Dec 242013

For today’s Christmas church services Kate brought back two coats we have seen before, including her very popular Black Watch tartan.

Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Joe Giddens/PA Wire

William and Kate were among many royals worshiping today at St. Mary Magdalene. Prince Harry, just back from a South Pole trek, is still sporting the beard grown while he was away. (The Prince took part in a daunting trip that was a fundraising effort for Walking with the Wounded.)

Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

St. Mary Magdalene is on the grounds of Sandringham, the royal estate, where four generations are celebrating the holidays this year.

Splash News and Pictures

Splash News and Pictures

More from the BBC:

Among the thousands of people waiting in the winter sunshine there was one question; will Prince George be here?

They were – perhaps unsurprisingly – disappointed. But there was applause for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who – in a break with royal tradition – walked hand in hand to church.

Among the crowds was a young boy who comes to Sandringham every year. His persistence was rewarded – several members of the family spoke to him, including the Queen. “She said good gracious are you here again!” he told me.

We saw the Duchess in a new hat by Gina Foster, described by the milliner as being a hard shell beret with a large bow.

Splash News and Pictures

Splash News and Pictures

The coat was first seen in November of 2012 when Kate wore it for a visit to her old prep school.

PA Wire/Aquatalia Courtesy Photo by Getty Images

PA Wire/Aquatalia Courtesy Photo by Getty Images

The garment is from the McQ by Alexander McQueen diffusion line, modeled after the label’s Black Watch coat. There are two essential distinctions between the two pieces: Kate’s print is much smaller in scale, and her coat doesn’t have lapels.

Prince George was not at church this morning. ITV reports that he seemed to enjoy the wrapping paper more than his gifts:

Cicely Howard, 75, from Great Yarmouth, met Kate and asked about the baby.

She said: “She told me he was having a lovely day but was more interested in the wrapping paper than the presents.”

For the morning’s earlier service the Duchess was in another coat we have seen previously.

Splash News & Pictures

Splash News & Pictures

This is the UFO coat initially noted when worn in March of this year for the wedding of close friends in Switzerland.

Splash News

Splash News

The shawl or scarf is new; a reader at HRH Duchess Kate suggests it is the Tartan Wrap by Really Wild Clothing Company.

Really Wild Clothing Company

Really Wild Clothing Company

The dimensions seem to match (roughly 6.5 feet by 2.5 feet) and the colors look the same from what we can see. Perhaps more importantly, the fringed ends look the same. The piece is 95% wool and 5% cashmere, it sold for £135 (approximately $220 at today’s exchange rates) and is a fall/winter 2013 item.

In both instances today Kate wore her trusty Aquatalia Rhumba boots.

Rhumba by Aquatalia

Rhumba by Aquatalia

It looks like Nordstrom once again has the boots available in all sizes, retailing at $698.

Kate also wore the diamond and green amethyst (more properly known as prasiolite or quartz) earrings sold by Kiki McDonough for both church services.

Mirrorpix/Splash News

Mirrorpix/Splash News

Many will recall that Kate’s different ensembles from Christmas Day 2011. Below left she is seen in the ‘Angel’ Fit & Flare coat by Reiss, on the right Kate wears an aubergine coat made by an ‘independent dressmaker’.

Splash News

Splash News

Last year William and Kate did not go to Sandringham, opting instead to attend Christmas services with the Middletons. The Duchess wore her Hobbs ‘Celeste’ coat.

Jesal Parshotam

Kind Courtesy of Jesal Parshotam

In her Christmas message this year the Queen spoke about Prince George, more from a Telegraph story:

The Queen spoke about her great-grandson Prince George in her Christmas message to the nation, reflecting that the birth of a baby allows people to think about the future with renewed “happiness and hope”.

“After the christening, we gathered for the traditional photograph. It was a happy occasion, bringing together four generations.”

Her words were accompanied by behind-the-scenes footage of the baby prince sitting for his first official photograph under the direction of celebrity portrait photographer Jason Bell.

