Apr 072014
 

On a rainy, blustery afternoon Kate, William and Prince George arrived in Wellington, New Zealand to start their Royal Tour.

Governor-General of New Zealand

Governor-General of New Zealand

The Duchess wore a label with a history among royals, Catherine Walker, seen in the images shared by ITV’s Georgina Brewer.

Georgina Brewer ITV

Georgina Brewer ITV

Prince George appears bemused, or simply sleepy. Airports and jet engines are very loud.

©Andrew Parsons / i-Images

©Andrew Parsons / i-Images

A better look at Kate’s hat.

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

From the New Zealand Herald story:

The royal couple looked happy and relaxed, despite the fog and drizzle, as they disembarked the plane and met dignitaries.

They were met by the Governor-General’s Aide-de-Camp Commander Richard Walker, Prime Minister John Key and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

The entourage left the airport and headed to Government House for a more celebratory welcome ceremony.  Emily Andrews of The Sun shared this photo on Twitter, explaining that the Maoris were welcoming William and Kate with a “traditional challenge,” and that William would then “pick up a spear to be formally accepted.”

Emily Andrews The Sun

Emily Andrews The Sun

Claire Trevett of the New Zealand Herald tweeted this picture of the events at Government House.

Claire Trevett, New Zealand Herald Twitter Feed

Then it was time for traditional ‘hongi’ welcome, the pressing of noses.

Kate and Maori elder Hiria Hape  Flickr Photography by Woolf Crown Cright

Photography by Woolf Crown Copyright

Maori elder Hiria Hape greets Kate, and then William.

Photography by Woolf/Crown Copyright

Photography by Woolf/Crown Copyright

As mentioned, Kate was wearing a rich red Catherine Walker ensemble.

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

The knee-length coat was in the fit and flare silhouette Kate favors, with multiple gores helping to achieve that close fit. It was a modified double-breasted style with oversized buttons, flared sleeves and a stand collar.

Polaris Images/SplashNews.com

Polaris Images/SplashNews.com

The piece is now shown in another color on the Catherine Walker website, identified as the Russian Greatcoat. It is described as a “Sharply tailored military style coat with high collar, full skirt and gleaming buttons.”

Catherine Walker

Catherine Walker

Our thanks to Lurdes on the WKW Facebook page and My Small Obesessions for alerting us to the new images at of the coat at Catherine Walker.

The coat also has a half-belt across the back, better seen in this photo of the Duke and Duchess greeting the Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife Janine, Lady Mateparae.

New Zealand Governor-General

Photography by Woolf/Crown Copyright

Kate wore two Catherine Walker styles for the N. American tour in 2011.

PA Wire/SplashNews.com

PA Wire/SplashNews.com

Catherine Walker was a favorite label of the late Diana, Princess of Wales; even Prince William has worn Catherine Walker. Below you see Diana walking to Easter Services with Prince William and Peter Phillips in 1987. Both Diana and William are wearing pale blue coats with white trim designed by Ms. Walker.

Diana wore Catherine Walker many times in both New Zealand and Australia, including a state banquet in Auckland in April of 1983.

In this image from 1997 Diana and the designer are at Kensington Palace. I believe this is from one of their sessions selecting gowns to be auctioned at Christie’s as a fundraiser.

Ms. Walker founded the business in 1977 and died in 2010 at the age of 65. She designed more than 1000 gowns for Diana.

The company is doing well, managed by Ms. Walker’s husband and business partner, Said Ismael. Its popularity continues to grow, especially for ‘special occasions,’ like weddings. Carole Middleton wore Catherine Walker for Kate and William’s wedding in 2011.

SplashNews.com

SplashNews.com

Several other wedding guests also wore the brand, including Lady Gabriella Windsor and the Duchess of Kent.

Below, contemporary styles by the company.

Catherine Walker

Catherine Walker

The deep red Kate wore today and in Canada is a color favored by the brand.

Catherine Walker

Catherine Walker

The Duchess had a matching dress on beneath her coat, but we don’t yet have any photos showing the frock.

UPDATED: Kate also wore a new hat by Gina Foster, a pillbox style in matching red that appears to be a bespoke piece the hat is Gina Foster’s “Seaford” style.

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris Images

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris Images

Kate’s hat is described this way:

Royal purple velour fur felt Jackie-O pillbox with felt flower trim and hot pink lining.  Secured with a comb and an elastic that sits under your hair.

Seaford is made to order – it will be ready to ship in 10 to 15 days.

Gina Foster Millinery 'Seaford'

Gina Foster Millinery ‘Seaford’

The hat retails for £450, roughly $750. There were several Facebook mentions and tweets suggesting this was the hat, somehow I let that get lost in the shuffle, so to speak. At least we have now published the new information.

With thanks to several readers kind enough to email and message us here at WKW InterGalactic HQ (heh-heh-heh), it looks like Kate was wearing her Emmy Shoes brown heels and carrying her matching suede Emmy clutch.

i-Images/Polaris Images

i-Images/Polaris Images

Kate’s jewelry showcased a piece many of us expected to see her wear, a glittering diamond and platinum brooch in the shape of a fern. More on the significance and symbolism of the fern via Pure New Zealand:

According to Māori legend, the silver fern once lived in the sea. It was asked to come and live in the forest to play a significant role in guiding the Māori people.  Māori hunters and warriors used the silver underside of the fern leaves to find their way home. When bent over, the fronds would catch the moonlight and illuminate a path through the forest.

This distinctly New Zealand symbol is considered a badge of honour by the people, products and services of our country that carry it.

The pin is borrowed from the Queen, it was given to HM as a Christmas gift by the Women of Auckland during her 1953-54 Commonwealth Tour.

The Royal Collection

The Royal Collection

Many will recall that Kate wore a maple leaf brooch borrowed from the Queen on Canada Day in 2011, during the North American Tour, visible in one of the photos above.

The Duchess wore her Kiki McDonough Grace earrings.

Kiki McDonough

Kiki McDonough

Another look.

Photography by Woolf/ Crown Copyright

Photography by Woolf/ Crown Copyright

Richard Palmer of the Express noted this about the color combination:

Richard Palmer/The Express

Richard Palmer/The Express

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A quick update about Prince George’s Kangaroo backpack that sold out within minutes of it being identified: the Save the Koala Shop will be getting more in.  The shop is affiliated with the Australian Koala Foundation, the group’s CEO tells Rebecca English of the Daily Mail that more have been ordered:

CEO Deborah Tabart said while the organisation did not give the young prince the backpack, it would be more than happy to offer him a koala bag as a gift.

