Jun 162012

This year’s Trooping the Colour was magnificent, HM has been participating in the ceremony since 1947, that year she was Princess Elizabeth.

Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images

Trooping the Colour is the official celebration of the Queen’s birthday, HM looked lovely in the same primrose yellow Angela Kelly ensemble worn for William and Kate’s wedding last April.

HM Armed Forces FB Page

It was good to see the Duke of Edinburgh well enough to attend, he continues to recover from a serious infection, he wore his full ceremonial uniform as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.

Kate was in a bespoke dress by Erdem Moralioglu.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Erdem is a designer the Duchess has worn before, most notably on last year’s North American tour.Kate wore two different Erdem frocks on last year’s North American tour.

Canadian Heritage

Today’s dress is a fully bespoke piece based on a classic Erdem sheath. It incorporates several of Erdem’s signature design elements: a gored bodice, seamed waist, three-quarter sleeves and a modified portrait neckline added to the understated elegance.


The fabric showcased exquisite tone-on-tone embroidery in a floral motif.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In its review of the designer’s spring collection Vogue explains the label’s appeal for Kate:

In England – and maybe in the world – there are few designers of Erdem’s generation who think about the clothes that will be appropriate for weddings, christenings, bar mitzvahs, garden parties, and formal banquets. That’s clearly why the Duchess of Cambridge, a carefully appropriate dresser, has taken to his neatly fitted, knee-length dresses with elbow-length sleeves.

Here is a look at a few elements of the Erdem spring 2012 line.


Camilla, Harry and Kate.

James Whatling / Splash News

The Duchess was in another piece by one of her favorite milliners, Jane Corbett.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

We are not yet sure who designed Kate’s bag, when we do know we will update the post.

Press Association (L) / Splash News (R)

WKW Facebook friend Simona suggested early this morning the clutch is Alexander McQueen’s Gray Suede clutch, several commenters also believe it is this bag.

Alexander McQueen

Once again the Duchess wore her much-loved Links of London Effervescence Bubble Stiletto earrings.

Links of London

A look at some of the RAF planes approaching Buckingham Palace for today’s flypast.

HM Armed Forces FB Page

For more on today’s events:

  • Read Jane Corbett’s wonderful blog postgiving us a peek at the process of creating one of her chic chapeaux

    Jane Corbett Blog

For those who may have missed it, Kate made an appearance on behalf of the Art Room, wearing Whistles and Zara, our post is here.

We’ll be back tomorrow for Kate’s appearance in Kent.

  42 Responses to “Kate is Elegant in Erdem & Jane Corbett for Trooping the Colour”

  1. This outfit is not becoming on Catharine at all… I think too ‘matronly’ on her. I have come to love her ‘young’ but classy ensembles…

  2. I actually think the issue is the hat! It’s awful! The dress on the other hand with a different hat could be totally retro and cool! Very Mad Men if you look at the shape and collar.

    One thing I observe, it that Kate is actually wardrobe building and in a very deliberate way. Similar colours, different styles so that she can mix and match as she did last weekend.

    I like the comment above about “carefully appropriate”. As a woman who works in a very professional environment I find that her clothes are quite relatable in many ways. I’d venture to say that except for the offside hat (hated the one that she work to tea with the fantastic pink Emilia Wickstead dress as well) she wears “work appropriate clothing”. I am so tired of seeing skirts that are too short, too much cleavage and too much skin, too many panty lines, wrong shoes etc…. Hopefully she’ll have some influence with the younger set.

    • I agree with you ! I was wondering whether anyone else found the dress beautiful and hated the hat. I absolutely detested this hat and the Order of Garter hats – they have no character whatsoever. This one in particular doesn’t go with this dress which is feminine and soft while the hat is almost garish in its lack of delicacy. I am puzzled that people found this dress “old”. I thought it was romantic, retro and just really tasteful in the workmanship. I thought it was exquisite.
      I agree with those who think that her hair either needs to be up or shortened. She looks so lovely with a fuller face, I hope she doesn’t lose the weight. I also think that the make-up has to be borderline scary in person – it’s almost paint !

      • I agree with your comments Catona and Tara. The dress is lovely but the hat throws the look off. The hat is not only unattractive but appears to be worn too low, blocking her face a bit too much…or maybe I just don’t know enough about hats!
        Tara, I appreciate your comment regarding the Dutchess “wardrobe building.” I didn’t notice until you said something! And what a stylish wardrobe she is buidling!
        I love how the Dutchess “shops her closet.” Beautiful clothing should be worn more than once. We love seeing it! Plus, it makes me feel better about wearing my favorite pieces over and over.

