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[2nd Photo] Kate Takes George & Charlotte to Houghton Horse Trials

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Although we haven't seen Kate and the kiddies at any polo games, she has been out and about with her little ones at other popular (although more private) horsey events. Today, she was spotted at the Houghton Horse Trials with George and Charlotte:

A second shot has also been shared. This is essentially the same moment from another direction. George seems quite taken with the dog.

The Cambridges took their kids to the Houghton Horse Trials last year, too. Houghton is owned by the Cholmondeleys, who hosted the glittering summer banquet at Houghton Hall in 2016. 

In addition to the fact that this is an annual event hosted on the property of a leading member of her social set, I suspect that Kate prefers these more relaxed events to the polo scene where cameras are trained on her throughout the events. UPDATE: UFO No More has IDed this dress [and I just saw Sarah in the comments knew it, too ;)] as the ZARA "Flocked Print Dress," and it is just $69.00!  

Kate has worn other off-the-shoulder dresses that she then pulls up to the shoulders, as she has with this dress. I think it is a really cute summer dress, and I love that Kate is at the horse trials in something so easy-breezy, but still a skirt. She really is a girls-girl. Michele on IG told me the bag is Little Makes Big, and Pippa has carried this bag in the past:

Sara just pointed out that Kate looks to be wearing her Catherine Zoraida leaf earrings!

And I agree that's a good ID.

Finally, huge thanks to reader Samantha for messaging me about the picture of Kate and the kids at the Horse Trials. I wouldn't be able keep up with this all without your help! Happy Sunday, all! 

Kate Says She Loves Playing With Her Children + Meghan Wears GOAT to BP Garden Party

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

It is Children's Hospice Week, and as she does every year, the Duchess of Cambridge has supported the effort. This year, she has done so via a letter of encouragement. Kensington Palace released the note along with a picture of the Duchess.  

Apparently, the theme of this year's hospice week is "Time's Short." According to Kate's letter, "[c]hildren and young people are sharing what they love most in life and reminding us of how precious time is for everyone."  She shared her own priorities, saying, "[s]pending quality time together is such an important aspect of family life and for me, as a mother, it is the simple family moments like playing outside together that I cherish."

We know Kate isn't paying lip service here. People often ask me what I think makes Kate tick, and I always reply, her family. There are regular complaints that Kate doesn't work enough, but at the end of the day, it is very clear that she prioritizes time with her kids. It is a difficult line to hold in the face of sometimes withering criticism of her work ethic. But maybe it is her work with hospices that reminds Kate when she goes home that her greatest treasure is her children, and her greatest blessing is their health and vitality. The majority of our favorite shots of Kate are of her playing with her kids, both because they are such sweet shots, but also because we are seeing where her heart is:

Switching gears to the photo. This looks like it is part of a set of photos, several of which we have already seen. First we saw the family photo they released as their 2017 Christmas card:

And then we caught a glimpse of this sweet shot of the couple in a thank-you frame they gifted while abroad in February:

I think we have actually seen this solo shot of Kate already, too, but sadly my brain is still on post-finals hiatus. [I'll tell you, the law can destroy in more ways than one. ;)]  I know one of you will remember and tell me in the comments! In any case, Kate is wearing the icy Catherine Walker she debuted on her first solo trip overseas. She wore this in the Netherlands for a series of engagements in  October of 2016.

I was very interested to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertake their first official engagement yesterday as a married couple. They attended a BP garden party celebrating Prince Charles' birthday and his work with his many patronages. Meghan really switched gears to royal style, opting for a customized dress from one of Kate's favorite labels, GOAT London. We've chatted about how Meghan's hats have been up and down, but she scored marvelously in this lovely topper from Philip Treacy, and for the first time ever, she was wearing stockings!

Can't wait to hear what you all think! 

New Official Wedding Photos + Hilarious Wedding Lip Reading

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Royal Family released three official wedding portraits from Harry and Meghan's wedding today. The first was an unusually relaxed photo that really surprised me. At first I was unsure, but it is objectively gorgeous, and after brief thought, I love that it matches their engagement photo. I hope they frame both next each other somewhere in their home.

The second two were the traditional shots you'd expect, including one with just the couple and their attendants...

And the second with the family.

A number have commented that Kate's smile looks a little strained, but she has probably been holding that smile a long time as the photographer tried to catch all the little ones looking in the right direction! 

