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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.




53 comments:

  1. Maybe this is the dress they anonunced she would wear at royal wedding! I imagine she orther them together taking they are so similar.

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  2. For some reason, Kate appears to have taken on her royal role with greater poise and confidence, she had always been gracious and poised, but she seems so comfortable and even more poised and gracious of late, it shows in her bearing as well in her stride! She is truly comfortable in her role!

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  3. I agree with H above about the possibility it was a wedding choice. I had a feeling she would show and I'm so glad she did, I've been going through withdrawals. I know this isn't a Meghan blog but is anyone else besides me wishing she would get a new neckline? Obviously she is gorgeous and looks good in everything she has worn, but I'm tired of the same neckline over and over.

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    1. Yes on Meghan's neckline. Enough already! Although I did love the fuller skirt on her and that neckline actually compliments on this dress the best. Very retro. I am surprise, however, that someone with her fashion sense would commit the faux pas of wearing shoes lighter than the color of her hem. She's a little off her game right now. Bring back the cute shoes and purses from the engagement days!

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    2. Kate is wearing literally the same dress in a THIRD color after repeating yet another dress twice (puff sleeves at Trooping and Christening) for exactly zero new frocks since the birth of Prince Louis, so no the boatnecks aren’t the fashion rut I’m seeing.

      Love that she popped up today. For me Sophie’s dress wins the day. Anne’s fashion is...fascinating!

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    3. ^exactly @ Anon.

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    4. I wouldn't invest in new clothes two months postpartum either, I would wait and see where things landed before I invested in custom tailored couture that I'll be wearing for the next decade or so. Assuming I married a prince and could afford it. :)

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  4. While I know this is a Kate focused blog, I HAVE to mentioned I adore Meghan's Dior. This is the first thing she has worn that has really wowed me!

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    1. The Dior was great, perfect cut, as it should, being bespoke Dior... I didn't like it when I thought it was black but it seems it was navy. And I agree it was her best so far. She has expensive tastes...

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    2. It did look better when it showed as navy. I think it would be better at a more "fun" event.
      She does seem to have a very pricey wardrobe. I can imagine it irritating folks eventually.
      However, she has jumped into royal events faster than Catherine and has needed a royal wardrobe pretty quickly. Catherine had the luxury of living in Wales for a time and could build her wardrobe slowly.
      Still, it wouldn't hurt her to be mindful of her costs. Even though Prince Charles pays for her clothes, too much,too soon can cause ill will. A little less bespoke and a little more high street could help her image.

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    3. I agree, Mary. Kate did balance the high street and bespoke pieces very well and she was still criticized for being too spendy. I think Meghan's honeymoon period with the public will be short lived if she keeps up her current choices and especially if she keeps opting for Dior and Givenchy. The "head designer is British" thing will only play so long. She did wear Wickstead in Ireland proving that the designer most likely did not make the comments attributed to her regarding the wedding dress. I just want her to keep wearing cute shoes and carrying great purses. Ditch the suede pumps and little clutches!

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    4. And "buy British!" I guess people don't mind Kate having a wardrobe of Mac queen, a wardrobe of Dior, Prada and Givenchy on the other hand...

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    5. I don't understand your comment 1:11. McQueen is a British brand.

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    6. I mean that Kate's couture is overwhelming British, or commonwealth ( erdem, AW). It may be expensive but the money goes back to Britain. In Meghan's case, it can be said she is on a mission to help the French economy. The public won't mind as much Kate's wardrobe full of McQueen as it will Meghan's wardrobe full of Dior Givenchy and Mouret. That's what I meant 1:11

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    7. It’s only right to point out that Meghan had an extremely successful & well-paid career before she joined the royal family, something Kate did not have, so she is likely contributing towards her own wardrobe & also unlikely to be paying retail as she had relationships with those fashion houses before. Princess Diana had strong relationships with Dior & Prada & good for Meghan if she continues her pre-wedding style.

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    8. I understand 1:11. It's true.

      5:15, I think the cost and who is or is not paying for her clothing isn't quite as important to the people (except the republicans who don't like anything about the royals) as the fact that Meghan now represents HM when she and Harry are on official duty and being an ambassador for British brands would serve her well. Diana wore mostly British fashion while she was HRH. Charles even commented one time that it was a shame Diana couldn't wear more Italian designers because she looked so nice in their clothes. The British Monarch no longer rules the country. If the royals are not Britain's best ambassadors their purpose is greatly diminished.

