Jun 132013
 

Kate chose an animal print coat for today’s official naming of the Royal Princess in Southampton.

James Whatling / Splash News

James Whatling / Splash News

As is traditional with naming ceremonies, there was music. Both the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and the Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards performed.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Below we see Kate being welcomed by Alan Buckelew, President & CEO of Princess Cruises.

SeatradeInsider Twitter Feed

SeatradeInsider Twitter Feed

More on the naming tradition from the Sun:

Alan Buckelew… said before the ceremony: “To welcome Royal Princess into our fleet, we’re incredibly honoured that HRH the Duchess of Cambridge will officially name the ship today, marking the start of its many journeys through the world’s oceans and to fascinating shores.

“The naming of a ship is a tradition thousands of years old. The ritual marks the birth of a vessel, and asks for a blessing of good fortune and safety for the ship, its crew, and passengers.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Kate is officially the godmother of the ship, more from the Daily Mail:

Despite the ship’s regal name, the vessel was not named after the Duchess of Cambridge. Instead, the name was taken from the original Royal Princess ship which launched in 1984 and is no longer in service.

Becoming a ship’s godmother is a symbolic position similar to a patron or sponsor that dates back to the mid-19th century when leading women were selected for the honour.

Chris Ison/PA Wire.

Chris Ison/PA Wire.

Among those taking part in the ceremonies, entertainers Natasha Bedingfield and Kerry Ellis.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

After the entertainment, the traditional prayer was offered, followed by Captain Tony Draper asking “Your Royal Highness, would you do us the great honour of naming my ship.” To which the Duchess responded: “I name this ship Royal Princess. May God bless her and all who sail in her” before cutting the ribbon that released the champagne bottle and sent it smashing into the Royal Princess.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

This angle offers a glimpse at the immense scale of the vessel.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

It was a £1,250 (almost $2000) bottle of Moët & Chandon that was smashed against the hull.

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Confetti rained from the sky in celebration.

Paul Ludlow, UK Director Princess Cruises Twitter

Paul Ludlow, UK Director Princess Cruises Twitter

Kate seemed to thoroughly enjoy the ceremony.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

After the celebration things moved inside for a tour of the immense vessel.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

The Royal Princess is now the largest ship in the Princess Cruise fleet.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Stwve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

The Duchess spoke with guests invited to the naming ceremony.

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

She also spent time on the bridge.

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Southampton’s Daily Echo offered a live blog of the event, here they share Kate’s reaction after pushing the button to blow the ship’s horn:

Kate has just giggled and said ‘brilliant, I was expecting something high-pitched’ and threw her hands in the air as she pressed the ship’s horn.

The festivities in Southampton really got underway last night, with a gala dinner aboard the ship.

Royal Princess®/Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop Royal Princess®/Princess Cruises

Many of us were surprised to see the Duchess in an animal print, including your faithful scribe, it is the first time I recall seeing in an animal pattern like this. Kate wore the Dalmatian Print Mac coat by British High Street retailer Hobbs.

Hobbs 'Dalmatian Print Mac' coat

Hobbs ‘Dalmatian Print Mac’ coat

The piece is just above knee-length, and a blend of linen and rayon, a good weight for this time of the year.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Hobbs/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Hobbs describes the coat this way:

Dalmatian is the print of the season. Be stylish and animal friendly with the Hobbs Dalmatian coat – a minimalist design that lets the print make the statement.

No one will be surprised the coat quickly sold out at Hobbs.

Hobbs

Hobbs

As of this writing it has also sold out at John Lewis, but remains available at House of Fraser in a few sizes. For those fond of the print, Hobbs does offer the Savannah Blazer and Savannah Trousers.

Hobbs Savannah Blazer & Trousers

Hobbs Savannah Blazer & Trousers

Kate kept her accessories simple to offset the busy print.

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

She carried a bag I don’t recall seeing before, the Alexander McQueen Wicca Mini-Satchel. It dates to at least 2011, My Small Obsessions pointed out that actress Emma Watson carried the medium size that fall.

Alexander McQueen/Splash News

Alexander McQueen/Splash News

A look at the variety of Wicca bags that were offered at the time.

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

The bag is no longer available in any size from the current assortment I see available at Lyst, a site that aggregates products from different retailers. Here is how the Wicca was described when first released.

….beautiful, petite satchel from Alexander McQueen. Its understated styling make it the perfect piece of arm candy for everday. While its clean lines and soft shape demonstrates Sarah Burton’s softer approach to the label’s dramatic style.

