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Kate Recycles For Visit to Land Rover BAR HQ in Portsmouth

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Duchess of Cambridge returned to Portsmouth this morning to visit the Land Rover BAR Team HQ, the visitor centre showcasing Ben Ainslie's efforts to win back the America's Cup next year. 


Kate is royal patron of the 1851 Trust, which is Ainslie's charitable arm of his sailing efforts. The 1851 Trust was created to draw in young people to greater engagement with the sport and, hopefully, inspire them to greater academic success as they see the core subjects of study, such as math, put to practice to create these sophisticated and precise racing boats. 



For those not familiar with the origins of the America's Cup, or the inspiration behind the 1851 name, the charity's website offers a very nice explanation:
1851 was the year of the Great Exhibition, a celebration of modern industrial science, technology and design and championed by Prince Albert. It was an opportunity for countries to showcase the best of their achievements. A syndicate of businessmen from the United States brought a schooner called ‘America’ to demonstrate their shipbuilding skills. ‘America’ outclassed the British racing fleet of 1851, winning the first America’s Cup and beginning the challenge that Ben Ainslie Racing have now embraced – to bring the Cup home.
Kate has visited BAR a number of times, and today she had the opportunity to unveil the mural which she actually participated in painting on her last visit while pregnant with Charlotte.  


Kate seemed to get a kick out of seeing her panel on display:



The Duchess toured the Tech Deck with Ainslie, seeing the various displays that explain the research and technique that goes into creating his aquatic racing machines. On a side note, doesn't Rebecca look cute there in the background?


This ensemble is hugely popular among fans and obviously one of Kate's preferred outfits as well. When she first debuted it in 2011, it was one of those fashion moves that was surprising. I think it got mixed reviews at the time, because it was quite out of Kate's usual style and some felt that the blouse and the skirt together looked a little too much like a costume. Remember Diana's white and gold military suit?


As the Duchess continued to flex her fashion muscles, though, the novelty of the design wore off and we viewed it simply as the lovely, flattering and interesting choice that it is. Her second wear was even more successful than the first. Although little changed in her presentation, the excitement of seeing it again, and the sunshine and green surroundings set off the entire ensemble beautifully. I particularly love the skirt and the dual slits. 


Nautical blue and white have been Kate's colors of choice when visiting BAR and The 1851 Trust, and given the military associations with sailing, these McQueen separates were an appropriate choice. Kate looked beautiful, nevertheless, I was disappointed. I poked my nose out of my blankets this morning when one of you messaged me on Twitter that Kate had recycled. I said a silent prayer that she had put her hair up and went back to sleep for another half hour. I finally got up to a mild letdown. Ladies, this ensemble needs a twist. 



It is hard to switch up an outfit like this, I admit. For some years now I have hoped she would wear these pieces with her hair in a chignon. A ponytail today would have been a good compromise between the formality of a chignon and the loose locks we have seen with this ensemble several times. Today's wind would have made an updo even more on point. 



The Duchess did change this morning into sportswear to meet the BAR America's Cup crew and experience a training session on the Solent, a T1 foiling catamaran that BAR created using state-of-the-art technology.  


A catamaran is a two-hulled boat, as you can see in the pictures, and the foils are like skis that lift the boat up when it hits high speeds. It isn't too much of an exaggeration to say that Kate was almost flying, since these boats are barely skimming the water when they really get racing.

Ben Ainslie Racing 

I am sure it was an exciting time on the water. Last year the crew capsized their 45-foot T2, although it was the first and to-date last such incident.  


Ainslie is one of Britain's most talented racers and I am getting more and more keyed up for the 2017 America's Cup, which promises to be an incredible competition. 


The location for the 2017 event was announced just a few months ago and the destination is: Bermuda! And I kind of want to go. Maybe we should have a From Berkshire to Buckingham vacay  in June of next year! 




As is always the case with her visits to BAR for the 1851 Trust, it was a fun day, but the fashion was a little bland. I think that the Jaeger dress Kate wore to Greenwich maintains its position of dominance over every other ensemble. This is my call to Kate to really wow us the next time. Maybe Ainslie will throw a star-studded gala or something.


We should see Kate Monday! 

96 comments:

  1. Alejandra RamírezMay 20, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    Great insight about the outfit!
    She looked amazing in the races, she is truly brave :)
    Jane, do you see her travelling to Bermuda to support the team?

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  2. Don't think an updo would have worked today given that she put on a helmet later in the day. Helmets do not really work too well with ponytails because for safety they have to be pretty snug fitting. Loved this outfit every time she has worn it.

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    1. I agree with this assessment anon, the ponytail would not have worked under the helmet and if she had put up her hair in a chignon for arrival and then had to take it out may have been been time consuming to get her hair straightened out before the sail. I do agree that I would love to some time see this dress with her hair in a chignon, but may not have worked today. Just a thought Jane.

