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Duchess Kate's Morning in Paris's 7th and 16th

Saturday, March 18, 2017


The second day of William and Kate visit to Paris kicked off this morning with a number of stops at some of Paris's most popular and iconic destinations. For those who were concerned yesterday, Kate arrived at Les Invalides, their first stop this morning, wearing a Chanel suit, bag, and belt. France was very adequately represented. :)


Hôtel des Invalides 


Les Invalides is in the 7th and sits close to the Seine just south of Pont Alexandre III. Its golden dome is very photogenic when the sun is shining, but even on an overcast day like this morning, the building is an impressive and even imposing structure. 


Built in the 17th century by Louis XIV to care for veterans, it now also houses a number of museums, including Musée de l'Armée documenting some France's military artifacts, as well as the tomb of Napoleon, among other things.




Perhaps most impressive is that despite the prestigious real estate, France hasn't moved the veterans elsewhere; it still operates as a retirement home. It was to meet with veteran and the wounded of recent terrorist attacks that William and Kate paid a visit today.    

KP
Kensington Palace shared a series of photos of the couple meeting with older veterans and some more contemporary victims of war. Below, William and Kate chat with Jessica and Kevin, two survivor's of the November 13th attack. Jessica was dining with a friend in the 11th when one of the terrorists sprayed bullets into the patrons, while Kevin was at the Bataclan where he was shot several times in the leg while playing dead on the floor among other bodies.  


Because les Invalides has a top notch centre for prosthetics, William and Kate also met with veterans who are regaining their mobility through these modern technologies. 




I don't think that the couple toured the Dome (a church part of which is now converted to a national tomb), so obviously, they will have to come back! They did make their farewell in the Cour d'Honnouer, a beautifully cobbled courtyard. This video is a little shaky but gives you a sense of the walkabout and the couple's departure.



The Duchess was wearing her popular Tod block heels, which was a good call on the charming, but uneven stones. 


Mr. Security had to shoo his royal charges into the car, as the duo headed out to their next stop... 


Musée d'Orsay 


William and Kate made the short trip up the Seine to the Musée d'Orsay, one of Paris's massive museums that sits right along the river. The building was originally a train station built at the turn of the last century in the Beaux Arts style, so the cavernous passageway transformed well into a museum space:


Its massive clock is a hugely popular tourist attraction and favorite photo spot--I am sure many of us have pictures standing here peeking from the back of the clock out across the Seine to the beautiful buildings lining the Tuileries on Rive Droite. I don't know why, but something about time and clocks, is very romantic. 



The museum is one of Paris's most popular, and did not shut down for their royal visitors, although the areas that William and Kate wanted to tour were partially cleared. Unsurprisingly, the couple visited the impressionist galleries. 

Kensington Palace

I like this picture below, because the picture in the far left is La Rue Montorgueil by Claude Monet. He painted it to celebrate a period of French national recovery following the Franco-Prussian War, which...didn't end well for la belle France. Stylistically, it is one of my favorite Monets, but it also seems appropriate for today both because of the diplomatic mission that William and Kate are on, and due to the struggles France is suffering from terrorism, a topic that the royals also highlighted during this trip. 




Trocadéro


Next William and Kate popped down the river to the 16th to visit the Trocadéro, which is just across from the Eiffel Tower and features a broad plaza from which you can get a sweeping back-drop of Paris, and most importantly her leading lady, La Tour Eiffel. I like this area, because you are getting into the residential parts of Paris where real life happens. At least to me, that's what I think of the 16th.

Kensington Palace Twitter 

The couple were at Trocadéro for a "Les Voisins in Action" event. Kids from local rugby clubs had gathered to toss the ball around with the royals and highlight the power of sport to bring nations together. That's a theme that William and Harry have promoted in the past and fits right in with the mission of this trip.


As usual, Kate joined in the fun with the rugby practice and gamely tossed the ball back and forth, despite her heels and bespoke ensemble.


