Feb 182015
 

Kate wore a rich blue Max Mara coat for today’s engagements, a vibrant look on a brisk, sunny day. Her first stop: the Emma Bridgewater factory in Staffordshire.

Duchess of Cambridge in Stoke-On-Trent

The Duchess was on hand to commemorate the debut of two Emma Bridgewater mugs being sold as a fundraiser for the EACH Nook Appeal, a campaign raising money to build a new children’s hospice in Norfolk.

Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater

Below, Kate and Ms. Bridgewater.

Splash News

Splash News

EACH needs £10 million for the new children’s hospice facility; Kate has been involved with the campaign since its launch.

EACH/The Nook Appeal

EACH/The Nook Appeal

Below you see Ms. Bridgewater and her husband Matthew Rice giving the Duchess a tour.

Oli Scarff/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Oli Scarff/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Kate learned about plate manufacturing from Wayne, an Emma Bridgewater employee.

Kensington Palace Instagram (@KensingtonRoyal)

Kensington Palace Instagram (@KensingtonRoyal)

More from Gordon Rayner’s story in The Telegraph:

The Duchess of Cambridge was pronounced “a natural Stokie” as she tried her hand at pottery on a visit to the Emma Bridgewater ceramics factory.  She was not afraid to get her hands dirty as she had a go at making a plate from a disc of clay.

Warning on-lookers to “watch out”, the Duchess managed to hit the mark first time as she threw the clay onto a machine, although she remarked “it’s a little lop-sided”.

Kensington Palace shared a brief video of the Duchess trying her hand at decorating some pottery.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

From the Daily Mirror’s coverage:

The Duchess wasn’t afraid to get messy as she had a go at painting one of the mugs at the Emma Bridgewater factory.

Surrounded by the iconic British earthenware and Union Jacks, Kate smiled and joked as she was shown by a staff member how to make the print.

Oli Scarff/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Oli Scarff/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

While at Emma Bridgewater Kate met children and families from the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.

Kensington palace Twitter Feed (@Kensington Royal)

Kensington palace Twitter Feed (@Kensington Royal)

More on the visit from Hello!

As Kate admired the ladybird-printed crockery, she chatted to staff who worked at the factory as well as volunteers and children from EACH’s local centre the Donna Louise Hospice. The royal was presented with a beautiful gift from one kind teenager Chloe, who gave Kate a painting of the Lake District she had done herself. The sixteen-year-old is just one of the young people being supported by the Donna Louise Hospice.

Below, Chloe with her painting.

Kensington Palace Instagram

Kensington Palace Instagram

The mugs are now available for pre-ordering. There is a Ladybirds Baby Mug (£14.95, with a £5 donation to the Nook appeal) as well as a Ladybirds 1/2 Pint Mug (£19.95, with a £5 donation to the Nook appeal). Additionally, there is a special 2 Mug Set (£39.95, with a £10 donation to the Nook appeal), as shown below.

Emma Bridgewater  Pottery

Emma Bridgewater Pottery

WKW friend Micki Maynard noted that because she signed up for the Emma Bridgewater mailing list she received a 15% off first time purchase code, helpful for her order of two mugs, as shipping to the USA ran $30.

As one would expect at Emma Bridgewater, there was a colorful plaque to commemorate today’s Duchess’s visit.

Stephen Lock / i-Images

Stephen Lock / i-Images

Kate was also given some lovely flowers.

Stephen Lock / i-Images

Stephen Lock / i-Images

Kate’s second engagement was at Cape Hill Children’s Centre northwest of Birmingham. The charity is part of Action for Children, an organization providing support for the “…most vulnerable and neglected children and young people throughout the UK…”.

Action for Children Twitter Feed (@actnforchildren)

Action for Children Twitter Feed (@actnforchildren)

From the Action for Children website:

Chief executive Tony Hawkhead, our chair of trustees John O’Brien and Operational Director Jan Stoll showed her around the building, then she met with parents who are working with our Sandwell Family Partners project.

For staff at the service, it was a fantastic chance to show the whole of the UK what great work they do.

The Centre offers a variety of programs, everything from adult employment assistance to speech therapy and healthcare assistance.  Kate looked very relaxed and eager to listen during her time at the Centre.

Action for Children Twitter Feed (@actnforchildren)

Action for Children Twitter Feed (@actnforchildren)

Back to the Hello! story about Kate’s engagements:

Perhaps the highlight of her visit, however, was taking part in a play session with the children and parents who use the Cape Hill Children’s Centre. A young girl grabbed the opportunity to high-five Kate as she sat next to her, while the royal also sang along to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with the group.