I can't leave tonight without sharing this hilarious "lip reading" of Harry and William at the wedding. The facial expressions, especially at the end, are too perfect. I hope you laugh as hard as I have:

The Wedding of the Duke & Duchess of Sussex

Sunday, May 20, 2018

What a royal wedding we had yesterday! The springtime green, the bright sunshine, the stately stones of St. George's Chapel juxtaposed against the medieval wood frames of the surrounding buildings--it was an absolutely idyllic location for a girl from America to become a princess. Early yesterday morning a photographer reported he'd heard the dress would be Givenchy, and sure enough, when Meghan arrived at the church and stepped out of the car, she was wearing a simple but stunning Givenchy gown.

I loved this dress for Meghan. It really, really flattered her, and was in keeping with her pared down and more modern style, while still maintaining fashion oomph. Audrey Hepburn had a very close working relationship with Givenchy, and this dress seemed in that classic style profile.

There were some remarks that it was too plain, but Meghan is not the primary royal bride of this generation. That bride was Kate, whose dress had to carry the gravitas of a gown that will be displayed for years to come as that of a future Queen. Meghan got to go simpler and it suited her to perfection. I also loved the veil, which was very visibly trimmed with floral stitching that represented all fifty-three countries in the Commonwealth. What a stunning figure she cut on the steps!

The programs were printed ahead of time, of course, and still listed Thomas Markle as Meghan's escort up the aisle. Instead, the bride walked up to the Quire solo, in a scene that was very reminiscent of Maria von Trapp's wedding in The Sound of Music. 

Meghan was met at the entrance to the Quire by Prince Charles, who escorted her to the altar. I was happy that Charles stepped in. I think the father of the groom is the pretty obvious choice if there are no other significant male figures in the bride's life, and it was a nice way to give Charles a very special moment in his son's wedding. 

Harry is absolutely besotted, which is always a good thing. ;) Some people think he said, "you look stunning," instead of, "I'm so lucky." I don't have an opinion, but his smile speaks a universal language.

I thought the ceremony was a fabulous mix of the traditional pieces you'd expect at a royal wedding (The Lord Bless You and Keep You--you have to have John Rutter!), Meghan's personal touches (Stand By Me), and pieces that have become emotionally meaningful for the couple (Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Redeemer was also performed at Diana's funeral).

Meghan wore the Queen Mary Bandeau tiara, which she had on loan from the Queen. It is a stunning piece, and I thought its art deco decadence was a nice complement to her simple dress.
For many, the cellist's solo was their favorite of the musical moments throughout the ceremony. 
My favorite is generally when everyone sings God Save the Queen. There is something special about that moment, when you are singing the National Anthem and it also happens to be paying tribute to your grandmother, or your new grandmother-in-law.
A lot of people have asked, and the couple did bow to the Queen, but the cameras cut away just at the wrong moment.

Dave Seow

The couple obviously didn't have a balcony appearance, but they did give the crowd and the world a kiss on the steps before embarking on their carriage ride:

One of our fellow royal-watchers, Haley H, got a front-row view of Harry and Meghan along their carriage ride!! Haley's aunt took her to Windsor and the two were decked out in beautiful fascinators to wave to the newest member of the BRF...who waived right back.

Of course, I was waiting with baited breath for the bride, but also for her soon-to-be sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate arrived with her little ones and stepped out of the car beaming as she helped the little attendants up the stairs to the church.

There has been intense debate over what Kate wore. Some say she was recycling her McQueen coat-dress initially worn for Charlotte's christening, and again for Trooping the Colour, and a third time in Belgium. Others are positive it is a new coat in primrose yellow. I am not sure. There are discrepancies--some of the darting is a little different and the collar does appear to be more narrow. But, for the following reasons, I think it is a recycle.

First of all, KP claimed the dress was primrose yellow, and I think that is false. It appears cream to me. McQueen primrose yellow is a more obvious yellow, and Kate's coat still looks creamy white when pictured next to Charlotte. KP has given false information in the past and I think this is one of those occasions. Whether this is a brand new coat or her initial coat reworked might end up remaining a mystery. Because I believe the color is cream and that any yellow hues are a result of the yellow flowers in the hat drawing the yellow from the cream color, and because the darting that is different is around the bust--where one would expect alteration--I think the coat was likely reworked.

