a lovely Duchess. Hope to see her again soon.

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    1. Hi jane--sorry for the delay responding. I need that private dressmaker, too! By now, I am sure you have seen she will be out again. I am looking forward to it!!

      Delete
  2. Faith from BostonMarch 18, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    Attractive dress that flatters her well. Love the neckline particularly, and the print is fresh looking. Where are the ruffles on the coat? Hard to see without contrast. The pink coat? The one she wore her first Christmas with the RF? Would not be at all surprised if SB did that one. Very similar to the dove grey AM she wore Easter Day in Australia.

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    1. No, the one she has only worn in private, as she has only worn this privately until today. She wore it to public engagements, but took it off before officially arriving. It is most known as the Arosa pink coat, I think. I am sorry, I was not clear. The Christmas coat is also a UFO, and very much in SB style, too. :)

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    2. Thanks for clarifying :-) Yes, I can see how the Arosa could be a SB as well. Very much so. An independent dressmaker also made her peach maternity dress she wore with the Tara Jarmon coat. Hard to tell if that could
      have been a SB too. We really didn't see much of it.

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    3. Thanks for a great post today, Jane! So quick. I agree with you that this keeps her winning streak alive from last week!

      Any news on the jewelry she wore today? I can't tell.

      Thanks. Katherine USA

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    4. I am so sorry that I have been lazy these past two engagements and not reported on accessories. It has been very busy on this end, but no excuse! Today, Kate wore: the Fortune pendant necklace from Mapping & Webb, cushion-cut drop earrings from (Kiki McDonough--not sure if we know if they were the amethyst or the new morganite. I cannot tell, they are both so light, but I think the morganite) her Cartier watch, Power pumps from Stuart Weitzman, and carried her Mulberry Bayswater.
      Again, I will put the details in next time!
      xoxo, Jane

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    5. Mappin. Auto correct... :)

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  3. Lovely engagement and she looks wonderful.

    Jane, do you mean that the "ruffle coat" is this black on with the fringe edge? So its now the fringe coat?

    And which pink one? or do you mean the Christmas maroon one? I agree with Faith (9:52) that one is similar to the dove grey.

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    1. I am so sorry that I was convoluted! I have updated the post to (hopefully) clear things up. I used to call it fringe, now ruffle, and apparently, both. I apologize, I should be consistent... :(

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  4. This is such a crisp and elegant look for her. I always wonder, however, how she consistently walks on those cobbled streets without getting her heels stuck in the crevices. Excepting that one time, she always manages flawlessly.

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    1. Crisp was the word I was looking for! But, I couldn't remember and went with streamlined, But crisp is THE word. :)

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  5. Lovely, simple and fun look. Appropriate for the event (especially the price tag). The "private dress maker" being Sarah Burton makes sense to me. It confused me at first, because she doesn't have a dresser/designer on staff like the Queen does.

    Is it just me, or does it look like Rebecca has lost some weight/toned up? Not that it affects anything, I've just thought that when seeing recent photos.

    I noticed the Range Rover and had some thoughts. Either (a) William took the bullet proof car to BP today, or (b) it was strategic so pregnant Kate doesn't have to pull herself out of a car.

    I'm glad to see she has been filling her schedule. I was feeling a bit judgmental with the limited engagements post-Christmas, so I'm glad she's making the effort to be out-and-about before baby #2 comes along!

    Amanda, Canada

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You are not the only one to have mentioned that about Rebecca. I suspect when you hang out with the Duchess of Cambridge, she is a very inspiring companion.
      I am sure the Range Rover is way easier to just sort of slide out of. :)
      She is definitely packing the schedule prepping for the time she will take off after Baby2 arrives. :)

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    2. I am really wondering if this upsurge in engagements has something to do with their new PR officer! This string of public outings just seems to be in such strong contrast to the way the Cambridges had been handling their appearances before Kate's second pregnancy.

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    3. Anon 09:17- You may be right. It was known Catherine was carrying out some activities and visits
      privately. Perhaps the new PR head felt these should he publicised.

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  6. Love, love, love the dress. Pregnant, high heels, and cobblestones? She is amazing!

