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Royals Launch Heads Together at Olympic Park

Monday, May 16, 2016

If yesterday was a bit of an uncharacteristic miss for Kate in the fashion department, the Duchess delighted me this morning when she joined William and Harry at Olympic Park to launch their new mental health initiative Heads Together in a winning blouse and skirt combo.

This is the official launch of the project the royal trio announced via a YouTube video earlier this spring, and it is exciting to think these three will be combining their considerable energy and star power over the coming year in a number of engagements that will push the program forward:

Various charities involved with the Heads Together campaign gathered this morning at Olympic Park to present their individual programs with which they will be contributing to the effort to encourage those battling mental health problems. One program featured boxercise as an outlet and a therapy.

Kate put on a pair of gloves and took a few swings. The instructor commented that she seemed to take to it "like a duck to water" and half joked that it seemed as if it were not her first time. This makes me think that Kate has likely indulged in boxing as an exercise supplement, which has been a very popular trend among women for some time now.  

While writing for The Telegraph, Pippa Middleton tried out boxing for exercise. Among other reflections she pointed out:
One of the biggest pluses of boxing for women – given a tremendous boost by Nicola Adams’s Olympic gold last year – is undoubtedly the prospect of a better body and the chance to crunch up to 600 calories an hour toning up arms, bums and tums, and banishing bingo wings, back fat and booze blubber.
I think it is very likely that given its popularity and Pippa's glowing review, Kate has indeed had some prior experience. 

The royal trio each shared for a "What Makes You Happy" project with Kate writing "a walk," Harry noting "making people smile," and William very tellingly choosing "my children."

A number of charities with which the Cambrigdges have already worked in the run-up to this launch were present, including Place2Be, one of Kate's chief patronages:

And Mind, a group the Duke and Duchess just started appearing with in the fall of last year, first on World Mental Health Day and then again while on their Away-Day in North Wales.

The young royals gave a joint address of sorts, with each taking a moment to make a few brief comments.

It was a day full of fun and a few surprises. Kate asked the DJ at one booth to play her favorite tune, which turned out to be Heaven by Emeli Sandé. Regrettably, I am stuck in an airplane at 35,000 feet or so right now and I don't have my earbuds, so I can't weigh in just yet on the song. The Wiki page says there are similarities between Sandé and Leona Lewis, and I am certainly a Leona Lewis fan. I also think it is interesting that Sandé's record label is Virgin, founded by Richard Branson, with whom Kate is quite chummy. I am looking forward to listening to the song, but in the meantime, tell me what you think!

Rebecca English Twitter (RE_DailyMail)

Kate's ensemble today was in keeping with a style she has been heavily favoring since Charlotte's birth. An airy, light blouse and a structured skirt look professional but also more relaxed than most of the dresses she also loves. This "Binky" blouse from Goat fits right into her style profile. The graceful sleeves and gathered shoulders give this simple top a decidedly feminine twist.

Kate's skirt is from Banana Republic! The Duchess has worn pieces from Gap and she has been spotted shopping at Banana Republic, so we know she has the brand in her closet, but this is a label debut for her, since we have never confirmed her wearing a piece from BR in public. I was particularly delighted when I saw the skirt this morning, because I actually already own it!

I tried this "Geo" skirt on several months ago, but resisted buying it because of my already expansive collection of clothes. When I bumped into it again just a month ago on the sale rack I couldn't resist. I wore it to a law school barbecue with a deep purple tank. Now Kate has worn it, I am doubly thrilled that I gave in and purchased it! The jacquard fabric is as structured as it looks and provides a very flattering a-line silhouette, plus I love the long box pleat which Kate also favors in skirts.

Kate completed the look with old favorites: her blue Muse "Frome" clutch from LK Bennett (thank you Alejandra!), sapphire and diamond drops, the Cartier watch, and her Malory pumps from Rupert Sanderson. This was a resounding win in my book. I am enjoying the skirt/blouse combos and these two pieces were lovely together. Goat has become such a favorite label in my book and Kate's choices from them run from strength to strength.

My apologies for the late post. Blogger has been quite a battle today. Before I sign off, however, the folks at French Connection/Great Plains got in touch with me last week to share the exciting news that they have re-released Kate's favorite Great Plains Cézanne dress in a fresh print! Kate first wore the Cézanne dress in March of 2013 while pregnant with George. The Duchess was in Grimsby and the pleated dress in deep reds and browns was peaking out from underneath her Celeste Hobbs coat.

She really loved the dress, because she debuted the same piece in a new colorway at Christmas when she wore the Pine Needle green version under her SportMax coat. On both occasion the dress was the perfect complement to her coats. 

