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William & Kate Charm Basildon During Coach Core Event

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

William and Kate undertook a joint engagement today in Basildon, Essex, for Coach Core Essex. Although the couple did host a reception at Kensington Palace last week, Kate has kept a low profile while Harry and Meghan have been touring overseas. As that tour winds to a close, these two stepped out for a sweet double-act.

The couple arrived to a crowd of excited well wishers outside the Basildon Sporting Village. It is so lovely to see Kate interacting with the crowds after her long absence. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousands times,

Sneak Peek: Kate in Smythe & Aquatalia for Coach Core

Kate and William have arrived in Basildon for today's Coach Core event! Kate is looking fabulous in cozy, polished ensemble featuring some fan-favorite labels!

This is a sweet video fo Kate chatting outside the sporting center to little fans:

[Full Post] Kate at the Netherlands State Dinner

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The winds of change are blowing at Buckingham Palace! Last night the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and other dignitaries for the State Dinner honoring King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. 

There were two interesting shifts in Kate's world last night. The first was the talk of the town, and that is that Kate has been awarded the Royal Family Order. According to the Palace, the Queen bestowed it on her in November of last year and she wore it to the Diplomatic Reception. To be clear, this is our first confirmation that she received it.

Sneak Peek: Kate's Ruched Mermaid Gown at State Dinner

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Good evening, all. As we anticipated, Kate the Great attended the State Dinner tonight at Buckingham Palace. Sadly, I am underwater with work, and since I have thoughts about this ensemble and this event more broadly, and want to give it a full post, I will wait until tomorrow evening write and publish. In the meantime, you've seen the dress already, but feel free to kick off the comments while I dilly dally about. Until tomorrow...

William and Kate Host BBC Radio One at Kensington Palace + Mental Health Meeting

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Harry and Meghan's first tour is in full swing Down Under, but amid the hubbub and excitement you might be asking yourself, what is Kate the Great up to these days? She is a busy, albeit under-the-radar, bee. The Court Circular announced that on Wednesday, Kate and William had hosted the BBC Radio One Teen Heroes finalist at Kensington Palace for an afternoon reception. Today we got a few pictures! (notice the picture of W&K on the table!)

The couple have supported BBC Radio One's initiatives for several years now. They hosted the winners of the Teen Heroes Awards in 2016. 

Just last year, the Cambridges made a surprise appearance on the radio to chat with the hosts as part of an event that supported Heads Together. They shared lots fun tidbits about their personal lives, and as always, it was fun to get a little peek into their chemistry together.

Wednesday's reception is another event in what appears to be a strong partnership between Radio One and the Cambridges to support mental health. Side note: it appears this room has gotten a bit of a makeover, with a new piece of art over the fireplace. 

Kate is wearing a new dress from Whistles! We haven't seen her wear this label for some time. This is the Margot Dot Dress in burgundy , which retails for about $300. 

Kate was wearing her Temple of Heaven earrings by Cassandra Goad, and it appears that she might be wearing her Praline pumps from Gianvito Rossi, which would be a great color combo in my book, since this burgundy is almost brown. 

This dress does not make my heart sing, I will admit, but I am so excited to see Kate I really don't care. It does put us on notice that she has not left her penchant for midis behind as we roll into a new season of fall fashion, so those of you who wish this was't this year's band wagon, buckle up!! I think we have more midi shirt dresses in our future... Although, if you are reading this, Kate, feel free to avert course. 

In other news, on Tuesday the 16th of October, Kate convened a meeting of experts in mental health at Kensington Palace. The gathering was to discuss the "Early Years" initiative, which is Kate's charitable area of concentration right now. You probably remember her address at a Heads Together event in March of this year, in which she discussed how important early intervention is for mental health:

Kate announced in September that she will be launching a new initiate in 2019 that will likely be the focus of her royal life, which is a remarkable commitment, frankly. In some sense, it is also a very humble focus. She isn't tackling any of the flashy issues of the day, but she really is dialing in on what is almost assuredly one of the most important. 

I think we have seen, just from the small glimpse we have of her personal life, that Kate is an incredibly dedicated and thoughtful mother. Her very hands on experience appears to translate into an impressive depth of empathy and knowledge for the new task she is taking on. 

