Mar 212013

This morning St. James’s Palace released news that Kate and William are headed to Scotland the first weekend of April. We thought it would be fun to share a look at the couple’s itinerary and chat about possible brands Kate might wear.

Kate and William (known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland) are to visit Glasgow, Dumfries House during their time in Scotland, along with Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. Below, a scenic view of Dumfries House.

Dumfries House

The House was built between 1754 and 1759. In 2007 Prince Charles headed a consortium that actually purchased the House so it could remain open and accessible to the public.  Work continues on the House and grounds today with many improvements on the drawing board.

Now to itineraries, here is the plan for Thursday, April 4:

Kate & William will tour Emirates Arena, one of the sites for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. They are expected to watch a practice session with cyclists in the Velodrome and also see badminton and netball demonstrations.

Glasgow 2014

The couple will visit the Quarriers Stopover project, a service helping single homeless people aged 16-25. More from a news release:

When many of the young people arrive at Stopover they have drug or alcohol addiction problems or experience mental health issues. Staff at the project work intensively to support them in addressing head on the challenges they face.

Current and past residents supported by Quarriers Stopover Service will get a chance to talk to Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge about their experiences of being homeless in Glasgow.

Then the couple heads to the Donald Dewar Leisure Centre located in Drumchapel, to launch a project new to Scotland, Coach Core. Some may recall this is part of the bigger Greenhouse charitable initiative that was launched last July by Kate, William and Harry.

Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Friday, April 5:

The day begins when Kate and William join Prince Charles (known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland) in opening the new Tamar Manoukian Outdoor Centre at Dumfries House.

The three Royals will be welcomed by children from the uniformed youth services represented by Youth United. Youth United is “a network of the UK’s largest and most established voluntary and volunteering youth organisations” according to the group’s website.

One of the group’s taking part in the function is the Sea Cadets of Ayrshire, more from that organization’s home page:

Our cadets are part of another Royal gathering in April 2013 for the grand opening of Dumfries House Resource Centre for Uniformed Youth Groups of Ayrshire

The Royals will watch units taking part in activities followed by a fly past of 3 Typhoons from 6 Squadron RAF Leuchars, bound to be a treat for everyone.

RAF/Ministry of Defence

RAF Leuchars is actually fairly close to Saint Andrews, on the east coast of Scotland.

William and Kate will also visit the Astute-class Submarine Building at BAE Systems in Barrow-in-Furness. Below, one of the submarines.

Photo by Mike Vallance/BAE Systems

We will share more information about the Scotland visit as it becomes available.


A word or two about Scottish fashion labels, with the obvious caveat that some of the labels mentioned might be more practical for the Duchess when there are no concerns about sizing for her third trimester, I think that is roughly where she will be by the first week of April.

One of the most obvious choices is Glasgow-born Christopher Kane. The Duchess wore a bespoke piece by the designer last summer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.

Dominic Lipinski (L) & Michael Kappeler (R)/Press Association Images

The designer’s spring pieces would be too lightweight for what is likely to be chilly weather. I’m not sure what we would see from Mr. Kane on the trip, unless Kate opted for one of the line’s sweaters, like this mohair and wool piece. (And the itinerary doesn’t seem to offer many, if any casual events.)

Christopher Kane/Net-a-Porter

Jonathan Saunders is another designer with Scottish roots, Kate wore one of his frocks on last year’s Tour, the “Evelyn” dress.

James Whatling/Splash News

Mr. Saunders graduated from the Glasgow School of Art, he is particularly skilled with creating and using prints. Below, looks from his Fall 2013 and Pre-fall collections, styles that *might* work with significant tailoring.

Jonathan Saunders Courtesy Images

Should Kate elect to wear a hat on the trip I wouldn’t be surprised to see her select one by Scotland’s William Chambers, his studio is in Glasgow and last year he was named Scottish Designer of the Year for the second time. Milliner extraordinaire Stephen Jones was even quoted in Scotland’s Herald as recommending Mr. Chambers to either or both Middleton sisters.

“He is a fantastic milliner… He makes things that are classically beautiful in an elegant way but he makes things that are wearable. If I was Pippa or Kate I would be looking to someone like William Chambers because he has that modern edge.”

We move to labels that would make sense now, beginning with Pringle of Scotland, the storied knitwear company founded almost 200 years ago. Here we see two spring ensembles by Pringle.

Pringle of Scotland

I’ve made no secret of my fondness for the brand, below, another photo of the spring line, this one from Pringle’s presentation at Fashion Week.

Pringle of Scotland

Tilda Swinton and Princess Caroline of Monaco at the launch of Pringle’s Princess Grace exhibit, the late Princess of Monaco was a loyal customer.

Pringle of Scotland Facebook

Our final looks from Pringle come from the a/w 2013 Ready to Wear collection. All have elements that would work for Kate with modification.

Pringle of Scotland

The one other heritage brand I wanted to quickly mention is Harris Tweed. Below, Ben Affleck in a Harris Tweed sportcoat, worn by his character in the film Argo.

Harris Tweed Hebrides

More on the unique nature of the textile, actually protected and defined by an Act of Parliament.

The definition of Harris Tweed contained in the Harris Tweed Act of 1993 clearly defines Harris Tweed as follows: “Handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.”

Some Kate fashion fans have recognized the material in pieces by Katherine Hooker, below we show one of the designer’s coats in mint green, grey herringbone and barley weave Harris Tweed.

