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Princess Kate Sparkles at the BAFTAs in Customized McQueen

Sunday, February 12, 2017


The Duchess of Cambridge accompanied Prince William to the BAFTAs tonight. The last time the couple walked the red carpet together (Bollywood Gala excepted) was to attend the premiere of Spectre. That was a pretty glitzy event, but even the BAFTAs out-dazzle 007. Tonight we were expecting Kate to really bring her A game and she did not disappoint. The red carpet was cleared and the royal party arrived in their usual convey of dark cars and flashing lights...
Rebecca English quickly confirmed that Kate's lavish gown was chosen from Alexander McQueen's Resort 2016 collection. 


Kate didn't pull this directly off the rack, though. The dress has been customized in a few key areas, most notably, she has done away with the exterior corset look, for a smooth and appropriately princess-like bodice. Good call. She has also axed
the spaghetti straps in favor of a more formal and sophisticated off the shoulder style. Interestingly, Kate kept the cat-eye with which this dress was initially styled.  


It is always particularly exciting when Kate recycles a dress or an accessory that we have seen before, but so minimally that no ID was possible. Tonight, with her hair in an elaborate chignon, Kate paraded a pair of absolutely jaw-dropping earrings that first made an appearance in 2011.


When I built Kate's Clothes and added her appearance at the 100 Women in Hedge Funds' gala, I spent quite a long time scouring my various picture agencies for an angle that would capture her earrings. No luck then, but tonight we finally saw them in all their glory. These must be the absolute biggest earrings Kate owns, right?


They really have to be the biggest.  The emeralds from New York give them a moderate run for their money, but those are long and delicate compared to tonight's massive teardrops. The big question surrounding these giant jewels is...are they real? I suspect they are. Rebecca English has confirmed that they are not from the royal vaults, and looking at the close ups, they appear to have some real workmanship and quality. They *could* be costume, but I highly doubt it. Since they made their first debut so close to the royal wedding, I think it is a good bet that these were a very expensive gift from someone who attended the wedding. To go a step further, I would guess probably a royal from the Middle East. Someone like Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco. They have the money for something this eye-popping and it is in that opulent style that the Middle East does so exquisitely.



Kate is wearing her suede cut-out heels by Prada and the diamond bracelet that Prince Philip gave the Queen when they married in 1947. Kate has previously worn it on several occasions. She is carrying a new clutch, too. I think Kate might be giving a nod to the Valentine's Day weekend here by carrying McQueen Heart-Clasp clutch in black satin:




I am a huge fan of Valentine's Day, but I am not loving this heart clasp. It looks a little too much like something the Evil Queen in Snow White might carry. I hope she doesn't have Meghan Markle's heart in there or anything. Totally joking...about MM's heart, but not about the design. It would not have been my first choice.


That moment when you realize you have star-struck the stars...

BAFTA Twitter

Let's talk about the dress. I love, love, love it.  This dress is SO Victorian! I think Kate the Great has been snuggled in front of her telly watching Victoria on ITV, which, by the way, I love. The off-of-the-shoulder style and full skirt look like a modern twist on something out of 1800s. It also makes me think of Scarlett O'Hara's tiered dress from Gone with the Wind. McQueen has modernized it and it is a bold and statement dress, but oddly classic, as well.


Recently, I have been embedding a lot of videos, and I don't know if they actually load when you all come to the site, or if you just see coding. Let me know if this doesn't show up, but here is a fun clip from BAFTA of the royals arriving. Let me know, though, because if they aren't loading for people, I'll get rid of most of the video content. I don't like ugly blogs. :) 


Here William and Kate get some special attention from host Stephen Fry. Kate is just stunning tonight, isn't she? 



This was a huge win, although Kate rarely misses when it comes to these big ticket events. She might score more on the safe-side of a spectrum that ranges from a really classic Jenny P to the floral Erdem, but she uniformly puts on a "smoking" show. I was hoping that tonight's event would fall closer to the black McQueen and the Erdem, and it certainly did...all the way down to the ruffles. :)  Although this ensemble is crowding right up next to the floral Erdem, (it is the same bold and unusual choice) I think it is far more of a win.

BAFTA Twitter

This is one of those ensembles where I simultaneously think "WOW" and "I wouldn't have chosen that." But, not in a bad way. This is what I wanted and hoped for--something I couldn't have called. I figured she'd go McQueen since she often does for these big events, but she has never worn a McQueen like this and that makes it so, so fun. I personally would have tried to bring the glam in another way, but it isn't a miss because she took a different path to the same conclusion. It is so interesting to see this part of Kate's taste develop. This picture below is the most magnificent shot of the night. She looks like world class royalty, which happens to be exactly what she is. Well done, Your Royal Highness.


I will say one more thing before I hang up my hat for the night. Kate's hair really made this entire look. It wasn't her usual chignon, this has a lot of lift and volume in the back and it frames her face more softly than some of her tighter chignons. It balances the shoulders and the dress without resorting to ringlets, which would have been...a crisis. If Kate and William mingle with the stars and there are pictures, I'll update tonight. 



210 comments:

  1. I am BLOWN AWAY!! Everything is perfection, the gown, jewelry and hair! Kate pulled out all the stops tonite. She certainly upstages all the stars. The stars all look like they try too hard. Bravo Kate!

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  2. Wow! Beautiful dress and those earrings!
    Watched her arrival on TV and the earrings looked fantastic.
    The dress was just the right length, so the bottom frill hung properly.
    Couldn't get a proper look at the bracelet.

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  3. I am not a fan of this dress, especially with Kate's bad posture, looks off. I am on the fence with her hair. I can't decide it makes her younger or older.
    Spectacular jewellery though!

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    1. I had the same reaction to this dress, godawful, IMO. It strengthens a theory, which I have previously mentioned on this site; to wit: that certain British fashion houses are competing for worst print dress of the decade. At the time, I was inclined to favour Erdem for the win, but this...aberration may have proved me wrong--story of my life! Not only was this dress a spring weight PRINT, if you allow for the black background, but the styling was wrong, emphasizing Kate's shoulders and slimming her hips! Just the opposite was required.)

      So...as of now, I would put McQueen in the lead, due to the ultra-poor styling elements. If Roland Mouret, Carolina Herrera, and certain others, including, but not exclusively, Jenny Packham, can produce far better, why the H**l bother to purchase anything from Erdem or McQueen??? It's mind-boggling, IMO.

      Onto the positive: I very much liked the way Kate styled her hair; it looked lovely, with plenty of healthy sheen. I also admired the earrings--sort of; I await a clearer description of the central jewel; if, for instance, it's a ruby, two thumbs down; if it's a clear gem, GREAT--am working on setting aside my distaste for overly-heavy earrings which, if worn too often, will only serve to elongate her earlobes. (Check the Queen.)

      JC

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    2. I do agree with your overall assessment JC. But with a $2000 clutch and a $7000 dress (before the bespoke changes) it doesn't seem like this look came about because of a too-tight budget!

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    3. Agreed. It's so unfortunate bc if it had been a solid it may have saved it for me.. I still think the Erderm is far more ugly but I can't tell what the print is exactly.. The earrings while gorgeous, they are just way way way too big and that makes then look take, to me, even though they probably could be traded for a house in some places if they are real. But real what exactly?? I do agree with the changes she made, but makes me wonder why? Why spend that much and totally change it up??? There are tons and tons of stunning dresses that cost way less and she'd rather wear a name brand ugly dress? I don't understand!!?! I loved the Kate Middleton look. The Duchess, especially the last couple of years, has just totally scrapped her high street buys all together it seems and goes straight for bespoke.. She would look much better in st from Victoria Beckham but hasn't tried her out anything yet, or in

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    4. I couldn't believe it when I saw her - she looks like she is in a costume. She is such a gorgeous woman, but this dress is just ridiculous. The ruffles and the print and the ribbon around her hips. Not flattering her amazing physique at all.

