We have a few items of interest to share, beginning with an update to Kate’s calendar.
- Thursday, June 9: Kate attends the annual SportsAid dinner. This year the event celebrates the organization’s 40th anniversary with a dinner at Kensington Palace. Kate will meet athletes and SportsAid ambassadors at a reception before the dinner; she will then attend the dinner, which begins at 18:30 local time, that is 1:30EDT/10:30PDT.
Kate has been the charity’s royal patron since 2013. The Duchess attended the organization’s SportsBall in November of that year; you see her below at the event wearing the Templeton dress by Temperley London.
This year’s SportsBall will be of particular interest as it is an Olympic and Paralympic year, athletes competing in those Games will be at the event.
Thursday’s engagement is the first of several functions Kate will be taking part in next week. A quick rundown:
- Friday June 10, 11am Local/6am EDT: National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral in honor of the Queen’s 90th birthday. I think we can expect Kate and William at the service, along with all of the other royal family members.
- Saturday June 11: Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s Birthday Parade at Horse Guards Parade & Buckingham Palace. Again, I would expect to see Kate at this event; hopefully with George again. (There are rumors Charlotte may also attend because of the event’s significance, we’ll have to wait and see if that transpires.)
- Sunday, June 12: The Patron’s Lunch, a giant street party on the Mall in St. James’s Park, will host thousands in celebration of the Queen’s patronage of more than 600 charities and organizations. William and Harry are Joint Presidents of the event; there is no word about Kate’s participation. Information released today says “The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will attend The Patron’s Lunch on The Mall. Other members of the Royal Family will be present.”
- Monday, June 13: Annual Order of the Garter ceremonies take place at Windsor Castle. Kate was at the event in 2011, 2012,2014; she did not attend in 2013 because of George’s impending birth, while Charlotte’s recent birth in 2015 prompted the Duchess to skip the event.
We do not have official confirmation about Kate’s attendance at the events. If there is one of the events I would put in the “iffy” column it would be the Patron’s Lunch, but only because that is the function I am least familiar with; the others are ‘regular’ engagements, annual appearances with which we are familiar.
Also today, word about the Queen’s wedding and coronation gowns. The two have never been displayed together, only shown separately. That is until this summer, when they’ll be displayed jointly at Buckingham Palace as part of Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from the Queen’s Wardrobe, an exhibit beginning July 23rd. Below, the coronation gown and designer Sir Norman Hartnell’s sketch of the design.
Unknown to The Queen, Hartnell added an extra four-leaf shamrock on the left side of the skirt for good luck, so that Her Majesty’s hand could rest upon it during the ceremony.
Below, the wedding gown of ivory silk and decorated with crystals and 10,000 seed pearls.
Back to the Royal Collection Trust:
The gown incorporates a 15 foot (4.6m) star-patterned train, woven in Braintree in Essex, inspired by the famous Renaissance painting of Primavera by Botticelli, symbolising rebirth and growth after the war.
In 1947 Britain was still subject to rationing, so Princess Elizabeth collected clothing coupons to pay for the dress.
Constituting the largest collective display of The Queen’s dress ever mounted, the first exhibition will open at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh for Her Majesty’s birthday on 21 April 2016 until 16 October 2016. The second, and largest exhibition will be at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace, from 23 July to 2 October 2016 and the third will open at Windsor Castle from 17 September 2016 to 8 January 2017.
Two more Norman Hartnell designs: an ‘evening dress of embroidered duchesse satin worn by The Queen with a sash of Royal Stewart tartan for the Gillies Ball at Balmoral Castle in 1971″ and an ensemble of consisting of a “turquoise-blue dress with a matching bolero jacket of silk taffeta, guipure lace and silk tulle worn by The Queen to the wedding of her sister Princess Margaret and Mr Antony Armstrong-Jones on 6 May 1960.”
At the end of the post there are links to a preview of the exhibit at each location.