The sport wasn't too taxing, but as always, provided cute pictures of the couple and the kids:



On the left in this picture is Anne Llewellyn in her neutral ensemble. Behind her in the mist you can just see the golden Dome of les Invalides:


William: Je suis William de WALES.  Kate: I think I will have Wills help George with his French homework from now on out... I'm teasing, his French isn't that bad. 


William and Kate have posed in front of some big ticket locations, including Uluru, Tiger's Nest, and the Taj Mahal. But this sure is my favorite. :)


William seemed to have some cheeky banter for Kate before their photo shoot:


But it looked like the duchess had a bit of a come-back:


Whenever I see sets like this I think about how William shared what a funny sense of humor Kate has during their engagement interview. It looks like point to the princess. 


There was quite a bit of speculation on whether William and Kate would stop by the Pont de l'Alma, the tunnel where Diana was killed twenty years ago this August. Today, the couple's stops were very close to the location, but thus far, the royal party hasn't paid a visit.


There is still time for them to stop, but I am not sure it wouldn't be a bit odd and still extremely painful. To me, it feels like a place you might visit at some point, but alone, without the eyes of the camera. I don't know. We've all seen the pictures and the horror of that night is very closely linked to the images of the tunnel. I remember late one night in August driving through that tunnel and it was a little surreal to be there, and I wasn't even alive to really follow Diana before her death, so I think it would be very emotional for William to come and view the tunnel. I don't think they will stop. 

The Fashion

Yesterday, many readers were disappointed when Kate wore her major British hitters, McQueen and Packham, and I know there were a few who despaired of seeing a French label. This morning, though, Kate really busted the bank to very prominently fly the trio-color in a custom Chanel coat dress, a belt with the icon linked Cs of Coco Chanel's brand, and a trendy little Chanel bag. [Doesn't this picture look so perfectly French? Kate's chic ensemble, the gravelly pathway and perfectly manicured green behind. I love it. :)]


Kate ordered a customized Chanel for this trip. This coat-dress is based upon a far frumpier runway version, but I like that Kate didn't wear a Chanel piece that screamed Chanel, such as their very classic suit ensembles. The pleating and delicate tweed are still in keeping with Chanel's aesthetic, but Kate has made this also very much in her own favorite style. I love that she kept the flared sleeves, which are a nice twist and mirror her pretty box-pleated skirt very nicely.  [Someone asked about coat dresses in the comments several posts back. To me, a coat dress might have a dress underneath, as was the case with the Catherine Walker from St. Patrick's Day, or it might stand on its own, like this one. Really, a coat dress is substantial, but looks like a complete ensemble. It isn't meant to be taken off, whether it has a corresponding dress underneath or not. This really is borderline coat dress. You could argue this really just a tweed dress, not a coat-dress.]



Kate debuted earrings and a necklace by Cartier that are from their Trinity collection. Kate has a bigger and flashier jumbo Trinity necklace that she has worn a few times. Today's pieces were a little more understated, but no less lovely, and a nice nod to her hosts. Of course, Kate has been wearing Cartier's Ballon Bleu watch for many years now.



Verdict is a huge win. I love that she did wear French after all. I am not generally one for belt buckles with brand logos, but I appreciate that Kate was making the Chanel ensemble very clear. You'd hate to wear bespoke French and have the fashion watchers stumped and guessing. ;) I loved the Chanel bag and this dress was so beautiful and flattering. Perfect for a morning in the most glamorous city on earth. One more event, the rugby game this afternoon. See you soon! 











