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Kate In Custom McQueen For Duke of Westminster Service

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas came early today. Kate stepped out wearing the custom McQueen coat she first wore on Remembrance Sunday in 2015... That was the year that the super stylish Queen Maxima joined Kate on the balcony, upping the fashion stakes for everyone. We knew the coat would be lovely when we got a full-glimpse, but oh wow, were you expecting this?


The occasion that elicits this Christmas-come-early was not exactly festive.  Kate was attending a service of remembrance for the Duke of Westminster. I mentioned the Duke's death here on the blog some months ago. He was chum and confidante of Prince Charles and a staunch friend of the Crown. Westminster was a multi-billionaire with land and assets in London, across England, and in both Scotland and Spain. He was a philanthropist and patron of
a number of charities. The majority here on the blog probably know the Duke of Westminster best as the aristocrat who loaned the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge his private jet from time to time. The couple have used the plane to discreetly take holidays to Scotland and overseas. Sadly, the Duke of Westminster died prematurely, at just 64. Today, friends and family gathered at a private celebration of his life.


The service was held at the Chester Cathedral in Cheshire, which is in the Northwest of England, close to the border with Wales. The site of the Cathedral predates the Norman Conquest, and Wikipedia tells me that it might also have been a place of Christian worship all the way back to the time of the Romans. The coolest little nugget about this church, however, particularly in keeping with the Christmas season, dates to 1741. A lot of things happened in 1741. Benedict Arnold was born (oops), so was Rousseau (double oops), and George Frederic Handel first heard his Messiah performed at Chester Cathedral where he led an impromptu rehearsal prior to the work's debut. A Chester website recounts the tale: 
During the second week of that historic November, Handel was staying at the Golden Falcon in Northgate Street, on his way to Dublin, where the first performance was to take place...

Charles Burney, at that time a 15-year old schoolboy and later a famous musi historian, recalled: "I was at the Public School in that city, and very well remember seeing him smoke a pipe over a dish of coffee at the Exchange coffee house; for being extremely anxious to see so extraordinary a man, I watched him narrowly as long as he remained in Chester, which, on account of the wind being unfavourable for his embarking at Parkgate, was several days.” Handel, unable to move on, wanted to try out some of the Messiah choruses.

Burney recalls that Handel enquired of Mr Baker "the organist, my first music master, to know whether there were any choirmen in the cathedral who could sing at sight (i.e. perform the music at one reading). Mr Baker recommended some singers, including a Mr Janson "who had a good bass voice, and was one of the best musicians in the choir.” The rehearsal took place at The Golden Falcon. But Janson, even after many attempts, was unable to sing the chorus And with his stripes we are healed.

Handel lost his temper, swore in four or five languages, and cried out in broken English, "You scoundrel! Did you not tell me you could sing at sight?" Janson replied "Yes, sir, and so I can: but not at first sight."
That masterpiece is, of course, a Christmas staple. Although it is not my absolute favorite part, the Messiah's Hallelujah chorus is probably the most famous part. That is some special history! 



Back to Kate's clothes. We are less than a month out from Remembrance Sunday, when I was poring over the pictures from past years and idly wondering if/when we would get to see this McQueen in its full splendor. Even the half-view from the balcony promised perfection with its unusual velvet patch-working and fitted bodice.



In reality, is is even better than I had hoped. The coat features beautiful flaring cuffs trimmed in velvet, which we could partially see when she stood on the Foreign Office balcony, but the flare was not really evident. The skirt extends in an a-line silhouette with a thick velvet trim, a box pleat vent in the back, and partial peplum detailing at the hips. The coat can only be described as decadent. I love it.


I think a coat with this much oomph needs a correspondingly confident hat, and I am thrilled that rather than turn to a percher, Kate called on her recently debuted John Boyd. This full brimmed hat looks tailor-made for the velvet coat, even sporting a seemingly coordinated band along the brim. Maybe Kate had the hat custom designed with this event in mind? Perhaps she wore it once so it wasn't a loud debut, but always intended it for this coat? I don't know. These two pieces feel like a match made in heaven to me, but sometimes you just get lucky like that.


