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Full Post: Kate in Luisa Spagnoli at Mitchell Brook Primary School

Monday, February 6, 2017

This morning, the Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Mitchell Brook Primary school with William wearing her red Luisa Spagnoli suit...for the fourth time! Kate and William were supporting Place2Be, one of Kate's patronages, in the first of two events scheduled for Kate today. 


The couple arrived to one of my absolute favorite royal engagement scenarios--kids with fluttering flags. The miniature Union Jacks and Place2Be logos create a really festive and fun atmosphere and the kids either look excited to see royals are at least generally interested in the hubbub sounding the proceedings.  (Isn't this the song that was playing in the garden at
the children's party in Canada?) 



The Duchess was on hand to stress the need for kindness in school and awareness for the feelings of others. She encouraged the kids to notice others, particularly when they saw that someone else might be down or need a friendly face. Kate noted that her own parents taught her "the importance off qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty..."  

Her complete remarks:
Thank you so much for your very warm welcome. It is great to be here to support Children's Mental Health week.
People often ask me why I am so interested in the mental health of children and young people. The answer is quite simple - it is because I think that every child should have the best possible start in life.
When I was growing up I was very lucky. My family was the most important thing to me. They provided me with somewhere safe to grow and learn, and I know I was fortunate not to have been confronted by serious adversity at a young age.
For some children, maybe there are some here today; I know that life can sometimes feel difficult and full of challenges. I think that every child should have people around them to show them love, and to show them kindness, and nurture them as they grow. This is what Place2Be is doing so amazingly here in your school.
Recently I met an 11 year-old girl who was helped by Place2Be. She told me that if you keep your feelings inside, you can feel as though you will blow up like a balloon. But, by talking to someone about them, it can make you feel so much better.
I thought that was such a clever way of looking at it. If we are worried, upset, lonely or angry – the best thing to do is to talk to someone about it. Whether that is your mother or father, a teacher or a friend.
I know that in your school you have been working on a project to spread a little kindness and I think this is such an important thing to do.
If you see someone who you think might need help, try and be kind to them. Keep a look out for them if they are on their own or seem sad or worried. Perhaps they just need a hug or someone to talk to.
I know it is hard if you are feeling down yourself. But helping someone out will also make you feel so much better too.
My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty, and I realise how central, values like these have been to me throughout my life. That is why William and I want to teach our little children, George and Charlotte just how important these things are as they grow up.
In my view it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport.
Now, I am very excited about presenting the Kindness cup and hearing your stories. Do remember that even if you don't win today, the fact that you are helping make your school such a supportive and friendly place is so important. You should all be very proud of yourselves and each other.
Thank you so much for having me here with you all today
KP Twitter

Joint engagements excepted (that is, events where multiple charities are benefiting) I think this is the first time that William has accompanied Kate to a Place2Be event. In general, William does not often accompany Kate to an event for a charity of which she is exclusive royal patron. He has gone with her to several America's Cup/1851 Trust events--and perhaps some events I am forgetting, but really this is quite rare. 

Kensington Palace Twitter

Of course, Place2Be is one of the charities participating under the Heads Together umbrella in the royals' broader mental health initiative, which might play a role in his appearance today. Regardless, it is always fun to see these two on a joint-engagement, especially when Kate is the lead royal. 

Kensington Palace Twitter


I was surprised to see Kate wear this Luisa Spagnoli suit a fourth time. Not many items in her closet have gotten three wears, let alone four. Perhaps I shouldn't be all that surprised. Kate debuted the Spagnoli on February 26, 2011 at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. The fact that Kate chose the suit for such a personally momentous occasion is a good indication she loved it then, and it is interesting to see that years later she still loves it. 


I like that she brought it back today for another school event, albeit a younger crowd, on another blustery February day.  At one point, Kate helpfully pushed her hair behind her ear to allow this beautiful shot of her Empress earrings from Mappin & Webb. The princess was carrying her favorite Bayswater clutch (Mulberry) and sporting her Cartier watch visible on her left wrist. 


Despite the years, I still like this suit. It is a lightly older, more traditional look than some of the pieces in Kate's closet, but the duchess has had the skirt tailored since she first debuted it. As I noted in a post several years ago, by adding length Kate boosted this ensemble's elegance factor. Although I am the first to cheer for a hip, short hemline, the overall style of this suit is better served by the longer length. 