The Telegraph

The Telegraph

To see the Telegraph‘s video in its entirety click here.


Also today, an update on plans for Kate and William’s tour of Australia and New Zealand. Following is what we know officially, as released by Kensington Palace:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit New Zealand and Australia in April 2014. Their Royal Highnesses have been invited by the New Zealand and Australian governments. Further details on the exact dates and itinerary will be issued in due course.’

As Richard Palmer reports in the Express, this will not be a short trip:

The royal couple will spend between a week and 10 days on official engagements in both countries, beginning in New Zealand. But with rest days and travel, the entire trip will take the best part of a month.

Much discussion has centered on whether or not the couple will take Prince George with them, back to Richard Palmer’s story: .

William and Kate, both 31, have said they intend to take George but will wait to make a final decision nearer the time, depending on his health and what they think is best for him. Aides, however, think it highly unlikely that they will leave their child at home, unlike previous generations of royals who were often absent for months.

George is unlikely to accompany them on most of their public duties but aides anticipate that there will be occasions in both countries when George will appear before the cameras.

They will make a final decision on whether to take him nearer the time but a senior aide said: “It is anticipated and planned for that he will go.”

The young Prince will be just about the same age William was when taken along for his parents’ tour of New Zealand and Australia.

There is at least one engagement we can pencil in on the calendar: Australia’s Daily Telegraph reports the Duke & Duchess will be guests of honor at Royal Randwick Races.

THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be guests of honour at Royal Randwick’s $18 million festival of racing when they visit Australia in April.  The young royal family are expected to arrive in NSW three days before race day on April 19th, where monarchists will be keen to set eyes on Prince George for the first time.

And there will be no question which horse William and Kate will be backing on the day with the Queen’s Gai Waterhouse-trained Carlton House set to race in the Stakes.

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes are part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival; in 2014 they will be held on April 19th.


Finally today, we wanted to alert you to a one-day opportunity to save at Beulah London. The label is having a flash sale underway now.

Beulah London

Beulah London

Pieces in the sale include Kate’s Sabitri dress in her powder blue color, as well as the silver and navy rose print.

Beulah London 'Sabitri' Dress

Beulah London ‘Sabitri’ Dress

All of the sale items may be found here.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I have deleted the erroneous information saying the coat could still be purchased by special order from Net-a-Porter; it’s no longer available. Thanks to Jordan Fallon for sharing that information on the Facebook page.

  41 Responses to “Kate Repeats Two Coats for Christmas Day, Royal Tour Plans Confirmed”

  1. Loved the tartan shawl H.R.H. The Duchess of Cambridge wore at Christmas. Does anyone think the Really Wild Clothing Company Claret cashmere mix wrap, is similar to The Tartan and Clan Centers Robin Luxury Shawl?

    The Really Wild offer is sold out, so I ordered the Robin Luxury Shawl. Not sure about the quality or the exact pattern, but since the other was not available, I thought I would give it a try.

  2. Does anyone know why Christmas Day provides two outfit opportunities for the Duchess? I know she is attending church services, but are there two separate services? I’m grateful for the two outfit sightings, of course, but I’m wondering what motivates the wardrobe change. I’m very curious because it seems that the earlier event is as visible to the public (the photos are taken at a distance) and less formal.

  3. I also liked both looks, and like many commenters here, have some doubts with regards to the green hat. I agree it is bound to make an appearance on St. Patrick’s day at some point, but I am not super fond of this shade of green.

    I also love the original McQueen design and larger check – it is stunning, looks almost architectural in a way it is constructed. But we all know Kate tends to gravitate to more understated designs…she wouldn’t be married to William if she preferred attention-grabbing, fashion-forward looks.

    Finally, I wonder if anybody spotted what Kate was wearing under her beautiful coats. I thought something short and dark under the white one, and something light green and knee length under the tartan, but I am not sure.

  4. First of all, I want to thank Susan for all her time and hard work on this blog—I so enjoy reading it, and I find it to be very informative.