Kate paired the ensemble with her Pretty Ballerinas velvet clutch, her Gianvito Rossi suede pumps, and her pearl and diamond earrings on loan from the Queen. This is just the third time Kate has worn these earrings. She just debuted them in Canada and followed that wear up quickly with a repeat when she visited the Netherlands. I don't love them. Am I alone in that? There is no drop between the diamond stud and the pearl drop, which makes them feel cramped to me. I frankly prefer her Annoushka pearl drops.


Earrings aside, or even with the earrings, this was a huge win. She was tip to toe perfect. The verdict is a smash hit, a game-ending home run. This is a SuperStar look and on Kate's Clothes, I will certainly mark it an Acorn Ensemble. Finally, Kate's face is conveying the emotions of my heart toward this minister for blocking a good shot. Le sigh. Still a win. Still a happy Kate blogger. I loved it! Weigh in with comments, kids, I want to know what you thought!


92 comments:

  1. I respectfully disagree...to a point. I think overall the look, from afar, was beautiful. However, the weird velvet bits on the coat seem odd to me. It would've been 100% perfect for me if the coat was a straight black without the embellishment of the velvet. I do think the hat worked well with the ensemble, and I agree that she probably had this in mind when she first wore it. It was a nice treat to see her today :)

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    1. I don't love the look either. The velvet trim at the base of the skirt is the worst part for me. The velvet areas on the arms and cuffs were still ok.

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    2. Is it just me or does the velvet base of the coat look like it is twice as long as the other velvet panels? I think half off would look much better.. I stay firm on my belief that we will see 3 different levels of jewels on Kate.. The first of course is The Duchess which almost always plays it safe and twee if you like.. Next we'll see The Princess look which I believe will be more and larger jewels and clothes will be more lavish as well.. Then finally Queen Kate with a firm grip on who she is, what she likes, and the largest of the jewels and the grander scale of clothing.. But for now she will still play with her looks and have the most broad range of freedom to dress as she wishes...

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    3. Agree. For me, this coat is lovely but has a sort of eighties Laura Ashley thing going on. I dislike the velvet on the arms and think the border of velvet looks like they added it for length.

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    4. Valerie, the length/size of the velvet appears to increase from top to bottom. On an A-line coat, especially, I believe this is proportionally pleasing to the eye. Okay, to some eyes... :))

      And I do agree with your take on the different levels ...

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    5. Thanks Jane for a wonderful post as always..My two bits on the coat are rather not sweet or decadent..somehow i am not a fan of so much velvet..the hem well okay..the collar, the cuff well lets let that pass but the arms gawd!!! what happened there..it look slike they suddenly ran out of the cloth!!! kate looks lovely as always and william as dapper...the shoes the earrings i like, but thats about it...a hit n miss for me

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  2. Decadent is a lovely word to describe the coat - the silhouette, the flared sleeves, the velvet bottom panel...just divine.

    The hat does look like a perfect match for the coat - whether planned or a happy coincidence, agreed that she went full-on hat instead of percher.

    For the earrings - I'm partial to the Annoushka/Kiki combo, possibly largely because I have the same set in white gold. I rather agree something with a bit more movement would be nice, but I'm certainly not disappointed to see Kate dipping into HM's collection. :)

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  3. Sad occasion, but a home run sartorially speaking. She looked amazing. Loved the whole outfit. Kate looked every inch a queen. Thanks also for the very interesting history of the Chester Cathedral. Loved hearing the clip from Handel's Messiah.

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    1. Interesting story. I had never heard it before. Although it was a sad occasion, what a thrill it would be to stand in the midst of such history. I know William has lived his whole life amongst the ages but I wonder if Kate still delights in the beauty around
      her.
      The oldest structure I've been in is my family's nearly 150 year old farmhouse. :+)

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  4. I respectfully agree!!!! Total and utter elegance - a wow, wow, wow. That coat is beautiful and the hat is sublime - go Kate (well actually DONT- get back soon!!). What a Monday treat m.