80 comments:

  1. Thank you so much Jane! I was waiting for your article!
    OMG, I almost fainted this morning. First, it looked very Missoni from afar but as we saw HQ pics, it was definitely a very Chanel tweed and I also love that it is not a cliché ensemble too! In that coat dress you recognise Kate's style... well a great day today for the froggy I am! Thanks again Jane. I don't often write but love reading your posts...I'm also fond of the fact that you always speak your mind...very French indeed! xxx

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  2. You know, I think I'd like to see this coat-dress recycled with an updo. Something about the added volume of the skirt makes an all-down hairstyle feel heavy. I feel confident we'll see this piece again, maybe for an occasion warranting a hat in a nice coordinating color. :-)

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    1. Have to disagree, not every outfit needs an updo. To be honest, I usually think her updos look a bit matronly. But yes, I can't wait for her to recycle this outfit, including the Chanel belt and bag! :)

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  3. The Chanel is the best of the bunch! Perfectly elegant while looking modern and youthful. I was hoping that this would be how she would look throughout the entire trip. Not dressed in Chanel always but in impeccable couture.

    Even though the trip has been short and sweet, some very iconic photographs have been taken. Its been a trip through memory lane for me as they have visted a few of my favorite spots. I lived in the seizieme for a few years bc(before children) and sometimes miss it a lot. The Tour Eiffel was a ten minute walk from my apartment.

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  4. The Liberty Flame was not erected for Diana memory, it was built in 1987 as a link between the American and French People. It just became a symbol when Diana dies.

    I like the Chanel ensemble, and the photos of Kate and William are really nice.

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    1. I am glad you told me that! Someone told me that and I never thought to fact check it. But, that makes a little more sense. :)

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    2. In looking through your post again something occurred to me-I wonder, in the picture of William and Catherine looking out over Paris from the Clock-do you suppose they could see the underpass from there? I was trying to decide, from the map you kindly provided--it was very helpful, by the way.

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    3. Hey Anon, so glad you liked it! I am just in love with Paris. But, no, you can't see the Alma from the clock, both because I have looked out of the clock myself and because if you look at the map, you will see the Seine turns. The Musée d'Orsay looks across at the Tuileries, aka the Louvre. The river bends on the left and the Alma tunnel is quite a ways down.

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  5. Thanks for the post, as always, Jane. I LOVED her ensemble today, but the belt seemed a bit odd to me. I agree that she was trying to make a point of the origin of the coat, perhaps, but it just looked weird with the logo and the belt buckle next to it. Busy belt, minor complaint. ;-)

    Somehow I picture W+K making a late night visit to the flame yesterday or early morning today, very covert and under the radar (as you suggest, this is not something they'd have wanted documented). I believe a drive through the underpass could be unbearably difficult for William, but a visit to the place where so many come to honor his mother may have provided some closure for him as the anniversary approaches. Of course, to each his own, and even being in the same city may be putting a strain on his emotions so much that this visit would be totally unrealistic.

    My husband and I are visiting Paris in April, and plan to visit to pay our respects to Diana.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing- that they went very late last night or very early this morning to visit the site. Perhaps he has already visited incognito a long while ago.

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    2. The Flame of Liberty in the Alma Bridge hasard become a symbol to Diana's memory, but there is an official place in Paris. The garden "Le clos des blancs manteaux" was dedicated to Diana, I never visited this place but you can find informations on internet. Have à Nice trip to Paris.

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    3. I think it's highly likely that at some point in the past 20 years William has either made a visit to the tunnel or has decided that it's not the place he needs to go to honor and remember his mother. Although this is the first official he's made to Paris it's certainly not the first time he's been to the city since Diana passed away there.

