May 132017
 

For today’s Party at the Palace Kate was in a familiar frock. The Duchess’s See by Chloé knit dress was first worn during the Canada tour last fall. 

©Andrew Parsons, i-Images

©Andrew Parsons, i-Images

Today’s Buckingham Palace event honored children who lost a parent serving in the armed forces. The invitations featured a popup Palace.

Army Widows Association Twitter (@ArmyWidowsA) Click on image to  go to Twitter feed.

Army Widows Association Twitter (@ArmyWidowsA) Click on image to go to Twitter feed.

They were accompanied by a note from Prince Harry, as well as rail vouchers and other items for those attending from out of town.

Army Widows Association Twitter @ArmyWidowsA (Click photo to visit Army Widows Twitter feed)

Army Widows Association Twitter @ArmyWidowsA (Click photo to visit Army Widows Twitter feed)

From The Telegraph’s story by Hannah Furness:

In the words of Prince Harry, Buckingham Palace had not seen that much fun, ever.

He should know – and with water balloons, facepaints, cupcakes and the RAF Falcons parachuting onto the palace lawns, who would argue?

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

From Robert Jobson’s Evening Standard story:

Guests enjoyed performances by the pop star Jess Glynne, the magician Lance Corporal Richard Jones, winner of Britain’s Got Talent, and the ventriloquist Nina Conti. Children also took part in breakdancing and beatboxing workshops.

©Pool / Reuters / Splash

©Pool / Reuters / Splash

Charities involved in the event included Child Bereavement UK (William is the royal patron of the organization), Winston’s Wish, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, and the SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).

Here is the Tree of Memories made by children and their families shared on Twitter by Child Bereavement UK.

Child Bereavement UK Twitter @CBUKHelp (Click photo to go to the charity's Twitter feed.)

Child Bereavement UK Twitter @CBUKHelp (Click photo to go to the charity’s Twitter feed.)

Kate meeting some of the children.

©Andrew Parsons / Sunday Times/ Rota

©Andrew Parsons / Sunday Times/ Rota

From The Daily Mail’s story:

The sprawling garden was transformed into an open-air festival for the guests, who brought a surviving parent or guardian.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Nikki Scott of Scotty’s Little Soldiers shared this picture of a Pie Face Showdown match.

Nikki Scott, Scotty's Little Soldiers

Nikki Scott, Scotty’s Little Soldiers

Harry shows his skill at spinning plates.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

But then he encountered a real pro: Spiderman. (That’s 3-year-old George Hinchcliffe.)

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Back to the Evening Standard article:

George’s father, Captain Richard Hinchfliffe, who served with the Royal Armoured Medical Corps, died in an accident as a civilian in 2015 shortly after leaving the RAMC.

His mother, Abigail Hinchcliffe, said it was “very emotional” to be at Buckingham Palace and watch her son playing with Prince Harry.

©Andrew Parsons / NMA Rota / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

©Andrew Parsons / NMA Rota / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

William with party-goers.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Singer Jess Glynne performing.

JessGlynneEU Twitter

JessGlynneEU Twitter

Kate chatting with one of the guests.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

A bucket of balloons. More precisely, water balloons.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Why were they needed? So Kate could help launch them into the air with a giant slingshot, something she found very entertaining.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

The trio also posed for photos. Below you see the Duke, Duchess & Prince with Samantha Davidson and her children, Jayden 8, Jamie 6, Amelia 4.

© Andrew Parsons / iImages/Polaris

© Andrew Parsons / i-Images/Polaris

This is one of those occasions where the Duke, Duchess and Prince all seemed to enjoy themselves immensely, despite the losses faced by all the special guests.

©Pool/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Pool/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Harry spoke briefly to those attending the event: People has more.

Prince Harry made an emotional speech to the party, telling the guests, “Today was organized to celebrate you guys. We’re here to remind you that we as a family, and as a nation will never, ever forget the sacrifices that all of you here have made.