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    1. I agree! A very beautiful coat from top to bottom, and the hat does seem to be made for it. While I agree with others that these earrings are a better quality than the Annoushka's, these are just too small and sweet for Kate. Like the Lauren leaf earrings, I think she should put them away for Princess Charlotte's tween years.

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    2. The leaf earrings might be a treasured, meaningful gift from a loved one.
      Or maybe she just likes them. ha! :+)

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    3. Absolutely agree anon. Im sure all of the above apply. They are just a bit too twee for my taste which I realize is different from her taste. In my perfect world they would be on Princess Charlotte's eleven year old ears which, again, I realize will never happen :-)

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    4. Judging from the bits of Charlotte's personality we've seen, twee won't be on her
      wish list either. I see her as a giant bug , skulls, and day-glo flower sort of
      girl- a là Máxima. :+)

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    5. It very well may not be. Not sure about Maxima though. I expect PC will blend in well with the horsey country set without the too twee element.

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  5. Thought Kate looked lovely. Not a fan of the velvet shoulder/arm inserts but love all the othe velvet additions, especially the cuffs. Love her hat and earrings. She needs to replace her shoes, the toes look very scuffed. The Cathedral is fantastic. What a lovely turnout. The children all look like settled happy children. I feel for the young Duke, what a challenge. Hoping his Dad had a very all thought out will.

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  6. Just read all your comments Jane and have to respectfully disagree on your earring take, those are gorgeous earrings that will stand the test of time.:) However like shoes earrings are vey personal so I understand your not liking while I love. However the quality of these are to me just miles ahead of the Annoushka Pearl ones. The gem quality of the pearls and diamonds and workmanship in the gold in the Queens earrings is way above the Annoushka earrings. I will take the Queens:):)

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  7. Love the hat, coat and overall appearance. I'm very tired of the side buns and would have preferred a different hair do. The earrings are of monetary and emotional significance as they are on loan from the Queen. But I find them too tiny and boring to be contributing to the outfit. Lastly, the shoes are just a ho hum standard pump. Had she worn interesting shoes, then I would overlook the hair and earring and give the outfit an acorn.

    Btw - you indicated that you had taken a look back at all of Catherine's Remembrance outfits I recently looked back at all of Diana's Remembrance ensembles. It was such fun! People forget all the many looks of Diana.

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    1. I think interesting shoes would be the last thing needed with this design. :+)

      Agree that the earrings were rather subtle; but again, with that coat and that perfect hat, who needs larger, swinging earrings? If HM offers her jewels, one must display
      them .

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    2. I never forget the many looks of Diana! Her clothes were, of course, of the time but she was innovative and such a trend setter. Kate plays it safer than Diana but that's not a bad thing.

      As anyone who regularly reads here will tell you, I am usually the first to complain about the shoes. But, on this occasion, I think they were just right. This is a remembrance/memorial service so the plain shoes - particularly with all of the detail on the coat - seemed just right. I also think that, given the occasion, the earrings needed to be what they are - classic and not too large.

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    3. I like this coat very much and I think that Kate's accessories were perfect, especially the hat. I cheer when she reaches for a hat vs. a small fascinator. :)

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  8. I like the velvet trim except for the panels on the upper arm. I think that the coat would be vastly improved if the sleeve were of the same fabric up to the velvet cuffs. However, since Catherine gets to wear a lot of new items (even considering her repeats :)) she can try a variety of styles. The top velvet sleeve panel is not bad just not my taste. On my budget I'd have to decide what would work for me in the long term whereas Catherine can choose for one or two occasions. The rest is wow! I love the back especially.

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  9. Loved the whole look... Kate the great!

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  10. Stunningly gorgeous - so happy that coat came off the balcony for all of us to see! I agree about the earrings - these may have some oomph with the diamond and the distinguished loaner but Kates own anoushkas have a more elegant flow with their greater range of motion.

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  11. Jane, I'm with you, I love, love, loved this! I thought the entire ensemble was just perfect. I'm also with you on the earrings - I have never liked these and I couldn't put my finger on why but I think it might be because they seem cramped. As another point, and I know many will disagree here...I love Kate's hair in an updo but I somehow don't think she pulls it off entirely with a hat this wide. I'm not sure why, perhaps because her face is so slim but particularly at certain angles, I find the look a little off. But that doesn't take away from the perfection of this outfit!

