Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Royal Christmas 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

This might be my favorite day of the year for Kate watching. I love Christmas morning and watching the royals celebrate at Sandringham. As we have known for some weeks, the Duke and Duchess celebrated Christmas at the Queen's Norfolk estate with other members of the Royal Family and were part of the group that made its way to St. Mary Magdalene this morning for the Christmas morning service. 


Kate put together an absolutely beautiful (and new) ensemble. She picked a forest green SportMax coat and paired it with a new hat and some recycled accessories. SportMax is in the MaxMara family and Kate has worn one other coat from the label, the blue SportMax she wore to the Emma Bridgewater pottery factory. 


Today, Kate cinched her coat with a belt we have seen before, the crocodile embossed piece from Emilia Wickstead which she first wore at the Irish Guards' St. Patrick's Day Parade. It is a seemingly perfect circle of glossy, crocodile embossed leather in a deep green. 


Interestingly, Kate chose a dress she has worn before, but in a new colorway. That is the Cezanne Great Plains dress peaking out, but rather than the red that we saw on her visit to Grimsby in 2013, this dress is in "Pine Needle" green. We are seeing more and more that Kate likes certain styles and buys in multiple colors or patterns. I can't say I am particularly drawn to this dress on its own, but it works very well against the rusty red of the Hobbs coat in Grimsby, or today as a complement to the green Sportmax coat. 


The Duchess wore her black Aquatalia "Rumba" boots and carried her Bayswater clutch. I love that we also got to see her Oak & Acorn brooch, which we have only seen once before, when she first wore it to a reception at Buckingham Palace in 2012. I suspect this was a gift from the Middletons to their daughter, since it features their family motifs.  But, it could just as easily have been a gift from William paying tribute to Kate's family and heritage. I think I almost like that back story better. :) 


I am excited because this is the best photo of the brooch we have gotten. With higher resolution it is apparent that rather than a solid gold leaf, there are little pearl acorns attached to diamonds along the brooch. It is really fun to finally get better detail on this beautiful piece. 


We don't have confirmation on who made Kate's hat. This has actually become a pattern for Kate's hats. We din't get confirmation on her topper from the Afghanistan service either, although it was pretty obviously Jane Taylor. It is surprising since the Palace has shown more willingness to release info on her ensembles, not less, as the years have gone by. This hat has all the markings of a Jane Taylor, most strongly in the base which is very much like the Afghanistan hat. 



Verdict: This is a SuperStar ensemble or as I call it on Kate's Clothes, an Acorn Ensemble. It is easily my favorite Christmas ensemble on Kate to-date. Green really is such a fabulous color on her, but beyond that, Kate has blended a perfect look. She has been gravitating toward longer coats for Christmas. Something about the length, partially because it is unusual, is very, very chic and the Rumbas add a cozy, wrapped-up feeling that is seasonally appropriate. Finally, she has accessorized to perfection. I love that she wore her Oak Brooch again, both to give us a better look and as a nod to her absent family.



Yesterday, both William and Harry participated in the traditional Christmas Eve football (soccer) match between Castle Rising and the Sandringham Estate. The Middletons are purported to be joining the royals tomorrow for a Boxing Day pheasant shoot at the invitation of Her Majesty the Queen. The Middletons have in the past been known for their New Year's Eve party, so it might be the case that they all head to Bucklebury for the 31st.


The Queen's Christmas message began this year with an extended montage of video footage of the Queen over the past year. A brief moment featured the Cambridges outside St. Mary Magdalene on the occasion of Charlotte's christening. 



The Queen pointed out that it was her great-grandparents who made Christmas trees the traditions they are today. (QueenVictoria also ushered in white wedding gowns, but I guess that was not the point of the message.) The Queen focused on the Christmas tree and on the continuity of family. She had three photos on her desk featuring the line of succession: herself, Charles, William, and George. She also made mention of Princess Charlotte's birth, although she did not explicitly name the little princess. 



The only disappointment of the day was that for the second year in a row, the Cambridges skipped the morning church service. The Queen and close members of the family usually attend an early, private communion service at St. Mary Magdalene. The royals are little dressed down for this. The ladies do not wear hats, and in the past Kate as worn a coat and boots to the service. I really look forward to it. The photos, although from a distance, are always idyllic with the clear morning sun just burning away the fog and imbuing the snaps with a golden hue. I suspect that Wills and Kate feel that with children they can't take the time, but I hope they don't let this tradition drop by the wayside and that we see them at the "dawn" service next year.


I am on the road this Christmas, so I apologize for the delay in the post. I will update if we see Middletons or Cambridges between now and the 31st, but don't miss tuning in for the annual "Best Of" 2015 on New Year's Eve! In the meantime, a very blessed and Merry Christmas to you and to your families!

P.S. Kate was wearing a necklace today with a delicate gold chain. The pendant had slipped under her dress. The Duchess doesn't really have many gold necklaces in her closet. She has the Gold-Plated Acorn pendant, which could be it, but seems a little long. Can you think of any piece that would match this chain? I think this might be a new piece, and if it is, we will just have to wait to see it in full on another day. 

102 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas, Jane! I too loved loved this ensemble from head to toe. I really thought we would get a repeat this year. I think this ensemble might be her best. I so loved the first year in the Downton Abbey-like maroon with the beautiful hat because it was so warm, Royal, and Christmasey- and I did love the blackwatch McQueen. But this is certainly in my top 3..she looks so wonderful in green. Loved the hat, the dress, the brooch- what a surprise!, and the chic hair up! I am still in the long hair camp..it was romantic and just beautiful. But, perhaps she will grow it out. One can hope! This was such a win. Too bad it rained because I do love the PDA we get from William and Catherine on Christmas! Next year hopefully. I'm sure George and Charlotte are having a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Merry Christmas Jane and fellow readers/posters!

    Today was a WIN! Based on past comments I've read I think many of us were surprised at so many new items debuted today! I love how Kate is practical and usually wears (or always wears?) Aquatalias on Christmas Day - Sophie and the York girls were wearing high heels. Kate seems more practical. It is also interesting if it is a Jane Taylor hat, as Jane Taylor confirmed that Sophie and her daughter were wearing her hats today. I noticed Anne's kids were missing today! They must be with their dad.