Now, the company has debuted the dress in a new print. The dress is the same in every other respect.  It features the same round neckline, sleeves, pleated skirt, and belted waist.

The new ebony and navy print is very in keeping with Kate's style. It reminds me of her penchant for animal prints and geo dots, most recently displayed in her LK Bennett midi dresses. This limited release is a fantastic re-imaging for Kate fans. It is available at Great Plains for £75. 

See you in a few days for Kate's appearance on behalf of the 1851 Trust!


  1. Love both skirt and blouse! The Duchess looks perfect and radiant!! She looks so comfortable and happy��

  2. The green plains dress was actually not debuted this christmas but was worn once before. I think it was at the football event Kate stepped in for William on when he went to his former nannys funeral.

    1. Hmmm, could you be more specific. When William attended Olga Powell's funeral Kate appeared solo in Newcastle wearing a different dress. Maybe you are thinking of the St. George's Park appearance? The Great Plains in pine would have been perfect with that coat, but I haven't seen a picture that gives a good enough look to positively confirm. (If you have one, definitely send it over! :)) That being said, I think it is a good bet that it was the dress, but I need a better photo to confirm.

  3. I love how both William and Harry echo the blues in Kate's Banana Republic skirt, which echos the Head's Together logo...Fabulous!

  4. I like Kate in separates for less formal events  vs dresses that can look "juvenile" when they are short-waisted. So I generally like this look. The blouse is nice--not super-frilly or super-interesting but still pretty. I wonder if we'll ever see it again? (Seems Kate has worn several different higher-end cream/white blouses in the past year. Those are the sort of thing I think most women re-wear vs buying new ones.) The retro print skirt isn't to my personal taste (I experienced the 1970s so don't need a rewind!) but it's nice too. I think the style of blouse and skirt go together (the blouse would also go with a pencil skirt IMO) but I think a dark belt would help balance the look (and if slightly wide would visually raise her waist a little if she's worried about that as has been reported.) Kate often adds belts to coats when I wouldn't but seems to skip them with skirts where they seem more natural at least to me. I think too the separation of a belt would help because the blouse seems more of a "creamy" white color and the skirt has so much "pure" white in it. 

    It does seem Kate has adopted the midi length for all her new clothes this spring...not sure I'm liking that as a constant but it has been nice as a change of pace.

    1. I experienced the 70s too, lizzie, but I don't remember wearing a lot of geometric shapes. Lots of stripes, florals, and mini skirts. I remember mostly that trying to find something that was not brown was a challenge. Everything was brown. Didn't like it then, don't like it now. The first thing I did when my husband and I got married was replace his brown suits with navy and charcoal. He's never had a brown suit, shirt, or pair of pants since.

    2. Lizzie, I agree with you about the separation a belt would offer. I could see a wide blue suede belt, or a long necklace? Blue lapis, perhaps?

    3. You are right Robin about the 1970s colors..brown WAS big along with other "earth" colors like orange and gold. But geometrics were images for  "1970s geometric fabric" and I'll bet you'll remember the look. Those patterns aren't that much like this skirt but I just got enough of large geometric prints back then.

      And royalfan great suggestion about the long lapis necklace and blue suede for the belt.

    4. lizzie, I did the Google search and, oh my, how hideous. I must have blocked it out because I know I didn't wear it! Maybe it wasn't big here in my area or maybe it was too brown. Oh, those "earth tones" of the day. Clothing, decor, avocado green kitchen appliances . . . at least we had good music - until disco that is!

      royalfan, love the suggestion of the lapis! I've had my eye on a lapis and pearl necklace for some time but haven't decided to pull the financial trigger. No problem for Kate and it would look fabulous with this ensemble!

    5. Well, Lizzie, I agree with much you said above, but disagree with a few points you raised, importantly, the belt thing. Bluntly put, Kate has worn enuf belts to last me two lifetimes, nor do I think one was necessary here to separate the blouse and the skirt, both of which I loved and I loved them together, just as she showcased it. The simplicity is stunning.

      A necklace, royalfan, would only have been necessary if Kate had chosen to style her hair differently, IMO. If she had selected to wear it in a ponytail, for example, then YES.