‘We sold the last ones (kangaroo bags) this morning – we’ve had to take them off the website but we’ll ordering more today,’ she said.

With the bag stocked at numerous outlets, Ms Tabart said there was no way of knowing how Prince William got it, but she offered him an invitation to become the patron of the organisation on the back of his interest in conservation.

We would love it if George had a koala bag,’ Ms Tabart said.  The CEO also offered to extend the invitation to young George. ‘He could be the patron in waiting,’ Ms Tabart said of the 28-year old conservation orgnaisation.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

  • the post has been amended to correct the error about the Christie’s auction in 1997; originally I said that event was at Sotheby’s; as a commentor pointed out, that was not the case.

 

NEXT EVENT:

  • a reminder that Tuesday is an off day, with the next event taking place at Government House on Wednesday afternoon. That is not a public event, but we will still have some photos. My guesstimate for the start time is between 9-1opm EDT Tuesday night.
  • as an FYI, we have a clock on the right side of the page showing what time it is in New Zealand, hopefully that will help minimize some of the time zone confusion

LINKAGE:

  116 Responses to “It’s Red Catherine Walker & Gina Foster for the Duchess of Cambridge as the Royal Tour Officially Begins UPDATED”

  1. I am obsessed with this site! But don’t worry, I still have a life :) Lets face it, Kate always look incredible but I hate how she MUST bow to Royal demands of having her dress length lowered. I mean, she’s not 90..come on now. And don’t get me started on William. He looks like he could be his own grandfather…seriously, with all that money and all the bespoke places in London, you think granny would be be able to get him a well tailored suit…one that’s not royal blue and baggy. And maybe a new tie – I think the burgundy one is on its last leg. I mean, you’re married to Kate, your highness, start looking like it. Don’t worry though, I still love you both :D

  2. I think the Duchess of Cambridge’;s dress sense is nowhere near as stylish as the late Princess Diana. In fact I think Kate’s dress sense borders on dowdy!!!

  3. I was wondering if anyone knows where i can get a replica of the Queen’s fern pin in the US or sent to the US? I LOVE it as i loved my time in New Zealand.

    thanks!

  4. Flight attendant look could have been avoided if pillbox in black to match her shoes.

  5. I think Kate looks like a flight attendant! Perhaps the pillbox in black to match her shoes would have looked less “uniformy”.

  6. I would love to see this coat paired with boots.

  7. Really love the shade of red and the style of this outfit, nice hat, the boykin is adorable. They are a handsome family.
    The many buttons were a bit of a shock…belong in a marching band. oh well, Kate’s smile is radiant. The flashbacks are interesting, and links. Thank you, admin, for this excellent post.

  8. They looked great, relaxed and smiling, an enviable achievement after a bumpy 20-minute circle around Wellington in the plane waiting for fog to lift so they could land.

    Love Kate’s outfit, but we did have a another airport wardrobe malfunction as she tried to hang on to George, the railing and her hat – her dress was the loser and headed upwards. Not sure why the Duchess doesn’t stick with straighter skirts for these occasions – it has happened several times now. I did feel for George with his little bare legs and no hat – it was (and is still, unfortunately) wet and cold here in New Zealand, which is affecting the turnout to see the royal visitors. Pity they didn’t arrive a week earlier when the weather was autumn-glorious!

    There is a comparison of the red coats wore by Kate and Diana in New Zealand here:
    http://www.today.com/news/duchess-kate-diana-are-mirror-image-new-zealand-photos-2D79492004

    • I’d like to add on little George’s bare legs. I am Turkish. I have a 22-month old and he will not wear his shorts until it is at least 35 degrees outside. That’s how we do it. (I also don’t get why in the states etc. people dress (!) their babies only in their diapers. but that is a topic for another website,sorry :) ).

      I love this blog, and will be here quite frequently in the days to come, thank you for this wonderful work.

      I also loved the outfit of Kate, with the hat and all the button details, it looked iconic. I am very excited about her further choices.

      • Ulku I am in the States and am curious about your comment…do there seem to be many Americans you’ve seen that dress their babies only in diapers? I have a toddler and would certainly not take him out of the house without pants, and he wears them all the time inside too. I was just wondering if you’d seen lots of photos of US babies out and about in just diapers! Other than that I agree with your whole comment and I will be here on WKW every day too for the rest of the tour! I also thought Kate looked stunning in the red coat :)

  9. Catherine is always beautiful but I have to agree with others-I don’t care for this particular ensemble. I’m sorry; to me it is a bit dated looking, and as others have said, the length of the coat, compounded by what appears to be the heaviness of the fabric just reads as matronly to me. If the coat hit just at the knee, I think it would still be elegant but much less frumpy.

    As an unrelated aside, for any other American who has lusted after Kate’s Kiki McDonough citrine drop earrings but has balked at the hefty price tag ($740 at Neiman Marcus I believe), I found a really nice very similar alternative at Helzberg’s jewelry-they have citrine drop earrings priced at roughly $300 in 14k gold:

    http://www.helzberg.com/product/citrine+earrings+1930809.do?sortby=ourPicks&from=Search

    They also have the same earrings in blue topaz priced at an even more affordable $200 on clearance:

    http://www.helzberg.com/product/blue+topaz+earrings+1930830.do?sortby=ourPicks

    I bought the blue topaz earrings; the stones are roughly 14 mm in diameter and are quite beautiful.

    Just a note for anyone interested:)

  10. Kate looks beautiful — Jackie O for the 21st century. Love the red, military style coat, the fitted silhouette, the pillbox hat. No ifs, ands, or buts.

  11. I love the outfit. The coat is stunning, buttons and all, and especially witty because the buttons are silver, and not the traditional gold. It fits her perfectly. On anything but a windy day, it would have been the perfect “entrance” but Kate still kept her composure.

    (I am partial to this style because I own something very close to this coat, made by Ralph Lauren in black cavalry twill. It’s from this collection: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1322742/Lauren-returns-to-his-roots-at-a-glorious-gallop.html I predict we’ll be seeing this style make a comeback.)

    I realize the pillbox hat has caused some comparisons to a flight attendant, but then, I’ve seen some extremely stylish flight attendants through the years. It’s also smart that Kate had on this hat due to the wind. The only false note from the hat is that she was more formally dressed than those she was meeting, but then, that never bothers the queen.

    She’s off to a good start!

