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What Will Kate Wear to the State Banquet: Favorite Labels

Saturday, September 5, 2015

So, we have discussed McQueen and Packham, let's look at the other labels that Kate has also favored when choosing her evening gowns. Most of these are labels that are big hitters for more casual events, so although I have termed them "second-tier" this certainly is subjective to this particular category of apparel, and is not meant to be disrespectful in the least! We all love these beautiful labels!  

The leader of the second tier is easily Temperley London. Even the most casual Kate observer is familiar with her (arguably) favorite evening gown, the "Amoret" lace. Kate first debuted this on January 8, 2012 at the War Horse premiere. 



The dress was a smash hit. I don't think it got a single negative review. From a favorite royal label, the Temeprley gown fit Kate's style-profile to perfection and was also entirely in keeping with the style de rigueur: lace. (Spot our favorite PPO?)



This was the first dress, however, that Kate recycled in a major way. Almost a year after its debut, Kate recycled the dress on an evening celebrating St. Andrews at Middle Temple in London. She added a really fun pop of color with the Alexander McQueen Bow Clutch and a Remembrance Poppy. Both these little details also happen to be very helpful for quickly differentiating which event  is which when looking at pictures.


Before she three-peated the Jenny Packham, she three-peated this dress. Granted that Kate hasn't worn an overwhelmingly large number of evening gowns even to this day, but she had worn even less at that time. Still, I think as a public we were already formulating certain patterns in our head. If she was going to wear a floor-length dress, we expected it (and still do) to be new.  I thought twice was the limit for an evening gown, but Kate wore this a third time when she attended David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive in 3D


I know this third wear received very mixed reviews. Some people really love this dress and were thrilled, and others were left a little colder. I was so surprised to see it a third time that it was almost as exciting as a new dress. This is one of the most flattering dresses Kate has worn. That fitted bodice and plunging neckline are drop dead gorgeous and the lace overlay really makes it especially elegant. This wear is a little hard to tell apart from the first, since she added no color, but she did debut a straighter haircut, which was a huge deal, and she added a Mappin & Webb pendant necklace


From under the Temperley umbrella came the next dress. It was less formal dress, and I do not expect that Kate will wear anything of this nature to the State Banquet, but I do count it is a floor-length evening gown, and in terms of noting which labels she likes, I think it counts. The "Beatrice" maxi-dress is from Alice by Temperley and Kate wore it to a State Dinner in Tuvalu during the tour of South East Asia in 2012:


Kate has only worn one Beulah evening gown, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a second. She tapped this red dress for a night supporting 100 Women in Hedge Funds in 2011. This dress was very in keeping with her pre-marriage style, which I still think was pretty fantastic. 


Kate has shown a limited, but interesting, penchant for French designer Roland Mouret, to which I say, Bravo. This Lombard gown first debuted at a dinner for the Thirty Club where William was the distinguished speaker of the gathering. 



Kate recycled the dress a little over a year later when she wore it to the premiere of the The Long Walk To Freedom. It certainly ranks as one of her most successful recycles. Since that time, she really wowed us with the Jenny Packham in New York, but it is interesting to note that on both occasions, she put her hair up for the recycle and that is part of what gave both looks a fresh twist and an added pizazz. 



Kate wore this icy blue Amanda Wakeley when she stepped in for Prince Charles at an event the heir was hosting at his Clarence House home-base. Her appearance was a little last minute, and the dress is from 2006, so my bet is she just pulled this from the closet. I would love to know what event she purchased the dress for originally. I bet she wore it with William...:)


Finally, a dress that surprised many, the "Zarita" from Diane von Fürstenberg. Kate wore this to her first appearance at the Royal Variety Performance where she and William were standing in for Her Majesty The Queen. This is notable, because it was an event where I fully expected her to wear a British brand, and instead she opted for American. It doesn't significantly shift my opinion that she will wear McQueen in October, but it does add just a hint of uncertainty and an edge of excitement. 



One of you lovely readers emailed me last week to remind me that I left out one of Kate's Jenny Packham gowns! The Duchess wore this silver, one-shoulder dress to the an event raising money for the National Memorial Arboretum in 2012, and I didn't want to not include it at all. I may go back and revise the earlier post for posterity. 


