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Kate Stuns in Grey Erdem at Westminster Commonwealth Service

Monday, March 14, 2016

Kate's appearance today was the perfect Monday pick-me-up! Who knew grey could banish the blues? These appearances that are either family events or anything directly related to the monarchy are my favorite. Partially because they often take place somewhere historic and magnificent, like today's service, which was held at the breathtaking Westminster Abbey, or because they center around the aspect of Kate's role that is historic, hearkening back to the pomp and pageantry of the Middle Ages. I just love these events, and it helps that they require a fantastic dress code! Kate didn't disappoint today.



The Duchess of Cambridge arrived accompanied by her duke and Prince Harry. She was wearing a dove grey ensemble that was sure to incite an absolute flurry of fashion chatter. Here is a short clip of the trio arriving at the Abbey:



Certainly the piece that caused the most kerfuffle was Kate's new picture hat. This striking broad-brimmed chapeau was made by John Boyd, a milliner who made a number of hats for Princess Diana and other members of the royal family.  It has been likened on social media to some of Lady Mary's (Downton Abbey) hats.


I think there has been talk, too, that these hats remind some of Camilla, or other major royals world wide.  If you only consider the recent past, this is a new look for Kate, but cast a little further out and it is actually very in-keeping with her early style. Before anything else, this hat reminded me of the Philip Treacy that Kate wore to William's passing out parade at Sandhurst in December of 2006.



Today's hat is more elegant and more sophisticated--Kate's 2006 style all grown up, you could say--but the roots are still there.  It has been some time since we have seen this look on Kate, and I have to say that I welcomed this confident statement piece. I love Kate's many and very beautiful toppers, but I get very excited when she throws in a bolder piece like this.  



The coat was a custom piece by Erdem, adapted from a trench they showed in their pre-fall 2015 collection. It is the same collection that debuted the Alouette dress, of mixed popularity. 



I liked this a lot. Erdem is probably one of, if not the, "busiest" labels Kate draws from, and by busy I mean Erdem designs have the most going on. Even say, Roksanda Illincic, which can be quite eclectic, has a certain geometry and order.  



Kate's Erdems have represented the far end of the spectrum in her style. Usually tending toward the minimal in her tastes, the royal Erdem collection features unusual patterns or bold textures. Kate started off carefully with the label, picking the simpler looks, like the lace she wore to deplane in Ottawa or the slim, blue sheath dress she wore not long after. 



But, recently, she has been drawing from Erdem more, and she her choices have been increasingly  adventurous. Today might have been the most daring yet--even more than the Alouette. This really mixed a lot in one coat!


Under the coat, Kate was wearing what appeared to be a chiffon-like, grey dress. In some pictures I think it might be pleated, above it seems smooth, but in this close-up it looks like there are ridges. I hope we get a peek at this in the future. I love grey! 


[Update] No one trusts me, so I have to show you. ;)  Kate isn't wearing the Orla Kiely. For one thing, I would think it unbearably stiff and hot under an already heavy coat. It is a substantial piece. Second, it is shorter than the dress Kate is wearing today, and finally, it is not the same color. Today's dress is a light fabric in a homogeneous grey, as opposed to Orla Kiely dress. The grey matches the rest of the ensemble, I suspect it is bespoke Erdem, but whatever it is, kids...it is not the Kiely. You need pictures, here they are. This is her dress today:


You can see the longer hemline, the light crepe material, and the stitching at the bottom? Compare this to the Orla Kiely, which has no stitching, more defined pleats, different fabric weight, and a different color grey.



Kate kept the debut trend going by wearing new accessories. Her pumps were by Rupert Sanderson, whom she has tapped in the past, and her clutch was yet another addition to her growing collection of "Natasha" clutches from Emmy London.



This look clicked, perhaps in part because it was all perfectly planned. Kate didn't go to her closet last night and "put-something" together. This was made-to-order, so the hat perfectly matched the coat, and the shoes and clutch polished the look. I really, really loved it. I loved the big hat and I love the interesting elements of the coat, and I love grey and the suede accessories. It is a real hit. (Have I over-used "love") Kate, too, looked radiant, particularly as she went to greet the many admirers who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the royals. Despite the recent storm in the press, Kate looked absolutely unfazed:


It was a smash hit event. As disappointed as I am that we won't be seeing Kate on St. Patrick's Day, this should keep me smiling until Friday, when we see Kate in Holt, Norfolk, as she opens a charity shop for EACH. It was a great start to the week!




152 comments:

  1. This was a WOW look. I absolutely adored it from head (that curled hair!) to toe. I love gray as well and was so so pleased she wore a larger hat. It is mature and elegant. I loved this to pieces and will even venture to say it is one of my favorite looks on her since her marriage. Just gorgeous and the complete package..without upstaging her majesty. But maybe it did. I loved seeing the curls back in her hair and the makeup was beautiful. Loved it!

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    Replies
    1. Totally agree. For those of us who aren't bright color wearers - gray is springy! ;)

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  2. As an add on...might be be wearing the orla Keily pleated dress underneath?

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    1. I don't think so. I think this is a little longer than the Orla and I think from several other photos that it has more motion than the Orla K. Also, I think the Orla K is too structured for today's ensemble.

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    2. I think so too!!

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    3. I actually thought that she might be wearing the OrlaKeily too. It sure does look like it might be....

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    4. It could be! Susan thinks it is and I certainly respect her judgment. I don't think it is, but I think both opinions are reasonable, and it would help to have more pictures. :)

      Delete
  3. Love, love, love this look! I was beyond thrilled to see Kate in a larger hat. Does this say sophisticated, or what!? It reminded me of the image Jane shared above (when she wore the black hat at William's graduation), and the over all look made me think of Carole and her elegance.

    And I should add that while I am not a huge fan of suede shoes, today it was the perfect choice.

