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Fifth Photo of Prince Louis Released

Monday, July 16, 2018

Several of you mentioned that you were disappointed not to get a better view of Louis in any of the four christening photos released yesterday (see them all on this post), and as if on direct cue, the Cambridges released this darling fifth photo of Kate and Louis this morning. 



This picture was snapped by Matt Porteous. Matt Holyoak took the official portraits released yesterday, but the man behind the lens on this fifth photo was the photographer the Cambridges chose to take Prince George's third birthday photos (see all four of those pictures here):


It makes sense that William and Kate would have multiple photographers on what is not only a special family day, but an historic day, too. I am sure they will frame both the beautiful images prepared by Holyoak, and also enjoy the pictures in this different style by Porteous. I do really like his light-filled, natural images. From the images Kate has taken, I think she trends toward this style. 


As to the timing of this fifth photo, although the palace does at times respond to very vociferous fan reactions, I think this was a planned released from the start. Just as Harry and Meghan released that extra engagement photo, I think the press team is trending toward these later releases as a matter of course. The official photos go out to the papers and then they add a more personal touch on their social channels a day later or so. It's a nice plan, and of course the gesture hits its mark--fans love it and it helps the royals control their own narrative a little.  

A great way to start the week. Happy Monday, all! 

Prince Louis's Official Christening Photos Released

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Kensington Palace has released Prince Louis's official christening pictures! There are four. The photos were taken by Matt Holyoak at Clarence House after the baptism at St. James's Palace. This first one in the garden is the most beautiful, in my opinion, and absolutely my favorite. 


It is lovely to get a portrait of just the Cambridges as a family of five, but this stark background is not my favorite look. They used a similarly sterile background for their last family portrait and it also came across as barren and just generally ugly. I hope they move back toward the warmer, outdoor family shots they once did. In every other respect, it's a beautiful shot. 


It was particularly fun to see a pictures of just the larger Wales family. :) An IG reader pointed out that Charlotte is holding Louis's hand!! 


Finally, they released a full photo that included both sides of the family. I think this photo exonerates Meghan's choice of olive a little. She blends in better than I expected--she doesn't leap out at you-- and to the extent she does not fit the color scheme, her dress's color differentiates the royals a little from the Middletons, so it works with the family split. 



It's lovely to see these pictures, and... I still love that hatband! :)

If you missed the full post on today's Wimbledon appearance, it is live here.

[Full Post] The Duchess is in Dolce! Kate Wears Bright Yellow to Wimbledon with William


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended Wimbledon together today to watch Kevin Anderson play Novak Djokovic in the men's final. Kate opted for a bright yellow Dolce & Gabbana dress (quick ID by Perth's Fashion and Kate's Closet!) and bag, and earrings and a necklace from Asprey! 


Yesterday, Kate and Meghan chatted with tennis stars and ball girls and boys, and today William and Kate met with some of tennis's superstars before the match. Wimbledon shared this video:



Wimbledon

This yellow is amazing against the green of the Royal Box. I won't the ball, this ensemble is a huge hit with me!! 


The final always brings a real panoply of celebrities to centre court, and William and Kate are often surrounded by a sea of well-known faces. Today, one of their nearby companions was Rod Laver, an 11-time Grand Slam champion (whom they also met in the Wimbledon video above). It's not hard to see why Kate adores Wimbledon. 


William and Kate always have an absolute blast at this annual sporting event. Yesterday was fun, and both royal ladies clearly enjoyed the day, but there was a detectable awkwardness. Both Meghan and Kate obviously knew that their every move was being analyzed. Kate's been the royal lady under a certain amount of fire when these two are stacked up against each other by the media and fans. Nevertheless, as the experienced and more senior royal, Kate was beautifully composed and regal under the pressure, and the two navigated the afternoon well.


But, today Kate could let her breath out a little and enjoy her husband's company and the sport. Her mood was bubbly and back in her zone. AFP shared what might have been the best picture of the day:


Djokovic won pretty handily from what I heard, and his comments on court were so sweet. I am sure William and Kate, so recently parents for a third time, were smiling.


As is customary, William and Kate congratulated the players afterwards. Kate remarked how hot it must have been, and Djokovic remarked it was the warmest day at Wimbledon! I love how when Djokovic asked after the Cambridge children, William jumped in with some joke that moved the conversation along. 


Let's talk about the fashion! Kate wore a new dress by Dolce & Gabbana in this bright, tennis-ball yellow. It is from the label's Resort collection and retailed at over $1,000. It is a pretty simple sheath dress, which is right up Kate's alley, and I particularly love the modified flutter sleeves! They are such a cute addition to this already sunny dress, and were very flattering and feminine on the Duchess.