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    5. It just goes to show how we all see things differently doesn't it.
      I loved loved loved the entire look head to toe and was very proud of her!
      The off the shoulder look was beautiful and I really liked the print, the way it moved - we were watching in on the BBC - and it was so elegant.
      However there were some dresses there last night that were heading for serious wardrobe malfunction :-)

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    6. My thoughts are exactly as Anonymous at 3:58 PM. I think Kate is looking great from the neck up. But hate the dress. I don't think evening gowns with prints look elegant. This dress is too busy/noisy with prints and frills and the dramatic neckline. It makes me uncomfortable looking at Kate's shoulders/neckline.

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    7. Simone G, I so agree with you. We all look at it with different eyes. I like the total look Kate achieved last night and is far from "godawful" or "ridiculous". The dress actually made her look more like a Royal Princess instead of a celebrity waiting for a wardrobe malfunction!

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    8. @ lizzie Feb.12, 4:59 PM

      I begin to see your point, altho the money was tight for a few years. Perhaps now that Kate has more, she spends it unwisely; this trash from McQueen is a prime example--I actually winced when I discovered the price of the clutch, with its oversized and ugly clasp. The upshot may be that Kate spends so much on a handful of articles that she is left with very little for other events, so we get more trash. I dunno. What I am sure of is that Kate is in dire need of a professional stylist, someone who understands her budget requirements and who isn't afraid to tell her to butt out when it comes to reinventing a fashion house's design from a prior season--as per usual, this dress was based upon a McQueen, 2016. (I didn't like that either, BTW.)

      If there's any good news in this fashion fail, it's that she can wear it out of the public eye at Pippa's wedding dinner-dance, safe in the knowledge that she won't outshine her little sister. And, this dress is, after all, meant to be worn in the spring/summer...not in the dead of winter, not even in what passes for winter in England.

      Lastly, and I haven't read through all posts, so someone may have beaten me to it, I have a hunch that these earrings are Kiki McDonough's work. First, they are set in yellow gold--a Kiki fav--plus, in close-ups some of the stones appear to be semi-precious, with a scattering of real diamonds throughout, much like the large hoop earrings Kate once wore, with the semi-precious blue gems, diamonds sprinkled here and there. Naturally, someone will prove me wrong...maybe. :))
      JC

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    9. JC..good possible ID on the earrings. And yes to a stylist who could work with Kate in a positive way! No one wants to see the essential "Kateness" lost but it sure could be stylistically developed so there aren't high-end high-stakes mistakes. (I know everyone here doesn't think this dress was a mistake but it surely wasn't close to being universally loved like some of her other outfits have been)

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  4. Thanks, Jane. This is the best view I have seen-it shows off the total look. Amethysts! (I think) Up do! The tiered ruffled skirt pretty much tells me neither she nor her staff, whoever they may be, pay much attention to what blog fans complain about. That red ruffled gown was generally panned and compared to various items such as grandma's curtains. She looks radiant and William looks relaxed and happy. Bodes well for the evening.

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  5. WOW! Okay ..so this was not what I was expecting and not what I would have picked out for her. It doesn't have the glitz we were maybe hoping for but still dazzling in a different way. The dress is youthful, fun. Off the shoulder is so on point in terms of the latest styles. And from the video, I love the way the skirt moves. It looks like her hair has a fair bit of fullness at the back aka Old School Hollywood. This dress was a risk that totally worked!!

    And can we discuss those earrings! Those are Epic!

    SO surprised but in the best of ways. This was a fashion home run!!

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  6. Oh Jane I'm bummed about this gown. I like the edgy look (sort of) on the model, but the options Kate chose feel dowdy to me. I think I'm just not crazy about the prairie like skirted bottom. Just reminds me of the floral gown she wore some time back that created so much controversy. Sadly this is a miss IMHO :( .

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    1. Sadly, I agree :( I'm interested to see what Jane thinks of tonight's look!

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  7. Oh my, those earrings!!! An up do, as well. What fun…. Reserving judgement on the dress until I see more pictures, but looks like a winner. Not to be unkind or critical, but if a picture adds pounds, her shoulders reveal her extreme slenderness - worked very hard to use positive, not negative words there so lets not all go crazy..

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  8. Can't wait to hear your full reaction, Jane. I think her makeup and hair are on point tonight. I love the style of the dress, just not super psyched about the flower pattern. From far away, it's perfection, but up close...ehhhh...Also, THOSE EARRINGS. UFO since 2011....been awhile since we've seen those!

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  9. I LOVE it! She looks just beautiful. I love how she wears that dress...with so much movement and the busy print it could have easily worn her (so to speak). She must have been so chilly. I hear London is cold this evening.

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  10. The Duke and Duchess are a beautiful couple.

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  11. My oh my, the cut of the top is lovely. Her radiant smile and these ear rings - stunning.
    The pattern and the bottom are simply not my glass if wine. Did not like the big ruffles in the past, still don't today.
    I do love seeing her experiment in the fashion department and your make up is excellent. You go girl! Starchild

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  12. Those earrings are amazing! My first impression is a big win. Kate looks sensational. Gorgeous couple.

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    1. Kate was stunning tonight. Loved the entire look, from top to bottom. She just wowed everyone. They are such a gorgeous couple, and they looked as though they were having fun. Just perfection.

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  13. Wow! She looks sooo stunning! Definitely not what I expected her to wear (I thought she was going to recycle something), but I am over the moon!

    The best part are definitely the earrings. I have been hoping for Kate to wear some serious huge sparkle for so long! I only hope they are real stones and not some costume jewelry :)
    Could they be from the royal collection?

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    1. According to the Palace they are not on loan but pink diamonds. Starchild

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  14. Forgot to add:
    Her bracelet also looks gorgeous, another loan from The Queen? Or maybe another 'private gift' like the gorgeous emeralds?

    I really like that she changed her makeup a bit. Note that she didn't use eyeliner on her lower lashline which makes her look 5 years younger. And look at the gorgeous wing of her eyeliner! I wish I could do such a wing myself! Do you think she did this herself or did she have someone do her makeup? Whatever, her makeup is on fleek tonight :)

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    1. The braclet simply is the Queen's wedding gift C wore e.g. for the China State banket. Starchild

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    2. At first, I didn't recognize them because there was only one good photo in which the bracelet was visible, but because of the angle it looked much bigger than this bracelet for me :)

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  15. I agree with Megan - everything was gorgeous about this look, except the print of the fabric. It's oddly casual for such a formal gown, and not in a terribly attractive way. On first glance, I was hoping the flowers were clusters of beads or embroidery, something decadent for this big occasion. The pattern was a bit of a letdown.

    However. Her hair was gorgeous (so big!), her earrings were blisteringly blingy, and she looked radiant! And the cut of the dress was just beautiful on her - she can really wear an off-the-shoulder gown superbly. (Also, the skirt was very sexy from the back - she was working it! As one Twitter commenter put it, "Pippa who?")

    Her slim figure gives me scant hope now of winning the bet I'd made, but either she's still somehow pregnant (yay), or she just decided to put on a few pounds since her ultra-slim phase last summer (yay). Overall, it's a win in my books - I'll just squint when I look at the fabric.

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    1. hah - yes! Squinting when you look at the pattern is a good way to fully love his dress!

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    2. I just remembered the alleged concern that Kate would upstage the actors at the awards show. Taking that into account, this dress grows on me; not on its own merits so much, but as a cleverly diplomatic sartorial bunt.

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    3. ALSO. Those earrings are not just the biggest she owns, they are the biggest in existence! Any bigger and they would legally be door knockers.

      Actually, that's probably what Miguel and Rebecca are doing there; each is in charge of watching ONE earring.

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    4. Tsipa, this gave me a real chuckle. :)

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  16. I'm sure it's a beautiful dress in person. But honestly, I liked the very elegant suggestions of what Kate might wear made earlier on this blog much better! I'm just not a fan of evening gowns done in dainty prints as they often remind me of nightgowns or "junior prom" dresses. I do like the fit at Kate's waist vs being high-waisted. But the gathered layers of the skirt, the flower print on a dark background, and the horizontal ribbons/satin bands remind me too much of skirts from the 70s. As I recall those usually hit slightly below the knee and were worn with boots and fitted shorter jackets. I liked those skirts alot back then but below the neck this just doesn't translate to an elegant or especially regal evening look to me. It also doesn't strike me as a candidate for a re-wear because it won't look much different with different jewelry. 


