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Full Post: Duchess of a Cambridge's Day in the Netherlands

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Good evening all. Kate the Great popped on a plane this morning and flew across the North Sea to the Netherlands for her first solo trip abroad as a royal. As you doubtless remember, she was meant to mark this milestone in 2014, with a visit to Malta, but Princess Charlotte put a stop to that. She was worth the two-year delay, but certainly this visit is warmly welcomed.



Kate started her day with a visit with King Willem-Alexander at the family's private residence, Villa Eikenhorst. Unfortunately, Queen Maxima was out of town, but Kate posed with her royal colleague and the two had lunch together. The home is on a woodland estate outside The Hague.  Most of the European royals are a little more relaxed than the British royals and apparently King Willem and Queen Maxima do occasionally host foreign dignitaries and fellow royals at their home.


Kensington Palace Twitter
You know me, I chose the below photo because we get a peek at the parlor. Maxima has such fun taste. I love the desk in the left foreground and in the back. That sunroom looks absolutely lovely!



After lunch, Kate's first stop was the Mauritshuis art museum. The original collection housed at the museum was the Royal Cabinet of Paintings, collected by William V. As such, the focus of the museum is almost exclusively on Dutch Golden Age works.


The museum is running an exhibition with a number pieces (over 20, I believe) on loan from Britain, "At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his Contemporaries from the British Royal Collection." If you are a Kate fan and an art lover, today was a dream day.


Certainly the most famous painting in the collection is The Girl with the Pearl Earring, probably because of the movie by the same name some years ago. The Duchess was wearing her pearl earrings on loan from the Queen. Although Kate loves her pearls in general, and this ensemble suited itself to the accessory, I think she must have been sure to wear pearls today for the artistic nod. The duchess told a fan that this painting was her favorite. I think it is a more evocative and mysterious painting than the Mona Lisa. What a treat to see it!

Mauritshuis
Kate has been very involved supporting and promoting The Art Room initiative in the United Kingdom, so we are no stranger to the beautifully clad Duchess dropping into an art environment for children. She visited an art program for kids at the museum today, too, and as usual looked right in her element.

Mauritshuis

After thoroughly touring the museum, Kate's next stop was to focus on mental health. She moved to the British Ambassador's residence where two of the charities for which Kate acts as patron--Action on Addiction and the Anna Freud Centre--met with a mental health program based in the Netherlands.

Kate travelled from The Hague to Rotterdam. Richard Palmer reported:
This evening Kate will travel to the neighbouring city of Rotterdam to see Bouwkeet, the social Makerspace of Bospolder-Tussendijken.
This is a new community focussed initiative in the centre of an economically deprived district which provides a creative design and technology workspace. Local residents can use the facilities, and 'pay' by sharing their skills with others.
That all sounds well and good, but what in the world does that mean, I hear you say. I have no idea. I Googled "Makerspace Rotterdam" and the website popped right up. Regrettably, I do not speak Dutch, so we will have to move on to the fashion, knowing only generally that it looks cool and productive. 

KP Twitter


Kate wore a custom suit by Catherine Walker in an icy lilac. It has drawn mixed reaction. Some think it is boring and old and others think it is the pinnacle of class and sophistication. So, pretty much a normal response, eh? :) It certainly is professional, which generally also means mature, although I don't think that means it must be aging. It is a style that could be worn well by women across a range of ages, but it is not necessarily old looking. I thought it was very sophisticated and fit the bill for the day perfectly.



The suit has been compared to the Luisa Spagnoli suit (I think that was Kate's Closet said that) Kate wore in Scotland and again in Australia. My opinion is that it is also heavily inspired by the stunning suit ensemble that Angelina Jolie wore to meet the Queen when she was made an honorary dame.  That was by Ralph & Russo, a French label (British! :D  I think they are the first British label to show in Paris during Haute Couture--they have a French connection!) that I love and that Jolie wears often. 


Kate seems to be have been inspired by Angelina's ensemble. I don't want to compare the two too closely, because they are for different levels of formality. To me, the Ralph & Russo is superior to today's Catherine Walker, but it would have been a little formal for Kate's events. The princess struck the right balance with this suit. It is beautifully tailored with very flattering little details. The notches in the sleeves, the contoured skirt... It is very beautifully done. I like the crisp pleats on the peplum, too. It is a win for me! She was in the Netherlands as a senior royal, and she balanced her role as an ambassador and as a fashion icon very well. 


