Aug 042014

NOTE: I originally planned to make this two separate posts, but it has become evident one will suffice. There are loads of photos, so it will take a bit to scroll through it.

Today was filled with ceremonies commemorating the Centenary of the First World War. Kate and William joined heads of state and other dignitaries in Liège, Belgium for events recognizing the occasion. Below from left to right, the Duke, Duchess and French President Francois Hollande.

The Duke and Duchess were welcomed to Belgium by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde at L’Abbaye Saint-Laurent.

Robert Jobson Twitter (@TheRoyalEditor)

Robert Jobson Twitter (@TheRoyalEditor)

The couple joined other dignitaries for a ceremony at the Cointe Inter-allied Memorial. Liège was chosen as the location for today’s commemoration for a variety of reasons, more from Centenary News:

The fortified city of Liège was the scene of the first big German assault in the west after the invasion of Belgium on August 4th 1914.

The province of Liège also witnessed one of the key events at the end of the war: the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II at the German army’s headquarters in Spa on November 9th 1918, two days before the Armistice.

Another look.

The Province of Liège Facebook Page

The Province of Liège Facebook Page

The service honored all those losing their lives on Belgian soil during the War. Speeches were given by Belgian Prime Minister Elio du Rupom, King Philippe, German President Joachim Gauck, French President Francois Hollande, and Prince William.

The British Embassy in Belgium

The British Embassy in Belgium

From The Daily Mail:

Speaking at a ceremony attended by world leaders in Liege, Prince William paid tribute to the Belgians who had died resisting the Germans’ advance across the continent, saying: ‘Among the very first victims were the people of Belgium, whose resistance was as gallant as their suffering was great.’

Prince William, who wore the gold and silver Jubilee medals given to him by the Queen, said Britain owed a great debt of gratitude to Belgium for its fortitude and resistance during the 1914-1918 war which left around 17 million soldiers and civilians dead.

He went on: ‘We were enemies more than once in the last century, and today we are friends and allies.  We salute those who died to give us our freedom.

‘We will remember them.’

Balloons in colors of the flags represented were released, vibrant against the blue skies and clouds. Following that release a young lady sent a single white balloon skyward,

Victoria Murphy, The Daily MIrror/Belgian Royal Palace

Victoria Murphy, The Daily MIrror/Belgian Royal Palace

Following the ceremony a luncheon was held at Belgium’s renowned Prince-Bishops’ Palace.

Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo

Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo

There are ceremonies throughout the UK as well today, with more scheduled for this evening and the rest of the week. HM attended a service of commemoration at Crathie Kirk, while the Duke of Edinburgh took part in a commemorative service at Sandringham Church.  Prince Harry was in Folkstone, Kent to dedicate the new Step Short Memorial Arch.

Alicia Kearns, Crown copyright/Her Majesty's Armed Forces Facebook

Alicia Kearns, Crown copyright/Her Majesty’s Armed Forces Facebook

More from Her Majesty’s Armed Forces Facebook page:

The command to ‘Step Short’ was given – the command given to the troops as they marched down a steep hill to the quayside on the way to the battlefields 100 years ago. A normal march would not be possible.

Her Majesty's Armed Forces

Her Majesty’s Armed Forces

Today, service personnel paraded down this route to the harbour.

The Prince of Wales was joined by Prime Minister David Cameron and other dignitaries at Glasgow Cathedral for a service honoring the occasion.

Back to what Kate wore.

PA Wire

PA Wire

A better look at the front of the dress with Kate’s arms at her sides.

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

And the back.

Splash News

Splash News

The piece is an Alexander McQueen design.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

There were a number of reasons I thought this was a McQueen garment:

  1. Kate’s history: she is predictable in the designers she wears for different types of functions, and her “go to” for major occasions is Alexander McQueen.
  2. The color: the brand’s creamy white is a hue we have seen frequently.
  3. The tightly fitted bodice flowing into as full skirt is a look we have seen previously, especially on pieces the Duchess has worn.
  4. Common themes within the fall pre-fall and fall 2014 lines, as well as the resort collection, that sync with Kate’s frock.
  5. One tiny design detail that looked almost identical, that detail is shown immediately below.
Splash News/Alexander McQueen

Splash News/Alexander McQueen

That is the slot or slit at the hip seen on a dress from the prefall collection, with the full skirt falling from that point. As it turns out the tiny detail shown on Kate’s garment is actually part of a pocket flap. At any rate, below is the full garment.

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

The top and bottom halves of the garment.