    I think the brooch may have been a nice nod to the Middletons who did not spend Christmas with the Cambridges this year - a public way for Kate to acknowledge them, as she knew she would be photographed. I think many of us were probably shocked to see the Middletons absent today. Are those 4 pearl acorns? What would 4 acorns symbolize, if it is a brooch to honor Kate's Middleton roots?

    Since her earrings aren't new, maybe the necklace is a new Christmas gift :-)

    Kate's hair...does she have a hair stylist working on Christmas Day? Never before have I considered that, but I can't see her doing her hair like that on her own on such a busy day. Do the other royal ladies have a stylist on Christmas Day, do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same! I guess she has a hair stylist, there is no way she can do a blow dry plus a elaborate updo by herself.

      I love this look, it's absolutely perfect in my opinion. The deep green looks so good on Kate, it match her eyes perfectly.

      Merry/Happy Christmas everyone!

      Delete
    2. I wondered about the hair also, but who knows, maybe her Nanny can help? I am being serious, it looks pretty great but really I can not imagine anyone else being available Christmas morning, unless the Queen has someone on staff that helps all the ladies? Elizabeths hair must be tended daily by someone...or not?? I am clutzy with my hair so maybe the Queen can style he own if someone else did it a few days before? But clearly Catherine's is a whole new style from her "normal", so she must need help.

      Delete
    3. Just adding my two cents, re who might have styled Kate's hair today. The Queen no doubt has a permanent hairdresser who travels with her, wherever she is, including Sandringham, and, on the rare occasions which see a crowd of royal ladies staying as HMs guests, the Queen may hire extras.

      I very much liked Kate's Xmas going-to-church outfit this year. Great colour, good coat style, and the hat really knocked it out of the ballpark for me. If I had a quibble, it would be the dress she wore underneath--inexpensive polyester print, unprincess-worthy. However, all-in-all, two thumbs up.

      Unlike yourself, Jane (Barr), I am unenthusiastic about this two church service business on Xmas Day. It would mean that William and Kate, and anyone else with young children (e.g.. Peter and Zara) would have to effectively ditch their kids on the 25th; think about it: you get up, you get dressed, you get--if you're female--your hair dressed, somehow you fit in breakfast, you go off to church, you walk back to Sandringham House just in time to--if you're female--change your outfit, repair your makeup, before you walk back to church and back to Sandringham House, where you have Xmas Lunch without your young children--who are banned from the adult table, or room--after which you are compelled to watch the Queens Xmas speech--and, by now its well after 3PM. THIS is Christmas? THIS is what Christ or any loving deity would've sanctioned--a primary family kept apart by a foolish old woman's notion of tradition and protocol? I hope we never see William, Kate and their kids at the early morning Xmas church service--this is a relatively new tradition which deserves nothing more than a quick death, IMO.

      Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year, especially those facing difficulties.

      JC

      Delete
    4. Anon 12:41am I did have a fun, fleeting thought that maybe Nanny Maria was a hair stylist in a past life. Wouldn't that be funny? The Middletons weren't there, so her mom or sister couldn't have been of assistance. I'm really thinking she had a stylist, just not sure if it's someone from their staff, or a local they hired for a couple hours.

      I think the Queen has a stylist. She has staff that works Christmas Day, so why not a hair stylist that probably helps her dress, too.

      Delete
    5. JC, I couldn't agree more regarding the two Christmas morning services and the impact on family time. And unless we just haven't seen the photos, I am not aware of other members of RF (cousins) with young children attending the first service. Perhaps for exactly this reason. This was the first Christmas that would have made an impression on George and I don't blame W&K for not attending the first one.

      Delete
    6. JC and Royalfan, I agree with you both, but I also don't like the Royal Christmas in general. I love seeing them walk and out and about (Christmas Eve soccer game). But the thought that a divorce (i.e. Sarah) means you can never spend a Christmas with your children is ridiculous. The thought that an adult cannot spend Christmas with their long term girlfriend/boyfriend is very old fashioned.

      I've heard that the Queen views Christmas Day as a religious holiday. That doesn't mean you can't have family time, but her concern is faith, tradition and pomp & circumstance. Keep in mind that she firmly believes in tradition, her faith, and was barely a hands-on mother. As someone who goes to church, what I never understood is why they can't incorporate morning communion into their 11am service. I am very curious to see what Christmas looks like once Charles is King.

      Delete
    7. I so agree with the above comment (Anon 1:43) re the inexpensive polyester dress. It looks too lightweight, too open at the neck, too cheap. I prefer princesses of the realm to wear silk, thank you!

      Delete
  3. I thought Kate's outfit was a bit drab and too open at the neck. The Cezanne dress is a mesh of muddy colors. I think she would have looked splendid in the Queen's red fur trimmed outfit, or even Camilla's or Sophie's. They looked festive, classy and stylish. It almost seems like Kate is trying to shrink from getting attention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't agree. I thought she looked classic stylish and elegant. Thought Sophie looked awkward and Camilla boxy. Only the Queen could pull off that ensemble.

      Delete
    2. Agree about the drabness of today's look. Very disappointing.:(

      Delete
    3. At first I thought the same: a bit drab. But upon closer inspection I love love love it. It is understated, but rich in elegance, entirely appropriate for the weather, and still with that touch of pure Kate - that ease of elegance. She is immaculate, pulled together, and so graceful. Loved the belt, the long coat, and that gorgeous hat and hair do!!! As for the Queen's red coat I'm afraid I have to disagree, I thought it was garish and very inelegant. She looked like Mrs. Claus. I thought Camilla's outfit was loud and garish as well, what is with those big squares down her front, and that plastic umbrella? Sophie looked beautiful in her creamy ensemble, but I thought everyone should should wear more appropriate footwear for the walk and the weather. High heels are just cheap and look freezing and fragile, while those clunky stiletto booties on one of the princesses looked out of place too. Trust Kate's innate sense of appropriate style and impeccable proportion to win the day!