To close, this is a great video covering all her events:



115 comments:

  1. I think the Duchess looked absolutely stunning and professional. The color is simply perfection on her. I also loved her confidence in these photos. If I were going to tweak one thing in the outfit, I guess it would be the shoes. The basic nude was a little blah and possibly something with an accent (maybe a bow or buckle?) would have been just the right extra detail the footwear needed. Overall - and absolute win for her!

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    1. My sentiments exactly! Had she worn this with her aubergine shoes and cluth, it would have been perfect.
      She looks nice though :)

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    2. Aubergine! Excellent idea. Come be my stylist. :-)

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    3. Bridget good idea on color for shoe and clutch, or as you said even if nude some extra detail. ali

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  2. Another great look from the Duchess. She looks very elegant and I hope she recycles the outfit with her hair down. I do like the suede shoes but I don't know if they were the right choice today.
    - Soha

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  3. Escribiré en español, ya que es mi lengua materna y así me es mas fácil :)

    Empezare diciendo que estaba muy ilusionada con esta visita y quede a medias. Primero que nada Kate siempre se ve bien, pulcra, elegante, etc... pero esta vez no me gusto todo..
    Del cuello para abajo, me encanto, el traje tipo lápiz me encanta, la silueta delgada y estiloza.. Pero del cuello para arriba un desastre... realmente maquillaje recargado y el cabello, no se ve nada juvenil y fresco, al contrario, se ve viejo.. con ese volumen que le dieron, parecía mas los peinados de mis tias de 60 años que una mujer en los 30´s

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    1. Eugenia - I agree with you. The outfit and hairstyle was aging.

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    2. Whilst my Spanish isn't as good as it used to be, I understand well what you are saying. And I agree that the suit makes her look older than she is, not to mention that makeup. Maybe not quite 60, but surely not 30 something either. Also, yes, it's elegant, but I see hundreds of these suits (I own a couple myself- Tahari makes some great ones, incredible tailoring and fabrics that look much better than Kate's, they don't crease that terribly) in the downtown core of the Financial District. Yes, polished professional- not regal (and she could have easily recycled some of those dress&coat ensembles from the 2014 tour: the red one she wore when arriving in New Zealand or the dove-grey one she wore for Easter...).

      But anyway, just my two cents..:)

      Royal fan in Northern Canada

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    3. I agree Eugenia, I don't like either the colour or the style, my mom wears that kind of suits and she is 75. The hair, William Alexander looks like younger..let alone the shoes again..
      The museum's director wore mustard shoes and the interior part of the sleeves , mustard too, that is what I love,
      Anon2

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    4. I was interested in Eugenia's comment, so took the liberty of using Google Translate;
      hope no one objects:

      >>I write in Spanish, because it is my mother tongue and so it's easier :)

      I start by saying I was very excited about this visit and left half. First of all Kate always looks good, neat, elegant, etc ... but this time I did not like it ..
      From the neck down, my charm, I love pencil type suit, slim silhouette and estiloza .. But from the neck up a mess ... really heavy makeup and hair, does not look youthful and fresh, on the contrary, it looks old .. with this volume that gave seemed more my aunts hairstyles 60 years a woman in the 30's<<

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    5. anon2 2:04 AM-I told you you would like Roksanda Illincic.

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    6. As if you knew me, Anon 1

      Anon2

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  4. Catherine is stepping into the elegant shoes of Diana. Seems she was born to do this.

    I love this outfit, head to toe, but the suit looks oddly wrinkled in the outdoor pictures.

    Belle

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  5. I bet Máxima wishes she had stayed home.

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    1. She's in Argentina. Her home country. I'm sure she preferred that.

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    2. Judging by the photos of Max meeting Kate at Remembrance Day last year, I doubt that.

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    3. Totally agree, Maxima in Argentina must be thrilled..it is spring also..
      Anon2

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    4. I don't think Maxima missed anything.

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    5. That's true.I doubt she missed anything. There are plenty of photographs and videos.

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    6. These folks meet so many "special" people that I suspect Maxima was thrilled to be back home and Kate was the least of her concerns.

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    7. Well, considering how "insignificant" Kate is, she sure does have a lot of regular followers.

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    8. I took Anon 11:48 to include Kate as one of the "special" people but just not so extra special that her presence or absence would drive Maximas emotions about being at home. The two have met before and surely will again - it was hardly Maximas only chance to see her. But if you need to twist it into an "attack" on Kate...