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    1. She is! A very nimble Princess. :)

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  7. If this is her last event, I'm curious if the polka dots were a nod to the polka dot dress she wore after George's birth.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca English has tweeted that it is not Kate's last appearance before maternity leave.

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    2. There are fun parallels between these last ending engagements and the final engagements before George. The Hobbs macintosh, now polka dots...

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  8. Could it be possible that this is the dress she has worn previously when pregnant with george? There were pictures of her shopping in a dark polka dot dress and a pink sweater which were published on you blog on... (I looked it up) June 28 2013. To me, it looks pretty similar (but that's just my opinion).

    What do you think?

    Sonja

    P.S. I think kate looked great today! Love her in polka dots

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    1. Awesome recall, Sonja! She was spotting in polka-dots while pregnant with George, but i just compared them and today's dress has a larger print. The other one was a more concentrated dot patter, but they are so similar! She LOVES polka-dots. The other thing is that by now, the dress would no longer be on sale, and we found the dress on ASOS currently. But, as I say, great, great memory!

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    2. The dress she was pictured wearing with George (pink cropped sweater) was a Seraphine dress. Similar, though. (Kate sure does love her polka dots!!) :)

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  9. Oh, and Jane - there IS a @KensingtonRoyal Instagram (an official one) that posts photos of events undertaken by Harry, William, and Kate.

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  10. I like this outfit very much. Kate looks elegant and youthful... and not stuffy. I love polka dots on her. Everything worked well together--the dress, coat, shoes and jewelry. And she even took her coat off indoors!! I know that a lot of people will say that Kate should wear her hair up, but she has beautiful hair and it was nicely styled nice today. I think this is a very pretty ensemble… a definite winner.
    Betsey, NYC

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    1. Oh, for sure! I like her hair up on many outfits, but I don't want her to stop wearing it down. Especially, as you say, when really nicely styled, as it was today. I saw your comment on the last post, and although I have the best of intentions, I don't know if I will make it back to respond, but...I am sorry you didn't love the Catherine Walker, but stoked today was a hit for you!
      xoxo, Jane

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    2. Love her hair when it's properly styled, as it was today. She is doing MUCH better with her hair this time around, as it was too earth-mothery and in desperately in need of a mega trim toward the end of her pregnancy with George and especially for the first 5 or 6 months after she had George.

      I have been wondering if she's found a new person to do her blow outs other than that woman with the blond hair she took on a couple of tours with her? (The name escapes me and this is the best description I can think of.) Since the summer really I've noticed a remarkable improvement in her hair - length, cut, texture, style, everything. It's not as great as it was when James Pryce was styling her, but it's been MUCH much better and nearly as fabulous.

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  11. I'm not convinced that the her "private dressmaker" could be Sarah Burton, simply because I would expect something by Sarah Burton to be labeled as "bespoke McQueen." It's an intriguing thought though.

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    1. I may not have interpreted Jane correctly, but I think she made the difference sound like gift vs. paid for. So "bespoke" to me sounds like it was something Kate paid for (via Charles) for "work". This to me sounds like a private gift, not a working wardrobe that then becomes worn on personal occasions too. It sounds like these private items are not normally seen when she is working. Then because they are gifts and not worn about while working, the Palace does not need to confirm. Whereas I think they normally confirm because of how her working wardrobe is funded. I hope my interpretation of Jane's comments make sense.

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    2. I would think that if Ms Burton designed the coats as a private gift, they wouldn't be considered a part of the McQueen label. Besides, if she ever wanted to strike out in her own name later beyond McQueen (as many successful designers are wont to do after spending time with a major house), being known as the "personal dressmaker to the Duchess of Cambridge" would definitely give her a bit extra cache on her personal resume to help boost her name recognition apart from McQueen. Just my two cents, as someone with a casual knowledge of fashion. Certainly no expert here. :)
      -TMM

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    3. I agree. Nice idea but firstly, Sarah Burton is an employee of McQueen (owned by the Gucci Group). I dont think they would appreciate her moonlighting; secondly - she is creative director (a very full-on job) and I just cant see her making dresses "privately" for Catherine.