    I wish Will would get some longer and slightly looser trousers at least for evening events. (When people hoped to see royal jewels at this event I don't think that's what most meant!)

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    1. Hahaha, I loved your 'royal jewels' comment!

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    2. lizzie, the royal jewels are often on display :)

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  17. Love her look from top to bottom. The cut and fit of this dress is wonderful. The fabric a gorgeous weight and texture. The earrings, hair and make up great. I am not a fan of floral print but Kate loves it and this is a gorgeous print. The ruffles in this dress are very well done and I love how they look and I am not a fan of ruffles. The off shoulder construction is gorgeous on her frame along with the very fitted bodice. I think it hits just the right note for this event, gorgeous , but a bit of fun.

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  18. The dress is too much off shoulders. The shourders area looks quite odd on her. And disturbing. And I'm not feeling confortable looking at it. It looks like it's going to fall off completely. I don't like the dress at all. There were so many better dressed guests.

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    1. I agree Jolanta. I noticed so many better dressed guests too. Very disappointing.

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    2. And many appallingly dressed guests!

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    3. Many more appallingly dressed guest.

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  19. It makes her shoulders look so much wider than her waist. Almost V form. Disproportion is enormous.

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    1. I think that's her natural body shape: wide at the shoulders, narrow at the hips/waist...almost like a swimmers body, very athletic.

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  20. The dress and its alterations are lovely - but not the most flattering for Katherine. She hasn't got the posture to carry it off. Like the up do and dramatic earrings but did she have a facial like today, this afternoon? Shiny red face. Possibly just this particular picture.

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  21. Absolutely stunning. Both royal reporters there. Rebecca English and Emily Nash commented that the dress is stunning and that she looked amazing. I agree. And the dress moves so well as she walks.

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  22. The way she carries clutches kills the way the she wears clothes. The same thing happened with the Oscar de la Renta. I wish she would walk with the clutch at her side like the woman next to her was.

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    1. Yes, clutch to her side at least when walking. Definitely!

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    2. Orange County GrandmaFebruary 12, 2017 at 7:57 PM

      God why so nick picky. People complain she does not wear her hair up enough she puts her hair up, you complain. It seems she can't win with you all. And complain how she carrys her clutch. Anything else wrong with her tonight.

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    3. Because, my love, it's a fashion blog. 😉

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  23. Her hair makes her look like she is a middle aged woman attending a wedding :-( I also don't think she has the poise to carry off the low shoulders - she how hunched she is in the pictures as if she needs more confidence - if you are going to bare them, own it! Also the tiered bands through her body make her look very long in the waist. A bit like a bowling pin... :-( But the earrings are awesome and the print is wonderful - unusual.

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    1. I agree about the hair- I like the idea of an updo, but feel like this one didn't work- the little bun in the back combined with the bouffant style seemed very dated.

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    2. Yes, the tiered bands do remind me of a bowling pin! I don't know if that's the most flattering effect...

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  24. What I love most about this is how well the dress hugs her body. Because of her slim shape, she can be overwhelmed sometimes by her evening dresses, this fits like a gove. And I think her shoulders look lovely, very statuesque. Also, good make-up. I think she's wearing eyelashes, which is new and great for evening.

    Did anyone notice in the DM William's velvet slippers?? Not a fan.

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    1. Velvet slippers are traditional wear with a tuxedo. Known as Prince Albert Slippers, they are worn by a man at his club or by the host of an event. As William is the President of BAFTA it would be expected that he wear velvet.

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    2. I have seen many men in tuxes but never velvet slippers. My first thought was, he looks like his Dad - very fussy, very British.

      Sorry but this looks not just metrosexual, but gay. This is not a look that's common in US unless the man is gay, then completely understood.

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    3. I didn't mind the velvet shoes so much as the panty hose he seemed to be wearing with them! What happened to a nice pair of trouser socks?! LOL! Glad he tried something new, but the sock choice made me laugh - totally sheer in the pics I saw!

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    4. It's not a new look for William ... this is his go to outfit and he has worn it for years. Nothing to see here ....

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    5. Anon 11:07, it does look like William is wearing panty hose! hahaha Good grief, I thought the velvet slippers were strange in their own right...actually, I think he wore hose to the Diplomatic Reception last year with the garter, maybe it's a traditional thing?

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    6. Ummm, I'm stateside. It's hardly a gay thing. It all depends where you are in the US and how formal the black tie occasion is. And perhaps whether you own or rent a tux. Every guy I know who owns a black tux, has a pair of slippers; although I can't say how often they wear them. Maybe they succumbed to a persuasive salesman. 😉 Rather than weddings, it's far more prevalent to wear slippers at black tie galas, banquets and other high level social functions. In a heirarchy of tux shoes, velvet is held at a much higher level than leather dress shoes and second only to patent leather.

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    7. Well, Prince William *is* British so I guess the shoe...or shoes...fit.

      And my money is on dress socks; not hose. 😊

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    8. royalfan 7:48-Yes, the shoes do fit. HA! Those are dress socks. one does not wear white crew socks with formal evening attire.

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    9. Prince William's shoes and socks are the height of formal wear for men - even in the states for those who know about and attend such formal occasions. We need to stop looking at Hollywood (where men wear Chucks with their tuxes) and look at high ranking society events to gauge what is and is not "done" when wearing formal attire. Actors, actresses, and musicians are not of the same caliber of what is truly elite in the US. They're just what Joe Public sees the most of here and I think we are the worse for it to keep blinders on to everything else. If George Clooney wore this exact outfit everyone would be swooning and talking about how classy he is. That's kind of sad. It is very odd to criticize William for looking "British" since he is a royal prince, a royal duke, and the heir to the British throne. SMH On the other hand, Stephen Fry called him Prince Bill and I think we should all applaud William for walking on stage with a smile on his face after that!

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    10. royalfan & anon 1, I stand corrected! The sheen of the dress socks or my eyes deceiving me, made me think they looked like hose! But I'm sure that he wore stockings for the DR last year...

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    11. Oh, Robin, I cannot agree more about NOT looking to actors, actresses, and musicians as an example of what to wear or how it's done. After all, a degree of shock value and artsy/quirky is expected; not the case within the Cambridge's world.

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    12. I clicked too early...lol. Also wanted to say that I'm glad we're in agreement about dress socks vs. hose. :-)

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  25. Her pink blusher does not suit her complexion and only emphasises the apple cheeks so I feel she could do with some advice although she likes to do her own makeup.
    Otherwise I like her fresh approach to hair etc.

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    1. I thought the point of blush was to accent the cheek bones? I think her "apple cheeks" (high cheek bones) are an asset. Am I missing something from your comment?

      I agree the blush might be a little strong, but it's night and the beginning of the evening. I think the color itself is an improvement from her normal shade. She has a tendency, in the past, to lash on her blush. I thought this was an improvement.

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    2. She didn't look quite so "blush-y" after being there for awhile. My guess is that the very cold temperatures outside gave her a much more rosey look upon arrival.

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    3. I think the blush balanced her eye makeup for a complete evening look. Without the blush, she could have been accused of looking "tired", as we have heard once or twice, ladies. :-)

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    4. Or she was actually blushing. She has been know...I don't think they have ever had to make an entrance quite like that before, walking down an aisle with people standing close by on either side ogling them and applauding.William looked flustered.

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  26. I have mixed feelings about the dress. It's a beautifel gown but too busy for me. It does nothing for her body. Her hair, make up and earrings are perfect. She looks radiant and happy! The last years she experiment a lot with her hair, make up and outfits.