The verdict is a win. Red really looks great on Kate and the peplum and collar save this suit from looking too cookie-cutter for a princess. For me, nothing can surpass the enormous excitement of its debut in Scotland and for pure aesthetics, you can't beat the images we got in Christchurch on its second wear (somehow the skirt looked even longer in those shots) but today was a solid win. She looked radiant. I'm going to put a comparison shot on Instagram. Keep an eye out for that. The Duchess has a second event later today! See you this evening! 

47 comments:

  1. Love you Kate, and I'm so glad to see you out and about, glowing with health and good cheer as usual. A happy New Year to our dear Kate and her family. That said - please retire this suit. I honestly can't stand it, it's so 80's, so dated, so Nancy Reagan, so...Santa red. With black buttons no less! And a black belt, black shoes...it's awful. Anything but modern. Kate is radiantly beautiful, but this suit does nothing for her or her station, or the cause she's championing, honestly if clothes matter at all, this suit is a big no. Something clean, chic, modern, less RED, the hair up, I don't know it's just so Dallas, 1983. Minus the shoulder pads. She has a world of fashion, designers, money, stylists - I understand responsible frugality, but sheesh. A new suit is not an extravagance.

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    1. I love this suit, doesn't look dated at all IMO Red is a great color on her.

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    2. This suit is timeless and will never date. Frugality is not the issue, but rather an appropriate and very workable suit for the occasion. Kindness was the message of the engagement today, so could dislike not have been voiced in a kinder way!

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    3. This is one of my favourites!! Love this on Kate, the belt and buttons and the lovely red. Never disappointed to see it again. Linda

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    4. Of course I understand appropriate and workable, etc etc....but I'm afraid you're both wrong. This suit IS dated, is a bad santa red/black combo and Anna Wintour would no doubtedly agree. I love red red on Kate, but no in a suit like this with black buttons. Her Preen red cocktail dress was incredible, and i agree it's a great color on her. But this suit is TIRED.

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    5. and i'm very sorry to offend in any way, your post Anonymous 12:22 was very kind, and I apologize for any rudeness on my part. Thank you both! And thank you Jane for giving us a forum to comment! :)

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    6. I don't think the original comment was unkind at all. She didn't attack anybody personally, she just hates the suit! I'm neutral about it, but enjoy reading the different opinions.

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    7. different tastes!! now if someone looks dated to the point of mummification, that's Anna Wintour!(IMO of course)

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    8. HAHAHA! anon 3;56

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    9. That's a hilarious observation, Anon 3:56!

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  2. I love this suit, and red is such a wonderful color on her! The longer length and thick fabric make it polished, sophisticated, and never a wrinkle in sight. I'm always happy to see this suit out and about.

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    1. I sort of agree with you. Red is a wonderful color for the DoC. It's polished and sophisticated. I however liked it better at the shorter length.

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  3. A fabulous suit, looks very good on the duchess. Timeless and chick. It deserves as many wears, as possible!

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  4. This is a good piece of Kate trivia: which other outfits have gotten four wears?

    the Peridot Shift has 3 - so that's close!

    http://www.katesclothes.com/dress/peridot-shift-dress/

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    1. The black polka dot suit, although okay two were pre-wedding. The gold brocade coat dress, which I think is up to five now!! Although, again, two were pre-wedding. The Blue Stella McCartney dress - I think that is five. Oh and the red coat (poppy day 2013) has been out and about four times - the away day (Princess Mary) 2011, the said poppy day, a rugby match and then last year with the Betty Boo hat. The blue fringe coat - Fortnum & Masons 2012, with HM and William on a Jubilee away day, a wedding (a guest was wearing the same coat) and then last year at a charity shop in Norfolk. There is something else lurking at the back of my mind BUT I am putting my coat(an anorak) on - I obviously need to get out more!!!! Linda

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    2. LOVED that fringe coat when she pinned daffodils on it at Fortnum and Mason's. I think it's my fave non-fancy dress (US fancy dress, not the UK definition, ha) outfit of hers.

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    3. Linda gets the gold medal I think!! Kate and I must not agree completely on fashion because some of my favorites never come back around. For example the grey Easter coat from the Australia tour and the neutral colored Max Mara with the upside down bow belt. I did love the Amoret, I guess that's my only consolation.