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  6. Just beautiful. Elegant, poised, lovely. The suit is perfect and the jewelry so well chosen. I would probably have paired one of her many pairs of navy pumps and a navy clutch with it but I always want to change out her shoes. Her hair was beautiful. The Netherlands is one of my favorite places to visit and, as many times as I've been, I have never made it to The Hague to see Girl with the Pearl Earring - a definite bucket list item. I love Vermeer's "slice of life" paintings (The Milkmaid is my favorite) and Kate was stunning next to that famous girl and her earring! I'm sure Kate had a wonderful time as I have always found the Dutch people to be so friendly and warm. I hope we see her return many times. After all, with her art history degree she needs to see more of those phenomenal Dutch master's paintings!

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    1. Navy would have been gorgeous. In general I hope she changes out the nude for more seasonally appropriate colors soon

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    2. Every word Robin said is exactly my take on all of it!

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    3. Sonja from BavariaOctober 12, 2016 at 7:54 AM

      I agree about the navy shoes and clutch!

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    4. The color of this suit and her accessories brought me back in time, ladies. :) Perhaps Kate will pull out the navy accessories next time, but here the nude color allowed the suit to shine. I have said it before...I would LOVE to see more suits in her wardrobe.

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    5. Completely agree Royalfan. Nude shoes really work for this beautiful suit, giving it pop and elongating her legs (not that she needs to). I say NO to coloured shoes for this look. Stunning look on her as usual in this '80s suit (suits are all coming back in ladies ;-)) and very appropriate for a meeting with the King of The Netherlands, etc. Kate is looking so good these days.

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    6. It really is not quite a suit though:):) Really more a dress. I think the outfit would have looked better with a different shade/or color of shoe and clutch or at least with one with some more detail.

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    7. It reminded me of the teal LK Bennett dress and jacket and wore to an engagement with the Queen years ago

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  7. It is killing me that I am IN THE NETHERLANDS TODAY, home sick with a cold. And I was in London when the Cambridges were in Canada. Clearly, Rebecca Deacon and I need to coordinate our diaries more in advance. ;)

    All of that aside, I loved this look. Hair up, smart suit, perfect accessories...stunning. However, these are not my favorite shoes, as they are a near perfect match for her skin tone. It always looks (to me) like she's not wearing shoes in some of the shots.

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    1. LOL. Thanks for the giggle over your diaries comment. I can appreciate your feelings!

      Hope you feel better... :)

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  8. Does anyone know what fabric the suit is? Seemed extremely wrinkled in the early shots

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    1. It's described as "pale blue wool crepe."
      You're right about the wrinkling.

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  9. Lovely outfit, but the hair is what makes it look mature, maybe a half updo would have been better? Anyway, R&R are British, Jane! CW is French - but you're right, it does look like Angelina's

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  10. the duchess looks great she wore with grace and confidence

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  11. Allie in Churchill, MBOctober 11, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    Loved the dress, the colour, and how well it suited Kate. I agree that the fabric looked a little wrinkly across her hips, but otherwise, what a great outfit. I am beginning to see that Kate will wear nude heels with everything, so I'm just going to go with Kate's flow.

    The internet died on me yesterday, but I had meant to post a comment saying that for the first time ever I seriously disliked what Kate was wearing. That Kate Spade dress didn't do anything for me.

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  12. I thought she looked nice but also looked awfully wrinkled in a number of shots. Also there seemed to be a problem with the back vent/fit in some shots (not shown on this site) I like the idea of this suit more than its execution I guess. For that I blame the designer, not Kate!

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  13. Power suit dressing at its best today for sure. The level of sophistication Kate is exuding today is miles ahead of where she was back in 2011 in the red suit. I love the entire look and I am sure she'll recycle this suit in the future! All I want to do with it is add a bit of color with a brooch- perhaps one with Dutch overtones or provenance? I much prefer this look to yesterday's dress!!!

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  14. Well, knock me down! Here, I thought we were in for another sartorial dry spell, and instead this! Another Jackie, Kate's third by my estimation. (1. the red suit, Italian, Kate wore when she and William visited St. Andrews just before their marriage; 2. the red Carolina Herrera,(sp?) coat recently worn in Whitehorse; 3. this utterly lovely pale blue suit by Catherine Walker.) Makes me wonder just who is driving this glorious style revolution: Audrey, Jackie, or even Diana? Perhaps all three?

    But, who cares? The revolution seems to be here, and it is wondrous to behold. I loved this outfit, head-to-toe. Faultless. Flawless. And what an ambassador the BRF has; royalfan, do you think there is the slimmest chance that they are prepared to recognize and appreciate Kate?

