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The Duchess of Cambridge Vacations in South of France

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Today is the 26th of July, which means we are knocking on the door of August, the month of royal retirement. Traditionally, the British royals, as well as many European royals, take the month off. Before you start shouting about how they live too privileged a life, remember that this break affords a much needed rest for royal reporters and photographers who cover the royal family. These people finally get to sneak away with their families and put their feet up. It is possible that Kate will have another engagement, but I don't know that it is super likely. Today, a French paper is reporting that the Duchess is in France. 

According to a French paper, multiple sources claim that the Duchess landed in Pau in the Pyrenees today at around 1:30pm. Again, according to sources, she flew in on board the private plane of the Duke of Westminster. When William and Kate need a private getaway, they borrow Westminster's private jet. According to the paper, Kate was whisked north from the airport. 

South of Pau
I am happy to hear that Kate has returned to France. The last time she vacationed here privately (to our knowledge) was when the invasive photos were taken. I am glad it hasn't put her off irreparably from a country that cannot help but draw you back again and again. If you speak French, you can read the full article here

[Updated] Kate and William Visit Portsmouth for America's Cup Race

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in Portsmouth for an America's Cup race pitting Ben Ainslie's team against other international competitors. The couple began their day with a stop at the Brit team's home base where they met children involved with the 1851 Trust, of which Kate is patron, and toured the facility. 

Kate's passion for sailing and her interest in kids makes this charity a real match made in heaven. I love that William has accompanied her to Portsmouth now, twice, too. They are such great role models for young people. A happy strong couple pursing their charitable endeavors separately, but also together. 

Kensington Palace 
The main attraction for the day was the race the couple got to watch after their tour. Apparently this is the final race that will take place in the UK before the actual America's Cup in Bermuda next summer, so it was certainly something the royal pair didn't wants to miss.

Sensibly, Kate switched out her wedges for trainers before she board a boat to watch the race. Those are her Adidas Pure Boost athletic shoes. She wore them in Scotland for the tennis clinic. 

Kate began her  day with her hair loose and it certainly caught the attention of the wind. Despite the hair whipping about, I spy Kate's Lauren leaf earrings. P.S. To those wonder, Kate is wearing her wedding band here. It is nestled just to the right of the engagement band. 

The windy, seaside conditions being what they were, Kate added her personalized pullover halfway through the engagement as well as a parka while on the water. So, all together we had several different looks running around. I didn't love the first look. That shirt reminds me of a tennis top I had in high school. It wasn't flattering. Kate's looks short-waisted and too small, which ends up giving it a cheap vibe. Kate seemed to sense it was lacking and pulled on it more than once. By the way, ensemble aside, she was just gorgeous today. Her hair is on point and her natural beauty shining through.

I know more than a few have noted the worn black jeans. I am not in love with black jeans at the best of times, but they certainly don't get better with age. These should be retired to private events. Plus, the deep navy and worn black together bothers me. It just didn't look polished to me. For me, it was disappointing.

Kate is cute as can be all bundled up in her windbreaker coat, and I love the pullover she wore:

It wasn't a big fashion win, but it was a win in every other respect. These two are always charming when doing joint engagements together. They are sporty and competitive and genuinely enjoy the athletic events they attend.

BARacing Twitter
The couple took the role of presenting the trophies after the race. It is amazing to realize how tiny Kate is next to William when she is wearing her skinnies and flats. They are just darling:

Today was an exciting event in its own right, and having the Cambridges present only added to an already exuberant atmosphere as Ben Ainslie's team had won the race. 

To me, today was all about these two as a team. I laughed when I read a DM article the other weeks talking about how Pippa made the better choice, because her fiancĂ©e has more money than William and she can live the lifestyle of the uber rich without the scrutiny that Kate faces for the rest of her life. It so entirely missed the point. 

Kate didn't marry William because of his money. She married him because she fell in love with a guy named William and it turned out they fit like two peas in a  pod.  Today was just another example of this reality. 