Kate wore earrings that are new to us, but I suspect have been in her jewelry box for a while. These are Asprey's Oak Leaf earrings. Intertwining oak leaves of pavé diamonds in 18 karat gold, they originally retailed for £9,000. It is possible Kate was wearing the same earrings sans the diamonds. Right now I can't tell from the pictures available. [With an updated picture, I am leaning toward the version without diamonds, sadly].


Kate paired these earrings with a necklace from the same collection. Kate has had this Woodland charm necklace since at least 2014, when it first debuted on tour in Australia. She has chosen three pendants, the acorn, the oak, and a mushroom.


The acorn is a family motif on the Middleton coat of arms, the oak leaf represents strength and the oaks prevalent in Berkshire where Kate was raised. The symbolism that the mushroom holds for Kate is less clear. I love the personal significance of this jewelry and its strong connection to her Middleton roots.


Finally, Kate carried the D&G Miss Sicily bag she debuted yesterday on her visit with Meghan, her new Ray-Ban Youngster sunnies, and wore the citrine cocktail ring that we noticed at Harry and Meghan's wedding. She was most definitely dressed to the nines. :)



It is my opinion that only some people can successfully wear yellow. Kate doesn't wear it all that often, but each time she does she reminds how spectacularly some people can wear this bold hue. Kate has worn very bright yellows several times. Excluding softer shades, which Kate also likes, her first bright yellow was the Jaeger she wore while on tour in Southeast Asia in 2012 (left). The Roksanda Ilincic she first wore in Sydney and then recycled at Wimbledon (middle) is still one of her best (why doesn't she wear Roksanda again?!), and finally, most recently, she wore this cheerful Jenny Packham in Germany (right) in 2017. 


Kate was lovely yesterday, but it's almost hard to believe what a difference 24 hours makes. She was just glowing today. Her hair was magnificent (it's getting a little longer again!) and her tan was practically glowing. Wimbledon is always such a treat for royal watching, and certainly this weekend was no exception!


P.S. Louis's official christening photos will be released tonight, so check back at some point! 

[Updated] Kate & Meghan Watch Wimbledon Ladies' Final Together

Saturday, July 14, 2018

This is a big, big weekend! The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex are on their first joint-engagement together as they attend the Wimbledon ladies' final. This event was announced just a few days ago, and obviously sparked huge excitement among fans. The new sisters-in-law will watch Meghan's good friend Serena Williams compete against Angelique Kerber for the champion's title. 


Wimbledon tweeted out a video this morning featuring the two arriving, which gave us a lovely early look at the fashion.

These two women, at this particular match, create the perfect combo. Kate is a dedicated tennis fan generally as well as the patron of the All England Club and Meghan is good friends with tennis star and fellow American Serena Williams!


Before the two took their seats, however, they met with some of the former champs of centre court, and with the ball boys and ball girls, which always provides very sweet photos! 

RAF Benevolent Fund 
And another chance to get a full look at the fashion!


I love this hat Meghan has brought along, but as of this writing, she has yet to put it on. Hopefully soon! 


The two royal ladies then headed to take their seats for the match:

Nadal and Djokovic's match is apparently running quite long (I don't have tv and therefore not watching the match), so Kate and Meghan are getting a double-dose of tennis this afternoon. 

Wimbledon

Omid Scobie has been sharing great commentary and videos on his Twitter feed which has kept me up-to-speed.

This is a nice long clip from Christin Zi showing Kate and Meghan chatting. Bonus points if you speak German, which I do not. 


To the fashion! Kate looks really lovely. She is taking her time losing her baby weight (I approve!), and this dress is very flattering. I have vacillated on whether the print actually features tennis balls. Right now I am saying they are tennis balls, which is classic Kate, right?  Although the gathered pleats at her hip and shoulder could have veered off toward from-froo, they work well on this dress and added interest to a relatively simple design.


Kate's pearl earrings by In2Design and her new Dolce & Gabbana bag are both fresh accessories that polished this look to perfection. 



These earrings are by Swedish label In2Deisgn, and Kate wore them while, appropriately, on tour in Sweden! 


Meghan has stuck to her style profile in a Ralph Lauren trouser ensemble. Both this blouse and the wide-legged trousers are by the American label. I like this look! It was very early 20th century, which is fun to see at Wimbledon. Meghan can really pull off these looks quite well. I do think the blouse could be a little more pulled-together, and she probably should have had the trousers tailored, too. When standing still, they were pooling, which isn't a great look, although I myself am guilty of this often. All in all, though, the look balanced well the casual nature of a sports game on a summer afternoon and her position as a senior royal in the Royal Box! I thought it was a win!