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  12. Beautifully coordinated, lovely outfit.
    I thought they both looked so very sad.

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  13. Absolutely agree...what a thrill to see the coat and have it turn out so much dreamier than expected!! I happen to love these earrings, however - more loans from the vault please!!

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  14. "And with his stripes we are healed."
    What on earth does this mean??

    Wonderful post and I agree the Duchess's look was perfection ~

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    1. It's a line of the "lyrics" from Handel's Messiah. The Messiah is a musical story-telling of Jesus Christ, beginning with the prophecies of Isaiah, working through Christ's passion, death, and resurrection. It's the salvation story. "By His stripes we are healed..." is a reference to Christ's scourging before his crucifixion, the idea being that through His torture and death, He redeemed the human race from sin...by His stripes we are healed. The Messiah is super long, but very beautiful.

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    2. I always enjoy your musical selections, Jane. The Hallelujah Chorus isn't my favorite either, but the oratorio is like a buffet at a five star restaurant in its richness.
      Or maybe potato chips-you can't stop at one. :+)
      Now I must hear the whole performance.

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    3. Thank you Jane for explanation - it was just a bit out of context at The Golden Falcon!

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  15. It is a lovely coat but a bit too long for my taste. I must agree with someone who wrote black is not her colour. She looks older than she is and washes her out.

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  16. Oh yay. This is the Kate that has always wowed me. Clean lines, perfect proportions - just classic and beautiful. No fussy lace and old lady necklines and sleeves. So beautiful! Love the length of the coat and the pleat in the back - love all the velvet trim, except maybe the wide panel at the hem - a bit heavy, but not too bad because of the pleat and "flare" silhouette that looks soooo great on Kate! The hat is killer as are those beautiful heels.

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    1. Diane, I think that wide panel balances out the heaviness of the top and sleeves.
      Seeing the full view completely reversed my opinion of this coat. :+)

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  17. Love the look. Not such a fan of the earrings, but what a coat! Those sleeves, nice!

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  18. Lovely Kate shines as usual. If William doesn't ditch that blue suit, she'll start to outshine her prince. Why can't he get a nice dark grey pinstripe?

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    1. I second that!!! Someone please take all of the blue out of Prince William's wardrobe! Please!!!

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  19. Now i know why chester cathedral sounded so familiar, I learned about Georg Friedrich Händel in school (and thus his connection to the cathedral).

    I am with you Jane, I am not very fond of these earrings. They just look kinda odd and also a bit cheap (I know they are not lol) and something seems odd about them for me..

    But I adore the coat! It is just so lovely and elegant, I hope we will see hear wear it again with a better view :) and with the hat, it was just perfection!

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  20. I agree with you Jane. This was perfect. No more words necessary. I must say, though, that I was disappointed in Camilla and Eugenie. I thought Camilla's look was too casual because of the boots. She's worn that coat, hat and boots on many occasions and I think she should try to change it up from time to time. The boots just weren't appropriate for the occasion, at least not as Charles' wife. At least when Kate repeats, she usually does something to mark the different wears. And I just can't fathom Eugenie's look. She has been upping her game of late, but this does nothing for her - nothing good in any event.

    It looked like it was a very nice service and the venue really is spectacular.

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    1. C&C were "representing" HMTQ. I agree on all counts, Jane @ 12:06. The ensemble Camilla wore to her brother's funeral was so attractive on her. I really don't understand her choice.
      Her outfit looked like something to wear to the races, not the cathedral memorial service of one of the most important men in the UK, as well as of one of the premier
      families of Great Britain.
      I do understand appearing near Catherine at her best might be a little like programming
      against the Super Bowl in the US- who wants to waste the best show when it will barely be watched. :+)

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    2. I am no great fan of Camilla - trust me - but I didn't think her ensemble was so horrible. Eugenie, on the other hand, was just holding up the York family tradition of "What were they thinking?" At least she was there. It seems Beatrice has gone into hiding after her mocking ceremony to knight a celebrity and slashing the face of someone else with the sword she was wielding. Shameful.