      Finally, there is something about the shoulders - this black coat has rounded shoulders (slightly padded maybe), same as the Christmas maroon coat. The Grey from Aud and the pink from Swiss wedding are more McQueen (sharp shoulders).

      I think it's either someone from BP or a dressmaker normally used by Carole.

      Intriguing!

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    4. Diana received some "personal" gifts from designers, if I'm not mistaken. It is possible... And with all the guessing that is going on here, it's a win-win for the fashion house, isn't it? :)

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    5. I was going to say a similar thing Royal Fan: Diana was gifted dresses from Catherine Walker, Victor Edelstein and Jemima Khan from my rusty memory ....
      I think it does a designer and fashion house no harm at all :-)
      Simone

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    6. Anon 11:50, pretty solid reading. :) It's just a theory (not mine, although I would be happy to claim it!) but I don't think it is absurd to imagine. Given their relationship, it is not inconceivable that Kate and Sarah have, if not a close friendship, a very warm working relationship that could express itself in the occasional private gift. At the same time, it could be another seamstress entirely! What I find interesting is...why don't we know who her "private dressmaker" is. Isn't that the sort of thing that inevitably makes its way to the papers? Certainly fun to bat ideas about.

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    7. Anon 5:48, that could very well be why the dress maker is "private" as opposed to simply stating that the dress was made by Sarah Burton. It's not a modified McQueen piece or a custom McQueen piece, and is instead something that Kate asked Sarah to make for her (and not totally "on brand" for McQueen), and Sarah is likely more than happy to do so, but she can't say it's her as she is running McQueen and an employee of the label.

      I'm not totally convinced that SB is the private dressmaker -- particularly as whoever this "private dressmaker" is also created that yellow eyelet dress Kate wore on tour to her South Asia tour, and again in Australia, which is definitely not of Sarah Burton caliber, but was much improved in Australia with its subsequent modifications as opposed to its first outing. But, Kate could have given Sarah very specific instructions about what she wanted, and Sarah could have followed them. Who knows.

      I do like this theory, though, and it makes for some interesting conversation!

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  12. Okay, now I have to eat my words! For an inexpensive ASOS dress, this was pretty darn good, much better than the inexpensive black and white polka-dot dress she wore when pregnant with George. Loved the neckline and the length was just right. Most importantly, because it was maternity wear, it fit. The overall look was enhanced by the lovely black coat, and by her hair, which, altho worn down, had clearly been well-styled.

    Just a few questions for you, Jane, and anyone else who wants to chip in: 1. Is Mr. Security back on the beat? I thought I saw him, very briefly, on a video clip taken yesterday at Aldershot, and I thought I saw him again today, standing near her car, as Kate stepped out to begin her engagement. 2. Is Kate using a better/different hair stylist of late?

    I very much like the sound of this charity,Home-Start, and wonder if Kate is thinking of adding it to her patronages.

    And I wonder, Jane, if you would consider playing The Name Game, once Kate goes off the radar.

    JC

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    1. I would love to play The Name Game too :-)

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    2. Hi JC! I agree with you 100%. REALLY did not like that polka-dot form George's pregnancy. This is the sophisticated older sister, certainly. :)

      Yes, Mr. Security was on the job. You can see him opening the car door and there were other shots that didn't surface until long after I published, so I let them go.

      People have been talking about her hair. I have heard no whispers that she has changed hair stylist since she changed over a year ago. Perhaps she is putting more emphasis on a completely polished appearance. She has a real bounce in her step this past week and a half. Probably skipping with joy to get that baby out and start bonding...and exercising. :)

      Mmm, I think we may touch on the name game. It could be a few slow weeks. ;)

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    3. Yes Jane, we are coming up on a few "quiet " weeks, but I'll bet you have already planned if this ! :-) :-)

      Delete
  13. Love love love love this dress! I'm definitely partial to Kate wearing polka dots--since college (not too too long ago, but before Kate entered public life as a royal), I've always had at least one polka dot garment in rotation in my wardrobe. So I love to think that Kate and I are drawn to similar prints! Since I'm expecting, I may have to snag this one when it's re-released (as ASOS has said it will be)!
    -TMM

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    1. Yes, it will be re-released. Polka-dots are so cute fro spring! I hat a polka-dot sweater top in college. Maybe I need to get something in tribute to you and Kate! :)

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  14. .....and Mr Security scrubs up very well too.Kate looks delightful as always.