“We wanted to give you an opportunity to know that you are part of, sadly, a very large group of fantastic people. The three of us, and all of our family, wanted to thank you so, so much for everything you’ve done. “I can assure you that Buckingham Palace gardens have not seen this much fun, ever.”

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Child Bereavement UK got in the spirit, spelling out their initials.

Child Bereavement UK @CBUKHelp (Click photo to visit the group's Twitter feed.)

Child Bereavement UK @CBUKHelp (Click photo to visit the group’s Twitter feed.)

The party wrapped up in dramatic fashion.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Paratroopers from the RAF Falcons team made quite an entrance.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Now for a look at what Kate wore for today’s festivities.

©Pool / Reuters / Splash

©Pool / Reuters / Splash

Many recognized the Duchess’s dress immediately; it was first worn at the children’s party in Canada last September.

©

©Canadian Heritage / i-Images

It was a good choice for today’s festivities. (This comes from someone not fond of the dress, but appreciates its convenience/appeal for Kate.)

©

©Nunn Syndication, Polaris / i-Images, Polaris

The garment is from See by Chloé’s Fall ’16 collection. It remains in stock at Saks ($460), although the ‘small’ size has sold out in the time it took me to write the post. The fit and flare dress is knee-length, with an openworked bodice and sleeves, ruffled collar and cuffs, and back button closure. The pointelle-knit is a blend of 90% cotton/10% polyester.

kate-kids-party-canada-see-chloe-knit-dress-creamy-white-porduct-shots-nap

Here is a look at that button back.

©Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

©Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Kate also wore the Fleur espadrille wedges by Monsoon today; she also wore this shoe at the party in Canada.

©Andrew Parsons,i-Images / Mosoon

©Andrew Parsons,i-Images / Monsoon

The taupe suede worn by the Duchess is no longer available. This spring the Fleur is offered in navy suede as well as a taupe fabric; both styles are available on the Monsoon UK site (£45, about $58), but not the US site.

Monsoon

Monsoon

Completing the repeat trifecta, Kate’s Orione belt by Acne Studios, long ago sold out.

FORWARD by Elyse Walker

FORWARD by Elyse Walker

We saw the return of Kate’s Kiki McDonough Diamond Hoops and Annoushka Pearl Drop earrings.

©Splash/Kiki McDonough/Annoushka/

©Splash/Kiki McDonough/Annoushka/i-Images

This look worked well for the Duchess. The knit dress is comfortable, the full skirt works well when Kate is kneeling, and the wedge shoes made eminent good sense for walking on the grass. One more photo.

Pool / Reuters / Splash

Pool / Reuters / Splash

We’ll leave you with this 2-minute video from The Telegraph; it includes Kate & Harry launching their water balloons.

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With a “welcome” to all our new followers it occurs to me it’s time for a comment policy reminder. We’ve been seeing an increase in comments specula, something we avoid. I feel dreadful not publishing them when people have gone to the time and effort of sharing their thoughts, thus the need for a quick refresher. From the policy:

Healthy, respectful discussion is not only desired, it is encouraged. A debate on the length of a hemline or the merits of a sheath over a fit and flare silhouette isn’t just enjoyable, it’s educational. In those instances, and almost all others, people agree to disagree. They do so politely, even warmly. It is not okay to refer to someone as a fool. Nor is it acceptable to belittle another’s opinion, or to label it as stupid, idiotic, ridiculous or to use any other pejorative term in responding to someone’s comment.

The site’s primary purpose is style-related; this is not the place for discussion about Kate and William’s marriage, Kate’s weight or speculation on whether or not she is expecting. Trial and error over the years has shown that weight debates have a propensity to go off the rails very quickly. Saying “I think the dress is too big on her” or “the suit jacket should have been taken in” is different from “She looks gaunt,” or “Kate’s bones stick out,” or comments of that nature. It’s a fine line, but one we’re sensitive to here. 

