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St. David's Day & Daffodil Yellow

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

It is St. David's Day, and although this isn't the first day of spring, it always makes me feel like spring is right around the corner. Last year, we remembered Kate's 2012 visit to Fortnum & Mason with the Queen and Camilla. The beautiful Duchess wore a blue Missoni coat which perfectly set off the bright daffodils she received. I just loved that ensemble and I loved the day. Three royal women, daffodils, and springtime in the air!

Last year I did a post about Kate and her connection to Wales. We covered the origin of daffodils and the way Kate incorporated the blooms into her wedding. You can read that post here. It's a year old, but still good. ;)  Today, I thought we'd just talk about fashion and the times that Kate has worn yellow. 

Fortnum & Mason Instagram 

On her first overseas tour, Kate flew into Calgary, Canada. She wore an airy summer frock by Jenny Packham in a bright, "primrose" yellow. For many women, yellow is a tough color to pull off, but Kate's lovely tan stops the bright hue from washing her out. In fact, I think the yellow actually flatters her! It's amazing.

A little over a year later, Kate wore a bespoke coat by Emilia Wickstead that straddled the yellow/gold line. This coat was also described as "primrose," although it lacked the clarity of color that the Canada Jenny P had. Kate was in Scotland for William's investiture into the Order of the Thistle, which is the (less-prestigious, just being honest) counterpart to the Order of the Garter. 

Gravitating back toward a "daffodil yellow" Kate wore this Jaeger dress while on tour in Southeast Asia in 2012. 

The very next day, Kate debuted a bespoke dress in a yellow & white broderie anglaise. This dress was made by an "independent dressmaker" and many speculate that Kate designed it and had Angela Kelly, or some other seamstress, put it together. 

From a distance it has the look of a homogeneous butter yellow, but a close up view of the pattern reveals it is actually yellow and white. 

If you noticed the little shoe in the close-up, Kate recycled this dress while on tour in Australia. At that time, she had her little bundle of energy with her:

Emilia Wickstead must like yellow. When a pregnant Kate attended the Queen's garden party in 2013 she chose a coat by Wickstead in a bright, modern yellow print.

It was almost a year later that the Duchess again wore yellow, and she chose a moment of maximum impact. She was on tour "Down Under" and the royal plane had just landed after a short flight from rain-soaked New Zealand. As the door opened, Kate emerged in a dress that dazzled even the blinding Australian sun. From eclectic designer Roksanda Illincic, this geometric sheath dress was a huge success. 

Interestingly, the last time Kate wore yellow was on the steps of the Lindo Wing as she presented her baby daughter to the waiting press and to the world. It was a sweet choice. Gender neutral, but in a sweet, buttercup print, to me it struck the perfect note.

Kate wears yellow about once a year, which isn't much for a woman with a wardrobe as big as hers. When she does, it injects a pop of color and a burst of energy--just like today. March 1st, St. David's Day, and spring in the air. I suspect we will see at least one yellow ensemble during the Cambridges' tour of India and Bhutan. The dates have been announced, too, which is exciting. April 10th--16th! More from the Palace's press release:

Also adding energy today is the announcement that the Duke and Duchess have a new event on their calendar. The two will undertake an engagement for XLP London, a mentoring initiative for young people, on March 11th. The couple appeared for the charity last year on Kate's final engagement before Charlotte's birth:


  1. Great post Jane. I really love Kate in yellow. It is a great color for her. And I am very excited for their up coming joint engagement next week. Then the tour in April. I just wish they would do more joint engagements. They are so good together.

  2. Lovely in yellow---reminds me of the daffodils out already this year.
    Glad they have a joint engagement next week; suspect it may have been arranged to fill in for the time the Spanish King and Queen were due to come.
    The Indian tour seems to be pretty busy. Thanks for setting out the order of the visits.

  3. Alejandra RamírezMarch 1, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Great post! I think she will wear yellow once or twice.
    Love this posts that have a theme repeated along the years :)

  4. Yellow is a tricky color indeed, but it does look lovely on Kate with her dark hair. I favor a softer, pale yellow but, unfortunately, the color doesn't work well with my coloring. Oh well. At least I can enjoy it on the wall in my living room. :)

  5. Lovely and cheerful post! Really looking forward to their India and Bhutan tour and can't wait to see what Kate will wear that is new and what might get a recycle. Of all of the yellow dresses that Roksanda Illincic ranks right up there with one of my all time favorites. She looks fabulous in a sheath and this one didn't disappoint at all!

  6. Lovely post but I am not a fan of yellow except as an accent or in flowers:) Ali

  7. Ouch, the whole lot of these yellow garments are rather ghastly, with the exception of the color-blocked sheath. The first dress shown here reminds me of a dress I wore in 1975 when I started my first secretarial job, ugh. The rest are either too girlish or frumpy. Kate's look has matured greatly since these photos were taken, thankfully.