  12. Sorry, but I am in the underwhelmed camp. The color is harsh on Kate and in any event more appropriate for an arrival in Ottawa, Canada; the silhouette is matronly and the coat is too long. Most surprisingly, the overused buttons detract from what should be a focal point – the gracious gesture of the fern pin. Funny how Carole Middleton has had more luck w/ Catherine Walker (wedding, christening) than her daughter.

    • Agreed! Sadly, I had been most looking forward to the Queen’s fern pin…hope it gets another outing while they’re in NZ.

  13. It just scares me to see her walking down those stairs in wind and drizzle in such high heels carrying her buttlerball baby. She did fine.

  14. Thank you for the clock. It’s so helpful. I could not figure the time out yesterday. I would grade an essay and then run back to the computer…
    I think the whole family looks absolutely perfect. I must admit, I felt quite sorry for them because of how exhausting that flight must’ve been. I was impressed with all three and their stamina. I do hope all got some rest today.
    I did get a chuckle out of the shoes that the women who greeted them (at the bottom of the stairs at the airport) were wearing. An attempt at imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery!

  15. It looks like Kate’s hat may be modeled after the style, Dianthus featured in The Seed Collection, Spring/Summer ’13. (Perhaps Kate is giving a nod to her mother-in-law).

    http://www.ginafoster.co.uk/collections/ss13-the-seed-collection/products/dianthus

    http://www.ginafoster.co.uk/collections/ss13-the-seed-collection?page=2

  16. Oops! That’s actually Prince Harry in the light blue coat, shown in the image with Diana, Princess of Wales.

  17. I think she looks like an Air Emirates flight attendant. Pillbox hats have never looked good on anyone, up to and including the Queen. If she wants to saluate Diana, which is lovely, there have to be better ways to do it than trying to replicate some of the unfortunate fashions of the 80s. And her hemlines, regardless whatever the Queen thinks or doesn’t think about them, are too long. In our generation, hemlines below the knee make her look like she’s wearing her mother’s coat. I’m sure the pressure to conform is intense, but this is boring.

    • I beg to differ about the hemline, It is feminine and ladylike to wear a hemline at or below the knee. Why does she need to expose more leg??? We have become such a sexualized world what a shame! In OUR generation I am surrounded by many girls between 16-40 who rock the style of a tamed hemline! I think our world could stand to see a young woman with class,exceptional style and grace while at the same time keeping her body from flashing too much flesh! So bravo to Catherine! And I have to again disagree about the hat…I do love it! :)

    • The runways this season have showcased many dresses and skirts with hemlines that fall below the knee. Of course, there is no way to know for certain whether the Duchess’s longer length here was motivated by fashion trends or a desire for modesty (perhaps both?). In any case, I suspect we will see more women opting for these longer hemlines as looks from the runway are adapted and translated into main-stream clothing brands.

  18. Hmm. My first thought when I saw this red ensemble was that I loved it, but I’m developing a rather more nuanced opinion. I always admire interesting coats, and this one certainly qualifies. The design and fit are elegant and soigne, as always, this atelier has done an admirable job. Whoever is designing for CW now, I much prefer the coats the Duchess (and her mother), among others, have worn to anything Catherine Walker herself produced for Diana. Of course, today’s design sensibility is simply superior in general to that of the 80′s.

    However: I commented at length not too long ago about the “uniform” of coat, matching or near-matching dress, and hat that instantly signifies royalty or at least aristocracy. Elsewhere, I’ve called such an outfit simply “princess-y”. As a couple of posters here have already remarked, this outfit fairly screams “royal,” and therein lies the problem. With its double-breasted button effect and the pillbox hat, not to mention the bright red color, the entire ensemble looks rather like an outfit created for the “Princess/First Lady” section of a high-end costume purveyor. If the Duchess had been wearing a sign around her neck emblazoned with the statement, “I Am A Member Of A Royal Family” the message couldn’t have been more blatant.

    My point is that while the Duchess has worn the princess uniform before, the designs and colors have been rather more subtle, and therefore the effect has been considerably more restrained and less stagy. I would have preferred that for her arrival here. For that matter, she could have worn the red CW coat she chose for the Canada trip and that I truly loved. Red is a wonderful color on her, but if she’s going to wear it, I think the impact will be greater if she takes a “less-is-more” attitude to design and styling.

    It probably goes without saying that the hat contributes hugely to my concerns about this outfit. The pillbox looked fabulous back there in the early 60′s, but its effect here in 2014 is, again, simply rather costume-y.

    I doubt the length of the coat represents anything particularly significant. She’s worn relatively long coats before, and the dress underneath is clearly fairly short.

    • I don’t think there’s any problem with her outfits being “princess-y” and screaming “royal”.
      She is the future Queen of England.

    • I’m in complete agreement with you, Lili. This ensemble (which I like it more the more I see it, especially the ‘stressed aluminium’ buttons) is more than “princess-y”, it is definitely REGAL and militaristic, and entirely appropriate for her arrival at Wellington and to receive the Powhiri – the formal welcome by the Maories. The colour of her coat (bright red) was spot on, as significant as wearing the Queen’s Fern brooch. – Red in Maori culture is the highest status colour. It represents mana (high status) and signifies prestige & authority. I’m sure they appreciated it.
      Kudos to the Duchess, I’m looking forward to the rest of the tour. George is soooo cute. Beautiful family!

      • Sorry, I meant to write at the beginning “I don’t completely agree…”
        Kate is a queen-in-waiting and now mother of a future king, so the very regal tone of this outfit is not presumptuous or gimmicky but entirely appropriate for meeting the Maories.

    • I’d agree that the pillbox hat was a bit out of keeping with the coat. I think that style of hat was better suited to the plain collarless Chanel-style jackets favoured by Jackie O.

  19. Where does it show that the Le Pliage totes are on sale? I’m looking at the Nordstrom website, and both bags are showing at full price.

    • I was online shopping on Saturday and happened to notice that they were on sale. But yes, they are now full price. Perhaps it was just a weekend special?

      • Shucks! I’ve been wanting one for ages, but told myself I have to wait until there’s a decent sale…guess I’ll catch it next time round!

  20. This is in response to the two posters below who have said Kate should wear pants. The Queen will not allow the ladies in her family to wear pants to an engagement unless it is very clearly sporting related. It will not happen. In this case, the red coat clearly has weights in the hem; you can see them in the photos. The coat is cut much longer than her usual style. Catherine is not being an “exhibitionist”. So we can see a few inches above her knee for the blink of an eye…what is this 1814?