BARacing Twitter

Prince George Turns 3 Years Old

Friday, July 22, 2016

Today, Prince George, whom I can no longer call Baby George, celebrated his 3rd birthday. As hard as it is to believe, three years have passed since the little royal kept the whole world waiting in the sweltering London heat outside the Lindo Wing. As is customary, the Duke & Duchess released official photos of the darling tyke to commemorate the day. 

These images were taken by Matt Porteous at Anmer Hall in mid-July according to the press release. Kate dressed George in an assortment of his signature shorts, tops, and sweaters, even breaking away from the blue in this sweet taupe ensemble. He is one preppy little man. 

I love that they chose to shoot outside. George is in his element and we got to see some fun details about the Cambridge family's home. A personalized swing etched with "William & Catherine" featured prominently in two photos. I imagine it is the kind of thing Carole Middleton might have come up with. It is charming and unique and a lovely feature in the family garden.

One exciting addition to the photoset was that of Lupo. The Duchess's beloved cocker spaniel has been AWOL for some time now. In a family photo a year or so ago it was reported that Lupo had been in the background, but when the photo was cropped, he was cut out. We saw him loping about in the background in one of Princess Charlotte's birthday photos, but today he certainly got the spotlight in this charming image of the little prince offering the royal dog a lick of ice-cream.

I had a bit of a long post planned for today, but everything is giving way for my current job. Thankfully, I will be back to normal in just a little over a week. Thank you for your patience!!



P.S. I did;t get the newsletter out last week, and I don't think I will get it out tomorrow. I am truly sorry. We'll be back at it in August.

Pippa Middleton Sports Sparkler While Jogging

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Remember when Pippa was papped every time she stepped out of her apartment? It caught fire after the Royal Wedding and for a while I thought it would be her daily existence for eternity, but the fever died down, particularly as she provided many other opportunities for photos through the course of her charity work. Well, with the announcement of her pending nuptials, we are back with lots of candid Pippa shots!

The Pipster was photographed earlier leaving her apartment in a floral dress, and was against spotted today taking a run around London. Her multi-caret sparkler didn't seem to weigh her down too much, and I think you can tell from the smile on her face she anticipated the company and is happy to share her joy. 

I know speculation is rife on a number of topics, including who will be Pippa's attendant, where will the wedding take place, who will create her gown, etc. I'd love to weigh in on some of this, but I am running toward a deadline faster than Pippa on a London side street, so I can't slow down to chat too much. I will say, although many may already know, that Pippa's ring is purportedly from Robinson Pelham, the same jeweler who created the Middletons' jewelry for the Royal Wedding, including Kate's diamond acorn drops. I think Pippa will get married in the UK and we will get pictures just like we have gotten outside photos of so many other society weddings. Right now, I am most excited for them to set a date. Do you think it will be winter or spring? 

Confirmed, Pippa Middleton is Engaged

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It is official! Pippa Middleton confirmed this morning that she is indeed engaged to James Matthews! The Duchess's sister gave us a glimpse of her ring, which is impressively large.  The Express shared photos:

It is a cushion cut diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds, which is a style that was very popular here in the United States about five years ago. It might still be a hot trend. It is very art deco and, to my mind, very beautiful. According to Rebecca English, after Pippa smiled for the cameras, she backed her car into James's motorcycle. Oops.

The couple have carried out a very private romance. They flew under the radar for some time, because James was a long-time friend (actually, once-upon-a-time boyfriend) and the couple were competing together in groups, which is where I suspect their romance reignited. But even so, we never really saw them hit the party circuit together the way Pippa has with other boyfriends. If you want a snap of Pippa and James together you have to look to Wimbledon, a competition in which they participated together, or a grainy pap shot from quiet dates.

To recap from yesterday, People magazine is reported:
According to [Richard] Kay, Matthews got down on one knee to propose last weekend while the pair were in the picturesque Lake District of northwest England. (A rep for Middleton has not returned requests for comment.)