    Perfect hair, given the (probable) fact that Kate travelled without a hairdresser. Lovely earrings. Beautiful face. Suit to die for, and I love the length, btw--correct, given the style. Even the shoes and clutch worked. But wait a minute! Shouldn't I hate her? As a Canadian, shouldn't I resent the cost of her oh-so-recent Cdn wardrobe? Perhaps I should, but prior to her Cdn tour, I was actually praying that Kate would spend more than she did the first time--not exactly setting a high bar.

    Anyhow, a terrific outfit. And, I liked all four of her engagements, from lunch with King Willem-Alexander to her final event in Rotterdam. Makes me want to check out the Netherlands as a potential holiday destination.

    Just lovin it--atho I don't expect this sartorial excellence to last. ($$$. Charles won't want to cough up on British soil--costs too much to employ all of those spin doctors, after all.)

    JC

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    1. JC - Get thee to the Netherlands! A land filled with flowers, beauty, fascinating history, charm, art, and wonderfully friendly people. Almost all of the Dutch speak English (and, from what I understand, a number of other languages) and they're just lovely people. You'd love it!

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    2. JC, I was thrilled with this look. It was sheer perfection from head to toe. I'm a fan of suits in general and Catherine Walker does not disappoint when it comes to Kate.

      Regarding the Firm appreciating Kate, well, perhaps some members of the clan do so more than others. ;)

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    3. Who do you think appreciates her and who doesn't royalfan?

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    4. My opinions on the subject do not qualify as Breaking News. :)

      What are YOUR thoughts, 5:47?

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    5. I haven't thought that much about it. Was trying to read between the lines of your comment and couldn't

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  15. Kate looked great. Loved that color on her. I thought the woman escorting her through the art gallery looked like David Cameron's ( ex Prime Minister of UK) wife , Sarah for a wee bit. I liked her outfit too, navy and mustard such a cool combination and shoes to match!

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  16. Loved your selection of pictures Jane, especially the one in the salon with the King and Kate. I thought she carried off her first solo trip beautifully. From start to finish she was professional, yet her charming self. I loved her look, very Jackie Kennedy. She represented the Queen, and did herself proud.

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  17. I like the structure of the dress,but I find those big buttons and belt cheap looking and ugly.
    I wish there would be audio where we could hear The Duchess speak.Also,I wonder why the press were not invited to the meeting on mental health.I think that if they had been present and we would have gotten quotes from The Duchess speaking,talking statistics and using jargon,then it would have been more effective for educating people about the cause.

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    1. The girl ain't talk!😁

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  18. Hi Jane, as I speak Dutch, I looked up what Bouwkeet Makerspace Rotterdam stands for.

    It is a recent community initiative that only started 2 weeks ago and apparently Catherine picked it out herself. A team of volunteers who work in a neighbourhood that really deserves a break.
    The idea is that especially kids aged 10 to 15 can go there after school to develop their talents.
    They can learn how to work with wood, textile, ceramics, metal, lasercutting, 3D printers. There is this program where they learn to write computer code, a sew and knitting program for boys, a program where kids fix up old bikes (and afterwards they can keep them), a “fablab” where they can invent things, … Also, the other residents of Bospolder-Tussendijken can go there too, e.g. if they want to do some welding. In return they have to teach others what they know.

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    1. thank you anon 2:11. What a great program.

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  19. I saw HRH today at the Mauritshuis! I can only say she's so beautiful in real life! I took some very nice photographs and it was so lovely! We had to wait for hours but it was all worth it.

    When entering the museum, she didn't pay attention to the public at all. Everyone was slightly dissapointed. When leaving, she made everyone happy by shaking a lot of hands and talking to the public. I even shaked hands with her! She asked me if I wasn't too cold (she must have felt my cold hands) and that she was so happy we all came to see her! She has such a lovely sweet voice and she's so gorgeous. I said: 'oh your royal Highness, you are so beautiful!' And she said: 'oh oh thank you so much' and she smiled at me.

    Her clothes were lovely in real life (it's baby blue), as was her updo and the earrings. I think a small pearl broche or so would have finished the whole thing.

    I can still not believe that I really saw her (dreams coming through), that she talked to me and that I really touched her. I can recommend it to everyone: it's worth the wait!

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    1. Thank you for sharing! How fun!!!!

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    2. You Bella are one lucky girl!!!

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    3. Bella, thank you for sharing. How fun, and great to hear the in person response.:)

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  20. Hobbs sells more beautiful suits, this year's coats are specially pretty...and almost third price..