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  6. I thought Missoni as well at first, Sophie.-----William with his matching tie...the fitting-not done by the local seamstress, I'll wager. I knew she would find a way to give a nod to France,but I thought not with the gowns----To add to your summary of Frenchness, Jane, her slightly bemused expression, the hint of shrug in her shoulders. Wonderful photos and commentary in that silent exchange (for us) between the two; the essence of their bond.--- Security-high. I really sympathise with them, especially in view of the airport and other Paris incidents today. I thought I noticed two French agents during the inside shots who seemed to be among TRH's detail.---- For me, this has been everything I had hoped for this tour. I can't imagine Boris Johnson regretting his decision to cash in on their Rugby engagement. ---PS Ms. Llewellyn was the very model of an Ambassador's wife-simply elegant and appropriate to her age and position. I thought Kate also remained true to herself and to her royal status, even while wearing Chanel. She chose the designer who most symbolises France to many.I agree with your analysis of the touches and alterations that made it hers yet allowed it to remain a tribute to her host country.---- I am wondering if a new adviser/personal aide has already stepped into place. It may be that this trip is both a farewell and reward for her outgoing secretary as well as an initiation for a new one. It may be entirely coincidental, but the only photo I have seen on this tour so far that depicted a stressed or strained Kate is one with Rebecca.I never could wrap my head around calling Ms. Deacon's role, although apparently significant, "personal secretary." I have this concept of HM and other royals having persons who never stepped outside the palace or carried a bouquet and hairbrush. I think the time has finally arrived for her to have both a private secretary for correspondence and diary and a LIW for accompanying on engagements in the public eye. (didn't lizzie or JC express this thought awhile back? and, by the way, Large Pearls-great suggestion for whomever mentioned that in a comment)

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    1. Good Points All Around! I think our Kate has grown up & is readily prepping for many changes. I also think The Student has become The Teacher, as we watch her seemingly effortlessly glide through this visit & leading the way & easing the comfort level for William by her own Graciousness! Magnifique!

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    2. Anon 1, I noticed one photo of Kate with Rebecca, but I didn't see stress; just a normal focused (on what is being said) expression on her face.

      With 20/20 hindsight, I think the timing of the tour was perfect. The Cambridge's shined as they always do and, hopefully, they will be allowed to get on with their lives on both a personal and professional level.

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  7. I've died and gone to fashion heaven! Kate in Chanel is just amazing! I love the whole outfit but that burgundy bag is beyond gorgeous!

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    1. Yes the bag is the piece de resistance, for sure. Im enjoying seeing her hold a proper purse.

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  8. Wow, this has to be one of the best outfits she's worn over the last year. I love that for once the skirt hits above the knees, I feel like my prayers have been heard :)

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    1. I agree, this is one of the best outfits she has ever worn, and the hemline above the knees is perfect. Please, never again matronly midi dresses

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    2. Yep, the midi dresses are a pain, especially those boring a-line dresses that remind me of soccer mums in 90s movies! I hope she will go for a shorter hemline more often in the future.

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    3. Hate to break it to you ladies, but midi dresses & skirts have been here for a while & are again on all the runways. So actually Kate en vogue & up to the minutes. I, for one, love, love them but then I'm young ...

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    4. Hmmm... If Kate looked like a soccer mom, I can see a mad rush to join her team. ;-)

      Personally, I love this length, especially in the summer because it is so versatile. It works on a cocktail dress or a nice summer dress with a denim jacket. AND it solves the bare leg dilemma for those of us who haven't quite signed on to the trend. :-)

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  9. Love this outfit. I think the belt works wonderfully and I am not a log person but with Chanel you just accept it:):). The bag is great, I am not a huge fan of the shoes. Really like her jewelry and hair style. This bespoke piece is so wonderfully fitted and tailored. Just wonderful attention to detail and fit. Love it.

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    1. Agree about the logo belt, ali. Its part of the deal with Chanel and because of that I don't find it too glaring.

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    2. It reminds me of the CC cufflinks and Charles's betrayal of Diana.

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    3. Do you think of that every time you see the Chanel logo?

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    4. Anon 1, I'm sure you recall that Diana wore suits and owned other items with Chanel's logo. I suspect that she appreciated the humor factor. ;-)

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    5. HAha anon 2:12. Touché. Actually, I don't see the label that often, unfortunately. I do have some Chanel perfume. The cover part that had the logo has fallen off.

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    6. None with the logo so prominently displayed, as I recall- possibly incorrectly so. I think it was the context-Paris, so close to the site, the anniversary. Then to see that inter-twined CC. At least she didn't wear the bracelet Camilla gave her. After last weekend's activities. I'm not suggesting it was intentional by Kate or an assistant. Someone else noted the runway version comes with a self-belt. She could have gone with that, but she chose the CC one. It all just seemed a bit odd to me- but then my imagination often takes me places no fan has been before. Ha!