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  27. So disappointed. The dress is just too busy--tiers, busy print, ribbons/bands. Too "Little House on the Prairie." Perhaps someone curvier and with a better posture would look better in this. So many lovely options (even repeats!) she could have chosen from.

    Her face looks very pink--makeup? Facial?






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    1. Agreed on all points. V disappointed. She has done way better on the red carpet before

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  28. Generally speaking I dislike floral prints of any kind and this is no exception. An occasion like this calls for something more sophisticated than this printed fabric. As to the flounces, I feel about them the same way I feel about peplums--no thank you. That being said, Kate looks radiant. Her skin and hair look very healthy.
    Can anyone tell me why Rebecca and Miguel need to accompany William and Kate everywhere? I am not being snarky. I am genuinely curious.

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  29. This is perfect! Elegant and fun all at once. The earrings are fantastic.

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  30. Jane - as you asked, I've never been able to see the videos until today, when the Stephen Fry one was embedded (the others show up as links). I generally view on my phone, though; desktop readers may have a different experience.

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    1. I agree. When I look at the site with my iPhone, the videos don't load properly, but when I read the site on my Macbook they're there!

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    2. The videos appear on my iPad.

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  31. I love everything except the straps -- I think the placement does nothing except make her shoulders look too wide. Otherwise, I love it! I hope we someday discover the origin of those earrings!

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  32. Im very ho hum about this dress. Its far too 70s for me with the ribbon denoting the tiers and the pattern is for me doesn't fit the standing for the occassion. Overall, I liked the look with her hair, makeup (she looks quite pink in some photos and definitely has played up the upper eye as she seems to be wearing false lashes),and of course the jewels which are devine.

    Feedback for the videos - great, love them, keep them coming.

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  33. Hey...who is Danny Dyer and clue me in on this joke. Thanks!

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    1. Joan, I didn't know what the reference was, either. The show "Who DO You Think You Are" is a show where celebrities trace their ancestry--apparently--I think through DNA. Danny Dyer is some actor form East Enders and I guess on a recent show he traced his ancestry and discovered he was related to Prince William. Probably pretty distantly, but I don't actually know.

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  34. I'm pretty sure the earrings are costume. At least the cetre stone is, such large diamonds would shine more under the flashlights, like the little stones surrounding it do. On the dress, it's just not good for her figure, it makes her look even more tiny. A nice dress, styled wrong. Another miss for me.

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    1. I think it is highly unlikely that center stone is a diamond. I don't know a lot about jewelry, but I think those are pretty rare? But I think it could be a morganite stone or...some other stone I don't know about. :) I really am going off the clustered diamonds and the craftsmanship. They look real to me, but we shall see.

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    2. I know a bit of jewellery (Not an expert but I've worked for Christie's and so have spent some time looking at gems!) Yes, the clusters do look like diamonds, notice how they shine so much you can barely see their shape. For diamonds, yes, large pieces are rare, specially two that are the same size. I think the stone is maybe too large for a morganite, those are quite rare too, but maybe a very light topaz or a semi-precious stone? Anyhow, even if it's just crystal, they are gorgeous.

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    3. I was also thinking morganite or one of the many shades of topaz. They are gorgeous and, judging by the setting, very expensive.

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  35. I love this look -- elegant and fresh. Any the jewels are amazing. I generally do not like flower prints, but this dress is beautiful on her.

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  36. Love everything about this look. Elegance. The gown is princessy and not Hollywood. Excellent choice. Looks up do is also great. Can't stand the false eyelashes

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  37. Don't want to nitpick, but can we please refrain from lauding the Middle East for doing jewelry so well? Much of their wealth is on the backs of horrific human rights devastation, legal slavery, no rights for women or children, etc. Barbaric doesn't even come close to describing it. Certainly makes their taste in jewelry sickening.

    I cringed when I read your reference to them and had to say something. We just need to be more aware for those oppressed.

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    1. I absolutely agree. Amazing that people so worked up over the US President don't seem concerned about some of the very questionable characters the royals have been close to.

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    2. My 7:23 reply to you, anon 6;25, found its way to a completely unrelated spot below.

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    3. It is very traditional for royal families from other countries to gift jewels to the bride at a royal wedding. It doesn't mean they are best friends or even close associates. If we were to take offense at every fabulous jewel that was mined on the backs of slaves then museums and royal families the world over would toss them all in the trash never to be seen again, and that includes all of the crowns, tiaras, and orbs used in ceremonial circumstances. I'm not advocating nor agreeing the practice of slave labor (which is appalling) I'm just saying that none of us know exactly where the diamonds in our wedding rings or any other jewelry originated so we shouldn't be so critical of others who wear theirs. I also don't believe that Jane was lauding the Middle East for their jewelry, she was speculating that, based on style and expense, this is where they *may* have come from.

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    4. Robin -

      No one should be accepting jewelry from Middle East countries, including princesses. I guess I can't glibly look way from their crimes against humanity like some.

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    5. That's rather harsh anon 2:53. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and can imagine what one might do (in this case refuse to accept a gift from a wedding guest) but it seems a bit naive to assume that world leaders are free to snub other world leaders without consequence. Robin was just commenting on the historical reality.

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    6. Robin- I tried to reply yesterday but it kept getting vaporised. I don't think anyone meant to criticise Jane's remark. My remark had nothing to do with Africa or blood diamonds. That is a terrible past, as is ivory, that the BRF has to live with. The massive jewels gifted to royals, other than as wedding gifts, combined with lavish trips and reciprocal visits-personal, not official, lend a not quite right air to those sorts of activities. Plus, I don't believe Camilla and others have to catalogue and surrender those gifts as the Queen does official gifts from other countries. If my beliefs are incorrect on this, Jean or someone who has knowledge or experience in this please comment.

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  38. Kate looked very beautiful tonight, hair and jewellery exactly right. I loved the flow of the dress - not quite ecstatic about the off the shoulder look –I feel Kate needs to be more confident when wearing this style – she seemed ill at ease which is conveyed in her posture. However in fairness to her it could have been the biting cold of a February night that was at play ! I personally much prefer the bodice of the original design but totally understand that it might be deemed too risqué for the monarchy . But these quibbles aside - I feel it was a win !

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  39. Does anyone else think the cut of the top screamed for an elaborate necklace as well as the earrings? Or would that have been too busy? Lots of blank skin up there IMO.

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    1. I think it would have been too busy with the print Emily although I agree there is alot of "blank canvas."  For me the problem is the straight across neckline and straps. The R. Mouret, for example, had more interesting neck and shoulder lines. Here the eye doesn't have anywhere to go except back and forth and nowhere to "settle."

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    2. I agree it would have been a bit too busy. Maybe on a re-wear we'll get a great necklace with more subdued earrings.

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  40. I wish William would button his jacket.

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    1. Ha! That's my only complaint about William's attire. Button when standing, unbutton when sitting. It's a standard men's fashion rule that he seems to forget once he gets out of the car. For my husband it's just muscle memory. I don't think he even needs to think about it.

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    2. Is it a new trend perhaps? I think Harry does, but not William. I prefer buttoned, but I think he looks good regardless.

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  41. anon 6;25- I understand what you are saying. I'm not sure of the origins of the closeness of Prince Charles and the Middle Eastern royalty-whether it is truly a personal friendship or based upon the British dependence upon their oil or something else. I do have a visual memory of George W. Bush walking hand in hand with one of the sheiks, so it's not just a British thing. I didn't notice any giant earrings or pearl chokers on Laura, though.At any rate, I just think there is something not quite right about the jewels lavished on some of the royals as personal gifts (ok,I guess that includes HM) and I hope those earrings were from the Duke of Westminster or anyone other than a Middle Eastern source. I think they are pink topaz. And real diamonds set in 18 caret gold. I did mention the black suede cut out Pradas, did I not, Robin? I missed out on every thing else, including baby Cambridge III in residence. Yet-there is her absolutely luminous smile...

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    1. There are very different rules for what personal gifts a US president (or his wife) can accept from foreign sovereigns/governments than what the BRF can.