      I loved everything about this look--with, if I am going to be completely honest, the exception of the sapphire earrings, which I have never appreciated. Think they might look great as studs, but in all pics I have seen--of close-ups--I would appear that they hang from a small pink diamond, not a matching white. ( I, perhaps erroneously, have therefore concluded that they came straight out of the Queens vault--they are both old-fashioned and rendered tasteless by that pink diamond.) Take note, royalfan, that I have begun to reconcile myself to Kate's engagement ring, altho I still would've preferred it if she had been given this to wear as a dinner ring and if her engagement ring had been new and made of platinum and white diamond--goes with everything, and if her wedding ring had been made to match, NOT Welsh yellow gold ( fine for the Queen Mother, who started this trend, back in the days when yellow gold was the trend, and whose engagement ring might well have been set in yellow gold--but not now; just plain tasteless to mismatch the metal used in an engagement and wedding ring.)

      Overall, tho, methinks that Kate has coped wonderfully well with the lack of taste the Windsors exhibit, in general, and in particular, when it comes to jewellery. ( The Queens clothing, since Angela, is a remarkable exception--hope the Queen has suitably thanked her in-house couturier; imagine how hard it must be to dress a short, 90-year-old whose posture has seen better days.)

      Re Kate, and her latest outfit, a serious two thumbs up--and I hope that she may have chosen another one or two skirts by the same brand, which I have seen--and coloured blouses to match. Yummy!



    6. Hi JC...I agree that Kate has sometimes overdone belts. I'm with you on that! But for me there is a difference between adding a belt to a coat not designed to have one (especially when adding one at the "empire waist" level) and wearing one with a skirt and a tucked-in blouse. Also, in addition to my desire for "separation" while I don't think Kate's longer waist is a negative to be disguised with short-waisted dresses (perhaps I think that because I am long-waisted myself!) in some pics this skirt seems to sit slightly BELOW Kate's waist. A belt and maybe a tuck in the waistband could help hit her actual waist. But I get your point about belts in general.

      I'd still like a necklace here but see your point. To me though, just the "dainty" earrings (any dainty earrings) aren't enough with the strong visuals of the skirt and I loved royalfan's idea. I had wondered too before royalfan said that whether the "Bollywood" lapis earrings from the tour would have worked with this outfit. Maybe too dramatic for a "daytime-Kate" though.

      I see what you are saying about the rings. I like the "romance" of Welsh gold though. I did wonder about Diana's ring as an engagement ring but not so much for the reasons you mention. But if not given then (publicly so to speak so Will could say what he did about it) and it had just later appeared on Kate's finger as a dinner ring..not so sure how that would have worked re: the intrusive public and press (and maybe even Harry since he inherited it). I'm not saying its anyone's business but the realit is it woukd likely have been an unwanted hassle if given later. IMO and only mine, better it had been had kept with faith either Will or Harry would have a daughter as Will did and it could have been gifted to her.

    7. JC, I honestly cannot imagine Diana's ring being demoted to a cocktail ring for Kate to wear once in a blue moon. I believe I am as happy that it's her engagement ring as you are unimpressed with the idea. :)

      The sapphire earrings are sweet, but this skirt overpowered them. The color may work, but that's about it. And I do agree with you, Lizzie, that the lapis earrings are not Kate's style for a daytime look. Maxima...yes! :)

    8. Diana's ring should definitely not have been worn as a cocktail ring. I am guessing that William and Kate talked about a new ring vs. Diana's ring. The exact time of the proposal may have been a surprise for Kate but the fact of it was most certainly not. I think her wearing Diana's ring was as much her decision as Williams. Along with lizzie, I love the romance of the Welsh gold and, quite honestly, mixing gold and silver is quite the thing these days.

      The earrings were Diana's but they were studs that Kate has had reworked to be drops. The diamond has never seemed pink to me and in close-ups they are definitely not. Must be the way the light hits them sometimes.

    9. royalfan- the sapphire earrings seem to be her go-to daytime and blue choice.

      The ring-technically, JC has a point about the matching angle. I also see royalfan's
      point and lizzie's about the iconic nature of the ring. By the way, I thought
      it was established that the story of the ring's being left to Harry was not accurate?

      The following remarks are not a response to anyone in particular:

      I also think the sapphire earrings have sentimental meaning for Catherine and perhaps William.
      When something about her attire doesn't make fashion sense, it most likely makes
      Kate sense. This is part of what makes her so relatable to those she visits.
      I prefer a few Kate choices to having a cookie-cutter,always perfect image who
      people can admire from afar, but would not choose to share the most private,
      sometimes shameful-seeming parts of their lives.

      We smile and sigh and shrug when Maxima wears dayglow orange, but can't seem to
      grant Kate the same acceptance.If we're going to hold Mary and Leticia up as
      examples of perfection, we should be willing to hold Maxima up as a delightful example
      of capricious imperfection.