      Delete
    4. I think Kate looked fantastic! I loved The Queen's coat as well. She pulled that off flawlessly. I thought Sophie chose wisely in color but that coat, with the zipper all the way down the front, didn't lay well on her and made her look chunky where she isn't. I didn't like Camilla's coat at all.

      Delete
  4. What a win! I loooooove Kate in green, and this ensemble was a great one. At first I wasn't a fan of the high belt, but I'm a real fan of the hat.
    Merry Christmas, Jane! Thanks for posting today:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. More observations later but I think this is my new favorite hat! New ensemble but subdued enough does not draw attention from The Queen's bright red, fur trimmed coat and hat! Love these photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Robin. It was an appropriate look without outshining the Queen. And I will say it again...Kate does vintage quite well. And a YAY to her hair being up! So much for it being "too short" to do so. :)

      Delete
    2. Yes, I never understood the opinion that her hair was too short to wear up. It's still longer than most people wear! ;-)

      Delete
  6. Loved this outfit! Thought she looked great. Loved the hair too. The colour suited her and the dress broke up the blocked colour of the coat nicely. The only thing that could have been improved are her boots - she needs to dye the toes again or get a suede brush - but that really is just being a bit picky. Overall, great look.

    Jane, I wish you and your family a very happy festive season and best wishes for 2016. Thanks for your hard work, I always look forward to seeing your posts even though I may not comment on them often.

    KiwiNic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have noticed that about her shoes before. She isn't a details, make sure everything is spit and polished, type person. She just isn't. I cringe when I see the condition of her shoes sometimes. Ugh. Employ the dresses that she refuses to use, even part-time would help!

      Delete
    2. She was walking through wet grass.HM steps out of a car onto a sidewalk. Actually, I don't see anything amiss on her shoes.
      Kate's style is beginning to remind me of Katherine Hepburn's style.
      I doubt we'll ever see Catherine wearing real fur anymore.There was that collar at the wedding on that cream-colored coat. And that hat she shared with her Mum. The Queen looks festive and happy, but I could have done without the fur.She wore a fur coat to the early service. I can
      imagine her thinking-"Well, the poor things are gone; nothing we can do about it now.
      Might as well wear it so they won't have died in vain."
      I thought Sophie was stylish at the earlier service, but her second outfit seemed
      ill-fitting to me. Her children looked very spiffy. I wonder if Louise was given a
      voice in the choice? Anne's coat was lovely. Even lovlier-her beautiful smile, as she
      was walking and talking with her Dad.Phillip-ooh, my goodness! What a fine example,
      walking soldier-straight. (don't know if one says that about an old Navy man)

      On another site, I noticed a what seemed to me to be a lot more police and PPOs than
      usual-maybe even a few dressed as fans in the crowd. When you see a pair of very
      focused eyes looking in the opposite direction from the rest of the crowd... As
      the Cambridges stepped into the crowd after the service it looked like Kate was
      nearly surrounded by police and PPOs.
      Thank-you for sharing your Christmas with us, Jane.Wonderful choice of photos, as
      usual. I thought Catherine was so elegant and glowing.The always-present rapport between her and
      William must be reassuring to HM.

      Delete
    3. Anon 10:40am I felt like I noticed more security too...with the state of the world, the problems in Europe, and the recent leaked assassination plot of William and Charles, I can see why they'd be a bit more vigilant with so many prominent family members in one public place.

      Delete
    4. Kate's shoes often are scuffed, especially suede ones. I have noticed it often.

      Delete
    5. Anon 2:37 I think that is a fair observation. When you look at Kate in her pre-William days she was very athletic and sporty. Even now Kate's style is more laidback that William's style. She may have fun with glamour, but I don't think she was a girl dying to play with makeup and hair and fashion. I think she is growing into her role in many ways.

      Delete
    6. Sadly it is just not Catherine but many of the Royal ladies, the Men tend to do a bit better with the shoes maybe because it is one of those things that is a ritual, you go to the shoeshine guy or someone at your home does it, maybe many of the women 20 years and younger than the Queen do not have that as part of their clothing/attire ritual. Ali

      Delete
    7. I remember when William was at Eton and someone commented that you could always tell who William was because everything he had was in perfect condition, down to his shoe shine. He had a part-time butler that took care of all his clothes, made sure they were tailored, shoes done, etc. Now yes, for a teen, that was extreme, to say the least even for a prince.

      But it does take a lot of time and effort to look after the smallest detail. And I think William and Kate want their privacy and don't want to appear lazy, but even a dresser for a few hours a week would help Kate.

      Diana had a dresser that looked after her clothes, shopped for the mundane (like panty hose, when she wore them), etc. Not a stylist but someone who made sure that everything was turned out and she looked impeccable. Even though Kate has a more relaxed look than Diana, she still has quite the closet.

      I just think accepting some help would up her style game a bit. And the acknowledgement that things like that take time. I also think that William doesn't want to appear as fussy as his Dad. But isn't there a happy medium? I think so.

      Carole needs to whisper in her ear!:)

      ANON 7:47
      I agree! And I think that's one thing that probably attracted William to her, she was different than the rest!

      Remember when that young fashion blogger met Carole at the tennis match? And Carole said when Kate was her age, she wasn't interested in fashion. I thought that was so ironic! Now she is a Princess and all people do is comment on her clothes. I remember that when I am disappointed in what she wears. She has a lot at her disposal, yes, but she is just a normal girl, put in a fantasy world much of the time.

      Delete
    8. Thank you for the information. It sure makes sense that Kate buys an outfit in several colors, wears same foot wear, recycles, etc. I appreciate the fact she is not a fashionista. Kate is classy and elegant. She might have a few miss steps along the way but remains true to herself.

      Delete
  7. I think Kate looks beautiful and her hair is gorgeous, but I'm not a fan of the coat. I can't quite out my finger on what I don't like the high belt. Love the hat though! It's lovely and the richness of the colour and the fabric are very festive.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Didn't she wear this particular color Cezanne under the Reiss Angel coat a few years back on an engagement with Wills?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love her hair and hat, not a fan of the dress with the coat and not a fan of the belt with the coat. She looked gorgeous but not a favorite for me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hated everything about today's outfit except the brooch. Big FAIL.