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  3. Wasn't my favorite outfit before and still isn't but she wears it well and it was OK for this event.  It doesn't remind me so much of Diana's outfit but of one of Michael Jackson's costumes. I wonder whether these pieces could be paired with different tops/bottoms? Like the skirt with the Goat blouse? Or the top with a plainer skirt? It might not seem so "costume-y" that way.


    I agree a high ponytail would have looked nice especially given the wind. She would likely have had to redo it to a low one to put on the helmet but it looks like she added a low pony for the sail anyway.


    Comments to the last article mentioned these earrings are likely her favorite.  They may be but I don't think they go with the outfit. Mixing metals is fine but the yellow gold buttons are SO prominent I think different earrings would have worked better.

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    Replies
    1. 100% on board with you Lizzie. This skirt but with the Goat blouse from the last event and a high pony would have been such an improvement! This combo is too costumey. Not my cup of tea. The Jaeger is definitely the best 1851 outfit we've seen.

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    2. The Goat blouse would have looked very nice with it - good choice!

      I'm fairly certain these earrings are set in gold so I think they went well. Thank goodness she didn't wear gold button earrings! ;-)

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    3. They look more like white gold to me Robin but I'm looking on a small screen and could be wrong. Maybe the diamonds give the silvery color? Gold button earrings would have been a bit much--too many gold buttons already!--but maybe gold hoops or something to match the so-obvious and so-numerous gold buttons? Or earrings without an obvious metal color?

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  4. do we have any information on the clutch? I don't recognize it-- is it new? x

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I should have added the details. No, she has had that clutch for a while, but rarely uses it. http://www.katesclothes.com/purse/kate-quilted-leather-clutch/

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  5. Jane, I was happy to see your comments perfectly mirrored my thoughts. I actually feel that other than the colors, this outfit was not necessarily appropriate. Kate would have been better off in Rebecca's outfit. This is not an outfit that lends itself to recycling, in my opinion. And yes, it does make me think of Michael Jackson each time she wears it. A hairdo would have been a huge help, I agree. Sometimes, it seems as if Kate is trying to force us to lose interest!

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    1. I am sure you have echoed exactly how Kate probably feels. You intimate that the only interest in her is her clothing and you have no interest in the causes she tries to highlight. As she and William increase their royal duties, they will want the focus to be on causes and their work and not clothes and so it should be. I am sure there is at times a deliberate attempt by her to down play the clothing. While some follow her clothing choices there are those who follow the impact she brings to the royal family

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    2. Well, right or wrong, Kate's clothes attract a not insignificant percentage of her fan base. These people--interested in fashion--then learn about her charities. That's how royalty works. So, to suggest that Kate will want to deliberately kill the interest in her clothes would be to suggest a willful sort of "effectiveness suicide." The world is full of beautiful women. An interesting mix of history and fashion make the royals the advocates that they are, so it bothers me when people poo-poo the fashion interest, because it fuels her charitably work.

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    3. Not saying that the fashion does not fuel the interest.i agree it does and more so from the non UK public. However I think that they are trying to establish that there is more to her than fashion. One also has to remember she is on a clothing budget and especially after a tour items will be recycled.

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    4. I prefer Rebecca's outfit for Kate too. Kate's outfit has too much going on. It's just too fussy with all the buttons.

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    5. I don't believe there was a suggested to "kill the interest in her clothes."
      It was stated the Focus should be on the charity, with the clothes, of course mentioned, but secondary to the cause.
      I personally think the ultimate goal may be a considerable down-sizing of
      royal eliteness, while maintaining the history and tradition.
      This may not see fruition until William is in charge.

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    6. Interesting discussion. I for one think Kate would like to "kill" the interest in her clothes. A lot of bloggers view the Duchess as a clothes horse first and foremost. Even if the fashionistas do go on to learn about her charitable work it remains to be seen how a bunch of predominantly American based bloggers can help the Duchess with such efforts. Are we really expected to believe that there are a significant number of fashion loving people out their with deep pockets willing to give every time the Duchess scores a hit? Of course not and I think Jane is in danger of over stating the importance of hers and like minded blogs. The intense focus on Kates fashion is what I would term 'excess interest'. Thats not too say it doesn't serve some good. I think most people accept the Duchess has been a wonderful asset to the UK fashion industry which in turn supports jobs etc.. So im not dismissing fashion FYI if I was advising Kate I would tactically leak every outfit to the press prior to an engagement and get the discussion over and done with so on the day the focus can solely be on the charity.

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    7. anon 5:42, I think you've come closest to what is going on. She and William want to be more relatable and, while her clothes are expensive, they aren't completely unattainable. Once she has a bigger budget and is carrying out far more engagements (although we've had a plethora of them lately) we will see a greater number of items in her closet. I think she could do what Diana did on occasion - especially with the outfit from today - have it reworked by a seamstress. Make it short sleeved or change the buttons - something!