I will update later this afternoon when we have more pictures. It sounds like Rafa and Djokovic are still playing, so Kate and Meghan haven't even gotten to the main event yet! 

Kate Makes Surprise Appearance at RAF Centenary at Westminster

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

To the delight of all, Kate has made a surprise appearance this morning at the RAF Centenary service at Westminster Abbey. This has been on the royal calendar for some time, but Kate, still on maternity leave, was not scheduled to appear. She stepped out in Alexander McQueen while her sister-in-law Meghan chose bespoke Dior.


The Duchess is the Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Cadets. You probably remember her appearance at St. Clement Danes Church in 2016 wearing a blue McQueen and the RAF brooch she is also wearing today.


This hat is new. It is a piece by Sean Barrett, although at first I thought it might be another beaded Jane Taylor. Kate has been expanding her hat collection of late! Her earrings are the diamond frame earrings she has had on loan from the Queen for some time now. 


Kate's coat looks like it is another iteration of the McQueen christening. Kate has this coat in cream, which she first wore for Charlotte's christening and then on several other occasions, also in palest primrose, which she recently debuted at the Sussexes wedding, and today we see she has it in this light blue.  


I need to get my morning into gear, so I will do a full post tonight after work. If you missed the christening post, it is live here.




Prince Louis of Cambridge's Christening

Monday, July 9, 2018

The last time we were at St. James's Chapel Royal for a royal christening it was Kate's first-born. Today, so much looked familiar, but so much had changed! The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were absent, leaving Grandfather Charles as the senior royal, Uncle Harry brought a new Aunt, Pippa is married and pregnant, and of course George and Charlotte are already little royal super stars. One thing that hasn't changed is the joy surrounding this important occasion.  


The Cambridges cut down on the pre-christening news cycle by releasing the names of the godparents right before the ceremony. When they did, the six chosen ones were Nicholas van Cutsem, Guy Pelly, Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, Laura Meade, Robert Carter, and Kate's cousin Lucy Middleton. Guy Pelly's selection surprised a lot of people. I still don't think he is Kate's favorite amongst William's guy-friends, but he is undoubtedly one of his closest pals, so I am not shocked that on their third child, he got a nod. Here is a video by Richard Palmer showing the godparents walking to the chapel, followed by the Middleton family.



Uncharacteristically, both Carole and Pippa were fashion misses today. Carole's ensemble was disappointing to me, although not a complete crisis, but Pippa was a dead-last disaster in the style-stakes. Perth's Fashion IDed Carole's silk dress as a Suzannah piece. All the Middleton woman have worn Suzannah over the years, and Pippa in particular has favored the label. Generally it stands them all in good stead, but I felt the cut of this dress did not fully flatter beautiful Carole. Still, it wasn't a complete miss in my book--it was a fun change of pace from the structured Catherine Walkers she often favors. Katie IDed Carole's hat as a piece by Juliette Botterill. Carole's pink hat for Pippa's wedding was by this designer, and Kate's blue hat at Trooping, too. She is a talented milliner, and I expect we will see more of her on Kate and her family moving forward. 


Pippa really plunged into disaster with this Alessandra Rich dress and complementing hat by JT (I assume??). I don't know what she was thinking with this. The double panels over her petite bump just made it look distended. And the buttoned up top and pleated skirt missed the mark and came across as mumsy. This was an unmitigated disaster. I can't beat around the bush on this one.  I am going to give major points, though, to James and Pippa on their color coordination! 


Everyone asked about the woman with James Middleton. This is Laura Meade. She is a friend of the Cambridges and one of the godparents.


We waited what felt like an eternity, but then the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall emerged, followed closely by the Cambridge family, making their debut as a family of five! Uncle Harry and Aunt Meghan finished the party off. 

The Duchess of Sussex sported American mega-label Ralph Lauren and a hat by Stephen Jones. To me, Meghan's choice was a little perplexing. Olive green is not the first color to which I'd gravitate if invited to a baptism on a sunny, summer day. That being said, Ralph Lauren doesn't roll out a collection without a heavy spattering of this shade. It's a signature color, and I hear unconfirmed reports that olive is hot this summer season? I don't know, but I do know that it's a stunning shade against Meghan's skin tone. A surprising choice, but certainly an objective success. She looked stunning and that hat--both broad-brimmed, but light and airy--was perfection. Olive didn't blend so well with the rest of the royal party, though. Halfway through the morning I got a text from a girlfriend pointing out Harry's teal tie paired with that olive green. 😳