There were no pictures released from Kate's morning meeting, but you probably remember the picture that was released back in November of 2017, when Kate convened a similar gathering on maternal mental health at Kensington Palace.

I am covering Harry and Meghan's tour on Instagram, so pop over there is you want my thoughts on her fashion choices for her first royal tour. I loved the Folded Sail dress yesterday, but that trench coat needs to go, guys. Anyway, more on the IG platform. See you there... 

The Duchess of Sussex is Expecting + Couple Pictured Walking in Sydney!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Kensington Palace announced this morning that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting. Meghan and Harry apparently told the Queen, Charles, and the rest of the royal family at Eugenie's wedding on Saturday (this was the initial report, but I agree with those who are speculating that the Queen, Charles, and the Cambridges must have known beforehand). It does seem clear that they told the rest of the family, (presumably Wessexes, Yorks, etc at the celebration). Wills and Kate are, of course, "delighted" by the news, according to the Palace. 

Meghan is due in the spring of 2019, and thought to be about 12 weeks along right now. Speculation has been circling for a few weeks now, and has proved to be correct. She has apparently chosen to stay the course of the tour and still make the visit to Fiji and Tonga, despite the Zika presence in the area. The couple were pictured (and videoed) walking the gardens at Admiralty House after their arrival in Sydney as they prepare to start what will now be an even more exciting tour for the newlyweds.

You can see the video on The Sun's website here. Congratulations to Meghan and Harry. A baby is always good news! 

Eugenie and Jack's Official Wedding Portraits

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Palace has released Jack and Eugenie's four official wedding photos (if you missed my full recap posted this morning, see here). First, the two chose the classic group shot with just the bridal party. Aren't Charlotte and George sweet over on bench together. 

Second, they picked a one of the family shot with both the Brooksbanks and the Duke and Duchess of York.

Third, the couple chose an artistic shot of the two in the Scottish State Coach, which I really think is unique and fun.

Finally, in an unusual move for royals, the two released a snap from their reception. Emily Andrews reports that this is a Zac Posen dress with the white rose of York embroidered on the shoulders, and she is wearing Queen Victoria's wheat-ear brooch as a hair pin.

This was very fun, and I love that they released this picture. I don't think it hurts for the royals to allow a small peak into these private moments. 

Eugenie's Picture Perfect Royal Wedding

I am going to start with the beautiful bride today as we do a quick recap of Eugenie's autumn Royal Wedding. I don't follow Eugenie closely and I didn't have any guess as to what style she'd choose. I was thrilled with this gown, really thrilled.

It is by Paul Peter Pilotto, a label I'd frankly never heard of, but is apparently a respected British label. I do know that it was not one of the candidates in the running. That is, people more in the know than I had not mentioned this label as a potential winner for the coveted royal nod.

I did think she'd go toward traditional, and I am happy she went even a bit bold with this detailed dress.

When I look at this dress it shares a lot in common with Kate's, and I don't say that to detract from the design. When you go to design a dress, the first thing you say is, I like this style or that style. I certainly can imagine Eugenie, when asked what styles appealed to her, pointing and saying, my cousin Kate's dress was a dream.

She veered toward a traditional a-line and incorporated a bustle in the back that is a little likes Kate's, but with her own twist. Eugenie specifically asked that the gown's back show off the scars she has from surgeries to fix her scoliosis. Eugenie's charity work has focused on scoliosis because of her personal experience with the condition. The only thing I didn't love about the dress was the sheen of the fabric, but I think she pulled this off. 

The Princess wore the Greville Emerald tiara on loan from the Queen, and according to Emily Andrews, those matching drop earrings are a gift to Eugenie from her groom! Eugenie's coloring is really striking and green was the perfect color to pop against her dark hair. I think she made a very beautiful bride! 