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    1. You and I have had similar opinions on the suede shoes, royalfan, and I agree with you again. Today they were perfect! The texture of the suede is perfect with the hat and coat.

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    2. Exactly, Robin. It was the texture... :))

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    3. Kate wore her fair share of wide-brimmed hats pre-Cambridge. I like that she is adding that in the mix again!
      ~ A

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  4. "Under the coat, Kate was wearing what appeared to be a chiffon-like, grey dress. In some pictures I think it might be pleated, above it seems smooth, but in this close-up it looks like there are ridges"

    Susan of WKW believes she is wearing her Orla Kiely dress.

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    1. I think it's her Orla Kiely dress too....

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    2. Mmm, I don't agree, as much as I respect Susan's opinion on all things fashion! She is masterful. :) But, for the reasons mentioned above, I think it is more the Orla K.

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    3. Ah, I see the dress peeking out and I see what you mean. Thanks for clearing it up, and for the better photos, Jane. :)

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    4. Susan has updated and agrees that it's not the Orla K.

      Delete
  5. I'm pretty sure those shoes and clutch are old...

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    Replies
    1. No, no, they are new, although she does already have grey Rupert Sanderson shoes and several Natasha clutches.

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  6. Ditto, ditto, ditto - it was fantastic, she looked A-mazing 👍

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  7. Carmen, The NetherlandsMarch 14, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    The coat is stunning! I'm not loving the hat though. I'm not sure why, but I don't like it very much.

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  8. Loved the whole look. So glad you mentioned the black hat but she also wore it more recently at a Remembrance
    Day service.

    Great post

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  9. I agree Jane. I love this look as well. It's just so different and bold. She looked so happy and sophisticated. In my view she was wearing her most amazing accessories of all - her husband and her brother-in-law.

    As an aside, I note that you haven't weighed in at all on the media storm of recent weeks. I'm sure that's due to lack of time and not lack of opinion, so wondering if you have it on your list of things to do? A post on what all this might mean in your opinion.

    Thanks Jane.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I agree with you on her best accessories!

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    2. It was so nice to see the three of them out again together! I would love pap shots of them at a Norfolk pub together.
      ~ A

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    3. Hi Jane in Canada! Yes, I have written a piece on media hoopla. It needs a final edit and a few more pictures, so as soon as I have a little block of time I will get it done and publish it!

      Delete
  10. Totally agree!! Loved this look on the Duchess. The coat is gorgeous, and I love the pattern/texture which is different from most of her usual coats (not that I don't love those too ;) But that hat is definitely my favourite element of today's look! I always pick larger hats for myself, so it's fun to see Kate donning a larger brim too. Love the whole look!

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  11. Hate to say it but besides the lace on the coat, I despise everything else about this look:(( I feel like if the gray material under the lace was merely solid it would have been a great coat (it's a great shape) but there is WAAAAAYYYY too much going on here! With the spots, the high buttoned collar and the boxy awkward hat poor Kate looks swallowed and somehow restrained. Usually Kate just exudes this bubbly warmth but today I just don't see that in her:(( The color alone I just feel is too subdued not only for the spring time but for this occasion as well. The Queen managed a much more appropriate look in a bright springy color for a celebratory event. Kate's outfit would have fit more for a funeral or at best a formal event for fall or winter time. Major fail for me!

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    1. I have to agree. When I first saw the picture earlier today, I actually gasped out loud and said, "oh no."

      The hat looks overly large on her head and sits too low, the gray color and the detailing of the coat weigh her down, and the overall is effect horrified me. She looks like she borrowed the entire outfit from Camilla. In the small picture I first saw, I thought it was her mother.

      I'd actually call this my least favorite look on her ever. By miles.

      Delete
    2. Ditto! This looks like something Carol would wear. She dresses WAY too old for her age far too often.

      I thought she looked like a carpet, to be honest. Or some drapes.

      Maybe if the coat collar had been lower and smaller and the hat's brim had been smaller, it would have been okay.

      As is, the clothes wear HER...not that other way around.

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    3. I HATE the coat - UGH! It was from their fall collection, bad choice. Wear something spring like!

      I LOVED the shape of the hat, very sophisticated. (Nothing like Camilla.) But the color and the material (I think suede) is not right for mid March.

      I think you can do suede in early spring, but not in gray.

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    4. I'm so glad to agree with y'all. The coat was bulky and overwhelming; the whole look was too heavy.

      Don't get me wrong, the color palette is flattering on Kate and the hat was kind of cavalier, but the coat... And those lapels... The dresses Erdem showed were on point, but as a coat - not so much.

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    5. I had a similar reaction, and the same reaction I had to the coral gingham - great as separates, shouldn't have been done together. I agree she looked swallowed up today almost like she was in hiding (which I doubt she was). Hopefully her repeat of these will be paired differently.

      I think the "swallowed up" look would have worked in the winter, but we're transitioning to spring. And she wore lighter ensembles in the middle of winter.
      ~ A

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    6. Another one agreeing with you! She looks like she's just a little head poking out from a staid, fussy, drab coat. If the coat had an open neck that nicely framed her face I think I could like it. As is, it's terribly unflattering to her beautiful features - and then a huge hat on top, squashing her face from that angle too! She shouldn't have paired the two, though I applaud her fashion risks as always. I do love those shoes. Adore them.

      Comparing this to the beautiful dove grey Easter coat from the Australia tour - doesn't even look like the same woman! That was grey done right.

      This is such a miss.

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    7. I have to say that I agree that the ensemble swallowed her up. I loved the lace on the coat, but this outfit needed a lighter collar and a smaller hat in order to hit it out of the park. The shoes would have been better in black as well. I am generally a huge fan of how she does hats, but find myself disliking this hat-look for the first time.

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    8. I thought the same thing, black shoes would have worked SOOOO much better with this outfit! (Although that would have just added to the overall drab feeling so....) Why does she keep buying those strange supposed-to-be-gray-but-can't-decide-if-their-blue "gray" shoes???? Flat gray would be better with ALL of the gray type outfits she has ever tried to wear them with!