    I think it is interesting that Kate really doesn't wear many of the jewels from the royal collection. They are often adapted to fit the wearer, making them more delicate or more modern. This brooch proves that she will wear statement pieces, just not royal statement pieces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guessing she will wear more royal pieces later on. Everything that belonged to Diana is very much associated with her. Other things are offered to the Duchess of Cambridge as the consort to the Prince of Wales. Of course, the Queen gets the best stuff for her personal use. There are senior royal women that are more senior than Kate but, as time goes on, that will not be the case. I think that's when we will see her in more of the royal pieces. Diana had some art deco styled sapphires that I think Kate would love to wear. But, even all these years later I'm sure they are associated too strongly with Diana for the Queen or Camilla's comfort.

      Delete
    2. Diana started wearing items from the Royal collection right away. I don't think "more senior" royals are an issue here. And since Camilla has restyled several pieces worn by Diana, nor is having pieces too associated with Diana to wear.

      Kate's been married almost five years, except for the odd piece here or there, she never wears Royal pieces.

      I think it is her independence showing. W & K like to do things differently. They eschew the royal way often, even in jewelry.

      Delete
    3. From the moment she married, Diana was the next queen. The Princess of Wales, by title, is the most senior royal next to the current queen or (like the Queen Mother) has held the title of Queen Consort. Camilla, although not using the title Princess of Wales, is married to the next King. As such she outranks Kate. I don't know where the Princess Royal fits into that mix or what the protocol is for her. I know Kate must curtsy to her if William is not present.

      Delete
    4. I don't think there is that much curtsying going on except to the queen, especially at family gatherings. We emphasize it because it is so foreign to us, but those people aren't curtsying to anyone but the queen. Not. Going. To. Happen.

      And, yes, I know all about the written "rules".

      Delete
    5. Anon 6:43pm I have many reasons for not liking the York girls, and I think if Kate didn't curtsy to them they'd raise hell with daddy (aka Andrew). Kate has shown herself to be very respectful of the BRF and I think she does what is required when William is not with her.

      If you watch George's christening video when Kate sees the Queen outside, her curtsy is so fast and subtle. I think she curtsy's but not as dramatically as we saw on her wedding day.

      I can see Kate having no issues with curtsying to the Queen and Anne - I don't know how well her and Anne get along, but she is close to Zara and Peter's families, and Anne is a true Princess Royale that works full-time for the BRF. I think Kate would have too much respect to not acknowledge Anne. As for the York girls, their friends tend to be "enemies" of the Middleton girls, and trust me, how the York girls showed up at the Cambridge wedding says a ton about them. You just don't pull crap like that at a wedding unless you're making a point and demanding attention. I feel bad for Kate and cringe at the thought of her curtsying to those girls.

      Delete
    6. 7:51

      I understand what you mean about curtsying, I just think there are the rules and then there is the reality that actually happens within that family. We hear about the rules from the courtiers, who are trying to keep the royal image alive. I think the reality of what actually happens is different in many ways.

      It is my understanding that it was Anne who demanded a written curtsying creed that spelled out who, what, and when because she refused to curtsy to Camilla. Although I can certainly see the York girls using it to their advantage.

      The York sisters, they seem to suffer a case of serious insecurity. I wish someone would tell them to go out and do something, accomplish something. (And not a pretend job that everyone sees as fake.)

      Prince Andrew is very verbally abusive to people, he used to talk horribly to Fergie about her weight. If his daughters had to deal with that, no wonder they have problems. I think they come across as pathetic and yet I feel bad for them. Even their clothes are horrible, literally, all the time.

      I think it is weird that they have dated their boyfriends so long, one almost 10 years, and no marriage. Know anything about that? I assume they want a family, money isn't an issue. What's the hold up? That's longer than W & K dated.

      Delete
    7. Anon 11:38pm this is when it gets complicated :-) I agree that Anne shouldn't have to curtsy to Camilla, and I think Kate would get tattled on if she didn't curtsy to the York girls. But you're right, it's speculation and we don't know what really happens.

      I do have empathy for the York girls, but I also view them as adults now that can be held accountable for certain actions. There parents are very dysfunctional and they probably grew up thinking they would be working royals cared for by the Queen. They also see their parents carrying on with a dependent, close relationship that doesn't involve marriage (any more). How many divorced couples take out a mortgage together?! :-)

      I too wonder why the delay in marriage. My parents are still married, but I can imagine how scarred they would be from all the drama in their parents relationship. In some ways there is less pressure if you aren't married. They would need the Queen's approval, but I'm sure she's give her blessing. I'm not sure how much the Queen would contribute to their weddings, so Andrew may have to pay for a lot. I personally think they are unmarried because they don't want to be married (yet). Not because they have boyfriends who refuse to propose.

      Anon 7:51

      Delete
  11. Have a look at what the Princess Royal wore today. She looked very nice.
    The Queen looked great, as always :-)
    For anyone wanting to buy a quality item at a great price them SportMax is a great label to look at.
    I thought Kate looked fine but that high belt emphasised how very very skinny she is. I do wish she would replace those boots, they are looking very scruffy, my old grandmother would always say... You can always tell a person of class by the state of their shoes.
    Happy Christmas to all who celebrate and best wishes for 2016!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Princess Royal looked better than I've seen her in a long time. Loved that color of green on her. I must agree with you on the boots. I'm ready for her to retire some of her suede footwear and do something else. It's not as if Aquatalia doesn't make any other style of shoes or boots if that is the comfort fit she's looking for. One of my business teachers once told us that, when interviewing for a job, poorly manicured hands and worn looking shoes tell the interviewer that you don't pay attention to details and that you didn't take impressing your prospective employer very seriously. Kate's shoes are the one detail in her closet that I am unimpressed with in a good share of her ensembles.

      Delete
    2. Okay, now that I have more time, I can expound.