Middleton, 32, earlier fueled rumors on Monday when she appeared at a charity fundraiser and notably kept her left hand hidden from photographers.
I think this was a "pre-announcement" since Pippa wasn't actually wearing the ring from the other photos I have seen. It did the trick, since the internet exploded last night with Kay's revelation in the Mail, coupled with this photo:

What to expect now? I would guess that Pippa will get married in the spring of 2017, although I suppose a winter wedding could be on the books. Whenever she chooses to tie the knot, it will certainly be the society wedding of the year. 

Finally, according to royal reporters, Pippa was packing boxes from her family's company Party Pieces into her car, so the theory is that George is going to have a spectacular birthday bash very soon. The Middletons have a lot to celebrate this month! 

Pippa Middleton Engaged to James Matthews

Monday, July 18, 2016

Good evening royal fashion friends. I have been completely underwater these past two weeks and will be for another two, so I apologize for that, but I take the shortest of breaks to relay the exciting rumor that Pippa Middleton may indeed be engaged to boyfriend Matthew...this is terrible, but what is his name again? Oops, James Matthews! Sorry James. I should remember that--two Jameses in the family now! The beautiful brunette coyly hid her left hand from photographers at the British Heart Foundation's annual gala, where she posed alone and with Princess Eugenie, among others. 

People magazine is reporting:
According to [Richard] Kay, Matthews got down on one knee to propose last weekend while the pair were in the picturesque Lake District of northwest England. (A rep for Middleton has not returned requests for comment.)

Middleton, 32, earlier fueled rumors on Monday when she appeared at a charity fundraiser and notably kept her left hand hidden from photographers.
There is no official confirmation at this time. I think royal watchers are in a flurry of excitement because Richard Kay is a veteran reporter on the royal beat and is pretty accurate. I don't think the pictures from the British Heart Foundation are anything to go by, because if she is wearing a ring, someone would have seen it. The always delightful FugGirls have pointed out that no matter the reality, Pips certainly wants us to think she is engaged, and I agree. Common sense also tells us that one of these days Pippa is bound to get engaged, so...this could indeed be it.  

I'll update when I get back from dinner. 

New Prime Minister at Number 10

Thursday, July 14, 2016

After a spate of public engagements, including the penultimate appearance to which she brought her adorable little boy, Kate has removed herself from the limelight for a time. The Duchess has not been seen since she enjoyed a long day at Wimbledon on July 10th, but we can safely assume the family has returned to their quiet lifestyle at Anmer in Norfolk.

Yesterday, the Queen and Prince Philip opened the East Anglian Air Ambulance at Cambridge Airport, Cambridge, where the Duke of Cambridge (can we fit any more Cambridges in this paragraph?) greeted his grandparents and showed them around. I love whenever William is working or on duty when the Queen visits. It provides unusual and charming moments such as this, when William kissed both grandparents goodbye. 
Kate has been quiet, but Britain has been busy. The Queen returned from her visit to the air field to accept David Cameron's resignation and to ask Theresa May to form a new government. The Queen has a new Prime Minister, the second woman in history to hold the role, and the 13th PM in the Queen's reign. The Camerons had bid farewell to Downing Street just a little earlier, and with their departure, we said goodbye to the only Prime Minister and his wife in Number 10 since Kate became a royal. 

Without commenting at all on the political persuasions involved, SamCam has provided supplemental fashion interest at events throughout the years. She is at many of the major national events that Kate attends, and just following British news, I have seen many of her stylish ensembles. Samantha drew from many of the designers Kate favors, which was fun to see. Above, she is wearing Roksanda Ilincic, and this looks a lot like Kate's The Fold dress, but with an A-line skirt. She also wears Emilia Wickstead, Erdem, and more. Her sartorial contribution will be missed.

Incoming Prime Minister Theresa May has already shown a flare for Kate's favorites. She wore an Amanda Wakeley ensemble and L.K. Bennett heels to meet the Queen and address the nation yesterday.

[Updated] Kate and William Watch Murray Win Wimbledon

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I have been too busy to follow Wimbledon this year, but when I saw on the news this morning that Murray made it to the final I thought, ah, Kate and Wills will be at Wimbledon. Sure enough, the Duke and Duchess watched Andy Murray play for the Grand Slam title today in the royal box, and they both looked pretty dapper doing it.

