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Garden Party; Kate's GCVO; Kate's RHS Garden Activity Cards; & Trump's Visit

Saturday, May 25, 2019


The Duchess of Cambridge Invested With Her GCVO

As you all know, just this past April 29th, William and Kate's eighth wedding anniversary, the Queen announced that she was making Kate a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO). The Royal Victorian Order is an order of knighthood created by Queen Victoria to recognize persons who have rendered exceptional service to the sovereign. The honors are within the sole discretion of the Queen. It is a significant honor to be appointed to the order, and the Queen has made Kate a Dame Grand Cross--the highest level within the ordering. Camilla, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Sophie are all recipients of this honor at this highest level. Interestingly, Prince Harry was made a Knight Commander in 2015, which is a lower rung. 

Although fans waited to see if Kate would be publicly invested several days after the announcement, she did not attend that event. Instead, reports were that on Tuesday Kate was privately invested by the Queen before the garden party. I haven't seen that confirmed, and I haven't been following the royal circuit closely this week, but that was the report I saw Tuesday.

U.S. State Visit

President Trump and his First Lady will visit the UK the first week of June on a State Visit. There will be a State Banquet, of course. Rebecca English has reported that William and Kate will attend the dinner, so we have a fabulous tiara event just around the corner. Additionally, this will be our first time seeing Kate wear her new GCVO.

Harry will join the Queen and the Trumps for a private lunch during the course of the visit. Meghan is on maternity leave, or she would certainly join her husband. The headlines that the Duchess of Sussex is snubbing the President of the United States are ludicrous. That is exactly what royals do not do--show partisan, political opinions. Given what we know of her politics pre-marriage, she may very well be relieved to have an excuse, but the simple fact is that if she were not on mat leave, she'd be there--with a smile on her face. Anything less would be contrary to the core principles of the monarchy and unprofessional.

Kate's Garden Activity Cards

Several of you saw the report that Kate, as part of her RHS garden, made activity cards to help get children out in nature. You can find all the themed activity cards here, and download each in PDF form.

Apparently, Kate's children loved the garden and she brought them back early in the morning this week, to help her water all the plants. Richard Palmer reports Kate has visited the garden for one thing or another at least nine times in the last week!

What other funs things do I want to tell you before we get to the garden party fashion... I don't know. Louis was afraid of the bees at the garden show, poor baby. That was a cute tidbit. Charlotte will join George at Thomas's Battersea this fall. Oh, I don't know if this video of Kate speaking got lost in the shuffle, buried under the other videos of the kids, but it is great to see her discussing why her work is so close to her heart.


Garden Party Fashion

Ok, let's talk about the fashion from the garden party.  Kate wore a custom McQueen coat-dress and a hat by Juliette Botterill. Her earrings were her Diana Collingwoods, and she carried a Loeffler clutch.  

Kate loves her some pink. I love pink, too, and I love pink on Kate, so we are so-far-so-good on the color. I am going to complain a little about the style. I know Kate is a senior royal and it is, in some respects, quite a formal event, but I wish she would wear something just a tad softer to garden parties. By that I mean a floaty dress, or more femininely tailored coat. This coat is a mix, the pleating, and little peplum-ish flaps at the waist are certainly feminine, but the double-breasted closure and pointed lapels feel too military for me. As you know, I love a little military vibe on Kate, particularly for events like Trooping or Remembrance Sunday, or any event that commemorates the Armed Forces, really. So, I am not taking issue with the coat standing on its own, because it is a beautiful piece, but I don't love it for this event.


Although the tailoring wasn't perfect, the pink Emilia Wickstead she wore to a garden party in 2012, is more in line with my ideal, because it had a simpler (and softer) neckline. It felt lighter and younger. I guess the short of it is, for garden parties, I'd like Kate to ditch the coat and go with a lovely, summer dress. 

Finally, I think that Juliette Botterill is filling the (significant) gap left by Jane Corbett, a true millinery genius. I liked this hat, and I'd love for Kate and Juliette to continue to innovate toward unique and unusual creations, like the stunning JC hat paired with the Wickstead above. 

All ya'll. It's been a busy week. Sorry for my absence. Happy Memorial Day weekend to my U.S. readers. We are so blessed that so many willingly serve and sacrifice.