    Catherine is obviously struggling with the baby, her hat, the skirt, the steps. But she puts on a brave gave and gets the job done. Good for her.

    I like the coat a lot; I dislike the hat and the flat pulled back hair do. The baby is a cutie!

    BTW, just because Diana also wore a red coat does not mean she is “channeling Diana”. If Catherine starts wearing floral dresses with lace collars…or Chanel suits….then yes, but otherwise it’s just a color.

    • I have to agree that she is not channeling Diana. If Diana had worn her red coat and hat on a trip Down Under, then I’d say that perhaps the Duchess intended to make a reference to her. However, Diana’s outfit was worn in the UK. I find repeated attempts to compare the wardrobes of the two women rather tedious, though it can be interesting (if often cringe-inducing) to be reminded of how awful 1980′s fashion was.

    • I have to point out that trousers are not prohibited for non-sports-related official engagements, and royal women have worn them. The Queen does not have a rule about this. The fashion-conscious Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward’s wife, has been known to wear trouser outfits for official events.

      • After I posted this I remembered a photo of Diana in the Middle East (?) wearing a pants outfit, and a photo or two of Sophie in pants. But as a rule the women in the family wear dresses/skirts to official events. I know I read that it is at HM’s direction; I am looking for the source.

        • There is no “source,” if you’re going for online newspapers and magazines. They do not have a pipeline to private directives from the Queen to her relatives, because such discussions are not released to the media. Ergo, the media merely make things up, because they have nothing better to offer. Don’t rely on them.

          The best “sources” are actual photographs. See below:

          http://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/2013092314691/sophie-wessex-arrival-in-doha/

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2158838/Prince-Edward-Gibraltar-visit-Sophie-Rhys-Jones-wears-extra-wide-leg-white-trousers.html

          http://www.reiss.com/us/explore/blog/duchess-cambridge-wears-reiss/

          http://www.newmyroyals.com/2013/03/the-earl-and-countess-of-wessex-visit.html

          • I’m not new to royal watching, so no need to inform me about the media and so forth. It sounds patronizing.

            The photos of Sophie remind me of the ones of Diana in the Middle East when she wore “trousers”.

            Here’s a question for you: at official engagements other than the Middle East and other than a sporting or children’s type of event, have you seen a female member of the Royal Family wear pants?

            We have photos of Kate in jeans, but she is either at a sporting type of event or doing her Girl Scout work or not at an official engagement. I have never seen her in the type of pants American women might wear on a day to day basis.

            Diana wore pants suits like above but not during her marriage that I know of.

            HM wears jodhpurs for riding, but has never appeared at an official function in trousers.

          • Thanks for looking out all those trouser-wearing links. I loved those pants Sophie wore in Qatar when I first saw them, it’s nice to get a refresh. I find it hard to believe the Queen is in a position to start issuing edicts, this is the 21st century not the 19th, on top of which she is getting older, stepping back more. Charles might be becoming more prominent but I can’t see him having much luck over-ruling either of his very independent offspring or their chosen partners.

          • Donna, one of the photos I posted was of the Duchess wearing pants, with a Reiss jacket, on an official visit to the Shooting Star Hospice.

          • Lili, at the risk of being argumentative, in that photo she is wearing jeans. To a children’s charity. I’ve already said that we have numerous photos of Catherine wearing jeans on different occasions, all of which are private or related to children or sports. If there is a more formal event to which she has worn actual trousers, such as other posters have suggested she wear, I will stand corrected. But I have no knowledge of it at this point.

          • Donna, you keep changing your terms of reference. First you said that royal woman were not allowed (supposedly by the Queen) to wear trousers/pants to any engagement that was non-sports-related. Then, you claimed that the Duchess has never worn trousers/pants at any event that didn’t involve sports or some private event involving children, such as her voluntary work with scouting. However, the picture I posted did not involve sports or scouting. This was an official engagement at a hospice, not a sporting event, not a scouting event, and not a private event.

            Her pants were cords.

            I’m sorry, but you claimed that the Queen had a “rule” against pants/trousers at non-sports-related official engagements. That is simply not true.

          • Actually, you don’t know if its true or not. There very clearly exists protocol for what women of the family should and should not wear when working a more official type of engagement that is not outdoorsy/sporty. Witness Catherine today in heels and a dress for a play date as an example. If a protocol did not exist, Princess Anne would show up in trousers as it is generally known that she prefers them. But there is a protocol for things regarding hose, hats, heels, jewelry and so forth. I have read in multiple sources that trousers are “frowned upon”. If you don’t believe it that is fine but to totally disregard it in the face of an obvious bias towards skirts and dresses among ALL the women of the family is a bit silly.
            If Harry should marry Cressida, and she stops wearing trousers to society events, then perhaps we can assume that there is a regulation against trousers. Until then, I’ll accept Ashley Olivia’s very reasonable assessment.

      • Well, it has been very interesting reading the back and forth on this topic, and my thanks to both of you for contributing to such a heated debate. However, I do wonder if we are sort of missing the boat here. As Lili pointed out, HM’s directives are not released to the press, so we would not know of them except through unofficial channels. Yet this does not rule out the possibility that such a directive exists, just that there is no way for us to know for sure.

        What is obvious is that Catherine, like most female members of the Royal family, is not keen on trousers. Whether this is the result of personal preference or some rule regarding dress code will remain speculation on our part. I do find it pertinent that Catherine was never pictured in trousers (at least not to my knowledge) prior to her engagement either. This would seem to indicate that she does not like trousers, though clearly she has an affinity for jeans on her more casual days.

        There are certainly other motivations to consider as well. While many beautiful pant suits exist, generally they are considered less formal attire for women than dresses and skirts. Although I hope we are moving past the time when a woman wearing a pant suit would be considered a sign of disrespect to her host, in Catherine’s case it is most likely better to be safe than sorry. (I’ve read many debates about skirt suits versus pant suits in the law profession, so apparently a stigma against women in trousers does, unfortunately, still exist in some arenas.) I also imagine that skirts and dresses are more in line with the public’s perception of “princess attire.” Remember when the Duchess visited a children’s school on an informal visit in jeans and they were disappointed that she didn’t “look” like a princess?

        I have to say that I’m thankful that my personal and professional life is much easier to navigate in terms of appropriate attire. I love my skirts and dresses, but I wear trousers when it is rainy and cold. And I would never think to wear anything but my most comfortable jeans to endure the drudgery of a long flight!