    10. Robin, I firmly believe that W&K discussed marriage and it was a question of when rather than if long before it was official. However, do you really believe they discussed the engagement ring itself? IMO, that was half the OMG-factor of the announcement. I was thrilled to hear the news, but I think I jumped twice as high when I saw Diana's ring on Kate's finger. (JC, if I am causing a headache, I do have meds on hand and will be happy to share if asked...) :)

      Anon 2:13, they ARE her blue go-to earrings. And I agree with the acceptance where Maxima (etc) is concerned, and the denial of it in Kate's case. There's a great deal of irony in some of the criticism directed at Kate.

    11. I love her earrings. I also agree that "that ring" could never become a cocktail ring, it would have been retired to the vault or worn as Catherine does. I love the mixed metals and I would love to have my wedding band come from that historical gold. Catherine is wearing so much history on that one finger, I love it. ali

    12. royalfan, I do think they discussed the ring - although that is, of course, speculation - but most couples do these days. With a ring as iconic as Diana's I think William would not have just assumed, without at least feeling Kate out on the matter, that she would want to wear it. It was certainly a wonderful surprise to the rest of us and I was so excited! (Sorry, JC.)

      anon 2:13, I also thought the rumor of the ring being left to Harry had been laid to rest. I also agree with you that sometimes the quirkiness of what Kate wears is part of what is endearing about her. If she were fashion model perfect all the time she would be boring. Seeing family sentimentality in her choices and the thoughtful respect she puts into wearing something that goes with the visit is what I enjoy about her. Sometimes I don't love all the parts together but she rarely has a "What were you thinking?" moment. Too bad the same cannot be said for the York girls...

    13. Robin 12:15- the hats at the wedding? I do recall Beatrice looking lovely in a
      white dress some months back. Pink shoes?
      Sometimes I wonder if they are well-aware of their image and also what is fashionable (how could they not be, given the jet-set they travel in?)- perhaps they just don't
      think they need to dress to impress or they may just be more or less thumbing their
      noses at the fashion-followers.

    14. royalfan 8:31- sometimes I wonder if the critics are even aware how some of their complaints sound to others.I'm talking about the hard-core, she can't do anything
      right ones, not those who dislike a particular shoe or hat etc.
      In their efforts to justify their criticism all logic and cohesiveness is cast aside. The irony,for me, comes when these same critics who give Kate no honest attempt at understanding , are so quick to react to a hint of criticism toward them and also
      to respond with compassion for some fellow commenters.

      anon 12:07- yes, ALOT of history on that finger. That reminds me of the image of
      Catherine on her father's arm in front of the door of the Abbey-what an awe-full moment for him-the history that now encompassed his entire family. Also, as he was relinquishing his daughter to the future king
      at the alter, his expression to me said, "What am I doing? I hope it is the right thing." I guess all fathers do that.

    15. Oh, anon, those wedding hats! Thankfully, nothing could take the attention away from how radiant and beautiful the bride was that day but, honestly, it looked like an attempt at an attention grab to me. I think they think they are fashion forward. But, there's fashion forward and then there is knowing when to put on the breaks!

      I never thought about the aspect of Kate's dad giving his daughter to the "future king" because they had been William and Kate for so long. What a daunting thought for a father. Also, to be married where generations of royals have been married, where monarchs have their coronations, and replacing the sad event of Diana's funeral with a happy event for her son . . . that's a lot to take in at that moment. They've gone from being the Middletons of Bucklebury to the history books and they've done it with class and style.

    16. agree,Robin.
      I hope he wasn't thinking of what happened to Diana.It's not always happily ever after.
      He just seemed to have so much respect for the Queen- I'm thinking of him singing
      "God Save the Queen." The expression on his face. He seems like such a lovely man.

    17. Robin, I think you're correct about the ring. William has been very protective of Kate and he would not have given it to her unless she was prepared and willing to take it on.

      I also share your thoughts on Michael Middleton's role on the day of the wedding. My busy brain kept jumping back and forth between what Kate must have been feeling and what was going through her father's mind as they headed to Westminster Abbey, and every step they took on the red carpet. Wow! Just wow!

      Regarding the York girls, well, they inherited their mother's taste. They get it right once in a while but, more often than not, the concept of less is more is lost on them. And I'm sorry, but Bea's hat at W&K's wedding could not have been a more obvious attempt at claiming the spotlight. I think the very thought of the wedding, and what was/is to follow, had their knickers in a twist. If I am not mistaken, Sarah even stated something along the lines of "that was ME 25 years ago". She has done enough public reminiscing to last a lifetime and this was not the time to do more of it. If Diana was such a dear friend, for goodness sake allow the younger generation their moment.