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    7. Anon 1, I truly believe the belt was about Chanel. Meanwhile, that bracelet has been out of sight for a while now and I am not holding my breath. Ha!

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    8. If Kate chose the belt, I agree, royalfan. You do have a way of gently nudging me back into reality. Ha!

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    9. It's not everyday that I am accused of gentle nudges. Ha! 😀😉😊

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    10. Who else would have chosen the belt anon 1?!

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  10. I think her outfit choices were totally appropriate, the first day of the tour focused on the relationship between Britain and France so it was natural to represent British designers, the second day showcased Paris so she was dripping in a French designer. Very well done.

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  11. I don't think she needed that many Chanel pieces worn together. Just one, or at the most two, for maximum impact, I think.

    I was also having a hard time getting past the Chanel logo on the belt. I really dislike it (and logos in general). Once I got beyond that, I was able to appreciate this look.

    She does look lovely!

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    1. She only had on two Chanel pieces - the dress w/belt and the purse. The jewelry was Cartier and the shoes are Tods.

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    2. I was thinking of the belt and dress as separate pieces, Robin.

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    3. The runway version seems to show a self-belt so the belt here is likely a separate piece.

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    4. I like the belt Kate wore better than the self-belt. I can see counting it as a separate piece though.

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  12. Loved all of her outfits on this trip except I wasn't really taken with the light blue Jenny P on Friday night. It's a lovely dress so I'm not sure if its the fit or what (or maybe the shoes?). I thought Anne LLewellyn's dress was fabulously understated and chic. I think the black cocktail dress and shoes were my favorite.

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  13. Im rather disappointed with the Channel outfit. I like the silhouette but not the fabric. Think it looks too old for someone Kate's age. The belt's logo looks like an after thought and looks off centre and busy with the fastening directly next to it. This is not one of my favourite looks she has worn this tour. Apart from that, she looks great as always.

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  14. They nailed it from start to finish. A great tour in a great city. All the photos were fabulous, my favorites being descending the stairs at the Embassy, at the Museé D'Orsay, at the Tour Eiffel, Les Invalides, tossing the ball with the kids. Kate proved herself a true Royal. She has charm, warmth, and beauty. She is one of natur's aristocrats, I loved every minute of it.

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    1. Some are "Born To It" & Some are "Born To Do It"! We never know what we will be asked to rise to in life. Kate has definitely risen to the occasion many times, but This Trip, to me was the pinnacle for her to show her stuff! :)

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  15. My favorites from this tour was the green CW coat and the black McQueen dress. The style and fit of the coat is impeccable and I love the way Kate accessorized the dress. The ankle straps were perfect with the length and I love how she experimented with the pearls.

    But most of all, I think Kate was a class act from start to finish and has proven, once again, that she has the quiet strength necessary to survive in such a public role. Good bless her! Personally, I'd rather walk into Starbucks as Ms. Anonymous and not have the world judging my skinny jeans or eyeliner. :-)

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  16. Thank you for the sumptuous post, Jane, and for taking us on a pictorial tour with you, I felt like I was actually in Paris! :) I hope we see Kate in this bespoke Chanel quite often, considering the price tag!! I'd like to see Kate wear it with an updo & different shoes. I also hope we see W&K visit France in an official capacity again, I really enjoyed this tour.

