Jun 032012

Today’s Jubilee River Pageant honoring Queen Elizabeth was amazing to behold.

Via MSN Royal News Twitter Feed

The guest of honor was resplendent in a creation from her favorite designer, Angela Kelly. According to a Palace news release the fabric was a boucle embroidered with gold, silver and ivory and adorned with Swarovski crystals, all done specifically to reflect the River Thames. The Queen’s hat was done in the same fabric with matching embellishments, she looked absolutely lovely.

Royals arrived at Chelsea Pier to board the royal barge, William in his RAF uniform, Harry wore his Household Cavalry uniform.

UK Press Association

Kate was in her go-to designer for major events, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The bespoke style incorporated multiple McQueen design elements, resembling this dress from the McQueen pre-fall 2011 collection most closely.

Neiman Marcus

Sleeves were added to the wool crepe frock, the hemline was lowered and the neckline altered to one more like a standard boatneck, possibly a nod to the occasion itself. The version of the dress shown above originally sold for $2045 in the US.

Our thanks to WKW Facebook friends Margaret and Ashley Margot, along with Kate Middleton Style blog for identifying the dress so quickly. Carly at KMSB also remembered it was previously worn by Tulisa of the UK’s X Factor. Others pointed out it was also worn by Kim Kardashian, click here for the Grazia story with those photos.

Here we see Her Majesty with Kate aboard the barge.


Kate wore a new brooch in the shape of two dolphins, a wedding gift from the RN Submarine Service, William is Commodore in Chief of that unit. She carried a modified version of the McQueen Classic Skull Clutch with Bow, along with a scarf crafted of Strathearn tartan, when in Scotland she and William are the Earl and Countess of Strathearn.

UK Press Association

Many thanks to Rebecca English of the Daily Mail for enlightening us about the tartan, and Michelle for letting us know about the bag. The bag’s modification involved removal of the skull, it was replaced by three large rhinestones.

Via Ginny Brumback Blog

Kate’s hat was by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Company.

UK Press Association

We saw the return of Kate’s Kiki McDonough Citrine Drop earrings and LK Bennett Sledge pumps.

Kiki McDonough/LK Bennett

Initially the inclement weather did not appear to impact spirits of those watching from the riverbanks.

Via City Cruises Live Twitter Feed

Everywhere you looked it was a sea of patriotic flags. Below, City Cruises passes under the Westminster Bridge.

Via Royal Navy Facebook

Here we see the Pageant reaching Tower Bridge, with the HMS Belfast in the forefront.

Official Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant Facebook

And another view.

Diamond Jubilee River Pageant Twitter

The Queen never sat down for the duration of the Pageant, more than three hours.

Splash News

Unfortunately the weather worsened as the afternoon went on, forcing the cancellation of several highly anticipated Pageant elements, including military fly-overs.

Official Diamond Jubilee River Pageant Twitter

But the event was an enormous success despite the weather, this tweet from royal commentator Rafe Heydel-Mankoo summed things up nicely.

Rafe Heydel-Makoo Twitter Feed

What others wore:

  • Princess Eugenie wore a coral Roland Mouret dress, LK Bennett shoes, Anya Hindmarch bag,a black and coral Stephen Jones hat, and a Moschino cardigan
  • Princess Beatrice was in a navy coat by Marni, silver and navy dress by Suzannah, Russell & Bromley silver tip shoes, a Le Meresca bag in pink, her hat is by Stephen Jones

Our thanks to Richard Palmer of the Express for that information.

Links for more watching, reading and viewing:

An update on tomorrow’s Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace, The Telegraph reports the younger royals will host an after-party following the evening’s entertainment.

Following a very public party outside the Palace, where artists including Sir Paul McCartney and Kylie Minogue will perform at the Diamond Jubilee concert, the young royals will entertain pop and rock stars at an intimate ‘after party’ to personally thank them for their contribution to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry will then welcome many of the performers to a party at Buckingham Palace, with the guest list expected to include Sir Tom Jones, Robbie Williams, Cheryl Cole, Dame Shirley Bassey, Annie Lennox and Sir Elton John.

According to the story the Queen asked the younger set to hold the function, hosts include William & Kate, Harry, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, along with Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall.

Kate looked very pretty in the red ensemble, but it was the Queen’s day and she shone despite the torrential rain and cold winds.

  55 Responses to “Kate Makes It McQueen for Jubilee River Pageant”

  1. I thought the red McQueen was a stunning choice. I also thought this was interesting- other celebs who have worn this dress before seem to pale in comparison to Kate! http://bit.ly/K8ESTR

    goes to show that it’s the woman, not the dress :)

  2. New commenter here. I thought Kate looked lovely in red, and given the occasion, the boatneck is so perfect! I don’t have a problem with the nude shoes. Maybe she could have gone with navy (she has some navy pumps I think?) but wouldn’t think suede ones in June. Love the hat and clutch with modified clasp (somehow, I thinnk the Queen would not have been Amused by the skull of the original).