I have  a few other reflections on Kate's evening-wear, which will be at the end of the next post. As I am sure most of you have heard by now, Kate has added an event to her calendar: September 17th! Pop up the "Kate's Calendar" tab to keep up-to-date on her schedule.

Visit Scotland 


The Cambridges go to Balmoral in September, and I expect they will travel north again this year. Keep on eye out for a Sunday-sighting. Rebecca English of the Daily Mail has told us that her sources say Kate and William will not be there this weekend, nor will they make an appearance at Braemar. Nevertheless, unless William has to stay put for work, I think we will see them at some point. Maybe late September? The weekend of the 18th right after Kate completes her engagement? I'll keep you in the loop.

Lastly, many thanks for the kind tweets, emails, and posts. You all are super awesome and I appreciate the support and kind wishes. I was gratified by the response and am glad you all are as excited as I am to push forward! Happy weekend! 

71 comments:

  1. Ah, the Mouret. I love that one (Kate once said her favorite color was white, so I like to think she's picked the cream to suit herself, which is cool). She is the Queen of Lace! All these looks make me excited to see what she picks - thanks Jane!

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  2. Lovely post! I wouldn't at all be surprised if Kate wore a Catherine Walker evening gown. Can't wait to find out!

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  3. Gown from Diana von Furstenberg is the most beautiful and I would like that Kate wear it again!

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  4. I think you've showcased some beautiful gowns, most were very flattering and she looked quite glamorous. One exception for me, sadly, was the DVF, just seemed much too heavy and somber, particularly considering the venue!

    Since we're talking fashion and appearance, I have to say I think she needs to figure out an evening hairstyle. The Clarence House event was perfect, the others are lacking. If she wants to wear her hair long and blown out I think it needs to have some height, especially around face, so it falls back and away more. (trying to think of a celeb/red carpet image to illustrate) I think when many people don't like one of Kate's evening looks, the hair is the problem, it often detracts from a great gown. I know this may be sacrilege to say as many covet her hair :)

    I think it's a shame they're not going to the games, if RE is correct. It's a significant anniversary and would bring a lot of attention to them, and show that a large Scottish event is important enough to be on their schedule. The relationship with Scotland is still a little tender right now.

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    1. Maggie - MinneapolisSeptember 5, 2015 at 3:51 PM

      Claudia, I agree about Kate needing to change her evening hairstyle. Luckily, I think in the past year she's showcased more willingness to put her hair up, and so hopefully that will apply to the state banquet. And most of their evening occasions have not been "royal" occasions, so hopefully her tendency to wear her hair down for evening events is not indicative of what she would do for a state banquet.

      I also agree that their decision to not go to the games is not the greatest. Obviously if they weren't going to be at Balmoral soon anyways then it would be understandable, but to be in Scotland around the time of the games and not attend them is not a smart move imo.

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    2. William was spotted in his helicopter working.
      The September 9 Balmoral appearance is speculation, I believe. Not confirmed, nor likely to be confirmed. It would be a private matter, not an official appearance.
      I don't think their judgement should be questioned for something that is based on rumor. William is working. That
      is the only part that is confirmed.

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    3. Thank You Anon 6;28. The idea that they would even be at the Braemar Games was a fabricated story by the media. Why should Will and Kate now bear the brunt of the discord and blame that they were not there. The DM also is the source of the story about their being there on the 9th. I hope this story is at least true, but since it is the DM, I am holding my breath because I can just see the posts against Will and Kate if they were not even invited.

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    4. Appreciate the back-up, anon 7:30. I just didn't think it was fair. Someone remarked that saying such things
      about other members of the royal family was also not fair. I agree. Criticising certain RF members is often a
      knee-jerk habit-hard to break. I'm trying.
      I also was concerned that such remarks as made above could lead into a downward spiral that could make
      Jane's job tougher.
      I hope they go to Balmoral and I hope Catherine goes to the State banquet wearing a new gown-Beulah?, an
      up-do and tiara, and the family order. I'll accept three out of four.

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  5. I just have to add a sartorial side-note: isn't it funny sometimes to notice what the other people in the photo are wearing? Often it is really pretty shocking...lots of acid green polka dots, or some huge bow, or...a floor-length orange and black SNAKE dress. Eek! :) (ps: there should be a blog about the other people's fashion in Kate's photos! lol!)

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    1. LOL! I notice the questionable snake dress as well!