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    3. Perhaps Camilla wanted to stand apart and decided to wear a color other than black from head to toe. Goodness knows that I am not a fan of hers, but I did not have a problem with this outfit. The boots appear to be her trademark and as long as they are not scuffed, I don't have an issue with her choice here. And, yes, this is the real royalfan talking. ;)

      Robin, I wasn't aware of the story regarding Beatrice, but I just Googled it and OMG. A lower profile is a wise choice IMO.

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    4. royalfan, I think you and I may have just defended the dreaded Rottweiler. Gasp!

      Hard to believe one of the Yorks could sink any further but there you have it. BP issued a chilly "no comment" on the situation. Me thinks that Granny is not amused.

      So, are you saying that, unless you are small case and in pink, the other royalfan in all CAPS is not you? I've wondered and had my doubts. Since they, obviously, don't have the official Google name they should do a changeup since they know you're here and are the one and only! :-)

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    5. I just read that story. She could have blinded Ed Sheeran. Some prank.

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    6. Robin, I should have clarified prior to this... I post as ROYALFAN in caps when I use a computer where I would rather not sign into my Google account.

      And thank you for the giggle. Yes, I guess we did defend her.

      Regarding Beatrice... correct, I'm sure the Queen is not amused -- especially when you consider her support for Andrew and his girls over the years. The incident reminds me of Sarah getting caught selling access to Andrew. I can almost see the smile on Charles' face since this plays right into his hands.

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    7. I doubt Charles is smiling. Terrible PR for the BRF, down-sized or not.
      Phillip, on the other hand...:+) I'm hearing guffaws from clear across the pond.
      Bea needs to get out there and laugh about it. Ed is. Great PR for him.

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    8. So, royalfan and ROYALFAN are both you. Good to know! I'm not sure Charles is smiling but I'd bet he's saying "See? This is what I'm talking about!"

      Anon 11:27, You're right, Ed can afford to laugh about this and get some good PR. Beatrice, on the other hand, 1) Should have known better, 2) Has to face her grandmother, and 3) Has just undone all of the whining and attempted justification for royal status done by her father in the past 2 years. This was, without a doubt, a very bad move on her part.

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    9. I foresee a well-publicised charity event for Bea in the near future. :+)

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    10. Robin, I stand corrected on Charles' reaction. Very true!

      2:14, I would bet my last dollar on it. Ha! But I predict that it will not involve cutting a cake or helping Granny at the next investiture ceremony. ;)

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  21. I agree! A very beautiful coat from top to bottom, and the hat does seem to be made for it. This was perfect. No more words necessary.

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  22. The coat is too fussy for my tastes. I only like it from the waist up. I’m just not a fan of all the velvet. But I do agree that Kate looked very elegant. I love the hat. And I also like the earrings. I generally prefer delicate jewelry. In my opinion, larger earrings would have seemed out of place at a remembrance service.

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  23. I must say that this is my favorite coat to date - love the velvet trim! I agree that the hat is perfect! I also love those earrings so we differ there but we can all probably agree that pearl earrings were the perfect choice for the ensemble and the occasion. She looked gorgeous! RIP to the Duke of Westminster.

    I also love the Hallelujah Chorus and I know it's a Christmas tradition but, strictly speaking, as the chronology of events goes it should actually be sung at Easter. Still, Handel (and thank you for the story about this) wrote a beautiful oratorio. This is my favorite of the choruses:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z_tFJosT3k

    It's the most fun to sing. Although, it has me convinced that Handel had a bitter love affair with a soprano before he wrote this because it appears he hates them! Sadly, I've had too many throat infections over the years (what happens when one works with elementary school children) so I can't sing this anymore without fudging a good share of the high notes.

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  24. I like the coat's sillouette alot.  But I agree with those who have said there are too many velvet sections. I like the velvet a great deal but think there's too much. I particularly don't like the velvet on the upper arms. Since Kate has SO many black coats she can afford to have some unusual styles but this one isn't my overall favorite. 