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  17. I forgot to say, I loved that photo set of W&K engaging in some banter with each other, a sense of humour is what keeps love alive! ;)

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  18. After this Trip to Paris & all that happened with William. I decided to rewatch "The Crown". The music is so beautifully powerful, regal & haunting. It's really something, to think of all that HM & Phillip have traversed, over their many years together. To me there is such gravitas watching them today in their 90's, honoring the weight & majesty of The Legacy they have grown & tended! I paused after ep.3 as QE leveled the news of their reality to Phillip.... seeing little Charles & Anne move into Buckingham Palace..... as the powerful music soared! What a Transition they had to go through! We can all be reminded of the same for Victoria & Albert, finding their way as a couple within the boundaries & constraints of their Royal positions. Then we have George VI & Queen Elizabeth, reeling from the abdication & being thrust into Royal positions they never wanted to have. I watched the scene in "The Crown" when QE tells The Duke of Windsor that he never apologized to her for abdicating... & then she revealed how greatly she would have wanted a more simple English Country Life! It appears that he can see how much her new reality is weighing on her, as she is preparing to be Crowned. It's as if he can flash back, to his own feelings of wanting to flee that life & destiny. I believe when we now look at William & Catherine, we are seeing growing pains. Their deadline approaches, to leave their lives, up to now, & commence the reality of their new Full Time Royal Roles, that they will have for the rest of their lives. It will only grow more intense & rigorous as the years pass. We can argue until we are blue in the face, that this should all be coming as no surprise to William, he was born into it. Who knows what the exact reasons are, but it's always been some sort of dread for him. Then I thought.... how would it have been from Victoria onward, if they all had lived their lives during the time of paps & social media? In the end, we are all human beings, even Royalty. I can't comment as to their relevance, as I am not a citizen. However, I can have a bit more empathy for this young couple, that are obviously going through growing pains & wish them well.

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  19. No time to read all the other comments but checking in to great delight! I LOVE that Kate wore Chanel and it's what I was hoping for all along! I love those shoes and they were just right with this fantastic dress. The fact that she is carrying a purse in the famous Chanel quilted leather is just, for me, the icing on this rich, wonderful cake! Add to it that they are visiting some of my favorite places in Paris and there isn't anything about this post that I don't love. Cartier? Perfect!

    I agree, Jane, that I don't love fashion logos on belt buckles or anything else for that matter (don't get me started on Dooney & Bourke) with the exception of Chanel. There is something about those intertwining Cs that makes my little heart flutter. I actually own a pair of stud earrings with them. Someday I would love to own that iconic Classic handbag with the black quilted leather. If wishes were fishes I'd order it in pink but that would be even less practical than owning a $5,000 purse in the first place! I can go to bed happy tonight. Cute Cambridge pictures, Paris, and Chanel. What's not to like? I think that somewhere Audrey and Grace are smiling.

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    1. Wonderful post Robin, I am sharing in your excitement! :)

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    2. Agree Robin:):) I am not a logo person at all, in fact do not buy anything with a logo if possible, but Chanel you can not miss their designs so the logo becomes secondarily not seen as a marketing gimmick. If I had the money I would buy a Chanel suit and a Chanel bag. Love their bags.

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    3. Ah, come on Robin, tell us about Dooney & Bourke!! lol:)

      D&B, decades and decades ago, used to make the most exquisite leather bags. So thick and beautiful was the leather. And only a discreet duck and name on a very hidden area. That was it. My Mom had some and the craftsmanship was amazing. I took one of hers to HS once and a teacher screamed across the room when she saw it hanging on my chair. I had no idea what the fuss was about.

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    4. Anon, those original bags were such a treasure. I can not believe I didn't save mine! I remember trying to sell some on eBay & they were going for $10 in excellent condition about 10 yrs ago! I can't even remember what I did? Maybe I passed them along to others? I do think I may have tucked an original 1 or 2 items away? I hope they show up as I am sorting out all the closets! :)

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    5. These days I'm surprised D&B bags don't sing a song about themselves when they are opened up! ;-)

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    6. I, too, am not a fan of logos, but there's a difference between wearing it across one's chest, for example, (yikes!) and a C&C on a belt or bag...or even an innocent little duck. :-) And personally, I prefer D&B to some of the other labels that I see *everywhere*, including every teenybopper in Starbucks. Ha!

