As promised, Kate attended Wimbledon today to watch Serena Williams and Elena Vesnina on centre court. The shift we saw in Kate's style, approach, and public engagements after the birth of Princess Charlotte continues with this appearance at the All England Club. It was such an annual "ordinary" appearance, but today it had a whole new color.
Kate flew solo. Prince William was in Scotland at the Order of the Thistle ceremony and rather than bring Pip or Carole, Kate made a far more formal appearance. The rumors (leaked by Andy Murray's mother) that Kate will take on Wimbledon soon, are likely true if today is a worthy bellwether. She arrived early enough to meet players and staff. During a chat with Gordon Reid, whom she watched compete later in the day, Kate revealed that the Anmer hall tennis court is getting lots of use. She said she plays tennis with William, but that the fact he is a lefty can be frustrating. ;) She also told those gathered that Prince George has already started to play and seems to enjoy the sport.
The Duchess was seated with Philip and Gill Brook, the Chairman of AELTC and his wife. Also in the royal box was Sophie, the Countess of Wessex and other celebrities. Kate was a keen observer of the match, per usual, but rather than whispering intimately with Pippa or exchanging smiling glances with William, the air of "public engagement" was strengthened as the Duchess amiably chatted to her seat-mate.
Several weeks ago we talked about how Kate likes to return to tour wardrobes to pull for Wimbledon. I thought she might go all the way back to the Canada 2011 tour, possibly choosing one of her first Erdems. Kate pulled from a tour collection, but from 2014. She recycled another favorite we have been itching to see again: the yellow and white Roksanda from her sunny arrival in Sydney.
This dress was the perfect choice. The yellow pops against the green of the grass and the royal box's furniture, and the geometry of the dress fits the sporty nature of the event. The colors actually reminded me of a tennis ball. This is just the kind of slimming sheath dress that looks picture perfect on Kate. I am a huge fan and this is certainly a grand slam for me.
Kate's earrings were IDed! These Baroque Pearl Double Sided earrings are by Soru Jewelry and feature Barqoue pearls set in 18k gold and sterling silver and studded with Swarovski crystals. They retailed for £130 and quickly sold out. I have to say that they are the kinds of earrings that would never attract me in a store, but Kate has transformed them.
The day was full of fun little details. Serena Williams got Kate into the first Snapchat we have seen the royal in. The short but charming clip features the tennis champ introducing her famous friend before Kate pulls Sophie into the screen, too. It's cute to see these two royals interacting a little.
Serena and Kate 😍 pic.twitter.com/wzsmKkJJyh— Shanice Bajin (@SWilliamsFans) July 7, 2016
The most exciting fashion element for me today was Kate's bag. Usually carrying a clutch, Kate arrived with a sizable tote by none other than Victoria Beckham. I have been hoping and waiting for Kate to wear something by Victoria Beckham. This is the Quincy bag from Posh's accessories line.
The erstwhile Spice Girl remade herself when she stepped into the world of design and her venture, that many thought would fail, has proved to be a stupendous success. The Cambridges and the Beckhams aren't super intimate, but they have been reported to be friendly. The stylish couple were guests at William and Kate's wedding and I have always thought that Victoria's streamlined and clever designs would be magnificent on Kate. I have honestly been surprised that Kate has held out so long, and finally seeing Kate with something from Victoria's line really excited me. I hope there is more to come!
Kate did retreat to the balcony for refreshments and enjoyed a few more casual and relaxed moments with her family (Sophie) and her staff while she watched Gordon Reid play. I love seeing Kate so obviously enjoying time with Rebecca Deacon. Despite the difference in their stations, so to speak, I think it is impossible that these two women not be good chums.
Rebecca and the royal household have had a rocky year by some reports. According to Sebastian Shakespeare at the Daily Mail Rebecca's ex-boyfrined and fellow royal staffer Nick Loughran is leaving the royals' employ for the private sector:
Palace officials announced yesterday that Nick Loughran, media adviser to Kate as well as to Princes William and Harry, is to leave his position to take up a new job in public relations. The announcement came three months after I disclosed that Loughran had dumped Kate’s cherished ‘Girl Friday’, Rebecca Deacon, and begun courting Clara Madden, a blonde bombshell who works as Prince Harry’s assistant. . . Loughran split up with Rebecca in 2015 after a two-year relationship. He has worked for Kate, William and Harry for five years after three more spent representing other royals.
Although I am sure Loughran made the decision for professional reasons, it can't help but ease some of the inevitable tension in the royal household. I am happy for Rebecca who got to kick back and breathe a little easier this afternoon while enjoying her boss's company. It was a win all around today.