ITV has video of the youngster’s celebratory sentiments.

ITV

ITV

People magazine’s Simon Perry shared several photos on his Instagram feed of Kate and the children.

Simon Perry, People Magazine Instagram (@SPerryPeopleMag)

Simon Perry, People Magazine Instagram (@SPerryPeopleMag)

Sophie Jamieson of the Birmingham Mail posted these pictures of Kate at the Children’s Centre.

Sophie Jamieson, The Birmingham Mail Twitter Feed (@SophieJam)

Sophie Jamieson, The Birmingham Mail Twitter Feed (@SophieJam)

Now to what Kate wore.

©James Whatling/SplashNews.com

©James Whatling/SplashNews.com

The Duchess was in a coat by Max Mara. If not identical to the coat seen below, then a cut that is very similar.

Kate Max Mara SportMax Sport Max Blue Coat Emma Bridgewater Side by Side i-Images

Max Mara SportMax/i-Images

Today’s tip of the tiara goes to Carly at Kate Middleton Style, a reader tipped her the coat was from the a/w 2014 Sport Max collection.  Irish Sara let us know the style name is Gerbera; she and Carly fiendishly searched and came up with what we think is the coat Kate was wearing today.

Max Mara

Max Mara

If not this precise garment, it is very close.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

Matches Fashion describes Sportmax as “the brand’s slick, urban line. Graphic dresses in bold prints, precision tailoring and crisply cut jackets and trousers amp up city dressing for the fashion conscious.” The company confirmed Kate was wearing their coat on its Facebook page.

SportMax Facebook

SportMax Facebook

The coat features an oversized collar and lapels, princess seaming, on seam pockets, and a hidden front closure. Ashley Marie reports that she was told by Max Mara the garment is “double faced wool, sewn by hand, comes with belt, originally priced at $2490.”

©i-Images.co

©i-Images.co

It’s interesting the style name is ‘gerbera,’ as it looks like Kate’s bouquet has a gerbera daisy among the other flowers.

i-Images

i-Images

Kate wore her Seraphine Florrie dress.

Seraphine

Seraphine

From the retailer’s ‘Luxe Line’ of maternity wear, the Florrie is a rayon crepe de chine, with a curved empire waistline, short sleeves and full skirt. The dress is available for pre-ordering, it is expected to start shipping to customers in March ($179/£99).

Kate accessorized with her ‘Frome’ navy clutch from LK Bennett.

i-Images/i-Images

i-Images/i-Images

Product shots.

LK Bennett 'Frome'

LK Bennett ‘Frome’

And her ‘Georgia’ suede heels from Jimmy Choo.

i-Images/

i-Images/

The Duchess wore her hair partially up, which showed off her sapphire and diamond earrings nicely.

While there are no formal engagements currently on Kate’s calendar at the moment, I expect we will see her carry out a few more appointments prior to her April delivery date.

LINKAGE:

  46 Responses to “Kate in Max Mara & Seraphine for Visits to Emma Bridgewater Pottery & Cape Hill Children’s Centre”

  1. I don’t know anything about kate in real life but every time when I see her with children (in these shots) I find her sincere and kind, at least it appears so to me.

    I have said so many time and I will say one more time: I wish I could see the entire coat collection in her closet.. so many mouth watering pieces…

  2. Oh, doesn’t Kate’s hair look particularly luxuriant these days, particularly on the bottom lengths/layers. (I noticed a post on the day she wore the John Lewis sailboat dress that mentioned her hair & a headset, I submitted my post but going through the pics later,only fully realised then that it was Kate wearing the headset!!!!!!!!!) Stunned! I hadn’t recognised her, the hair looked lighter and like a Hair Dye/Shampoo/Hairspray advert, it was that lovely!!! Her hair looks like this in some of these pictures today too when ‘walking away’. She may have got some layers cut in. It looks glamorous (can you feel my jealousy yet!).
    Kate has a long body/torso so doesn’t show pregnancy until later than most of us,it stops that leaning back look too and looks elegant for longer (though I think ALL pregnant women look beautiful!).
    Lovely shade of cornflour, Kate obviously likes her blue – my favourite spectrum shades of purple, grape, lilac, lavender, grape, burgundy, aubergine, bright pink & aqua rarely get a look in. I think Kate’s favourite shades are white, cream, beige and blue (this is not a criticism as we are all different). Kate is also working until later towards the due date this time, more confident, perhaps.
    A final word on the grey hair, it happens to us all, perhaps she’s too tired to dye/have it dyed/worried about chemical transfer to the baby etc, but she still looked fresh & happy to be where she was, particularly a feat if she was feeling tired/under the weather. Good on you, Kate, I can’t do it!!!