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    2. VERY different rules. Gifts to a US President and/or his wife are gifts to the country and are not personal gifts. Foreign governments know the rules of each country they visit so you will not see a gift to the US that is something personal such as jewelry. Each gift is recorded and kept on file. The Clintons got into some trouble when they left the WH because they took some of the gifts with them. They had to be returned. The US President is not supposed to accumulate any personal wealth (outside of his nearly half a million dollars a year paycheck) as a result of his office during his term. Most of them put their assets into a blind trust so they cannot see what their portfolio looks like while they serve. Donald Trump transferred all of his personal holdings to his children when he took office office because his holdings are so vast, and include so much real estate, that he would have had to liquidate the entire estate and pay off any mortgages on the property (as that would be considered debt) in order to create a blind trust. Royal families, most likely because they inherit their titles instead of being elected, gift each other all kinds of things that continue to stay in their families for generations. The taxpayers, however, support elected officials.

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    3. The RF is supported by taxpayers.

      And Trump hasn't transferred any assets to his children. The oldest son is merely running the companies along with a longtime executive. That's the rub. Trump still owns and controls all his assets.

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    4. I thought we were supposed to avoid US politics but since it appears not....it is a little unrealistic to think Trump could have liquidated his vast real estate holdings between Nov and Jan unless it was done at fire sale prices. (Ever try to sell a house? Especially under time pressure?) And if he had spent all his time as the pres-elect openly wheeling and dealing to sell his personal holdings during those two months what would people have said then? Tranferring ownership to his children would have triggered large gift taxes to be paid and still not resulted in his being unaware of/blind to the fate of his holdings like hotels. I'm not a fan but an awful lot of opposition positions taken seem to be of the no-win "I wonder if he's still beating his wife" sort. I guess the lesson may be to avoid electing people for office who already have tangible assets like business holdings and real estate...people can be rich (Kennedys anyone?) but better the assets be liquid and/or more easily hidden. We know the vast number of office-holders will be rich coming out (look at the holdings of ex-senators and ex-presidents...most are or shortly become millionaires) but still, an odd lesson.

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    5. Unfortunately, an impoverished person cannot afford and does not have the powerful support structure resulting from personal wealth to run for president. Most candidates are wealthy to begin with.Former presidents and some senators earn money on the speech-making circuit. Granted, the remunerations are generous at times. In the past, former office holders have become lobbyists, using the contacts made while holding office to pressure current Congresspersons to vote favorably for the represented cause. There are such bills and parts of bills called "pork barrel" because they benefit a favored manufacturing or construction concern. At one time, Trump campaigned against former Congressmen being able to become lobbyists for at least five years after office.///Otherwise, I am not sure what exactly you are referring to with " ...are or shortly become millionaires."

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  42. I feel like I've been so negative today and I don't want to be. Someone I thought did look great: Rebecca Deacon.

    Did anyone notice RD today? I noticed her on the live feed when she was walking up the stairs behind Kate and also sitting behind Kate inside. I liked her dress. She looked lovely!

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    1. She did look lovely! Too bad she had to carry that huge shoulder bag but that goes with the job.

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    2. Robin, yes, I'm sure whatever is in that bag is super important. Not sure if Miguel Head carries a bag/briefcase all the time too. Probably!

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  43. I agree that it feels very 1800s - we just finished Victoria last night. :)

    Love the fabric much more in hi-res on a computer rather than my phone. It's growing on me, but there is So Much Going On with this ensemble that I feel a little overwhelmed.

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  44. Jane I know it was just a joke but it made me curious, don't you like Meghan Markle? I love her fashion and confidence and interest in charity and that remark made me wonder what you thought?

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    1. I like her fashion a lot! I really enjoy following everything she wears, and I actually repliMeghan myself. I have bought her boots and I want to get her water bottle and her beanie hat. I almost bought one of her coats on the Outnet the other day, but I am trying to cut back on spending. :) I don't have much to say about her charity work or her acting, for that matter. She is a beautiful woman and I love her fashion and enjoy following her. She seems to make Harry really happy. I really hope it works out for them--I know Harry wants to settle down, and it sounds like she's ok with moving overseas to make a life with him, which is great.

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    2. Thanks for answering! And yes money (or lack of!) always gets in the way!
      I really like her and her fashion and think they will be an amazing couple. The thing she said that I liked was that the fave thing about her job was that it gave her the profile to do charity work. So it seems to me she wouldn't mind leaving her job since the royal status would give her even more ability. I think she and Harry must really click.

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    3. Jane - please let us know if you ever do plan to start a Meghan Markle fashion blog. I am just so in love with her style!

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    4. Miss Markle sounds too much like Miss Marple and then my mind goes to a completely different place. Ha! I think Harry should propose to Meghan saying, " The Q tells me I must renounce all ties to the royal family if we should marry. Let's get married and live in Botswana in a hut-the greatest platform of all to speak to their needs." I think Harry would be up for it. Live amongst his orphans in Africa and serve his charity daily. This would be a solution for realising her charity aspirations while avoiding the invasive press and being with her true love, Harry. Win Win Win.

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    5. Anon 1, Harry may just go for it, but me thinks it would be the ultimate litmus test for the romance....

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    6. I think Harry has too much respect for his family and to his charities (especially those he shares with W&K) to chuck it all and move to a hut in Africa. There is also the fact that he has always had wealth and a kind of privilege only extended to a senior member of the BRF that would be very difficult to give up no matter how romantic it sounds. I would say that *if* he were to marry Meghan, the most he would do was give up his position in direct line to the throne. Wouldn't that just make Andrew fill with glee?

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    7. Good point, Robin. Andrew may be taking up a collection for the engagement ring as we speculate. ;-)

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    8. Why would he need to give up anything to marry Meghan? What's the implication there?

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    9. Anon 1 assume you were being facetious:) and/or partaking in a whimsical escape. But on a serious note the idea that Harry would ever truly live that live full time IMHO is crazy:):) let alone Ms Markle. They enjoy the good life a bit too much...

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    10. Facetious, indeed, ali. I like the sound of whimsical escape. I first noticed my leanings in that direction during and since the 2016 campaign, which I as a hereditary liberal spent living with one of my tea-party relatives...Ha! And, in reality, I agree with you. And royalfan's litmus test as well.

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  45. This is just stunning! I love the fabric, the way she changed the bodice, and those earrings! I don't mind the clutch at all and wish she would wear silk or satin shoes to match instead of the suede. Don't get me wrong, I love the Prada shoes, but this is an evening event with a silk/satin dress and clutch so the shoes need to step it up a notch. That being said, this is the best pair of her suede shoes and this whole look is a win. The hair is gorgeous and everything together made a total win. Most of the McQueen stuff she's been wearing lately is a little on the bizarre side so this classic style is fantastic!

    We flew in from Amsterdam today and I've been up for almost 24 hours so I'll read the rest of the comments later but, while we were there, I saw an exhibit of royal handbags including some on loan from HMTQ and Princess Grace's family. Some great insight I'll share later.

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  46. It's late and Monday morning will be here before I know it, so I hope it's okay to share thoughts I just posted elsewhere... :)

    Kate looked beautiful and radiant, without a doubt. What a handsome couple. Truly. And I loved her updo and earring combo (yay!), as well as the accessories.

    To be honest, the gown isn't my favorite, but it did serve an important purpose; Kate is a royal Duchess and the Victorian feel of it set her apart from the rest of the crowd. There is no need for her to appear to be competing with today's movie stars who want to show up wearing the latest trend (tasteful or not).

    I do wonder whether the gown wouldn't look better with diagonal straps..? In some photos, they look fine while in others the straps appear to sit lower than one might find comfortable wearing. Just my two cents on this.