    1. I guess thIs is why the world is so interesting. Many different likes and dislikes. I love these dresses and and how they look on Kate. I especially like the "independent designer" dress. So interesting how the material looks so different from a distance than close up.

  8. Thanks for the close up shot of the independent designer dress.My favorite yellow look is the Roksanda Illic dress.

  9. Beautiful idea for a post Jane! It's very surprising how she can pull that colour off so beautifully! I think the tan and the hair make the difference, as you already mentioned. Beautiful.
    For me also, 1st of march is in some ways the beginning of spring. Unfortunately we're still blessed with snow, but as you said.. let's hope it's just around the corner!

  10. Since Kate turned to Roksanda a couple of times during the fabulously successful tour Down Under, I went and looked at the offerings from the designer for this year's collection. She is really favoring bright (and I mean bright) orange and pink together. There is one yellow dress that I can see Kate wearing if the v-neck in front were a bit higher. There is also a stunning floor length black gown trimmed in hot pink in front and the bright orange only lining the kick pleat in back. It would look fabulous on Kate! Have a look here:

    DVF - also a Kate "go-to" has some fun things this season too. I am particularly fond of the "Layne" "Carrie" and "Aveline" style dresses on Kate.

  11. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. I do enjoy that :-) Although the Missoni coat has never been a favorite of mine, the shade of blue is the perfect backdrop for the daffodils.

    I think you got it right, Jane. The tan is key to yellow working so well on Kate. Like ali, I'm not a fan of wearing the color but the DoC does look pretty in it. I wonder if she will ever wear that Roksanda dress again where PW commented that she looked like a banana. If my husband said that, I would make a point of wearing it again but that's just me :-)

    1. Lol. Faith, I thoroughly enjoyed your banana reference ... and it isn't just you. ;))

    2. :-) Glad I'm in good company :-)

    3. Ohhh ladies, I can see the possibilities here! Right now, I'm thinking about hats worthy of Ascot to go with our banana dresses!

  12. Not sure why, but the part of the upcoming tour I am most looking forward to is Bhutan, maybe because India has been visited so often by members of the BRF, maybe because I will be vicariously relieved to leave the heat of northern India behind--scheduling a trip to India in its summer season seems foolhardy to me--, or maybe because Bhutan seems rather more exotic.

    Robin, I checked out that R.I. evening gown and think it looks great. The bright pink really adds to it--and isn't India all about bright colours? Thing is, tho, I don't have a clue about dress protocol in India--are sleeveless dresses permitted? (I did check out the Taj Mahal, and even there, tourists are expected to cover their shoulders, so most men and women wear short-sleeves.)


    1. JC, I'm looking forward to the Bhutan part of the tour most as well. Cooler, greener, so beautiful, and royal family greeting royal family. Such possibilities!

      Yes, India is all about the color. I would love to see Kate in that RI gown either there or in the UK! We are surrounded by people who have immigrated from India to our fair little town here in CA and I've noticed that the dress protocol is dependent on what they believe. There are at least 6 major religions in India with the majority being Hindi or Muslim. There are also around 200 languages. Most of them do speak English though it's not always easily understood. I don't envy the Cambridges advance people trying to figure out all of the different scenarios and customs that could present themselves. It will be fun to see if Kate spices up her wardrobe with some intensely saturated colors for the trip!

  13. Couple of very interesting days of engagements next week---both days dealing with difficult mental health subjects.
    They are attending the Commonwealth day Service on the 14th and though as yet there is no announcement, I would be surprised if they are not presenting shamrock to the Irish Guards on 17th.
    Happy Mothering Sunday tomorrow to all the Mums including Catherine.

    1. I would be very surprised if they didn't present the shamrocks as well, Jean They've been pretty consistent with that. I greatly admire their diligence with the causes they support. Like Diana, they've not chosen only the easy things. They really get involved with people who have some serious circumstances in their lives.

  14. Sonja from BavariaMarch 5, 2016 at 1:34 PM

    I already enjoyed your st davids day post last year, and this one was just as great! Yellow really suits kate as she is so tanned. I wish I could wear yellow, but even in summer I'm as white as snow so it looks horrible :(

    Yellow is such a happy colour! My favourites yellow dress of kates is the one from southeast asia & australia she probably designed herself (and I love the photo you pucked of her & william with the flower crown and necklace!)

    The emilia wickstead coat was my favourite garden party appearance of all times. However, I'm not so fond of the jaeger dress and the coat in scotland.

    It's such a pretty colour on her & I hope we'll see Kate wear yellow in India at least once!


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