Splash News

Splash News

When asked early this morning on Twitter about the likelihood of a Peter Pan collar on a McQueen piece, here is how we responded. Many will recognize the pink Trooping the Colour 2013 dress, with its exaggerated collar.

What Kate Wore Twitter

What Kate Wore Twitter

The neckline photo above right comes from McQueen’s Empire Line Mini Dress, an a/w 2014 item. We show it below, as well as the brand’s Pleated Mini Dress from the same collection, it echoes the tightly fitted bodice, and dual/dropped waistline of Kate’s piece.

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winner 2014

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winner 2014

Kate was in a Jane Taylor hat, that label’s designs have increasingly become a go-to brand for major events.

Splash News/Jane Taylor Millinery

Splash News/Jane Taylor Millinery

The hat is described as “Classic straw beret with intricate tonal hand dyed ruffle detail. Perfect for Summer Wedding, Christening or the Races.” It sells for £615, about $1000 at today’s exchange rates.

The Duchess wore her Sledge pumps by LK Bennett.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

And carried her gray clutch by Alexander McQueen. (Shown as Kate carried it on a previous engagement.)

Alexander McQueen/i-Images

Alexander McQueen/i-Images

For jewelry the Duchess kept it simple, with her Kiki McDonough hoops holding Annoushka pearl drops.

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka


Tonight millions across the UK will turn out their lights to mark the war’s start.

Lights Out

Lights Out

The effort comes from a classic quote attributed to the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey:

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

From a story in The Telegraph:

At an official service in Westminster Abbey on Monday night the candles will be snuffed one by one, until only a burning oil lamp remains at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. At 11pm, that lamp will be extinguished, marking the exact time the British Empire entered the war. And from 10pm, for an hour, the lights will go out at landmark sites, including the Houses of Parliament, Durham Cathedral, Blackpool Illuminations and Liverpool’s Liver Building.

(There is some debate as to whether or not the famous line was actually uttered, Sir Edward said in his memoirs he didn’t recall making the statement, but others claim he did.)

We will have a separate post on tonight’s ceremony in Mons, Belgium, when Harry joins William and Kate for two more events.


After the Liège events morning William and Kate were joined by Prince Harry, and the threesome traveled to Mons, Belgium. They then attended a reception with dignitaries and families whose relatives fought in World War I. Below you see Kate signing the guest book at the Mons Town Hall.

Tom McHugh, PA Twitter Feed

Tom McHugh, PA Twitter Feed

On the Town Hall balcony, waving to thousands of cheering residents and visitors.

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

The royals then headed to Saint Symphorien Military Cemetery. Below you see the Duke, Duchess and Prime Minister David Cameron walking in the cemetery.

Clarence House Twitter

Clarence House Twitter

Saint Symphorien is where 229 Commonwealth and 284 German troops are buried.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

The ceremony included heads of state, servicemen and servicewomen,  women Prime Minister Cameron

Royal Belgian Palace (@MonarchieBe)

Royal Belgian Palace (@MonarchieBe)

This dramatic photo by Sky TV’s Alistair Bunkhall shows the scene this evening at sunset.

Alistair Bunkall, Twitter

Alistair Bunkall, Twitter

More on the ceremony from The Mirror’s live blog:

As darkness fell over the cemetery, William, King Philippe of Belgium, Mr Cameron, and the German and Irish presidents laid flowers at the obelisk on the site.

The Last Post was sounded, followed by a minute’s silence and the reveille, then a lone piper played.

Belgian Royal Palace Twitter (@MonarchieBe)

Belgian Royal Palace Twitter (@MonarchieBe)

Belgian Royal Palace Twitter (@MonarchieBe)

Belgian Royal Palace Twitter (@MonarchieBe)

We will see you tomorrow for the Tower of London engagement.




  • the United States WWI Centennial Commission site is located here
  • those in the US may be interested in a CBS News story about the lack of any World War I monument in our nation’s capital
  • the National World War 1 Museum is located in Kansas City, MO; its website is here, its Facebook page may be seen here


  67 Responses to “Kate Wears Alexander McQueen & Jane Taylor for Solemn World War One Services”

  1. 1. i absolutely adore this outfit. everything. the coat dress is just lovely.
    2. i think y’all (texan alert) are entirely too nit picky about kate. she’s got a “mum” for that! the woman is a mother now! she’s got much bigger fish to fry than out of date pumps. and not in the sense of raising an heir to the throne. she obviously from what has been revealed about her parenting wishes being a good “mum” to george is top priority.

    while y’all women nitpicking her hemlines and whatnot-notice the bags under her eyes? i hope she’s doing okay and george is not giving her too much of a headache. when i have bags like that under my eyes my last priority is dated pumps. which there’s nothing ever dated about nude pumps with a modest platform.

