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Look-Back: Kate & William at Middle Temple Inn

Thursday, October 8, 2015

As we wait with anticipation for Kate's next official appearance, I am doing another look-back and it will not surprise you to see why. Three years ago today, William and Kate made a joint appearance at Middle Temple Inn to meet the first recipients of a scholarship for underprivileged law students. The scholarship was founded in their name as a wedding gift by members of Middle Temple Inn and the couple seemed excited to meet and chat with students benefiting from the grant. They have a further connection, because William was made an honorary barrister in 2009. I need one of those. ;) 

The Inns of Court were historically where barristers lodged and lived and worked. Today there are four remaining Inns of Court and they have the exclusive right to call students to the bar. Middle Temple (with Inner temple) is the oldest, dating back to 1388. For those interested in history, that would have been during the reign of Richard II. This picture just feeds my wanderlust. London is such a magnificent city. 

Doorway to Middle Temple via Carron Brown Creative Commons

Not to veer off the path here, but what else do we have to do on a balmy Thursday morning. Google has a super awesome "360" experience where you can actually navigate through Middle Temple just as you would wander a Paris on "Street View," if that is how you like to spend your free time. :)  I love architecture and was very excited to see this. The tour starts in the hall, but if you navigate out, you will quickly recognize some of the backgrounds we know from pictures of Kate's visits to Middle Temple.

The Princess wore Paule Ka, who as my luck would have it, is a French label. The stars aligned. Serge Cajfinger, Paule Ka's founder, was born in Lille, France. He grew up in Brazil, but returned to Lille to launch his label. He mixes classic with contemporary in that effortless French manner and produces pieces that are both unique and timeless. 

Kate has only ever worn this one ensemble from the label--to our knowledge! Browsing his look-book, I thought all the below designs would be gorgeous on Kate. I particularly like the evening gown that features her favorite balance of demure and daring. 

The royal couple's visit to Middle Temple was just a year after their wedding and you will note the short skirt, something we saw frequently at the time, and not much of now. This is a very classic Kate Middleton ensemble, as she transitioned into the Duchess she has so thoroughly become. I admit that I miss it just a little bit. 

I thought it was a very cute suit. I don't think we'd see much like it today, and I know there are some objective arguments to be made against it, particularly as time moves on. Nevertheless, I thought it was very flattering on Kate, and I think she was (and is ;)) young enough to pull it off.  Kate's style may have changed, but the constant element  was the chemistry between the Duke and Duchess. They are perfect. Life goals, kids. Life. Goals. 

In case you missed out! I posted to the Facebook page, but Carole was spotted shopping for what we assume were clothes for Charlotte. E! ran exclusive photos, which you can view here. They couldn't have been too exclusive, because one of you lovely readers also told me that Bunte is running the pictures, too. In any event...

She looked chic as always. Ashley identified Carole's trousers as Somerset by Alice Temperley's Diamond Prints. They are for sale at John Lewis and run £89.

Somerset is a Temperley diffusion line exclusive to John Lewis. Kate has worn a piece from them, as well. You probably recall the boat dress she wore to the BAR headquarters earlier this year. It was Somerset, and as you can imagine, sold very, very quickly. 

Like mother, like daughter! 

See you all on the 10th! 


  1. Hello...Does anyone have any details about Carole's bag? I love it!

  2. I'm loving the 360 experience!

  3. I particularly love Kate's monochromatic leg in that look.

    The Paule Ka dress in the middle of the second row is gorgeous. I would wear that in a second. All of the pieces would suit Kate well, I think.

  4. First Kate wears printed trousers to the Rugby World Cup, now Carole is out in something similar shopping. Apparently I need to get myself a pair! Also, her oxblood suit is still such a trendy color right now. Great color for her (and most people!).