I generally do not think that Kate wears clothes to deliberately deflect attention, but a recycle (or if you believe this is new, a "style recycle" certainly) to Meghan's wedding was very likely driven by a desire to stay well out of the bride's limelight. Contrary to some of the criticism I have heard, there appears to be no ban on shades of white for those attending British weddings, as there is in the United States. Given the fact that Meghan chose stark white rather than a cream color, I think Kate was doubly safe in her choice. [I love this shot where everyone is distracted by this and that, but Doria has her eyes glued on her daughter--a brand new duchess]

Kate was wearing new Kiki McDonough earrings, and a ring that looks like it matches the earrings. A note on this picture--although Kate arrived with George, Charlotte and several other children, the Cambridges departed as a family. Also, notice that George has his initials sticked on his shoulder.

Running through some of the guests, Pippa and her husband James were there. Pippa chose a Fold London dress. I heard a few weeks ago that Pippa was invited to the wedding, but not the Frogmore reception. I hope that is inaccurate, but I haven't heard confirmation one way or the other this morning.

Mike, Carole, and James Middleton were also there. Carole always hits the spot at these events. I don't know who she wore, but she likes Catherine Walker a lot, and this looks in that style profile.

Other guests included Harry's exes Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy, celebrities George and Amal Clooney, Oprah, the cast of Suits (obviously), and various members of the royal family. It was an eclectic mix. Some were personal connections, but I think others were obviously invited with an eye toward potential charity alliances in the future. [I am a closet Amal Clooney fan, although this ensemble disappointed me a little]

Kate fans will be pleased to see that Rebecca Deacon and her husband were invited. Remember, she got her start working for William and Harry before she became Kate's PA.

The 600 guests all had the opportunity to congratulate the couple at a reception hosted at the castle directly after the service (and Harry and Meghan's carriage ride). Harry and Meghan's stunning lemon and elderflower cake was on display in baroque gold bowels--a touch that really made the beautiful cake stand out even more.

It wasn't until later in the evening that Meghan and Harry departed to Frogmore House for their more intimate reception to which only 200 guests were invited. Meghan debuted her second wedding dress. Unlike Kate, who chose McQueen for both her ceremony gown and her evening dress, Meghan opted for a new designer, tapping Stella McCartney for this sexy halter-neck.

Meghan was also sporting a ring that belonged to Princess Diana, which appears to be Harry's gift to his new bride. Asprey London created the piece in 1997 and the company's social profilees were in overdrive last night sharing the exciting news:

Asprey's IG also shared this picture of Diana wearing the ring:

Later in the night, fireworks were seen above Frogmore House, as the couple continued to celebrate with friends late into the evening. 

It was a beautiful wedding. Perfect weather, a beautiful bride and a handsome prince, a stunning church and snazzy guests. Kate looked beautiful, but certainly didn't steal any headlines wearing an ensemble that we've seen so many times already. I am disappointed that we didn't get any picture of Kate in her evening gown, but that isn't surprising given the wedding venue was a walled castle and the reception such a private venue--tough to get a snap. If anything surfaces, I will let you know. In the meantime, congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!

Meghan Markle Arrives at St. Georges in Givenchy

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I am going to have to do a full post, but for the moment, the wedding is underway! The bride chose Givenchy and I love her veil! She is wearing a little worn bandeau tiara on loan from the Queen. 

This sweet moment will certainly be a fan favorite.

New Picture of Kate with Louis in His Pram

Thursday, May 17, 2018

There have been rumors of a picture of Kate with Prince Louis for about a week now, and an image finally surfaced on social media. This picture shows Kate pushing the pram with Prince Louis, accompanied by Nanny Maria and Princess Charlotte...and Lupo in the corner! I wonder if George is off camera, or if he was at school when this group got out for some exercise? 

Kate is wearing her magenta Séraphine maternity dress which she first wore in Bucklebury when George was born! Kate was practical in what appear to be her Superga trainers and sunnies. 

Royals En Route to Windsor! Kate in Michael Kors + How to Watch the Royal Wedding

The royals are on their way to Windsor for the rehearsal! Meghan and Harry were pictured arriving at the castle today, and the Cambridges were snapped as they motored out of Kensington Palace. But, more on that in a minute.

