Jan 142013

We’ve lots to cover today, including more polls, identification of the blouse worn in Kate’s portrait sitting and news from St. James’s Palace about Kate’s pregnancy. We begin with that final item, here is today’s brief statement from the Palace:

Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in July. The Duchess’s condition continues to improve since her stay in hospital last month.

The language used in the statement also puts an end to speculation about twins. Unofficially there is updated information about Kate’s possible return to public appearances schedule, Rebecca English of the Daily Mail posted this on Twitter:

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail Twitter Feed

As is frequently the case with such events, Ladbroke’s is accepting wagers on precisely when the child will be born, its sex, and more. They are also offering odds on likely names.



We have an update on the blouse we believe Kate wore when sitting for her first formal portrait.  You may recall we posted the official video about the process of creating the oil painting, it included sound with artist Paul Elmsley, and he spoke about the still pictures from which he worked.  The good folks at RepliKate It on Facebook think Kate wore this French Connection top in one of the primary photos the artist used (seen below), and we think they are correct.

French Connection/National Portrait Gallery

That is the label’s Silky Tie Top, made of 100% polyester; it was offered in four colors on French Connection’s UK site, but just two colors on the US site. It is described this way:

Sub Silky Tie Top has a pussy-bow tie at neck, covered button placket through front and small cap sleeves. This top is demi-sheer.

The original selling price was $118 (£57) but the piece has been discounted to $49.99 (£28.50), it is sold out in almost all colors on both sites. Many thanks to RepliKate It.


Now we move on to our polls. The first looks at shoes Kate wore in 2012, we are looking at new styles. We begin with the Episode Angel, first noted (I think) during the Diamond Jubilee visit to Leicester first noted when worn for Harry Meade’s wedding in October of 2010. Kate’s are black suede, not patent as seen in the product photo. Episode is only sold through House of Fraser, the Angel is no longer available.

Episode ‘Angel’ Shoe

Another new pair for the Duchess, or at least a pair we hadn’t previously identified, the brown suede “Valerie” pump (or court shoe) from Emmy. The shoe is available online for £400, roughly $650 at today’s exchange rates.

Emmy “Valerie”

Also new and also from Emmy, the shoes worn to the April premeire of African Cats, accessorizing Kate’s Matthew Williamson dress. Again, the shoe is available from Emmy.

Splash News

Kate sported a new pair of sandals when watching William play polo in May.  The ‘Minx’ by Stuart Weitzman have braided leather straps at the ankle, and a cork platform wedge with a 4″ heel. Originally $395 they are on sale at 6pm for $216.99.

Stuart Weitzman Minx

We saw Kate in another new pair by Stuart Weitzman, the Corkswoon. We first saw the shoe when the Olympic Torch Run passed by Buckingham Palace, Kate wore them frequently throughout the summer and on the Jubilee Tour. The shoe is still available in very limited sizes on the Weitzman website (although not the navy suede), discounted from $375 to $188, 6pm has it in a variety of sizes/colors for $207.

Splash News/Stuart Weitzman/Splash News

Kate debuted a new dress shoe at an evening reception in July, the LK Bennett Harper.  The shoe has a concealed platform, round toe, 4″ heel and is available in a variety of colors. Kate’s suede pair in light taupe is on sale, but leather styles do not seem to discounted.

PA Wire/LK Bennett

Another new pair for Kate was seen during the Olympics, the Adidas Supernova Glide.  The shoe is no longer available in this color.


While on the Jubilee Tour in September we saw another new pair of basic platform pumps, Russell and Bromley’s ‘Park Avenue’. Virtually indistinguishable from Kate’s LK Bennett Sledge, the Park Avenue also has a rounded toe, open platform and 4″ heel. (I could only find it in black patent, it is £165 (roughly $300 USD).

Splash News/Russell & Bromley

For the State Dinner in Malaysia we saw one more pair of party shoes, the ‘Dart’ by Jimmy Choo.  The elegant sandal features metallic leather, delicate straps in an asymmetric ankle-wrap, and adjustable buckle for secure fit with a heel that is about 4.5″. The shoe originally retailed at $825, it appears to be sold out everywhere.

Splash News/Jimmy Choo

When out shopping in mid-November the Duchess was in a pair of “Estee” pumps by Kurt Geiger. This style has a slightly more pointed toe than many of Kate’s standard pumps, it is suede and has a 3.5″ heel. The shoe is still available in limited sizes. To see the limited photos available of Kate in this shoe, visit PopSugar here.

Kurt Geiger “Estee”

The final pair in our new shoe poll is an unlikely candidate, not terribly elegant but more-than-serviceable. We’re talking about the Brasher hiking boot worn by Kate in the Borneo rainforest, an outstanding boot with an all-leather upper and lined with Gore-tex.

Brasher “Hillmaster” GTX

Let us know your thoughts on Kate’s new shoes in 2012.