      The Coat: I love Kate in green! I'm not sure about the belt on a coat with high pockets. It doesn't seem to sit at her natural waist as it did on the Emilia Wickstead coat. I'm not crazy about the dress but it does look good peeking out from the lovely pine color of the coat.

      The Boots: As I've said in another comment, and continue to say, her footwear is lacking. I agree with the choice to wear boots, she just needs new ones!

      The Brooch - for me the jury is out. I love diamonds and pearls and I love the symbolism of the acorns and oak leaves, but I'm not sure about the overall design of the piece. I'm kind of wishing I hadn't looked at the close up photo. It looks kind of costume-y. I'm guessing it looks much better in person. What I'd really like to see is a close-up of Her Majesty's brooch from her Christmas broadcast! What a stunner!

      THE HAT: This is a total win for me!! I love this hat and how she had her hair up with it. This is definitely close to, if not at the top of, my list of favorites! The color, the style, the perfect flair of the design on her left!

      Overall Look: Even though I'm not crazy about the belt or dress on their own, I think the overall look was great. Wouldn't emeralds look fabulous with this outfit? The best thing of all - that adorable look she and William shared in the top photo. They are the cutest! Wish we could see that necklace!

      Merry Christmas, Jane, and to everyone! Can't wait for the 2015 Best Of post!

      Delete
    3. I have to agree with you about the Princes Royal. I really liked her outfit and the color.
      As for Kate I would like to see the dress on her. In just the picture from the company, I was not particularly enamered with the pleated skirt, but I did like the color combination visible under the green coat. All in all I liked the whole outfit.

      Delete
    4. Ditto on the Princess Royal! I love how Anne recycles decades old outfits and accessories. She looked happy, too.

      Delete
  12. Not a good look for Kate today. Drab and boring, and the belt is just too high. The hat is like something Mrs. Patmore (Downton Abbey) might wear. The only redeeming piece here is the brooch--just stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kate looked perfect. Merry Christmas to all from a very warm NZ.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It would seem that a hair stylist wouldn't be called upon from London for this but who knows. Kate can do much more than we might think with her own hair. And I lay odds the Middleton family arrived prior to Christmas Day which means Pippa and her Mum could assist with a hair do. Kate looked outstanding and green is her color. I do wish the Royal family would properly escort or hold hands on public. Did miss this with Kate and Will. William looked so dapper today.. enjoyed his fashion statement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Middletons haven't been spotted around Norfolk, and they're expected to arrive on Boxing Day. I really don't think they were on hand, let alone on hand to help Kate with her hair.

      Delete
    2. Kate's hair never looked that good when she was dating. She had help with that hair.

      Delete
    3. 9:58

      That's interesting. I wonder if we will find out when they arrived. I assumed they were at the house looking after the kids during the church service.

      Delete
    4. You both are probably correct. I did see the back on another site the up do was intricately done. They all must have beauticians available on Christmas morning. It is an expected yearly event. As to when the Middleton family arrives we will never know. There coming and goings are not all observed. Still no sighting yet.

      Delete
    5. Anon 6:39pm since we spotted the Middletons at church last year I believe they would have been there if they were in Norfolk. They were probably invited by the Queen last year and for so many reasons you wouldn't decline that invite :-) I think their first year of marriage the Middletons arrived for the Boxing Day shoot, and Carole was photographed with Charles or something during the shoot, so that's what was expected/assumed. I didn't see any hunting photos today, so not sure if they made it! Maybe the Cambridges will be in Berkshire for the annual Middleton New Years Eve party...

      Anon 6:50pm yes once you see the back you know a pro did that updo!

      Delete
  15. Kate looked great and so regal today. I know this is a pro Kate blog, but Harry looked really handsome today. I just love his personality. Whomever he marries will be a very lucky lady. I can't wait to have a new Duchess. Am I the only one that feels this way. Even though I'm American, and love out current President, I have a soft spot for the British Royals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harry looked handsome and was very interactive. He is much more comfortable with his role, but I also think he has less pressure than William. I really hope he finds a good girl soon so he can settle down in a few years :-)

      Delete
  16. merry Christmas jane and follow readers the duchess look lovely in green coat the royal trio chatted the crowds its wonderful thing the queen speech is very appropriate and uplifting words cammilla loose her sense by not chatting on the crowds maybe prince William will be great king

    ReplyDelete
  17. LOVE the hat!!! In the one photo of Kate from the side (with Will and Harry) the skirt of the dress doesn't really look pleated (though it could just have gone away with multiple wears). Maybe it's a bespoke dress in the same fabric? Just a thought.

    Also, Kate was wearing a thin gold chain that was visible in the photos of her leaving the Queen's Christmas luncheon.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Last week, I said that she might recycle her Hobbs "Persephone" coat from St.Patrick's Day. At least I got the color right, but this coat is so much more elegant and "unfussier" in the details. I love Kate in green and she looked fabulous today. Loooove that hat! Her Maj and Sophie looked wonderful too. Merry Christmas everyone-- may we all have a peaceful and joyous New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Maybe the necklace is the one she wore with the three charms on it?

    ReplyDelete
  20. For those questioning her hair, I have read many times that there are staff at Sandringham who also do hair for the royal family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never read that but I assume there are those on the staff there who help with the hair. You know The Queen has someone to help with hers.

      Delete
  21. Love the color on Kate. I think she looks much better in jewel tones than most pastels. Not a fan of the high waist belt though as the coat LOOKS LIKE it should hit closer to or at the natural waist. And no one's waist is a the same level as her bent elbow! So to me it just looks like a poor fit (or a maternity coat which we know it isn't) I know some thought the custom backless gown she wore to the Bond premiere was too big for her. I wasn't a fan of the front either (hopefully it looked better in person) but I think it DID hit her natural waist. But we see her in high-waisted styles so often one that hits her real waist looks too big! I do like her hair up..alot...but like others I hope a stylist didn't have to work on Christmas just for this walking to church photo op. Looks like she may have darkened her hair too compared to a few days ago. What do others think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hair may look darker as it was overcast and rainy, and also depends on the exposure of the photographers/editors. Unforunately, with the royals I think a lot of people work. Chefs, servants, Maria, etc. Even their PR staff for Clarence House, KP, etc were tweeting on Christmas Day. It's a 365 day a year business, being a royal! But I agree with you, sad that people are pulled away from their families. Hopefully they earn time and a half (at least!)!