  2. I’m a big fan of this outfit (aside from the Sledges), including the peter pan collar. I see Kate’s personality in this piece, unlike some of her recent choices.

  3. Really do not like this coat – too “girly” and the colour seems somewhat inappropriate. Catherine can do so much better.

  4. As a fellow Kate-Blogger can I just say I love your site!
    Anyway, I think Kate’s coat is a bespoke version of the McQueen Flared Coat : it has the collar, front detail and pleating at the back of the skirt, but minus the fussy back storm flap. I’ve posted a picture on my Blog.
    What do you think?

  5. I think Kate looks exactly how the royal family wants her to look: dressed way too old for her age in a coat dress. I actually feel sorry for Kate, its obvious they are dictating her wardrobe for official events. They want her to look exactly like the queen and Camilla and they are winning. Extremely disappointing.
    When Kate appeared yet again last week in that old uniform of navy skinny jeans,blazer, and wedges, I had a sudden realization: I think they are appalled and offended at these Kate fashion blogs and want to put a stop to them. Their method is to dress Kate in ever more dull and fashion backward clothing, so we will all lose interest, and the blogs will go away.

  6. Camilla did not wear a hat to the vigil at Westminister Abbey as the event was in the evening, when hats are not worn.

  7. Kate is always striking in McQueen

  8. I think Kate’s hat was meant to be reminiscent of the poppies, which makes it thoroughly appropriate for honoring the beginning of WWI!

  9. Kate looks absolutely beautiful in this lovely coat dress. She always looks exquisite in Sarah Burton’s designs.

    The tailoring is wonderful. The hat a delight.

    Like Jackie Kennedy, Kate knows what works for her….tailored, simple, elegant and classic.

  10. As always she looked pretty and appropriate. The dress itself looked so similar to things she has worn in the past, that I thought it was another recycle. There is something weird about the hemline. It looks uneven, and initially I thought it was the way she was standing, but it looks that way when she is seated too. Not a fan of the wonky hemlines. Other than that, she was a star. It is fun to see how happy the Cambridges look together. Clearly this is a couple who are in love, and very comfortable with each other. A very nice change from his parents who tended to look grim and annoyed most of the time. Queen Mathilde is so pretty, and she is another one that looks appropriately dressed. She looked especially pretty in the shade she wore to the ceremonies. She and her husband generally look happy together as well, and sometimes hold hands in public, which I find utterly charming. Until I saw some of the pictures, I didn’t realize that Kate and Mathilde are both very tall ladies. They certainly dwarf Hollande and his ill-fitting suit. He looks very insignificant next to the royals. I will never understand what French women see in him, but that’s another day and another post!

  11. i think kate’s hat is way too frivolous for these solemn state occasions. i think mathilde is underdressed as well.

    • Just to clarify, this was not a state occasion. A reasonable comparison might be one of the major D-Day anniversaries, which HM has often attended, and where she has been similarly dressed (her standard dress, coat, hat in a range of colours). Another comparison to other senior royals: Camilla didn’t even wear a hat at yesterday’s prayer vigil in Westminster Abbey (arguably a more ‘formal’ occasion since it was in a church). We may or may not like the look or feeling of Kate’s outfit, but I think she invariably gets the protocol right.

    • I liked Queen Mathilde’s hat; a gentle, even subdued grey/blue with a faint hint of WWI helmet to it in shape. I thought it looked good on her, and loved the way her hair was done.

      I preferred the colour of her dress to Kate’s too, although I’m not a fan of sheer, clingy fabrics – on anyone.

  12. I liked Kate’s look. Especially given the activities of the day. Think about how hard that is to good at 10:00am or so and remain looking fresh until sundown. I certainly don’t think a Peter Pan collar is “juvenile”. I have a dress and a jacket with a Peter Pan collar and I’m in my 50′s. I’m sure I could source a photo or two of several Hollywood icons with a Peter Pan collar. I still think of it as classic. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was a McQueen. The tucks, placket, pleating, drop waist, etc. It also seemed that the hemline was slightly a bubble skirt (i.e.: pulled in slightly at the bottom). This makes sense to me because it would eliminate “fly away”. Given the getting in and out of cars, sitting on a podium stage, a luncheon, having to kneel to lay a bouquet of flowers – I think it worked well for her. Also, Kate’s strategic, she’ll get a lot of wear out of this coat dress. Tomorrow I hope she wears the gray sheath dress she wore on the Canadian Royal Tour when she planted a tree. Haven’t seen that again and it looked nice on her.