    Anon2

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  21. I saw HRH today at the Mauritshuis! I can only say she's so beautiful in real life! I took some very nice photographs and it was so lovely! We had to wait for hours but it was all worth it.

    When entering the museum, she didn't pay attention to the public at all. Everyone was slightly dissapointed. When leaving, she made everyone happy by shaking a lot of hands and talking to the public. I even shaked hands with her! She asked me if I wasn't too cold (she must have felt my cold hands) and that she was so happy we all came to see her! She has such a lovely sweet voice and she's so gorgeous. I said: 'oh your royal Highness, you are so beautiful!' And she said: 'oh oh thank you so much' and she smiled at me.

    Her clothes were lovely in real life (it's baby blue), as was her updo and the earrings. I think a small pearl broche or so would have finished the whole thing.

    I can still not believe that I really saw her (dreams coming through), that she talked to me and that I really touched her. I can recommend it to everyone: it's worth the wait!

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    1. Sonja from BavariaOctober 12, 2016 at 7:50 AM

      Congratilations Bella, it is so great that you got to see her and even shake her hand! You are a lucky lady :)

      And I agree about the pearl brooch, she wore a very pretty one for trooping the colour in (I think) 2014 which would have been perfect.

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    2. Thank you! I'm still over the moon about the whole thing, more than a day later (I think I won't wash my hand ever again).
      I will try to upload some photograph here.. Not sure how I can, but I hope I manage. I have a rather good camera and she was so close so I took some nice pictures.

      I can't tell you how beautiful and lovely she is. She left the museum and she walked through the gates and I said very enthusiastically: 'IT'S REALLY HER! I THINK THIS IS REAL, GUYS!' and everybody around me couldn't stop laughing.

      And her voice is so nice! She said to some other fans that the 'Girl with the pearl earrings' was her favourite painting and that she would recommend everyone to visit the museum. The girl next to me said: "Welcome to the Netherlands!' and she smiled and said: 'I'm so happy you all came to say hello to me!'

      (I'm so sorry if I'm repeating myself too often but I'm just so happy!)


      It sounds stupid but it was also very nice to see some 'famous' members of the press corps such as the lovely and respectable Arthur Edwards (I can still not believe that he's still working at his age) and the photographer who is to marry Natasha Archer (Chris Jackson from Getty Images). I took a photograph of him and he looked at me like: why are you taking photos of me? Really hilarious.

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    3. Bella 2:40- what an experience! And thank-you for describing the event as well as your feelings.
      Re: photographers-you made me think of several actors who have turned cameras on the paparazzi. They don't like it at all and actually act offended and put out.
      This could work. Someone should take a few photos of photographers with their families during their time off, making sure they don't realise they are being photographed- and then publish them in a tabloid.It's not just a matter of privacy rights. Children are children, no matter what their parents do.

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    4. I see a distinction between the photographers who cover official events like this one and true paparazzi anon 1. Kates own stylist is marrying a royal photographer so they can't all be bad ;)

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    5. So do I, 7:49. I clearly was speaking of paps and mentioned specific circumstances.
      There is no stylist listed among KP employees.

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    6. Natasha Archer is frequently identified as Kates stylist. She is engaged to be married to Chris Jackson who is a photographer for Getty who frequently takes photographs of William and Kate at their official engagements. Bella's comment specifically referred to him, the photographer who has a close connection to the Cambridge family

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    7. Congratulations, Bella! What an exciting experience and thank you for letting us live vicariously through you! It is probably something you will never forget. I have long wanted to visit that museum and will hopefully do so sooner rather than later!

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  22. love the post as usual!! and yes the quirky table accessories are so cute.. Although i agree with the sentiment that Kate's looked younger on various occassions but this i believe was a look suited for an alone official trip. the purpose was to look committed to the assignement and not have the talk much centered around new clothes. but that never happens ufcourse. All said and done she always looks lovely and so toned. ALso is it just me or does any else not love the Navy Dress the Lady receiving the princess is wearing with those amazing sleeves!!! :) :)

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    1. I love Emilie Gordenker's dress too. The shoes match the inside colour of her sleeves. Excellent choice!

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    2. The museum director's is fantastic, matching the mustard shoes with the lining..
      Maxim owns a mustard blouse with those sleeves..

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    3. I also love the director's dress + shoes,
      And I give full credit to Kate for her pearl earrings - brilliant!