By now you all have likely heard that the pictures we'd been seeing of Thomas Markle (paging though guidebooks of Britain, being measured for a suit, reading T&C's coverage of the royal wedding at an internet cafe) were staged by him and a professional pap photographer. The ensuing drama has consumed the past 48 hours as Meghan's father yo-yoed back and forth on whether he'd attend the wedding and walk Meghan down the aisle. This morning, Kensington Palace released a statement from Meghan confirming that Thomas Markle won't be at her wedding:

The sensible statement finally put to rest a story that has made the wedding prep something of a circus for several days. After the Palace released the news, Harry and Meghan put the drama behind them as they were pictured smiling on their way to Windsor Castle where they will rehearse for the wedding and oversee final preparations.

Meghan is wearing bridal white and has her hair styled loosely. I think she looks fabulous and wish we'd get a few full length pictures. These past few days must have been miserable for her, but with her mom and friends in town, and the question of her dad's presence settled, she can turn and focus on the excitement of her wedding. As can fans and the media. 

Kate is wearing a red, white, and blue floral dress by American designer Michael Kors. Huge hat tip to HeavenLM who tracked this down very quickly. Kate has worn Michael Kors a number of times, but I think today she is sporting the label (and the color scheme) with deliberate intent to pay tribute to Meghan's nationality. It's a sweet gesture! 

This dress looked oddly familiar to me, but I didn't place it until Katy A. pointed out on Twitter that Gina Haspel (brand new DCI [Director of the Central Intelligence Agency]) wore it!

Town & Country put together a handy guide for those of you planning to watch the royal wedding live. This will give you the timings and the channels airing the event. There are a lot of options!

Kate & Her Kids: Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Britain already celebrated Mother's Day, but many other countries just celebrated yesterday, so I have put together a list of ten of my favorite moments that feature Kate with her kids.  

In 2014, Kate and William undertook an almost month-long tour of Australia and New Zealand. It was their longest tour to date (hopefully never to be repeated ;)) and it introduced Prince George to the Commonwealth and to the world. A darling Mom Moment came on George's first official event of that tour, the Plunket Play-Date. This sweet shot made headlines at the time and still pops up on most people's favorite photo lists. I love it both for George's expression of happiness to be with his mommy, and also because it was one of our first real photo-sets of Kate as a mom!

I think that Kate was more active generally, but there was also likely a sense that as the future king, George's milestones needed to be marked publicly as well as privately that led Kate to attend a number of public events that summer. Kate took George to the polo game played on Father's Day in 2014, where the little prince delighted the photographers by taking some halting steps in plain view of the cameras. I loved this outing because we got more of George's hilarious facial expressions, and Kate dealing with this displeased contemplation is still one of my favorite photos. 

Kate is obviously a very affirming mom, but also a no nonsense one. Who can forget a year later at polo when Prince George needed some firm correction from his mom?  

Finally, for George-focused Mom Moments, is the Cambridges' visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo. George was getting big, but Kate was still toting her little guy around in her arms. To me this was such a great image of Kate as a princess and as a mom, wearing her perfectly tailored Smythe blazer and Stella McCartney sheath dress, not caring that George's shoes were skidding down the front of the dress. 

We haven't seen Charlotte as much as we have seen George. I think she has yet to be pictured at a polo game, although we have seen paparazzi shots of her at horse trials. We got a great look at both children at the children's garden party in Canada in 2016, and the delight evident in this beautiful picture of mommy and daughter made it a huge win among a packed photo-set of beautiful images from that party:

Kate clearly likes to let her little ones find their own way to the best of their ability. This picture of little Charlotte walking away from Christmas morning service on her own two little feet (but with the comforting/helping hand of her mom) is such a sweet encapsulation of Kate's mothering style.

Charlotte is such a self-confident little girl, but Kate is always there to check in on her even in her contemplative moments. In 2017, Charlotte melted hearts by propping her chin in her hands to take a good long look at the massive sea of people gathered for Trooping.

Poland and Germany provided some great Mom Moments for Kate, both those she would have chosen herself and those she may have wished to have avoided. Charlotte's little tantrum on the tarmac was such a favorite moment for me. I know Kate was not pleased, but she handled it so well and had her little firecracker smiling within minutes.

Motherhood certainly seems to suit Kate, who absolutely glows when she is with her children.

Since the above family photo was taken, we have (of course) welcomed a new little royal. I am hopeful the Cambridges will release a family photo by the end of the summer, in addition to the portrait we will probably get for the christening.

Happy Mother's Day, Kate!