      Anon 9:58, in a word...exactly! :)

    18. Yes, royalfan, I fear you are right. Poor Sarah, in a sartorial sense, she really has had a "right on target" or "absolutely huge miss" career. I met her once (6 degrees of separation is true!) and she was lovely, down to earth, and friendly. She was also dressed impeccably that day in a very smart suit. I think she and Andrew really were a love match but she was not cut out for the royal life - especially with a husband away on military duty for so much of their early married life. As we know, the BRF were not nearly as welcoming or helpful to a new wife back in those days and she did not have the aristocratic upbringing Diana had to keep calm and carry on. Then she kept making one horrific decision after another and even destroyed her friendship with Diana. She and Andrew have remained close but she has been shut out of the rest of the family. I've felt sorry for her in the past as she has struggled to maintain the lifestyle she had as HRH (with all of the money woes that followed), but when she was "caught on tape", as they say, selling access to Andrew to the highest bidder my sympathy for her flew away. Not that he is any great paragon of virtue but you would think she would consider her daughters and their role within the family.

      As for Beatrice, she may have been trying to grab some limelight during the wedding but she didn't count on Pippa and her well-shaped behind in that perfectly fitting dress to grab the "second-in-line-to-the-bride" headline. Instead Bea looked pathetic and was mockery was her press coverage.

    19. Robin, you may not wish to answer and I will understand, but I am curious about when you had the opportunity to meet Sarah...

      I do agree that there have been times when she looked very nice but, like her daughters, she doesn't always consider what is flattering for HER. And yes, I believe A&S were a love match, but she was/is a rough gem and a royal life was not a good fit for her.

      On a humorous note, how true about Pippa! The simplest dress trumped the fussiest hat. ;)

  5. Alejandra RamírezMay 16, 2016 at 7:51 PM

    I really liked the separates outfit!
    I'm really liking the blouse and skirt combos she has been wearing lately.
    Great initiative and great trio!
    Thanks for your views, they are spot on! :)

  6. Eh, not really a win for me.

    Love the blouse, but find the skirt a bit overwhelming/wide for her slender frame. I think it should have been belted so it sat slightly higher. It's at a bit of a weird place for me - lower than her natural waist but higher than her hips. I'm still curious if she's pregnant again. She seems a bit thicker in the middle than usual (not saying fat, she's definitely not that - she just looked very thin in India).

    Anyone else wonder why she always leaves out the "n" when she signs her name?...

    1. Sometimes signatures are more stylized than precisely writing each letter. When I sign my name quickly the "i" is usually just a squiggle blending with the "n" with a dot. I learned from a writer friend who signs books that you never use the same signature in public you would use on legal documents so people can't forge your name. Maybe this is her public signature.

    2. I don't think that Kate's HG will improve for subsequent pregnancies, so I think we will know very quickly when Kate gets pregnant again. Poor girl. :(

  7. First up I'm going to comment on Harry's style - I'm loving the blue sole shoes! Very trendy and youthful.

    It seems Kate is consistently lengthening her hem lines, even thought she is still ultra trim & fit with great legs. I frequent BR because it's an affordable way to get trendier pieces - I don't recall seeing this skirt, but sometimes Canadian stock is different. Fun to see her debuting her a brand we know she's been purchasing for years.

    ~ A

    1. I actually don't remember seeing it in the regular priced merchandise, either, it suddenly appeared in sale one day, but I know they had a range in this print, including trousers.

  8. I loved today's look! The fabric of this skirt is wonderful and the blouse gives it just the right amount of femininity to offset the bold print. That must have been a moment of excitement, Jane, when you tuned in for the day's events and saw something from your own closet! Loved the earrings she wore as well and, surprisingly, I loved the suede shoes today as the weight of the skirt paired well with them.

    Speaking of fashion, did you all notice Harry's shoes? Quite the trend setter himself! William must have not gotten the Blue Suede Shoes memo.

    I hope you're traveling somewhere fantastically fun, Jane! Safe trip!

    1. I loved Harry's shoes! If it were closer to Christmas I'd look into them for my trendy brother.

  9. And she is back! I love this...the skirt is young, fresh and very much springish. I love it. And a very worthwhile cause!!
    I am just going to erase last night from my memory!

  10. Thank you for all the work you put into these posts. I know to head to this blog on the days Kate has an engagement! I rarely post but do want to say the blog is very much enjoyed! I have decided that Kate could wear a potato sack and I would probably approve. She looked very nice today and I love the new blouse! Very classy!