    • I also agree with you about the Peter Pan collar being classic and not at all juvenile. I’m around Kate’s age and I would wear that style in a heartbeat. Also, the “babydoll” look is very trendy right now. I live in NYC and I see women wearing clothes with that kind of collar all the time, on a daily basis.

  13. Do we know if this was a custom McQueen? The more I think
    about it, the more I think this was off the rack.

  14. Agree with many of the comments, especially the high peter pan color. My problem — once again — is the heaviness of the whole outfit given that it is August and warm. Just like the Tour de France outing, this outfit would be better suited in another season. I can appreciate wanting to be tasteful and discrete at a solemn remembrance ceremony but one can achieve that look without long, heavy sleeves and a coat buttoned-up to the neck. I feel that it is time to move on from Alexander McQueen. Sarah Burton has created some lovely outfits but they are beginning to all look alike to me.

    As for the shoes… Queen Mathilde had lovely stylish shoes that looked modern and gave her a more polished look. The sledges are beginning to look out-of-date especially as platforms are no longer as popular.

    • I agree completely these Sledge platforms while perhaps offering a bit of respite from a high heel with it’s platform, ought be be retired as the color is off and they do look dated. A lower heel with a pointy-toe would have been more attractive. It feels odd criticizing such a well-dressed Royal who is always so well-turned out but it’s not as if she cannot afford to replace them or have someone bring many styles or samples to wherever she is to try on to make final approval.

    • This is not the first time we have seen a royal sticking to out-of-date platforms. Princess Margaret refused to ever be parted from hers! Hers were very modest, but she was short enough to appreciate even a fraction of an inch more height!

      • I’m afraid it’s not only a sin that royals commit; I’m guilty, too! I appreciate a nice single sole pump, but platforms are so nice when you are barely 5 feet tall….

    • I agree — but it might be a calculated thing to look similar and not so stand outish — – just like she wears the same striped casual T a lot and the same style jean leggings over and over with 1 of 3 types of shoes typically — we don’t see her as the huge fashion plate if she does this enough and that, from what I gather, is where Prince Charles wants to see the family move in direction of — not to be a big standout all the time in a fashion sense. So it might not be Sarah Burton’s fault – she might be under direction to create something ‘like’ this or that and not stray too far from the previous looks.

  15. I love the Jane Taylor hats that the duchess wears – so elegant. This is another fabulous one!

    Looking at past outfits and now this one, I have come to the conclusion that a high neckline is not a flattering look for the Duchess of Cambridge. She’s a very attractive woman but that type of neckline doesn’t do anything for her. I think it’s one she should avoid.

  16. I’m a frequent reader but have seldom posted. A very moving day; I found the poppy display at the Tower of London especially poignant. Just a comment on the colour of Kate’s outfit–many have noted that a more sombre choice would have been more appropriate. But–Queen Mathilde wore light blue and HM herself wore cream at the remembrance service in Crathie Kirk today, so clearly black or another dark colour wasn’t called for. (I believe Camilla wore cream as well but I’ve seen only one rather poor photo of her.) I thought Kate’s palette was very dignified and didn’t steal the show, so to speak.

    • Yes, Camilla wore a fairly simple, cream outfit which glittered round the cuffs and lapels…I think the lapels too…can’t quite remember. Watching the service on tv last night I thought she looked very regal.

  17. I’ve just watched the service at Westminster Abbey on tv, and turned off my lights and lit a candle. It was a moving occasion. Thanks for this post and the coverage of today’s events which the young royals attended – I haven’t seen them in evidence much on our news. Well done, as usual.

    I feel slightly puzzled that Kate and Camilla both wore cream outfits. It’s summer, but this was a sombre occasion and cream seemed to be out of place to me. The queen wore pale blue but had black accessories.

    Add to that the Peter Pan collar which always looks rather childish to me because little kids’ dresses used to have them (and some still do) – these old associations do get in the way of fashion! – and I’m not at all comfortable with this outfit.

    • It’s worth noting that white/cream has always been an official color of mourning, particularly acceptable in warm weather. When the late Queen Mother visited France shortly after the death of her father, she wore an all-white wardrobe for the duration of the trip.

      • I knew that senatorial classes in ancient Rome wore white in mourning, but hadn’t realised white/cream has always been an official colour of mourning. Having become interested in the monarchy, loosely, only through Kate and her clothes, I didn’t know that, so thanks :)

        Seems I was ‘in vogue’ at my husband’s funeral in 2012 with white linen trousers (as part of red, white and blue for the Olympics we were so looking forward to watching, but he never got to see).