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    4. She is saving them for something special, anon 1:00 AM.....:+)

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  5. No wear of this suit can beat that second one! It's not a very stylish suit in my opinion, but it's a classic and it doesn't come off as outdated. Plus it's made well and the fabric holds up. It does Luisa proud, I'd say, unlike some of the suits Kate has worn that haven't reflected well on the designer and hopefully made them rethink the needs of working women. There are many other things I'd rather see get a repeat so I'm not overly thrilled but I'll take it.

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  6. Gorgeous look, the suit is perfect, and red is a great color for her. What a wonderful event. That is what is needed more and more, kindness.

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    1. Amen to more kindness. ☺

      I love the suit too. Always did. Very classic and timeless.

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  7. I miss William's hair. There! I've said it.I feel so much better now. Ha! Not that there's anything wrong with his hair now. When he is seen in profile, he looks like a young Phillip. .....Peplums get my hopes up. She'll probably wear a fitted sheath dress tonight just to keep us guessing.....;+0 ....Jane, at first I read your sentence as William was wearing Kate's red suit for the fourth time. Gave me a start.

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    1. You read my mind! And nope, more peplums for the evening, so. Plus that puffy jacket yesterday?! I mean, come on. She's toying with us! Lol.

      Not to mention that the Luisa Spagnoli suit is possibly her loosest-waisted garment regular garment...I'm just saying. Rumors = not quashed (though this may only be true at my house and yours, anon 1!).

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    2. I was thinking she was pregnant because of all the loose outfits but then she started wearing more fitted ones. And if they're moving to Kensington in the fall and taking up more royal duties, well, maybe they really did mean it when they told people they wanted only two kids.

      New theory, since she did disappear for awhile in the fall: bust lift? Tummy tuck? (Hence the loose fitting stuff while she finished healing?) Both very common after women are done having kids if you've got the money.

      Maybe some face fillers too?

      What do you think?

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    3. Oh, when did they say they wanted two kids? I must have missed that.

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    4. LOL anon 1, I'm glad you got that off your chest regarding William's hair, I miss it too :( He does remind me of Philip from a side angle view :)

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    5. Anon 1, I miss William's hair too! He looks more and more like his grandfather 👴

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  8. Kate has worn a number of things at least 3 times and I think the black polka dot suit she wore to her very first Garter appearance has hit at least 4. The Amoret, my least favourite gown, has had three appearances as has the inky blue Packham. Kate has always kept her clothes for a long time and I'm sure we'll keep seeing multiple re-wears.

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  9. Very effective speech. Again, she refers to how fortunate she has been in her family experience. She associates this thought with her dedication to helping children who experience "serious adversity." William has also made this a sort of undercurrent to his efforts. Sometimes people try to relate their desire to make a difference in mental health care to Kate's school girl experiences or consequences from his mother's troubles. They are saying, " because we were so fortunate." not " because we shared your difficulties." He was able to relate to children dealing with the grieving process and said it. I think if his mother's reported bulimia was a motivation he would say that. Also, the same is possibly true with Kate and those bullying rumors that seem to have become accepted fact, although she has never referred to any such experience in all the conversations about the topic. ......Kindness really is the key. It can only happen when one puts another's well-being first. That could be quite difficult for some of the children, considering their daily lives...although, I've never seen a more adorable, well-cared-for looking group of children. Perhaps it's partly the uniforms. They look like they have been scrubbed and polished-such shining faces. Usually, the staff and visitors look like they are mostly dressed as usual. I've seen this level of spiffiness in visits other royals make but have not noticed it so much in a WK visit before.

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    1. Anon 1, I noticed that too. Maybe they want to "give back" to the not so fortunate? I'm hoping that people don't take Kate's lack of bad experiences as a negative. What do you think? Is it ok to be support when you may not fully understand? I think it is great that Kate is sharing her strength and that she draws upon her positive childhood. I think Kate is absolutely wonderful.

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  10. I'm more impressed with the speech than the outfit; perhaps that was Kate's angle;) She looked great! I like her recent red looks!

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  11. Definitely a win for me! I love this suit and I'm happy she's worn it again. The message she delivered about being kind to everyone is a stand out message. Maybe she needs to deliver it to adults as well.