        • AshleyOlivia, I realize that you are attempting to offer to a compromise here, and I appreciate it.

          However, I do not appreciate the many claims that the Queen has decreed this or that, claims that unfortunately appear on sites like this with depressing regularity.

          I think we need to stop claiming, on the basis of tabloid newspaper claims, that the Queen has said anything at all. Most people in the world of British journalism, for example, know that the Daily Mail, in particular (perhaps especially), is not regarded as the fount of knowledge regarding the royals. Perhaps we would all be better off if we stayed away from such publications and their dubious claims.

          For Americans: the Daily Mail posts quite nice photographs, but its “articles,” if they can be called that, and its claims are regularly ridiculous and ridiculed in the UK itself. It’s best if we simply acknowledge that and move on.

          • HI Lili, nice to see you out and about again, I hope you won’t mind my confessing to having come to look for you! As one of the longest-serving and best-informed contributors to the site I’m guilty of seeing your verdict as pretty much the highest authority.

            I’d been taking a quiet sabbatical as forecast, fearing for the Duchess’s skirts, which have duly obliged, and I’ve survived, so I hope I can come back a little, though I’ve not been too well of late — that’s just an explanation, by the way, not a request for any sympathy, in case I don’t make it on every post at such a busy time. It does mean I still rely on opinions such as yours!!

            I have little doubt that the claims made about what newspapers say or don’t say will continue to frustrate those like yourself with an academic background where your work must be accurately and reliably sourced as a matter of routine.

            So may I make a small plea on my own behalf that I too know about the need for reliable sources and fewer wild claims through my own years in journalism, some of them on Fleet Street. It’s from that experience, and that of friends and former colleagues still working at the coal face, that I have respect for the Daily Mail in particular, as I’ve seen it being referred to in the most august of newsrooms with my own eyes.

            So when the Mail makes these claims, I simply take them with slightly less of a pinch of salt than yourself, maybe. I know that someone in the position of the DM’s royal reporter would have a known source, named to the section editor, but not named in the article, which would back up what was being said, even if it was only reported speech from and aide-to-an-aide for instance.

            It would undoubtedly be very much less of a “source” than would pass muster in your line of work, but it would be enough to make the story “stand up” as the saying goes in news circles. But it would very likely be a source that every so often came up with the goods, or, alternatively, allowed a Mail photographer a better angle from which to take all those fabulous photos.

            I also think it speaks volumes that Susan is happy to use DM claims as the basis for discussion, she too has that much respect for them, also underlined by the frequent links to their extensive royal coverage.

            I would however heartily agree with your opinion of many of the other tabloid stories which are clearly a great load of tosh served up to whet the appetite for ever more royal coverage when in fact there is rarely much of any real news value to offer.

            So what I’m getting round to in a very long-winded way, as I’m not in a fit state to edit this into much sense, is — whatever did you think of the Tory Burch dress?? As I’ve been dying to know!

            Hope you’re keeping well and we meet up again sometime in the not too distant. And please accept fond regards!

    • Hmmm. I think the idea that the Queen could issue such dress codes is a bit quaint, to be honest. She has no rule of authority, we’re not talking monarchs with dungeons and hired armies at their back here.

      I think royals usually have to look “dressy” to compliment their hosts, but that in no way excludes trouser suits, they’re worn by other European royals and by women as prominent as Angela Merkel and Hilary Clinton. I suspect if we ever saw the likes of Cressida Bonas join the firm all sorts of so-called dress codes would fly out the window — and I for one would have no problem with that. She has already appeared in outfits of a style never adopted by the more conservative Kate even at her most casual.

      I notice also that Susan has picked out one or two outfits by designers — one in the post above — using slimline pants which would suit Kate’s usual silhouette very well. She has plenty of time to experiment yet.

  21. The baby is starting to look like Russell Crowe.

  22. My very first thought was Jackie Kennedy on the first Canadian trip with JFK. She wore a red pillbox hat and suit. Very similar look. I really liked it.

  23. I just love this outfit. It’s so flattering on the Duchess and, I think, would be flattering on a lot of people. Red is a good color on her and I love the buttons. And George is so cute. Love his little shoes. George looks like a happy baby, even after that long, long flight.

    Keep up the good work. The next three weeks are going to be fun.

    • I totally agree with your post. Also finally, they have started to put weights in the hem of the Duchess’s dresses. I felt for her on the first tour having to battle the wind and her hemline. Love the little Prince—such a cutie and soooooooooo adorable. Kate looked regal from head to toe!

      • You must not have seen the photos of her skirt flying up as the exited the airplane. No weights, unfortunately.

        • Her skirts were weighted. The weights could easily be seen in the hem of her dress. I have no doubt that she’s been weighting her clothes for years now. It’s beyond credibility that she has not been doing so.

          Unfortunately, no weights are proof against high winds and stiff breezes, as other royals (the Queen and Princess Anne, among them) have learned. The only solution — and a number of commentators have made the point — is to avoid full skirts in any situation that might result in a “blow-up”. That means sheath-style dresses on airport tarmacs, but also holding slim-cut skirts and dresses in reserve, just in case.

  24. Love the styles on the whole family! They look incredible and very regal!

  25. I love this look; I think it’s beautiful and classic. I love the button detailing on the cuffs as well. That color really is a nice backdrop to that gorgeous brooch. And Prince George! I just want to squish his little cheeks!

  26. I’m going to be the voice of dissent here. The only thing I liked about this ensemble was the brooch. I do understand why she chose the pieces she did, so she could evoke the memory of Diana. But nothing about it was right, due to their deplaning on the runway. The coat wasn’t heavy enough or long enough to fight the wind, and the skirt was also caught in the wind.Her hair was all over her face and you can tell she’s trying to control the hair, the skirt and hold George.

    I wish she, or someone on her team, would realize that if they insist on doing these events outside on runways, which are *always* so windy, she should be wearing items better suited to the conditions. Especially after the incidents she’s had previously. I’m not going to go all Daily Mail here and insist she’s embarrassing the monarchy or anything, but I think she would have been much more at ease in a different outfit. I’m thinking something like skinny black cigarette pants with heels and a nice blouse and blazer with her hair pulled back into an updo that could stand up against the wind.

    And I really do not like the hat. It looks like a giant red doughnut plopped on her head.

    • To me it looked like no hairstyle could withstand that type of wind unless you used an entire can of industrial strength Aqua Net. Her skirt flew up a little, but it was hardly obscene. She obviously planned to wear this outfit upon disembarking and we all know weather is very unpredictable. I just don’t see it as a big deal.