I don't really have a theory on what happened here. Maybe there was a snag with the ensemble she'd planned to wear and subbed this one in? I don't know. You can get a sense of Meghan's ensemble in motion from this video of the Sussexes leaving the chapel with Charles and Camilla:
We are going to get to Kate's fashion in just a bit, but first the christening. The program included the hymns O Jesus I have Promised and Lord of All Hopefulness. But, best of all, the choir performed John Rutter's This is the Day, which he composed for William and Kate's wedding in 2011. It's a sublimely beautiful piece that radiates joy and God's love, and I am thrilled they marked Louis's baptism with a song so special to their story. If you need a refresher, this is the anthem performed at the Royal Wedding:



As brief as it is, I love this short clip of Kate coming out of the chapel. Her delight in her little baby is so beautiful. 

The two older siblings were clutching Daddy's hands and their programs. Am I the only one who feels like Charlotte has shot up even since we saw her at polo last month? In one of the videos [see it at the end of this post], you can hear Charlotte say something like "they aren't coming" or "you aren't coming" and it seems directed at the press. If so, it seems she got the briefing on the awaiting press and that they'd cover the baptism, but not the after party. A little of William rubbing off? 


This video of the family and godparents exiting the chapel gives a nice view of the various ladies' ensembles. Guy Pelly's wife looks magnificent! The party moved back to Clarence House where they enjoyed one of the tiers from William and Kate's wedding fruit-cake, and the official photos were taken. We should get those shots very soon! 


Let's talk Kate's fashion! As she has for each of her children's baptisms, the Duchess turned to McQueen for the perfect ensemble. This creamy dress has the same peaked shoulders that her Trooping dress had, but with a wide v-neckline. She paired the flattering dress with what has been called a "hatband." I love, love, love this headpiece. It looks like a subdued Kokoshnik (traditional Russian headdress) or a medieval headpiece from the Renaissance. It is a custom piece by Jane Taylor and added the special splash that Louis's christened called for. 


Kate chose to forego a necklace, but wore new pearl cluster earrings by Cassandra Goad! These are the designer's Cavolfiore Pearl Studs, and they retail at £4,360. They were the perfect accessories to pair with that hat-headband!



Kate was wearing her Romys from Jimmy Choo. Not to jump around in my thought process, but all the men are wearing the same shade of tie. I actually zoomed in on each pattern to make sure they are all different (they are), but they are in the same color family, so I think there must have been a color memo.  


Prince Louis was angelically behaved for his baptism, sleeping through the initial debut, although he was awake after the baptism when the family left the chapel. All of Kate's children bear a close family resemblance to one another, but I think Louis looks remarkably like Kate as a baby. Those dark eyelashes and  eyebrows definitely remind me of the baby pictures we have seen! 


We don't get the same picture access at a palace that we got at Charlotte's Sandringham christening, but it was fun to be back at this historic building for Louis's big day. Happily, the family gave press access and video coverage, which I particularly enjoy. Kate looked stunning and this dress with its peaked princess sleeves, plunging neckline, and her unusual headpiece really made her the belle of the ball.  There was a lot of talk surrounding the absence of the Queen. I do think it was a little odd, but it did permit the younger royals to really step into the spotlight as the parents and as the next generation. 


William and Kate's kids are so beautiful and she so clearly adores being a mom...I am rooting for a fourth baby Cambridge christening in the future. :) 


Pippa Middleton's Cocker Spaniel Looks Like Lupo

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Pippa Middleton was pictured leaving Jane Taylor's London shop with a large hat box. We all suspect  the box holds whatever lovely creation the Duchess's sister intends to wear to little Louis's christening tomorrow at St. James's Palace. 


The picture also sparked a discussion surrounding one of the dogs Pippa was walking. This handsome cocker spaniel looks a lot like Kate's beloved Lupo, but it is not the same dog! James Middleton confirmed to Good Morning America (back in 2014 while Kate was pregnant with Charlotte) that he gave William and Kate a puppy as a wedding gift.  I remember in 2011  that it was said Lupo was one of several pups.


The Middletons have had a cocker spaniel for some years. Her name is Ella and there has been speculation that she is the mother of a number of puppies that have been distributed to the Middleton children. The upshot is that although we are not privy to the exact dog-family-tree, we know that James gave Kate Lupo, and that he has a cocker spaniel, and so does Pippa. We think they are all related in one way or another. 


You might recall this picture of Kate and James walking their spaniels near Kensington Palace. Double siblings?


I did read once that James dog-sat for the Cambridges while they were away on holiday, but those situations aside, if you see James Middleton, James Matthews or Pippa Middleton Matthews, or Kate walking a cocker spaniel, odds are the dogs belong to the respective human. ;)