Kate also sported a hat we’ve not previously seen.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises/John Lock & Co./Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises/John Lock & Co./Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Richard Palmer of the Express reports it is by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Company.

It took place at the same berth where the Queen named Cunard’s luxury liner the Queen Elizabeth in 2010. Princess Diana named the first Royal Princess in 1984.

Wearing a £169 dalmation print coat from Hobbs and a black hat by Sylvia Fletcher at Lock & Co, the Duchess looked happy and healthy as she was greeted by hordes of wellwishers.

It appears to be a variation of the company’s Salsa style, shown above in the hot pink color. The Salsa is available in a variety of colors for £295, about $460 at today’s exchange rates.

Kate also wore her Annoushka pearl drops and black pumps.

Some may recall this is not the first naming ceremony Kate has attended.  Kate christened a lifeboat in Anglesey on February 23, 2011. It was her very first public appearance after her engagement to Prince William was announced.

PA Wire

PA Wire

Overall this was a good look for the Duchess.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

That is somewhat surprising, as I generally do not favor animal prints, certainly not on a scale this large. They usually seem more suited to a scarf, a shoe, or other limited usage. But for some reason this was an appealing ensemble for Kate. (Said with the acknowledgement that animal patterns and prints can be a polarizing topic.)

As mentioned, Kate very much seemed to enjoy the ceremony, as well as meeting and greeting guests and dignitaries.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Kate is expected to attend the Trooping of the Colour ceremony this weekend. There are conflicting reports as to whether or not she she’ll attend the Order of the Garter events on the June 17th.

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We’ll see you Saturday for Trooping the Colour.

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  41 Responses to “Kate Surprises in Animal Print for Royal Princess Naming Cermony”

  1. I love animal prints and this suits the duchess very well. How lovely!

  2. I seriously love her and CANNOT wait for this baby to be born.

  3. I don’t know why, but I love this look. Coat, hat and especially the cute bag!

  4. I stumbled across this very similar looking piece from Hobbs on the John Lewis site – it’s a dress instead of a coat – but I think it has a similar silhouette. Enjoy: http://www.johnlewis.com/hobbs-niamh-dress-light-natural-black/p393884 !

  5. Coat still a bit short for me – especially since she is pregnant. All up a good style as this the best one can do when one is pregnant. It’s the shortness of her dresses that makes her style less elegant-looking. That’s my considered view of course and others may disagree. That’s life.

  6. Surprising choice, but I love it! The Duchess has gone unexpectedly spotty before with the Topshop black on white polka dot dress, but I think this coat with its smaller Dalmatian-dog-inspired spots works better for her. As mentioned by others the vertical shading down the sides gave a very slimming effect. Minimalist accessories are great – the black hat and shoes are a good choice, though I don’t know how she manages to rock heels so gracefully at 8 months pregnant!

    I suspect pregnancy rather than an over-liberal hand with the blusher was responsible for her glow – she has mentioned that she’s finding she’s been getting easily overheated in recent months. That may also account for the frequent recent appearance of the flattering cooler swept back hairstyle, though dockside it also saved hair-in-the-face issues.

    She appears to be wearing a white or ivory coloured dress beneath her coat, but we only catch the merest glimpse of that.

  7. I think she looks fantastic. It is nice to see her mixing it up a little bit, and the accessories are so minimalistic it stays classy.

    That being said, I am a big fan of animal print. (Am currently wearing snakeskin heels.)

  8. This isn’t what I would consider a typical animal print and this coat didn’t scream “dog” to me. I thought it looked more like a patterned polka dot. I read on the internet, and haven’t seen it mentioned here, that this was a water resistant coat. Being by the water and with clearly windy conditions, I’m sure it was very practical. Being American, I don’t really understand the whole dress/dress coat thing. Maybe it’s more weather related?

  9. This is one of her best outfits-for-an-occasion, excellent vertical lines that flatter and a shape that allows movement. No bow above the bump as some maternity styles do (eek!). The black/white is elegant. I wondered what sort of print it was – interesting comments. Perhaps it is faux animal then :p

  10. Just now, for fun, I did a search on the John Lewis site for “Macs” and “Overcoats.” Kate actually did not have many choices unless she wanted white, black, brown/neutral, navy or another shade of blue for the event. Plus, she is very pregnant, so I’m sure sizing is difficult. Would an animal print have been my first choice? No. But, Kate really did buy the most unique coat offered at this time of year at that store. (I wonder if she last-minute shopped like the rest of us often do). ;-)

  11. I really LOVED this outfit. The Duchess looks very chic and stylish. I’ve always loved animal prints and this coat is one of my top favs. And it was, as you said, totally unexpected. I’m looking forward to the Trooping ceremony this weekend to see what Kate will wear. Thanks for the post.