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  6. And btw J'ADORE that creamy Mouret. I hope she keeps wearing white and cream forever. :)

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  7. I just noticed that in the photo of the Packman silver gown the edge of the gown going across the top of chest at an angle is not tucked under, i.e. it looks like an unfinished edge that should have been tacked down and has flipped up. I am not a huge lace fan but the Temperley gown shape looks gorgeous on her. Also love the Mouret but I prefer a different neckline and different shoes than either the silver or black. Did not like the necklace she wore with it. No idea what she will go with, will be fun to see.Ali

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    1. I see what you mean about the silver Packman Ali. That seam is not behaving. I hadn't noticed that before. Good eye :-)

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    2. Lol!! Now you have me saying it :-) Packham .

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  8. Do we really.know if she's attenidng the banquet? I just have a feeling she won't i hope she does because its about time she does but idk...
    I hope she wears something new a state banquet does not deserve a repeat dress!

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  9. Of all of these the DVF is my favorite. I would love to see a repeat with some beautiful jewelry to go with it. As has been pointed out in other post comments, the attire for the evening requires a fuller skirt than these beautiful, sleek gowns represent.

    I agree, Claudia, that she needs to wear her hair up more in the evenings. This is especially true if she is to wear a tiara to the state banquet. Her hair looked gorgeous when she wore the Jenny Packham teal. I think you're right, Jane, about McQueen but I'm still hoping for something extra feminine from Jenny P.

    I do hope they make an appearance at the Braemar Games. It would help if as many royals as possible attended this year but an appearance from William and Kate - in popularity - would be beneficial. Besides, I'd like to see how Kate would dress in the royal tartan!

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    1. I'm disappointed that they did not attend. I thought there was an added significance to it this year and it would also quiet the critics (well, perhaps some).

      And I agree with you, and Claudia, on the hair issue. (And I just said so in a prior comment! Lol.) I like CP Mary's hair as it is a very versatile style and length. Feel free to disagree with me, but what works when you're 20 something may not be the best choice when you're 30 something. Just MY opinion, of course. :)

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    2. I think it is possible that William was on duty with Air Ambulance. A day or so ago it was reported that he had landed at a prison, so maybe his shift only ends this weekend.

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    3. I am disappointed as well, but not at Will and Kate (not suggesting you are royalfan:-}). I find the media's "speculation" is to blame for even suggesting they would be there. I have a suspicion that Balmoral probably can not accommodate all the family at one time and a time schedule has been set up for visits. I sure hope as well that the DM's article about them being there on Wed. is true, but since they are notorious for not printing accurate information ...... But Kate and William should not shoulder responsibility if they were never intended to be there.

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    4. Correct, Anon 7:49..I was not suggesting it. :) And if William is on duty, as Anon 5:30 pointed out, then he is working. End of story. Ironically, if they had attended today, the critics would question how he can keep taking time off?

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    5. royalfan, I am biting my tongue digitally with your hairdo age 20 not appropriate at age 30. comment. I will not mention names, as I have taken a vow, but...let's just say Catherine should feel right at home in the royal family
      when it comes to sticking with a hair style. Actually, she changes her hair frequently...comparatively.

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    6. Anon 9:15, I can appreciate exactly where you were *not* going. :)) I get it and do not disagree. (Oh, the irony of my statement! :) And I'm not an old prude who believes a woman must do this or that at such and such a point in her life, but there is such a thing as evolving, or keeping up to date.

      CP Mary, for example, has long hair and wears it down quite often, but the style does not overpower her. In Kate's case, her hair is so long and full that it does overpower the overall look when she wears it down, even partially. Again, just my opinion.

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    7. As a person with baby fine hair, I have serious hair envy of Kates's. If I had hair like that, I wouldn't be cutting it anytime soon. If you look at the photo above at the Natural History museum it doesn't get better than that imo. I would like to see her put it up more often and play around with different styles as the possibilities could be rather delicious but I don't think she's in any danger of looking dated like the other royals we are "not" mentioning at the moment.