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your sweet comment!

  11. Sara from CanadaMay 16, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    Jane, I cannot tell you how much I would love to see a pic of you in the same skirt! Please post one for us:) I own a couple of Kate pieces, but my purchases are post her purchases. . .never before. Kudos to you! :)

    1. I'm sure we'd all love to see a pic of Jane in the skirt!

    2. Hey Jane I forgot to write my name at the end of the comment (the one about shoes and my 3 favourite Kate outfits) . Its Soha . If you could be so kind as to please add it at the end

    3. I will try to oblige on a picture! :)

      Soha, unfortunately, I can't edit comments on Blogger the way you can edit them on other platforms, so I can't add your name! Sorry, I wish I could.

  12. I love the skirt(so cool that you already have it Jane!) Am I the only one who wishes Kate take more risks when it comes to shoes? I would really love to see those strappy L.K. Bennett heels from the polo match. And regarding yesterday's outfit, I admit I was confused at first and not in love with it but I prefer it when she surprises us rather than sticking to her usual style. And will we see the half-up half-down style again ?
    And I've spent a long time thinking about what my top 3 Kate outfits are and I think they are Jenny Packham from the Olympic gala 2.the Fold dress at HMP 3.Amanda Wakeley Bullet dress. I also particularly love three red outfits- the one she wore in Calgary, the McQueen from the Jubilee celebrations and the Catherine Walker for her arrival in New Zealand!

    1. I love all your top choices. I also loved that Fold dress a lot and am hoping we see her wear the label again. I think she will because the styles are right up Kate's alley.

    2. I forgot about The Fold dress but it's definitely one I hope she repeats. It's a great style for her!

  13. Phew a lovely comeback - fresh, elegant and modern - quintessential Kate - really a relief after yesterday's disaster - her hair looks great again and I notice it's getting long again which is really the best look on her - very nice overall !

  14. Great look for all three!

  15. An interesting engagement.Looking forward to seeing the rest of their engagements concerning this important initiative.I really hope that their involvement changes the conversation about mental health.
    Now on to fashion.Love the skirt.I have read some articles about Catherine being spotted at Banana Republic,but this is the first time I believe that we have seen her in a piece by the brand.The blouse pairs well with it,but for me the blouse is not particularly flattering on the Duchess due to the sleeves.She can't pull off this particular type of sleeve.(I'm figuratively speaking of course :-)

  16. I like this outfit. I like the textured material and colorful geometric print of the skirt, and that she is wearing separates. It is a nice change from her usual choices. The top is elegant and lends a feminine aspect to the boldness of the skirt. Very nice!

  17. I have a theory about Kate’s apparent inconsistency in her wardrobe choices these days. In her early days as a Royal (years 1 and 2), she was learning the ropes and coming to terms with her new role. I don’t believe that Kate has ever been a serious clothes horse, but every woman loves to feel beautiful and to wear beautiful things. Part of Kate’s Royal education was what she wore, how she wore it and so on. She had the time to spend sorting through it all and making choices about what to wear for every occasion. She learned well and that’s why so many of us harken back to those early days and long to see her dress like that again.
    Then the children came along and I firmly believe Kate just doesn’t have the same commitment to her clothing choices these days. And I think that’s an entirely normal thing. She has two children to care for, two homes to run, and she is still learning her craft. But now, she is more focused on her good works and despite those who think she isn’t doing enough, I believe she is doing a lot more than we give her credit for. What she is doing may not be apparent to us every day, but it is obvious that much has been going on behind the scenes given the Heads Together campaign and so on. I really believe that William Harry and Kate have or are developing a long term plan and have every intention of implementing it going forward.
    So these days, Kate dresses appropriate for the event and most of the time gets it dead on right, but occasionally misses. Sounds like everywoman to me. And before you say that she’s royal and therefore should be above “everywoman”, I say rubbish. She is going through motherhood stage and at the moment I’m fairly sure that dressing is a chore for her and not a particularly important part of her life. Add to that her “nightmare hair” as William calls it, and all of the time she must spend dealing with that and I’m sure she puts about as much time as she can into dealing with her public image. It will come back. Look at Mary of Denmark and Letzia and other great examples. They are 10 years ahead of Kate’s game and she is following down the same path.
    For me, that simply means there are years and years to go in the Kate watching game and I’m really looking forward to it.
    P.S. I liked the Heads Together outfit. She wasn’t overdressed or underdressed. She looked professional, comfortable and well put together. That’s her job and she did it very well for this event. I agree with others – her best accessories for this event were her husband and her brother-in-law.

