This weekend was the Audi Polo Challenge. Only Harry played on Saturday, but on Sunday, both the royal brothers took to the turf to battle it out in the game of kings. Regrettably, the beautiful Duchess of Cambridge was not on hand, but I thought it would be nice to quickly review the polo matches she has been to since she married the Duke of Cambridge. She has run the gamut of game types, from dressy benefits to the casual dressed down days. (FYI: I am interested today in what she wore, so each appearance is linked to its profile on Kate's Clothes with full ensemble details.)
|Audi Polo Challenge 2012|
Kate's first polo match as a royal was a glitzy affair, and not even in Britain! The new Duchess cheered on William at the Santa Barbara Polo Club in Southern California for a charity match that raised money for The Royal Foundation. This was, I think, the only time we have seen Kate wears heels (a big no-no for polo) to a match. I think she chose to deal with the pitfalls because she liked the shoes and she prioritized the red carpet aspect of the event, over practical considerations.
As it happened, she navigated the turf well, and it never seemed that she faltered as she walked nimbly, but confidently cross the grass. California is a desert climate, though, so the grass was probably quite stable:
In between meeting the celebrity guests and watching the match, Kate found a moment to join her husband on the sidelines, where they shared a few moments of conversation. Teasing, always teasing. Mr. Security alert on the left:
In May of 2012, Kate attended the Audi Polo Challenge, bringing Lupo to watch Wills and Uncle Harry. This was another fancier affair, and Kate wore a patterned dress by Libélula with her "Minx" wedges from Stuart Weitzman.
I particularly enjoyed the photos of Kate socializing with her staff. We often wonder about her relationship with some of these people, particularly Rebecca Deacon, with whom she spends so much time. Are they strictly professional or do they slide into an easy friendship? This--and many other photos--have shown us that Kate clearly gets on well with her sidekick and that the women share a warm relationship:
Just a month later, Kate dressed down for an afternoon at the Beaufort Polo Club. Again, she had Lupo with her as she watched both William and Harry play a match benefiting charities including Tusk Trust and Child Bereavement UK.
It was a fun family day, and Kate mixed with the Tindalls and Phillips along the sidelines, chatting with Autumn and introducing her pup to baby Savannah. In this photo you can actually see Kate is concerned and looking at Savannah's hand as she holds Lupo's head. Unfortunately, the cocker spaniel got a little too excited and nipped the toddler, but thankfully it was nothing serious:
William joined his wife and doggie and the couple socialized before waving to friends and family and taking their leave.
2013 was a tough year for fans who fancy the occasional polo appearance. Pregnant with George, Kate skipped the summer staple and we didn't see her attend until the next summer. It was worth the wait, though. On Father's Day weekend in 2014, Kate brought a very special companion. Prince George took his first halting steps for the breathless world as his mother gave him a supporting hand. It was the baby prince's first polo match.
We'd all gotten a sense of George's personality already, thanks to his debut Down Under just two months before, and royal watchers were thrilled to see more of the precocious toddler's antics:
Kate was at her most casual, in skinnies, a favorite Breton top, and her Bala boat shoes. She didn't even have earrings on and wore here Givenchy sunglasses on her head, ready to pop on when the sun called for them.
It would be nice to see Kate at polo this year, although thus far, she has maintained her seclusion in Norfolk. Kate was spotted shopping last week near her home, and as has been reported on this blog, she has been to local parks with George and out picking up organic produce at nearby farm stores. I think Kate would like to avoid the cameras for as long as possible, but maybe after Trooping she will feel more comfortable spending an afternoon out later in the summer.
Over the weekend I was thinking a lot about Kate's shoes...who knows what size the Duchess wears? I asked this on social media already, and I know some of you were spot on! I posted the answer on Kate's Clothes, so if you don't already know, the answer is here.