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    8. I commented on an earlier blog, that how she dressed was important, as it ensured her photo on front pages throughout the world and thus spread the word about whichever charity she was supporting.
      However, in my opinion her style is more classic that cutting edge fashion, which means photos dredged up throughout her life will not appear ridiculous.

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    9. Good point, Jean.There are some unfortunate examples of other royal wives out there.
      She'll stand the test of time in so many ways.

      Delete
  6. Forgot to add, I totally agree the Jaeger Dress rocked. THAT dress can be recycled with ease, style and sophistication every time!

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  7. She really needs to start wearing pants like CP Mary and Queen Letitzia. She is so nice and tall and lean.An up do and pants would have worked wonders today. Pants pants pants please! N

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    Replies
    1. She probably can't wear pants until the Queen passes. God Bless the Queen!

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    2. Sophie has worn trousers for engagements.

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    3. I don't care for pants on an official engagement. I know CPMary and Queen Letitzia look lovely in their pants but, for me, it lessens the importance they've placed on event.

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    4. If you have ever noticed Kate does not wear a lot of pants. Many photos taken of her out shopping and before they were married she always in a dress. And why do people continue to compare her with CPMary, Diana and Queen Letilzia. They all are different women.

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  8. If this were say, Maxima, would we really be talking about the barely noticeable
    metal on her earrings matching her buttons?
    There was a whole lot more to this
    visit than the fun sailing. I admit-it is more exciting than discussing the educational
    goals of the charity.
    Just a preemptive comment, anticipating any "this isn't work it is just fun" remarks.

    I was trying to imagine the Queen or Camilla or Leticia in her place- if we could think of a way to attach a horse to the catamaran; or hang a huge jewel bangle from the mast. I would fear the wind blowing Leticia overboard.
    It made me
    realise what an infectious sense of adventure and fun Kate has.I mean, really- how
    often do we see a huge smile,actually grin, on both the giver and receiver of a curtsey?
    Kate was going for a handshake and then-whoops-i-daisy! Here comes a curtsey.

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    1. 2:46, we should check out a Maxima blog to be sure, but I suspect you are correct! ;)

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    2. If Kate managed to stay on deck, then I'm sure Leti wouldn't have to worry about being blown overboard! One may be taller but other than that you're comparing apples to apples at this point

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    3. Two words-muscular theighs.I understand the anorexic/inadequate Kate theme has apparently arisen
      again in some places. Just wanted to point out an area of comparison.
      Both women look healthy. Letitcia looks like she has a runner's body, but she is very
      slight.I don't think my remarks were anymore ungracious than the constant unfavorable comparison of "Leti's" attire to Kate's.

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  9. Who is Rebecca?

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca Deaton her assistant

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    2. Deacon! It's Rebecca Deacon. Stop it autocorrect 😠 LOL

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    3. Ha! Stupid autocorrect won't let me type Letitzia until I redo it twice!

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    4. Ah- thank you!

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  10. Jennifer from the SouthMay 20, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    I don't think I would mind the outfit if the pieces were worn separately, but I don't care for it together. The buttons are overwhelming. It looks too much like a costume.

    That top with some tailored navy ankle pants and heels would have been wonderful for today. I am firmly on "team trousers" - and NOT those awful jeggings she insists on wearing to her "sporty" events - I want true trousers that are immaculately tailored. I think she would look amazing.

    I am also firmly on Team Ben Ainslie! He is dreamy. ;)

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    1. But to flirty. And the same on Kates end.
      That is what a lot of folks are saying on other pages.

      Sarah

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    2. Well, on some "other pages", Kate cannot choose the correct toothpaste. :) Perhaps there's more to it and it isn't about Kate.

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    3. Please anon, let's not start this! Not sure why some have to try to generate a scandal. All you have to look at are the pictures of Will and Kate together at there last engagement to know how much they are in love with each other. The tabloids would like nothing more than to get trouble started. As royalfan points out some bloggers will always find something to be negative on Kate.

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    4. Eve yes the look's Will & Kste give each other do tell how in love they are. But just look at these pictures of Kate and Ben, she has that same look when she is looking at him. And he is placing his hand on her arm. I thought you are not to touch the royals in that way. Just bout good thing for her to be so flirty.

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    5. Well, even the Queen lived to tell after she was touched by Michelle Obama. :)Once upon a time, it was a no-no, but the younger generation isn't as strict with this "policy". Even Diana in her day (an older generation than Kate) was not offended by it.

      I did not see anything inappropriate here. I saw a young woman (one who is known to be very fond of sports) thoroughly enjoying every aspect of this engagement. And I could post enough photos of Maxima (roaring with laughter and enjoying herself in the company of men) to cause a blog meltdown.