  37 Responses to “A Return To Public Engagements for Kate? Also, Portrait Blouse IDed, 2012 Shoe Poll”

  1. Regarding possible baby names –

    Possible heirs to the throne always have traditional names. The children of the Princess Royall (Anne) and for that matter Princess Margaret were never in line for the throne so they both had a freedon in naming their children that the sons of the Queen did not possess. Look for the following in names if it is a girl: Helena, Alice, Anne, Margaret, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Mary. As for male names: George, Philip, Michael, Edward, Henry, Charles are all possibilities. I do not see Diana as a likely girl’s name because of all the pressure that such a name would convey.

  2. Kate was seen with her husband and family at an outing to Cirque du Soleil for het birthday.

    Perhaps you can look it up.

    As for names, I think it will be Elizabeth Diana Carole/Caroline Philippa Mountbatten-Windsor or George Charles Michael Henry Mountbatten Windsor.

  3. I should have written this weekend: Neiman Marcus had reduced Aquatalia Rhumba boots in Black and Espresso Brown to $467 and then to $315!!) over the last week, from the usual list price of $698! Nordstrom still has them in a few sizes and colors, and is often willing to price-match competitors like Neiman Marcus. If you really wanted these boots, I would call both stores and see if you can track down a pair (I bought mine last Friday), even though the on-line sites say “not available”. Sometimes, persistence can really pay off — Nordstrom found the last remaining pair in my size in their system! Link which has the reducing pricing at Neiman Marcus is here: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/Aquatalia-Rhumba-Stretch-Suede-Tall-Boot/prod151550072/.

    Does any one else share the impression I have that all or many of the shoes and handbags sold under the “Russell and Bromley” name really “Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley”? That is the impression I now have — the shoes have identical counterparts on the regular SW website, though the shoes and handbags have different names, and in some cases there are colors made only for R&B. For those (like me) in the U.S., you might look for your Kate favorites on Stuartweitzman.com, I found several sought-after styles there.

  4. Well, unfortunately Apple and Pilot Inspektor are already taken, so my guess is the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will go with Banana if it’s a girl and High School Janitor if it’s a boy.

  5. If the baby is a girl, I thought it might be a lovely gesture to name her Margaret, after the Queen’s beloved sister.

  6. FYI, there is a comment in an article in this week’s New Yorker (an interview with Stuart Weitzman) which says that the navy wedges this summer were custom dyed for Kate.

  7. This was the most difficult poll yet — I LOVE all her shoes! It came down to the Emmy shoes and the Harpers…I chose the brown Emmys. Fun poll!

  8. For those who are planning to purchase either the Russell & Bromley “Park Avenue” or the ubiquitous LK Bennett “Sledge”, I’ve tried them both on several times (well, they are an investment piece! Had to make sure I picked the right one).

    They look almost identical, including colour. But, for whatever reason, the “Park Avenue” is at a slightly less severe angle than the “Sledge” and the toe box is roomier. Both attributes make the “Park Avenue” much more comfortable for me. So if you are deciding between those two shoes, I would highly recommend the more comfortable Russell & Bromley version that comes in both a nude and a taupe shade, as well as several other colours. It was new this past season, which is perhaps why Catherine was not seen it before. And, on a side note, R&B sells clutches in some matching colours in the store (though I didn’t see them online).

    Happy shopping!

  9. I voted for the Harper. They would never work in my own wardrobe, as I would not be able to wear them for fear of stains; however, this doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the way they look on the Duchess! More power to her. (How does one wear taupe suede shoes without ruining them on the first outing?? Do they teach you during princess training?)

    I’m amazed that the navy suede Weitzmans are scoring so high in the polls since I seem to remember many criticisms of them from this summer. Personally, I really like them; the gargantuan heel is pushing the envelope, but I like to push the envelope with my fashion at times so the overwhelming heel doesn’t bother me. But, I only like the navy blue pair… Navy seems a more demure color to me than black, and I think the navy color helps to balance out the killer heel (“killer” being a literal term and not just a figurative one if I ever attempted to wear them…).

    I’m quite partial to the blouse from the portrait. Does “demi sheer” mean that you must wear a camisole underneath or just that the material is light weight? (I know I could just google it, but I seem to get more educated answers to my queries when I post them here!)

    • Had to chuckle about staining taupe shoes on their first wearing. That’s exactly what I did to my taupe sandals that I wore to my son’s outdoor wedding. Can’t get it off with home remedies. Guess I’ll take them to a repair place.

  10. I wish Kate would different styles of shoe. They are so similar it’s boring.

  11. I love the Corkswoon wedges—yes, I know I am in the minority :>)

    On a footware-related note, I now have the aquatalia booties in 4 different versions/colors—so comfortable and easy to wear all day, despite the heel height.

    • Agree with the comments about Aquatalia’s comfort! For a heeled boot, they are as comfortable as possible. And the flat boots I own by them are amazing too. I bought them in 2 colours and can’t seem to take them off all winter. They are indeed “Weatherproof” and worth the investment.

  12. So many of the shoes are so similar that it’s difficult to choose one over the other; I would have had a much easier time voting for my least favorite (Stuart Weitzman, I’m looking at you on both counts)!

    I ended up voting for the chocolate brown Emmys as they complemented her dress so nicely.