Comments referring to the Duchess (or anyone else) as a moron, a nitwit, a disgrace or other derogatory terms are simply deleted. That doesn’t translate into sycophancy. It’s merely the difference between saying “I don’t think the dress is cut right” or “it’s not a flattering look” and saying “She looks like an idiot, “I can’t believe she would wear such a trashy dress,” or “she looks dumpy.” In some cases it’s a matter of tone; because this is the written word we need to remember one can’t hear vocal inflections. In summation, we have worked hard over the years to create a community here at WKW, and will continue efforts to ensure civility is maintained as we evolve.

We’ll see you next week, and then a week from today for Pippa’s wedding (!).

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  65 Responses to “Kate In Ideal Ensemble for Party at the Palace”

  1. Sigh. I want to like it: it checks all the “appropriateness” boxes for an event at the palace, it’s princessy, it’s Chloe, she can bend down in it and move around. But while I like it on paper, it just reminds me too much of a someone’s ancient knitted afghan or doily. I’m struggling to come up with a better option: pants wouldn’t work, a dress would have to look good with a wedge, should be princess-y but not a straight skirt/pencil-y suit ensemble. Surely there’s something else fit and flare from one of the tours that isn’t such a blah color–something reasonably priced so she doesn’t look out of touch. Maybe it’s the hair that bugs me? Would a swingy ponytail have made it more sporty and approachable (but less princess glam?) The belt helps and of course Kate looks gorgeous in everything, but I’m hoping this is the last we see of this and it goes back to the 70s!

  2. I saw there was a new post by an “Anne” a few entries back, so I will add my other name, Christine, in order to avoid confusion. Thank you, Admin, for the reminder about civil comments. I’m sure it will help to keep the discussion here on the level it’s always been. I’ve loved this site for the knowledgeable contributions about the fashion choices the Duchess makes (fabric, silhouette, color, accessories, significance, and overall wow factor!), and I hope this continues to be a fun and enlightening online community!

  3. The dress and shoes are different styles: the dress seems fussy and formal and the shoes are casual. Both are fine if worn with the appropriate outfit, but are jarring when worn together. I also have a nitpicky thing that probably only bothers me: I can deal with a monochrome outfit, but when your dress is one color and your shoes are meant to match but are not the exact same color, it makes you look like you should have checked your outfit in the sunlight before leaving the house. My personal preference would be for a contrast. I am imagining how red shoes would elevate this outfit. Even navy would be better.

  4. I think this is such a pretty dress–she’s incredibly brave to wear white at an event like this! I do prefer it without the belt, which to my eye looks too clunky for the dress.

    I like her wedges in general, but we’re seeing a lot of block heels this season, and they’re just as functional for wandering around in the grass. I wonder if we’ll be seeing some version of those on the Duchess this summer.

  5. After seeing this dress again I strongly agree that the belt was needed. The design without a belt looks incomplete and a strange transition from top to bottom.
    Not what I would haveselected for this type of event but a great dress.
    Excited to see the family next week at Pippa’s wedding. Hoping for some incredible fashions.

  6. I didn’t like the dress in Canada and still think that it’s just plain ugly. The neckline is too frumpy and the wedges are just too casual with that style of dress.

  7. The dress photographs very well, and I suspect that was part of the reason it was chosen. It was a bit odd that everyone else was told to dress down, and Kate appears in a tea party dress.

    I am delighted to see BP used in this fashion for these children. Hopefully, it’s the start of more William, Kate and Harry events.

  8. Ooops! Life got busy and had a lot of catching up to do on WKW. This event in particular was so heartwarming to read about. And, watch on video. Thanks for the great close up shots of this dress. It is a beautiful garment and fits her well. As much as I would love to see the Duchess in tailored pants and trouser suits, I think that this pretty little princessy dress was a very good choice for this event. Her public, even children, have expectations about what a princess should look like when they see her up close. I think she lived up to that expectation in this dress for this event.