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  12. Me Likee---very, very much. Elegant and sophisticated; a very Royal Princess at a State Occasion.
    What more can one ask.

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    1. I don't know, Jean. I don't know... :)

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  13. I love this entire outfit, Kate looks fantastic and I really love that coat, I find myself just staring at it because it's so different. I hope Kate adds these larger hats to her collection of fascinators, she looks wonderful in them and doesn't have to worry about her hair flying about if it's a windy day.

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  14. As a huge fan of Lady Mary on Downton Abbey, this is such a win for me. Honestly, this for me brought me back to the 2011-12 newly married Kate which I loved. I love mom Kate now, but this was a stunner for me and one of her best formal looks to date. I believe it is Orla Keily as well underneath..larger brim hat -- FINALLY!

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  15. Kate always looks amazing and polished but today she just looked like a ROYAL. From the hat, to the coat, to the confidence, to the way she presents herself, I really saw "future queen" today and I loved it! That hat is amazing and her hair was perfect! Love seeing her and William and Harry all together, it's always fun. Absolutely perfect and very very sophisticated. Can't wait for Friday!

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    1. Totally agree. Today she looked like royalty. Class, class, class.

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  16. Although Kate always looks beautiful, this was a "miss" for me. Loved the coat, hat, and the fact that she ventured out of her comfort zone, but the combination swamped her slender frame ~ and the color was in no way spring~like. Not to be a nasty negative ~ she looked lovely and polished and regal. Isn't it amazing how personal fashion is? So many of you loved her in the outfit, a few of us didn't. So, at the end of the day - as long as she feels good in it, that's all that matters.

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  17. I really don't like this look on her. The gray just feels so old and bland for her, and really drags her down. I don't like it at all. She looks lovely, of course, but I don't like the coat or the hat.

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    1. I have no issue with the head-to-toe grey, but others have expressed they wish she would accessorize with pops of colour in accessories. Would that help your opinion?
      ~ A

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    2. No, I think gray is just not her color. She is such a bright and sunny person, and this much gray is just muting her spirit for me. :(

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    3. Not sure what kind of pop of colour would go with this outfit. If you add black it would do more to drag it into an outfit more appropriate for mourning or funeral. I thought the perkey curls cascading from under the hat really showed her spirit.

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  18. Fabulous hat! I love that she seems to be breaking away from the usual formula. I want to love this coat because it is so unique and I do love its use of mixed media but it just isn't tailored to her correctly. The shoulders are too big and the fit is bulky across her chest, waist and hips. Also, is it my screen or the shoes are a blue gray? They don't seem to match any shade of gray she's got going with the rest of her clothing.

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    1. For what it's worth, Faith, on my monitor the shoes appear to be a perfect match for the hat and clutch. (But I do recall a green head to toe look making me bonkers for the same reason!) :))

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    2. Do they, royalfan? That's so crazy! I am looking at three different shades of grey over here. The shoes seem to have so much blue in then. So frustrating!

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    3. The tailoring of the cost reminded me of her pregnancy boxy coats.....but I do not think she's pregnant. Maybe she's building her wardrobe for pregnancy #3? ;-)
      ~ A

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    4. I watched the Service on TV and the camera kept returning to the Royal family and each time the colour seemed well coordinated--two shades of grey. I was surprised at some of the later photos which made the outfit anything from blue to almost black.

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    5. They look like a perfect match on my monitor too. But I have seen some that don't look right on my computer so I can understand your frustration.

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    6. I also watched the service live and thought "wow, how did she get the grey's to match". So when I saw them I thought they were the same hue. My first reaction was that she really knocked it out of the park. I loved the hat, I loved the tailoring in the back, and the overlay lace appliqué. I so agree with someone who said that it was very appropriate for such a formal state occasion.

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  19. I love the look. I do like seeing Kate in a larger hat at least once in awhile. I haven't been a fan of all the tiny fascinators balanced on her forehead and thought one white one she wore looked just like a bedpan. That said, it does seem like an overall look more suited to fall/winter than early spring which it is now, the shoes and clutch don't really match the coat..in fact, they make the grey in the coat sleeves look yellowish grey so I think I would have liked this outfit better with black shoes. For me, the style of the coat is fine on Kate. I don't see anything wrong with a buttoned-up look at least once in awhile. I agree the coat does make Kate look slightly heavier (maybe 5lbs) but good grief, don't all REAL coats do that to everyone? The issue for me is that this is SUCH a distinctive coat that I wonder if we'll EVER see it again. And no matter how much of a hit a coat is, it seems weird even for a rich person to buy a costly coat to only wear once.

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    1. I agree with you Lizzie. Who doesn't on a coat and look slightly "heavier". But good heavens the Duchess still looks slim and fit...even with a coat on so not sure what the fuss is about.

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  20. Love the hat and shoes! I think that visually, the coat was missing some detail around the midsection. I wish they'd done an elegant gray belt for her. The coat also didn't seem particularly well-fitted in some photos. On the whole, I do like the look, but it's not one I'd like to see again without modifications. I'd rather she re-wear that dove grey ensemble from Easter Sunday in Australia.

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    1. The whole ensemble is gorgeous from the side and back; however, the front view is not as flattering.

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  21. Honestly, I think I once had a sofa made out of that exact fabric. Not a fan, but perhaps with a few adjustments and restyling I could become one. If the darker gray design of the coat had gone all the way to the hemline (rather than that wide band around her mid-section) and something majorly different done to the collar...it might actually work.

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    1. I still like the look but would have liked it better for a Nov-Feb event than mid-March...you cracked me up though Laura--my current sofa is kind of a dijon mustard color but it DOES have the same look/texture as the grey background of the coat!