  3. Has anyone else had any luck with receiving a 15% off code for signing up for the newsletter? I would love to purchase the mugs but the $30 shipping is pretty difficult to swallow and a discount would help.

  4. Kate looks lovely in this outfit – wonderful colour and the length is perfect.I like the style of the coat and it works beautifully with the dress. A very elegant look, something not easy to achieve when you are seven months pregnant.

  5. This outfit gets 5 gold stars from me… All of the pieces, including accessories, work well together here to create a stunning, flattering outfit. (And no blue and black! Yay!) Of course, at this stage in the pregnancy all coats are coming off a tad tent-like, but that’s to be expected. I also agree with those commenters who point out that the Duchess is doing a much better job dressing her pregnancy this time around. Hemlines have been longer, and she seems to be purchasing pieces that actually fit her as opposed to altering her already extant wardrobe. I know that she is generally applauded for her thriftiness in the wardrobe department, but I think as a public figure purchasing new pieces that actually fit her while pregnant is to be recommended.

  6. I love the soft lines of this coat. I think those lines are more apparent with the coat unbuttoned, but understand that the weather dictated wearing it closed. Wearing it with the belt would have taken away from the soft, flow-y look of the whole outfit (coat and dress); and, possibly, have felt too constricting around the growing bump! I prefer the white in terms of color.

    • I completely agree with you, Jessica W. When closed, the coat is beautiful, but rather predictable. Open and flowing, it’s fashion magic! Unfortunately, I rather doubt we will ever see the Duchess wear it open… she seems to favor wearing her coats carefully closed, which is understandable, as open coats can just as easily come across as sloppy instead of fashion forward to the general public.

      • And Kate also has the problem of needing her hands to be clear from flapping fabric to accept flowers, throw pottery, bend down to talk to children &c &c. I think the lovely open version of this coat would be unusable while on an official outing!

        But as you say above AshleyOlivia this is a 5-star outfit, to look so well turned out at six months gone is some achievement. And you’ve been spared the black-and-blue, happy days! though I’m afraid I’m among those who find that combination acceptable, even chic :-)

        • I do not mind black and blue, or even the occasional black and brown, pairings. One of my favorite dresses is a striped black and cobalt blue. However, I do think some thought needs to go into determining whether or not the colors match, just as you would do with any other outfit. For example, the cornflower blue of this particular coat would not clash with black, in my opinion, but the black of the sailboat dress from the previous event did not match navy blue pumps.

          Ah, well. This is my particular pet peeve, and the Duchess certainly does not need to cater to my tastes. With another little one on the way, it is easy to understand how perfect color coordinations might not top her list of concerns at the moment. ;-)

  7. I like her in blue and think today she was wearing a beautifully coordinated outfit. I have noticed her wearing more of her high end jewelry lately, a nice change from the big costume pieces she wore over the holidays.
    Her hair looks like it needs little attention, looks dry and brassy, I think she is due for a cut and color. I have seen the grays in other photos from today but noticed some in earlier pics as well. As a 30′s woman, I understand the gray hair issue, I’m up to coloring every 2 weeks around my temples to hide them!
    I wonder what her last event will be, I’m thinking it might be St Patricks Day, which is about 4-6 weeks from her due date and about the same time she ended engagements when pregnant with George.

    • I think she’s not fully coloring her hair due to her pregnancy. I’m wondering if she touches up the roots somehow. Maybe with just a temporary color, or something not strong. I’ve seen something called “Bad Hair Day” advertised here in America. I think it was invented by Joan RIvers. I don’t know if it’s toxic, but something like that maybe.

      • I had the same thought Marla Maye. To me, it seems that she is coloring her hair except for the root area, and then camouflaging the visible roots with something else. I actually use Great Hair Day, the product you mentioned, to fill in my roots between salon visits. She might very well be doing it as well.

      • Joan Rivers Great Hair Day is one possibllity, especially since Joan was a good friend of Kate’s father in law, Prince Charles and Camilla. Another possibility is a brown felt tipped furniture marker. I lift the hair away from the scalp before I apply the marker to just the gray roots. Then I cover the area a second time with an inexpensive tan-light brown eyeshadow, which is basically what the Great Hair Day is. It takes a few minutes to apply this, but the results are well worth the effort since it covers the gray quite well.

        • Never heard that one before. Does the marker wash out or is it semi permanent?