    I am loving her hair NOT pulled back and trimmed a bit. Very pretty and chic!

    I get why she chooses the wedge shoe but I don’t understand why she only goes with the rope soled wedge. There are so many different types of wedge shoes! Many that would go much better with this dress than the ones she wore. But, Kate is a bit quirky I guess, Aren’t we all!

    • I think you make such a good point that Kate’s public expects to see her a little dressed-up. Especially kids. I’m not saying that that’s how it should be all the time – I think Diana and Kate have proven that “princesses” can wear casual clothes and trousers just as well – but for this event, and to honour people who have made such a terrible sacrifice, I think the dress was appropriate and it made her stand out at little, while still being comfortable.

      • I agree wtih that as well…she is thinking of the guests at the special children’s garden party at BP. …which is why she chose such as dress.

  9. What a very thoughtful idea to organize this event, and it seems to be very well organized, with train tickets, parachutes, etc.

    I like this dress a lot, and yes, practical and also ‘princessy’ at the same time, as others have noted. She has always been very brave to wear white to outdoors event, and I guess what good is being princess if you can’t.

    One strain of comment that always irk me is the second-guessing of Kate’s interest in fashion. This is the woman who has launched what is probably millions (if not billions) of $ of fashion sales globally. Fashion, by definition, is what is being worn and purchased by the masses – it isn’t fashion when only one person wears it. Whether she is interested in fashion or not is not the point – she has mobilized sales and therefore, created fashion. Even Anna Wintour herself (arguably a person who has an interest in fashion) do not have this ability.

    • She does not create fashion, designers create fashion. What she does is she generates sales. It just happens to be in the fashion industry. And she does so because of her position in the royal family and her fairy tale life, so to speak.

  10. The photo with the Davidson family sums it up for me on so many levels. Absolutely wonderful.

  11. I think the dress was partly a response to a child’s notion of what would be ‘princessy’. I also think the formality of dress of all three Royals is likely partly because, while it was a children’s party, it was still, in some sense, a garden party at the Palace. The same was also true of the last occasion the dress was worn as it was at Government House.

  12. Thanks for your hard work compiling the blog, and for curating the comments with care and attention– it really makes a difference to the tone of the site that the comments section isn’t a free-for-all. It must be rather discouraging to have to delete inappropriate comments, but it really enhances the visitor experience.

    I recognised the dress straight away, but for some reason I mis-remembered it, I thought that pointelle pattern on the top part continued on the skirt as well, and thought initially she’d had it reworked. But from the photos I see I was wrong, the skirt is solid (and was solid the first time round too!). I think it’s a lovely colour and shape for spring.

  13. I did not care for that dress the first time around and I was hoping to see a summer dress. This one looks so heavy ans not very practical for this event which, by the way, was brilliant,

    Cant’ wait for the 20th! I hope we see a lot of the guests fashion as well :)

  14. What a wonderful event! I love it when these three get together, they really shine.

    In regards to the dress it is not my favourite. While I do think a skirt is appropriate (as opposed to trousers or jeans) I did think she might have worn something a little more colourful or perhaps with a print? The Duchess looks wonderful in colour. One of her wonderful ponytails would have added a more playful element to the outfit, but she looked lovely as always and clearly brought a smile to many faces!

    • Something colourful would have been lovely. Perhaps one of the dresses from the India tour? I like this dress and I suspect Kate gets cold easily so it is probably quite practical in that regard. Her hair looks great.

      The photos make it look like the three royals are just mingling with the crowd and enjoying the day. I wonder if that is the case. I spoke with someone who attended the dinner in New York with William and Kate. Those photos also looked like they were mingling with the crowd. He showed me a photo. There was no mingling except with a few chosen people. W&K were whisked in and out and the vast majority never got within 50 feet of them.

      • I wondered about the dinner in New York…….thanks for the insider comment/ look.

