Jun 142014

It was another magnificent display of tradition and pageantry at this year’s Trooping the Colour ceremony in London.

HQ London - The Army In London

HQ London – The Army In London

Although the Queen’s birthday was April 21st, this is the official commemoration of the sovereign’s birthday.

HQ London - The Army in London

HQ London – The Army in London

It is an amazing event to watch on television, I can only imagine what it’s like in person.  I do know a few WKWers were planning on being there, perhaps they can share their impressions with us. Some history on the event from The Daily Mirror’s live blog:

Trooping the Colour originated from traditional preparations for battle.

Colours, or flags, were carried, or “trooped”, down the rank so that it could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.

HQ London - The Army in London

HQ London – The Army in London

More background on the day’s events from The Army in London:

There were more than 200 horses on parade, and more than 400 musicians from all the Household Division Bands & Corps of Drums marched and played as one. The famous Drum Horses of the Mounted Bands with their immaculately waxed moustaches were also on parade.

HQ London - The Army in London Ministry of Defence ©Crown Copyright

HQ London – The Army in London Ministry of Defence ©Crown Copyright

All the Soldiers paraded in the traditional ceremonial uniforms of the Household Cavalry, Royal Horse Artillery, and Foot Guards. Many more were working behind the scenes to ensure this, the most important parade of the year, went smoothly.

The Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge.

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

You can see the Queen at the bottom of the photo on the viewing stand. Back to HQ London – The Army in London:

The Sovereign’s Escort, consisting of troops of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Mounted Bands accompanied Her Majesty and arrived on the parade at 11am.

Her Majesty inspected the Guards on parade, the Massed Bands marched across the parade square in slow and quick time, and then the Colour was “trooped” through the ranks.

HQ London District - The Army in London/Crown Copyright

HQ London District – The Army in London/Ministry of Defence/©Crown Copyright

HM has taken part in the ceremony every year since 1947, when she was Princess Elizabeth. (There was a strike one year and the event wasn’t held.)

HQ London - The Army in London

HQ London – The Army in London/Ministry of Defence/©Crown Copyright/

ITV News shows Prince Charles, Prince William and the Princess Royal.

ITV News

ITV News

The Queen was in a powder blue silk coat and dress, and matching hat, all made by Angela Kelly.

HQ London – The Army in London/Ministry of Defence/©Crown Copyright

After activities at Horse Guards Parade it was time to head for Buckingham Palace balcony to enjoy the RAF flypast.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

This photo comes via the Royal Air Force.

Royal Air Force - Ministry of Defence ©Crown Copyright

Royal Air Force – Ministry of Defence ©Crown Copyright

Another dramatic sight.

Royal Air Force ©Crown Copyright

Royal Air Force ©Crown Copyright

The youngest of the senior royals looked like they very much enjoyed the flyby.

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

This one begs a caption contest: the Prince appears to be speaking into his wrist like a PPO/Secret Service employee.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

In addition to the Queen and Prince Philip, others viewing the flyby included: the Princess Royal; Sir Timothy Laurence; the Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex; Princess Eugenie; the Duke of York; Lady Helen Taylor & her 9-year-old daughter, Estella.

HQ London - The Army in London Ministry of Defence ©Crown Copyright

HQ London – The Army in London Ministry of Defence ©Crown Copyright

Moving to the fashion information, the Duchess was in a new suit.

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris Images

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris Images

The Palace did not issue the usual release with information about the Duchess’s apparel. They did share what the Queen was wearing as noted above; I believe they also released details on the Duchess of Cornwall’s ensemble as well, but for the life of me, I can’t locate that information.

At any rate, today’s suit jacket was reminiscent of a piece worn back in 2011 when Kate and William visited Darwen Academy, a navy Amanda Wakeley jacket and skirt. Below left we show the Wakeley jacket; in the center is today’s jacket; on the right, a discovery made by Carly from Kate Middleton Style blog: a past-season piece by Alexander McQueen.

Splash News/Polaris Images/Alexander McQueen

Splash News/Polaris Images/Alexander McQueen

Kate’s jacket certainly looks most similar to the McQueen ‘silk cotton jacquard Peplum jacket‘ Carly found at Browns. The Duchess had the garment’s more dramatic elements altered, removing the front cutout portion of the peplum and entirely eliminating the pleated back. It’s difficult to see if Kate is wearing a camisole, or if she has a dress on beneath the jacket, it is clear her garment has a more modest front opening, with the hook/eye closures coming up higher than on the original piece.