    I love both the McQueen quote and the UFO coat—-I was so hoping she would wear green this year, so the hat was a happy surprise for me, and I think it matches the green in the coat just fine. The tartan wrap over the UFO coat looks lovely as well. Love the boots with both looks. My only tiny quibble is her hair in the early morning pics (with the white coat)—it looks so messy and unkempt; I am thinking that if the wind was that bad, that perhaps she could have worn a low ponytail.

    All in all, the Duchess looks happy and the hand holding with William was delightful to see. So glad that all appears to be well in the Cambridge’s world!

  5. Kate can wear that McQueen coat as many times as she likes – I think it looks wonderful on her, for cut and style, and for colour. The original is more stylish but I can understand not wanting such bulky lapels and the button-up neck is a neat alternative. I also prefer the bigger check on the original, but at least the same flattering colours remain.

    It’s also very welcome to see Kate’s hair pinned back from her face and while a straighter style makes a change some of the close-ups show how much Kate has to deal with flyaway ends, and maybe why it helps her to have more waves to hold it all together. The hat is gorgeous and worn with her usual panache.

    The UFO coat also looks gorgeous and every fresh glimpse of it is as welcome as it is intriguing, and the plaid throw looks perfect with it. And that’s a good pair of boots with both outfits, it’s a relief to see some footwear on the Duchess which isn’t looking the worse for wear.

    It’s certainly lovely to see Kate and William in PDA mode – I had been wondering if Kate wasn’t looking at her newborn the way she used to look at her husband. Seems like the couple is back on!

    • I do agree that the original version of the coat is more stylish than the one produced for the Duchess, and it would be my own choice between the two, but the Duchess seems to prefer that designers dial down on the fashion-forward look when they produce bespoke pieces based on existing designs.

      I’ve wondered whether this reflects just conservative and minimalist personal taste, or a fear that more progressive fashions won’t suit her role (and might attract criticism), or both. However, while I largely share her fashion aesthetic, I’m hoping that she might become a little more willing to experiment with a more progressive look now and then.

      • It would be great to see a little experimenting going on — Kate does seem to err on the side of caution at times.

        But it’s early days, and hopefully she is still developing her style sense for this strange new life she’s taken on. It’s all a far cry from the Home Counties and a London day job in retail.

        • I agree with you both: the original McQueen garment is the one I’d most like to see in my closet, but I wouldn’t complain too much if a miracle occurred and Kate’s version appeared. The original has a fashion forward look, with more adventurous styling, which I like very much, but adventurous and fashion forward don’t seem to be characteristics that the Duchess looks for in her own clothing choices.

  6. Wow I love her hat and tartan. I also love seeing her hold hands with her husband. Lets us see how much in love they are and breaks royal protocol. I love seeing them so happy. I have to say I loved Her Majesty’s Christmas message and seeing a photo of George beside her and of her beloved mother and father. I also think Zara and Beatrice looked lovely and I love always to see the ever more gorgeous Harry.
    Thank you for the wonderful post. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Hope you all had a restful Boxing Day!

  7. Thank you, Susan, for your thorough and enjoyable coverage of Christmas. Happy Christmas to you, and blog on in 2014.

  8. I just love that hat. Is this the first time she has worn a hat by Gina Foster? I can’t remember. I know she frequents Lock & Co Hatters a lot.

  9. I think we all liked that tartan coat, but frankly I liked the UFO coat even better and am delighted to see it again. I wish I could get a better sense of how the shawl looks with it.

    I love the green hat with the tartan. Everyone here knows I’m a rabid hat fan, and that one has left me a far less attractive shade of green, seething with envy. Come on, everyone: give me some ideas on how we can spark a hat revival in the US. There must be a way.

    Sharon, I’m not quite sure why you think there is such a thing as a “normal” style of writing in a blog. Bloggers are all over the map with their styles. As a writer of both scholarly and less formal non-fiction prose, I have favorite phrases like most writers, and I don’t find Susan’s at all off-putting, nor do I think that she is somehow insulting the Duchess with her references to “repeating” clothing. I’m perplexed by your need to post such mean-spirited — and frankly unnecessary — comments. Now that you’ve gotten them off your chest, I suspect that the rest of us would prefer it if you found another place to play.