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    1. He does! The From Berkshire to Buckingham blog community's favorite protection officer. :)

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  15. I'm not surprised at low number of photographers; Twitter is full of royal appearances literally all over the globe today. Besides Kate, there's William, Harry, Prices Anne in the Philippines and Prince Charles and Camilla in Washington DC. A great day for royal watchers!

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    1. This was the absolute worst it has ever been, but you are right. It was a heck of a royal day!

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  16. She looks so lovely and happy.

    Also, Rebecca Deacon... what a job. I wonder if her and Kate are very close as friends, or just as a friendly working relationship. I often wonder what Kate does in her spare time for fun. Though she probably doesn't have much of that with the Little Prince.

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    1. I think it is inevitable that they be friends and you can see them enjoying chuckles here and there. At the same time, I don't think they split a bottle of wine on a Saturday night, because that would probably make their working relationship odd. BUT, William has been very close to members of his staff. Consider Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. William made him George's godfather and Jamie's son was in the Royal Wedding. People are people, they bond and they love. I think that Kate and Rebecca will be very close as the years tick by.

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  17. Love love this look. Fresh, youthful, appropriate for the engagement - I like the v neck femine but not to revealling and the 3/4 length sleeve are also very flattering. Paired with the black jacket added professional polish. Some other websites show the dress in some different colors and it would have been slightly more hip to see something other than black and white...but that is a small complaint. Overall great big win for me today!

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    1. She hasn't played with polka-dots in color really, has she? I think the black and white helped keep this sophisticated, but it would be fun to see color in the future!

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  18. Three engagements with Prince William reported on March 27th

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  19. The dress is fine, but why does she insist on wearing somber colours to visit children? Why not wear something bright and colourful?

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    1. I think polka dots are quite cheerful.

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    2. So do I, Faith. :)

      I think children are smarter than some people give them credit for and I suspect that personality, words, actions, humor, etc., would make a far greater impression on them than the color of a dress. If Kate didn't have the warmth and compassion that shines through, showing up in hot pink, for example, wouldn't make up for it.

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    3. So is there a fashion law that says we have to dress in pastels if children ate present?

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    4. I agreed. Children respond to bright colors. That's why classrooms are so cheerful.

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    5. No fashion law. Bright colors are fun, but certainly Kate has given us a fair few of those. Her preference lately has been toward more subdued colors. I used to wear very bright colors. Greens, fuchsia all the time, bright blues... It is very hard for me to wear them now, I wear only light pinks, browns, blacks, creams, etc. I think people just go through fazes. We will see more bright colors again!

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  20. The dress and the coat do not go together. Yikes! The coat is sophisticated and tailored, the dress is casual. They look silly together, they don't even compliment each other in an opposites attract sort of way.

    It is days like this when it is easy to see that Kate is in over her head when it comes to world stage fashion and she needs help. STAT.

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    1. Anon 3.05. I get that you don't like her look today, but to say she is in over her head in the world of fashion makes me quite amused. The Duchess has managed to top a number of worlds best dressed lists consistently. Also if she were not doing it right, there would not be the numerous blogs reporting on her fashion with such fervour. Fashion is an opinion and some days she will appeal to some and not others, but generally she seems to strike a good balance. IMO today and this past week she has looked elegant, graceful and appropriated for all her engagements. She generally does and that is important for her position as a Royal

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    2. IMO this dress can go either way. It can be dressed up with a coat and heels, as Kate did today...or combined with ballerina flats for a smart casual look. And the colors and pattern are classic.

      I also don't think Kate needs help, but a bit of kindness never hurt anybody. :))

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    3. Oooh, Anon 3:05. I think you just responded, and I am so sorry but that comment just isn't going to go live. HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, an impeccable lady, is a worldwide sensation for a lot of accidentals, but she is also world-famous for qualities she possesses. The world is full of beautiful women, who wear beautiful clothes, married to powerful and influential men. No one sells papers, clears inventory, and creates the screaming crowds that Kate the Great can. It really is a little naive to attempt to argue otherwise. In any event, we won't be arguing that here, where we all get along politely and speak respectfully about the Duchess.