    Although I often wish Kate would wear less super-dainty jewelry I think these earring are perfectly fine for this event. Too much glitz wouldn't seem right for a memorial service IMO. For that reason I think a clutch without a bow would have been better too. This one says "cocktail party" to me. But overall I like the ensemble.

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  25. May I ask a perhaps dumb question? Why wait so long to have his memorial service? Does that mean he's been on ice all this time too? I know the process is a great deal slower than in the US but months later? I don't understand??

    I think my final opinion on this outfit as a whole is maybe a 5 on a 1-10 scale not that wowed by it.. I am glad we finally got to see the entire coat, the hat looks better the first but she fell flat on the shoes, earrings, and clutch.. IMHO...

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    1. Valerue G..it was a memorial service, not a funeral. The funeral happened last summer shortly after he died and was private.

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  26. Hi Jane

    Someone mentioned having gone and looked back at the Remembrance Service outfits Diana had worn and I decided to do likewise. In my search I came across an outfit that she had worn probably in the 80s. It was a white skirt and jacket suit, but what excited me was the fairly large ruffle down the centre. I immediately thought of Catherine's outfit for George's christening. With her penchant for looking for ways to 'include' Diana in significant events, I couldn't help but think that this was another nod to Diana that may have gone unnoticed. I would love it if you could source a photo of Diana in that white suit and put it together with a photo of Catherine in her christening outfit.

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    1. Yes, a nod IMO. :)

      http://s.newsweek.com/sites/www.newsweek.com/files/styles/embed-lg/public/2015/10/14/rexusa104611g.jpg

      http://carolinagarrett.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/i.1.prince-george-christening-ss07.jpg

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  27. Respectively Anon 3:36. For Kates sake I hope she is not thinking about paying homage to Diana as often as people seem to think. That would not be a healthy approach IMHO.

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    1. I completely agree. Diana was allowed to be her own woman but poor Kate seems relegated to being a monument to Diana

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    2. Anon 3:36 was just saying that there were nods during significant events. There is nothing wrong with that. The births and Christenings of Diana's grandchildren are the perfect places for that type of honor. I don't think the rest of us are trying to fit Kate into Diana's shoes. Although, Diana did take far more fashion risks in her day and I hope Kate continues the trend she's set this year of doing the same thing. Whether I agreed or disagreed with a particular choice I was still happy to see her branch out a bit.

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    3. I don't see the occasional nod to Diana as being "unhealthy." The treatment that Diana received within the RF was unhealthy. Diana was not recognized (within the Firm) for her contributions and, after her death, the RF did their best to downplay her role in history. I think it's wonderful that the "trio" honors Diana and keeps her memory alive in a world where some would prefer to see it swept under the royal carpets.

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    4. Also, I believe that Diana would disagree with the idea that she was allowed to be her own woman. But I think your point, 1:40, was that she was not compared to anyone. True, but you have to remember that she was a very young and pretty breath of fresh air when she arrived on the scene. Take a good look at her wedding photos...was there any competition among the in-laws? I think not. ;)

      Kate represents this breath of fresh air today, but given her role as William's wife and her own good looks and personality, the comparisons with Diana are inevitable.

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    5. But there have been many more instances of people SAYING Kate was "channeling Diana" than the births and christenings of Diana's grandchildren. Most recently was the plaid coat, envelope clutch, and pearl earrings at the hospice. That generated lots of comments here. Some posting found it sweet. Others found it a little creepy. (I admit I was in the latter camp but thought the post-George's birth polka dot dress was sweet.) There have been multiple other instances though. (Google "Kate channels Diana") If it happened only at births/christenings, that would be a different matter. But too much and at other events would seem to make Kate something other than a woman with her own identity.

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    6. Diana was in the public eye for around 20years, with every frill; spot; stripe colour; check; tartan and length mulled over.
      Catherine really would have to wear the bin-bag to avoid anything similar to something Diana wore.
      If I might say so without having my head bitten off; some of the clothes Diana wore in the early years were awful---even by the standards of the 1980s. Her best years for style were after she split from the POW.