    • I think the Queen tends to stick to black accessories for the majority of her outfits, come rain or shine. I think she was definitely sending a restrained cream message this time!

  18. Too much going on with this dress for my minimalist eye.

    This outfit looks like a sample dress of what you could be expexcted to learn in a dressmaking course. Peter Pan collar, puff/pleat sleeve top, decorative pockets, pleats, hidden buttons, darting..

    Stiff, high mandarin collar and bracelet length sleeves anyone?

  19. I thought this was a repeat of a yellow dress/coat Kate wore a couple of years ago, but apparently it’s not that one.

    At first, I really liked the color and shape of the coat/dress but turning around, I didn’t like the drop waist…it would look a huge disaster one me since I have short legs and wide hips…even with heels…the whole looks appears a bit childish to me….By comparison, the Queen of Belgium looks more elegant and matured. But it could be the age difference.

  20. Well, my first reaction was that I liked it for the most part. After reading through the comments, I see a few things that I didn’t at first. I still do like the colors (disclaimer: I am not a fashion/color expert like many of the other readers are). I just thought it was pretty, with the different soft neutral shades, pearl earrings, and a little pop of pretty peach and coral in the hat. It’s almost like the colors inside a shell. It’s a lovely palette.

    For the coat, I’m not enamored with it. As others said, there might be just a little too much going on. I don’t mind the seam or whatever across the bodice, or the peter pan collar. The skirt is an idea that I like, but not this particular execution of it. It’s puffy but looks like it was an accident resulting from poor fabric choice rather than planned. And as Brenda pointed out, the hem is uneven (actually, I didn’t notice until she pointed it out, but now I can’t unsee it. It should have been fixed). I also concur with another’s suggestion that it should be longer – I think that would have made it more elegant.

    I really wanted to like the back view, but somehow those proportions are all wrong – it ends up a sort of drop waist, and very full in the bottom half, so I think it really emphasizes her long waist and actually makes her legs look short. She wears such high heels I didn’t think that was possible. Maybe it’s just be the angle of the picture?

  21. I think this coat would be much better without the hip pockets. The horizontal seam right under her bust (almost like an empire waist?) serves to elongate her waist but the effect is ruined by the second horizontal line created by the pockets. Rather than a long elegant line unbroken from waist to hem, it chops her into 3 pieces. (Although I realize it looks different from the back and the lines fall in different places.)

    Also, slightly confused by the color scheme. Pink and cream is a very pretty combo but the DoC always seems to wear colors that send a message based on the occasion and I would have expected more somber colors for this one. Or even if she really wanted to do cream I would have thought a different color for the accent on the hat rather than pink.

    I agree with what Brenda said about the scale of the collar. I’m not a fan of Peter Pan collars anyway, but if she wants to wear one, then a larger scale works better.

  22. I forgot to add that with that weird seam below her bosom, it reminds me of those optical illusion dresses that were so popular and worn by stars like Keira Knightley. Obviously hers is not quite as defined as those ones were, but that idea is what this dress reminds me of. Just a watered down version.

  23. The coat does nothing for me. It’s similar to some of the styles the Duchess has worn before – does not make any difference if its an Alexander McQueen if it’s been tweaked so much. The hat is nice but I also note Kate has cut her hair which is a very good length now. Queen Mathilde looks smashing if I may so on this post. The powder blue dress and hat are both lovely.

  24. Love this look! I really admire all the details on the coat dress. Lovely. The hat is perfection. I really love this hairstyle. Her hair is looking so healthy and shiny. Gorgeous! The sledges are a bit of a yawn, but they do go very well with this outfit. A+ on this one for me.. In a sucker for a drop waste, and cream, and coral, so big thumbs up from me.

  25. Kate always looks beautiful, but this dress doesn’t quite work. The hem, as others pointed out is very uneven, and I’m surprised the tailor didn’t catch the problem and fix it for her. Also the sleeves are too long and the upper bodice seems too tight across the back If I were going to advise Kate, I’d tell her to pick simpler styles and make sure they’re perfectly executed and fitted by a pro.

    Harry looks very handsome in his perfectly tailored uniform.

    • I thought the hem looked uneven too, but after being caught out by dresses which actually dip at the back I never feel quite sure whether it’s by accident or design.

      And sometimes she seems to stand in a particular way which causes the back drop – the coat she wore when leaving Australia is a good example.