  12. I love animal prints. I don’t think they are tacky at all if you know how to wear them. Kate looks very classy in this coat. I like it when she wears things with a bit of an edge instead of playing it safe all the time, and this was a good way to mix things up without going too crazy.

    • What I like about this outfit is how it manages to reference animal print without going for a full-on jungle effect ,so keeping the Duchess firmly on the side of classy! Agree with you about her achieving a bit of an edge while maintaining royal decorum.

  13. Overall, the look is one of the better ones we’ve seen lately. I really like the coat, especially in the pictures from the store with the pants and shirt. Kate would have looked much more sophisticated if she had copied that look and added a proper hat. The coat does photograph well, so it was a solid choice.

    Now, the hat and purse,,,,oh, dear! the mini-bag looks silly for an adult for a daytime occassion, and the hat reminded me of Princess Bea’s wedding hat! I had to double check to make sure this one was different. Still, on a windy day, she should secure her hair with a sturdy hat. I know it’s difficult to embrace this grown-up role–she just isn’t ready yet. Harry and the Queen seem to make it all look so easy.

    • I’m afraid I have to disagree. The Duchess has fully embraced her role; in fact, I’ve been somewhat surprised by how well she has adapted to royal life. There has been nothing immature or “unready” about it. The Queen herself has made wardrobe errors over the years, and as for Prince Harry — given his many behavioral issues, some very recent, he has hardly made this life look “easy”. Quite the contrary.

      The bag is no different in size from many clutches carried by the Duchess and other royal women during both the day and the evening. However, I share your opinion of the fascinator, as I noted in my first post.

  14. I really love that the Duchess stuck to her favored silhouette, while mixing it up with the print! I think that the white and black monochrome look kept it classy, while allowing it to be fresh.
    I really hope that after her second pregnancy, she has this coat adjusted to fit her non-pregnant frame. You can tell it is well made by looking at how the back belt-like piece is carefully matched to the print, so that it blends in.
    I felt that she styled the look perfectly with the hat, purse and pumps.

    • Did you mean after her first pregnancy (i.e. this pregnancy), instead of after her second? Curious why you mentioned second.

      • I think katefanatic is referring to the fact that they’ve said they want two children, and she will want to keep her maternity wear for her second pregnancy. Only afterwards would she want to have it tailored to fit her non-pregnant body.

        • exactly right—I meant that they have made clear that they want two children and she most likely won’t have clothing adapted to non-maternity use until after that second pregnancy.

          • Ah, got it, thanks – hadn’t known they mentioned two children specifically, my apologies. Thanks! :)

  15. I so agree with your verdict of surprise – what a refreshing change of style for the Duchess. I feel only she could have found something so city-chic black-&-white and still be found sporting an animal print.

    Love the vertical emphasis in the pattern – this is similar in effect to the seaming edges on her last coat worn to Westminster Abbey. In both cases the streamlining effect on her figure is amazing. When has a woman ever looked less like eight months’ pregnant?

    I especially like the coat worn by the model with slim dark trousers so I’m not so sure about the choice of white dress underneath the Duchess’s outfit, but I she has kept to black on hat (worn to perfection) and shoes – and we have another gorgeous updo. Love the clutch.

    Also like the length of outfit on her, just enough to be both regal and contemporary, and above all, what a mercy that this outfit at least was wind-proof…

  16. Where has the glamorous Kate gone who dressed so stunningly on the tour of the US and Canada? I’m afraid her style just isn’t what it used to be.

  17. Loved the look! From my vantage point, very chic. Something different is good now and then. It was still very dignified. And I love animal prints! But then, I had a (fake) tiger fur coat in my 20′s! It looked very real — was a very expensive fabric, and about the same length as this coat. I don’t see anything wrong with that. After all, it isn’t the real animal, but I think a compliment to the beauty of the animal. So, yes, I’m all for animal prints and “out of the box” looks with dignity! I thought Catherine looked very classy. The hem length was perfect for this piece. And the hat was just what the coat needed. After all, it was a ship christening! Not a church servcie!! I think Catherine knows how to match her outfit to the occasion, really well. She is such an asset to the Royal Family, to William, to the country, to fashion.

  18. I normally don’t like patterns in coats, but this works because the way the dots are patterned in a vertical line – they make her bump less obvious. So it does work for me.