    • Agree totally! She looked cute but didn’t like the hat, and I kept thinking she’d drop the baby.

    • I’m going to be the 2nd dissenter to join Kat in not being fond of this look! Pretty color for her skin tone, and I laud her always for looking confident, poised and accessible in a crowd, and there is no better accessory than lovely baby boy in her arms, but…..

      the fitted, tailored, matchy-matchy red hat, red dress, red military-esque jacket all read “flight attendant” very strongly to me, which is not helped by her coming down the steps of a plane in several of these pics!

      and the 60′s era pillbox hat only exaggerates this, because that was very much the era where nearly all airlines’ flight attendants had these formal, faux-military-yet-ultra-feminine style uniforms, compared to present, where only a few still do.

      I have always admired her beautiful chestnut curls (and agree with not liking the lightening of these that someone else mentioned below, by the way and also miss the prior stylist’s touch, all of which has been discussed before), but…if she’s going to wear long, cascading, glamour-girl curls well past her shoulders, then she is going to have to step up the sophistication level of her outfits to kill the “flight attendant effect”.

      My position on this outfit would be totally different if she had had instead paired it with a sophisticated updo anchored by a smaller, more modern hat.

      • The baby was a good accessory? Do you really think — I may be a big dissenter here but I didn’t think it was a good idea to try holding him while exiting the plane. It was too contrived for a start, she would have been getting her outfit ready beforehand and only been handed him at the last moment, on top of which she is being followed out by five other staff members.

        The baby spoils the effect of her outfit which she then can’t manage in that fierce wind and he also makes it near impossible to carry out the simple function of shaking hands when she finally makes it to terra firma. Babies don’t want to be part of international diplomatic proceedings, they want to be taken into the dry and warm asap and on to the next furry toy and/or feed!

        • For clarity: I in no way mean to “objectify” the baby as an actual “accessory” — just meant it as a comment of how sweet he looked in her arms. I am not sure that was part of what your remark was addressing, but I want to make it very clear to all that I didn’t intend anything pejorative in this respect.

          Regarding the choice of carrying him, instead of managing her skirt and coat hems with both hands, I am giving her credit for creating the best photo opportunity possible, the pics that people really wanted to see — the mother-and-child-in-arms pics, not mother-as-fashion-plate and baby-in-nanny’s-arms-following-her pics, as they arrive for little George’s first official visit as a royal ambassador overseas.

          I also have been critical of the unmanaged, and oft-repeated, windblown hair and skirt looks in the past for official arrivals/events, so I am very supportive of the fact that this look shows as if she is trying to make strides in this department (though not perfected it entirely yet).

          The length of the jacket, what appears to be weights in hems helping to hold it down, and hair styled back and off of her face to restrict of the amount of it obscuring her face in a wind gale all make clear that she is working on this carefully. That is why I don’t want to critique her overly here, it is likely the case that this is still an in-progress effort.

          I think the world, and those present to greet her, were charmed by her personally introducing her child to them, and if the trade-off is wriggling baby distracting from a perfect handshake moment, that was probably fine by them and most of those watching on world stage.

          I doubt that a few minutes photo opp will have any material or lasting effect on his well-being — he was taken away quickly enough for minders to take over after the initial meet-and-greet moments.

          • Thank you for such a thoughtful and enlightening reply. I think you’re spot on with pointing out how Kate is indeed learning and adapting all the time. It must be like living in an emotional whirlwind, never mind the climate in Wellington, as she copes with marriage, palaces, staff, briefings about those she is to meet, plus her beautiful baby. I’m more than willing to agree, she’s definitely making progress!

            I’m sorry if I picked up on the use of the word “accessory” unduly, I didn’t think you were doing anything other than compliment the youngest royal!

        • “The baby spoils the effect of the outfit?” Am I the only one who finds this comment troubling? The baby is far more important than the outfit, and any mother worth a darn would know this and care more about her child than the clothes.
          And what would you have Catherine do? If she had the nanny or William hold George, then critics would say she cared more about her clothes and couldn’t even hold her own child. She cannot escape criticism no matter what she does.

          • Barney: thank you for the complimentary reply and clarification — it was gracious and appreciated. “Whirlwind” indeed, literally and metaphorically!

            Donna: I don’t think Barney meant it in the way you take the “baby spoils the effect” comment — though I agree with you very much re the “can’t win for losing” criticism Kate gets no matter which way she steps.

            I think Barney just meant it wasn’t as dignified and “statesmanlike” an effect as one might expect from a visiting royal family member/political figure, with a kicking baby to maneuver, not that the baby should have been cast aside in favor of a more pristine effect of her outfit.

            Barney? Am I on the mark here?

          • Thanks for your comments everyone! Perhaps my wording was a mite clumsy. In fact I think baby is so much more important than mum’s outfit that’s why he should have the luxury of his own private carrier/nanny while mum gets on with the boring stuff. He was sure kicking hard to get away at the end there!

            I would certainly agree with the “can’t win” verdict. We see Kate for brief moments as a rule and I know when I keep going back to the same images I start seeing them in more critical terms. Also, I love and appreciate the discussions here and am very pleased to have met you both and look forward to meeting up again in the near future!

  27. I was a bit unsure about this outfit at first glance, but after perusing the up-close photos I’m smitten. I simply love the construction of this coat and all of the details: those shiny silver buttons are unexpected, but in a pleasing, interesting manner. Silver is not a color I would normally pair with rich red, but somehow these buttons work, particularly the slightly distressed coloring (I’m not sure how exactly to term the silver of these buttons… slightly oxidized?). I also admire the fit. You can really see how lengthy the Duchess’s torso is in this coat, and the effect is very regal.

    It strikes me that this is an outfit that really appears “royal,” if that makes any sense. We’ve discussed before how much credence should be given, if any, to the stories circulating about the Queen’s supposed notes on the Duchess’s future wardrobe; yet this outfit does appear in line with those alleged notes: a designer label, longer hemline, and definite royal overtones. Of course, we will have to see what she wears for the rest of the tour to determine if there is any noticeable difference between her wardrobe for this tour as opposed to previous tours. (However, I’m certainly not suggesting that this look is a departure from Catherine’s usual aesthetic. As the post pointed out, Catherine was worn this label before. But, it did give me pause, primarily because I immediately thought ROYAL when viewing the outfit.)