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    9. 5:15, do you really, sincerely, believe Meghan is paying for her wardrobe?

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  5. What a lovely surprise; no one seemed to be expecting Catherine today.
    She looked beautiful on both days, but particularly loved her hat for the Christening.Looked like part of a 17C head piece.
    Most of all was er obvious joy in her baby.
    Charlotte looks like a mini Catherine. Both children seemed fascinated by the clerics' robes.
    The RAFs centenary celebrations were fantastic. Pity the children weren't there for the flypast.

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    1. The children were there. There are photos on Twitter and at the Mirror of George and Charlotte with nanny Theresa watching the flypast.

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  6. Ahhhh some amazing photos of Will and Kate on the balcony (and Charlotte and George in the window!!) just emerged!!!

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  7. Kate radiates again with another fashion win! I agree with 7:46 above that Kate's confidence seems to have grown even more of late. She seems to have embraced her role as a full blown, full time senior royal. This ensemble, complete with her RAF brooch, was so perfect on the day.

    Meghan looked beautiful today but I also agree that it's time for a different neckline and some more cheerful colors for her. I hope one of the ladies will help her a little.

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  8. Kate looks incredible. Absolutely glowing and perfectly delightful. I love that hat! Meghan's style is also incredible - absolutely impeccable and she needs no help from anyone. The black was gorgeous, her tastes are no more expensive than any other royal and IMO Kate recycles FAR too much. I'm blown away by Meghan's elegance and sweet, modern charm. Her hair and accessories - and make up - are all top notch, and she understands proportion like nobody else. Kudos to her!

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    1. I absolutely agree with you about Meghan’s style- she just looks so elegant and sophisticated and I don’t think she needs fashion advice from the other ladies. Kate looked lovely and her coat is pretty, but it’s odd to me that she would have three identical coats in slightly different pastel shades.
      -JF

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    2. Same; I think her style is amazing. Very different from Kate's - to be expected. How exciting it is to have the two ladies providing us with so much style and grace.

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    3. JF, I'm not saying Meghan needs to get exact styling choices from the other ladies but she needs advice on the "feeling" of the event. She seems to miss it by inches and it's usually because the color is too dark or the feeling (should it be flirty or sombre or classic) misses a little. I would hope Kate or someone would help her by saying "traditionally the look is...or HM prefers" so she doesn't stand out in a glaring way. BTW, her black shoes with the bow on the heel in Ireland yesterday were divine! She is the best of all of them with the shoes and purses!

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    4. JF, I agree that it is slightly surprising that Kate has the exact same coat-dress in three colours. Let's hope there isn't another couple in lavender and mint. That would cover all the pastels.

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  9. Thanks, Jane! How wonderful to see Catherine again so soon - with a new hat and, as someone said, glowing. I'm impressed that she, like the Queen and Camilla, has developed her own "uniform" - something every intelligent working women should have. This silhouette is very flattering on her so to have it in a number of shades is smart. On this occasion her pale blue blends perfectly with the uniforms, does not detract from the importance of the ceremony. I have to disagree with posters about Meaghan's choice. It may be bespoke Dior but she wears this same neck line over and over and I don't think it suits her at all. That said, I think she's still finding her feet in a completely new world and country and that'll take time.

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  10. Yay! Another Catherine appearance!

    She was gorgeous as usual, but the McQueen coat is becoming a little routine. It's lovely, but even changing colors or sleeves isn't keeping it fresh. It does suit her though, she looks fabulous in every version of it.

    I wasn't a fan of Meghan's dress at this event. It seemed to me to be more of a party dress. The fit and flare silhouette is a little too flirty for a serious event. It's always just a little thing that disrupts her look for me.

    The queen rocks color like no one else. I wish I had her panache.

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  11. Kate was lovely as usual. She is certainly poised and confident in the public eye. I loved her hat. I agree that Meghan’s choice of color was odd for this time of year. It would be perfect for the autumn. I don’t understand her wearing that boat neckline so often. I’m ready for a different silhouette.

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  12. I Incorrectly got the color of Meghan’s dress wrong. I thought the color choice of black odd as it is summer but other than that is was an elegant dress. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t black a “no-no” color to wear, more for a funeral?”

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  13. I'm probably going to get a lot of push back for this but I that doesn't bother me. I don't like what Kate is wearing here, much like I haven't liked the last few things we've seen her in. From the Wedding, Trooping, the Christening, to today...it's literally the same style with very subtle differences and this I am tired of. I also believe that the V-Neck's are cutting way too deep and the pale colors wash Kate out and make her look...tired. Yes, she just had a baby and has three little one's under five, but these latest outings remind me more and more of those first few outings Kate had post George. They're just not great in my opinion and I truly am starting to wonder if Kate is having a rougher recovery this time around.