  3. She’s smart..again not a fan of the color or style on her but she is calculative in her outfits..it looks drab on her but she didn’t want to distract from the occasion and she dressed right for the politics bit of the job..she can be stunning when she wants to be and can.

  4. Here’s the thing about looking older. She is 30. Those of us who are way past that would love to dress in a younger more hip way. When I was 30, I dressed to be taken seriously, but I realize now, I could have worn much more youthful clothing then. The thing about a great deal of Kate’s dresses is that she will be wearing this style clothing now for the next fifty five years. So when she gets to wear a dress like the great yellow Packham dress, I feel like she is dressed right for her age. It is something only someone young can pull off. Does that explain why we older ladies wish she dressed a bit younger?

    • This times a million.

      There are so many other options for Kate, so I don’t know why she goes for fussy in drab colors.

      If only the dress she wore for today’s event didn’t have that goofy collar. It would have looked much nicer.

    • But what do you mean by “youthful”? That’s the ongoing issue. When people say that they want the Duchess to dress more “youthfully,” and when I ask, “Well, what precisely does that mean?” they can’t come up with any suggestions that are really that different from what she has worn.

      When I was 30, I was into fashion (and just finishing up a PhD at an Ivy League university), but I wouldn’t have worn that yellow Packham dress to save my life. That’s not a “fashionable” dress for a chic woman of 30; that’s a very childish dress I wouldn’t have forced anyone over the age of 8 to wear. A huge mistake.

      When I was 20, I believed in sleek, chic elegance, and I still do in my 50′s. And here’s the thing: the same sleek, chic, designer (or even High Street) clothes can be worn by anyone aged 17-70, depending on how they are accessorized and tailored and put together.

      But while “youthfulness” is often a matter of how you wear your clothes, you do have to choose the “base” intelligently. That silver-gray Erdem dress? Not an intelligent choice.

  5. As a Canadian and Erdem aficionado, I was excited to hear that Kate wore Erdem today. but I confess my reaction when I first saw this piece was disappointment–of all the gorgeous Erdem pieces, why this? My next thought was”oh, she’s wearing Buckingham Palace camouflage again”. the more I look at it though, the more I like it. It’s an elegant cut and colour, and I quite like the hat although it is a bit too much of a forehead monster for my taste. the potential of the ensemble is undermined by the duchess’s hair–a gorgeous chignon would have made this chic beyond belief–instead her hair takes away from the overall look.

    • I would agree with your comments about the dress – at first I was not a fan but it is a dress that I believe serves the purpose for the occasion. It is dressy but not distracting.

      When it is windy, no matter what the “do” there is the possibility (unless sprayed to a fair the well) of it being blown around. While long tresses can be put back to right more easily, a fixed do cannot. Frankly, she will have more than ample opportunity to wear the elegant chignon in the future. For now, I think that the long hair looks nice. (I know that I am in the minority on this – perhaps I am influenced by my own daughter who has long glossy locks and who is only slightly younger than the duchess – she always wears her hair down unless she is working out at the gym).

      I think it is important to note that William and Kate have mastered the art of the defferential. He is, after all, second in line to the throne – his father is before him. Whether one likes Charles or not (I happen to think that in some ways he has suffered from poor press in addition to having the unfortunate luck of being the “Bertie” of the late 20th and early 21st centuries), he is the heir to the throne and as such, it is not for William or Kate to usurp attention from first the Queen or from her son and heir. One can be certain that it is not lost on either Elizabeth or Charles how popular both WIlliam and Kate are. One can see by the occasions that they attend and the obvious affection that exists between William/Kate and both Charles/Camilla and Elizabeth/Philip that much has been learned from the debacle of the Diana and Charles marriage and divorce and the Crown’s role in both.

  6. her hair should have been up on this windy day as it blew her hairstyle right out.her dress style looks appropriate for the event but im not a fan of the dress or hat it’s just not that appealing

  7. Kate, true to herself with what we call in french “no wave making” dress (which means, a kind of dress that could suit to the supposed queen’s notion of propriety), though she looks lovely. The hat is cut by more for a chic picnic. Camilla’s hat is more up to the event.
    Well … tastes and colours are non debatable topics (french say)

    The bag seems like Mcqueen’s, again.

  8. She looks different to me in these picturese for some reason. Hair color? Different makeup/lipstick? Color of the outfit? I don’t know…not one of my favorite looks.