  3. Kate is in red, the Queen is in white and William is in blue…???

  4. the red dress clearly refers to Scotland, so it’s an “official” choise for Catherine, I think. William is sooo gorgeous in uniform!!!

    • maybe I have to explain :)
      I think she had an official role, like in Canada, when she wore the red hat with maple leafs.
      “White and Red” is the flag of England, but the hat has lily (fleur de lys), I suppose, as in the Royal Coats of Arms of the United Kingdom, where we see also a red lion, symbol of the King of Scotland.
      (sorry for my orrible English!)

    • I’m not sure the red dress refers to Scotland. Blue is normally the traditional colour of Scotland. – The Scotish national flag is blue (azure) and white (St. Andrew’s Cross).
      I think she is wearing red because is one of the colours of the union jack (red, blue and white) …So, she may be coordinating with the men (Blue) and the ladies (white) – esp. the Queen. [It may also explain why Camilla is wearing a colour similar to the queen]

  5. What a brilliant choice of colour, kate has obviously made sure she didnt upstage or clash with the queen. As for the shoes not going with the outfit i think she made a good choice because red would have been too much. She could have gone with black and maybe a black fascinator. The hat though should have been maybe a cute fascinator – my only criticism.

    • I thought Kate looked fabulous at the Thames Pageant. I tuned into the BBC online toward the end when she was wearing her gold plaid scarf with the red and looked wonderful. I had to look for her on the platform, however, she was standing discreetly behind the Queen with Camilla. The men all looked great in military uniform and all complimented HM in her dazzling white. As for Kate’s shoes, I expect she went for comfort over style. The royals were all on their feet during the entire event, it seemed, even HM who has amazing stamina for an 86-year-old! I’m only sorry the weather was so terrible, but spirits seemed undimmed by the rain. Looks like a great weekend-long party over there, no matter the weather.

  6. she looks really gorgeous but she should not have worn red on this day when the Her Majesty is wearing white. It detracts from the Queen.

    • I guess it was maybe because the interior of the royal barge is red and therefore she blended in rather than standing out – which is what HM did in her white dress.

    • You think she should have worn white, like Camila? At times it was difficult to tell who was who from a distance. I think Kate’s choice of color was excellent. No confusion there. It looked like Camila was trying to look like she was already the queen (consort).

  7. I really liked this outfit. Don’t understand the criticism about the nude pumps, however. They are still being sold so the manufacturer apparently doesn’t think they are past their prime. Catherine clearly is comfortable in them. Most women wear their shoes long past one season and these aren’t broken down or scuffed so they still look fine. Perhaps black would have been better with the red but I think the nude ones are fine.

    • They’re still being sold because LK Bennett’s executives think people will continue to buy them because the Duchess of Cambridge wears them. Retailers care most about how much money they can make, and if a past-season item might continue to sell, they will make it available.

      That doesn’t mean that these pumps still look good or that she should be wearing them with so many of her dresses. They didn’t suit this dress, and they haven’t suited some other dresses she has worn.

    • We are in the month of June, which is summer. Black shoes are usually not worn during the day in the summer. Of course, the Queen does, but she can do whatever she likes. Actually, the Queen appears to have a favorite pair of black shoes which she wears almost all the time. Can anyone blame her? She is on her feet for long periods of time almost every day.

  8. I do love McQueen..no complaints, she looks great!

  9. I loved her dress! And thought that it looked way better on her than on Kim K or Tulisa, especially with the additional modifications.

    It looks to me like she went out of her way to blend into the furniture on the boat as her dress is the exact same colour as the seats on the boat. This is a woman who made even Nicole Kidman look frumpy beside her. If she had worn a black plastic bag she would have upstaged the Queen IMO!

    • I totally agree with you!!

    • Oh dear….just saw a picture of Kim K and the other person (Tulisia?) in this dress. Sorry but I think they both look like they are stuffed sausages compared to Catherine’s slender, regal look. Pure elegance on the part of our dear Kate!!

  10. I think Kate might wear the Diamond dress by Jaeger during the next day. She was recently spotted shopping there. What do you think, ladies?


    • That’s the sort of silhouette she likes, but she doesn’t usually go for busy prints. Moreover, much depends on the weather. I don’t think it’s that warm in London right now.

      • So what about one of the other Jaeger Jubilee items?
        What about the blazer? She might wear it with a dress tonight for the concert.

    • German girl, looks like you were right! From the article posted by the Daily Mail about the Jubilee concert, it looks to me that Kate’s wearing the Jaeger dress you posted with a black blazer.