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    4. Credit HM for loaning the earrings to her. Since she wore them twice in Canada, I think they are Catherine's for the duration.

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    5. A Roksanda Ilincic design, Emilie's dress I mean..

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    6. I think im gona now start id'ng emilie's dress as well!!! just me!!!

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    7. Oh Emilie's dress is great! It would have swallowed Kate but she certainly could wear this more hip professional dress style, but it may not be her taste:):):. Like it or not Kate is not a "fashion diva"

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  23. Great blog; not an expert on fashion but Monday's dress fell flat, Tuesday's clothes a perfect complement to the art. Makerspace=knowledge commons, often found in libraries.

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  24. I love this colour and there is no doubt this is a beautiful piece but I'm struggling a little with the style...I think there are ways in which this could have been just as appropriate but also a bit younger and a bit more stylish...I agree with you, Jane, that there is a such a comparison to the Angelina outfit, which is a more modern take on a skirt suit and I wish this had been tailored in that way...

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  25. Sonja from BavariaOctober 12, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    I love the top, but the skirt crinkled too much. And I am so tired of seeing these shoes and clutch!
    I don't want to be so negative, really :) It is just that I really want to love what Kate wears, but often I hate either the garment (the Saloni gown for an evening reception before the Bhutan tour this spring) or the way she accessoirized it (see above). I know that Kate has changed over the years and so has her style, but I really miss the way she dressed 2011-2012! She is only 34, but sometimes dresses too mature for her age. I know she is not in her 20s anymore and has 2 kids, but I have always adored her old style.

    But I was very happy to see her in Catherine Walker today, a fabulous label!
    What a pity that she missed Maxima, they seemed to have a great time last year together.

    Kate has done so many engagements this year! Does anyone have an overview over the numbers, will this be her busiest year yet?

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    1. I heard it was a little over a hundred. Don't remember where I read it. But it was during the Canada tour.

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  26. Lovely suit--ideal for the occasion.
    I was surprised, but pleased to see so many people turned out to see her. The gentleman at the last place of call who was overseeing the bike repairs said she put out her hand to him and he told her his hand was dirty: she replied that her's was dirty sometimes and shook his hand.
    She certainly has beauty, but also charm (or class) if that doesn't sound too snobbish.
    I suspect she had her hair up and no other jewellery to draw attention to the earrings.
    There was a lot of discussion about the earrings when she wore them before, as HM wore them in Silver Jubilee year ans Sophie has worn them and people wondered if they all had a pair, but I read that Catherine's aides have said they are HMs.
    How charming of The King to come out to the car
    The British press are all suggesting that she is being used to show that the UK is not turning its back on the Continent of Europe of which the UK a part. I doubt that, but still hope she does some similar days in other European countries.
    Hoping to make it to Manchester on Friday---fingers crossed.

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    1. I wondered if Kate had borrowed this pair? If so they seem like real favourites of the Queen.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3636227/The-Queen-pearls-dazzling-jewellery-owns-pair-pearl-earrings-given-beloved-grandmother-Queen-s-favourite.html

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    2. Keeping fingers crossed for you, Jean!

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  27. Hope you make it, Jean! Both William and Catherine and their special magic.

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  28. Not my favorite outfit (I was hoping she'd take inspiration from Maxima and be a little more daring), but I liked her hair.

    Anyone else catch the Daily Mail making "Doors to Manual" and "Just like mum!" references? Absolutely tasteless! Will never understand why her parents being self-made is so looked down upon.

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  29. What a beautiful color! Her hair looks great and is that a spray tan?

    I imagine Catherine Walker is cringing at the wrinkles and wishing this suit was different fabric for today's use. I do think this suit is a bit too 'old,' and that the R&R suit that Mrs. Jolie is wearing is more fashionable and young and would have been a better option, but overall she looks great!

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    1. I beleve what we see are actually folds, not wrinkles from material being crushed for
      a length of time. Wrinkles do not appear and disappear as happened here. Even after
      the pristine look with the photo with the king, the marks reappeared.
      Folds, however, are due to loose material and are a much more likely explanation.
      The wrinkes could be attributed to something Kate did; the folds, appearing with change of position, might indicate a poor job of fitting, perhaps explained by weight loss or re-distribution without re-fitting.

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    2. I'm sorry anon 1 but I don't think I understand your distinction between "wrinkles" and "folds". The lines(? Bunching of fabric?) are clearly not intentional and look to me the result of sitting on an airplane and the effect of airplane seat belts (I've experienced the same) - I doubt she usually sits in airplane seats in the outfit she "arrives" in. It's not a result of something Kate did, it's a result of the fabric itself.