      If Kate is serious when the occasion calls for it, she is accused of "not being into it", being tired, or simply old before her time. Yet if she thoroughly enjoys herself during an engagement (and it would be difficult not to do under the circumstances) there must be something inappropriate about it. Is it truly shocking to see men and women get along on a professional level (which is exactly what this represents)? I experience it, and witness it, at work on a daily basis.

      [Sigh] I will say it again, this isn't about KATE.

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    6. Just think there were to much flirting between the two. It could be more on Ben then the Duchess. But still not correct.

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  11. I agree with Anon 2:15. Sometimes pants would be more practical than a dress or skirt with heels.

    Has the Duchess ever worn an outfit more than 3 times?

    Belle

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  12. Agree with Jennifer from the South..the top with tailored navy pants would have been very nice and a much more effective method of recycling.The right outfit would go a long way to drawing attention to the "cause" at hand. Unfortunately, there is no denying that the "wrong" outfit does have the opposite effect.

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    1. I hate to admit that I'm this shallow today but my first thought was "Dang, we've seen this outfit too much." Then I realized where she was visiting and why. I've had a very long couple of days and I'm pretty much sure I'm not firing on all cylinders right now.

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  13. To echo what Jane has said...are we paying the slightest bit of attention to what Princess Anne is wearing and consequently to charities she supports? It is an undeniable fact that a beautiful royal like Kate is a magnet and fashion is a powerful tool to keep us all coming back for more...that in itself draws attention to her "causes" and all the more reason for her to learn how to wield that tool to perfection.

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    1. I don't think Anne's clothing is what keeps her from being popular. Catherine and Anne could exchange wardrobes ( the outfits fans approved) and Anne would still not attract
      as much interest as Kate. Now if they were to exchange demeanor, with Anne becoming outgoing, approachable, and warm- and Catherine assuming Anne's personna, given time, I predict
      Anne would draw crowds and interest in Kate would wane.
      Kate's clothing is icing on the cake.

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    2. I don't know if that is completely true Anon. Youth combined with fashionable clothes attract attention. That isn't to detract from Kate's charitable efforts (or to defend the viewpoint)  but unless we've been living under a rock, fair or not, we know all things being equal, older women get less attention than younger ones. I also am not so sure about the earlier comparison to HM or Camilla. I agree Kate is reported to love sailing and seems adventuresome, but I kind of doubt Kate will be doing this kind of thing when she's Camilla's age (68?) much less at 90 yrs old!

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    3. I understand the point Anon 6:46 is trying to make (I think!). :) It's about the whole package.

      Speaking for myself, clothes alone would not interest me if I thought someone was insincere, unkind (you get the idea...). I understand your point, Lizzie, about youth and clothes attracting attention, but if that was the extent of it, I would not spend my quality time following someone. I would be content to study a magazine cover for a couple of minutes while on line at the grocery store. :)

      And if Anne (sorry, but she is a good example), was to show up with a new hairdo and the latest runway gown, it would not change my opinion of the woman underneath it all.

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    4. It was a joke, lizzie. ...a horse drawing a catamaran?

      DR said Anne's clothes kept her charities from getting attention. She/he was trying to make the point that Kate should dress like her fans suggest in order to draw
      attention to her charities, I guess.I was responding to that statement.He/she did not mention age.
      However,Betty White is 90+ and still draws attention-with her fun,enthusiast demeamor, not just as an actress, but as an animal rights activist.
      A number of women in their 60's and beyond are charasmatic and appealing and draw attention to their projects. In fact, I can almost see Betty White on a catamaran.
      I can also see a very fit Kate at age 70 sailing away. How old is Carole?
      It's not a matter of age; it's a matter of health and fitness.

      I stand by my statements-except the horse/catamaran thing.But I still would worry
      about Leticia on a racing craft. And the huge jewel hanging from the mast-incentive?

      The Sophie/trousers thing. It has been pointed out previously that she only wore
      them to an active sports event. And Kate changed to slacks for the sailing.

      Does anybody else notice Catherine is not criticised for a lack of kindness, compassion, intelligence, enthusiasm, interest...? So go ahead and compare her
      clothing to a disgraced,dead pop singer's or to European royalty with 10+ more years of age and experience in totally different environments and cultures.
      Who's really going to come out smelling like an English rose?

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    5. I agree with you both, anon and lizzie. Anne has never been a warm and fuzzy person so, while she works very hard, she's so boring and uninteresting. I don't pay attention to Camilla because I don't like her. I do, however, love to see what HM is wearing. She chooses such vibrant, pretty colors. I love to see what huge brooch she's going to wear or how she has had her hat trimmed. Not that I would emulate her style (I mean, really, the handbag and the shoes . . . ) but I still like to see her cheerful face and those happy colors. On the other hand, Kate's youth and beauty combined with her clothing is a huge attraction.