More details from the product description at Browns:

  • Snow white fauna silk-cotton jacquard jacket with exaggerated peplum by Alexander McQueen.
  • Short stand-up collar with thin V neckline.
  • Long sleeves with four button cuffs. Concealed hook and eye closure.
  • Peplum with cut-out front and pleated back.
  • Darted front and back. Structural shoulder pads. Close tailored fit.

Kate’s jacket has just three buttons at the cuff, not four as shown on the OTR (off the rack) garment. The fabric used in Kate’s suit is heavily textured with a pebbled effect. An interesting tidbit on the material: Facebook friend Kristen Gauthier noticed that the iconic McQueen skull motif was actually visible in the pattern of the fabric.



(With apologies for the rather pathetic arrows I made, you can just about see the skulls.) It is also difficult to ascertain the jacket’s actual color, different lighting gives it different hues. Please forgive the cable dangling in this photo, I thought the change in color merited showing the photo, in this picture the material almost looks like an icy blue with grey.

Splash News

Splash News

I believe Carly is correct in saying this is the jacket Kate was wearing today.

The Duchess sported a new hat by Jane Taylor.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

Our thanks to My Small Obsessions for verifying Kate’s hat was by Jane Taylor, it is a bespoke piece.

James Whatling/Splash News

The Duchess carried her Alexander McQueen clutch.

Polaris Images

She wore her Kiki McDonough hoops with the Annoushka pearl drops.

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka

Kate was also wearing a new pin, or brooch. It appears to be two rows of oversized pearls.  I do not yet have a good enough photo to share, as soon as I locate one I will get it posted asap.

If doubting Sarah Burton and Alexander McQueen’s status as Kate’s go to designer for official functions, look below: Kate has worn the label three out of four times at Trooping the Colour.

Nunn Syndication, Polaris/James Whatling, Splash/James Whatling, Splash

Nunn Syndication, Polaris/James Whatling, Splash/James Whatling, Splash

It looked like a glorious day that everyone seemed to enjoy. The rain stayed away and temperatures were moderate.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News


We have a follow up to comments asking about the challenges of wearing heels on grass, as Kate did at Tuesday’s Buckingham Palace garden party. One method to at least minimize that dreaded feeling of your heel slowly sinking deeper and deeper into sodden grass and sometimes mud: heel protectors. One brand is High Heelers, Nordstrom carries them in several shades. We show them in black to better for more clarity in seeing what they are and how they work.
'High Heelers' at Nordstrom

‘High Heelers’ at Nordstrom

Another option: this three-pack of clear plastic protectors, these come in sizes for narrow, medium and wide heel sizes. The set is also shown at Nordstrom, the set of three is $29.95.

High Heelers 3 Pack

High Heelers 3 Pack

We will see you Monday for the Order of the Garter. It’s not been confirmed that the Duchess will attend, at this point I expect we’ll see her.


  44 Responses to “It Looks Like McQueen for Trooping the Colour & Help for Heels On Grass”

  1. This is not my favorite outfit the color and design actually ages her and doesn’t work well on her.

  2. Dont understand why you bother to get and pay for a customized McQueen and take away the elements that define “his” style. Removing the peplum was a mistake – its edgy playfulness undercut the conservative fabric. Take it away and you get an boring old lady outfit. The brooch is the only interesting thing here. Colour also ng for Catherine. Agreed, Camilla looked amazing. Love the pink on her. I wish she would get a slightly younger hairstyle though.

  3. Well, I love the hat, hair, make up, silver/ice blue color combination, the style of the outfit, but for me the texture is just not appealing at all. I admit that when seen up close her outfit looks so out of style for someone her (MY) age. If it wasn’t for the texture of the outfit, this would have been one of my favorite Kate looks :) I do so hope to make it to England in the near future, especially during this time of year so that I could have a chance at viewing these events.

  4. Kate and I share a similar body type and I don’t think her last two outfits compliment it. The all-lace dress without the belt made her look (I thought) too long and skinny and something about the length of the Alexander McQueen jacket and the height/angle of the peplum made her (to my mind) look hip-less. I always dress to accentuate my minimal curves and break up my length so I don’t look, as another reader’s mother hilariously coined it, too pencil-y (aka tall and skinny). I’m likely oversensitive about this as it’s something I’m very aware of in myself but it just struck me as I scrolled through the last few posts that this is the first time I’ve thought Kate wasn’t dressing to benefit her body type.