One of my girlfriends is a gemologist who also happens to love Russian history. She messaged me yesterday reminding me this is a kokoshnik style, and that "behind every truly great jewelry moment, there's some Russian history." I have to say, the Russians knew how to do royal tiaras. This piece was created by Boucheron, and according to the Telegraph:
In platinum and diamonds, the tiara has an enormous 93.70-carat emerald at its centre, and six smaller emeralds either side. It was part of the ‘Greville bequest’, a remarkable collection of jewellery left to the Queen Mother by Margaret Greville, a prominent member of society who was a close friend of Queen Mary. The Queen inherited the tiara, along with the rest of the jewels, when her mother died in 2002.

Sarah, the Duchess of York, did really well with her ensemble. She chose tip to toe green and I thought she looked fab. She certainly made an entrance. Obviously she knew these two:

I tried to explain this on my live feed yesterday morning, but my coffee hadn't kicked in and my brain was just not firing on all pistons. She reminded me of Petula Clark in Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Bubbly and running around kind of breaking the general rules (or if not rules, not conforming to the behavior one would expect for the occasion). It was classic Fergie and I was way into it. Confession: I like her and I hope she and Andrew get remarried. I'd get up for that Royal Wedding. Sarah lost just a few sartorial points with the hat's overly enthusiastic bow, the ends of which ended up looking like an airline logo, but I loved the tail on the dress that created lots dramatic fluttering thanks to the wind.  

Cameras caught this hilarious moment as Fergie was trying to leave the church and one of the flower girls (Robbie Williams' daughter) asked her if she was the Queen.

Princess Beatrice really scored a home-run with her ensemble, too. She went super high-end with Ralph & Russo, and it appears she has caught the same hat-band fever that Kate has been indulging in with this complementing Sarah Cant headpiece. Again, I am 100% on board. I thought this was tasteful, elegant, and super chic. Well done, Bea. 

The Duchess of Sussex went with a navy ensemble from Givenchy. I am with all of you who have weighed in complaining she wears too much navy and black. I sympathize with her, because I wear almost exclusively black, navy, or grey these days. I like other colors, but that's where my wardrobe has drifted. But, these dark colors don't always photograph well, and it would have been nice to have a little pep from Meghan at this wedding. Nevertheless, I thought this was an elegant ensemble for her. She skirted her tailoring issues by wearing something that was meant to be boxy, and I thought it was a success (although many are speculating she is now hiding the beginnings of a bump. Time will tell).

Pippa and James Matthews were also there (as well as James Middleton, I think Mike & Carole must not have been invited). The Pipster looked fabulous (and matched the theme) in an emerald green ensemble by Emilia Wickstead.  She is super pregnant, and this was an ensemble that suited her. Thank goodness she didn't go with a drop-waist this time. 

Let's jump next to our favorite royal, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate the Great did wear a new ensemble, as I suspected she would. She tapped McQueen, again as is her preference for these big-ticket events. As several of you have remarked, it is a familiar design. Kate picked the same pattern as the bubble-gum pink McQueen from Trooping 2017 for this ensemble in an autumnal magenta. She added the peaked shoulders from her more recent ice-blue McQueen at this year's Trooping.

The dress has the same paper-bag tailoring at the waist as the 2017 version, but might feature a fuller skirt. It's hard to say, because we don't get a great look at Trooping ensembles, but I think it is the same skirt based upon the pleating in this photo.

Kate added a new hat from Philip Treacy, in a deep burgundy a few shades darker than her dress, and matched her velvet Prada pumps and Prada clutch to that shade, creating uniform and elegant accessories.

I love this snap of Kate's dress starting to swoop up as she quickly pats it down, and Sophie's face is priceless. Wearing a skirt has its hazards and the idea that Kate can prevent these sorts of situations is not a reasonable position, in my mind. Skirts are subject to the wind, and it can be very hard to predict how the combination of the wind and where you are standing (walls and doorways create unusual upward drafts) will conspire to expose you. You just have to be alert when it is windy. I agree that a slim slip could help.

The wind was very, very strong yesterday. A bit of a debate over whether Kate's hemline is weighted or should be weighted, blew up on Instagram, but the fact of the matter is that you cannot weight a skirt like this enough to contend with this kind of wind.