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  22. I love this blog.
    I liked Kate's look today. I liked how different it was, how well it all coordinated, and, as others have commented, how regal it looked. I didn't love the coat, but I liked the overall effort.
    I haven't seen any comments on the fit of the coat. I don't see the problem so much on the pictures here, but I saw others (on other sites - gasp!) where there was some weird gapping at the bust. It's a problem that sometimes afflicts me, so it jumped out at me. It's a little bit embarrassing for me in my $98 coat, but it's really surprising on such a statement piece on someone as prominent as our lovely duchess!
    Still, a win for the day overall, I think.

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  23. It's fabulous! Love the grey ! Love the hat! She has so much hair and the little hats and fascinators often look like a barrette at times. They get lost in the hair. Or the hair looks unruly flying around the hat.

    BUT THIS HAT? omg it's gorgeous and she looks so beautiful and regal! It's a total win for me!

    DB

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    1. :)) The hat is my favorite part of this whole look. She could have worn a paper bag and I would have cheered the wide brimmed hat.

      Keep them coming, Kate! :)

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    2. I too love the idea of Kate wearing a wide brim hat but I think a wide thin brimmed hat would be much more flattering on her. This covers too much of her head and looks boxy! When you got a face like Kate's, show it off!

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    3. I too love the idea of Kate wearing a wide brim hat but I think a wide thin brimmed hat would be much more flattering on her. This covers too much of her head and looks boxy! When you got a face like Kate's, show it off!

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  24. Jane thank you for another great post. Kate hit it out of the ball park today. But I hate that some have compared her look today that of Camilla's. I don't think this look is anything like Camilla. But her best look today was having William by her side.
    Just love to see them together. So much love between them.
    Any idea why Kate will not be with William on the 17 th? It is strange she will miss it. I always look forward to this engagement.
    And as one other person asked, will you do a poet sharing your thoughts on all the back lash William and Kate have been getting. Would love to here what you think of it all.





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    1. Pauling we have rehashed and rehashed the PR issue in every single post. We have also discussed the 17th over and over..... If you read those you will get a total rundown.

      I ask please Jane just one post that we don't go down the PR trauma etc? For once this post is happy ~

      DB

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    2. Pauline- I personally think that enough has been said, mostly elsewhere, on the
      topic of the royal writer's attempts at retribution for KP's use of Twitter and other
      petulant complaints.
      The real backlash is coming and it includes people who realise how lucky the
      Windsor family is to have William and Catherine to carry on the name, after many
      disappointments in the past.
      The media will have dealt the republicans a blow by the time the dust settles.
      The victor is not the one who shouts the loudest but the one who quietly continues
      to carry on.The commenters who take every opportunity to make up criticism not
      even rational in form or content are getting more rediculous and frantic as the
      Cambridges quietly remain true to their convictions and grow in their roles.
      Looking at who is sitting closest to HM in the Abbey today, it is obvious the
      Queen supports and approves their efforts.
      By the way, I think Catherine looked and conducted herself as regally as any
      so-called princess of the blood.(where were they?)

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    3. Agreed 10.35!


      I suspect the blood Princesses were on a yacht....somewhere ;)

      Regal is an understatement to me ....she was lovely wasn't she ?

      DB

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    4. I thought I spotted them a row or two behind Andrew. It's hard to miss Bea's flaming locks.I also wondered about Princess Anne. The whole set up had me pondering the
      under currents in the Windsor clan at this point. Especially with HRH Prince
      Charles and wife being conspicuously absent from a number of royal events the past
      months-even when they were actually in residence in the UK and not sent out of
      the country on tours. Good to see Harry hanging out again. He always adds such a
      bright spot, both literally and figuratively.

      Delete
    5. I've also wondered where Princess Anne has been. She is usually at these big occasions. She has never seemed to have the ego problem Charles has so it's a little puzzling. And, where were the Wessexs?

      Delete
    6. I did not see Beatrice or Eugenie. (And I doubt Andrew would tolerate them being seated behind him.) When they attend events with their father, they are seated next to him.

      Delete
    7. And Anon 10:35, I appreciate your comment. I really do. Considering some of the choppy waters the RF has managed to sail out of with hats and tiaras in place, this current media frenzy surrounding W&K is a bit much!

      Delete
    8. Thank-you, royalfan. Andrew was at the end of the row.Perhaps a strategic arrangement. No space beside him. I kept wondering what Andrew was thinking,
      walking behind Harry, with Catherine behind Prince Phillip. A powerful image and
      no accidental arrangement, I would say.
      Commonwealth Day is marked in a big red X on the royal calender. I don't understand why Kate's not attending one of many military functions caused such a brouhaha,
      but the absence of senior royals from CD barely a whimper. The excuse of "not being available" in this case really doesn't "fly," to use another commenter's words.
      And Robin,
      to be scheduled for an appearance away from London on such an important day
      would have had to be deliberate, in my opinion.
      How does the Queen manage all the
      logistics? I can't believe she wouldn't have at least been aware of the situation, if
      not involved herself. She must have nerves of steel and be capable of turning a
      blind eye and a deaf ear to royal squabbles. I also think she has her unique ways
      of dealing with family members who stray from the path.

      I really think I spotted a red head behind Andrew, but it could have been someone
      else.
      anon 10:35, 2:28

      Delete
    9. In the booklet, or order of service, Prince Andrew wasn't listed, but HM, PP, WKH all were. I wonder why, when he was obviously there...

      Delete
    10. Anon 3:34. If you look at the first page at the very bottom he is liaised as the Duke of York.

      Delete
    11. Yes, he's listed on the Abbey's website page for the service, but if you download the PDF of the printed programme, he isn't listed anywhere at all.

      Delete
    12. Perhaps he showed up at the last minute, preventing inclusion in the programme. This says more about Andrew than any royal
      slighting, or his name would not have appeared on the website.