      • My guess is that there are very few times that William and Kate ever really interact with people in the events they attend. They really do live a very isolated life – a guilded cage” is a description you hear frequently. They rely on their family, a few close friends, and their entourage of close employees – outgoing, friendly American Meghan will be facing a huge culture shock. Their love and marriage will need to be very strong – the very best of good luck.

  15. So, Kate likes a cream tea, and while I can see the Chloe is an ideal choice in terms of comfort and activity, I remain bemused at how she can choose a pale tone amid the hazards of all those sticky fingers and not a little grass should she find herself kneeling.

    The prim high neck also feels at genteel odds with the playful goings-on, but there again it does have a princess-y vibe which might be appreciated by youngsters. I’ve enjoyed a return to this dress as more close-ups have shown more detail. I thought the skirt was plain but it has a whole ribbed texture which holds its own against the pretty pointelle top.

    That is one beautiful belt with which Kate can rightly show off her waistline and shoes have clearly been chosen for comfort at an event where formality would be all wrong. I’m glad to see the McDonough pearl drops back again, as, with Kate’s discovery of the Queen’s pearl drops they seem to have been put into store, and I’ve missed them.

    Just think, this time next week and we won’t know where to look first – at George and Charlotte, or Meghan, or Kate – or maybe even bride Pippa herself. Bring it on!

  16. Dear,

    Regarding the policy reminder: Thank you for taking such good care to ensure that this website remains a friendly, fashion and Kate focussed site! That is exactly the reason why I love to visit whatkatewore.com: it is such a pleasant website, focusing on the positives of the fashion and work of Kate (and consorts). For me it serves as the ideal distraction from my daily work.

    Best.

  17. Long time reader, first time poster. I love your blog. I also love reading the comments. Sometimes I will initially like or dislike an outfit then read the comments about the fit, how pieces go together, or how other readers might have changed the look, and I come away with a different impression. I’ve learned a lot by reading, and I’d like to think I’ve applied some changes (for the better) to my wardrobe because of this blog. So I just wanted to thank you for a great blog, and applaud your reminder about comments because I love to read the classy conversation that takes place.

  18. It’s a cute thought that she was dressing like a proper princess for the kids.If they had to draw her, they’d probably draw the duchess in an outfit like this rather than in dark jeans with a normal blazer (chosen because it’s more “practical”). She can play with them without rolling around in the mud.I think it works for the occasion. A maxi skirt with a bit of boho flair or high-waisted trousers would generally go with the top.

  19. While overall I’m not a huge fan of the dress, I feel it was an appropriate choice for the event. I agree with a n above comment that the belt does wonders for the dress, as it appears shapeless without it in the images shown.

    Those wedges…aaarrrrghhh! I’m always so disappointed when they rear their ugly head. I understand the need to avoid heels for a grassy garden party, I just wish she could’ve done so with different footwear.

    Am I the only one who was (sadly) holding out hope for a George and Charlotte appearance today? I had thought that perhaps they’d join their parents and Harry, but after seeing the photos, it makes sense why they weren’t present; such a crowd! Far larger than the party in Canada, which I (naively) was not anticipating. I’d thought a glimpse of the kids this weekend might dull some of the furor surrounding Pippa’s wedding, but it was not appropriate.

    Speaking of the wedding….the countdown is ON! Woohoo! Thanks, Susan!

    • I think I speak for many when I say that we’d have loved to see George and Charlotte present. I think they were absent for a couple of reasons. First of all, the focus of the Royal Three were on the children attending this event. Looking out for George and Charlotte, even with a nanny there, would have been a distraction. Also, William and Kate seem to be very astute and sensitive parents. Their children are young and an event such as this may well have been overwhelming to the little ones. I predict as the children grow, so will their involvement in events and activities.

  20. I loved this dress in Canada and still do. I think she opted for the cream color to stand out, ala the Queen’s fashion rules. In the cream, she is easily spotted in the crowd. Aside from fashion, I think this a perfect example of the new royal family: celebrating and welcome of their subjects. It will be interesting if the trend continues.

