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Lookback: Kate's Day at Epsom Derby

Thursday, June 4, 2015

To me there is something very special about the earliest events at which we saw Kate when she was a newly minted royal. The excitement and momentum of the Royal Wedding was still fresh and, in some way, we were all settling into this new rhythm of life with her. Today in 2011, William and Kate made an appearance at the Epsom Derby, and it remains one of my favorite ensembles and appearances.

While this was a public appearance in the sense it was at a venue where photographers were ready to snap the smiling couple, it was not an official appearance--it was not a working day. Heavily tanned from their honeymoon in the Seychelles, William and Kate were simply joining other members of William's family for a day at the races.

Importantly to fans, it was our very first glimpse of the married couple enjoying the kind of event we would normally only see William attend, which made it something of a milestone. The new princess seemed to fit right into the family circle, chatting with aunts and uncles, and helping look up racing information:

I think we have gotten a little used to seeing the couple interacting familiarly, but at the time, a picture like this was still rare. From her elegant chignon 

Kate was radiant and the two obviously weren't entirely out of their honeymoon (although as the years have gone by, it doesn't seem they have left it yet... ;)).

Do you remember that scene from Gone With the Wind, when Scarlet is seated under the oak tree at the barbecue surrounded by a bevy of men, all anxious to bring her dessert? That is what this shot reminds me of. Miss Catherine certainly is the belle of the ball, eh? :)

It was an afternoon full of teasing laughter and happy smiles:

This is one of my favorite shots: William sipping his tea--or coffee in a mug that big?--while Kate chats away to Sophie Wessex. Maybe she was retelling a story from their week in the Seychelles:

Kate's creamy white ensemble kicked off a summer of the shade, (or maybe her wedding dress did), which she has revealed is her favorite color. It certainly set off her tan perfectly. Kate has worn her cappuccino hat since, but I think this first wear was its best. If you re interested in the details of the ensemble, this is the direct link to the page on Kate's Clothes where you can learn about each piece.

Do you follow the blog on social media? You can follow From Berkshire to Buckingham on Facebook here, and Kate's Clothes Facebook here, but the two sites are currently sharing Instagram. That account is here. I will have some fun stuff on Instagram later this afternoon. 


  1. Thanks Jane. This is a great post. I haven't seen many of these pictures before and they are wonderful. That's what is so great about these "look back" posts. You usually include different pictures than you did the first time. I really liked this outfit on Kate too. I can't see her wearing it today, though. Aww - the difference between your 20's and your 30's. She certainly has the figure for it still, but I just don't see her going the short skirt route again.

  2. Jane, what a great job you do with this blog. It is one of my absolute favorite Kate blogs. Well done! I loved this outing and it was definitely one of my favorite outfits. She looked stunning! That white with her tan is beautiful.

    And a quick question: Do you think we'll see a picture of Charlotte this week? Some people thought we would but it's seeming less and less likely. Thanks!

  3. Love her hair and that hat! It's also cute seeing the boys in top hats. I remember being excited for this post-wedding outing...but disappointed in the outfit. Sorry, Jane ;-) I remember being surprised at how short the liner of the dress was (a lot of leg for an HRH), but I don't begrudge her or think it is inappropriate.

    Speaking of horse we anticipate that Michael & Carole will participate in the Ascot carriage procession this year, or is it just not news-worthy like it was the first couple years after *the wedding*? I don't recall hearing they attended like that last year.

    Amanda, Canada

  4. Faith from MassachusettsJune 4, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    Wow! Most of these photos I've never seen. I love this outfit too although I've never been fond of that hat. I have a feeling that its one of those pieces that looks far better in person than in a photograph. I hope we haven't seen the end of her in short skirts. She does it well and its a way to kick a staid outfit up a notch.

  5. A wonderful look back, and many new photos for me as well. :) I did like this outfit, but I was not too fond of the hat. It looked stiff/harsh in comparison to the skirt. A softer, feathery fascinator would have been a better match *IMO*.

  6. Hello Jane! Most interesting post. Thanks for these great photos and the look back. Love it that in photo 4, Kate has her hand on William's bum! How cute! I agree that this outfit is elegant and creative just like the DoC. Beautiful color palette with the hat, earrings, shoes + clutch, and that lovely summer white. Katherine USA

  7. Sonja from BavariaJune 5, 2015 at 3:19 AM

    That's great! I think I have only seen the first picture before, but not the others..

    Kate looked absolutely goregous, so tanned and happy. I hope we will see a repeat of that beautiful white outfit!

    The chignon really suits her - as much as I love her curls, it would be so great if she had her hair put up in a chignon more often!

    She and William looked so happy together (and of course they still do)
    I'm so looking forward to the family pictures! When, oh when will the palace release them? I had thought they would release them not later than a month after charlotte's birth, but I was wrong... Hopefully, we'll get a snap of George and Charlotte together!

    1. Now that the christening has been announced, and it is Sandringham instead of London, I wonder if this explains the photo delay. Maybe since Charlotte is the "spare" (is a nicer way to say it "not directly in line to the throne"?), they don't feel as obligated to release photos as soon, have a christening in London, etc. ? Would they argue Charlotte's birth order gives them the right to be even more protective?

      Just thinking out loud...

  8. Just announced that Princess Charlotte will be Christened at St Mary Magdalene Church on July 5th. by the Archbishop of Canterbury

  9. This epsom derby outfit is one of my favourites for Kate. Classic colours but still fun with the light weight dress. I must find an inexpensive replikate.

    Now the countdown to the christening (and subsequent photos) begins...unless you think we will get photos beforehand?

  10. I just love that peacock dress, both coats she pared it with were perfect. Two of my all time favorite outfits on her.

  11. I'm happy to see these pics again. June 2011 and the north american tour were the top of her elegance

  12. love those throwback pictures

  13. Actually the Royals at Epsom is listed on the Court Circular each year, so it is an Official Appearance.

    1. No, not by the definition used here on the blog. An official engagement is one announced in advance and usually on behalf of a charity. This was ultimately a family event.


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