    I have to admit I’m not as taken with the hat as I am with the coat. I’m not keen on 60s fashion, and the pillbox hat is so iconic to Jackie O. However, the hat itself does look lovely on Catherine, particularly in contrast to the deep brown of her hair. I’m also not so sure about the dark brown shoes and clutch. I am tempted to say that a better pairing would have been some silver-esque accessories, to play up the color of the buttons.

    • I have to admit I was also puzzled as to how someone had worked out a style of silver button that would look ok on so much red. Not so sure that pale shoes would have worked. It certainly all looked very royal and it’s hard to know if the longer hemline is simply in keeping with recent runway trends.

  28. It begins. This is a lovely coat, elegant and flattering, and boasts Kate’s favourite double-breasted style, and I like the trumpet-shaping on the sleeves echoing the flare of the coat. The colour looks well on her, but I find the coat a shade too long, the earlier red Walker from Canada was a smarter length. Of course, the extra this time may have played a part in preserving some of the Duchess’s modesty.

    The overall look is very formal and royal, and came as a surprise to me, I didn’t expect a hat as well. I think the pillbox style is adorable, and it’s great to see Kate’s hair back from her face. I thought the pretty brooch was a bit lost among all those buttons, but even so it should all look very smart.

    However the combined efforts of both the wind and the decision to carry the baby have conspired to take their toll. Her hair is pulled out from under her hat, and George looks incongruous dangling over his mother’s designer tailoring. That said, it’s the baby’s hanging leg which helps preserve another shred of Kate’s modesty — this exhibitionist royal still refuses to wear a petticoat.

    I imagine there were weights in the skirt, plus there was the added weight of the coat, but the Duchess is never going to learn her lesson about airport runways and wind until she learns to disembark in a sheath dress or fitted skirt. Or, of course, tailored pants.

    • If you look back to pictures from their US/Canada tour, she disembarked in a navy, sheath dress and you’re correct – she had no issues with the dress blowing in the wind. But, in their southeast tour she disembarked in the yellow, eyelet dress with a fuller skirt an had no issues; I really think it just depends on the weather. However, my motto is “Better safe than sorry” – so wear the sheath!! She looks amazing in the sheath-style so why not?!

      Thanks for a great post Susan! I’m so excited about the next 3 weeks I can hardly stand it!!

    • One of the links to an article was about the weighting of the Queen’s dresses and coats because she’s never had the Marilyn Moment anywhere, apparently. Not even way back when skirts were very full. Her clothes have always been weighted with curtain weights (although the article showed a photo of what looked like curtain rings rather than the lead pennyweights). On finer fabric there are tiny lead chains which can be put in the hems.

      It occurred to me, especially when I saw Kate’s mischievous grin, that she might actually not mind showing more leg than would normally be thought acceptable for a royal :)
      I mean, after the yellow dress in Canada billowing out, if she’d been really embarrassed or thought it totally unacceptable, she and/or William could have said to someone that it must NEVER happen again. Clearly they didn’t do that. So presumably it’s no big deal?

      • I’d like to point out that the Queen has had her moments where her dresses have risen above to show her underthings. I had a link on an earlier post but can’t find it right now. I’d also like to add that the press these days do not protect the image like they use to do for the Queen and her sister. Catching a millisecond of up sweep is now a sport amongst paps and others like the Daily Mail. They use these pictures to garner clicks on their website and the most scandalous the better. Diana also had moments. She walked down stairs to winds, too, but she wasn’t carrying a baby so she could use her hands to tighten her skirt. She had pics taken of her bare breasted on a balcony that were not published because a friend purchased them and the negatives. Unfortunately, in this age of the internet, no one would dream of selling pictures as we’ve seen with the pics taken of poor Catherine. Even Sophie has a bare-breast photo of her on the internet. It’s quite disturbing to think we live in such a world (for this and many more worst things that I don’t need to list).

        Finally, I think a wide skirt while carrying a baby is better than a narrow one which would not allow flexibility of movement. I’m not sure that William shouldn’t have been holding the baby to give him over to Catherine at the bottom of the stairs to shake hands. That would have made sense to me but I won’t criticize as they have their reasons for doing things and I’m not privy to them, obviously.

        I think this blog is nice but when the comments move from talking about fashion to talking about the people in a critical way, such as you do, Barney (she is not an exhibitionist!) , it makes me uncomfortable. I would hate this site to become another place like the awful Daily Mail.

        • Thanks for your comments. I’ve seen one or two pictures of the Queen’s skirt flying up just as Kate’s did, but I think the difference is that dear old Queenie is well supplied with sensible underthings, which in Kate’s case she clearly lacks. Likewise, Diana’s skirts flew up once or twice, but we were then treated to layers of beautiful lace. A well-brought-up girl, she knew about petticoats.

          I agree with you that the tone of discussion on this site is preferable to many others, but the point I was making, and have been surprised to see being taken up by one or two of you, is that she’s not wearing things very well when they cause her this sort of trouble.

          I like your point about extra movement available in a flared shape, but then she only needed to hand baby over to the full-time nanny for a few moments to make her descent and shake hands gracefully. And in this case I simply felt the choice of attire affected her ability to do that.

    • i do agree with you about there being an exhibitionist streak. it is the second time in the airport, but there has been numerous occurrences where the dress/skirt was too billowy and a sudden gust of wind indecently exposed her. a google image search on ‘kate middleton dress malfunction’ will show a few.

      however on this particular airport landing, i think she actually tried to prevent said malfunction by having a longer length and slightly weightier coat. alas, the nz wind was no match. at least the tights are dark here.

      • Thanks Lena — yes, it’s the repetition of this one hazard that niggles with me. Like you, I’m sure she tried to deal with it this time and had the bitter experience of finding herself still caught out! C’est la vie.

  29. Absolutely stunning coat with the wonderful pillbox hat and the Queen’s platinum feather pin!

    Love the fire-engine red color, the fitted cut, the silver buttons, the flared sleeves, all of it!

    Kate looks beautiful and very classy/elegant and alluring all at the same time:)

    Looks like Baby George has her eyebrow shape and low lids, and William’s hair! With those two small teeth showing, I bet he will be teething during their tour. Poor little one, royal or not, it still hurts!

  30. Wonderful posts, Susan! Thanks for following the tour so closely and keeping us updated.

    I didn’t love this look, but (!) I love the longer hemline and the color. Obviously, this is George’s tour, and his parents are along for the fun, right?