  21. Great event!

    I do wonder if she was required to wear a dress since it’s the Palace. I can’t recall ever seeing a picture of a female member of the royal family wearing pants to an event at the palace.

    I would guess Kate is in white so it’s easier to see her in the crowd. It’s funny that Will and Harry wear nearly the same casual outfit.

    The dress is fine, we’ve seen it before, I just can’t get excited about it at this type of event.

    • Such a good point Ceci! I bet she was required to wear a dress because it’s the Palace. I think with one exception I’ve never seen her wear anything but a dress at the Palace. (The one exception being an event for the Olympics, where she wore jeans, wedges, and a blazer, which makes sense for the event).

      Love this dress, was glad to see it again, but agree with some of the comments that it looks somewhat heavy. I’m sure it’s not, but it looks that way.

      And thanks for the comments about commenting Susan! You do an amazing job moderating, and keeping up with the blog!

  22. Princess-like, but comfy enough to allow her to thoroughly enjoy the event – which she and those around her clearly did.

  23. absolutely stunning dress and when you look at the detail up close it is gorgeous. great event and lovely to see such a wonderful cause being celebrated. Clothes should always be secondary when focusing on events such as this. Who cares whether the dress was cream or there were ittle kids present who might have put their grubby hands on the gorgeous fabric. It is all about wearing something that you love, feel comfortable enough in for the glare of the cameras and criticism that automatically comes with being such a public person. let us for a moment think about if she had arrived in slim jeans, striped shirts and flat shoes, would have been an outcry that she wasn’t regal enough. Not sure if this poor woman could ever reach a balanced platform in her clothes as there will always be someone who does not think it is appropriate for an event, wrong colour etc. My take on it…go girl, strut your stuff, hold your head high and look amazing, I love this dress.

  24. What an absolutely wonderful event, that was planned for those children, who had lost a parent while in military service. For the participants in this party, it would have been meaningful, memorable, as well as great fun. William, Kate and Harry are certainly doing so much to make the Royal Family approachable and relevant. The Queen must be very pleased.

    Kate’s outfit seems to be her “go to” children’s party ensemble. She looks very pretty in this cream dress. I liked it when worn in Canada and I still like it. It is good that she wears it with a belt, which gives a nicer finish than the dress the model is wearing. While I’ve never been a fan of the wedge shoes, I can see that they are practical for this occasion.

    I’m sure that the Royal Three were pleased with the success of this day.

  25. To be honest, her dress, shoes, and hair are completely secondary to me on this day. The looks on the faces of the families, the love between the three royals, and their connection with the kids upstaged anything as mundane as clothing. If this is the future of the royal family – and it is! – the future is bright indeed.

    • Well said. Awesome coverage of this event here.

      And….I like the dress—the ribbed fabric of the skirt adds a subtle element of sporty casual that to me so fits Kate’s persona.

  26. The dress is a pretty dress but not my fave for Kate. However, I agree with the person who posted that the venue may have dictated the choice of dress – no pants so she wore something that is comfortable and moveable. The best part of the whole thing is that she, the Prince and the Duke all look really happy and are doing something so important that will mean so much to these children and families. Happiness inside and out = true beauty.

  27. A wonderful event. It has to be so unbelievably hard for those who have lost a father, a son, a daughter, or a mother in war conflicts. Some appreciation and recognition and some fun hopefully helps with the healing. Now to Kate’s outfit–on the surface it may seem like an odd choice. But if you think in terms of a desire to look ‘princessy’ and pretty for little kids, this dress is perfect. The lacy-look knit looks soft and sweet and the dress moves easily and gives Kate freedom and comfort. And this was a party, after all, so wearing a dress is very appropriate. It also shows respect–to dress up a bit too.The wedges are certainly the right choice of shoe, as she was walking on the lawns. No other shoe would have been right with the dress–flats were out and any kind of heels, also out. All in all a good look and the 3 royals brought cheer and fun to the families and that’s the best part of it all!

