Sep 132012

Kate chose another bespoke piece by Jenny Packham for this morning’s solemn visit to the Kranji War Memorial. Below we see William and Kate as they leave their hotel to go to the Memorial.

Emma Branch Twitter (@EmmaBranch)

Richard Palmer of the Daily Express reports “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had specifically asked to pay their respects to UK and Australian Z special unit heroes.” More from this story in the Express:

During the Second World War thousands of British and Commonwealth servicemen lost their lives in defence of Singapore and in the subsequent occupation by Japanese forces.

During World War II the cemetery site was a Japanese POW camp, there are now 4461 Commonwealth casualties buried here.

UK in Singapore Facebook

The Straits Times reports a crowd of about 500 people gathered despite the heat and remote location of the Memorial. Kate and William carried a wreath made of locally grown flowers.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail Twitter Feed

From the Daily Mail:

The royal couple laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen and Prince Philip at the Kranji Memorial, situated on a tranquil sun-bathed hill high above the bustling city.

Here is a better look at the wreath and accompanying card, the pictures are by Rebecca English, she wrote the Mail’s story we quote from above.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail Twitter Feed

You can see the traditional red poppies, the card reads “In Honor of the Glorious Dead Elizabeth R and Philip.” Below, the guest register signed by William and Kate.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail Twitter Feed

After the ceremony Group Captain Coombes walked around the grounds with the Duke and Duchess, this picture is courtesy of WKW Facebook friends Sarah and Phil, they attended today’s event.

Courtesy WKW Facebook Friends Sarah & Phil

Kate and William spent time speaking with officers, veterans and other guests.

Annely Williams / UK in Singapore Facebook

The pair spent a good amount of time walking about the Cemetery.

Gu Yong Jie/UK in Singapore Facebook Page

William and Kate looked at and talked about several of the headstones.

James Whatling/Corbis

Kate’s dress featured a button front bodice, lace overlay on the bodice and sleeves, three quarter sleeves, and full, pleated skirt.

James Whatling/Corbis

And a closer look at the front.

James Whatling/Splash News

The information released by St. James’s Palace calls the color “duck egg blue,” that was a color actually used in the Spring 2011 Jenny Packham collection.

Kate wore her LK Bennett Sledge2 pumps, she did not carry a purse.

James Whatling/Corbis

It was the couple’s last engagement in Singapore, they boarded a plane for the short flight to Malaysia. This afternoon Kate gives her first public speech outside Britain.

Next on the schedule:

  • The pair’s first engagement is a lunch hosted by the Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak at Seri Perdanaat, his official residence. The lunch will include a musical performance by young people
  • Following lunch Kate and William visit Hospis Malaysia, this is where the Duchess will give a short speech to patients and staff, drawing on her own growing experience of the hospice movement in the United Kingdom.
  • Thursday evening the Duke & Duchess attend an official dinner given by His Majesty The Agong at his official residence, the Istana Negara

The couple has arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Kate is still wearing the Packham dress, shown in this artistic Instagram photo by syukri_aziz.

Syukri Aziz Instagram Feed (syukri_aziz)

A WKW Facebook friend shared this picture from the airport.

WKW Facebook Friend

The British High Commission shared a picture of William and Kate arriving at the Prime Minister’s residence, Seri Perdana.

UK in Malaysia Twitter Feed

William, Kate, the Prime Minister and his wife are seen in Seri Perdana’s “Blue Room,” just before today’s lunch.

UK in Malaysia Twitter

The couple then moved on to their next engagement at Hospis Malaysia.

Georgina Brewer, ITV (@GeorginaITV)

Georgina Brewer, ITV (@GeorginaITV)

Below you see Kate with 15-year-old Zakwan Anuar and his mother. Zakwan has acute leukemia. More from The Daily Mail:

After signing his birthday card ‘Happy Birthday Zakwan – Catherine’, she said ‘happy birthday for two days ago’. The teenager told her ‘you’re very pretty’ and she replied: ‘Thank you. You’re very handsome.’

©Mirrorpix / Splash News

©Mirrorpix / Splash News

Kate also made her first public speech outside of the UK.

©James Whatling/Splash News

©James Whatling/Splash News

You can .atch Kate’s entire speech by visiting this link.

We’ll be back with another post on the day’s events a bit later.


  36 Responses to “Kate in Custom Jenny Packham for War Memorial Visit, Malaysian Arrival”

  1. I love this dress and it’s understated, but beautiful color. As for everyone say that she looks “too old,” I disagree. I think she looks perfect.

  2. I love the dress. I think it’s appropriate for the cemetery/memorial…I also appreciate they went to Kranji to pay respect. My uncle died somewhere between Singapore and Indonesia on a Japanese boat as a POW in 1942 and his name is on the memorial.

  3. I actualy find the color very interesting because it’s not very common and it is a designer color after all. Finding a soft and sensitive color that’s original is not easy.