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    3. It seems to me the outfit has BOTH wrinkles and folds. The "wrinkles" across the front of the skirt are likely to be from the seatbelt in the plane as Anon 9:25 suggested. However, it was a short flight, she was not squeezed into a tight coach seat, and it has been reported Kate boarded last and exited first so either the fabric was just not suitable for this design or perhaps a different lining was needed. I expect this fabric would also wrinkle badly if the wearer rode in a car (with the shoulder belt making even more wrinkles across the top) or was seated in a meeting for the same amount of time as there are also wrinkles on the inside elbows from having her arms bent. The designer might not have known Kate would fly in the outfit (and when she acquired it, Kate may not have known either) but a suit that only performs well if the wearer stands up all day with arms straight at her side isn't very practical for most women!

      The "folds" appear on the upper arms and across the back of the skirt. The latter are more prominent in photos on other "Kate" sites. Gaining weight might make those appear especially on the arms as sleeves that are too tight tend to show those folds but my guess is the folds are more likely from iffy garment construction. The back diagonal skirt folds look like the pattern was not cut on the proper grain. I know this is a designer bespoke suit. But unfortunately that doesn't guarantee quality construction these days. We seen Kate in bespoke garments where very basic Home Ec 101 pattern matching was neglected after all.

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    4. Sounds reasonable, lizzie.

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    5. So interesting to see our different takes on the outfit and its construction. I see a very well made suit, well tailored and performing as expected for a wool crepe fabric with a full day of activities.

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    6. Agree, 12:31-did you notice the tailoring in the back? Beautiful.
      Perhaps you could explain for me:
      I don't understand why the Spagnoli looked younger than this suit. The styling in Edinburgh with the boots, belt, turtleneck, perhaps; but not the outfit itself. Didn't I read it was actually a dress,skirt, jacket set? Or perhaps because it was red, not pastel-This new suit is so similar.
      Also, Ms. Jolie-Pitt's suit. I thought she looked elegant, but how is that suit with
      its midi length skirt, pale color younger or more Parisian than this suit? I really think the only real similarity is the pastel color. Both collars are large but the
      Jolie one is nearly a cowl type. There is also a self belt and covered buttons.
      Both women looked beautiful and entirely appropriate for their very different occasions. Representing HM at a wide-variety of events and standing in HM presence to receive an honor-whole different, non-comparable situations.

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    7. PS-Ms. Jolie-Pitt's shoes are AWESOME.
      And three-quarter-length versus full length sleeves.
      They're both sophisticated suits. Period.
      I don't see the need for comparison.

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    8. I liked AJ's suit..very much so, but I suspect that if Kate had worn it there would be criticism over the long (as in "aging") skirt. ;)

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    9. Jane compared them

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    10. I believe Jane used the words Kate was"inspired by" the R&R suit and the total look.I
      don't think for a second that Kate would consciously emulate Ms. Jolie-Pitt. The two suits are actually not that
      similar, design-wise, but the essense each woman exudes communicates a like response-tasteful, elegant, "woman of substance." (to borrow from a famous novel/film)

      Agree, royal fan,about the probable response in some circles to the midi length on Kate. That is why I couldn't understand the modern and youthful references when the words aging and frumpy are used when Kate wears midi.

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    11. Splitting imaginary hairs yet again anon 1

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  30. Been busy at work so a little late to the comments, but my first thoughts/impression still hold sadly.
    I'm torn because I've wanted to see Kate in more suits, but this look OVERALL is not working for me and I don't think works on her. It is school marm to the max IMO. More striking accessories, including shoes and bag, would have made a big difference, even if nothing else had changed. It doesn't have the Parisian flair of Angelina's or the more youthful cut and bold contrast of the Spagnoli. It is flat.
    The biggest problem though (IMO) is the hair. The high crown, dated chignon and full over the ears is beyond aging. Even if she had pushed it behind her ears with some wisps might have helped.
    I'm not sure why people say "Oh Jackie Kennedy!" That was almost 6o years ago! Would we applaud if she started dressing like a first lady from 70 years ago?
    Some of the themes from Jackie's wardrobe/time still are relevant, but no one would step out in her bouffant hair today or pointy Playtex bras or 60's dresses! Kate looks a little costumey to be honest. She can look a thousand times more striking and gorgeous than this - and stay in her age lane. She's barely 35! Stop for a moment and tell me a 35 year old you know who would show up for business conference/lunch, drinks, dinner etc looking like this. No one. It's like a young girl who got into mom's closet for the first time.