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    6. PS-Ok. Eugenie is a lot younger than Kate. Put her in Leticia/Mary clothes and see how much publicity she draws for a charity. You said,"Youth combined with fashionable clothes attract attention." Admit it. For engagements that require
      interacting with the public, clothes aren't what draws the crowd and prompts enthusiastic praise from those personally involved .

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    7. Anon, I really do agree with you. Sophie also attracts more attention than Anne, may not be the same age, but does put a little more into clothing. I personally follow all the royals, maybe not as closely as Kate, but I enjoy what they are all doing and supporting.

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    8. 9:14, Betty White is a wonderful example. I love her! And speaking of Carole...she is older than I am, but I do like, and pay attention to, what she wears.

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    9. I understood the horse reference was in jest, Anon. But it did seem there were multiple comparisons being made between some of Kate's public activities this past yr (hiking, tennis lessons with the pro, sailing) and the engagements of older royals. Of course, older folks remain relevant (and HM has amazing energy for someone 90) but across-the-board, youth and fashion sell (that's everywhere, not particular to this blog.) For example, although there are exceptions (T. Turner, M. Streep) the vast majority of Vogue covers feature younger women. And across-the-board younger people are more likely to engage in more strenuous athletic activities. After all, Charles was quite the public athlete too in his youth and was considered "the world's most eligible bachelor" for years! http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/prince-charles-pictures_n_4274633.html


      As mentioned Carole (and Michael M too) may be quite athletic in their 60s but I can't say I recall seeing them do anything athletic...mostly I've just seen photos of arrivals at events or vacations. That doesn't mean they don't do those other things but they aren't particularly identified with them.


      Do I think Americans who follow Kate & Will (& Harry) are likely to donate to their UK charities? Absolutely not as it really would not make much sense to donate abroad to the kind of charities W&K&H represent. But because of the attention given to these charities, Americans may be more likely to donate to American charities that have similar aims...conservation, mental health, wounded soldiers etc. And isn't that the whole point? Surely their interest in these causes isn't limited only to within the UK's boundaries.


      And yeah, this outfit really does remind me of Michael Jackson!

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    10. Yes, royalfan 8:48 pm- -my point was it's not ALL about the clothes.
      I rest my case. ha!

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    11. A judge once told my husband: "You made your case, now sit down," he tended toward
      overkill- ha!
      BUT- Maya Angelou? Very stylish in her way-at least dramatic, but not on trend and
      has neither youth nor conventional beauty on her side-but what cause/charity would not do back flips to have her as spokes person?
      Her soul shines through.

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    12. But Maya A is dead so she's an unlikely spokesperson

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    13. It's the concept, lizzie.

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    14. I guess her soul will literally shine through now. Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln are dead, too. Their images still sell.

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  14. I have to say that I have never liked this outfit. The front of the skirt always reminds me of a bum flap that lets you go to the toilet. I don't think it does anything for her in the shape and fit of this outfit either. In some shots the top looks too big in the breast area. I would not be disappointed at all if this one ends up at the back of the wardrobe.

    I agree with other comments that a pair of smart tailored trousers would go such a long way at events such as these and would team up with this blouse far better than the skirt.

    KiwiNic

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  15. I've never been crazy about this outfit. It's way too fussy and military-looking for my tastes. It's certainly not something I personally would ever wear. On the other hand, I do like the tailored lines and I think it was appropriate for the event. And Kate's hair looks nice. So all in all, while this will never be one of my favorite looks and I wish Kate had recycled something else, I don’t really have strong feelings either way.

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  16. Huh. Funny how almost everyone here doesn't like this outfit. I will go ahead and be the dissenting voice because I loved it! It looks great on her and while a little on the nose, perfect for the occasion. From all 3 outings, I feel like she looked best in this one with her hair and her face. I also loved her in all her sailing gear. Looks like she really gets into it.

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    1. 7:04, make that two dissenting voices. :) I like the outfit and if it IS costumey, what better opportunity to have a bit of fun with it.

      I do believe the peplum blouse would work well with navy pants (perhaps even dressy capris), but after five years of following Kate (as a member of the RF), it shouldn't be too surprising that she wears skirts and dresses and saves pants for casual occasions.

      Also, if you look at the series of photos on Getty's site, you will see that people did not dress in sneakers and jeans to greet her. Had she dressed more casually, for example, she would be criticized for "not getting it" after five years of being a Duchess. :)

      Maybe it's my love of navy and all things nautical talking, but I thought she looked great!

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    2. The other complaint she avoids by wearing dresses and skirts is the irritating "look how skinny her legs are" comments that all end in the whole debate about her weight.

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    3. Add me to those who like this outfit. Yes I would like to see a different dress for these occasions, but she has a reason for choosing this and even though I do not know the reason I respect that. She looked great and represented the BRF and her charity well and that is most important.