  4. This achingly matronly dress was “appropriate” for the cemetery, but for visiting a children’s hospice? Why is she so adverse to wearing color and changing her hairstyle?

  5. At first I wondered at the cut of this dress. Upon looking at these photos, which are actually better pics of the dress, it looks like there’s some sort of liner in the dress which made the dress look fuller in some parts. As far as the high waists go, for those who can be objective, Kate has a long torso and comparatively short legs. A higher waist and a longer, more full skirt goes a long way toward lengthening a short leg. Those high heels do that too. We’ve been seeing her in higher-waist dresses for a year now so I don’t think there’s any particular significance to the fact that this Packham follows that trend. The dress is pretty and appropriate. Not sure what those crying about this outfit being boring expected her to wear at a wreath-laying at a military cemetery – red satin tank dress and gold glitter heels??

  6. Even though I don’t care for the drab and matronly dress at all, Kate looks radiant. I expect we’ll be hearing some exciting news after the couple returns home.

  7. I adore shirt dresses and I am a particular fan of this one. I will admit that I was a bit underwhelmed when I first saw the pictures, but the detailed shots of the bodice made me swoon. The fabric is simply beautiful. I never purchase pleated skirts for myself, because I find they really only work on women with very slim hips, but I’ve always admired them on Ingrid Bergman and the Duchess. The Duchess looks so contemplative in that solo photograph where she is holding the parasol.

    I can’t believe she still has her hair down. I don’t fault her style; I’m in the camp that thinks Kate should wear her hair down as often as she likes. But, that being said, I’m getting hot just looking at these photographs. I imagine her first move upon exiting the event is to lift her hair up and fan her neck.

  8. I just want to say kudos and keep up the great work on the site! This is my one-stop Kate site and I love how thorough your coverage is on all thing Kate (and even other royals on occasion!)

    As for Kate dressing to old for her age… I think she’s kind of stuck. She’s a part of this ancient institution and she’s living in a fishbowl so she has to keep is conservative. I think it’s kind of refreshing especially compared to the some of the trash other famous women wear. Better for her to err on the side of caution than wear something inappropriate.

  9. dress that certainly is apropriate for the event, but not to my taste at all.
    Why the waists of her dresses are always high placed ?

  10. The pleated fuller skirts are easier for her to bend down to talk to the smaller ones in the crowd. Practical! Even though being “fashion watched”, she is mindful of her “real duties”, and it not NY Fashion Cat Walk.

  11. I just love reading your posts so much because not only do you cover in detail what Catherine is wearing, but you also always explain the background of the occasion they are attending. Now on to the fashion….I actually really like this dress, especially considering the somber event. Several of the pictures show the beautiful detailing, which really made the dress seem much less dull in my opinion. Those Sledges must be comfy! I am amazed at how well she can wear pretty much any style. I look awful in pleated skirts! haha. Looking forward to the next post later today.

  12. The shirtdress style has never excited me, especially with a pleated skirt, and while this dress may be “duck-egg blue,” it looks a rather dull gray in most photos and is not flattering to the Duchess. A sombre shade was certainly suitable for the wreath laying, but she wore the dress elsewhere, and a brighter color would have worked better. These destinations really call for color, in my view.

    She wears the dress well, as usual, but it’s a miss in my view. And there are those Sledge shoes again. I am truly tired of seeing them.

    However, it’s clear that the dress is exquisitely made, and I must give Packham points for truly elegant and meticulous styling and workmanship in everything she produces. I’m impressed.

    • Sorry, have to disagree – a bright pop of color at a cemetery does not seem appropriate. In contrast, Catherine chooses a shade of blue that is soft, almost grey-shaded, and completely in keeping with the solemnity of the occasion. This is not the place for bright colors. It does seem with the wealth of photos beamed to the world that she should be dressing for “us”, dressing to impress, etc. but I still say that she’s fighting against the fashion-plate pigeonhole as much as she can.

  13. Love that color!

  14. This is a pretty uninteresting dress, but fitting for the occasion I suppose. She looks lovely with the parasol.

  15. Thank you Susan! Finally a chance to have a good look at the bodice and color of this gorgeous dress. Personally, I find that the Duchess’ wardrobe for this tour is classic tour-of-the East. The fashion story, at least so far, is entirely reminiscent of classic 40′s black and white movie star glam…think Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. The silhouettes are exactly right for the climate and purpose and Catherine is representing Her Majesty beautifully on this tour.

    • I actually thought her white broderie anglaise suit looked like something Grace Kelly would have worn in a 1950′s film set in this part of the world.

      She is definitely projecting a “theme” look — the evening gown we’ll soon be discussing makes that amply clear — and that’s fine. I simply haven’t been very taken with most of the expressions of the theme so far.

    • I wholeheartedly agree! Beautifully stated. And the parasol today is just such a nice nod to the host nations!