        • That is interesting Nancy. I’ve always wondered what made up Great Hair Day. Does a furniture marker emit any fumes? I think you’d want a well-ventilated room it does, pregnant or not………If you look at the back of her head, near the top of the pony-tail, on each side, you can see two small squares of gray. (It might not be called a “pony-tail”, but I don’t know what else to call it)……..Her hair looks very gray there. This site doesn’t show the back of her head, square on, but other sites show the solid back of her head at this engagement…..I actually think she made a mistake by putting her hair in that pony-tail; the gray would have shown less if she’d just let go straight.

  8. Still not a fan of this dress print but the fit looks perfect on her today. I wish I was her size and a relative as I would be more than happy to receive her hand-me-down coats; I love so very many of them-including this one. Do you think she’s wearing so much blue to throw off people guessing (correctly?) that it’s a girl this time?

  9. I love that she’s been taking her coat off lately! And it’s wonderful to see the pictures of her in the dress showing that, yes, she is indeed 7 months pregnant. :) She looks lovely today.

  10. She is just stunning!

  11. Some Emma Bridgewater pieces are sold in the US. Specifically, Susanbranch.com and Churchmouse yarns and teas website!

  12. Beautiful coat! I love that shade of blue. Blue seems to be the default color for Kate, and she can wear many shades, from baby blue to dark navy.
    The solid color coat and print dress is sort of a uniform for her, and it works, giving two different looks for the two appearances. Her hair is gorgeous!

  13. So surprised that the coat is not bespoke because the fit is much better than that of last week’s white MM. The color is pretty and I like the seam details in the back. Not as stunning as the two Seraphine coats she has worn though. Her hair is the star today. Nicely styled with to die for color and shine. Shows off those cascading waves beautifully.

    • I think it’s bespoke, or at least altered. It couldn’t fit so nicely on the top and still have such a good hem.

      • I think you’re right about that Rebecca. I did notice a panel added on the sides of her coat, so I think she had the coat modified to accommodate her pregnancy. It did fit her perfectly.

  14. Gorgeous colour for the coat, and nice to see a bit of a different silhouette on the Duchess. I only wish we’d seen it open as pictured on the model! It looks a bit cosier and looser-fitting than many of Kate’s other coats, yet it’s still stylish (and it this case the looser fit was practical since she needed to roll up her sleeves). I was a fan of the dress the first time around and so glad to see it make another appearance! It looks stunning with the shade of the coat as well. I love the photo of her holding the bouquet, the colours of the flowers look great against her outfit.

    • I agree with your comment on the pretty silhouette — the princess-line works wonders with an expanding tummy. On the other hand, of course, even pregnant Kate still manages to keep a reasonable figure thanks to her lean frame. Some people have all the luck!

  15. Wasn’t too fond of the dress the first time I saw it on her, really liked it today though!

  16. This is a really good look for her and she looks happy and healthy. And finally looking pregnant!

  17. I think the color of this coat is lovely — a rather soft and subdued cornflower blue, I’d call it — but it seems to be a different shade from the one on the company’s site. That blue looks darker and more intense, closer to a royal blue. Perhaps it’s just a matter of different lighting.

    The design of the coat is fine, though nothing special. The Duchess is at that awkward stage of pregnancy where she’s really showing, and nothing she wears is going to come off as very sleek and chic. The coat just looks a bit blanket-like on her, like basically just a warm cover-up, though I must say that she’s really blooming this time around. Her bump may not be that large, but she’s the picture of rosy health.

    Alas, she’s wearing that dress that reminds me of my relative’s awful curtains. I’ll refrain from further comment.

    Chloe’s Lake District watercolor reveals some genuine talent. I can think of some 18th and 19th-century British landscapists who would have been intrigued. I’ll bet the Duchess can, too.

    • It looks like Wedgwood blue to me.

    • Setting aside the family blankets and curtains, I think Kate’s maternity choices this time round have been more successful than last time. After this of course we must brace ourselves for a series of tents as nature dictates.

      • While I love today’s outfit, I think she’s had a lot more misses this time around than we’re used to seeing. I don’t mean individual pieces that I don’t like, as that’s purely a matter of taste, and will always vary. But there seem to have been a lot of odd combinations (navy accessories with a black dress, that mismatched top and skirt she wore to an awards ceremony in early pregnancy), and items that just don’t fit well. Maybe I’m forgetting some bloopers from her first pregnancy, but I certainly don’t remember as many.

  18. I really like the dress. Don’t really care for the oversize lapels and collar on the coat, but that is minor. The color is lovely and I really like her hair. Overall, she gets an A from me.