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    7. Jean from Lanc, I was just thinking the very same thing. There are only so many types of prints, fabric and basic styles. Everything Diana wore was scrutinised so it would be very hard for Kate not to wear something that didn't look like a Diana replica.

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    8. ...including the split from the BRF. Which begs the question: was she playing a role
      for the Queen, much as Sophie seems to have done in dressing her daughter and perhaps
      what the York princesses appear to be trying so hard to avoid.
      Ha! bin-bag. :+)
      I honestly feel some people may be comforted by the thought of Diana's legacy living on in Catherine. I'll admit-it is a comforting thought.
      However, each woman deserves her own, unique legacy.

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    9. Oh, Jean, you are so right! Twenty years of high fashion and hundreds of engagements a year pretty much fill up the cycle. It would be impossible for Kate to avoid it completely.

      Diana certainly did trim down the frills after her divorce, but she was so young when they married that the foofs and frills of her early style seemed to be just fine back then. Looking back on it with today's eyes some of them were ill advised but, for that moment in time, every young married her age (yours truly included) wanted everything she wore. I probably had 10 pairs of white or off white pantyhose!

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    10. The thing that makes Kate's "channeling/imitating/whatever" of Diana clear to me is not that she wears things similar to what Diana wore. We most likely all have done that (especially those of us who shared Diana's time as adult women...white hose, ruffles from the 80s, early 90s.) Sometimes we've wore them just by random chance; in other earlier times Diana might have been a trend-setter for us and we wanted to copy her.  And yes, Diana was on the world stage for many years and wore many things. But it's the similarity of clothing **for similar events** like wearing a plaid coat and pearl earrings to visit a hospice Diana opened wearing a plaid coat and pearl earrings, wearing a red coat arriving in New Zealand as Diana did, and so on. (I can provide many more examples if desired.) I'm not talking about Kate wearing a black dress and golly gee, Diana once wore one, too.

      Of course, everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion as to whether that kind of imitation should be viewed as sweet or weird. But I am truly puzzled by those who seem to believe so many elements of Kate's clothing aren't just a matter of her taste but are a "Kate thing" and must therefore be full of symbolism. But at the same time some of those same folks then go on to argue any resemblance to Diana's clothes at **a similar event** is just a big coincidence and therefore meaningless.  I don't get it!

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    11. 10:41, I believe that Kate is very much her own woman. Her nods to Diana speak to her (Kate's) character and not her identity, if that makes sense.

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    12. Lizzie: Like you, I feel that Kate does copy some of Diana's clothes choices for similar occasions. I wish that Kate would not do this. I am old enough to remember the 'Diana years'; if I was younger and didn't remember (etc.) Diana wearing similar clothes choices the 'first time around' I don't think it would have the same (negative) effect on me.

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  28. Maybe duplicate. What I can not tell is if the bottom half of the coat is actually two layers. An inner layer skirt of velvet and then a wool layer hanging over. i.e. the velvet is not an added band on the bottom or on the back in the V.

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  29. I adore these earrings, and think they suit Kate--and, apparently, she agrees. The hat is fine, if confined to funeral and memorial services--I would prefer a jauntier black hat, otherwise.

    Regarding the coat, it does fit well, except in the sleeves--too long; they could stand to be shortened a tad. Don't mind the use of velvet at either lapel or cuff, and can even overlook it at the waist--but not at the hem; dreadful, IMO. Nevertheless, overall, this coat isn't too bad; it rates a pass with me, and given the age of the Duke of Edinburgh, it is a relief to know that Kate would be adequately dressed at his funeral, should it be sudden. In fact, in such a situation, I would worry more about Williams attire--just how old are those old-fashioned shoes he wore on Nov. 28/16? And does he even own a quality, up-to-date, single breasted black suit which still fits?

    JC

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    1. Spot on re: William's attire. Time for some updating. Maybe someone will get him a new suit for Christmas.

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    2. And lets not overlook the shoe situation, please!

      JC

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    3. I strongly object to JC's comment here about the Duke of Edinburgh. It's not appropriate at all.