  11. I loved the addition of the scarf. Towards the end of the pageant, she actually wrapped it around her neck. I’m sure her neck was feeling a bit chilly at that point, but it had the added benefit of producing a new look! Stunning.

    • Actually, I only tuned in towards the end of the pageant, so perhaps she started wearing it quite early….

  12. Anyone who said Kate red dress took all the attention away from the Queen must have been watching a different feed than I was, cause Kate look like she was part of the background with her red and the red design that the boat had

  13. I disagree with everyone who said the red distracted from the queen. The whole barge was red, so Kate blended in while HM in white stood out. I think Camilla should have gone for a different color, as her light colored frock could have been mistaken for the queen.

  14. It amazes me that anyone who follows the royals would think for a moment that Kate and Camilla did not have assistants consulting with HMQ’s people to determine what they should wear. HMQ is known for her attention to every detail and what the party on that barge was wearing would not have been left to chance. Kate did not get up this morning, stare at her closet and say “ooh…I feel like red today”. This outfit was planned and coordinated, likely months ago. And as others have pointed out, on a boat surrounded by red carpet, banners and furnishings, she actually stood out less than HMQ in her sparkling white.

    • Yes, thank you.

      While I’m sure Kate has a good head on her shoulders regarding what is appropriate to wear in a given situation, she has assistants telling her “Wear THIS outfit with THOSE shoes.”

      I mean, HMQ famously told Prince William what to wear to his own wedding, so she clearly has no qualms about telling people what to wear especially for a situation celebrating HER.

  15. I think the dress was just… fine. That’s it: fine. The color looks lovely on her and the hat is great, but I agree with the above comments that the pumps were not a good choice with the outfit. And perhaps this wasn’t the occasion for such a bright red. She looked nice, but the Queen really stole the day. After all, today is about HER.

  16. i don’t understand all the comments i am seeing about red “upstaging” the queen (not only here but on other sites). the entire barge was swathed in red, and by wearing red she actually blended in more with the background so as NOT to upstage the queen, who wore bright white to stand out against the backdrop. to be honest, i often find the clothes kate wears “boring,” especially around the queen. but it seems to me it reflects her seriousness about her job and her desire NOT to be the one everyone is looking at. so on the one hand i am sometimes disappointed, but on the other i find it admirable!

    • Exactly. I think her dress blended in perfectly with the barge. On my monitor, it looks like they were the exact same color, or at least VERY close.

      I think some folks have a knee-jerk reaction to seeing someone in red who is not the focus of the day.

  17. SO–OO REGAL!! Flawless. Stunning choice of outfit, elegance with McQueen flair — it doesn’t get better than this. Fitting where needed, and filling out where it looks best on her.

    Brilliant colour choice, both from the stand-out-in-the-crowd regal category, and matching the military stripes in the boys’ uniforms.

    And, oh! can she wear colour…it suits her so well, it’s like she’s stepped out of the shadows and found her fashion-style feet.

  18. She pulled a Pippa and upstaged the Queen a bit! I probably wouldn’t have chosen such a bright fire-red color on someone else’s special day, but its obviously a fantastic color on Kate. I’m dying to see her in this gorgeous red Packham gown: http://www.stylebop.com/product_details.php?id=305671

  19. The Duchess looked fine, for the most part, though I had a couple of quibbles. The color of her dress and hat was terrific, and I was delighted to see her in a shade that popped. The design of the dress was nothing to write home about, however, and though she looked lovely, I wasn’t wildly impressed by it.

    The dress would have worked better if it had been about 1 inch –maybe an inch and a half — longer. I’m a very firm believer in the importance of proportions and in the fact that even a very slight, very minor adjustment to them can improve the whole look of an outfit.

    The LK Bennett nude patent shoes were not appropriate for this dress. I think her navy suede pumps would have been the best choice to accompany this bright red. Moreover, I commented the other day that the Bennett pumps are looking dated, and they really looked past their sell-by date with this dress. She needs new light-colored pumps for light-colored summer wear. It might be best if they didn’t involve platforms, since platforms are going to look really passe soon.

    I am really starting to wish that she’d cut her hair up to shoulder length. That very long, pulled back at the sides look is simply schoolgirlish.

    I loved the hat, but then, I’m a sucker for hats of all varieties.

    • I loved the dress — I thought it had the look of a jacket over a dress but all in one, and that it’s lines and colour both echoed the military theme of her two escorts, William and Harry, particularly as she had matched the colour of the stripes in their uniform trousers. By royal standards I thought it was a very classy — even sassy — choice of designer and outfit.

      I thought some of the earlier pictures made it look like it fitted awkwardly and certainly the colour of the shoes came as a bit of a surprise at first. But when the better composed,focused and better lit pictures came it, the whole thing seemed to come together for me.