    Thanks for this site. You do a great job.

    • Hair is a bit lighter in color, and it also appears less full… more limp

    • Definitely the hair colour. I must say, I love it darker rather than lighter (ie wedding day photos she looks striking and I think it’s due to the contrast of ivory skin/dark hair). Even so, it is the summer time and she is allowed to change her hair color now and again! Anything to spruce up the outfit a bit! Though it doesn’t compare to the devastatingly gorgeous Trooping (McQueen) coat worn last year. Still, this ensemble is appropriate in all ways: cut, color, style.

      Thanks for the report!

  9. I like this dress. It is elegant and the embroidery is beautiful. I can’t figure out all the comments about the dress being “old” or “grandmotherly”. I just don’t see it. Now the hat is another matter. I like the hat but not as an appendage growing out of her forehead. I would prefer something a little further back on her head.

    • I have to disagree, all I can think is OLD. Perhaps because i have seen many 60+ year old ladies wearing very similar dresses at weddings. This is one of my least favorite looks.

    • Ok, I just got home from my son’s wedding this weekend and saw this dress. My first thought was “if I was thinner, I’d so wish I could get this dress for his wedding Unfortunately, I’m too heavy. It is a very pretty dress but for the first time, I thought it did look too old for Kate. I’m excited that there is another event to look forward to.

  10. I actually like this look a lot better than her outfit at The Art Room, but it is old. Eh–she has many other occasions in the future where she can shine without upstaging the other relatives who should be center stage.

    Again while I hated her outfit at The Art Room (young but a little off), what I did enjoy was watching several videos of her interacting with the kids at The Art Room. It’s so hard to project that much energy without sounding fake, and she certainly comes across as quite genuine.

    If you think about it, the Royal Family’s only reason for existence is to add a bit of glam and a lot of effort. She’s certainly doing her part, and you can tell that Grandmama and Grandpapa certainly agree with that assessment.

  11. Old lady clothing! Urghthhh!….

    • totally agree! this is a mother-of-the-bride type look… not suited for a 30 year old! she has soooooo many wonderful and age-appropriate dresses and coats that could have worked for this event… i don’t know why she would go out and have this unflattering dress made… i think that collar is just awful!

      • I agree — it seems strange that wnyone would go to the expense of having this outfit specially made, but — ho,hum– no one gets it all right all of the time. I know I shouldn’t be saying this but the dress also looks quite loose…just supposing we were putting on weight…Time for my screen break, I think!

  12. Ohhhh! The hat! I love it! Forward rather than on one side for a change. (I like Camilla in hers too) and the silvery blue dress with that wide neckline. Wonderful.

    But am I the only one who dislikes three-quarter sleeves? Certainly on taller women I think it makes them look as if there wasn’t material enough to give the right length. I know they are in fashion (they were in the – 50s was it?) but I cannot like them.

  13. Oh… my… I think this is her worst outfit yet. Its just soooo grandma-ish. She has worn sooo many elegant dresses that would have been perfect for this occasion… I’m just not a fan of that collar situation, its dated and does nothing for her. The color is drab and the entire thing just bores me to death. I think the detailing would have been nicer if there was more of it but there are like 4 flowers on the front and to me that just looks awkward with all the empty space. Its looks soooooo much liek something my grandmother would wear.

    • Agreed, this was totally drab and aging. The Matthew Williamson previously worn to the London premiere of African Cats would have been better choice… at least it has some interest with the peplum… and somehow the pale blue is made less boring with the jeweled collar and cuffs.

  14. My first though when I saw the clutch was Alexander McQueen filigree suede clutch. It looks a bit darker than the DoC’s in the studio photos, but suede often looks lighter in natural light. The hardware on the sides seems to match, and perhaps she didn’t have the skull removed on this clutch (unlike the red one from last weekend) hence the hands.


  15. Blue. For the 3rd consecutive time this week. That hat is ridiculous.

    I know I sound like a broken record, but why does she have to wear something new to Trooping the Colour? Diana never did that and today the Queen wore an outfit she had worn previously on TWO different occasions. People (including me) commend Kate for wearing something twice, but I’d like to see an outfit worn tree or four times.

    • It’s silver-gray, I believe, not blue. And I think she wore something new because she’d just rather notably recycled other clothes. Twice in a row, to a wedding and to Nottingham, and also just a little earlier, with her pink Emilia Wickstead dress.