    Best wishes for the holidays to the rest of you.

  10. Happy Holidays to our wonderful admin and any commenters who choose to be happy!

    I love that tartan coat; does anyone else think the shawl/scarf was a Christmas present?

  11. I love both outfits! I wonder if Catherine changed out of the graceful ivory coat and tartan scarf combination because it wasn’t warm enough for the ‘walkabout’ ?

    the Black Watch tartan coat, in addition to looking lovely, also looks so comfortable on her !

    and who wouldn’t smile to see them holding hands as they stride along !

    thank you, Susan !

  12. Happy Holidays to the admin of the site and all fellow commenters. :)
    I have always been fond of this tartan coat dress and she looks really polished and elegant in both occasions. However, I am not sure about the green hat..To me one of her black hats would have done the job fine. But I can see her wearing this green again in one of the upcoming St. Patricks days. LOL

  13. Wow, happy holidays & good riddance to you!! While
    I certainly believe everyone is titled to their own respectful opinion of Kate’s clothes, I certainly don’t feel that Susan deserves any harsh criticism for the wording she uses in this blog. I think she does an amazing job, above reproach. Shame on you for being so insensitive.

    • Thank you for your comments and the rest of you. It does put things into perspective for me. I was overreacting and I needed to hear/read those responses. I should keep some opinions to myself. This is a lovely website and I have it on my Bookmarks Bar. I’m not attempting to backtrack, but I do sincerely apologise for any offence caused, especially at this time of the year. I must admit that the main reason I unsubscribed was because the photos/news/pictures don’t feature in the email anymore. I still look at the website because I know that every one of Kate’s sartorial moments will be captured.

      I too am looking forward to the Australia/NZ trip. It’s like opening a box of chocolates, or tuning in to the next episode of your favourite tv show, to see what Kate will wear each day. I live in Australia and would simply love to be amongst the crowd to see her in person. Yeah, me and a million others! Oh we’ll, it’s worth a try. She looked amazing every single day of the Canadian trip.

      Happy New Year. I have some resolutions to think about!!

  14. I love your blog, and enjoy how diligently you keep up with Kate!

    I am however, heartily sick of her ‘recycling’ and re-wearing of old clothes. It’s gone too far. Not only is she a duchess now, but she will also be our future Queen.

    She has privileges that come with the status of being Royal and is silly to abdicate them with her unnecessary thriftiness. Once given up, you never get that type of status back, very foolish.

    Now if she were to wear new things 85% of the time, she’d be highly criticized, whereas we all expected her to do so from the start and that would have been fine.
    The Queen wears new things more often than Kate does, for goodness sakes!

    Kate as Duchess of Cambridge and all that goes along with that isn’t “normal”, – nor does she really care to be (except where the issue of privacy is concerned) — as witness her 20,000 square foot home Apt 1A at Kensington palace, and her ten bedroom country home at Amner Hall, and the bulletproof Bentley they use for royal engagements, etc., etc., etc.

    So stop wearing your old clothes so often, Kate. It doesn’t make you look down to earth – it just makes you look like you aren’t respecting the formality of the Monarchy with your low key approach.

  15. Happy Boxing Day, everyone! I am so glad to see the black watch coat return. It is one of my favorite Kate pieces. As for the weight of the coat, I once owned a very similar coat by Pendleton with matching trousers. The trousers and the coat were both wool flannel. While they were wool, they were quite lightweight – you have to have a lighter wool in order to get this precision in the tartan. I don’t think this is a coat dress, however, it’s too substantial. The hat is a good match, probably not a perfect one. A black watch tartan is forest green interwoven with navy, and navy makes the green a bluer green than just a green on it’s own.

  16. Susan, I first want to say that I love your writing style which is refined and classy.

    Kate looked beautiful in the McQueen coat. I live in a hot climate so I’m not much of a coat wearer, but would this be considered a coat dress or would Kate wear a separate dress under the garment?