      However I agree with you wholeheartedly about the hair! At least it was out of her face again.

      • I’m not sure what color shoes people think she should have worn. Black, maybe, but it’s spring! Red = too “matchy”. Nude pumps seems the way to go in my book. Springlike, neutral, and not to “matchy”.

        • I’m with you Kristin. I prefer nude shoes with red outfits during the warmer months.

        • I love the nude pumps, especially with the red. Actually, I’m adoring the nude trend in general, but especially when it comes to shoes. As Kristin commented, nude shoes keep the outfit from looking too “matchy” (there should be a better word for this…) and add something unexpected to the look. (Though, to be fair, the Duchess loves her LK Bennetts so much that I’m almost always expecting them to be on her feet, no matter the outfit or occasion.)

          With all of the discussions about the economy and repeating clothing/accessories, her shoes are, in my opinion, the area that she should recycle the most.

          However, it did occur to me that if she arranged for these particular shoes to be auctioned for charity, they would most likely bring in a substantial sum, on account of their status as Kate’s “go-to” shoes. I seriously doubt she would even consider this; it was just a thought that popped into my mind. Those shoes are far more well-traveled than I am at this point.

      • I disagree about Kate’s hair. She could certainly have a wider variety of styles, but it’s her signature and it’s very beautiful. Cutting it would make her look older than she already does. Besides, there might be rioting in the streets of London if she cut it. ;)

  20. I don’t get why she couldn’t wear her other red coat-dresses like the one she wore in Canada (http://media2.onsugar.com/files/2011/07/27/5/192/1922564/abb7e3caa7b24a23_6fb3b134f4e4a873_65494506.preview/i/Kate-Middleton-Prince-William-North-American-Tour.jpg)
    or the one she was in in Coppenhagen (http://img.ibtimes.com/www/data/images/full/2011/11/02/183921-kate-middleton.jpg)
    And I also don’t like that she was in red and the Queen and Camilla were in white which makes everyone to look at Kate…

    • Totally agree, its so similar to that coatdress from Canada, she could have reworn. This one is a bit more stiff/fussy than the Canada one IMO.

    • I really liked that Kate was in red — she had to be seen from right across a pretty wide river — even by Canadian terms. I thought the Queen stood out brilliantly and looked wonderful — I can’t think of anything better than a crystal-studded outfit for a diamond jubilee. And as for standing out — it looked to me like Kate pretty much matched the boat’s furniture!

      • I actually liked the Queen’s outfit as well which is very rare to me. :)

        As far as whether Kate outshines the queen, I just am thinking: what if she also wore white? She’s young, beautiful and vivid, especially so when standing next to the other older ladies. Wearing a red, surprisingly made her less stand out, IMHO…She’s brilliant or whoever helped her to make the call is uber smart on the choice of color. :)

  21. Nice touch of that tartan scarf…and Alexander himself was scot if I remember correctly…Red is one the theme colors. I have to say I just love every single hat/fascinator this girl has chosen to wear so far.

    • The tartan is gorgeous — and the McQueen signature. Other sites are claiming its a Strathearn tartan, and a nod to her Scottish title of Countess of Strathearn…..no comment, a lot of people make up tartans, but there it is!!

      • Apols — have just seen the legend of the Strathearn tartan has already been included in the write-up above!

      • There is a Scottish Register of Tartans – where the Strathearn tartan can be found. It went astonishingly well with Kate’s outfit.

  22. The color is gorgeous and the jacket and hat are great. The scarf was a lovely and interesting addition. But I hate pleated skirts so it kind or ruined the outfit for me.

    But she wore such a bright color on a day that was meant to celebrate the Queen. So surely, she must have been trying to focus all the attention on her.

    • I think who would wear what colors was probably decided and cleared in advance. If the Queen’s staffers had had any doubts about the wisdom of the Duchess’s wearing red, they would have said so, and she wouldn’t have done it.

      These things aren’t left to chance. Royal events are carefully planned and coordinated.

    • Actually the Spirit of Chartwell is done almost entirely in red, so by wearing red she pretty much blended in with the upholstery;no doubt a conscious choice on her part. seeing the shots of the flotilla from the banks you literally couldn’t see Kate, while the Queen in her lovely white Angela Kelly stood out, like, well, a diamond.

      I really like Kate’s dress, except I’m a bit unsure about the hip flaps. Love the hat;one of my favourites! the brooch and the Strathern tartan scarf were nice touches. and kudos to Kate for staying on deck the whole time in the cold wind!

      • I thought Kate looked really cute when she put the scarf on round her neck in some later pictures. It was definitely cold out there mid-river — I imagined her donning lots of thermal underwear….

    • I disagree! When watching the pageant on television Kate clearly blended into the background as the interior of the boat was done in red. The Queen stood out in her sparkly white outfit as she should!

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