    One thing I do feel strongly about is that the overall look was screaming for a choker necklace. Granted, these earring wouldn't work, but you get the idea... :-)

    http://queensjewelvault.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-four-row-japanese-pearl-choker.html

    https://img1.etsystatic.com/179/0/14515736/il_340x270.1178633837_lmhm.jpg

    The earrings she wore at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York would have been perfect in this case. :)

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    1. I agree that she looked royal in every way and does not need to compete with the movie stars who actually try to wear as little as possible. These earrings were just stunning and I'm glad we got to see them. I do agree the emerald earrings she wore at The Met would have been so gorgeous with this gown. I'm hoping that if she recycles this dress the change up will be with something dramatic at the neckline such as the necklace from HM emerald tassel parure which just begs to be worn with an off the shoulder dress! No disrespect to HMTQ but she doesn't wear that piece correctly!

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    2. Robin, me thinks that Kate has the neck and shoulders to really show off quite a few of HM's hidden treasures. Camilla tries, but oh my God no. Just no.

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  47. I must say that while I enjoy following certain aspects of Kate and the royal family. I do so while safely living in the US.

    When I saw the pictures of the audience standing for W & K to enter... That would get old real quick to me. Giving so much deference to that family simply over their birthright - ugh. I know some will say it's their "position" that gets the respect not them. Doesn't matter. I wouldn't like it. Let me watch them from a safe distance - across the pond!

    Side eye from a Yank

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    1. You're funny Anon! I mean that in a nice way! I often think the same thing - Americans love the royals cos they don't have to pay for them. It would never survive in US and who knows how long it can survive at all these days. As older generations go so too will interest in supporting monarchies IMO

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    2. Ummm don't you stand in the US when POTUS enters the room or attends an event?
      And I think you'll find you pay quite a bit for the upkeep of the presidency.
      Quite rightly.
      I accept that Americans have a massive interest in the British Royal Family - just as most of the world do about your current POTUS :-)
      But it appears from your comments that you may not understand the way that the Royal Family fits into our society or culture - and that's ok, you're American, but it's worth trying to understand as people outside America do regarding the important traditions and elements of your own country.
      The monarchy has been around for a few hundred years now - I suspect it will be around a while longer too ...
      It will change and evolve but i believe it will survive.
      Simone

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    3. This American would have no issue with standing up. It's not the equivalent of believing that they are better than me/us (as people); it simply means that I am a better person for acknowledging their position and showing respect. No more no less.

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    4. It's funny - I wouldn't mind standing for the queen or president, but I would feel deeply uncomfortable standing for W & K (even though I like them). Anyway, I think it's fun to see the different perspectives here.

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    5. Anon 10:54
      Actually the Royal family costs the taxpayer nothing. Crown Estates were handed over to the Exchequer in exchange for their upkeep. Presently the Crown Estates brings in around £230 million per annum of which 15% is returned to the Queen for upkeep of the palaces in which they live and all the expenses of the job. Even taking into account the cost of security the taxpayer gains.
      Crown Estates consists of property bought by Monarchs ---their are receipts in the archives for purchase of many.
      Rather like taking all President Trumps property and allowing him just 15% of it back. Not something I think he would dream of doing.
      I note that William and Catherine are undertaking an official visit to Paris on March 17 and 18.

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    6. My pupils stand up when a visitor comes into the room - it's not deference but politeness.

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    7. Simone, what amused me was the expression on the faces of the women, as the two made their way down the aisle. (was that Julia Stiles?) The one admiring look was from a woman who seemed to be gazing at William.I think they had been expecting Hollywood glamour with bare thighs and bold colors and patterns. The men just had an an admiring gleam in their eyes..... Not all Americans show lack of appreciation for the romance between the monarchy and the British. However, perhaps the comparison would more accurately stated as the audience rising to acknowledge the grandson of POTUS. :+)...Now I hear you saying they are not honoring Prince William for himself, but as a representative of the Queen and the Crown.... Not likely for a nod to a POTUS grandchild, although one never knows now. I suggest anon just assume they are rising for William as President of BAFTA. Or so they could get a good look. They were probably at least fifty percent Americans anyway.......PS I think her hairdo is very late-Victorian pompadourish and carries out the possible theme of the dress. I think the Caseola -that gorgeous cream dress, whatever the name was- would have fit in and wowed everyone and reinforced the pre-BAFTA rumors, if it had not already been worn.Now I am wondering if it was originally purchased with BAFTA in mind. I think the point was to pull off the unexpected and not compete. THAT she accomplished .She was in a class by herself. Now I understand what that means.

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    8. 8:32 I can only add exactly!!! to your perfect answer.

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    9. Anon 1 @ 10:41, I think we're on the same page about the choice of this gown. 😊

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    10. Jean that is absolute tosh you should know much better than that.
      The Crown Estate was surrendered several HUNDRED years ago in 1760, so the monarch wouldn't have to pay for you know, the navy, military expenses, which was the case up to that point. It is now all govt money, all one pot in the treasury. You take some out of the pot for the monarchy, less there is for other things. And PPO's and security are directly funded by taxes. And Only recently has the Grant been tied to crown profits, which many see as a mistake since as properties increase so does the money sent to the monarch, when many others -you know schools, the NHS - are seeing cuts.

      To try to compare it to President Trump is ridiculous who purchased properties as a private citizen during his lifetime and will only serve 4-8 years as a President. The Crown Estate has properties that go back hundreds of years and have been managed by a separate entity for more than 250yrs

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    11. As an American I can only add that we should not throw stones at another country's traditions. I am happy that Jean from Lancs has, once again, set the record straight about the whole tired and inaccurate "tax payers pay for the family" line. I suspect she will need to do it again. Yes, we do (or should) stand as the POTUS enters a room. It is a sign of respect for the leader of our country. I know that the political climate in this country has become one of complete disrespect but I, for one, am happy to see the Brits still displaying good manners. We could learn a thing or two about that here in the US these days.

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    12. Haha! Good on you Anon 1
      Wasn't POTUS grandson heard to shout "when are we going home?" At the inauguration- priceless.
      Anyway enough politics! :-)

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    13. anon 8:32- of course, I read 'pupils" as eyes and a vision of eyeballs rolling to attention darted through my mind. Ha! I do agree, however, now that I have the meaning sorted out.One must show respect to one's hosts. It is polite. It would have looked odd if the British part of the audience stood while the others remained seated.

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    14. Jean 8:28-you are entirely correct. It is a difficult concept for some to understand-the idea of royals having private property and income; however, your illustration was quite apt. Some may argue-"...but it all originally belonged to the public. ..." Try telling that to any billionaire. Many industrialists now and then made their money from unfair labor practices or taking advantage of law loop holes or needs of an individual. America would have to return government land to Native Americans and the British and just about any affluent country would as well. The royals have a good deal of their income from real estate-some of it tied to them for centuries. So what if it came through conquest and charters. Acquisition still , in a sense, operates that way.

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    15. The Paris trip- might we expect Dior? Chanel? I wonder if the trip might also have a tie-in to the French photographer lawsuit. And perhaps plans for a Diana memorial later on in the year?

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    16. anon 1, I can see some admiring glances at the William, but the women looking at Kate look rather perplexed.

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    17. I had twelve years of Catholic school. We always stood when a priest, nun, or a lay teacher entered the room. In addition, I am not so old that I remember when gentlemen always stood when a woman entered the room. It's called good manners.

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    18. Casasola. Appalling how I keep missing the proper spelling.

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    19. That's a good point, anon 1, re: the lawsuit...I totally forgot about that.
      And also the 20th anniversary of Diana's tragic death...
      Fashion-wise, I hope that we do see some Dior or Chanel, that would be nice :)

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    20. William was invited as new Patron of Welsh Union to attend France/ Wales game and Foreign Office have asked them to visit France. Soft diplomacy ahead of Brexit trigger which is expected at the end of March.