      I’ve given up on hems! :)

  26. At first glance, I thought this was really nice, but on looking closer with a more “critical” eye, its the details that seem to let the look down as other posters have noted. I thought exactly the same thing about the peter-pan collar, rather youthful looking, the proportions of the coats bodice and skirt seem a bit un-balanced and the slightly wavering hemline and how the pleating on the skirt looks so bouncy where they start from the seam. I think here, the problem may lie with the type of fabric, it looks reasonably thick and perhaps a crepe-like weave and this can be really bouncy and hard to get to sit right. The way the grain goes makes it more well suited to detailing like flounces rather than a structured pleat. Am I the odd one out here in thinking that her coat may be a pale, pale pink shade rather than cream? (It could be my screen making it appear so) but her head gear has pink in it and perhaps that’s why she’s worn her cream heels?

  27. Ok, I will start with the good. The hair looks lovely, I am very happy when it is pulled away from her face. I like the cream color. Having said that, I don’t think cream was the most appropriate color for this event. As for that dress, ahhh! There are too many elements going on to make it work. It looks like 3 outfits sewn together and not in a good way. A peter pan collar is far too adolescent for her! Leave them for children. That weird line/seam under the bosom just draws your eye straight there (which is not a good place to stare). It does not add anything to the dress, rather just gives a weird hick-up along a smooth bodice. In some shots it even looks like that part could potential pull away from the rest of the outfit like it was a small coat (i know it doesn’t). Then the bottom half looks like it belongs on a different dress. The bell like skirt with pleats does not fit with the puff shoulder, peter pan collar and the odd bodice. The whole thing just does not work. It is a rather distracting dress in my opinion. It was a big miss

    • I’m with you Erin, and some of the other posters who found after a long look that this coat has just “too much stuff” going on. My first thought seeing her and Mathilde walking with their husbands was “why is she wearing another buttoned up to the throat coat” in summer, again. She owns many or could have bought, elegantly simple, summer weight, structured column dresses (that wouldn’t fly up) but still be appropriate in style and color for an event like this. The more I look at the ruffle cascade hip pleats the more I think how silly it looks. I always got the idea that she has fixated on buttoned up to her chin translates as conservative and meets whatever fashion strictures she is, or imagines she is, under.

  28. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for a great post! I like this look on Kate, the color suits her well and it has a slight vintage feel to it, which is appropriate for this event. However, what is with the Peter Pan collars, why would an adult woman want to dress like a 3 year old? Also, I don’t like it when her coats close so high up on her neck, it’s such a severe look and this dress is pretty feminine. I did like the hat however, it went well with this outfit.

  29. This is not my favorite outfit for the Duchess. The first thing that stood out to me was the color. It seems more appropriate for a wedding than a remembrance. At the same time, I realize that she may have known what color the Queen was going to wear, and wanted to stay neutral relative to that. The pale, icy blue of her dress didn’t give Kate a lot of options.

    The other item was the seam/placket across her chest (forgive my terminology- I’m no expert). The outer was ok….I understand the design of it. My problem comes with the underlying seam a couple of inches higher where the pieces come together. In theory, I would expect that to be “hidden” and lay flat. In reality, it is quite obvious and almost creates a wide band across her chest, with the upper seam hitting in an odd location. It just looks off to me.

    I do like the hat, and the fact that her hair is pulled back some. It’s a nice change from her usual look.

  30. Thanks so much for the picture of the back view! I’m afraid I think I like the coat better from behind, alas, I’m not especially taken with this one. I look forward to being persuaded otherwise by others.

    With all the different details, the slightly precious peter pan collar, gathered shoulders, the bodice seaming, and more gathers to the side of the dropped waist, the coat doesn’t quite come together for me. It’s a pretty shade and flatters Kate, and is an unusual choice given she has chosen sombre tones for memorial events in the past, but overall it verges on the fussy side and I think Mathilde’s choice was much better.

    The Jane Taylor beret style looks good on Kate also, and I suppose the decoration could be seen as echoing the floral theme of the remembrance poppies. But the Taylor hats have seemed too heavy in the decoration department before, I particularly recall the somewhat outre fern atop a New Zealand outfit, and I find this one a bit much with so much going on with the coat.

    I’m no Sledge fan, but if they are Kate’s comfy shoes, then so be it. Love seeing her hair back from her face, and she looks wonderful as always. Prince Harry looks drop dead gorgeous in his military kit!

    • I accept that the Sledge is Kate’s comfy pair, but she should consider buying them in various colors. The beige is a snooze here.