This is a good video of how quickly the blustery moment really was:

Different people have different approaches to PDAs, and as a couple William and Kate tend to fall on the more reserved end of the spectrum, but that makes their quiet moments all the sweeter. Kate likes to rest her hand on William's knee, and we have lots of snaps of this understated PDA from their first trip to Canada in 2011 to the present day. I love it. 

This was the first time we have seen Kate's children take on a public role without the direct supervision of one parent. Kate shepherded George and Charlotte when she acted as Pippa's matron-of-honor, and she was also on the front steps of St. George's Chapel when her little ones were featured in Meghan and Harry's wedding in May. The pictures from Sophie Carter's wedding showed Kate with the kids afterwards, although that might have been an early run at letting them perform their duties solo. When William and Kate arrived just after Meghan and Harry at yesterday's wedding I was entirely taken off-guard, because I assumed Kate would ride with Charlotte as she did in May.

Instead, after multiple performances in weddings, her little ones were fine on their own. Charlotte and George seemed to have hit their stride, with George in boisterous spirits as he larked about with his cousin. Charlotte stole the kids show, though, by continuing her penchant for gracious attention to the press and fans. What a little doll.

I have been surprised by the number of messages I have gotten asking where the Queen was. She was there! HM sat up toward the front, but she was one row back from her usual position. This picture of all the royals smiling as Eugenie walked up the aisle is super sweet, and gives you a sense of where everyone was seated. 

This screen grab will give you a spatial perspective:

Kate's and Meghan's weddings were springtime affairs and featured neutral pastels and delicate greenery. I loved both their color schemes, but a change of pace was just what the doctor ordered with the change in weather. I really enjoyed Eugenie's bolder, fall color scheme, particularly this cake.

The verdict on this wedding is a win all around. The bride was beautiful, with a traditional gown and tiara worthy of a once-in-a-lifetime event. Kate's choice to wear a new, deep magenta ensemble was spot on, further underscoring that this was a big-ticket event. As I have mentioned before, I think Eugenie looks up to Kate, and it was nice to see her really highlight a fellow princess's big day. If you missed the wedding, the complete ceremony will hit YouTube at some point, and I will share it when it does. Thanks to everyone who joined me for the live stream yesterday on IG, that was my first live feed, I think (maybe my second?) and it was super fun to share the excitement of the Royal Wedding with you all in real time.

Sneak-Peek: Eugenie's Royal Wedding

Friday, October 12, 2018

Just a sneak peak before the full post this afternoon. The Duchess of Cambridge is wearing magenta McQueen this morning at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The wind was whipping up a storm as guests made their arrivals, and Kate had to keep a protective hand on her Philip Treacy hat!
As the royal couple waited for the ceremony to start they were holding hands. I love these two and their sweet relationship. 

The bride is so stunning! She is wearing a Peter Pilotto gown that is absolutely, drop-dead gorgeous. I am really in love with this dress. It is scoring up there close to Kate's.

I was live streaming for a while this morning (before coffee had kicked in, so dangerous living) on Instagram and I do not expect to get a contract offer to be a live commentator. I did not know the dress ID or the tiara ID, but apparently, this is the Greville Emerald tiara, with thanks to Emily Andrews!

Princess Charlotte is such a doll. She had happy waves for the waiting crowds.

Both the Duke and Duchess of York seemed overwhelmed by the beautiful morning. Congratulations to them all, and I will see you all later this afternoon for a full post.

How to Watch Eugenie's Royal Wedding

Thursday, October 11, 2018

In May, many of us enjoyed watching Harry and Meghan's beautiful wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. This month, we have a second royal wedding, as Princess Eugenie of York is due to marry Jack Brooksbank...tomorrow morning. Many of you have emailed me asking how to watch the wedding. There is good news and bad news.

First for the Brits among us... Apparently, Prince Andrews reached out to the BBC and asked them to broadcast the wedding. BBC turned the Duke down, because they reportedly felt the Yorks don't have enough of a following to create reasonable ratings on the wedding. I frankly think they underestimate the draw of a royal wedding, but to each his own. Britain's ITV jumped on board instead, and will air the ceremony and the carriage ride through Windsor.

For Americans...if you have cable you are set. TLC, that purveyor of all that is sweet and romantic (and maybe more than that, too) has brokered a deal to air Eugenie's wedding here in the United States. So, if TLC is part of your package, you can get ready to enjoy the wedding.