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    21. It is astounding to me how people who claim to be royal watchers are so uninformed about financing the royals and keep passing on incorrect information. It is really a simple formula for anyone who will take 10-15 mins to study it correctly.
      The Crown Estate DOES NOT belong to the royal family. The money for the royals is only EQUATED as a percentage of it for the sake of formula. This was only set up in 2012 to be reviewed every 5 years it will be reviewed again this year and likely modified because of the outcry that the royals got increased spending when spending was cut elsewhere.
      An official statement from BP comes out every summer with the spending report. Last summer (2016) here was statement:
      "Buckingham Palace said the Royal family now costs 62p for every citizen of the United Kingdom, up from 58p last year. A spokesman also said two thirds of the increase in the Queen’s income was being spent on reducing a huge backlog of repairs to royal palaces."
      So BP and other agencies, like the treasury, admit citizens bear the cost of the family, but readers here are unable to see that? Study up on something before making statements or stick to fashion.

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    22. Kate in Chanel would be a dream come true for me. A classic suit with stylish Chanel shoes and a quilted bag. . . I can see it all in my mind and it's wonderful! Kate, get thee to a salon posthaste!

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    23. Of course standing up as a sign of respect is good manners. But I have to say its been awhile since I saw *young* men do it when a woman enters the room! And of course there really aren't any examples that serve as on point analogies between the UK and the US as our systems are so different. These are as close as I can get. Leaving current politics out of it (please :) 1. assuming we in the US stand for the president do Brits routinely stand for their PM? 2. Assuming Brits routinely stand for W&K, do we in the US routinely stand NOT for the grandson of the president but for the Speaker of the House (next in the line of succession after the VP) and his wife?  (Or her husband but the current speaker is male) I don't know but suspect the answer may be no to both.

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    24. Yes, Robin, Chanel *would* be a dream come true! Ohhh, the possibilities...

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    25. So Anon 5:40 and Jean from Lancs, I am confused on the funding. What I think I am reading is that the Royas handed over property to the Government of which they get a percentage for their upkeep and the rest goes to the general public funds? This is what I am reading form Jean and then Annon 5:40 seems to think that the Royals are being funded completely out of taxpayer funds. Can someone clarify:)

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    26. On the subject of crown estate. IMO Jean explained it perfectly.
      It is a matter of common sense. What happened 250 years ago? A monarch decided to gift a huge part of his fortune to the government, or the state. Thereby creating a new model of monarchy.
      Well,to put it simply, this gift came with the condition it would be used for state expenses, one of those being the upkeep of the BRF. Nobody disagrees on this.
      This bunch of assets gifted 250 years ago have a direct consequence : they provide the British state of an income. A huge income. This income has never gone through tax payers hands. In fact, the government could decide not to levy taxes anymore and still get that income.
      The arguments I have read consist in : that happened a long time ago, the king wealth was unlawfully acquired through exploitation, the crown estate belongs to the government,it should be considered as one source of income like others and go in the pot, the expenses towards keeping the BRF diminish the state's budget thus indirectly cost taxpayers money. All of them try to forget the fact that 250 years ago, there was a financial agreement,conditional, and carying consequences and that those conditions and consequences are still binding and alive today.

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    27. I think if you look into the historical context 250 years ago it wasn't exactly a voluntary and generous "gift"

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    28. Hi Izzie
      I guess it's really hard to do a direct comparison as all of the American leaders are elected into their roles and it lasts as long as they are in office - same with the British leaders.
      Of course the Royal Family are not elected - simply born into their position in life. Even as Brit if I sit and think about that concept for too long I also find it "challenging" but it's a part of the fabric of our country and society and we love our traditions (well most of us). It's what makes the year go around from Christmas at Sandringham, to the queens ascension day, to commonwealth day, St Patrick's Day, Lent, Easter, Maundy Thursday, State Opening of Parliament, Chelsea flower show, BP garden parties, Windsor horse show, Trooping, Ascot, Garter and so on - it provides a structure and a kind of reassurance ...
      However, I get that it seems kind of absurd - but then we British are a strange lot as a BBC article once said we like odd place names that one can barely pronounce, windy roads, towns and villages that bear no resemblance to a grid system, we like eccentricity and quirkiness as it describes us a nation ...
      So there is no logical answer based on how much they cost us or how much we shell out for palace refurbishments.
      The British monarchy is loved and valued because it is just that ... the British monarchy and its old and complicated and ours.
      Simone

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    29. Thank you for your reply Simone. I can see how the continuity would be reassuring. Obviously plenty of Americans are fascinated by the BRF or else we wouldn't be reading this blog! But there are sometimes misunderstandings here too due to cultural differences.

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    30. Simone 1:28-LONG thread!- Wonderful story about Trump's grandson. His name, interestingly , is Baron. Him, I would vote for. I had been worried he was a model child. I hope the story is true....:+] 11:43-lovely remarks.I truly think there are thoughts and deeds that become enmeshed in our DNA. That is actually proven by science and sociological studies. The royal tradition is literally in the DNA through years and centuries of experience. That's my view, anyway.

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  48. Jane I know we'll probably just disagree but do you really think that last photo of Kate is so flattering? She looks very angular and unhealthy thin in that one I think, there are so many nicer ones. Plus it gives her that huge head thing.
    I know its in the eye of the beholder but that one photo is super jarring to me. An odd one to go out on.

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  49. At first I wasn't so sure about this dress, but I think Kate pulled it off and she looked lovely. I would have worn a great necklace with this dress, no bracelet and smaller earrings, but that's just me. I hate to say this, but she looks like she could gain a few pounds - she must be super skinny in person because she looks extremely slender in these pics. One more thing, her shoe game is horrible - a closed toe suede pump is not the right shoe to wear with an evening gown - she has black Prada sandals that would have worked a lot better.

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  50. Anon 11:11 that was my thought also in looking at that photo. I actually find it to be one of the least attractive photos of her over the ones I have seen from the evening.

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  51. My initial impression was disappointment. I really don't like the earrings at all, and I am not a fan of frilly skirts. But the dress is beginning to grow on me although it will never be a favourite. Incidentally the most regal photo of her in my opinion is the one from the back view when she is walking up the stairs. I have often heard it said that Catherine is more beautiful in person, and on this particular occasion I can't help but wonder whether the photos are not doing her justice.

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  52. I think the puffiness of her hairstyle contributes to the "bobblehead" look she's got going on She is incredibly slim -- with a lot of muscle tone so I'm not suggesting that she's unhealthy -- and when her hair is lifted away from her head it exaggerates those proportions, making her look a little odd. Her long torso also means that although her dress is fitted correctly and modestly, she is still left with a larger expanse of skin on show than looks quite right. I don't know that more bling would be the answer, though. Anything to match the earrings would overwhelm the dress. At first I thought of a ribbon choker to go along with the ribbon detail in the dress, but that would bring back awful memories of the 90's and I have enough problems with all these 70 flashbacks. I'm not a huge fan of the dress style; it looks like great formalwear for a barbeque. I'd love to see those earrings with the pink Jenny Packham she wore to the ARC event.

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  53. I really dislike the floral pattern and the dust ruffles; BUT, I do love the drop waist, the off-the-shoulder neckline, the earrings, the hair, and the new look to her makeup! I would love to see more of those elements in the near future!

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  54. Tonight I watched Victoria on PBS, and afterward was a documentary called Tales of the Royal Wardrobe. Historically for Royals, the clothing they wear in public is often designed to communicate something to their subjects, or to make a statement. In times of old they communicated status and/or wealth. In William and Catherine's world, that doesn't seem to be the case. I think they just dress to please themselves, and to look nice.

    Catherine's statement with this dress reminds me of having trees in the abbey on her wedding day. She's a nature-lover. She wore this dress very well, it was definitely unexpected, and that's a good thing too.

    The highlight of this night for me, is the way she made up her eyes. It looks like she was inspired by the eyeliner on the model above, and went with not only the liner, but possibly false lashes too! Her eyes have never looked better than they do tonight imo.

    Jane, I see the videos on the page just fine, they play nicely when I click on them.

    Belle

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  55. This is probably also not how I would instinctively have thought to bring the wow, but boy did she bring it! I loved everything about this and I love that Kate has chosen McQueen for a big ticket event again - she hasn't for awhile and I was worried she was moving away from the old favourite.