    Has anyone else noticed she highlighted her hair again? I pine for the dark chocolate locks of the Canadian tour. Go back to your roots, Kate! ;)

  31. Love this ensemble. The buttons are fabulous.

    Correction: the Diana dresses auction was Christie’s, not Sotheby’s.

  32. The Duchess looks stunning in this gorgeous, vibrant Catherine Walker coat (coat dress?). I have never been a fan of pillbox hats so that is the only reason I don’t like that part of the outfit as much, but Catherine looks so beautiful and she pulls it off. It’s so exciting to see George! He is an absolute doll and he really is a perfect mix of Catherine and William, but I think he favors William a bit more. I am so excited about following this tour. Thank you as always for your quick and informative post. I especially loved learning more about the designer, Catherine Walker. I hate to hear that she passed recently, but I am glad her brand continues as it is very elegant and classy. I hope the Cambridge family will get some much needed rest before they begin making appearances again on Wednesday.

    p.s. Thank you for the clock showing NZ time! I am from the U.S., and was just going to give up even trying to figure out the difference haha!

  33. The Duchess has an amazing coat collection. This outfit is somewhat unexpected but all in good ways. She looks incredible in red, one of my favorite colors on her of all time.

  34. I love the color of the coat, but am I the only one who thinks that it’s too long? The dress underneath seems to be slightly shorter, so at least we know she hasn’t lengthened all of her hems. I think the length of the coat combined with the style and placement of the hat makes her look much, much older than her 32 years. Why dress like a 50-year old? The brooch, too, while symbolic, just doesn’t seem her style and also doesn’t “fit” on that coat. Gorgeous color, dowdy presentation.

    Disappointed. I hope it gets better from here.

  35. Can I just point out that it was a tour of Canada, their first official royal tour. It was not a tour of North America. They spent 10 days in Canada with a one day side trip to California for a business function.

    • Actually it is called the North America tour since Canada and the USA are both North America. They may have spent more time in Canada, but the Royals spent 2 1/2 days in Los Angeles. They were here for several events including the BAFTA function, Skid Row, a polo match and a convention on the first day. It was for more than one business function. Thus the tour was called the North America tour, that is correct.

      • It was their first tour of Canada followed by a visit to the US :)
        The first part was as to a Commonwealth country, the second part described as promoting trade.

  36. In the photos posted on the Daily Mail, it looks like Kate has a new band in front of her sapphire. You can see it clearly in the photos in which she’s holding that beautiful baby!

  37. Just tried replying to the post which says Kate looks like Jackie-O – because I’ve had an antsy morning knowing Kate reminded me of someone but couldn’t place who. However, my post was refused saying that I’d already posted it and it was a duplicate!? Computers, don’t you just love ‘em?

    Kate as always looks great, even after a mammoth flight. Her sparkly, infectious grin was in evidence when talking to the schoolkids.

    Here’s to a tremendously interesting tour. Thanks for the great coverage. Fantastic stuff!

  38. Hi Susan,

    It looks like Gina Foster’s Seaford hat in a custom color. :-)

  39. i agree with anna marie. and the clock is a smashing idea (i am in between, 5 hrs behind nz and 6 ahead of you, i am going to be time boggled).

  40. So glad to finally get things started! This one is a disappointment for me, as I just personally don’t care for the modified double breasted style coat. Kate looks beautiful, though, the color looks great on her, and the quality of the outfit is obvious. So, I will be looking forward to Wednesday :)

    Thank you for the outstanding coverage. Mostly, it is wonderful to see so many pictures of an obviously happy family.

  41. Kate is off to a great start. I love to see her wearing red. Prince George is adorable!

  42. I’ve been waiting and waiting for this look from Kate and my patience finally paid off! The ensemble is stunning and striking At long last, she’s channeling the timeless fashion of William’s mum in a complete head-to-toe matching ensemble. Classic Diana. I hope this is a sign of things to come. This ensemble is a winner!

  43. Despote the ugly weather, the tour is starded in a great way! I love the outfits of the three, the’re really well-mixed. Kate si always stunning, I like the color and the line, elegant and pretty. George so cute!!! Can’t wait for other pictures..

  44. I think all three look great! Prince George is really cute. To me he has a strong resemblance to his grandfather prince Charles when he was a toddler.

  45. I absolutely love this. She looks beautiful and regal — and the hemline length is very nice, too!! The hat is lovely.

  46. Great outfit. The pillbox hat is so Jackie-O and the longer hemline makes the overall look very elegant. Overall a superb look.

    • Thank you! Thank you! I’ve been fidgety all morning because Kate so reminded me of someone…and it was Jackie Onassis! I’ll be able to settle to my work this afternoon now.

  47. Hey when I first saw Katherine, I thought her outfit was very “Diana” inspired of her trip here in 1993. I am so glad there are here but we have had wonderful weather and now it is crap!!!!

    George is just a corker kid! And William, we just love him!

    From Jo in Wellington New Zealand.

  48. Catherine looks gorgeous in her 60′s style! I love her red outfit and hat. I think George is adorable and looks like a middleton more than the windsors. He is so cute I love seeing his face. He will be a big boy!! I am very excited for this tour.

  49. Incredible coverage! You have surpassed yourself. Thank you!!

    • I just wanted to echo Anna Marie – it is only a day into the tour and your coverage has been BEYOND fantastic. WKW is without a doubt the place to be for the next three weeks. I admire your work so much and really enjoy the tone of this site, such a refreshing change from many other comment sections. And I end up learning so much from your posts, as well — you manage to sprinkle in just enough historical/cultural info without it overwhelming the topic at hand. So, my deepest thanks to you!

      Re: the outfit, I wasn’t crazy about it at first glance but it has grown on me. The dreary weather was an unfortunate start to their trip, but truth be told I think the gray atmosphere made the red coat ‘pop’ even more against the the gloomy backdrop than if it had been sunny. I loved the silver (brushed nickel?) buttons and it was just too cute watching her wrangle a squirmy little Prince George! ONLY Kate could step off a brutally long plane ride looking that good AND manage walking down slippery stairs, in the wind, while carrying a baby in one arm, holding her dress down with the other, and make it look effortless while keeping a smile on her face the entire time. There is nothing she can’t do well! She must make William so proud.

      PS in reply to those who believe she has an “exhibitionist” streak, I disagree, because I don’t think she would ever purposely do anything that could possibly embarrass her husband or his grandmother. I too wondered why the weights in her skirt didn’t work a bit better (maybe they were just no match for that insane wind) but I truly don’t think she would ever want it to happen intentionally. JMO! :)

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