  16. Kate did carry the LK Bennett Natalie clutch while wearing the duck blue Jenny Packham dress. According to the article in the Daily Mail, they visited some children at a hospice and there are at least 2 pictures of her carrying the clutch as she is either arriving or departing with William.

  17. From the waist up, I love it. From the waist down, not so much—this particular pleated skirt is not as becoming on the duchess as some others she has worn. Still love the pumps and bag, but just wish the skirt had been a bit different on this particular frock. I think the color is lovely.

  18. I wish the Duchess would dress her age and not like someone 15 years older.

    • To be fair though, it is difficult to dress both conservatively and youthfully at the same time. I work in a conservative business environment, and when I look at the younger members of our team their looks vary from looking like their clothes/suits are wearing them, to just really not having a clue, and wearing inappropriate choices, with very few actually getting the balance right. Overall, I think Kate does a remarkable job in finding that balance most of the time.

      With respect to this particular dress, I didn’t find it something that I would wear (being said 15 years older than Kate)–the pleats and washed out colour are only something which can be carried well by those who are younger than I. In fact, this dress reminds me of the styles the then Princess Elizabeth wore in the late ’40′s around the time of her marriage to the DoE.

  19. I adore all of the outfits that she’s worn so far. They appear to be very cool and comfortable, making her even more approachable. The texture and tones are so typical of Jenny Packham. Great turnouts.

    • Agreed Sarah! With the exception of the Gurung dress, the color palette and lines just exudes serenity, and she wears that mood very well. The Gurund dress was wonderful too, though!

  20. Was I not wondering how she could survive without a hat? A parasol, of course, is a truly charming solution, and so in keeping with the tour destination, not to mention easy on the hair.

    Such a lovely outfit and so very fitting for the occasion while retaining the summery nature of the tropical climate. I am deeply envious of that lace overlay and the style of the top looks almost Edwardian — echoes of days of Empire? — or maybe just Downton Abbey…

    And pleats and waistbands look like becoming a theme of the trip, and the look so gorgeous here, with all those classy fabrics and designers — a far cry for the dreaded days of formal school uniforms that were the last time I struggled with them.

    She must have such a strong character to be able to step into this extraordinarily role of being royal, diplomatic and looking half-way decent all the time. To which I can only add, I take my hat off to her!

    • I seconded your confusion about the lack of a hat in the last post. The moment I saw this adorable (and, according to Susan’s post, culturally appropriate) parasol I thought, “Ha! That explains the lack of a hat!”. If I weren’t continually logging around books and a laptop, I have to say that I would prefer a parasol to a hat. It is so stylish. *sigh* After expressing my jealousy that Kate gets to wear hats, I now find myself envying her the opportunity to carry a parasol.

      Someone present for the Duchess’s appearance mentioned in the McQueen post that she had the parasol on hand for that event as well.

      • “Kate engaged in the local custom of carrying a parasol to try and stave off some of the heat.”

        Such culturally uninformed bollocks, mixed with a dash of royalist gushing and neo-colonialist condescension. No one here in Singapore uses a parasol — we do air-conditioning, sunscreen and brollies like the rest of the developed world. I venture to state that parasols are not a local custom anywhere today unless the cool-vintage-lovin’-girl blogosphere counts as a locale.

        And yes, I do think she looks pretty with the parasol. But that doesn’t excuse all the b*s commentary and pretentiously genteel writing (“engaged in the local custom”, forsooth.)

  21. I love this one, too. I’m glad she didn’t bother with a purse, and that colour is quite pretty on her.

    Bring back parasol carrying, I say.

  22. She looks gorgeous in this dress. I love the detail in the top. I think she’s definitely pregnant and glowing. I love the photo of her with the parasol.

  23. It’s interesting that some people say they like this dress even though it looks almost exactly the same as a green dress she wore earlier in the summer to a polo match. I recall that dress being unanimously disliked. I think this dress is more suitable for a much older woman.

    • I think the styling on this dress is MUCH different than the polo dress, if we’re thinking of the same one (the green print dress with the wedge sandals?). That dress had a mandarin collar and long, somewhat billowy sleeves. I think the v neckline and pleated skirt styling are more polished, and the 3/4 sleeve suits better (I love 3/4 sleeves myself). I can see people perceiving the lace as perhaps a bit aging, but hey, I’m younger than her and I LOVE lace!

  24. I love this dress, it’s one of my personal favourites that she has worn on this trip. Having been to Singapore, I know how incredibly hot and humid it can be on days like these! I bet they can’t wait to get back to the UK where it’s much cooler!

  25. LOVE!!!!!

  26. I wasn’t crazy about the pink Packham worn a couple of days ago, as I thought it was too stuffy and fussy, but I unabashedly love this one. I think Kate will also be able re-use this dress a lot at official engagements and private events like weddings.

    Now if only I were able to pull off a pleated skirt like her…

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