    A note about Meghan...I love the boat neck so much. It's a style that I wear often and in my own closet, there is a black dress very similar to this Dior. She has expensive taste, but she is investing in neutrals that will be timeless, and able to be re-worn for years to come. I've always been frustrated with Kate's tendency to spend a lot on things that are trendier and often we often don't get a lot of re-wears of the trendier pieces. The Erdem strapless gown comes to mind and also the red and white McQueen. Who knows how often Meghan will re-wear, and yes she's spending a lot, but they're not trendy pieces. Meghan clearly understands the concept of investments pieces and capsule pieces in your wardrobe.

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    1. Oh, but I hope Meghan doesn't become like Princess Anne who is still recycling things from 30 years ago!

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    2. I agree that Kate's fashion choices have been rather boring since the birth of little Louis. I assume it's just due to the fact she's really busy and on maternity leave. Hope it's back to regular fashion programming in the autumn!

      I have really enjoyed Meghan's outfits so far but I'm somewhat surprised it's almost exclusively high end designer clothes. She seems very keen on being accessible and relatable so i thought the obvious route would be to wear a lot of high street brands. Not complaining tho! Personally I'm totally fine with her wearing designer clothes. I've always secretly wondered why Kate hardly wears Dior, Prada, Gucci, Ysl etc. I'm very curious to see how Meghan will build her wardrobe and if she will wear a lot of recycles.

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    3. I do not wonder at all why Kate almost exclusively wears British or common wealth designers. She is supporting her country and representing it, like queen Letizia with Spanish brands or queen Mathilde with Belgian Nathan. Kate fashion choices have been a terrific boost for British brands. That's part of her job and I think she has been very professional about it. Meghan seems to enjoy fashion and couture, who wouldn't? but she seems to staunchly support the French economy...

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    4. In these days of globalization I don't really understand the notion of "buy British" (or in my case, buy American.) McQueen is a British brand but it is owned by Kering Holland NV based in Paris. Sure, Sarah Burton is British but so is Claire Keller of Givenchy. If Kate wears a McQueen design, since McQueen isn't really British-owned these days, does buying that brand automatically benefit the UK economy? Of course, stores in the UK selling McQueen profit if sales increase due to Kate's visibility. But I assume one can also purchase Dior or Givenchy from UK stores (as one can do in the US) resulting in those stores potentially profiting too from Meghan's visibility. I also don't think one can assume (non-bespoke) McQueen designs are sewn in the UK. I did a quick Google and everything I saw was made in Italy. So is the idea the BRF should "buy British" these days mostly a matter of nationalistic pride rather than economic effects?

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    5. Very true Lizzie.

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    6. It may be Lizzie, but while economics do not necessarily follow, nationalistic pride is one of the things the monarchy is based on. Identity, national tradition, patriotism, all that kind of values.

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    7. I can understand that Anon 3am. There certainly have been "buy American" movements for that reason and way back when, Jackie Kennedy was criticized for wearing Chanel as 1st Lady. But many comments since Meghan came on the scene have talked about profits from Kate's wardrobe choices boosting the UK economy while stating Meghan's choices help only other countries. I'm just not sure that's really true. I suspect back in Diana's time, more "British" brands including clothes brands truly were British. Not only headquartered there but ownership was there. Garments were designed in the UK mostly by British or CW citizens, manufactured there, and sold there. That was certainly true about US lines back in the 1980s (and even more true in the 1960s when the Kennedys were in the White House.)