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    7. Remember the alligator? Izod. It was a status symbol for the middle class when I was in high school. Very successful technique in branding, logos, as well as free advertising. We become walking billboards. We should resist or insist on being paid a fee for advertising the product. Ha!

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  20. I forgot to add the admiration I have for Anne Llewellyn. She looks so gracious and is quite beautiful and stylish in her own right. Sometimes the host/hostess look too clingy when W&K visit somewhere but she just stayed back and let her guests have center stage as a good hostess should.

    I also don't think William & Kate went, or will go, to the Alma tunnel. I think this would be far too painful a reminder of that night almost 20 years ago. It wasn't just a tragic accident but a tragedy with so much baggage, rumor, innuendo, controversy, and worldwide sorrow that I can't imagine he even thought about it going. He probably made sure they were as far away from it as possible.

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    1. So true & I'm glad you took the time to comment about her! She seems like a lovely & kind lady.

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    2. She did look wonderful, what a great dress!

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  21. Nothing like making-up in Paris! There is a big difference in their body language from yesterday morning in London, to today.

    William may have been anxious in the days and weeks leading up to this visit to the city of his mother's demise. That may well be why he went off on a boy's weekend bender. I'm sure he has been preoccupied with these thoughts for awhile now. I would be--especially while he's there.

    It looks like the Royals spared no expense for her wardrobe on this visit. I love everything she's worn. Have no complaints whatsoever.


    Belle

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  22. Definitely in love with the entire look!
    The bag is so cute and chic!
    And the coat dress is sooooooooo pretty and perfect! It fits her like a glove!
    Awesome look!

    And Awesome job posting the super high def photos!
    Like the videos too! :D

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  23. Jane, where do you GET your fab pics? And why don't I find them elsewhere? I just loved those taken with the Eiffel Tower in the background--oh, and by the way, I've read more than once, that Kate has a dry, sarcastic sense of humour, whereas William's tends to be more...umm...earthy. Dunno if it's true.

    I'm going to wrap up my fashion POV quickly. I just loved the Catherine Walker forest green coat dress with its darker green velvet trim and didn't mind. at all that Kate had worn it earlier to an engagement in the UK--isn't what this trip was all about? finding common cause? I might've liked it even more, upon arrival in France, if Kate had chosen to pair it with a black Chanel handbag, but minor quibble. My second fav was the Carolina Herrera red coat, even if the buttons weren't perfectly aligned. Hate to sound like a broken record, but both of these coats are classics, and exude style. As for the McQueen black midi dress, worn to the reception on the 16th, I'm still sitting on the fence--why the fishtail? And why the belt. surely unnecessary? The Packham, worn to the dinner on the 16th, was typical of JP: flimsy and glittery. Can't say that I was overly excited. The worst outfit Kate wore, ironically enuf, was, IMO, the coat or dress or coat dress--whichever it was. And I HATE to admit this; Chanel used to be one of my favourite brands--but, Coco has been dead for some time and maybe the designers who seek to perpetuate her just aren't that great; proviso: this must be a ready-to-wear article, and surely not bespoke. (If bespoke, another great brand has bottomed out; it happens.)

    To other matters. This trip was very poorly publicized. A few events went with no advance announcement; someone is trying to bury the Cambridges--use your imagination. Was it Hollande, Charles, or ??? Meat there for speculation.

    Re W&K not going to the Alma tunnel, initially, it struck me as odd. After all, just about every country W&K have visited has included includes laying a wreath for someone/s who've died. Why wouldn't they lay flowers for Diana? Then common sense kicked in; like William, I was 15 when my mother died, but I've never revisited her hospital room and have to be virtually dragged to visit her grave; it's ridiculous, and I have no particular fear of graveyards; I can only suppose that it's too painful; would far rather go grocery shopping instead, and next to ironing, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

    JC

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    1. Nothing was publicized ahead of time because of the very strict security in place in France st this time. Reporters noted that French security was extremely tight. Given the events of yesterday it is understandable. On visiting the tunnel, it would have completely overshadowed the whole purpose of the diplomatic tone of the visit. William did not even mention his mother in his speech. All
      about diplomacy and smoothing the way for actual diplomats to do the work. All royal reporters from their reports seem to think the couple carried of their visit with aplomb and I tend to agree.