  19. This is a wonderful outfit. I like very much that we are getting a run of coats with v-necklines and a peek of contrast beneath, a welcome change from all those buttons done up to the throat. This MaxMara is gorgeous — I love the way the coat hangs when open, the wonderful cut makes neat work of all the fabric involved in a double-breasted style. Overall, it makes Kate look as elegant as any woman can at this stage of pregnancy.

    I’m equally glad she got to have a second outing for the Seraphine dress, I like the pattern much more this time around. I’ve been fascinated to see close-ups showing more of the seaming at the bodice, it’s such a great way to use a fluid fabric to make maternity elegant without resorting to endless gathered bust-lines.

    And I simply adore those shoes. The longer we get not to see those old Sledges, the happier I am. The navy touches with the lovely shade of the coat are perfect, and her hair looks great, away from her face and in a pretty twist at the back. Kate really is glowing now and it’s wonderful to see her old sparkle back.

    Thanks for a great post. My mug is on order!

  20. My husband works in ceramics and as a result we have been able to visit Stoke-on-Trent several times. For those who may not know, Stoke is THE headquarters for English ceramics. A colleague arranged a behind the scenes tour of Wedgwood…this was not the ordinary tour that tourists take.

    We were shown around by upper management and got to try things such as placing handles on cups, and placing transfer ware designs on plates. These skills are much more difficult than they look, and the jobs were often passed down from parent to child. Sadly, much of English ceramic making is now exported to Asia. It is worderful that there are boutique style potters like Emma Bridgewater’s keeping these traditions alive there.

    Incidentally, my celebrity crush, the singer Robbie Williams, is also from Stoke.

    Kate looks wonderful in this coat. It is one of my favorite of her pregnancy looks.

    • You sound like Hyacinth from Keeping Up Appearances!

      • Since many people here comment with expertise about clothes and tailoring, I thought it might be interesting for some people to learn more about where Kate went today and the industry she was highlighting….An industry which, incidentally, is dying.

        Even if tourists get to go on tours to these factories, it is unusual for anyone to get a hands on experience. I thought it was fascinating and it showed me how difficult those jobs actually are. It gave me a greater apprecitation for these beautiful pieces.

        If you didn’t get that impression, you could have asked instead of insulting me.

        NOTE: Edited by admin

      • Aaahhh…the fair Hyacinth, my heroine! A woman with a firm grip on the qualities of true style ;-)

        • One of the greatest characters ever!

          • I own not only my Wedgwood pitcher, in the classic blue jasperware with white classicizing figurative motifs, but also a set of Wedgwood china in the “Blue Florentine” pattern. Both were inherited. Donna’s very interesting description of the Wedgwood production facility fascinated me, but the reference to Hyacinth Bucket had me thinking that if I were to encounter that appalling trilling creature (“Bouquet residence…!”) in person while handling any of my Wedgwood, I might well react like poor Elizabeth, the hapless next-door neighbor, and fumble one of my precious cups or plates with tragic results.

            One of my husband’s late relatives, later a professional (and very fashionable) artist, had to drop out of art school on her father’s death and go to work painting expensive hand-decorated china to help support her family. Donna is quite right that the skills involved in this work are very exacting and difficult and soon, perhaps, a lost art.

  21. Kate looks so tiny! I wonder if her height works to her advantage there in looking so slim even while pregnant. I love the color of the coat, just beautiful. And her hair? Gorgeous!

    • Her long-waistedness works to her advantage. Long-waisted women often seem to carry small. I suppose the baby has more vertical room. The size of her bump certainly is no indication of the size of the baby. Remember that Prince George weighed in at a hefty 8 lbs., 6 oz.

  22. Very happy with this look. The Duchess looks healthy and happy. The coat is a beautiful color, and the length is perfect. Bravo. I’m not really a fan of the dress, but she must feel comfortable in it, having worn it twice in public now.

    Only in the one photo does Kate look pregnant. Are we sure she’s seven months along? This seems like it will be a smaller baby.

    On Emma Bridgewater, I’ve been a customer for a while now. For Americans, I’d liken her style to Fitz and Floyd. Some of the pieces are a little too printed for me, but they are well made and the personalized pieces are quite nice. Unfortunately, the shipping costs the earth, as you might expect for pottery shipped from England.

    However, as Susan mentions, I’d definitely sign up for the email list and use your discount on the Duchess designed pieces.

    • I think the length of the coat helped when a breeze was teasing Kate’s hemlines at the back — no over-exposure, praise be. A hem just onto the knee really suits her.

  23. LOVE her hair partially up in a knot. Love the dress and for the first time, she actually looks pregnant! =)

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