    • Hmmm – I’ll just say that Queen Mathilde’s dress would never have passed muster with the devoted commenters here, had Catherine worn it. She would have been called out for wearing a dress with shoulder pads showing through, a breezy skirt that was simply asking for trouble, a woeful lack of jewelry, and fabric that was so light combined with undergarments that weren’t particularly smooth, leaving a less-than-smooth lay to the fabric. However kind it is to compliment Belgium’s queen, you’ve also neatly highlighted the fact that Catherine is simply held to a completely different standard. I also found it almost charming that Susan noted that a one post “would suffice” for the day – presumably because the object of scrutiny didn’t change her clothes.

      On a day like today, remembering what some are remembering, it is a great perspective clarifier for me to see remarks about fashion on such occasions as are highlighted so well in this post – at the end of the day, the occasions really don’t matter as much as the Duke and Duchess hope they will, and picking apart clothing choices is still the most important thing.

      For me, I found it perfect that she wore shoes that would bring the least commentary, that she didn’t catwalk to her seat in a vivid shade of dress, and that she didn’t opt for black. I’m so glad she didn’t impress many with her clothes – I continue to maintain that this is exactly how she prefers things, and the sooner people tire of “what she is wearing”, the happier she’ll be.

      As for me, I wish all of you well, and happy times in your further analysis and enjoyment of clothing and accessories. I’m out :)

      • JR, since Susan usually comments, sometimes at length and always with intelligence, on the significance of the events the Duchess attends, you may have missed the main focus — it’s a fashion blog. Even when people are attending solemn events, it’s still a fashion blog. Commenting on the fashion, whether you term it “picking apart” or “analyzing,” is still the focus.

      • I’m with you, JR. I used to love this blog and I will still read Susan’s commentary. But the comments have become too negative for my taste. So I’ll skip them after today.

        I thought that Kate looked lovely and appropriate. I’m guessing that the cream color was to signify “peace” without wearing a stark white. I loved the fit of the dress and the hat is one of my new favorites.

      • What I don’t understand is if you don’t like people commenting on what Kate is wearing, then why do you bother coming here??? This is a fashion blog. The point of it is to comment on her clothes. It is rude to assume that just because we are talking about her fashion it does not mean we have not all thought about the event at hand. I go to other sites to actually read about the event itself. That is part of the reason I believe Susan puts links to other sites at the bottom of each article. As far as Belgium’s Queen, Kate is not held to a different standard. Just because every time Kate wears something not everyone loves it does not mean she is held to a different standard. Would you prefer we fawn over everything she wears and does? The point of this blog is different opinions, not to praise Kate at every turn. I believe if you want a website that praises Kate in everyway than this is not your site. This is solely for fashion.

      • Why, thank you kindly for taking the time to comment, JR, and thank you too for your good wishes. You show a remarkably observant eye yourself in your detailed assessment of Mathilde’s outfit, I wouldn’t be half as critical.

        I see the old argument about fashion being trivial when these events take place is being aired again – have we not had this conversation before? Fashion is far from trivial as it supports a multi-billion dollar global textile industry employing untold numbers of workers.

        Further, I think the tenor of the WKW posts are always well-researched and serious, I frequently learn more about the causes highlighted than I would otherwise. I also find the quality of discussion here, including your own, naturally, refreshingly civilized compared with many other websites. As this site has the stated aim of fashion it’s clear that anyone uncomfortable with that focus might be happier elsewhere.

        And finally, all those soldiers didn’t die for a world without sunshine and pretty girls. They died for the peace in which we can honour their sacrifice in our remembrance. Their sacrifice is honoured by these events attended by royals who show further respect in their considered choice of outfits, which in turn deserve the respect of our attention.

        I hope you enjoy your time out :-)

  31. While she looks lovely, I think the collar makes the outfit look a little immature. I can imagine seeing something similar on an elementary school-aged child.

    • Oh my gosh, you took the words right out of my mouth. I thought there were so many things wrong with this outfit, but the collar was the worst. I can’t stand peter pan collars on adult women. They belong on 3-year olds, not a grown duchess:)

  32. Not my favorite, and my objection is largely because of the tailoring. I don’t think this fits Kate very well.

    1) A placket front has to lie perfectly, with no gaps. She’s so thin, and yet, it gaps. That could be an issue with the fabric and/or the trim (you notice that the spot where it gaps is where the trim comes across the bodice). A lighter-weight trim or just a horizontal seam would have avoided this.

    2) The hem. It’s not even — either because of her posture, as some people have suggested, or because it’s just not even. This drives me absolutely nuts and a garment this expensive ought to be perfectly hemmed. Take a look at photos of her next to the Queen of Belgium, whose hem is perfect. You’ll see what I mean. I know that uneven hems are a trend, but there’s a difference between a deliberate uneven hem and this. Also, an extra inch would have allowed it to set more evenly.