    I am looking forward to the Australia and New Zealand trip both to see Kate’s fashions and to see a bit of those two countries, both of which I would love to visit some day.

  17. I love, love, love the tartan coat! It’s darling. Also, I really love William’s big wool coat. I’ve never seen him look so good. I don’t know why I like it so much, but it just looks great.

  18. As usual, Kate looks lovely. The tartan is my favorite of all her coats. It’s just perfect. I loved seeing Kate and William holding hands. That is not something often seen. Love all the photos at the DM link. Thanks for that.

    I think it’s strange how the British media seem to expect to see George. Who takes a baby to church?

    Looking forward to the Aussie/New Zealand trip!!

  19. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and all who follow this excellent blog.

    Great photos. I’ve only seen a short clip of the family on tv here in the uk.
    Is it my computer or does the yellow-green of Kate’s hat not match the blue-green of the tartan?

    Good news about the Australia/New Zealand tour. I’m looking forward to seeing all the outfits!

  20. I’d just like to say I’m tired of the ridiculous phrases: Kate “brought back”; keeping “with her penchant” for wearing things twice; “repeat”; “pieces”. May sound silly of me but I can’t help but roll my eyes each time. Before anyone comments “well don’t read it”, I have unsubscribed from the emails and I did only look today to see What Kate Wore for Xmas Day. One can’t help but read the captions. Despite being royalty, Kate is a normal person as is reinforced all the time, and that’s what I love about her. So how about writing “today Kate wore what she wore a couple of years ago to ….” like a ‘normal’ blog! It’s the usual damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Wear something different every single day and she’ll be criticised; wear the same thing twice and it’s a “penchant”. While I’m at it, I didn’t appreciate the “sorry to see you unsubscribe, that’s entirely up to you, each to their own” or words to that effect. Well gee, I didn’t realise I needed approval. Aaahh, that feels good getting all that off my chest, and before any smart comments, yes I have a wonderful life. This is just feedback really.

    • I’m glad you’re gone. Susan does an enormous amount of work to keep up this blog, and your negativity is totally out of place here. Go troll elsewhere.

    • You are unfortunate. Susan is a fantastic writer, with lots of imagination. I’m grateful for her efforts and commentary, and about 20,000 other people on Facebook agree with me. This is just feedback really.

    • Wow, looks like someone didn’t get what she wanted for Christmas and decided to purge out her vitriol on one of the most imaginative and creative Kate blog writers around. Since you’re such an expert at critiquing someone else’s work, why don’t you start writing what you call a ‘normal’ blog and see how many people even bother to look at it? This is just feedback really.

    • So easy to criticize… so hard to do what Susan does! Susan writes in a journalistic style that I for one, thoroughly enjoy. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    • You are an unpleasant person. This is just feedback really.

    • Am I missing something here? I may be the worse for a festive sherry or two, but I can’t exactly see what’s wrong with saying “”brought back,” “repeat,” and “keeping with her penchant,” rather than “what she wore a couple of years ago.” I’d have thought they all meant the same, but that some variation improved the post rather than otherwise.

      If there’s one thing I like about this blog, apart from the level-headed quality of discussion, it’s the well-researched and well-written posts themselves. So many thanks to you Susan, and the merriest of seasons greetings to you!

      • Eliza, I completely agree with you. Having a penchant for something is just a fancier way of saying that one likes or is fond of something; it doesn’t have a negative connotation. I am thinking that maybe Sharon is not a native speaker. I think Susan’s blog (and frankly, the majority of the comments) are very well written.

        Having said that, I was surprised by a level of vitriol and personal attacks in some of the responses to Sharon’s post – again, I agree it was a strange criticism, and I personally don’t share Sharon’s views at all – but I do believe people are entitled to their opinions, even negative ones, as long as they express them in a civilized way. And let’s not forget Susan has ultimate control in terms of publishing comments on her blog.

        Once again, Susan, thanks for the blog and Happy Holidays to everyone!

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