  28. This dress just does not make sense at all for a kids garden party. She’s constantly crouching down to the kids (seems like it would be really easy to see up her dress) and she’s near paint and messy stuff for kids activities…why in the world would anyone want to wear a cream colored dress under those circumstances? That just feels like an invitation for disaster. She’s lucky nothing happened – or if it did that no one caught it! just wear pants Kate! I’ll feel much less anxious for you!

    • I’m not sure trousers would have been appropriate for an event at the Palace.

    • While I myself couldn’t last five minutes wearing cream at an event like that without getting grubby from something, I think we may have to remember that Kate is a princess and normal rules don’t apply. She can walk on grass in heels, or climb into a plane cockpit, she can go rock climbing in wedges and run on sand in them — normal physics just don’t seem to apply ;-)

      • ElizaMo, you’re right! My sister-in-law had a dear friend who enjoyed the “neatness gene” — she could go to a muddy beach with multiple children and emerge with not one smudge. Her granddaughter was exactly the same — even if she was digging in the mud it somehow knew not to attach itself to her!

        Kate seems to have similar genetic makeup.

        Personally I am the opposite. Walking past the garden makes me muddy!

        • Along the same topic, I spent some time doing volunteer work in Kenya. We were told not to bring light coloured clothes, due to the red dust of the dry climate and the red mud when it rained. I opted to bring mostly navy blue clothes. When we visited the schools many uniforms had a white shirt and the male teachers always wore white shirts. Everyone looked absolutely spotless. With all that red dirt and not much in the way of laundry facilities, or detergents, the African people outshone us with their immaculate appearances.

          • I had the same experience running a summer camp in Ukraine 25 years ago. The children arrived each day sparkling clean and left the same way. Maybe they had a touch of dust on their toes. Maybe. Meanwhile, we counselors looked like we’d spent the day in a paint and glue tub.

        • I have the exact same problem as you Mary G – just one look at that garden and I’m in trouble. People with that ‘neatness gene’ leave me dumbfounded!

      • Exactly! I have a friend who was helping me clean out a crawl space under a cottage. She was crawling around underneath and handing me items while wearing a white knit tunic. I only took what she handed me and loaded the items into a cart. She emerged immaculate. And I was covered in streaks of dirt.

    • For mere mortals, maybe white/cream does not make sense. But Kate’s worn white to many occasions and some children’s party (and beach volleyball etc) and have you EVER seen pictures where her dress is splotched? Exactly.

  29. In your second photos of the three royals behind them there is a girl walking down the steps. I think she’s wearing the same shoes as Kate. Funny!

  30. This dress has really grown on me. I really like the pretty lacy details now, and the flowy skirt, and it looks extremely comfortable for moving about and kneeling down. The light colour probably made her stand out too, made her easy to see. I don’t agree that Kate should have worn something more party-casual, I bet you the children (and adults) want her to look like a princess. This outfit is perfect, pretty and light yet comfortable and informal enough. Good job.

  31. What a great event for these three to host and be a part of!

    I think the Duchess was dressed appropriately for the occasion, especially with a repeat. I wonder if the choice of Buckingham Palace as the venue influenced her choice to wear a dress versus wearing trousers. Perhaps if this event was held at Kensington Palace, she may have opted for pants, but being at Buckingham Palace, she might have felt it was more appropriate to wear a dress. But of course this is just my speculation!