  5. Kate looks kind of tired in my opinion, especially in the 5th picture. I really haven’t been liking her outfits lately compared to 2011/2012. She definitely looks very old-lady like.

  6. The duchess looks regal and contemporary in this well constructed skirt suit made of a rich brocade. The short blazer with a soft peplum is a modern cut that does not contradict her age.
    I have a personal preference for the new broche. It is again, a modern take of an accessory that has lost popularity but seeing it on Kate, I am developing a cusious interest in broches.

  7. I love to see Kate’s beaming smile – there’s a photo of her laughing possibly at something Prince Phillip has said and she looks just so animated. Great to see!

    As for the feast of fashion, I think I must be getting old and staid because I thought ‘Wow!’ to the Queen’s hat, and Camilla’s outfit was even more ‘WOW!’ – with that gorgeous OTT hat with huge blowsy flower, not to mention that fantastic choker. Camilla looked amazing!

    Kate’s hat was similar in general style to other’s we’ve seen and the decoration was pretty. But taken all together, for me it’s nose-wrinkling and brow-wrinkling time when it comes to Kate’s outfit. Loving colour (even colours I can’t get away with wearing), I feel uncomfortable when an outfit is so pale that it’s difficult to know just what colour it is. Same with the Erdem 2012 outfit.

    I’m not a fan of overly textured fabrics either so overall Kate’s outfit didn’t do much for me. I’m not saying Kate looked awful – it’s just my personal preferences got in the way big-time today.

    Must get me some heel-savers. I had that awful sinking feeling at a wedding a couple of weeks ago. Walking around on tiptoe left me with aching legs :)
    This site is a mine of useful information!

    • Prue, I am so agreeing with you on Kate’s heart warming smile…A few of my favorites shots of her all have her smiling…
      And I don’t care for this outfit with this color either…it looks …aging…

      Funny I just bought some heel protections from amazon. They are not like the ones Susan posted but rather more “bledning in” version…I will see how they work…I walk all the time and heels always wear out first…heart broken~

  8. Never thought I’d say this, but Camilla is proving to be the sleeper in the royal fashion stakes. Once again she pulled off the difficult trick of looking both contemporary and future queenly more successfully than her step-daughter in law. McQueen’s clothes may be beautifully constructed but too many outfits, like this one and the recent garden party lace, are more suited to a mother of the bride or second-time-around bride. The unrelenting fascinators reinforce this.

    • Camilla has been looking better and better. She may have a new stylist, a new makeup artist, or possibly both. Also, check out The Queen’s trim on her hat, and the trim on her suit. Well done, Angela Kelly (presumably).

  9. Has anyone else noticed that ever since those helicopter-induced bottom shots of Kate hit the press, the fabric and style of her outfits have become heavier and close fitting?

    There hasn’t been a flimsy summer dress anywhere!

    • Finally. The Duchess first showed us her derrière three years ago in a yellow dress on a tarmac in Canada. I’m mystified as to why it took her this long to figure out how to keep it covered.

  10. Dear Suzan,
    Although I live from time to time a message on the FB page, I think I’ve never left a comment on the blog page. I adore your articles and this one isn’t going any different so thank you so much for your hard and always very thorough work.
    Regarding Kate’s outfit today … Sorry but I’m no big fan.
    I like the shape but don’t like the bottom part which is indeed to reminescent from the A Wakeley’s one.
    Second, I’m not keen on the fabric…which looks old to me on her…although I like the hues and don?t mind about it to be embossed, I don’t like the fact that it is “waffled”/”crinkled” ( sorry I don’t know if it is proper English!).
    I also recognised the 2 skulls which symbolise vanity but again don’t particularly enjoy it…
    On the other hand I love the hat, the make up, the Anoushka pearls, whose hoops I believe aren’t Kiki’s…
    And the Duchess will remain the Duchess and she looks stunning in this figure-hugging suit! :-)
    So, it’s a bit of a miss and hit outfit to me…
    Enjoy this (hopefully) sunny Sunday ! In the South West of France, it’s going to be quite hot again…

    • I agree with you for the most part, Sophie. (Your English is perfect).
      I know in theory the skulls symbolize vanity. But rather, I find this outfit repulsive because skulls ALWAYS symbolize death. How creepy. Skulls always look evil to me. I wish Kate had eliminated them from her outfit’s design. (I respect Sarah Burton, and I see that she is a very talented designer.
      NOTE: Edited by admin, a portion of the comment has been deleted.