  13. Although William and Kate have both honored tradition in the past, I suspect their child will have its’ own name, with Diana or Elizabeth as one of the middle names if it is a girl. Funny, everyone is assuming it will be a girl….perhaps wishful thinking trying to replace Diana? I’m personally hoping it is a boy simply cause I have a son who has been a delight to me his whole life. I’ll be happy if she feels up to some public engagements.

    • I think the assumption that it’s a girl is a function of the Duchess’s hyperemesis gravidarum. There is a slightly greater possibility that a woman who suffers from HG is having a girl. There is also a slightly greater possibility that she’s having twins, which seems not to be the case, but many people jumped to the conclusion that she was, until the St James Palace announcement indicated that she’s expecting only one baby.

      Both of the woman I knew who had HG delivered singleton boys.

      As for the shoes, I do not care for platform shoes, no matter how slim and discreet the platform. Platforms make shoes look clunky. So, the shoes I like best are the Bennett Harper and the Estee. I’m not big on light-colored shoes, but the Harper taupe was attractive. I’ll have to give this more thought.

      • I too delivered a singleton boy after having HG.

        Wonder if William and Catherine will find out the baby’s gender ahead of time? If so, I doubt they’d release that info. to the public.

    • I think another reason why some are hoping for a girl is because of the recent change in succession laws that allows their firstborn child, regardless of gender, to be next in line to the throne. I bet a lot of people would like to see the effects of that law immediately with Will and Kate’s children.

  14. her shoes often feel the same and i voted for other. i loved the jimmy choos she wore with the long-sleeved, long-hemmed white dress. it was one of her best looks!


  15. Most of the shoes are inoffensive but not exceptional in any way. Thinking about what they have been worn with, I plumped for the brown suede because they looked so right with the outfit.

    Those hiking boots were wow! I’m into hiking and having a pair which are comfortable and waterproof are worth their weight in gold. I have an Italian make but they aren’t gortex lined. *sighs*

    I’m not sure but I don’t think it’s called that in the UK it being a euphemism for part of the female anatomy.
    The differences in language between Britain and the States always fascinates me. My husband worked at Purdue university for a year and he ran into all sorts of verbal problems :)

    ADMIN NOTE: Comment was edited, it related to the way the blouse is described.

    • Not that it’s terribly important, but as an FYI, French Connection is a British company traded on the London Stock Exchange. The language came from the UK website, not the US website.

      • Thanks for that information. It makes it all the more interesting. Must ask my younger friends about that :)

        • Dear goodness, I’m so behind! Yes, I’ve found English clothes described as you described Kate’s blouse with that bow. My apologies.

          I can only put it down to advancing years and not keeping up with the times :(

          Still don’t like it though – I associate that sort of neck bow with very mature women from my childhood. So it seems rather ‘old fashioned’ to me rather than modern.

    • I’ve never liked blouses that tie at the neck this way. They were popular in the 70′s and 80′s, as newly-minted professional women were trying to figure out what to wear to work that would be an appropriate equivalent of men’s suits and ties. These blouses and blouses worn with separate little bow ties in various fabrics were ubiquitous, and for some reason I just didn’t care for them.

      ADMIN NOTE: Comment was edited, it related to the way the blouse is described, Lili’s comment noted the term is also a euphemism in the US.

  16. I love love her L.K.Bennet suedes…I also like the hiking boots. Perhaps b/c she is usually dressed up and to see her sporty relaxed style is also refreshing. :)

  17. “Diana” can’t be a name for their first child because it is not a “Christian name”, so I don’t see that happening. But it would be a nice tribute for them to use “Frances” or “Spencer”.

    • “Christian name” just means “first name” in this day and age. I don’t believe that the Anglican Church demands that parents pick a name associated with the Bible or a saint. (I’m an Episcopalian, christened in the US branch of Anglicanism, and my first name has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity.)

      But I might point out that there’s a Dinah in the Old Testament.

  18. I hope she feels well enough to return to public duties! I’m dying to see what she’ll wear in her second and third trimesters.

    About the baby’s name: If they have a girl, I can see Diana being one of the baby’s middle names, but I doubt it would be her first.

    • I have been wondering if Kate and William would have as much freedom as normal parents do when it comes to choosing their baby’s name. Just a random thought. :)

      • What an interesting question! I wonder if anybody on the blog has any insight.into how the royal babies are named. Is there a protocol? Does the Queen weigh in? Or are the members of the royal family simply expected to pick something appropriate?

        • I seem to recall that when William and Harry were born their names had to be approved by all members or 1) the other rulers in the commonwealth, or 2) other members of European royalty. My recollection may be faulty but I thought that is why royal baby names aren’t announced immediately.

        • Were Savannah’s and Isla’s names approved by the Queen? Or Zara’s, for that matter? If so I would think the Queen might be more conservative for someone who might actually take the throne someday. No King Logan or Queen Kimberly or whatever.

      • The monarch must approve of a name. The Queen turned down a couple of names that the Wales and the Yorks wanted for their children.

        However, I’ve never heard that anyone else must be consulted. I’m not sure why other members of European royalty would have to be consulted, who decreed such a rule, and how it could be enforced.

  19. It’s not possible for me to pick one pair as I love several of them…ah…I have to give up voting this time. :(

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