Five years ago, on June 27th, newlyweds William and Kate cheered on Murray in the men's quarter-finals. They left Britain just days later for their tour of Canada, but maybe they took the star power with them, because Murray didn't make it to the finals that year.  Djokovic played Nadal and won his first Wimbledon title, instead.

In 2012, Kate and Pippa watched Murray play Federer in the final. The competition was stiff, but Murray ultimately succumbed to Federer. Kate is a fan of both players, but was visibly moved (not pictured) by the Scot's defeat. 

In 2014, Kate and William were back again to watch Murray play in the quarter-finals, but they were doomed to disappoint as Murray lost in straight sets that year.

In 2015, the royals cheered on Murray in the quarter-finals. The Scot won that match, which may or may not have elicited a happy dance from William, but the tennis champ was thwarted shortly after and didn't make it through to the finals. 

Today's victory was a long-time in coming, in Murray's own words: "I have had great moments and tough losses here, which makes this win extra special."  [I thought it was pretty general knowledge that Murray won in 2013, but I think I was not clear on that score. This post is focusing on the times that Kate was at Wimbledon to cheer him on. Murray's 2013 just so happened to coincide with the year she did not attend due to George. Hope that clarifies. :)]

via Wimbledon Twitter

It must have been a euphoric win for Murray and for the Cambridges, too, who have been at so many matches to cheer him on.

Kate is wearing a new dress by McQueen. This is the label's Obsession-Print silk dress retailing at almost $3,000.  It looks like Kate had it lengthened, though, as it is considerably shorter in the product shot.

I like the design of the dress--the pleating and the silhouette--and I love the use of the pattern to create the geometry within the dress. From a distance, when the pattern looks like it could be dots or flowers, I am all onboard. It is light and feminine and fun.

On closer inspection, however, I am less than enthused. Did her phone dump all its emojis and the Candy Crush game all over her beautiful silk dress? I assume McQueen was shooting for whimsical and possibly even thinking cool, but to me it's...a fail. I'd rather all that clutter were back in the phone, the disorder is stressing me out. Reiterating, I love this dress from a distance, so I like it in literally every photo, I just find the random items jarring and outside my comfort zone.  If I saw this on the rack, I would pass it up with disappoint. It's so close, and yet so far.

In more positive news, Kate's hair was on point today. Peeking out from under her luscious locks  are her Gold Charm earrings from Brora. Brora is a Scottish company and although these were debuted while on tour in April, they are certainly a nice nod to Murray today.

William's new suit deserves a double take, too. To be clear, I am a huge fan of his smart blue suits. In my book, a man can't really improve upon a dark blue suit, but I welcome the occasional switch up. This lighter ensemble was fun, and together these two looked summery and chic. The tie seemed to bother William, though. He spent a lot of time adjusting it. More than he usually spends tugging and pulling on his jacket on the average public engagement. ;)

The couple had a nice long chat with Andy after the match. He seemed a little at a loss for words, likely from sheer exhaustion. William half joked that Murray's energy was very good for a man with an infant, and the two briefly discussed their children before moving on to some chatter on the mechanics of the game.

They figured as long as they were dressed up and had a babysitter with the kids, they might as well make a day of it. Although many in their section dispersed, the royal couple returned and watched the mixed doubles in the slanting afternoon sun. The winning momentum kept rolling for the Cambridges as they cheered Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen's victory before heading home to their little ones.

It was a charmed day at Wimbledon. Even if I wish I could erase the lipstick and weird objects from the dress, I thought Kate looked fantastic. Her hair was up to the standard of 2011 and she herself was glowing. Win, win, win for everyone today.

Prince George with His Parents at Tattoo Airshow

Friday, July 8, 2016

I was excited to see William and Kate today at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, but I didn't know that they had a special treat for us. Prince George, just shy of his third birthday, was the surprise addition that instantly took this event from fun to fabulous. It is always great to see the Duke and Duchess, but when we get to see them in their roles as parents, they can't be beat. 