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    8. I, too, have baby-fine hair. In fact, at this point, I am lucky to have any hair at all. To compensate for thinness, I
      have let it grow to a length longer than HRH. Once, when I was young and clueless, I wanted to surprise my
      fiance. I had my very long locks cut to ear length the day before the wedding. He loved my long hair.
      With Kate, "the hair's the thing." Part of her identity and perhaps talisman. Plus William must admire it.That alone
      should keep her tresses as is.
      Royalfan, your point about the shear volume of Catherine's hair drawing attention away from the rest of her
      is well-taken. I agree. And maybe that is intended.
      Mary is admirable in every way. I was just looking at
      photos of her with her impossibly adorable family. I would hope the image reflects the reality. She is a class act,
      but she is not Catherine and vice-versa. Thank goodness.

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    9. Yes, I think Kate's hair has become her trademark, not unlike Diana's layered bob.

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    10. Robin-11:19-Fun idea about seeing Catherine in the tartan. So far, I think all we've seen is the scarf.
      I'm trying to imagine what other item of clothing that red and yellow material would work with. So far, all I've come
      up with is a purse. She looks wonderful in the Black Watch plaid, but that is an entirely different country, of course.
      Remember that wonderful red coat she wore in Scotland with the scarf?

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    11. I predict that we will become experts at reading between the lines and "not mentioning". :)) And the bottom line on hair...it's a very personal subject, is it not?

      Anon 2:15, I loved the McQueen Black Watch coat. It was an excellent choice for the visit to a school just prior to her first pregnancy being announced.

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    12. royalfan 7:23-I was terrified in retrospect , seeing those high heeled boots she wore whilst darting around
      the field.I think her baby booties must have had high heels; certainly, her training walkers.
      Hasn't she worn it several times? Always appropriately.
      I must consult Kate's Clothes.

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    13. OK, royalfan- I have checked Kate's Clothes and found only one appearance listed for the "Black Watch coat."
      Christmas, 2013, at Sandringham. I went to 2012 and found a Black Watch dress described for the
      St. Andrews school visit. It looks the same to me. By the way, the 2012 "Best of.." selections included many, if not
      most of my favorites.

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    14. Oh dear, a few ensembles have slipped past me. The Black Watch coat was worn at St. Andrews in Pangbourne, as mentioned in its item page. I have added that entry to the website!

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    15. Wasn't there some discussion at the time whether or not to call the garment a coat or a dress?

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    16. ps- wasn't the coat Kate was wearing in the car with William at Crathie Kirk the Black Watch? or the Molah
      worker's coat? (which I dis-liked)
      Is Black Watch a Scottish plaid then?
      Back to Kate's Clothes.

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    17. pps-I have educated myself (googled) I guess saying is Black Watch Scottish is a bit like saying
      ,"Is the Pope Catholic?"
      Soliloquy over.

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    18. Anon 9:15, Kate was wearing the Molah coat. I definitely prefer the McQueen. The Molah fabric appeared to be lightweight and wrinkled easily; not a look I care for since wrinkled coats tend to look cheap. IMO.

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    19. My computer went off its little rocker for a few days and decided that my native language was Arabic. I've missed all the conversations here about hairstyles and plaids while trying to decipher curly squiggles. I am finally back amongst the those who can actually read what their computers are saying and I must agree with everyone on everything - including those things we aren't mentioning. ;-)

      Jane, now you know how much we use Kate's Clothes as our go to resource! Thank you for your work!!

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  10. All of these gowns are so amazing. I would love to see the Beatrice, the red Beulah and the silver Temperley again. The silver Temperley has to be one of my top five, and that evening, I thought her apperance from the hair, to the makeup to the jewels was perfect. The DVF and the Amanda Wakeley are my least favorites. I agree with Claudia that the DVF was heavy and somber looking while for me the proportions on the top of the Wakeley dress seemed off and made her chest seem low. The Amouret and the Mouret gown are the showstoppers of the bunch but I've seen them enough for the time being. I still say she will wear a new McQueen if they attend the state banquet. That's not been confirmed, right? We are still speculating about that?

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  11. Maggie - MinneapolisSeptember 5, 2015 at 3:53 PM

    I like all of these gowns except the Amanda Wakeley. The style of the straps is not great for her body imo. Kate has kind of broad shoulders/muscular arms, and this gown made her arms look abnormally large relative to the rest of her body. Part of this is probably also because this Clarence House event was during probably her skinniest time. A little more filled-out Kate would not look quite as off-proportion in this dress, I bet.

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  12. The Lombard gown is my favorite (featured here), but I thought black suede shoes (worn the second time) were not the best accessory (a "heavy" look)...and it needed a proper chignon. I truly believe that many, if not all, of her evening gowns would look better with updos.