    This was picture perfect in everyway for me. I even liked the bag :)

    I also totally agree on the assessment re the earrings. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a set that we end up seeing more pieces from.

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  56. I have but one comment to make - Kate looked beautiful but she should have worn a more beautiful dress - awful ruffles and very bewildering pattern - the silhouette of the dress was nice, but the patter and ruffles ruined it overall for me - she still shone like the sparkling diamond she is though

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  57. How does one wear a dress like this when it is 7 degrees outside?

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    1. She is only outside for a few minutes. They also may have the walkways set up with heat lamps.

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    2. Straight from car to indoors! They sure looked regal walking up the steps on that long red carpet!

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  58. Bon voyage to the Cambridges, who are going to be in Paris next month! I hope William is brushing up on his French ;)

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  59. Jane,

    I love the videos!! They add so much to the still shots and really give a better sense of what the event was like and what was going on there. They have all move through perfectly (and have only enhanced the blogs beauty).

    Thanks for another awesome post!

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    1. Jane, I get the videos fine on tablet and PC/laptop. I especially enjoy the musical ones. (not the PA music, HA! ) I still think about the King's College one. The organ music was magnificent.

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  60. Wondering if anyone knows why they have their private secretaries with them at this type of event.

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    1. Orange County GrandmaFebruary 13, 2017 at 12:38 PM

      It seems they tag along on every engagement. Some they are needed but an event like I don't see the need.
      Can't Will & Kate have a night out alone.

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    2. If I had a secretary or an assistant, I'd want them at every official engagement with me, too! Checking my makeup, reminding me who people are, carrying my extra stuff, getting me out of awkward conversations by "keeping me on schedule..." Who *wouldn't* take them everywhere?!

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    3. They are there for any assistance that may be needed. You notice that RD had a big shoulder bag instead of an evening clutch with her. It likely carries things for a sartorial emergency such as needle & thread, something to mend a broken heel, hairspray, hair pins, or any number of other things. I would also imagine there are minimal first aid items such as aspirin, bandaids, or feminine products.

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    4. The event may seem fun, but it is work for them , hence the secretaries.

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    5. I'm assuming there is a complete change of clothes for both W & K in their car in case of some mishap.

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    6. Here's what I am wondering--- does Rebecca and the rest of the team get a budget for clothes,too? This is a work event for her and Miguel Head. I know she wouldn't have the funds for several gowns, but she still needs to be attired appropriately for the event- and I am sure she recycles most of the time. Does this come out of the office budget for Will and Kate?

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  61. I think it's wonderful that Kate's helping out with housework by airing out the curtains...oh wait... ;)

    She looks great from the collarbone up. Seems to be wearing extensions or a bouffant pad or something. Think the earrings were a wedding present? Or a push gift - pink diamonds (possibly lab-grown?) for a little princess?

    Oh, and her makeup is 1000x better since she ditched the heavy bottom liner.

    Thoughts on the rest: she really needs to work on her posture, she either got a breast lift or she's finally wearing proper undergarments, and the bottom of the dress is wayyyy too 1800s.

    Which print is worse: this one or the red poppies on white one?

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    1. Red poppies on white :) I thought about this comparison almost at once. First I had to zoom in - is it really bunches of asparagus?? Glad it wasn't... Odd print, poor shoulder construction and bad posture. Still i appreciate rich fabric amd overall Victorian feel to the dress.
      The earrings saved this look. It could be a blank sheet with these and i'd still call it a win! :)

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    2. This is definitely worse - it's up there with the Erdem... I quite like the poppy bathrobe!

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  62. I saw the pictures last night and I am still marinating on this look. I think I love it but it definitely was not what I expected. But our Duchess is a bit of a romantic, and I think she just fell in love with the dress. Sarah Burton did a great job reconfiguring the dress to suit Kate's needs and desires. As with all McQueen, the tailoring is superb on her. I still think her long diamond and emerald earrings would look swell with this dress too. I even think she could pull off a statement necklace and smaller earrings with this look. If you can't bling out in the midst of Hollywood stars, I don't know when you could. (Even at a state banquet, Kate wouldn't out-bling HM or the Duchess of Cornwall!). Watching the entrance videos, William looks definitely out of control with his velvet slippers. He's padding about on them as if they're flip flops. Gave me a bit of a giggle. He needs to talk to Eddie Redmayne on his style tips. It's a win for me but I still think she would look smoking hot wearing Roland Mouret instead!

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    1. HoosierLori, I love Eddie Redmayne's style! Your comment about William's footwear made me laugh...he does look super comfy in them, though :) Roland Mouret would've been divine, his designs personify glamour & are gorgeously cut! The two gowns of his that Kate has worn will always stand out as a fashion triumph, IMHO.

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  63. Unexpected and quite lovely. I would have styled it with a fun ponytail instead of the poufy updo, which I agree looks a bit dated, but I can let that small quibble go. I would love to know what kind of stones those are. I doubt pink diamonds, though who knows. Pink sapphire seems more likely to me, as it's more common but higher end than morganite.

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    1. Anon 5:23. I loved her hairstyle but your suggestion would have been great also:) I think she is a bit caught between 30 and 40 in age and her position...really hard.

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  64. I Like the pattern and how she conveyed the siloutte of the bodice though i strongly think she should hace left the thin straps. The boat neckline does nothing for her and her broad sholders. Accesories were great except for the earrings. They were sooo huge and undelicate (exactly opposite to the dress). The hair looked elegant but she could have chosen something that looks better on her considering she is gorg. She seems much more muscular lately... Probably from chasing the kids around the place :D wish she could tone it down. Of corse i dont look nearly half asgood as she does so i hope it comes across así positive feedback ��

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  65. I think I am the only one who is really loving this fabric! It looks like it is a black silk with a fun texture in it. The flowers look to be embroidered and I love how they start out at the top as little blooms tumbling down the bodice and then gathered together as posies at the bottom.

    Even as much as I really, really disliked the giant ruffle on the Erdem, I loved the fabric and would love to see the bottom of that dress restructured. Beautiful fabric is such and art.

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    1. Agree with your comment!
      I'm in love with the dress (except with the satin belt/sash/fabric)
      And yes, it is very interesting that tons of people didn't like the Erdem, but they love this McQueen and they are pretty much the same
      Fabric and color can really make a difference in a dress

      And yes, the Erdem is gorgeous but without the ruffled bottom!
      BTW, great job with your point of views Jane!
      You are pretty much the only blogger who hasn't said -10000% in love with the dress- and that is ok, I like your points of view :)

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    2. I like the fabric too, Robin. I just don't like it for an "evening gown" worn to a glitzy event. I tend to prefer solid color or "shimmery" fabrics for those gowns especially if worn with significant jewelry...dresses like the blue R. Mouret or the black velvet McQueen Kate wore previously. I think that evening gowns in dainty flowered prints--especially with pastel flowers and greenery--tend to look too twee for an adult  whether the print is an actual print or an embroidered design. And for me the 70s "prairie skirt" did not add sophistication or elegance. But it is beautiful fabric that I expect looks even nicer in person. 

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    3. Your email not the only one Robin ... I love it too ... :-)
      Simone

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  66. Wow, those arms!! I need Kate's work out/personal trainer. I love floral print and am pleased to see her wearing somethIIng a little sexy but still classy and appropriate. Not a big fan of the ruffles, but otherwise a win for me.

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  67. RobinCA you are not the only one, I think this whole outfit is fabulous! Great fabric, very couture and also not "Hollywood or BAFTA". The ruffle on this and the Erdem are totally different, yes both ruffles but not anywhere close to the same. The neckline and shoulders are also fabulous, the original bodice was really fun but lets face it while Kate might love to wear the original look in private, she will not wear in public:):).

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  68. I think she looks lovely, as always. Her hair is really on point! But this dress! UGH! I don't like the skirt AT ALL and I think it will look dated and hideous in a few short months, let alone when we look back in a few years. Why, oh why, are there those black satin bars across the skirt? It just looks pieced together to me.

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