      Delete
  25. What a triumph! I love the coat and I love the hat! She looked fantastic in this outfit. Well done on the way she blended all the best parts of that Erdem design and made it so classic. I have been critical of the non-stop use of the suede shoes but in this case they are just gorgeous and so perfect for this outfit. Her hair also looked lovely. I haven't read any other comments yet but IMO this is a fabulous look and "the boys" looked very handsome as well.

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  26. I guess I'm in the minority, but I'm not a fan of this look. I thought the hat seemed a little too big and the coat looked too busy. Overall it looked like something Carole would wear (and, on her, I think I would like it more). On the other hand, I like the shoes, and the fact that she's trying out some slightly different styles.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Alejandra RamírezMarch 14, 2016 at 6:50 PM

    Excellent post Jane! The more I see the outfit, the more I like it!
    Loved it in fact! :D

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  28. Love the fabric and lace overlay, but the collar and hat brim are both too wide. It reminded me of Camilla's style. Too frumpy for Kate's age and physique.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I didn't love. It bother me a bit the total grey look, I wish the shoes or the clutch were from a different color, perhaps black? Also, I think the look makes Kate looks older, I can picture a much older woman wearing exactly the same look. Maybe is the combination of the shape and color of the coat?

    Although the Erdem coat is so rich (the french lace applied in the needle punched fabric is such a fantastic work), I think overall it gives a "busy" look, a bit too much going on. I wish the lace was applied in a solid fabric. The hat is fantastic, I loved that is big and different.

    In the end of the day, it's a new look, I always like when Kate tries something different, so is a win for me!

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    1. It was an outfit I could easily picture Camilla wearing (with multi-strand pearls, of course lol), but it was alright. I think it they're recycled with different pieces things will stand out more and we'd probably love them more. I think my eyes were more pulled to how her face looked overwhelmed by it all that it took me a while to appreciate the pieces on their own.
      ~ A

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    2. Very true. I realize some people don't care for the color, but it has always been my neutral. I've seen many royal ladies wear it during different seasons.

      Delete
    3. I agree with every word you wrote, Sandra. The coat also struck me as too busy and, as you stated, the outfit looks like one an older woman would wear. I, too, might've liked it better with a pop of colour--red maybe, or maroon?

      The hat was very nice, but perhaps it would've looked better worn with a different neckline, something with a V-neck? The neckline on this Erdem was very close and with the way the hat sat on her forehead, the two fabrics almost swamped Kate, or so I thought.

      I do appreciate that it was a new look for Kate, and laud her for that, but it wouldn't be wrong to think that I am in no rush to see a repeat.

      Believe me, I did try to like it, which is why took so long to comment, but....

      JC

      Delete
    4. YES! JC, I could see this coat being recycled with a maroon hat and suede (yes, I said suede) shoes. :)

      And my fingers are crossed that she continues to invest in larger hats. IMO, they are more sophisticated than fascinators and the larger brim does complement her shoulders (if that makes sense!).

      Delete
    5. I too prefer this larger brimmed hat. It's very sophisticated. Another color she could accessorize this coat with (although this might be a bit bold for Kate) is yellow. It would make it a more spring-like ensemble and grey and yellow are all the "thing" right now. Grey is such a neutral color I can't think of anything that wouldn't go with it.

      Earlier someone said they wished she had chosen a bright spring color like the Queen did. I have to say that, upon reviewing the photos again, the Queen stood out in the crowd - as she should. It was absolutely appropriate for the other ladies to not upstage her. Kate was able to step out in something completely new and still not compete with the Queen. Well done, YRH!

      Delete
    6. Aubergine, royalfan and JC?

      Delete
    7. Think that might be too dark, Anon at 3:43. Altho this coat strikes me as more winter than spring or fall. It looks thick and heavy. However, if Kate repeated this coat in Jan./Feb., a whole new, and perhaps quite interesting colour palate opens up, especially if she kept the clutch--the grey in it seems to be a good match to that in the coat--and matched the shoes and, please god, the soft leather gloves.

      JC

      Delete
  30. Love the design but the hat made her older. Moreover I don't think grey looks pretty on her. :/

    ReplyDelete
  31. I thought it was a lovely look. Kate has definitely gained confidence over the past year since the birth of Charlotte (although I think I might count the high-low blue dress she wore right after the announcement of her second pregnancy as the true beginning).

    Love the wide-brimmed hat-such a lovely look that brings you right into her face. I like the texture of her coat, too.

    I'm a bit puzzled by the "it's too dark for spring" crowd-if you look at most of the royal ladies (from any country), grey is worn year-round, in many shades, in many fabrics.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I made several comments above about her look - overall a win but I hope she recycles things differently. Loved seeing the three of them get through a family event together ;-)
    No offence Jane, but she wasn't back in Norfolk so personally I'm not happy that she missed the shamrocks this year. If the Queen Mum did it for years I don't think it's a stretch to somewhat expect Kate to do the same - I heard rumours on the street they don't want the public to expect it to be an annual Kate event. I think it's an easy thing to pencil in every year and is good relationship building. I also think they need to make a post-wedding trip to Northern Ireland - I know that's tricky but I think a smart move.
    Anyway looking forward to the next event/sighting.
    ~ A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technically, the event has not happened yet so she has not missed it. Perhaps the children are back in Norfolk so Prince George can keep his nursery school routine and she wants to be there for Tuesday-Thursday. She has an engagement Friday so it is logical to want a few days at home. Maybe the nanny is taking holidays? My point is whatever her reason, it is valid to her and it is Prince William's event. We have been lucky the many years she has attended.