News stories about George over the past few years have often noted his interest in trucks, fire engines, helicopters, and as we heard last night, dinosaurs. His daddy has flown a helicopter for George's entire (albeit short) span of cognizance and I am sure he has plenty of picture books to read about Daddy's job, to say nothing of the real McCoy. It is well known that a favorite pastime of the little prince when at his Kensington Palace nursery is to go to the field with Nanny Maria and see off one of his royal relatives. He has waved off Prince Harry, Princess Anne, his parents, and others. Today was such a natural engagement on which to bring him, I feel like something of an idiot for not having predicted it. 

Kate recycled her blue Stella McCartney dress, which I love, and paired it with another piece that ranks among my favorites, the Smythe blazer first worn while on tour in Canada. I thought Kate was radiantly gorgeous today, and even though I love the ensemble, I can't help but wonder if part of the beauty is radiating from her motherhood.

Seeing her not just as a beautiful woman or a British ambassador or a global superstar, but as a parent with that special bond with her little boy, is incredibly powerful.  I have flipped through dozens of photos and am charmed all over by Kate as a mother. Kate, whom we have seen crouch practically to the ground for numerous children the world over, using those skills to interact with her own little child.

Kate wearing thousands of pounds worth of clothes holding a toddler with his face smushed up against her expensive jacket:

Or with his shoes scuffing along the front of her Stella dress.

Kate Middleton is a Duchess, but most importantly, Kate Middleton is a mom. It isn't a brand new development, but for me it hasn't lost its bloom. Having followed her since the days of Mahiki and Whiskey Mist, this is pretty darn awesome.

But, let's not forget William. The Duke of Cambridge, usually so reserved, also shines particularly brightly when we get a peek into his private life with his children. He is obviously as besotted with his little ones as Kate is.

via RAF Red Arrows
When the noise got too loud, Daddy helped George put his protective gear on.

Although, Mummy made the finishing touches.

The Duke alternated with the Duchess minding the little prince and helped him explore a number of aircraft.

George might only be 2 and 9/10s years old, but he shares the universal confusion of men when watching women, skilled in heels, navigate tricky situations with ease and grace. It was a true father/son moment.  George: "Daddy, how does Mummy do that?"  William: "An eternal mystery, son."

When they first arrived Prince George hit the tarmac and immediately decided it was safer to get the lay of the land from Mummy's arms rather than the precarious ground level. Good strategy all around, if you ask me--take the high ground. This precipitated one of the most impressive feats of the day. Down Kate went in her heels, she grasped her almost three-year old and, mindfully shifting her weight in her heels, she hoisted him up using her leg muscles not her back. Apparently, she is literally perfect at everything. It was awesome:

To quickly be clear about a topic that has created some debate, George looks distressed in the still shot, but I think it is the momentary outburst of a child alerting his mother in no uncertain terms that he needs something ASAP. In the two seconds that it takes for William to circle around Kate and greet their hosts, George has already bounced back to equilibrium and is pointing out something of interest he has spotted off-camera.

The verdict today was a huge win, both for the heart-melting personal display and for the fashion. Kate pulled almost a full recycle of her Olympic tennis ensemble and I loved every bit of it. I have always been a huge fan of this dress, for its electric color, the simplicity of its structure, and the ingenious use of exterior darts. Kate has such gorgeous legs, too, and I am happy to see her still out there showing them off every now and again. To those who feel she dresses too matronly, I think this was a win for you, too, eh?

Via Kensington Palace Twitter 

The Smythe blazer is one of my favorites. When she first wore it the usual cut in the back was weird to me, but it has since skyrocketed to one of my favorite blazers in her closet. The tailoring is exquisite and really flatters the Duchess's frame. I want one!

Via RAF Air Cadets
Kate has recycled the headband she wore to the Houghton Horse Trials. I think this is an unusual accessory, but I like it very much. It serves a practical purpose, obviously, but stylistically it injects a sense of whimsy and youth. It's a little 60s retro and somehow suits the Duchess very well.

It was such a fabulous day. A big thank you to James Whatling who took many of the stunning photos on this post and a whole bundle more that I browsed through on Splash. There really is a talent to it, and he had really great work that captured so many sweet moments!