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    4. I like this outfit too, although some variation in how it is styled would be nice. Generally, when she wears McQueen, it screams quality in fit and design execution

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  17. I thought she looked great. No problem with her wearing something in the same general way several times. Like her hair down with it. She does light up when being sporty, fun to see.

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  18. Jane, you must have been reading my mind as I was thinking that I would have rather seen her in the navy and white Jaeger which has, disappointingly, never had a repeat. It's one of my favorites! My second choice would have been a repeat of the McQueen sweater sailor dress. While this ensemble is nice, it's too unique to merit so many appearances because, as you said, it can't be changed up at all. So, she looked lovely but I'm all done with this outfit and now that it's had a threepeat, I hope it's retired.

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  19. I do love this outfit, but the more she wears it to military/nautical events, the more it seems a bit "on the nose" to me. I'm all for subtle nods to a cause or country or what-have-you, but it does get old getting beat over the head with theme.
    That said, I wish I still fit in outfits I wore 5 years ago! If I could, maybe I'd wear them any occasion that it seemed appropriate, and not care two figs about being too on theme.
    -TMM

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  20. Very diplomatically-worded critique, Robin 8:09-I like those other two dresses, too.
    I do think she looked appropriate and spiffy in this McQueen.

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  21. the duchess looking 100 percent in her outfit no matter how many times she wore it better

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  22. Love the outfit, she can wear it again and again. Also liked the sporting gear plus the sweater and jeans look post sailing.

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  23. Just watched a video on the ITV website about the visit and I think the most important thing to take away from this visit was how well she related to the children and all the others attending. To me this says it all! She truly is an asset to the BRF and the charities she represents.

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  24. I've missed your comments, Eva B.

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  25. Chiming in a tad late, as per usual, these days. I have never been particularly keen on this McQueen outfit, nor have I ever particularly disliked it. In short, its okay with me for Kate to wear it to this engagement--in fact, I think this was very appropriate, far more so than its original debut engagement, which left me puzzled.

    Like several posters, I would love to see Kate introduce tailored trousers as part of her official wardrobe. However, I think it unfair to compare Kate to Sophie Wessex. Hell will freeze over before Sophie becomes Queen of the UK; the same cannot be said of Kate, and I persist in believing, right or wrong, that protocol comes down particularly hard on Kate, for this very reason. Stupid, of course, but there you have it.

    Nor should Kate be compared to QUEEN Letizia, or to any other continental royal--they don't live under the thumb of two devoted Edwardians, namely, the Queen and Prince Charles. And don't forget that the Queen pays their rent and Charles pays for their office staff. It bears repeating that William, Kate and Harry have to please two extremely old-fashioned masters. Change has to await the death of the Queen--then, and only then, will we see what William and Kate truly are--William, as Duke of Cornwall, and in possession of a fortune, will be able to become captain of his own ship.

    What I loved about this outing was just how much Kate enjoyed herself. Think she loves sailing, the way the Queen loves horse racing, and do wish someone in the Royal family would gift her with the means to pursue this sport--Kate aint no trust fund baby, after all. And don't get me wrong; Kate seems to enjoy just about everything she does, but for some reason, this engagement seems to stick in the craw of many (thankfully, not here.)Just another case of duty vs pleasure; apparently, some Brits just can't handle it when a royal actually enjoys his/her duty. Guess they want to see her appear sour and dour, much as the Queen frequently has.

    Just loved this engagement, and think Kate is greatly indebted to both Sir Keith Mills and Sir Ben Ainslie, who probably made it happen. And if even half of Ben Ainslie's praise of Kate's sailing abilities is true, she would make a fine guest aboard when Land Rover BAR makes its bid for the Americas Cup.

    Its also great that the 1851 Trust is sponsoring kids less fortunate. (I almost added, like Kate, but thru a happy coincidence, her grandfather, Peter Middleton, taught her to sail.)

    Too bad that Kate came into the royal family under the current monarch. George V1 would've been far more sympathetic--he was a devotee of both tennis and yachting, neither of which interest his daughter.

    JC

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    1. JC, I truly appreciate someone else pointing out the big picture. (But I admit to thinking that you were referring to Charles and Camilla with your "devoted Edwardians" remark. :-) Wouldn't W&K *love* to be the free agents some people believe them to be.

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    2. So true, JC. There are those who don't stop to consider the role she and William have within The Firm. There are traditions and protocols they must follow and they are not in the place to change them. Interestingly, before Charles became such an old fuddy-duddy, he used to love sailing and could be found at Cowes every year. Kate seems to have embraced all of the traditions and restrictions in her life as a royal. I don't know why other people feel to need to be outraged for her when she clearly enjoys what she does.

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    3. Interestingly, Cowes was a kind of a royal tradition itself. It was the In place to be seen for the upper crust. It was a Victorian and Edwardian favorite.
      Edward VII, first as POW, visited there at the same time as a royal fovorite and her husband.
      Nothing really very daring for Charles, really. I imagine Charles may have done more actual sailng than the earlier POW, although...