      Delete
    2. I stand corrected. I thought it was the Sunday before - like how they have Remembering Sunday and we have November 11th in Canada. It seems that yes she'll be in Norfolk the day after March 17th. I'll assume it's a conflicting personal reason, and not the rumor that we can't expect Kate to do this annually. Personally I still stand by my point regarding N. Ireland relations - they travel to and support Scotland and Wales (even in NY) so I don't think it's unreasonable for me to think a once a year Irish commitment is too much. But alas, this is how 2016's holiday will be handled :-)
      ~ A

      Delete
    3. Worthy points, K3! I agree that Kate fans have been lucky, if a little spoiled.
      Some commenters (elsewhere) have been reacting like spoiled children being deprived
      of a toy.
      My question now is: who will step into the royal lady void, if anyone? I know one who might fancy the job, but I would like Princess Alexandra to take it on if she is still getting out and about. Of ourse, she has her own military patronage, I believe,
      as Catherine now does. That might preclude her participation.

      Delete
    4. Anon 2:15pm you didn't accuse me, but you didn't acknowledge me either, so I want to clarify my opinion isn't being spoiled or feeling deprived. As her children's birth certificates state, her *occupation* is Princess of the United Kingdom, which includes Northern Ireland. On her wedding day she was titled Baroness Carrickfergus by the Queen. I think every year throughout the year we see her through various things "work" for England, Wales and Scotland. Since her marriage, I think the annual shamrock event is the only "work" she does for N. Ireland. I don't feel deprived or like a spoiled brat, just that it's an easy way for her to support and recognize N. Ireland being a part of the UK. From my perspective, this has nothing to do with patronages - it has to do with her occupation/job. I may be wrong, but I believe she hasn't represented or worked for N. Ireland since last year's ceremony. I know N. Ireland is very tricky, which is why I think it's an "easy win" and safe for her to do this event and don't think it is unreasonable for her to follow the Queen Mum's example of having it be an annual event in her calendar.

      As for Friday's event in Norfolk, I am sure the charity would have rescheduled the opening for whenever Kate was available. But that is purely speculation on my part, and still doesn't change my opinion on N. Ireland relations :-)
      ~ A

      Delete
    5. A- I did say commenters "elsewhere." I believe folks on this blog were disappointed, not outraged as it seemed in other forums. And I refered to the fashion, "Kate-sighting" aspect.
      Your arguments for more attention for Northern Ireland are reasonable, I think.
      As a generous hunk of my heritage stems from County Antrim, I can sympathize with
      your feelins.
      As you indicate, it is a tricky situation and balancing N. Ireland and her
      counterpart is a diplomatic maze.
      Friday? I'm sure the royal schedulers understand Kate's impact and would not have removed Kate from the ceremony for a nursery party or even a charity opening.
      This situation has ramifications and import that we may never know .
      We are spinning our wheels in useless speculation. I've indulged in it, too.

      Delete
    6. ~A, I can see what you're saying about representing all of the UK. I think, as you pointed out, N. Ireland is very tricky. They don't really want to be part of the UK and much of the time it is unsafe for members of the BRF to travel there. Since the Shamrock event is Williams patronage it has just been a bonus for us to see Kate there each year. I think her skipping the event for one year isn't a great snub, nor does it mean she doesn't support Ireland. It's disappointing for us who enjoy seeing her but, to me, that's all it is.

      Delete
  33. Well Jane...once again an outstanding post. And I am going to go with the majority here ...I love this outfit. As a whole it is Regal elegant and classy. The picture from the back with the curls of hair sneaking out from under the hat....just beautiful.

    I will agree that grey is not the first color I would think of for spring...but gee wiz...how many fashion rules are we going to create for our favorite duchess??? Are we going to say she can only wear certain colors in certain seasons. That is just ridiculous. This is on the lighter side of "grey" and so I think it certainly works for this time of year.

    I like Kate's bespoke piece way better than the original trench coat in the collection. And I like that she accessorized in all grey as well. To me it made the whole outfit look polished and well put together.

    I also do not get how this looks matronly or frumpy. Because it has a high collar??? Really?? Young people can never wear a high collared button up jacket? Sorry. Don't understand that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that but to me this did not look frumpy.

    To end on a positive note...I adore this hat. As Jane said...it is so bold and gorgeous...and such a fresh change. Not sure I would love it quite as much if she wore them all the time...but today it was so new and it perfectly suited the jacket, the occasion and most of all Kate!!

    Looking forward to Friday but after two new outfits I feel a repeat coming on!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Not my favorite. Kate looks like she is lost in the coat and hat. I would expect someone older than her wearing this outfit especially since it doesn't appear to fit well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you please be a little more specific on why you think this coat doesn't fit well. It is a coat, it is very tailored in the back. I guess I just don't see it.

      Delete
  35. I am not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but the pleats on her gray dress underneath her coat look like the pleats on the bottom of her gray and black Orla Kiely dress that she just wore a month or so ago. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There have been a few who think so, but it most definitely is not the same dress. I have updated the post with pictures if you want to take a peek.

      Delete
    2. Jane ~ your photo update confirms your point :-) I agree it looks more chiffon-y, definitely not the Orla.
      ~ A

      Delete
    3. I think the grey dress may be a shorter version of the one Kate wore in November of 2007. I don't know the designer, but looks like one of those Issa London dresses.

      Delete
  36. Me Likee too!! Kate the Great strikes again! I love the whole ensemble-I always notice that when she is with other members of the Family, she usually wears a more muted color scheme. I think that is her way of paying respect to the more senior members of the Family (like her Maj!). She looks great in grey- loved it in Australia, love it today. I especially love her hat- John Boyd always made such nice ones. And it is a color that she can use to repeat too... Smart lady...

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you for proving it is not the Orla Kiely. I didn't want to wade into that debaucle when it was obviously some other dress/skirt entirely.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thought the look was wonderful on Catherine. For me there is nothing non Spring with her color choice, think of grey morning suits for men in spring and summer weddings. :) She looked great. Very polished. The high button up look of all her coats is not my preference, agree she might want to think about a different collar look, but hard to tell from photos. I actually do not love the coat for "me" but it is clearly Catherines style and looks great on her, I am just not a lace gal:) Too me this was a wonderful very poised very appropriate look with a bit of a "wow" factor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. anon 9:35-very tactful, gentle critique of the collar and coat. Your point was
      made without negativity or insult, stating clearly it was your opinion-not presented as
      the only viewpoint.That's how to do constructive criticism.
      Good on you!