  32. I have to say, I already liked that outfit in Canada and I still like it very much today – even though watching kates wardrobe as closely as we do here we might have wished for a little change or two in accessories instead of repeating the entire look (literally neck to toe, since her hair an earrings were different).
    I think this dress is a fine choice for a springtime garden party, especially being a duchess and the host of the Party.
    I don’t mind the wedges, they make sense when walking on the lawn but IMO a different colour would have been nice.
    I liked the earrings better than the ones from Canada, but while I think her new haircut was thoroughly needed I liked the half-updo from before much better.
    I feel that just plain hair (even in a perfect blowout) is not so much a hairdo but just hair – too casual for most events IMO (Kate quite obviously thinks differently:-))

    But thats all just minor preferences, I definitely liked the overall look and I love the last picture (before the video) with her holding Williams arm and both laughing – they always seem to genuinely enjoy each others company wich is very lovable emanation.

    Thanks for the great posts, thats my go-to site to find out what I can’t afford to wear but imagine anyway how I’d do it, if I could…

  33. Lovely dress! So fun to see them relaxed. I still don’t love the shoes with the dress but get their practicality for a garden party. Just an fyi, the video is 2 minutes , not 20 as stated (sorta wish it was 20!) :)

    • Eeeek, thank you! :)

      • I love the children’s garden party “movie”….very touching and fun to watch. I love this dress on Kate and think it is very Kate-Like for a garden party. The espadrilles…of course, because heels are impossible for walking on a lawn!

  34. I respectfully disagree about the outfit choice :) I thought it was an odd choice for a party with children then, and I still think it is now. It is fussy, and the color is just not that great for partying with kids. And I think the grey shoes don’t go very well with the yellowy/cream color of the dress.
    William and Harry are a bit overdressed, too, but at least they are more relaxed in sports coats and without ties. Kate’s choice looks more appropriate for grown up garden parties than ones where kids are running around. It was kind of them to host this party but I guess I would have like to have seen them blend in more with the attendees then setting themselves apart in dressier clothes.

    • I agree with everything you wrote. When I saw it during the Canada tour, I thought it an odd choice for an outdoor kids’ party – fussy, light colour makes it impractical around kids’ activities, and the length just a bit too short for lots of crouching/ bending to talk to kids.

      Brilliant event though.

  35. It looks like this dress and shoes have been relegated to “outdoor children’s party” status. I think in both instances a well-tailored pair of boot-cut trousers would have been both appropriate and practical for this type of occasion. Depending on the weather, the trousers could be paired with a beautiful blouse or a sweater/blazer combination, etc. It’s a lovely dress and, of course, Kate looks beautiful in it. I just think there are more comfortable and practical options to choose that would still convey the level of importance she’s looking to express for the occasion.

    • This is a good reminder, I’ve been wanting to do a post showcasing possible trouser styles for Kate.

      • I would be really interested in seeing such a post. There are so many possibilities out there encompassing the entire spectrum of formality/informality. I’d love to see her in chiffon palazzo pants, for instance, in lieu of a gown for certain occasions that don’t really require the standard evening gown. I’m thinking of the dress she wore for her wedding reception — how hip would palazzo pants have looked with the cashmere sweater and sparkly belt (if I’m remembering correctly; did I just dream all that?!?)?

        • I would love to see that, too. Trousers are just so much more practical for events with kids, and a lot of royals wear them. Letizia in particular.

          Although even if she truly hates pants, there are about a million styles of cute, more informal dresses that would have been more practical for this event than this fussy dress.

    • Trousers with pointy toed flats and a nice sweater would have been my dream outfit for this event! I respect that the usual “dressed down” outfit of dark denim and a blazer wouldn’t have been appropriate for an event at BP (not to mention the awkwardness of twinning with your husband), but the dress just seems like a little too much for such a casual event.

      I am not a fan of these shoes in general and I don’t think they complement this dress in particular.

    • Completely agree with you—she is IMO overdressed for this occasion—even Will and Harry had open necked shirts with no ties—and all the guests were very casual. I think a nice pants/trouser outfit would have been fine for this particular garden party. Also, all the crouching down in a skirt is temptation for the press to try and get an up-skirt photo so they can humiliate her with it.

      I think the outfit is lovely—just not for this particular engagement.

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