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    1. Two suits within one week...I cheered. 😊

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    2. Me too Royalfan. I love her suits!

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  12. I have liked this each time she has worn it. It seemed so suitable for each engagement, though they were all so different.
    I Love the Oscar de la Renta suit she is wearing this evening.

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  13. I have always loved the Spagnoli suit--in both forms, altho I rather prefer its original look. What I can't figure out is why Kate hasn't worn more from this designer...unless it's the realization that she has to, at least for the most part, choose British fashion. "British fashion" is a phrase I consider something of an oxymoron, with a select few exceptions; French, Italian and American fashion houses RULE.

    Kate seems to be delivering longer and better speeches of late, perhaps because she's writing her own these days, or possibly because she has a better speech writer (all Royals have speech writers at their disposal), someone more simpatico with Kate, or maybe because William"s presence spurs her on. At any rate, there has been a marked improvement. Hats off to Kate!!

    It almost goes without saying, but this cause is so very important, and not just in the UK. So many kids everywhere need this kind of support, including kids with good parents; any child, for example, forced to move because their parents' employment requires it, can be subjected to unrelenting nastiness/bullying just because they're the new kids on the block--outsiders, if you will. Nothing wrong with the outsiders, but rather, the insiders could use a dose of kindness!

    JMO, in any case.

    JC

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  14. I'm intrigued as to how you can lengthen a skirt like that. Is there really enough material in the original hem? Why is there no obvious line? Or is it a new skirt all together?

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    1. I have, in the past folded the waist of a skirt under my suit jacket to make it appear shorter. I tucked the folded part into my pantyhose :p

      Either she did that on the first two wears--and let it down on the second two, or there was enough material at the waist or hem (or both) that she could have it lengthened. Or it could be a new skirt, but the fabric (texture and color) would have to be matched perfectly.

      Belle

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    2. I believe this was originally a dress, and was modified into a skirt.

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    3. Didn't I read somewhere (here?) that it was originally a three piece outfit. Dress, skirt, jacket. The skirt shorter and worn with the black turtleneck. I can't picture wearing the sweater over a dress plus the jacket. There was even a picture from the designer. I think people just like to conjecture about this. A familiar litany that binds us all together. Like Dad's perennial jokes told at the Thanksgiving table. Ha!

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    4. Yes, it appears this was originally a dress/jacket combo. The dress was turned into a skirt before the 3rd (and 4th) wear.

      http://www.katescloset.com.au/bits--bobs/royal-tour-day-8-christchurch

      Belle

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    5. That black sweater was worn over the dress and under the jacket? I thought I read that here-about the outfit being dress and jacket originally.

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    6. Thank-you, Belle. I read your references, including the WKW comment by Avyee. If you read her complete Facebook comment, she says she thinks the outfit originally included dress, skirt, and jacket. There was no need to alter the dress to a skirt, unless the original skirt had been short also. For the second appearance in Edinburgh, she simpy changed from skirt, sweater, jacket to the dress and coat. I was interested to read I was not the only one who questioned her wearing a dress with both sweater and jacket over.When I used to travel I often relied upon interchangeable separates and accessories. It makes sense.

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  15. This has never been my favorite suit. Yes, Kate looks good in red. But unlike most people on this board, I don't think the suit itself is anything special. Kate obviously likes it, but it's certainly not something that I would ever wear. I do like her hair, though. The color and the straighter look are very flattering, in my opinion.

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  16. Long time reader, first time commenter! I love this blog, and my husband is tired of hearing my thoughts on Kate, so I thought I would express them here instead. :) I don't mind this suit--don't love it, either, but don't hate it. As another comment said, it's a bit Nancy Reagan, but it's a classic style in a great color that will be versatile for many occasions. I also like the slightly longer length of the skirt (dress?). Love it that she's been turning more to suits lately, like the green wool of a few days ago and the pale blue in The Netherlands, though the styling could be a bit more polished sometimes. I LOVE that she gave a longer, very moving speech, and that they are making mental health awareness (especially for children) a big focus, it's so important.

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  17. Her first and second wears of this suit (most especially the second) will be forever iconic and timeless - recent wears thereafter have been nothing remarkable - please retire this number now Kate -it's done it's time! It too amazes me why she wouldn't recycle something else at this stage...rather than this ole thing!

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