      Delete
  22. Hello everyone. I hope those who celebrate had a joyous day yesterday. As I was the hostess, I'm recuperating today which does include some FBTB r&r :-) I think this is my least favorite DoC Christmas outfit. While I do appreciate the vintage vibe like
    royalfan and Robin ( the brooch is beautiful and
    used to its full advantage this way), the ensemble is
    a bit too dark and spartan for such a festive holiday,
    I think. For me the coat is more a bottle green than a forest green, and with the black accessories it is a
    very dark look for a very dark day. I do like the wide
    lapels and the attractive goring of the coat but agree
    with others that the belt placement is awkward. It is
    literally almost right under her bustline! Perhaps if
    she had worn the very skinny non shiny belt that came with the coat, the position of the belt would look better. Frankly, this styling of the coat reminds me of a WWII German army motorcycle coat. The hat is beautiful but where the lines of the coat are minimalistic bordering on severe, a half up hair style would have softened the look.

    I thought Sophie and Princess Beatrice looked very chic while Lady Lousie was finally dressed for her age not as a young child. Her beret is cute :-) She will be a gorgeous woman when she grows up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. Anon 2:00, regarding "what her Mom is thinking"... My PERSONAL OPINION on this issue is this that it has to do with pleasing the Queen.

      Sophie married into the Firm on the heels of the Diana and Sarah years (and she was an "insider" for several years prior to that when she dated Edward). She was well aware of the buttons to avoid pushing where the Firm was concerned. Until recent years, her own style was very safe and the approach with Louise has been rather extreme.

      And before anyone jumps on me to say that George was dressed like William for a couple of formal occasions, let me acknowledge that...yes, he was (exactly as William was dressed like Charles for a *handful* of *early* formal occasions). But aside from that we see George dressed like a normal little boy, crocs included (as W&H were dressed in their day). I fully expect to see G&C dressed properly, especially for formal occasions, but I believe they will be allowed to be normal children who will not stand out like they are from their great grandmother's generation compared to their friends and classmates.

      Delete
    3. I think your whole comment about Lady Lousie is a bit uncalled for. She is only 12 so there is no need for a make over and to judge a pre-teen based on her looks is a bit harsh. I have only ever seen Sophie and Edward smiling with their children. The assumptions you are making about the Wessex's is no better than what many Kate haters say about the Cambridge's.

      Delete
    4. Lady Louise is in that tween stage when young girls are at their most gangly and awkward. They are also terribly self conscious so rude comments are especially hurtful. I'm not saying Lady Louise will ever read these comments but remember how sensitive these girls are when making such generalizations. I think Lady Louise looked wonderful on Christmas and, at 12 years old, is too young to be "made over" with make-up and hair. What is her mom thinking? Possibly that, whether you agree with their choices or not, if what a pre-teen wants to wear is not inappropriate you just go with it because *they* feel comfortable in it. If you haven't had a pre-teen daughter you have no idea what a teary, moody mass of hormones they are.

      As to the comments about the Wessex parenting style, look up some of the work the Countess does on behalf of children with vision problems and see how she self-educated when Lady Louise was born with vision impairment. Those are very unfair comments about this family.

      royalfan is absolutely right about how carefully Sophie had to tread when she married. The Queen was tired of her family being tabloid fodder and, don't forget, Edward and Sophie needed her blessing to marry. Their wedding was very understated and not in keeping with the grand style of the Wales and York families. C&D's wedding was completely appropriate for a future monarch but the York wedding was a bit over the top for a second son who had already slipped to fourth in line.

      Delete
    5. Royalfan, I don't think that Sophie is dressing Louise in a way that you might not find acceptable to please the queen. If you look at pictures of Louise when she is at the horse races or when she went ice skating with her parents, Zara and Mike, she dressed like a regular girl. George is constantly in sweaters and knee socks and I'm sure he will be dressing the same way for school. Also, what exactly about her outfit says she is dressing from her grandmothers generation?

      Delete
    6. I'm sorry but the way they dress Lousie is frankly, appalling. I am the last person to push a child to grow older, but age appropriate clothes is also called for. They dress her like a six year old! That will affect her confidence for sure! I do not believe Lousie is picking out those clothes.

      And please re-read my comments. The make-up remark was for when she was older. And yes, she can have a "makeover" at her age without make-up! Blow drying her hair with a little product would do wonders. It is a Mom's job to help their children and they are not helping that child.

      As for what type of people they are, the dog abuse pictures said it all. Edward was beating their dogs and he defended himself when caught. It was horrible. Good people do not act like that.

      We have only ever seen W & K carry Lupo around like a baby. And when Kate was training Lupo in the park, there was no stick in sight!

      Delete
    7. Agree particularly about Lady Louise and Sophie. While Louise probably won't read these comments, unlike George or Charlotte right now, she could. And unlike Kate, she's not an adult woman who can put on her "big girl" pants. So I'm not sure why Louise's appearance is fair game when comments critical of some of George's "retro" outfits or possible photoshopping of Charlotte are thought by many to be over the top because they are babies. There's no one more sensitive about appearance than a preteen or early adolescent! George and Charlotte won't know what's said Kate is a big girl. Criticism of Sophie seems to be more tolerated than criticism of Kate too. Not sure I understand why.

      Delete
    8. I've seen a lot of snide and biting comments on this blog but Anon this is a new low, attacking the looks of a 12 year old girl who was born with a severe vision impairment because she was a preemie - a birth that almost killed her mother by the way.

      Shame on you.

      And Jane, shame on you for publishing it. I understand you're busy, but if you're too busy to properly vet comments maybe you need to step back from the blog or take more time to properly read and process the comments. People will just have to wait.

      Attacking a child for her looks is a disgrace, but Jane, giving that attack a public platform is just as bad.