  11. I really liked Kate’s outfit today. The fabric was very interesting, even though my husband thought it looked like “Granny’s draperies” LOL The color worked well for Kate and of course I loved the hat since it reminded me of the hat Kate wore on Easter, which is one of my favorites.

    I was pretty surprised to see the McQueen skulls incorporated into an outfit for the Duchess. Since Kate has changed the skull closures on her McQueen clutches, I can’t understand why she would wear them front and center, so to speak. I didn’t notice them until they were pointed out on another blog site,so maybe Kate didn’t notice them during the fittings. I wonder is this will change the McQueen/Duchess relationship?

    Lastly it seems as though Kate is using a lighter hand when applying her eyeliner lately. I am a big fan of her pre-engagment look, it was so fresh and natural.

    • I didn’t notice the skulls until Susan pointed them out, but, Kate has so many factors to consider when choosing an outfit (and I’m sure her personal preferences must be overlooked a lot of the time), I wonder if she decided to leave them as a subtle way to add a little edge!

  12. And did Prince Harry get buffier or just wearing a bullet vest underneath? the jacket looks a bit…tight. LOL but all love for Prince Harry. He seems a fun person. :)

  13. Don’t really care much about the outfit…the jacket seems a bit short…again on the duchess. Does she really need a another hat? This one reminded me of the one she wore on Easter Sunday in Australia with another McQueen ensemble…but different texture of course.

  14. I wonder if the lack of info on Kate’s suit is part of the POW’s take over of the press office? It was stated that he wanted less attention paid to “trivial” matters. ???

    That said, I like the suit and the hat but I’m not so sure about the brooch. I also hate the way Kate has styled her hair. I wish she’d cut it and style it in a fresher way.

  15. I feel I have little room to judge the Duchess, but this is not my favorite look. I like the colors of the suit where you can see the variation in them but it does seem rather washed out, otherwise. The skulls in the fabric are also not my taste…and the brooch – I don’t like the lack of symmetry or the lines. I guess I’ve been saving my judgement up till now!

  16. Kind of so-so regarding the outfit. Personally I liked the peplum on the original but I agree it would look very similar to the McQueen white coat Kate wore in 2011. Also, I think larger hats are much more flattering to her. Loved the pink hat from last year.

  17. I’m always annoyed by Trooping the Colour, because you can’t see entire outfits. I’ve wondered for eons what the Duchess wore with the white McQueen Samurai coat in 2011. Did she wear it over a short dress over a longer, pencil-skirted dress as I wear a very similar coat of my own and such as she wore to a wedding later that day? I shall probably never know.

    I think I like this ice-blue (?) almost-certainly-McQueen suit. I’m a fan of sleek, fitted, slim-cut suits with just those lines and in fact own a suit in chocolate-brown wool jacquard that has a jacket of almost identical design. I suspect its slender pencil skirt is also identical to that of the Duchess’s suit. However, I have to say that I love the interesting peplum effect of the original jacket and would have kept it. I recently bought a white cotton-jacquard jacket from The Row that ties in the front to create an unusual peplum effect. I always appreciate design features like that.

    The fabric of this suit is perhaps a little “shiny” for my tastes, and the adornment on the hat is a touch too frothy, but all in all, I like this outfit. I’m seeing comments on other sites suggesting that the look is staid or boring or “too old,” but I go for simple silhouettes and solid colors, as everyone here knows by now, so this pretty much works for me.

    As for heel protectors: my own nude patent, Joan & David heels are amazingly like the Duchess’s R&B pair worn to the recent garden party. I wore them to an outdoor wedding last year and with a pair of clear plastic heel protectors given me by a relative. I have to say that the heel protectors didn’t work all that well. I was very relieved when the wedding moved indoors for dinner and dancing.

    • She wore the McQueen Samurai coat again for Order of the Garter 2012. It was with a short, full skirt on the bottom.

  18. I really like this suit. It fits well and that brooch is very nice. The Daily Fail described Kate’s suit color as “icy blue” and said it “matched” the color the Queen was wearing.

    Another thing . . . those Brits really know how to throw a parade.

  19. Susan Thank you for all of your hard work and caring about your community…us! Just a thought, I think that instead of a ‘cable’ in that picture of Kate showing the color of her outfit…..that it’s the end of the whip that the driver of the carriage uses on the horses.

  20. Not terribly impressed with this look. The texture on the suit is aging; it looks very old lady. In comparison to the fabulous McQueen gray suit at Easter, this is dull. And the hat–meh. I don’t know how she decides where to place hats on her head, but they usually look like they are about to fall off.