      Good point about vicarious outrage, Robin. Also, I think, she loves her man and following
      the well-worn royal path is a way of keeping the peace in the family. Most of us probably do that from time-to-time.

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  26. Thank you, royalfan; it can be pretty cold out there, can't it? Re Camilla, just didn't think it was worth the time to bring her, and her nasty, manipulative nature into it. The less time spent on her, the better.

    Yes, I believe that W&K would love to be masters of their own fate, as royals--really don't know how they stand it, at present. They need relief--and the death or abdication of the Queen would be a perfect antidote, far better than my standard icebag, aspirin and a good stiff drink.

    And to think that just five years ago, I had no interest in Royals and knew very little about life at court! That gives me great cause for hope, royalfan, that there are others, like us, out there somewhere; we aren't alone.

    I keep reading--I do a lot of that--about Diana's legacy; most think it is her sons. I disagree. I think it was her exposure of the BRF and life at court; without Diana, I might still be stumbling in the dark. I didn't follow the BRF then, was no fan of Diana, but above all else I admire her guts for calling a shovel a spade; everything she said about the inner workings at court rings true to this day. She gave us a blueprint to guide us.

    JC

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    1. Come on JC! Let's not call for the death of The Queen. She's a fabulous women and I doubt she's keeping W&K from the full potential of their roles. The beauty of the royal family is that it is multigenerational and everybody has something unique to offer. It isn't all about William and Kate.

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    2. Yes, JC, it can be cold out there. It's a good thing I enjoy the cooler months of the year. :)

      IMO, the folks who are the most critical of W&K do not factor in the previous chapter of the BRF. People can cite references to Maxima, Mary, or Victoria until the cows come home, but the comparisons are unrealistic and irrelevant.

      No other royal family has the current scenario where the next in line is 67 years old and still waiting for the "top job", AND with two additional heirs in the wings. No other royal family was faced with the "three in the marriage" scenario, the jealousy/popularity issues of the 80's & 90's, or the marriage of the next in line to the woman who was the 3rd person in his first marriage.

      Kate's position cannot be compared to Maxima, Letizia, or Mary. Nor is it realistic to compare W&K to Anne or Sophie and Edward; their roles are as different as their appeal factor.

      Kate married into a family with its share of scars and issues. So yes, for now, W&K must play by the rules as defined by the Queen and Charles. It will be some time before they have the ability to do as they please.

      Regarding Diana's legacy, I do agree with your observation, but that was one part of it; the road map has two parts to it. Part two is her sons doing their best to live their lives according to the vision she had for the future of the Firm.

      I have said this before and I will continue to repeat it...there's a method to the madness.

      Faith, ironically, much of the criticism of W&K seems to suggest that it is just about them. (If that makes sense...)

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    3. Royalfan, just want to bounce an idea off you. To wit, don't you think that it would be both humane and wise for the Queen to abdicate soon? I mean, she's 90, she needs a break, for gawds sake! Also, she would still be in a position to intervene and smooth the way, if necessary, for King Charles--and the monarchy. (She aint no good dead, after all, since unlike Diana, she isn't about to leave a testament behind her.)

      JC

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    4. JC, that is quite a "bounce". Good thing I am keeping up with the Pilates. :)

      On a serious note, I believe arguments could be made for or against the idea. Yes, the Queen would be around to smooth the way, as you suggest, but by being around she would also serve as a vivid reminder of a monarch who put duty first vs. a son who did not.

      If we were talking in terms of Charles and Diana, and William and Kate in the wings, then absolutely. A win-win for all. But, IMO, the primary benefit of the Queen being active and in good health is that it keeps a controversial future Queen out of the "big house" for that much longer...

      But I do not see it happening, JC. I believe the Queen still carries the weight of the abdication crisis on her shoulders and she will never abandon her duty (HER perception of it, IMO).

      Bouncy enough for you? ;))

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    5. Quite bouncy...and thanks for replying. Been thinking a bit about this whole abdication issue lately, given the Netherlands, Spain--and one other European nation which I cannot recollect. And I can't help but think that the BRF lags very far behind some of their European neighbour monarchies.

      There has to be a retirement age, just for the sake of ...well, its the humane approach. Think 65-75 might be the ideal age.

      The BRF lives and believes as if society were still stuck in the 19th century--they have over 100 years to catch up, and they had better do it quickly, unless they want to see themselves written off as irrelevant.

      My POV.