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    8. Kate is dressing for her future job; the Queen is her role model. Meghan seems to be identifying more with celebrities such as Amal Clooney and Angelina Jolie. I also think she has similar taste to Melania Trump. (did you notice Malania as she departed the airplane in Roland Mouret? I though at first it was Meghan the look was so similar.) As I said in a comment in a previous post--MM appears to have no intention of blending in with the other royal ladies. In fact, her attire seems often to run counterpoint to what the other royals are wearing. I think her wearing a trouser suit with a scoop necked top to meet leaders of Ireland and to visit the famine memorial was questionable, but, golly! she looked terrific! There was a variety of activities scheduled for that one day and I doubt there was time to change outfits in between. The only thing I would suggest is changing from stilettos into wedges or flats for the cobblestone walk, for her own comfort. If Meghan had changed outfits during the day to be perfectly appropriate for each activity there would have been complaints as well. I do think the rule of thumb in such circumstances is to dress for the most significant event diplomacy-wise--which was the meeting with the dignitaries. I saw only one other female host/official type woman the whole day who wore trousers. They were all dressed in colorful seasonal dresses. It is also notable that Harry was tieless with open collar while the other men were in suit jackets with ties. I thought it sweet that Harry conformed his attire to Meghan's rather than that of the hosts.
      On the other hand, everyone looked absolutely charmed and delighted with the pair. Who am I to judge? anon1
      Besides, I think Harry looks like a giant Leprechaun, anyway, and she is his sweet patootie.
      What's not to like?

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  14. I'd say Kate has made just that, invested in timeless pieces she wears again and again. I don't remember a strapless erdem?
    As for Meghan, I am astonished by how expensive her choices are and how they almost always just miss the mark. She is beautiful and stylish but just cannot dress for the occasion.

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    1. Bingo on Meghan!
      She's just a little too expensive and a little bit off in her choices.
      I'm sure it will get better in time.

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  15. Once again Kate proved she will make a most elegant and beautiful Queen Consort. She is the epitome of class.

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    1. I agree! Once again, she is dressed elegantly and perfectly for the occasion. Her hair is beautifully styled. Even through her postpartum fatigue, her posture is regal and her face lights up when she smiles. Yes, I am gushing, but she inspires me!

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  16. Honestly, Kate looks exhausted, despite the lovely dress and makeup. Kudos to her for showing up. It can't be easy feeding a young baby round the clock.

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  17. After an audible gasp due to thinking Meghan had a black dress on, I took a deep breath and determined it was in fact navy; a fabulously beautiful navy at that! I am still perplexed by the dark colors she has sported the last two days, but have loved the shape of both on her.
    Now to our dear Catherine, I found this outfit just a “meh”. She has definitely developed a uniform and the cuts and colors (usually) flatter her, but I felt there was a tailoring issue at her mid-section that caused a slight gaping; she looks fabulous for having given birth 11 weeks ago so I am not sure what the issue was, but my eye kept going to it. I would love to see her step out of her box and maybe she will when she is off maternity leave. I keep remembering a beautiful pinkish nude lace dress she wore to some event at Westminster, I’d like to see another wow! like that. Having said all that, I agree with other posters that Catherine has become so poised and beautifully regal that I love watching her. Still my fav, even though I’m American and old enough to be her mom!

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  18. Re: MM's boatneck = tired look - so... no one remembers Kate's nude LK Bennett's? :P
    Kate looked more lively @ Louis's christening, and I am enjoying her new hats! But this dress (and its other iterations) are a snooze fest for me. She looks fine and appropriate, sure, but this is the *third* (4th if we discount the puffed sleeves yesterday) dress in this color? Yawn city. A clever recycle might've been better or less underwhelming.

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    1. It took us a while to be bored by the sledges...remembered Kate 2011/2012? How fresh, relatable and gorgeous? All those little known British labels she wore so well? Nothing boring about her. 7 years later, she still perfectly elegant, but in a regal, serene mother of 3 way.

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  19. Catherine doesn't look exhausted to me. She looked beautiful at the wedding and in both informal events with the children. She was radiant at the christening even going wacky with her head wear. These two basic silhouettes on four outings- much as Megan has worn the same neck on her dress at every other appearance in order almost reflect that they both use what they like. Often Kate uses her clothes to tune down the spotlight thus keeping focus on the event -ie the Jenny Packham in the New York City evening event for St. Andrews. She is aware that many eyes are on her as she emerges while away right now. I think her outfit for the birthday of the RAF was beautiful and kept the attention on the event vs. her arrival.
    I am really hoping that Kate comes out for Wimbledon in the next two days and at the end. And hopefully in her usual fun choices for those appearances.

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    1. Catherine is attending the Ladies' final on Sat accompanied by Meghan and at the mens' final on Saturday accompanied by William.

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    2. Thanks, Jean! You always give us the best information! I had a feeling that she would attend the finals because she's their royal patron and she loves going!

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    3. Sorry--that, of course , should be Sunday with William.

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  20. Nor me. She looks happy, healthy and is more beautiful than ever. I hear that Catherine and Meghan are attending the women's singles finals on Saturday ... another outing to look forward to :-D

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  21. Always great to see our Kate.

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