    1. I think you might be correct. When I was a new mom, I threw myself together and as long as it was clean, fit well and was presentable, I didn't care. My younger self would have been horrified but, I think, it happens to most of us as priorities shift.

    2. I agree with that theory Jane in Canada with one additional point. In fall 2014 it was widely reported that PA Natasha Archer had also become Kate's "stylist." It was further reported she shopped online for her and had lots of higher-end clothes sent out on approval. (It was reported several places she persuaded Kate to wear the hi-lo hemlines, for example.) So if those reports are true, as Kate got more involved in childcare she delegated some fashion choices. I don't doubt NA is a nice person, means well and may have great taste but in 2014 she was 27 yrs old with a college degree in "Hispanic Studies" (with no experience as a stylist except that Kate was reported to like what NA wore.) So there likely were changes in priorities but also NA's involvement may explain why it sometimes looks like outfits were chosen "by committee" because they were!

    3. Good point with the NA aspect of the whole thing. One other thing I think has happened is that, as Kate has carried out more and more engagements - and most of her focus is on children - she has realized the flexibility of a longer, fuller skirt. No photographers with their cameras focused where they shouldn't be while she is stooping down to visit face to face with the little ones. Always best not to give them fuel for the fire. She's a smart cookie!

    4. I agree Robin longer skirts (or a sleek pr of dress pants but that seems a forlorn hope) are much more practical for events with children. But even for many adults-only events, slightly longer may be better-- although based on previous comments here and elsewhere some folks may consider anything that's not a few inches above the knee to be automatically "too old" for a 34 yr old. But some photos of Kate seated look like she is trying to tug down her hem and/or trying to cover the space between her skirt hem and her knees with her tiny clutch purse--not really a good look either way and can't be comfortable for her. Some photos were likely "gotcha shots" but I don't think that many were when photographing a group of seated people..for most of us, two-three inches above the knee in a fitted skirt easily becomes four-six inches above when seated. All that said, it seems the adoption of true midi-skirts began with the reception before the India tour. I am not sure midis are always needed to obtain that practicality although I haven't minded the ones she's worn so far. (Well, more accurately, the longer dresses/skirts I didn't like weren't disliked because of their longer length.)

    5. The shorter skirts are definitely an issue when sitting down and, you're right, sometimes she looks uncomfortable. I don't think the midi length is too old for her at all but I know there are some who do. Along with you I tend to like or dislike a dress because of something other than the length. Weird pocket flaps are my biggest pet peeve. They are why I don't care for the white Emilia Wickstead, the blue double breasted coat, the blue maternity coat, and most of all that blue McQueen that she's worn multiple times. Hmm...I see a pattern of blue with ugly pocket flaps. What a strange coincidence! :-)

    6. Jane 9:20- Well said. Showing compassion and understanding enriches both the giver and receiver. I don't recall an income limit on the golden rule.

      To be a true "fashionista" requires full-time dedication and a lot of self-involvement. As Jane said-she has evolved;she has priorities beyond looking fashionable
      for the camera. I just hope the fans and the people who base their income on
      her image can also adapt and accept her evolution.

    7. anon 5:05
      Could not agree more with your statements above.

  18. Love this outfit, but more I love what the three of them are doing. They have managed to draw attention to a health problem too long ignored and they have managed to do it without seeming to enter into politics.
    The Prime Minister put out a statement yesterday in support of what they are doing and more important, promising cash for mental health.
    I suppose what she wears is important, as it assures her photo, and consequently publicity for her cause, on the front page of most of the daily papers.
    As an oldie, I am very proud of these young royals.

    1. And definitely not improperly placed pride, Jean. They are truly doing good things that will have an impact on people's lives in an important way. I know Prince Charles has some programs that help people get jobs but he seems to focus more on his environmental causes. I think people want to know he cares about them first and organic gardening second. William, Kate, and Harry have no such conflicts. Their focus is on helping people to be the best they can be and they are doing it brilliantly!

    2. Hear hear Jean!
      I love that's they are supporting mental health issues and breaking down the social stigma associated with it.
      Good on them!

  19. Regarding Natasha Archer- the latest information I can find is from Nov.-Dec. ,2014.
    On the internet it appears that multiple sources have independently written about her.
    Closer examination reveals that they were all likely traced to an article on an online
    site that lists the author as "contributor, who cites a "source." Each story used the same information to the
    point of using identical phrases and sentences. She is described as a "helper"and "dresser"
    and "KP PA. She ordered and picked up clothing, but it was clearly stated that the "final
    choice was Kate's." Does not sound like a professional stylist to me. The DM noted that
    she had studied Hispanic Studies.,with no mention of a degree.