  19. Kate looks chic and gorgeous. From the front, you’d never guess she was pregnant, let alone in her eighth month.

  20. I love this outfit from head to toe she looks marvellous

  21. “It was a £1,250 (roughly $800) bottle of Moët & Chandon that was smashed against the hull.”

    Those numbers are incorrect, as the dollar is currently trading at around $1.57 for a pound. So, it was either a bottle worth £800 ($1,256) or it was £1,250 ($1,973).

    • Thanks for the math! I’d noticed the slip too, and thought it odd that the £ had suddenly slipped quite so far behind the $ without an awful lot of big headlines in the financial press. Hadn’t managed to get as far as you and check out the numbers.

  22. I’m right with you on the print: not my taste generally, and better in small doses. That said, I appreciate that she’s mixing it up a little bit. She’s wearing her familiar silhouette and by adding an unexpected print, she’s keeping things fresh. Good for her!

  23. This pattern doesn’t come across to me as animal print either, more of a off-centered polka dot and the black and white makes it more appealing. I was not very excited about the coat at first, but I really love how it looks with the black skinny ankle pants, black heels and a white shirt peeking out at the collar. Kate could have replicated that very easily and give more of modern touch to her style. Not sure why she insists on wearing short dresses and high heels all the time.

    • Well, this wasn’t an occasion for trousers. She’s been wearing those dresses and heels at occasions that call for dresses, not more casual looks. However, as I said in my first post, I agree that this coat would also look good with jeans or trousers at a more casual event than a gala ship christening.

    • I feel like skinny trousers and a white blouse would not have been dressy enough for a ship’s christening, but I do think it would make a great weekend look.
      As the hem on this frock is an inch or less from the top of her kneecap, I dont consider it to be “short”

  24. animal print coat is my love . I loved the video and her reaction to how cutting the ribbon produced the smashed bottle. She is always smiling, very affinity. Like her!

  25. Though I have no doubt the coat is very well made given it’s by Hobbs, I dislike the animal print. It reminds of Cruella De Vil a little too. Anyway, I think it best suited to shoes and scarfs rather than clothes. That said the Duchess looks lovely, the print is good at camouflaging her stomach and I love the hat and her hair. Cannot wait for Trooping of the Colour :)

    Thanks for another wonderful post! x

    • Claudia, I agree with your remarks. I thought the same thing, word-for-word!

    • Burn that coat! The DOC is way too classy to pull out something from Carmela Soprano’s closet. Stick with animal print accessories because any thing bigger and people will start wondering if your husband is in the ‘waste management’ (wink-wink) business. LOL, I think Pippa would kill it in this look and she’d probably add a red clutch (dump the white kiddie bag) just to give it some ‘oomph,’ but Pippa can have all the fun with fashion because she’s not royalty ;)

  26. I’ve always found animal prints rather tacky (you’ll never find me in leopard or tiger or snake-prints), but for all the claims that this is a “Dalmatian” print, it really isn’t. Just compare it with a real Dalmatian’s coat. The print is different, considerably more interesting and striking. When I first saw it, I didn’t think “dog”.

    And I found it rather striking. The lines, of course, with the fascinator and shoes and earrings and clutch, are much the same as other outfits the Duchess has worn lately, and this is becoming a bit tedious, but then, the Duchess is doing the best she can with the pregnancy. At this point, she’s probably getting quite tired of having to dress up her bump and would like that baby to make his or her appearance already.

    I think the coat is still a touch on the short side, but the length is not nearly as problematic as the hemlines on some of the other coats she’s worn within the last couple of months.

    By the way, I’d love to see this coat worn with skinny jeans or trousers. A number of her coats would work very well as the basis of more casual looks.

    Last but not least: I love hats, I love fascinators, but this fascinator is almost edging into Princess Beatrice territory, as in the fascinator Beatrice wore to the wedding in 2011. The Duchess really has to be very careful about that, since fascinators can stop looking chic and start looking eccentric and weird if great care isn’t taken.

  27. DoC looks smashing. She’s brilliant with her choices. From the front, the print is a fabulous camouflage of her bump. Her respect for a venue, her position and others comes together with a natural appreciation and reverence. I loved the video and her reaction to how cutting the ribbon produced the smashed bottle. Susan, continued thanks for your encompassing blog….refreshing!!

  28. The animal print isn’t my favorite, I agree with you, it’s something I normally enjoy on a smaller piece. But she still looks beautiful.

    • This is where I am on this outfit. It doesn’t help that my husband walked by the computer and said “Cruella Deville would love that dress.”

  29. Unusual, and I’m not sure what I think about the animal print, but guess I’m just pleased to see her in anything as she looks so well and with a huge smile!

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