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    1. I don't like those shoes at all - with anything she's worn them with. I also think - IMHO, anyway - platform shoes are too clunky to wear with evening gowns. Even if they're gold or silver.

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    2. Although I do like the nude LK Bennet Sledge pumps (perhaps the color keeps them from looking too "heavy"), I'm with you on the platform shoes. And I will just add that the skinnier a gal is, the more clunky they tend to look. IMO.

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  13. Okay, since we're talking evening gowns and Kate likes lace, here's a gown that would look stunning on her...

    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/princess-grace-awards-gala-honorees-robert-redford-and-news-photo/487038342

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    1. That would look stunning on her! I think, if we're talking state banquet thought, it would need to be all white or cream. I've been looking at dresses Diana wore to state dinners and they were always white. I think they are also required to have a fuller skirt. If wishes were fishes, I would love to see her in a very pale pink gown with an illusion neck. Something like the Carolina Herrera Delfina gown or the Monique Lhuillier Elizabeth gown. (Before my daughter had three children she was a wedding planner and I assisted her with destination weddings. I can't help still keeping up with the fashions, flowers, and decor. I watched Kate's wedding with my royal nerdiness eyes and my critique-this-wedding eyes.)

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    2. Robin, I just took a peek at the two gowns and they are gorgeous! Wow!! I love both, but I think the Delfina is my favorite. It's very soft and feminine with the illusion effect and the buttons in the back. I'm imagining it in the soft pink you mentioned, or an icy blue. Lovely! Once you get your computer sorted out, perhaps you should consider sending a resume to KP. :))

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    3. Wouldn't that be a fun job?! I also like the idea of an icy blue. Jewelry? The Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara with some diamond and pearl drop earrings for the pink. Sapphires and diamonds for her ears with the blue with her wedding tiara. I suspect the Spencer tiara will be kept in the vault for now.

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    4. Ahhh......the interview continues....beautiful choices, Robin! :)))

      Regarding the Spencer tiara... When William is king, it would be nice to see Kate wear it, even if just once, in honor of Diana. After all, William is half Spencer and I cannot imagine the current Earl, or his heir, objecting to it...

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    5. Thank you! I would love to see Kate wear the Spencer tiara as well but I also believe it will have to wait until William is king. It will be a nice one for Charlotte to wear, when the occasion eventually calls for it, since she has Diana's name. I don't think the current Earl Spencer would have his wife wear it because it is too closely associated with Diana. They don't flaunt it but every once in awhile we get a hint that William and Harry keep up their ties with the Spencer side of the family.

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  14. There are only a few images available of Kate wearing the Wakely dress, so would like to see it again.

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  15. Just curious: who is "our favorite PPO"? I too notice, in various ways, the other people in the photos.

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    1. Jane, didn't you do a post on Mr. Security? If not, how about it? This has been a recurring theme since before
      I started reading FBTB. My favorite PPO remains the one next to Kate at the polo game sidelines July, 2014,
      where Geoege was determined to get at the horses and mallets.
      Although, those blue eyes could melt the polar ice, Mr. Security.

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    2. I keep seeing references to this, but apparently I missed the book, and not just the chapter. Lol. Who is Mr Security?

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    3. Mr. Security is one of Kate's (and William's) PPOs. He distinguished himself to yours truly during the tour of Australia and New Zealand, but has been with Kate for some time. He was the PPO to whom she handed--or took--her keys in those early photos shopping Anglesey. He is with her on many of her public engagements. I like how intense he is and focused; he is clearly a dude, and does a great job. Usually, if I see a photo with him in it, I will use it. He is affectionately referred to here as "Mr. Security."

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    4. Thank you, Jane. :))

      I Googled...I saw...I understand. COMPLETELY.

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  16. Chiming in....I dislike the Alice by Temperley, which didn't fit, detest the red Beulah, on the grounds that it was far too traditional, boring, with nary a cutting edge in sight--unless she were living in the 1950s. Nor am I fond of Jenny Packham; IMO, sweeter-than-sweet, and some, like the teal gown Kate wore in 2012?, again are surprisingly old-fashioned. I do like the black lace by Temperley London (Is Temperley London a cut above Alice by Temperley?), however, Kate has worn it three times already, and a fourth would be a disappointment. I also like the black lace DVF, but its been worn twice; a third wear might well result in people groaning about too much black lace already! Lastly, I like the cream Roland Mouret, which does possess a bit of edge.