    She deserves neither the blame nor the credit for Kate's fashion decisions,as far as I can
    discover. I realise Natasha Archer,stylist, is a popular concept on some sites, but
    is probably wishful thinking on her part.

    1. Admittedly Anon we don't absolutely know NA's role except to know for sure she is still Kate's PA. If she had been the source of those 2014 stories as I think you are implying in your comment (2014 stories which resurfaced this year) I sort of wonder why she'd be still in such a position of trust.

    2. It has always been my belief that Natasha takes care of Kate's clothes which is not the same as choosing, buying, and putting outfits together.

    3. You're right, lizzie. It does appear I'm implicating Natasha, which is an unfair
      conclusion without proof. I meant to point out that the stories appeared baseless
      and unsubstantiated and that a story of whatever factual basis can be picked up
      and spread around the internet, with no source apparently checking the authenticity.

      It amazes me that this process goes on unchecked on a daily basis and that people
      are forming opinions and spreading gossip as a means of entertainment.

      How could such a story about someone telling Kate what choices to make on a sort
      of unofficial basis hurt Catherine? -if it is added to other similar subtle
      underminings of her image of competency. It is one thing to have a recognised,
      properly-trained stylist and quite another to not only accept advice from an
      assistant, but also to wear an inappropriate outfit on that person's advice.
      How does that make Catherine look? Inept and indecisive-exactly the image that
      has been the mantra of some critics.If Catherine donned a mis-matched coat, it was
      likely because it was cold, the wrap she had in hand was not warm, and the coat was
      available. That image gives the impression of someone whose focus was not on herself
      not someone who deliberately wore the outfit on an assistant's advice.

      It is hurtful and harmful. I don't think any one of us would like unfair representations to be spread around. The Golden Rule is the line between civilisation
      and barbarism.

  20. I simply LOVE this blouse. Looks perfect on the Duchess. Wish I had one myself.

  21. Speaking of Kate stylists...The London Standard has an interview of Lucinda Chambers, Vogue
    stylist for the country shoot. We have a reliable site, a reputable authority with
    direct quotes.
    The stylist is known for eclectic choices, such as evening gowns with Wellies.
    Ms. Chambers states that she chose the wardrobe, guided by knowledge of what is comfortable
    for her subject. Her assessment of the Duchess's poise and competence was clear. This
    long-time Vogue employee and fashion editor is not known for doing and saying the expected.
    She doesn't impress me as someone who would give a quote she doesn't believe in.

    Her favorable assessment of Catherine's demeanor was no surprise to me, but still good to read.

    1. Thanks for the info Anon 9:59. I found the article and agree with you totally. Lucinda seems to have been really impressed with the Duchess.

      To her surprise, Chambers, 56, who started as PA to legendary editor Beatrix Miller before becoming [then junior editor] Grace Coddington’s assistant - found herself smitten by the wife of the future king. “She had incredible dignity and graciousness beyond her years; she was thoughtful and intelligent, as well as being very confident in her role and her love for Prince William.”

      No surprise to me either Anon.

    2. Jane 5:18-sure beats "sources," doesn't it?

      Ms. Chambers has photographed and/or met the crème de la crème. She knows what
      she's talking about. She is secure in her position and seemingly has no need or
      inclination to flatter the Duchess.

    3. Ms. Chamber's comment confirms the impression I have always had of Kate. And let's take it a step further and give Mike and Carole the credit they deserve.

  22. Jane, listen to Emelie Sande "Here it comes".....breath taking

  23. The web is abuzz with Prince Harry's blue sole shoes today. And wearing a brown belt with black shoes! *gasp*


    1. The dreaded brown belt! Discovering Harry's trendy shoes (which I love) were Cole Haan made me love them even more. Cole Haan shoes are so incredibly comfortable!


  24. This is a bit off topic perhaps,but here goes. I would not be surprised if DOC didn't have anymore children. William has often said he wanted two children and they now have a boy and a girl. It has been said DOC wanted more,but as ill as she gets with HG, 1. she may not want to deal with that again, 2.she may have been told it is not good for her health to go through another pregnancy (I have read that HG can get worse with each pregnancy). and 3. I can easily imagine that William does not want the women he loves to go through that again. Just some thoughts.

    1. Sorry but I would not speculate on family planning. They may want tons more and it does not happen, or it does. They may want one or two more and the planning is off, who knows. But family planning for anyone else but yourself is not very helpful for many a reason.:)

  25. I think the Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton is BEAUTIFUL ~ darkstarjujuz


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