    • I just read a short piece on milliner Jane Taylor who mentioned that wearing hats over the right eye/brow is tradition. If I can find the link, I’ll come back and post it.

    • They’re supposed to look like they’re about to fall off. That’s how you wear a fascinator. They’re not like regular hats with a crown that fits securely over the head. Even fascinators styled like small hats are supposed to be worn tilted at a sharp angle.

      • The “Royal Hats” blog calls it a “percher hat,” not a fascinator. It looks a little big to be a fascinator. Anyway, if a fascinator is supposed to look as if it’s falling off, that’s a custom I can’t understand.

        • Victoria Beckham wore a percher hat to the Royal Wedding. I’m not crazy about them. A fascinator is supposed to fit on the head, not be an object of curiosity.

  21. Lovely outfit! I really liked the Amanda Wakely suit and noticed the similarity right off. I think her hat is also very similar in design to the Easter Sunday hat she wore in Australia. Glad to see a new piece of jewelry!

  22. Fabulous commentary! It’s amazing that you are able to get all these details so quickly. I loved the outfits – Camilla’s hat was a standout! Kate, of course, looked amazing and I liked that she wore a suit instead of the usual coatdress.
    Just a tip- choose those heel things wisely as my friend and I attend a lot of race meetings – those things come in very handy! – but she bought some once that, when removed at the end of the day, scratched and marked all the material at the base of the heel as well!

  23. Another great, safe choice. I think we shall be seeing more of a pencil/A-line look on the Duchess – it suits her very much.

  24. Both the Queen and Kate’s outfits and hats were excellent.

    Camilla’s pearl and pink diamond choker was amazing!

  25. Well, I’m smitten by this suit, another winner from the Burton/McQ stable. I love the return of details we saw in the dove-grey coat on Easter Day, slightly raised collar, structured shoulders, and the pale colour – all very flattering to the lovely Duchess.

    The embossed fabric works as an adroit combining of regal with chic, especially with the skull motif still there, having been removed from the clutch. I really like the neat peplum helping to pad out Kate’s slim hips and am glad the heavy ruffles were removed as it would have been too similar to the McQ coat worn on the same occasion in 2011.

    Thanks for post and the Wakeley flashback, that was the first outfit I thought of when the peplum came into view on the balcony. I like the pretty pearls, most unusual, and the hat is worn well. Jane Taylor seems to be fond of that headpiece shape and is still resorting to foliage decoration – has she always been like this?

  26. Love the last picture of William and Kate. They obviously love each other very much and love being in each other’s company.

  27. Lovely, lovely outfit. Bravo, dear Duchess!

    Sad to not see Prince George on the balcony, but eleven months is a squirmy age (and William’s outfit is not exactly toddler friendly). The flyover might have been a bit loud for him as well.

  28. I’m meh on this look, for a few reasons.

    First, the color. If you look at the Queen and whomever is to the right of Lady Helen Taylor (is that Princess Eugenie?), they wore a slightly deeper shade of light blue. It works better than this ice blue, which I think seems rather blah. Also, there’s so much going on with the texture of the fabric that it distracts from the cut of the suit.

    I’m also not crazy about Kate’s hair. It’s the second time she’s done spiral curls for a public occasion, the other being the Remembrance Day ceremony in November. In this case, they didn’t hold from the time she was in the carriage to the balcony appearance (either that, or she brushed them out when she got to the palace).

    Lastly, I think the hat looks twee. Fascinators have their place, at weddings and such, but if you compare Kate to the Queen and Camilla, she looks juvenile. Of course she’s younger, and shouldn’t try to dress like them, but the hat looks frivolous. The Queen’s hat is fantastic, by contrast.

    Of all the royal ladies today, Camilla definitely got it right, and I rarely feel that way.

    • That woman to the right of Lady Helen might be Lady Frederick Windsor, the daughter-in-law of Prince Michael of Kent. Also known as Sophie Winkelman, she is an actress. She dressed quite well for the Cambridges’ wedding, as I recall and wore another great hat.

      • Yes, I think you’re right on Sophie Winkelman. This may have been her first Trooping of the Colour. She’s got a formidable mother in law.

    • I’ve mixed feelings about Kate’s suit. I like the ‘idea’ of it – a smart, fitted suit as a change to the coat & dress outfits. But this fabric seems aging to me and this ice silver- blue- white whatever color doesn’t suit her complexion in my opinion. I do like the bold and more contemporary looking brooch with the oversized pearls (?)


 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>