    If Kate does not have the resources to purchase a new gown, I would suggest that she wear the Roland Mouret again, with an updo, tiara (a given), and perhaps with those stunning diamond and emerald earrings she wore to the Met in NYC.--I say perhaps because it depends upon whether the diamonds in the tiara are set in yellow (a go, because the earrings I mentioned have a mix of both yellow and white diamonds), and maybe a go if the tiara is set in white gold/platinum. If Kate is offered the loan of her wedding tiara (the scroll tiara?), then her wedding earrings would match--altho white and cream would probably result in a rather bland look.

    My hope is that if she is given the financial resources necessary for the purchase of a stunning new evening gown, she is told, at the same time, which tiara will be loaned to her. And while I do think Kate needs to take into consideration any colour of gown which would offend the Chinese, I don't think she needs to consider styling; she is not an immodest dresser and, after all, this time round, the Chinese are guests on British soil. Lastly, I hope that whatever new gown Kate might choose will not be a *flag dress/gown*, but that it will be something she truly likes, which can be worn again almost anywhere.

    I feel really silly writing this comment since her appearance at the State Dinner has not been confirmed--and we should all keep in mind that William and Kate can only attend at the express invitation of the Queen.

    P.S. Should Kate wear cream, I would suggest a new pair of heels--taupe, camel, caramel spring to mind--with a new, small, matching clutch. Black is too sharp a contrast; it jars, IMO.

    JC

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    1. That's the thing JC. They are retro style dresses. The Beatrice is a bohemian sixties look while the red Beulah does have a fifties feel. I do agree though that that is not everyone's cup of tea.

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    2. Are you sure the red Beulah is 50's? Maybe more 70's? I'm sure I remember one of Charlie's Angels, the pretty brunette one, wearing just such a dress. As a matter of fact, I believe my Mother had a shorter version in the
      1930's.
      Hey, maybe it's timeless.

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    3. JC, when I saw the red gown, my mind went back to Mary Tyler Moore. Did I just age myself...again? Lol. The sleeves were right out of the 70's IMO.

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    4. Ok. I have researched the Beulah dress silhouette. The neckline, bodice and the way the skirt falls is reminiscent of a 1930's gown style but it would have been sleeveless. The neckline, bodice and skirt is also similar to a 1950's surplice swing dress but that typically would have had cap sleeves and been knee length. The sleeves and tie at the waist does seem to be typically 70's but those dresses seem to have a high/low hem line with an unfitted bodice and waist but they do have the V neckline. So I think you are correct about the timelessness of this dress. Beulah seems to have taken elements from different eras when designing it.

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    5. And apparently at ten pm., I can not conjugate verbs correctly! I should give back all my college degrees right now!

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    6. JC I agree it seems strange, a lot of speculation for something that has not been officially confirmed! But some credible reporters have been given the go ahead off the record, and that's usually good enough, though these days I'm not always convinced :)

      I also have been wondering lately with a couple of "leaked" stories - are we seeing a very common PR ploy at work? Often when one side wants something they leak it in advance to put public pressure on the person they're trying to convince. The dinner could be that BP wants them to go and are trying to exert a little public pressure, or vice versa.

      This first crossed my mind with the Royal Family Order "leak" - it made me wonder that maybe Kate doesn't have it and they're trying to "remind" the Queen before she has to show up at a state dinner as the only one not wearing it.

      I know, call me a cynic, but this is a time tested PR move, particularly in the BRF - since every member generally has a selection of papers delivered on their breakfast tray, it was often seen as a way for one to get their point across to another. (The War of the Wales took this to extreme!)

      Anyone out there in PR will be quite familiar with it as well :)

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    7. Well, confirmed or not, I hope it happens. After four plus years (since the wedding), it's time. And I am *not* suggesting that W&K have declined invitations. :)

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    8. Faith 10:01 - I'm impressed! Great research, Faith-and thank-you. I think Jane should take you on as a consultant
      for Kate's Clothes. Really.
      Not that she needs one, but- well done.

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    9. The Queen speaking through the tabloids? No need for her yearly speech on Christmas Day-just print it in the DM.
      She could "leak" it.
      Unidentified palace sources and the like can be euphemisms for-"We made this up, but isn't it an interesting
      (reader increasing) idea?"