      Delete
  39. I love the coat too and its nice too see the duchess big hat once year I think these coat will seen several times

    ReplyDelete
  40. I loved loved the hat!! I have been hoping Kate would try a different hat style and I love this one!! I also agree with the comment that Kate wears a muted tone when appearing with other members of the royal family, especially the queen. Often Camilla wears cream when around the queen. March is a transitional month and I think the gray was fine on this occasion. Hope we see more hats like this!!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. For me this look is neither a hit or a miss,its somewhere in between.The suede and lace combination is interesting,yet borders on too much going on for me.The coat looks very nice from afar,but in closer shots I start to doubt.Though I do have a thing for suede.I like this type of hat.
    This is just about like any other Erdem design she's worn,giving me mixed thoughts.There has only been one clear cut Erdem win for me and that was the Jaquenta Sheath dress.Also,one disaster which was the Erdem Alouette gown.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I looooooove it! So refreshing. The coat is really cool.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The first pictures I saw of today's outfit (on another site) were taken in brighter outdoor light. Her coat appeared more of a dusty gray, while her hat and shoes were a brighter, almost bluish gray. It did not look good. But the more shaded and indoor shots (on this site) make all of the pieces blend better.

    I hate to be a killjoy, but for that reason I would have paired that coat with a charcoal hat and shoes.

    Belle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's what I've been seeing Belle. Vastly different shades of gray that ended up detracting from the polish of the whole outfit.

      Delete
    2. Totally agree with both of you! She 'matches' colors in a way that most people do not. Whether you like it or not is in the eye of the beholder - but I don't.

      Delete
  44. I love this. I just LOVE it and I'm not normally a fan of very busy clothes. I agree with you, Jane, that my first thought when I saw the hat was that it's very similar to the Philip Tracey. Kate has really converted me to fascinators but my natural inclination is towards bigger hats and I really love this look on her. I think the colour-blocking worked here, although I wish she had worn the earrings from last year :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Im trying hard to like this outfit but struggling - the coat resembles a thick carpet - it's overly structured and too stuffy for these early days of spring - the hat is strange no matter what angle I examine it and either it doesn't go with the coat or the other way around - overall a miss je regretted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are in the minority here I think Susan! For me that hat is just too big, it covers too much of her head. I live in the land of big cowboy hats, so it may just be my personal dislike of overly big hats.

      I absolutely Love the coat tho, I hope someday she will wear it again with a smaller charcoal hat and matching shoes. Classy :p

      Belle

      Delete
  46. Hi Jane,

    Thank you for this post, especially your thorough handling of the dress provenance.

    It's not Spring, people, it's CHRISTMAS!!!

    And it's all because of that gorgeous hat! HRH is stunning in it. I love her in a hat with a brim. It's not a small structure perched on the top of her head like a bird about to take flight. It frames her beautiful face and draws attention to her amazing hair (for once I agree with those who love when she wears curls).

    I feel like I can go on now with some hope that her fashion will continue to be appropriate but interesting. I still will miss her on St. Patrick's Day but after the beautiful suit at the mentoring event and this outfit, I'm excited again, especially for India.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Jennifer from the SouthMarch 15, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    LOVE the hat as I adore some variety and that is something we don't often see with Kate these days. It's also a flattering shape to her - hoping she starts investing in some more of these proper hats, especially for outdoor events. Call me crazy (and I'm sure some of you will, ha), but I prefer smaller hats for church/indoor activities and hats with a brim for outdoor events. But, in any event, I agree the hat went with the outfit.

    HOWEVER, I dislike this coat immensely. I do not understand why Kate has been wearing these shapeless potato sacks. This coat, the green (Erdem I think) coat with the full zipper, and the several-toned pink fuzzy looking coat from Scotland all fall into this category for me. They look untailored and unflattering. This coat, like the others, does not photograph well, and while certainly not a boring outfit, this is one that I sincerely hope goes back into the closet, never to come out again. Better yet, send it to the consignment shop.

    I would very much, though, like to see the seemingly pretty grey dress underneath!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I did not like this coat at all. Her recent dresses make her look old fashion and old. I wold love to see her again with dresses that are more appropriate for age: over the knee, modern, nice colors. She is beautiful and amazing but she is getting more and more conservative with her fashion choices.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Did anyone see this in Hello! magazine? Kate's most stylish hats (35 of them!)

    http://us.hellomagazine.com/fashion/12016031512772/kate-middleton-most-stylish-hats/1/

    My personal conclusion...she has enough fascinators. Time for the big guns! :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link, royalfan.Every time I think I have picked my favorite hat or coat,
      another one catches my eye. Who can choose just one?

      Delete
    2. Great comparison! Thanks for sharing and, once again, I agree. Enough with the fascinators already! Time for more "real" hats!

      Delete
  50. Totally off the topic. But I have been looking over pictures and video of the last few engagements and I have noticed how much William still guides and places his hand on Kate. Her back to guide. ..to introduce... this is so sweet. I have no doubt that nearly 5 years married ....the love story continues. Also the way they look at each other when the other is speaking to someone else. They are very in tune. Such a joy to see after going through the roller coaster years.

    DB

    Oh and yes royalfan! Time for the big guns! Hats...big hats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also noticed that DB and the photo with his hand at her back is my favorite of the day!