Harris Tweed Authority

Other brands that Kate wears using Harris Tweed include Alexander McQueen and Mulberry. Below, an exquisite coat in the material.

Harris Tweed Hebrides

There are plenty of accessories made using Harris Tweed.

Harris Tweed Knitwear

A backgrounder many might find enjoyable is from the Harris Tweed blog, titled Women in Tweed.


Finally today, a reminder that tomorrow Kate volunteers with UK Scouting, more from the Daily Mirror’s story:

She has been volunteering privately with the Scouts near her home in Anglesey since last January, but tomorrow she will lend her high profile to the adventuring organisation with a public visit.

Kate, 31, and the other adult volunteers will guide 24 Cub Scouts from Cumbria and Manchester as they try out tree climbing, outdoor cooking and fire lighting.

Work was underway today in advance of tomorrow’s activities, some of the tree climbing apparatus was set up.

UK Scouting Twitter Feed

We’ll see you here tomorrow.

  18 Responses to “Kate & William Headed to Scotland, Designers Kate Might Wear on the Trip”

  1. Wow, that ombré Saunders skirt is stunning.

  2. Does anyone know where you can buy that purple Harris Tweed coat? Harris Tweed Hebrides links to a Aiaie site but it seems to be in Hungarian and I don’t see any purchase information.

  3. I love anything tweed, but these selections are particularly appealing. I am a huge fan of Katherine Hooker; I can’t recall ever seeing one of her pieces that didn’t cause me to salivate. Can’t wait for more Duchess sightings!

    Thank you for the insightful and well-written post!

    • I agree about Hooker. I bought a pale blue tweed jacket just because it reminded me so much of a Hooker jacket worn by the Duchess. There’s just something about good tweed ….

      AshleyOlivia, We’d reached the end of our reply options on the previous entry, so I couldn’t reply to your question about heel heights. It’s hard to answer without knowing your build in addition to your height, so I’ll just say quickly here that at 5’1″, you should probably stick with kitten heels for day — maybe 1 1/2″ and absolutely no higher than 2″, max. I wouldn’t go any higher than 2 1/2″ for evening, though I realize that might be a hard height to find in nice evening shoes. Again, it’s hard to say without seeing you.

  4. love love love those elizabeth hooker gloves! those are so unique and amazing.

  5. Thank you, Susan, for another wonderful post! Your musings on potential wardrobe choices are so thoughtful. Pringle is one of my favorites, and I just about died over that lush, purple Harris Tweed coat. The Duchess (Countess!) favors a dramatic coat collar and the color is so saturated–it would look stunning on her. I loved that you included a shot of HT accessories. Who wouldn’t want a tweed iPhone cover?!

    Scotland is one of my favorite places and I’m very much looking forward to seeing William and Kate’s tour.

  6. What a great post, Susan, with so much thought given. You have SO much knowledge to share!! Thank you. It will be interesting to see how Kate’s wardrobe plays out. And all the places they are visiting seem to have a relevant connection to Kate and William’s current charity interests.

  7. Thanks for another informative post. I’m so glad you mentioned Scottish knitwear. Cashmere is something I can definitely see the Duchess taking on board, with its natural fluidity over the more unyielding tweed. The latter is more often suited for outerwear despite many valiant designer attempts to bring it in from the cold.

    I’m not sure that some of the tweed accessories aren’t looking a mite dated now — but then maybe I suffer from seeing a surfeit of them in local tourists outlets. I know it will be fun whichever label Kate favours!

    • Alas, I seem to have lost my “zee” on my first post and hope to reinstate it this time round. I was interested to see those Pringle knitwear sets. Of course they’re not the only knitwear specialists in Scotland. I was ony browsing through the latest spring catalogue from local mill Johnston’s of Elgin this morning and musing on “what Kate might wear.”

  8. If Kate wears Pringles if Scotland ill bounce all over the place with excitement. Pringle and Victoria Beckham are labels I am hanging out for to wear!!! (She could always wear her “Pringle” hat with it :)

  9. What a wonderful post, Susan! Kate should use it as a guide to plan for her trip :) I never knew that about Harris Tweed…such an interesting little tidbit. And I love the pinks and blues in Jonathan Saunders’s collection. Cannot wait for another Kate day tomorrow!

  10. Being of Scottish blood, I am naturally looking forward to this trip to my ancestral stomping grounds. A dear Scottish friend died recently, too, so I’ve been thinking about Scotland more than usual. What a coincidence that the Earl and Countess of Strathearn are on their way there.

    I’ve been a fan of Christopher Kane since I first saw one of his dresses, which, alas, are really priced a bit beyond my budget. Still I love to look at them. The Jonathan Saunders worn on the Asia-Pacific trip didn’t thrill me, but I like what I see here much better. The design sensibility in the coats and jackets appeals to me.

    Wow, Pringle has certainly undergone a style updating! I’ll have to pay closer attention!

    As for Harris tweed, I am a huge fan. I bought my husband a knockout gorgeous jacket in a delicious soft blue and brown herringbone Harris tweed not too long ago. I must say, that purple Harris tweed coat is to die for!

  11. Great post, interesting about the itinery. ,I think that Catherine is about to cross the boundary between. Being able to wear standard clothing and the move towards more maternity clothes . It is interesting to see how she has managed so far.

    Small point, Barrow in Furness is not in Scotland, but is in Cumbria.

    many thanks again.

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