      JC

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    6. JC, I would agree that the BRF is behind when compared to some of the other monarchies, but it's in the DNA, isn't it? When has change been welcomed with open arms? Consider some of the (current) Queen's role models, including her grandparents and the Queen Mother. From what I have read over the years, the QM almost reached backwards and embraced a somewhat "Edwardian" approach to royal life to please her royal mother-in-law as both women united against Edward and Wallis. This was the Queen's example and she was not one to upset the QM during her lifetime. Let's also consider the QM's influence on Charles, her favorite grandson... As I said, it's in the DNA. And this is one of the reasons I believe it's very unfair for criticism to be directed at W&K for not taking the reigns and acting like modern royal reality stars.

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    7. Royalfan, do not think its in the DNA; think that in the BRF its a clear case of badly mistaken nurture overpowering nature; you said it yourself when you pointed out that the Queen was too heavily influenced by her mother and grandparents (she should've listened to her husband who, in this department, was a far better judge and advisor--much more progressive--perhaps because he hadn't been raised as a royal) and that Charles had been too heavily influenced by the QM, a dinosaur, for sure. Thats why I don't expect much to change under his reign; I think most of the changes will be cosmetic altho some will be practical--for example, IMO the BRF can no longer afford to put cousins, aunts and uncles on the payroll--the British public simply wouldn't put up with the expense--nor can the Royal Family, itself. George V was the only monarch in 100 years who had the brass balls to act on that simple principle, when he got rid of a lot of hangers-on. Further, I understand that some realm countries want to rid themselves of the yolk of monarchy, cutting down on the need for official overseas travel, paid for now, as I understand the murky finances, by the monarch or the POW in conjunction with the realm countries. Do you really think the British public are eager to pick up the tab for travel to even more non-realm countries? I don't.

      If the monarchy survives Charles, William will have to make some hard choices, ones which may not endear him to the larger royal family or to the Establishment, in general. But, it might endear him to his subjects--now, I am aware that most modern-thinking Brits dislike being referred to as subjects, but they are--maybe, they should consider joining the organization known in the UK as the Republic if they want to become citizens? I dunno; not a Brit, but I am a member of a realm country, and pay out whenever Edward and Sophie--they abuse my country continuously, every time I turn around, one or the other, or both, are here. They are boring and useless, and few care.

      A recent Angus Reid poll taken in Canada showed the following results: pro monarchy, 42%; against, 38%, the rest were indifferent. The only numbers which surprised me were the low number who were indifferent, and the relatively high number of those against. Times have indeed changed, and if the monarchy doesn't get with it....

      JC

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    8. JC, I believe that Charles will make changes that will not impact his and Camilla's lifestyle in a negative manner. He doesn't always practice what he preaches; I do see him trimming the fat and making some changes, but I do believe that he and Camilla will enjoy every bit of the pomp and circumstance.

      When William has the keys to BP, I believe he will have the set to do what needs to be done, popular or not. My two cents... :)

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    9. Royalfan, nicely put, quite diplomatic. I take your comment to mean that Charles will, as ever, protect himself and the woman who became his second wife, and to hell with the future of the monarchy--just an extension of his selfish and spineless self. This is exactly what I fear--and, if I have mistaken your take, please correct me.

      If thats the case--I believe it--William is going to be forced to step up to the plate and start to make changes, once he becomes the Duke of Cornwall (automatic, thank god; theres no way Charles can block this, altho he can block William from becoming the Prince of Wales, a useless title--its becoming the Duke of Cornwall which counts, financially, and which will give him the power to go up against Charles).

      Which leaves just one question: Does William possess the insight and backbone to defy his father, his only living parent, a man who has manipulated him every-which-way-but-loose ever since his mother died? Thats a very hard thing to do, would take true courage, and love for Kate and his children's heritage--altho its quite possible that he might think that their best future would consist of being utterly free of monarchy, a stimulus in itself to institute change.

      Dunno; just call me perplexed.

      JC

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    10. JC, you have not mistaken my take on it; we are on the same page.

      And you bring up an interesting point... It's quite possible that Charles will be anxious to prevent William from becoming the Prince of Wales with the purpose of there not being another Princess of Wales (in his and Camilla's lifetime) because of the association with Diana.

      Finally, yes, I do believe William will be a good king. Despite the fact that his hands are somewhat tied at this point, he has managed to achieve a healthy balance between duty, tradition, and a healthy approach to family life. His choices, IMO, are part of Diana's legacy.

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  27. Just in passing, thought she looked great in the helmet, a very difficult thing to wear.

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  28. Agreed, Jane from Lancs! Have never really understood the first thing about headgear, let alone helmets, but Kate looked great in this one, didn't she?

    JC

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    1. Ladies, the fact that Kate is like a fish IN water when it comes to sports has a lot to do with it. She's in her element vs. a woman who would have "OMG...what is this doing to my hair!?" written all over her face. ;)

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  29. I've always wondered how Kate determines the timing of the styles she re-wears. Perhaps it's just the occasion, but I have to believe that spacing an outfit out is a factor. If it is not, it should be! Some of the pieces she recycles are so recognizeable (such as this McQueen look) that a few years in between would help.

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