      She has, in fact, worn some clothes 3 or 4 times. Give her time on the others.

      I don’t see why Trooping the Colour should somehow be an occasion on which she MUST recycle. The fact that William’s mother apparently did it really means nothing. The Duchess isn’t required to follow her lead.

      • Her dress is light blue. I don’t understand how you don’t see that.

        It makes no sense to be wearing something new when the full ensemble cannot be seen. We’ve never actually seen the coat from last year or this dress in it’s entirety. It makes sense to wear something old because at least we know what it looks like and half of the dress/coat isn’t covered by the carriage or balcony.

        • WE may not be able to see the entire outfit, but other people could. Remember, she’s not being seen merely in photographs, she’s not dressing just for us, but really for people who are right there.

          Other sites are calling the dress gray. It certainly doesn’t look blue next to Camilla’s obviously pale-blue outfit, and both her hat and clutch look pale gray. In fact, the clutch is definitely gray if it’s the McQueen item people seem to think it is.

          • Sandy – The color is actually something called dove grey. Dove grey, depending on lighting and what color it is next to, will look like a light grey with blue undertones or a light blue with grey overtones. If you have ever looked upon a mourning dove, you’ll find this color upon its breast and the very tips of their wings.

          • Kate and Zena, where I come from, “dove gray” contains no admixture of blue; it is a decidedly soft silver-gray shade, considered suitable in eras gone by for widows and nursemaids, owing to its lack of color.

  16. Oh dear — now that’s what I think of as a really “royal” outfit — a shapeless looking dull dress with an overstated hat.

    I’m no fan of those old-fashioned roll-over collars, to my eye it looks fusty and old. The colour is too washed out and drab and while the embroidery is all very pretty, used on that fabric it looks like a bedspread.

  17. Beautiful elegant dress and super hat but oh dear me did Kate need to tie up her hair! It was so windy and her hair just took over and spoiled the otherwise elegant look. I wish we could have seen the whole of the dress and shoes.
    Must just add I am fairly new to this blog, but you do a sterling job on reporting everything it is brilliant THANK YOU!

  18. I am just not an Erdem fan. While I like the slender, sheath-style silhouettes (and they are clearly well suited to the Duchess’s tastes), I just don’t care for the all the lace, the embroidery, the fussy prints.

    This dress, with its embroidery, neckline, and silver-gray color, comes off as a bit “elderly” for the Duchess. Silver-gray really isn’t the most flattering color on her (most of us felt that silver-gray, one-shouldered evening dress she once wore didn’t work well), and I noticed the problem again when she recently re-wore her gray Katherine Hooker coat to a wedding. I think this dress would look too old on ME, and I’m significantly older than the Duchess is.

    I do like the Corbett hat (I pretty much like all the Duchess’s hats); I think Corbett’s favorite artist might be Picasso — maybe Juan Gris — and I appreciate that. However, the Duchess’s hair looks unusually messy. Perhaps it was a bit windy? I’ve complained about the schoolgirlish effect of pulling part of her hair back and up, but on a windy day, it would be the most practical solution.

    • I totally agree regarding Erdem.

      Whilst I normally like silver grey, I don’t think it is the best colour for the Duchess.

      I’m not a fan of the Jane Corbett hats I’ve seen the Duchess wear, they always remind me of Tyrolean hats. I think on this windy day she would have been better to wear her hair up.

  19. Love the gown! I’m really shocked at the drastic difference in her hair from yesterday evening to this morning. It’s completely different: color, thickness, cut, everything.

    I think it would have looked far better swept up to better show off that gorgeous neckline, and I believe an updo would have worked with the hat as well.

    In any case, one of my favorite looks on her so far!

  20. I think the bag is this gray Alexander McQueen clutch


    and that, as the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, she has removed the distinctive skull, a little too.

  21. The embroidery is really lovely. I personally think, however, that the colour isn’t quite right for her complexion and colouring. Something with a stronger hue, more towards blue, would have complemented her better. The neckline would have been shown to better advantage if Kate had a bun type of ‘updo’ similar to Sophie Wessex or the hairstyle Kate displayed at the Epsom Derby last year.

    I love the balcony photo at the top, especially how little Lady Louise Windsor looks like a mirrored mini-me version of Sophie in the way she is standing and the facial expression.

  22. She looks so elegant. Love the combo of Kate + Erdem. I also love this jaunty hat style on Kate. It is similar to the hats she wore at Christmas and on Remembrance Day. I love how much personality it has and she wears it so well.

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