    3) The collar is disproportionate to Kate’s figure. If you look at the pink McQueen from the Trooping of the Colors in 2013, that Peter Pan collar was bigger and suited her build perfectly. This one is too small and it looks precious. George can look precious. Kate is past precious.

    4) The side skirt isn’t set correctly. It should have been an inch or two lower. Look at how it flairs out, rather than flows. Again, this could be a style choice, but it seems like a mistake.

    A rare McQueen miss and I hope the McQueen folks look at this critically. They’ve done such a good job for her.

    • Something similar in the misfit department happened with the red McQueen on the Jubilee Thames Pageant, the waist seemed oddly tight and gathered fabric bunched out at an odd angle at the hips

      • I’m surprised to see you say that, ElizaMo. I thought that the red McQueen was one of Kate’s most popular looks ever, and personally I thought it fit perfectly.

        • I now remember that the red McQueen came out again for a Buckingham Palace event and fitted better second time around. I decided Kate must have been wearing extra layers while on the waterborne Pageant. I agree it was a lovely frock.

      • I actually prefer that red dress over this coat, although both have similar pleats. The red dress has the side panel coming down to the hips but didn’t create the straight “drop waist” effect, but this coat is a true drop waist. It emphasizes more on the long torso of Kate, especially on the back. With peter pan collar, this coat looks like a little school girl’s wear, something Eloise might look great in…

        • The red dress is properly pleated, if a little short. This was not, and also short. Is Kate battling back against the Palace’s push for her to wear longer skirts? This and the blue dress from the Commonwealth Games were distinctly above the knee.

  33. I really like this look, but I wish the coat/dress was just an inch or two longer. Not because the length is inappropriate, but something about the proportions looks a bit off to me. I think it’s a very elegant look, but that a tiny bit more length would have made it perfect.

  34. I really did not like the front Length of this dress for such a sombre occassion, the length was totally off! The hat is beautiful but overall the dress gets a B from me. Also, is there any reason why hats worn on that side only and not tilted on the other side? I’m just curious.

  35. This is a quintessential princess outfit for a quintessential princess engagement, but I’m afraid I can’t work up any real enthusiasm for it. Unfortunately, the design and lines of this coat are really quite juvenile, from the puffed shoulders and Peter Pan collar, to the full and perhaps slightly-too-short skirt. It really looks like the sort of coat one might see on a princess still in grade school.

    The effect is emphasized by her hairstyle. That particular style always risks looking somewhat schoolgirlish, and it certainly does when worn with this coat.

    Sarah Burton has been turning out a number of pieces for the Duchess that really don’t reflect the usual, rather edgier, McQueen aesthetic. Obviously the Duchess likes the workmanship, or likes working with Burton, but frankly, if I were Burton, I’m not sure I’d want my design sensibility to be represented by such pieces, notwithstanding all of the publicity that accrues to the firm each time the Duchess wears something from McQueen.

    So, I think this one’s a miss, sorry as I am to say it. I was really rather hoping to see something I could praise unreservedly.

    I do like the hat.

    • I was beginning to wonder if all the tailoring extras — I’ve only just noticed pocket flaps on the dropped waistline as well — weren’t in fact referencing classic McQueen. After all, he used to go for great bunches of fabric at the back on top of exaggerated military detailing. Agree with you that this particular mix doesn’t work this time around.

    • I might add that this design really emphasizes the Duchess’s long-waistedness, which the bodice seaming — at an empire level — might have been intended to counteract, but it doesn’t really work.

      The more I look at this coat, the more mystified I am by it. The workmanship in general just isn’t impressive.

    • I’m in full agreement with you both. The Duchess looks appropriate, really a model royal here, but ultimately this design misses the mark for me because of the Peter Pan collar and the way the seams break up her waist. Even though I’m not keen on all the design elements, I can’t say this is a miss, because she certainly looks like a princess.

      And I really do love that hat. I think it was an intentional poppy reference.

  36. Lovely coat dress today. It also looks like Kate has changed her make up a bit again. Her brows are definitely more filled in today than at previous events and her eye shadow is toned down. Its a good look for her. Draws attention to her pretty blue eyes without overpowering them.

  37. I’m torn on the coat and would like to see an unobstructed view (without Kate’s hands folded in front of her) before making up my mind. I do like the hat.

    A resolute thumbs down on the shoes. I’m no fan of the Sledge because I don’t like platform shoes, but my issue with them here is the neutral color. Beige shoes with a cream coat is a ticket to snooze-ville in my book. Camilla wears the same color combination often, and it’s just too washed out.

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