      Delete
  51. As much as we all want spring to be here and have had enough of winter it is still late winter both by the seasonal calendar and the religious calendar. We have not celebrated Easter yet which I usually see as the start of using the brighter colours of spring. I think this lighter shade of grey with the beautiful grey suede shoes and bag was a perfect choice for this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree it is not technically spring yet. I think what was SO jarring about the outfit to me (even though I liked it quite a lot) was that earlier this very same week we saw Kate in what appeared to be bare legs, in "short" sleeves, in spring colors, in lightweight materials, etc. So this outfit really was an unexpected "return to winter" for me. The coat looks like a heavy material, it is buttoned up high to the chin, etc so even with lighter shoes, it still looks like winter. I think grey can be spring-like though. For example, the Kelly green coat Kate wore earlier in the week would have looked spring-like had it been light grey. If we had not seen Kate in spring outfits this week, I don't think this outfit would have been so surprising. In other words, it's a contrast effect.

      Delete
    2. I guess I didn't see her in short sleeves and no stockings. I thought the last engagement was done in the red gingham checked with at least 3/4 length sleeves. It was a brighter colour but it was not the formal engagement as a church service.

      Delete
    3. Not short sleeves but "short" sleeves..to include both the 3/4 sleeves you mention and the lightweight B&W dress with elbow length sleeves. People have mentioned it **looked like** she was not wearing stockings on at least one of those occasions and I agree. It's not that any one of the outfits was inappropriate per se but in comparison the CD outfit wasn't only more formal, it was more wintery looking IMO (and apparently in the eyes of many here.) The Queen's outfit was plenty formal for church but spring-like and while I agree Kate should not compete with her, other women weren't even wearing coats outside at all. So a coat, heavy material, grey and black, buttoned to the chin, and based on the designers fall/winter collection seemed jarring to me especially compared to Kate's earlier outfits re: the season even though I liked the outfit for a different time of yr. Even the kelly green coat looked more springlike to me.

      Delete
    4. Eva and Lizze, I understand the points each of you is making. I do agree that comparing the gingham dress with this gray outfit is like day and night. But both were selected for the tone she wished to set. And going to Westminster Abbey with the Queen, and knowing that you are just below her in rank (in attendance), well, I too would be reaching for my most conservative Sunday best. :)

      Delete
    5. Agree Robin about tone and the need for Kate to attend to that. I would not expect Kate to dress the same at a suicide prevention affair as for CD Day in church (and it would be more than adding a hat!) But Eva's comment about it not really being spring yet (where we would expect to see bright colors) simply crystalized why FOR ME the CD outfit seemed unexpected. If a co-worker dressed in a "spring" style or bright colors 4 days in a row and then appeared in grey and black I would have had the same reaction. If I had not seen pics of Kate since the French Alps the CD outfit probably would not have seemed "unexpectedly wintery" either.

      Delete
    6. Agree Royal fan about tone and the need for Kate to attend to that. I would not expect Kate to dress the same at a suicide prevention affair as for CD Day in church (and it would be more than adding a hat!) But Eva's comment about it not really being spring yet (where we would expect to see bright colors) simply crystalized why FOR ME the CD outfit seemed unexpected. If a co-worker dressed in a "spring" style or bright colors 4 days in a row and then appeared in grey and black I would have had the same reaction. If I had not seen pics of Kate since the French Alps the CD outfit probably would not have seemed "unexpectedly wintery" either.

      Delete
    7. Sorry about the double post and sorry for writing Robin when I meant royalfan! Big oops.

      Delete
    8. Nice to know you were thinking of me, lizzie! ;-) I think the outfit Kate didn't wear stockings with was the green coat. I have to say that, if I were wearing a dress with a big zipper running the entire length, I wouldn't wear stockings either for fear of runs.

      Delete
    9. Good point about the zipper!

      Delete
    10. Lizzie you may confuse me with Robin any day. Not sure how SHE would feel about it, though. :)))

      Delete
    11. You all are such good sports!!

      Delete
  52. I hope when the DM counts the engagements done by various members of the BRF, that they include them all.
    William seems to have carried out 3 Investitures since Christmas--the last one yesterday, but they are recorded under HM engagements, as they are on her behalf. Similarly, the Commonwealth Service was recorded as accompanying HM under her engagements, though the Duke and Duchess followed it with a reception for the children. The post Christmas wreath laying commemorating the Dardenelles got the same treatment.
    I have noticed that many members of the family, when they have several engagements throughout the day, record lunch as an engagement--William and Catherine never do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jean. I hope so too.

      Delete
    2. Excellent points, Jean! It's a little unbalanced isn't it?

      Delete
    3. I had no idea. Thank-you for that information, Jean.
      Unfortunately, people will believe what they want to believe. That information
      will probably be ignored or discounted by those who find it necessary to
      disparage William and Catherine at every opportunity.

      Delete
  53. I keep looking at that coat, and the sleeves are just too long, and they need to take them out and make them the right length by recutting them from the top (since the plain trim is at bottom). Alterations needed. Plus I would have liked a belt...but I'm sure they tried a belt and for some reason it did not work.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I think this coat DOESN'T look nice at all. She could have done much better.The hat however is gorgeous...

    ReplyDelete
  55. She won't stop the lace, will she? I personally just can't stand it.. :(
    Alice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. :) I think the lace dresses she favors continue to be in style because of Kate. It's been 5 years (correct?) and designers continue to come up with similar styles.

      Delete
    2. Yes, royalfan. I had never seen lace worn for daytime,less formal wear until Kate popularized the fashion. Now, I see it everywhere.

      Delete
  56. Ahmmmazzzing!!!! Absolutely without a doubt one of my top 5 all time favorite ensembles of the great Kate!! Out of the ballpark wow! From head to toe puurrrfection!!! I'm having to make up words for this is simply stunning!!!! 20 on a 1-10 scale.. Every piece is jaw dropping!! Erdem is a win, IMHO every time she wears it! I wonder how long it takes to get everything together for an outfit like this? From fittings to delivery? I would think a few hours??? Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Is it possible she is wearing the gray dress she wore at the launch party for Time to Reflect in November 2007?

    ReplyDelete

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