      Delete
    9. Anon 2pm I think I can see that you are coming from a good place and caring for Louise and helping her discover how to style herself in a ladylike, age appropriate way. Just tread carefully when discussing her appearance. Yes, Louise looks like her dad, and James looks like his mom. Louise's age is very tricky as it is an awkward stage, and also an age when girls are particularly cruel to each other. I too hope that someone, hopefully Sophie, shows her how to start grooming like a young lady (not a child). I remember at 12 my mom took me for a department store makeup makeover, and the lady she picked to do it really believed in a natural makeup look - the point was to teach me proper technique so I wasn't making mistakes or looking like a lady of the night.

      The positive is Sophie isn't teaching Louise that appearances are everything.

      Remember people like Chelsea Clinton? That poor girl could have used some help too when she was a teenager and in the public eye. But with time she learned how to tame her hair, discover a sense of style, and she carries herself as a lovely woman.

      As for Edward...that's a whole other conversation I don't want to start on this blog ;-)

      Delete
    10. First, let me stress that my comments regarding Louise are strictly related to her wardrobe. And I agree that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this Christmas Day outfit. As a matter of fact, with the boots and dark tights, I think it is very occasion and age appropriate.

      Earlier this week, however, she was dressed in an old fashioned coat with white tights and Mary Jane shoes which **IMO** was unnecessarily dated for a young girl of 12. Likewise for a horse print dress with cardigan worn to the races, or Mary Jane shoes worn with a Brownie uniform in BP Gardens (while other children wear sneakers or crocs).

      I am NOT advocating makeup or suggesting that Sophie should dress her daughter like she is 25 years old. NO. But at Louise's age peer pressure and fitting in is *huge* and a parent should factor this in for their child's sake. But IMO, this consideration is not at the top of the list. Again, IMO.

      Delete
    11. Completely Agree.

      Delete
    12. I think the criticism isn't directed at Lousie, but at Sophie for not helping her daughter. This is not new. Everywhere I read, people want to help Lousie. Her parents seem out of touch with how old Lousie actually is. No one is suggesting she dress like a Kardashian, but her clothes are not age appropriate. Just like if she were dressing too old, people would talk. They are dressing her so young it is awkward and sad to watch.

      Delete
    13. Anon 7:34: I was angry when I read your comment and fully prepared to put you in your place. I reread the thread in preparation for doing just that But in doing so I discovered you are correct. I have deleted the initial comment that was unkind and uncalled for. I will try to be more careful in the future when approving comments. My sincere apologies.

      Delete
    14. The comments critical of remarks about possible photoshopping of Charlotte had nothing to do with her age.Those remarks essentially accused the photographer of presenting a photographic lie.
      I imagine Louise might secretly agree with some of the criticism of her outfits.We really have no idea who was behind the choice of clothing. It could have been Edward,
      trying to keep her Daddy's little girl, for all we know.
      I have noticed a recent change over the last few weeks, including the horse-racing event.I think she looked very nice for the walk.
      She very well could read critical remarks.
      Hopefully, her parents have had a talk with her about internet gossip and have advised her to avoid reading it.If she attends school with other children, they could
      pass it on, though.
      I don't think age is any protection from unfair, malacious gossip, whether it is
      Sophie or Kate-it is bound to hurt.I agree. It can be devastating at Louise's age,especially as sheltered as the Wessex children have been.James looked overwhelmed with his first
      experience of the Christmas walk but that photo may not tell the true story.

      Delete
    15. Let's all get together and send her a cute jean jacket!:)

      Delete
    16. Anonymous 10:34..SOME of the photoshopping comments were directed at the photographer, some at W&K, and others thought it would upset Charlotte to know she was photoshopped in. But 1. If she was, she's not going to know that for years 2. By the time she does know (if ever) she would have to be capable of understanding babies often cannot be made to look cute on cue. Louise is a different matter..she could know what's being said now. And yes, parents should teach children about the internet but the comments here exceeded the usual internet danger most 12 yo would face. And for all we know, Louise likes maryjanes OR she has foot issues and can wear only certain kinds of shoes!

      Delete
    17. Anon 10:34pm good suggestion about Edward being behind the outfits - my dad was influential to some extent what I wore until I was 18. I had my personal sense of style, but things had to pass my dad's approval. He'd make me change (and trust me, I was quite conservative), he tell my mom things I wore made him feel sick, etc. We've been pointing the finger at Sophie, but maybe she needs the benefit of the doubt - maybe she's towing the line between helping Louise grow up, the BRF, and whatever rules/opinions Edward has for his daughter.

      Delete
    18. Jeepers! What happened here yesterday? Glad I missed whatever it was. I had no idea Lady Louise is such a volatile subject. I just thought she looked lovely.

      Delete
    19. Faith most of the comments in this discussion are terribly inappropriate.

      Have you all forgotten this is a 12 year old child?

      Have you lost your minds that you think it's ok to mock her clothing, say she needs a "makeover", suggest she needs to "blowdry her hair with some product"?

      Is this really what it's come to? Judging children for their appearance?

      And to claim your comments are targetted at Sophie is weak at best, this is really beyond the pale.

      At least Jane deleted the first reply but some others should go too.

      Delete
    20. We have "lost our minds" to suggest that Sophie help Lousie look more her age and not like a toddler? I am sorry, but that's what a good mother does! And suggesting that Lousie, who is almost a teen in less than a year, be helped to learn how to blow dry her hair... That's common sense!

      No one is suggesting that Sophie dress her daughter older than her years, but dressing her like a tot is crazy.

      Have you ever heard of "The Care and Keeping of You"? It is a best selling book for tweens by American Girl. It discusses things like hair care, deodorant, starting to shave your legs, etc. Lousie is no longer a baby and deserves to be treated with some respect by her parents.

      Delete
  23. One word ~ perfection!

    DB

    ReplyDelete
  24. I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed christmas!

    This look was picture-perfect. I love the hat, eapecially the flower on the side, and her hair in an up-do. The coat somehow looks vintage to me, like something in the style of clothes I saw in photos of my grandparents when they were young? But when I saw her ensemble first, I thought she had repeated the Emilia Wickstead St Patricks Day coat :) but then, after the second look, I noticed all the differences...
    I have no idea about her necklace, I guess it is a new one. Really like both Great Plains dresses - hopefully we'll one day see them on her w/out a coat.