Happily, online options abound. The Royal Family's YouTube Channel will stream the wedding live here:

 See you in the morning! 

[Full Post] Kate Wears Erdem For 1st Engagement As Patron of V&A

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This is the event we waited all day to see (literally) and Kate didn't disappoint as she arrived at the Victoria & Albert Museum just at 8pm to open the museum's new exhibition on photography. Dressed in a striking, tweed evening dress from Erdem, with bold statement earrings from the same designer, and complementing Jimmy Choo accessories in a luxe aubergine, Kate oozed royal glamour. 

This is Kate's first engagement as patron of the V&A. She made a preliminary visit in June 2017 (wearing Gucci) before she was named the museum's first royal patron in March of this year!

I don't know if you spent the day refreshing your Twitter feed every half hour--I know I did. The start time was not officially announced due to security precautions, so I've popped into Twitter a lot today. William and Harry had an wildlife preservation event that stretched throughout the afternoon and into the evening, and I wonder if Kate arranged the start time with the museum to be sure she could be home for dinner with her kiddies? In any event, when she finally arrived to a blinding bank of flashing cameras I couldn't make out what she was wearing at first:

Once it all came into focus I think there was widespread surprise, followed almost simultaneously with either delight or distress depending on your style preference. Erdem never fails to radically divide fans, does it? For me, I had a brief moment of perplexed processing before I ran over to join everyone who chose Team Delighted. Buttons excepted, that is. I think Erdem stole those from Miss Havisham's closet. 

The runway version of this Spring 2018 dress does not inspire confidence, but the cut and fit are incredible on Kate, the tweed for evening is a great nod to the season, and the texture is light enough that doesn't weight the dress down. I do enjoy the unexpected, and this is certainly unexpected. Kate loves fringe and asymmetric necklines, too, so this has pulled together so many of her favorite elements. 

According to the Vogue write-up on this collection, it was inspired by the Queen! 
This summer, Erdem Moral─▒o─člu found his own extraordinary path into expressing his admiration for the queen while researching her clothes at Windsor Castle (no less). He conducted his research under the guidance of Caroline de Guitaut, the senior curator of decorative arts of the Royal Collection. There, he made a discovery which blew his mind, kindling a theme for a beautiful collection based on the 1950s that touched on a personal connection to Black-American culture in the young queen’s life. “It felt kind of important at a weird time like this,” said the designer. “The exchange between two worlds felt really beautiful.”
Erdem had discovered that Elizabeth enjoyed jazz and dancing when she was young, and that she had met Duke Ellington in 1958 at a royal command performance....After absorbing that information, he made the leap to Harlem in the 1950s, designing into the fantasy that the young royal might have visited the Cotton Club to watch Dorothy Dandridge, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald perform. It made for quite gorgeous fashion, a context in which to show diverse beauty and an evocative set furnished as a glamorous Harlem Renaissance–era jazz club.
The description and history is more detailed than the above quote, I tried to cut it down to the essentials, but if you are interested I encourage you to read the full article here.  Kate is already a real devotee of the label, but I wonder if this background played into her decision to shop this collection for tonight's event. 

The earrings are too busy and too old-fashioned for me, but you can't win everything. They certainly make a statement, which is what this entire ensemble is successfully achieving, so at least they were team players. Plus, they matched the buttons, and that level of coordination always impresses me. HeavenLM IDed these very, very quickly.

Laura figured out that Kate's Jimmy Chose were the Anouk style, and also IDed Kate's new clutch as the J Box in Bordeaux Velvet.

Kate spent an hour at the private event that looked like a very exclusive and small group.


She got to tour the exhibit and unveiled a plaque...

...before waving farewell and heading home to swap notes with William after his busy day! 
This was a huge win, and although I thought when I first saw it that it would be a very divisive dress, the reactions I have seen pouring in on IG and even here on the blog are very, very positive. I think we might have a fan favorite on our hands? I don't know, the polls aren't closed yet, so we will have to wait for the final outcome until everyone has had a chance to weigh in, but exit numbers are strong. ;)