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    2. I agree with you both about the tunnel. JC, I'm so sorry for your loss at such a young age! :( Thank you for sharing your perspective. It was a reality check to see so much increase in their security detail on this trip, especially on Sunday. Just glad they were safe!

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    3. I think her humor may be more ironic than sarcastic. One would have to appreciate irony to be able to merge into the royal family, I would think. I think Phillip and the Queen may enjoyn a bit of irony-perhaps why they are said to be amused when things go awry - the toddler's tantrum. That may have just been comic relief.

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  24. I can't get excited about this look. Was it better than the runway version? Yes. Is that saying much? No.

    To me, the best outfit of the past few days was the black one.

    I don't know where the rumor got started that W would be publicly going to the actual site of his mother's death.... I. just. can't. Not in a million years, IMO. Visiting it privately, yes. I think doing so publicly would be gut wrenching for him. UGH.

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  25. When I first saw this outfit I was disappointed. The photo was dark and she was seated, but when I saw her moving about it looked great; certainly better than the coat worn by the model.
    In my opinion, Catherine looked beautiful throughout the visit, even in the red coat for the Rugby.
    In fact my favourite photo of the whole weekend was from the Rugby, when she had her head on William's shoulder. Perhaps she thought the cameras would be too busy with the match to watch what they were doing.

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    Replies
    1. I think more likely she knew exactly that cameras would capture that moment.

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  26. I know it's a big call; but, this may be my most favourite dress/coat dress ever. The fabric is so Chanel, but the colours are fresh and modern. Those sleeves are flattering and sophisticated; and the bag is adorable. Its's beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. It certainly is a big call to make, but I'm in total agreement! This is my favourite outfit that she has worn in a long time...I love the sleeves & the handbag is to-die-for :)

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  27. I'd love to see Catherine carry more small handbags like this one on engagements! Her collection of clutches are lovely, particularly the suede, however there is something so elegant and refined about a handbag! Princess Diana had a beautiful collection of Dior and Gucci handbags and it would be nice to see the Duchess embrace this look occasionally.

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  28. So would I, Anonymous. I just loved the burgundy Chanel handbag Kate showcased on the 17th--and I also loved the fact that Kate managed to keep her arms at her sides, instead of pulling a very staid HMTQ. :-))

    JC

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  29. To quote Mary Poppins, the Duchess looked "practically perfect in every way." This is how you wear Chanel so that it doesn't wear you. I love this. It looks like iconic Chanel and iconic Kate too. My favorite part is the sleeve detail. This is how her wardrobe should look all of the time. The Erdem in January and this suit are the two best outfits so far this year. Amazeballs.

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  30. I have always thought Kate goes a bit 'on the nose' and costumey at times on her tours. Stamping those double C's right across her stomach is the most on the nose she's ever been, and she'd have done better to let the outfit speak for itself, since it has lovely colors and fabric. It reads as nearly tacky to me! Why not work in French brands throughout the visit in a low key, natural way?

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    Replies
    1. It's a small CC on a belt. Not like she wore a sweatshirt with bold gold lettering. ☺

      And if this is tacky, I suppose you feel the same way about many of the designer handbags that have initials and logos plastered all over them.

      For years people have waited for Kate to wear Chanel or other European labels and when she does there's so much fuss. What's a princess to do? 😔

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    2. Anon 9:40. I thought the same about a tendency to be costume-y in India. (Remember all those “Indian print” dresses we’ve not seen again?) For me, what makes the front and center belt CC logo a bit glaring is that it is worn with a Chanel dress AND a Chanel purse AND worn for the first time (at least for the first time publicly)in Paris! So all that can move the outfit towards costume-y although I do like the dress itself.

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  31. They looked so lovely here! Does Kate have highlights in her hair?

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