    It's great that Kate wore a brooch, this one is so pretty! It must have been a great christmas for the Cambridges - with George understanding what's going on and baby charlotte!

    Do we know if George was at Sandringham when William, Kate and the others were there and enjoyed lunch or dinner with the queen? Was he with them or with the other children or did he stay at Anmer Hall?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja I believe Charlotte and George made some sort of appearance at Sandringham at some point over the 24th or 25th. I think the Queen told someone on Christmas Day that it was nice having another child to help decorate the tree (and it was referring to Charlotte).

      Delete
  25. Okay. I'very a lot of respect for the Duke and Duchess. Heaven knows how she copes with our constant scrutiny. But I'm curious. Anyone else notice the holes on the coat. Looks as though buttons were moved. Saw it once before when she was pregnant and at the races with Will and friends. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is hidden snaps or buttons. It appears on the model as well...

      http://www.farfetch.com/shopping/women/item11210536.aspx

      Delete
    2. I agree with royalfan (surprise!), hidden buttons or snaps to keep the wind and weather out.

      Delete
  26. Didn't Cathering wear another MaxMara coat, a cream one with a bow belt, on the Duke and Duchess' visit to Cambridge?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Didn't have time to comment on Christmas Day---cooking etc and when I got a few minutes on Boxing Day--no internet; phone or TV. Our local river burst its banks. Luckily no water in our house,but the loss of power cut off all our communications. We were lucky. Please remember in your prayers the many thousands in the North of England and Wales and in Scotland, as well as world wide victims of weather throughout the world.
    Loved this outfit and immediately made me think we will possibly see it again at the Shamrock ceremony with the Irish Guards.
    In my opinion commenting on the clothes of children is unfair and particularly in Louise's case---she has had enough to bear with her sight problems, without criticism from us. She is not fair game. as she does not have the title of princess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you are ok Jean. Actually, I did think of you this morning when I saw the headlines. Is this atypical weather for your part of the world? El Nino at work? I noticed there have
      a string of storms and flooding up North. Here in the Northeast US. , we have been unseasonably warm. Three of my cherry trees bloomed last week. I have never ever seen that happen!

      Delete
    2. Sorry to hear your town was effected by those horrible floods, Jean. Glad you are warm and dry and we're praying for everyone who is dealing with the extreme weather this winter.

      I think you're right that we will see this coat again at the Shamrock ceremony! Although, she may surprise us again! And you are absolutely spot on about Lady Louise! So mean spirited to pick on a young girl - princess or not.

      Faith, I hope that early blooming of your cherry trees doesn't spell disaster for the cherries when the freeze comes. Our relatives in the northeast had warmer weather on Christmas Day than we did here in CA!

      Delete
    3. Jean, I'm glad you were spared the worst of it. Stay safe and warm. My thoughts are with you...

      Delete
    4. I don't think its going to be very good for them Robin. I just hope they survive.

      Yeah, it was crazy warm here. I actually finished planting some bulbs Christmas Eve morning in a short sleeve shirt with my little one running around the yard in shorts.

      Delete
  28. That makes sense! I knew one of you would know. I'm just surprised they aren't more invisible!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Good morning everyone.

    I have had a house full of company these last couple of days and thus am late to join this conversation! But I have been reading through the comments whenever I could steal away for 5 minutes. My Christmas present to myself! So much to say so let me jump right in!

    First off ...HRH. Wow! When I first say the red outfit with the fur trim I literally spilled my morning coffee! I loved it. I have huge respect for the Queen but to be honest I find her clothes to be a bit predictable. Same coat....same hat just a different color on a different day. I understand why Angela Kelly does that but honestly a bit ho hum for me. This outfit was anything but..and..at at almost 90?? You go your majesty!!

    I thought Sophie looked lovely today. I saw close up pictures of her outfit and although not in a traditional Christmas color...very festive all the same. She takes a lot more risks with fashion then our Kate and sometimes that means it is hit and miss, Today was a hit for me. Loved her hat.

    I agree with the commentary who said that today the York girls looked reasonably put together with one exception. Beatrice's platform booties with stilettos were not appropriate for the venue and she looked like she was going to topple over any minute. I have said this many times....either learn to walk in stilettos or leave them on the shelf!

    I am neither a fan or hater of Camilla but I thought she looked splendid today. I loved the coat with the bold pattern. It didn't look to boxy to me. The only thing is I think the necklace and the butterfly pin was one piece to many. Personally I would have ditched the pin as with the bold pattern on the coat it was not needed. And no one can wear a serving platter size hat like Camilla. It was awesome!!

    As for our Kate...overall I thought she looked wonderful. Classy, pulled together and elegant. I saw pictures of her hair from the back and it was gorgeous. The hat was a new twist on an old favorite and I loved it. I will admit I was a little disappointed to get a new piece that was so much like some of the coats she already has. I would have liked to see a bit of variety. I also was unsure of the belt being so high giving the coat an empire style waist line. Looked odd to me at first. But when I saw the full length pictures and could see the coat with the boots I could see the vintage inspired look and liked it. Very appropriate for the occasion and the event. Overall this was a win!

    Jane I hope yu have had a wonderful Christmas and a good break from your studies!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Her belt looks a bit too high on the waist, looks a little clumsy at the front.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The belt sits right under her breasts, not quite right.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Please can you post a link to a photo of Kate wearing the brooch on the previous occasion?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Apologies, have found a link to the previous public appearance of the oak brooch, worn with pink dress!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Could the necklace be her Merci Maman? Perhaps she has had Charlotte's name added.... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Necklace could be the Woodland Charm necklace by Asprey with gold chain Kate wore in 2014.

    ReplyDelete

The rules for commenting are simple: be polite. Please be respectful of the BRF/Middletons, even in criticism; please be respectful of your fellow readers, even in disagreement. Vulgarity will disqualify a comment.

Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)gmail.com.

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you felt your comment should have been approved, but did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!