      P.S. When haute couture can send models down the runway with bare-breasts and call it fashion, I think Kate's "common" style is quite sophisticated enough for me.

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    4. Oh Jane..now you got me curious as to what Anon 3:05 said! I know you have to keep this blog polite and respectful and limit those posts...but the majority of us are true Kate fans and it might have been quite delightful to see us take Anon 3:05 down. However...that could have been a blood bath so probably best that you make us take the high road. There is a line and best that we respect it.

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    5. I just want to say a big THANK YOU to Jane for keeping this blog positive toward our Princess !! It becomes very uncomfortable to continually read posts tearing her apart on another site by the same posters. No matter what she does they find a negative point to stress. I always have to wonder why they follow Kate's engagements if they are not a supporter. Maybe jealously - don't know - but life is just too short to be so hateful!

      Delete
    6. With you 100%, Anon. However, your comment probably would not have been printed there.
      There are plenty of sites to go to if dissing Kate is one's idea of fun. Jane has let it be known, this isn't one of
      them. That's not to say differing opinions are precluded. A little tact, dolop of kindness, and always balance.
      Another plus about Jane-she not only freely admits when she is wrong, she almost revels in her error.
      "Hey, folks! I make mistakes. I'm human." And very humane, I would say.

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    7. Anon 9:11, I couldn't agree more with every word you wrote.

      I haven't followed this blog for very long, but I am really enjoying it...I appreciate both the content and the "environment." Jane does a fantastic job...in every respect.

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    8. While I actually agree with Anon 3:05's sentiments, let me start by saying that I think Kate looked lovely here.

      However, I do agree that the dress and the coat don't "go" together. The dress, as Anon said, is much more casual than the coat. This looks like something I would put together. (I am no fashion maven but look polished on most occasions.)

      Is this something that the editors of Vogue would put together for Kate? No. Is this something that Kate put together herself? Yes, most likely. Kate has better foundation pieces than most of us, and that is because she can afford it. Do they always go together as she puts them? Not really, but when one is 8 months pregnant, you go with what is comfortable and what you have. She probably needed a coat, and this one at least kind of fit, and she went with it. (It looks a little small through the shoulders, much like the Ralph Lauren green-ish one she wore in Wales at her last event there.)

      She looks great, especially for a time when most women who are 8 months pregnant are running around in public in whatever they can "make work" (and usually amounts to leggings and a tshirt) and are bloated to the hilt. Kate has definitely put in a lot more effort this time around, and I think she should be commended for it.


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  21. I love polka dots as well! Gorgeous! She looked great from head to toe! I have nothing to add, Jane! ;-)
    I'm glad this has not been the last appearance until she will give birth. Juhu!!

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  22. Absolutely love your posts! They're always so interesting. You're style is so super unique - I love it! x.
    Love from Dubai,
    Aena

    www.TouchofA.com

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  23. Well, I have to eat my color-wanting words from Tuesday, also - I do love seeing Kate in colors, but if she's into neutrals now, this is certainly a great way to do it! I thought she looked lovely and stylish, but very approachable to the children she was meeting. So glad to get more word on future engagements, as well as on her due date! What fun!

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  24. Princess-to-be in polka dots... In a word..... classy! :)

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/06/16/article-1026847-01A1921900000578-558_468x577.jpg

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  25. Jeanne, VancouverMarch 21, 2015 at 9:05 PM

    Jane, I love how you keep this blog so positive, informative and on track. I'm shocked how some blogs are full of nasty people who just want to tear every aspect of HRH to pieces. The Duchess' dress is chic with a touch of whimsy - perfect for a visit with the children. I disagree the dress is "too causal" - as a poster suggested; IMO this is a style that can be dressed up or down. Yes, her hair looks so shiny and bouncy. In fact, she' really rocking her pregnancy striding around in those high heels, kneeling down to speak with children in one agile movement. Obviously she's in great health & shape.

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