    Signed, 32 yr old Anon

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  31. I couldn't say, anon 4:14. I don't personally know any 35 year old women who eat lunch with a king as a representative of a very conservative monarch and royal family.

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    1. Well said Anon 1. Some people conveniently don't want to understand her status and who she represents. Also to compare her to other European royals does not fly either because BRF is way more conservative. Anyway to my mind she looked classy and professional.

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    2. Oh I understand her status perfectly. And because of Jane's excellent work on Kate's Clothes it takes minutes to pick out at least a dozen looks from her current wardrobe that I would have preferred. It is precisely because of her status that I think she should have proper stylists and not two with choppy resumes who just morphed into the job. I am a Kate fan and think she's getting short changed in that department.
      It was an important meeting, not a librarian convention.
      And I said she was "barely 35" - I know she's 34 and I hate when they style her to look like she's decades older. Again, in MY opinion.
      Anon 4:14

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    3. And you know that a qualified stylist would do better? And you know for sure that Natasha Archer is calling all the shots on her wardrobe? It's all speculation and fashion is subjective.

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    4. There were probably a number of items or "looks" in her wardrobe that would have worked, but this was a very special, note-worthy day for her. She may have thought something
      new would be appropriate.
      I think the dove gray perhaps too dressy, but that dress from The Fold is in the same
      color scheme and would not call attention away from the Dutch Masterpieces she wanted to highlight. It would also have been casual enough for messing around with bicycles.

      I really don't understand how she could be getting "short-changed style-wise if she has at least a dozen outfits in her wardrobe now that would have worked for this one occasion.
      .

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    5. I would love to see a recycle of The Fold dress

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    6. Anon1, I have been thinking of the Fold dress too, it would have been perfect for me..I guessed it might be unpleasant for flying...too much tight...however the new one is very close-fitting as well..

      Anon2

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  32. PS Kate was born in January, 1982, which makes her how old?

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    Replies
    1. anon 1 sorry but what was your comment about???

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  33. 1. I thought Catherine looked perfect.
    2. Thank you for including the picture of Angelina Jolie. I had heard about the similar suit but hadn't seen it, so happy to see it here
    3. I couldn't help but giggle at the King in the video - the way he kept flapping his arms!

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  34. I'm watching the video clip with Kate interacting with everyone from children to the King of Netherlands. It strikes me for the first time that Kate does have a lovely charm and charisma, that goes beyond the beauty and prettiness that we already knew. Kate looks so comfortable and settled in, it warms my heart. I think we will see so much more of this linking of charities and sharing of knowledge in the future, thanks to Kate, William and Harry. It's wonderful to have the young royals being involved with these important causes.

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    1. Anon 4:57 Agree with your thoughts.

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  35. Just back from the Cenotaph on Manchester. Catherine wearing a lovely coat--navy, light blue and white--or pink deepending on how the sun was shining---thought when I saw it that it was the coat she wore for the Somme Vigil in July, but now I see it isn't., since I looked it up here Very high and thin heel in navy suede--pearl earrings with a gold surround. Beautiful hair--updo and low pony tail.
    William was in a dark navy suit and a blue tie.
    There was a guard of honour and a short service to mark the six paving stones commemorating the six VCs from Manchester in WW1. The Duke and Duchess have now gone on to the University and then to Francis House
    Catherine looked beautiful, but then she always does, but I was surprised at just how handsome William is---beautiful couple.

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    Replies
    1. So nice that you were able to be there, Jean. Everyone always says that they look more amazing in person than in photographs and video.

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    2. Thank you so much for sharing, Jean. I envy you! :))

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    3. I'm so excited that you got to be there Jean :-) for You and for us! Simone x

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  36. Great post! Ralph & Russo is significantly more expensive and is considered couture, so thousands and thousands of dollars per outfit. The Catherine Walker suit is not a Ralph and Russo but it is still beautiful. That said the pleats really did bug me!! Even if she flew British Airways..�� from @LadyAlexandraM

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  37. This lovely suit reminded me of Lee Radziwill and Jacqueline Kennedy, some of the sophisticated boxiness of the 60's, but with the peplum that softens it. The hair looks like a nod to Queen Maxima who is known for her bouffant up-dos. The color seems as if it was chosen right out of the lighter tones in the headband of "Girl with a Pearl Earring", nicely composed and coordinated outfit!

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