  5. Can someone identify the black top she is wearing underneath? It seems very cute.

    1. I thought the same thing, Natalie! Love her black cami!

  6. Earlier in 2012, a little before their visit to the Middle Temple Inn, I was one of two US attorneys to get a 6-week scholarship to join the barristers in London (the Pegasus Scholarship). The Temple part of London is majestic and so historical, I strongly urge anyone to visit. I was so happy when I found out that the Cambridges visited the Inns of Court later that year, as more people should certainly learn about these institutions and the important roles of barristers! For more info, please read my article about my amazing experience here: (part 1) and here: (part 2).

    1. Becky, I've only read part 1 of your experience so far, but wanted to pipe in and say thank you for sharing. I didn't realize how different our law systems were from each other. Very interesting. What an educational, cultural, and fun experience!

  7. Thank you so much Becky for the links to your articles. I found them fascinating. Our system of law in Canada is very similar to the British model, but a modernized version. For example, our lawyers are Barristers and Solicitors and work in firms as you describe in the US. I really enjoyed reading these. What a wonderful opportunity for you! And you saw the Queen too!

  8. I didn't like this suit back then, still not my fave. Something is just not right maybe it is too short or the black tights but off for me.

    On grandma side, nice photo op, again.

  9. Thanks for this post. I appreciate the "fill in posts" while we wait for a new engagement. I have never seen these pictures before. What struck me was how wonderful a wedding gift this was. For two people who seem to have every material thing or the means to obtain anything, and who seem to sincerely want to help those in need, this was the perfect gift. Very thoughtful. Love it! -Joan from Ohio

  10. Hi Jane--Thanks for reading! It's so fascinating to learn about other people's cultures and legal systems and compare the similarities and differences! Admittedly, I must spend some time learning about Canada's system!

  11. Suzanne in ColoradoOctober 8, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    Thank you so much for these flashback posts during slow times! Please keep them up! I read several sites on Kate but I always look forward to your perspective!

  12. I got to visit the Inns during a course I took when I studied abroad in London - really cool part of town, thanks for the tour link, Jane! I love this little suit (and the cami!) & that evening gown would suit Kate! And these preamble posts are great. Thanks, Jane!

  13. Sonja from BavariaOctober 9, 2015 at 9:04 AM

    I love love love this look! It was a classical Kate Middleton outfit :) The colour looked great on Kate and I miss these short skirts (but I'm almost sure she won't wear them any longer because she is now a mother of 2 little children and probably thinks that such short skirts are not appropriate any longer - but she could definitely still wear them, she has lost her baby weight so quickly!) In those pictures, her hair looks flawless, so glossy and oh those curls! To die for ;)

    I hope that Kate will wear Paule Ka again, his designs look beautiful and I could totally see them being something Kate would wear. I especially like the short jackets the models are wearing?

    In the meanwhile, has it been confirmed that our favourite royal couple will attend the State Banquet? I haven't heard anything, but I really hope that we'll see Kate wear a tiara soon!

  14. Thank you for this post about Paule Ka french brand and his founder, Serge Cajfinger from Lille. Their creations are in the choice of the fabric, color, printed or structured dresses. The black evening gown is very Audrey Hepburn. Others princesses recently chose a Paule Ka dress, like the Princesses of Sweden, Sofia and Madeleine.

  15. The 360 experience is amazing! Great post all around.

    Jane, I think you nailed it ... the Paule Ka designs are the perfect blend of demure and daring. And although I am not a fan of the color of this suit, I do like it and would not mind seeing it again. The material isn't flimsy and, with the black hose, the length works. I've said this before...I would love to see more suits in her wardrobe.

    As far as it being "too short", did anyone see Letizia earlier this week? I wouldn't put this suit in the same category.

  16. Sonja from BavariaOctober 10, 2015 at 3:54 AM

    To answer the question about the Reiss coat from your Twitter acount (I don't have twitter or instagram), Kate wore it on Christmas morning, but not for the 'public' service to which they walk and are greeted by fans, but early in the morning to a private one. :)


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