      If the queen wishes for William and Catherine to be there, they will be there.
      Why would William go all the way to China, but consider the London banquet too far or too much bother?

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    10. I didn't mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist Anon 1:42 :) I fully expect William to attend, given his involvement in this trip and the news today of his upcoming speech.

      Just pointing out that, after what is now decades observing the BRF, I rarely take anything at face value. As JC said, I value facts! And "sourced" stories often have an ulterior motive. The communications staff at all the palaces know quite well how to use the media to their advantage, and yes the Queen herself has used the press to get a point across in the past. (which is why the press grumble a bit when they're attacked publicly, many would like to say "oh they didn't mind when they wanted us to do so-and-so for them" ... there are deals aplenty)

      I just take everything with a rather large grain of salt and was just thinking aloud :) Now back to fashion and such!

      Claudia

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  17. Claudia, August is apparently known by serious royal watchers as *the silly season*; i.e., this is when the BRF typically takes a break from public duties causing the British tabs to go into overdrive. They create stories where none exist, just to get clicks. As for their *sources*, dubious at best.--If a source is not willing to be named, then any story cooked up by the tabs can safely be attributed to anonymous sources.

    However, both the Palace and Clarence House--and make no mistake; Clarence House is in charge of the small KP press office, since all staff of William, Kate and Harry are paid by Charles--leak like a sieve, leaving us to wonder if a leak is legitimate, and if so, which side leaked it and why. Forget clarity.

    If you are a cynic, then so am I, altho I prefer to view myself as an honest individual searching for facts, and, when it comes to facts, I value actions over words.

    Now, in the full knowledge that Jane wants us to stick to fashion, I will add that I would really like to see Kate stepping out in a bespoke Valentino-- fat chance!-- the next time we see her in a full-length gown, altho I could happily settle for a bespoke Ralph Lauren.

    JC

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    1. Oh, JC, you have hit upon something! Although so very, very unlikely, I would also love to see her in a Valentino! A vintage Valentino would be even more stunning! Maybe if they host Italy?

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    2. Better yet, Robin, may Will and Kate go to Italy! As a fan of same country--Rome! Florence! Tuscany! Naples! Herculaneum!--I would follow their every footstep. Talk about the perfect place to wear Valentino! I mean, really, there is no fashion house in Britain which comes close; sad, really.

      JC

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  18. I know I’m in the minority here, but my favorite of these dresses is the red Beulah gown. I love the sleek, classic lines. In my opinion, it’s a contemporary look—the style does not make me think of the 1950s or 1970s. I also love the color. With her dark hair, I think Kate should wear more bright colors and jewel tones. She looks great in red. The dress does look a little too long in the photo (maybe it could have been shortened an inch or two?). But it’s hard to tell from just one picture. All in all, I love this dress. To me, it’s simple and elegant. And as Jane notes, it is very in keeping with her pre-marriage style, which, I also agree, was “pretty fantastic.”

    I’m normally not a big fan of lace, but Kate looked striking in the black-lace Diane von Fürstenberg dress—although it’s not one of my personal favorites. The white Roland Mouret dress was nice but almost too severe for my tastes. Kate looked shockingly thin in the Amanda Wakeley gown. I also don’t like the Jenny Packham off-the-shoulder dress for the same reason. Is Kate still this thin? She’s someone who looks better with sleeves.

    I don’t understand all the criticism Kate gets about her hair. I like it when she wears it up on occasion, but I also like it when she wears her hair down. If I were blessed with hair as luxurious as Kate’s, I would wear it long and flowing most of the time!

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    1. Betsey, you are not in minority! It is my favourite too. And both of my daughters - despite been teenagers, find the dress perfect in all ways (so we cover a good age span - between us! :)

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  19. Hi. I love this column! Can't wait to see who Kate wears... It will be very exciting :) ..... I also really appreciate the refocus of this blog!!

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    1. Hi Jane, I have said this before, I really enjoy your writing style. I read your blog and twitter feeds and then, if time permits, look at other blogs. Good luck in law school. My sister is an attorney and a throwback story. When she graduated she joked that she had to choose between the 15 or 30 year loan payment schedule. Yikes. I never knew which one she chose. Maybe you won't have that dilemma. You have one big fan in me. Love, Nancy

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