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    4. She didn't say anything negative about him, just pointed out that he could die any day, which is entirely true. Both the Queen and the DoE are at that age when they could go to sleep and never wake up. Not everyone has warning or a lingering hospital stay. I don't think it is inappropriate to acknowledge reality.

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    5. Jane, with the greatest respect, I beg to differ. She wrote: 'and given the age of the Duke of Edinburgh, it is a relief to know that Kate would be adequately dressed at his funeral, should it be sudden'. It's heartless to ponder in advance on whether or not Kate would be wearing an appropriate sartorial piece at the Duke's funeral. It's reducing someone's life and eventual death (The Duke's) to something extremely trivial.

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    6. I did not interpret anything disrespectful in JC's comment about Prince Philip. This was not the first time that JC has referred to Kate's wardrobe budget and, IMO, her comment about the Duke was simply a way to emphasize the need for Kate to have an adequate royal wardrobe.

      And JC can correct me if I *did* misread ...

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    7. royalfan, you and Jane Barr were both correct, in essence, regarding my above comment. I was pointing out, this time, however, that it wasn't just Kate whose wardrobe suffered under Charles--it was also Williams, and, for that matter Harrys. The difference between them is that William is a future king, whereas Harry is not.

      As for Anonymous, Dec. 5, at 4:20 PM--Whether you like it or not, Prince Phillip is bound to die within the next 5 to 7 years. Fact of life--so why pretend otherwise? And, when he does, I would like to think that, for his sake, it would be quick. I would wish this for my worst enemy. I also would like to think that his grandson, and future king, would be suitably attired for the occasion, which would be both proper and respectful.--A future king, dressed in a suit which no longer fits, IF he owns a black suit, doesn't really cut it, does it?

      JC

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    8. JC: this really is superficiality in the extreme. It's grotesque. Read 'A Custom of the Country' by Edith Wharton if you are not able to understand why.

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    9. Correction; part of my last comment was directed at Anonymous, Dec.5, at 4:10 PM.

      JC

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  30. I may be in the minority here but I just can't stand the wide brimmed hats on Kate. I feel like the age her significantly. To me, those types of hats are for older women (more Camilla's age)and they just make Kate look much older than her 34 years.

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    1. Different strokes for different folks, eh? I am not as fond of the fascinators and love the larger hats. :)

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  31. Hi Anon 3:36 here
    In my defence I do agree that Catherine needs to be her own woman, and I myself would hate to see her cloning Diana. To be honest, although I could understand William's sentiment in giving her his mother's engagement ring I was hugely disappointed that she didn't get to choose her own. Her other choices in jewellery have been vastly different to Diana's and I'd have loved to see what she would have gone for if the choice of ring were left to her. But knowing how much the memory of his mother means to her husband, I see it as a consideration to him rather than Diana that she would consider ways to remember her during the personal, meaningful events of their lives.

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    1. You offer some intriguing thoughts to ponder, anon 11:52.

      The difference in choice also may had as much to do with available choices.Diana seemed more a fashion follower. Also, Diana at age 19-compared to age 35.
      Another question: what jewellery might Diana choose today? Perhaps there is not so great a difference after all. :+)
      I am thinking of Catherine Walker. Of course, there is Jenny Packham; but we're seeing less of JP these days. Kate is evolving. Didn't she recntly wear Hugo Boss (shoes?)

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    2. Okay, here I go again, BUT :) I do not believe that Kate lost out on something by being given Diana's ring. Taste and preference in jewelry is one thing and we can ponder the style she may have chosen, but the significance of an engagement ring goes way beyond style. IMO, it meant so much more that William gave her his mother's ring. I was both thrilled and surprised because I thought the royals would do anything in their power to keep it tucked away in a dark vault.

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    3. I, too, was stunned that Diana's ring made such a prominent return. I really thought the BRF would want no reminders of her, let alone on the world stage every single time Kate steps out. I am happily surprised and see it as a great honor, not only to Diana's memory, but from William and Kate to each other.

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  32. Loved the outfit. The earrings are great looking. Not everyone wants a lot of dangle during the day, they look wonderful with the outfit and are kid friendly. Also nice to see that Her Maj is opening the vaults a smidge.

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