With a holiday weekend comes retailers with discounts. The retail sector has experienced another tough quarter, with mass merchandise department stores like Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s, JC Penney and Sears reporting lower than expected revenue and profits. Many have excess inventory that has not sold; that translates into more ‘promotional activity,’ which is essentially a codeword for discounts/sales. From a Reuters story:
Moving the stale stock of mostly clothes, accessories and electronics is likely to lead to bigger discounts and steeper markdowns…
Let’s look at the promotions running at some of the Kate-centric retailers.
- At DVF there is an additional 30% off all sale items, as well as ‘select other merchandise,’ use promo code SUMMER30 for the discount.
- Ralph Lauren is offering an extra 30% off select already-reduced merchandise, making some items more than 50% off. Use promo code MEM30 for the discount.
- House of Fraser is in the middle of its ‘brand event,’ with markdowns on Mint Velvet, Dune London and several other Kate brands including select LK Bennett shoes and clothing.
- Reiss is promoting ‘up to 30% off select merchandise,’ no promo code is necessary.
- Topshop’s US site has select merchandise 30% off; no promo code is needed.
- At Michael Kors an additional 25% has been taken off already reduced merchandise; no promo code is needed, the prices are as marked on the site.
- Dune London has a variety of merchandise marked down by ‘up to 20% off’; this includes the Karley (now $76, instead of $95) espadrille.
- Luxury retailer Matches Fashion is
- On the US/CAN LK Bennett site take 30% off sale merchandise with promo code MD2016.
- As an aside to the LK Bennett mention, at Gilt.com there are 176 LK Bennett items discounted. Sizing is limited, but there are some decent markdowns. (Just go to the search function and type “L.K. Bennett,” be sure to use the period after the ‘L’ and the ‘K’ or else the search won’t work. (At least it didn’t for yours truly.))
- At J. Crew you can take 30% off your purchase with promo code WEEKEND. Kate’s Tippi sweater is still available in her stripe in sizes XX-small and X-Large, it is $41.99 with the discount applied. It is still offered in most sizes in the peach twig stripe, as well as the brand’s wide range of colors and patterns.
- Kate’s Corkswoon is 50% off at 6pm.com; take an extra 10% off with promo code PRESUMMER, making the shoe something like $191.
- My Theresa, which is usually one of the first places to look for Kate’s Gianvito Rossi shoes; has discounts up to 50% off. (Kate’s Gianvito Rossi 4″ black suede heels appear to be back in stock, although not on sale.I would be surprised if we ever saw these on sale.)
Other retailers offering savings:
- Macy’s, where there are a variety of special offers and pricing. Use promo code MEMDAY for the additional discounts.
- At Nordstrom the half-yearly sale just started, offering up to 40% merchandise. There is a limited amount of LK Bennett merchandise that is on sale; some of the Topshop merchandise is discounted, along with Erdem and other designers the Duchess wears. If you know what you’re looking for this is a good time investment, either online or in-store.
- Nordstrom Rack is taking an additional 25% off most clearance items. No code is required to achieve the savings.
- The Saks designer sale is underway with styles by Alexander McQueen, Roland Mouret, Burberry, J Brand, Max Mara, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Erdem, Goat and Tory Burch discounted.
- Saks Off 5th is offering so many different promotions I’m not even going to list them. There are definitely savings to be had, I would recommend sticking to your shopping list though, so you aren’t sidetracked into buying things you don’t necessarily need or want just because “they’re on sale.”
- The Barneys designer sale is also underway; it doesn’t look like any promo code is needed to realize the savings.
- Bloomingdale’s is doing an additional 20% off ‘select sale and clearance items.” This includes styles by Ralph Lauren, Hobbs, Barbour, Rebecca Taylor, Ted Baker, French Connection and other labels. Use promo code BROWNBAG at checkout for the savings.
- Multi-brand retailer YOOX has up to 50% off on a broad selection of merchandise. While none of Kate’s specific styles are included there is a sizable amount of Gianvito Rossi on sale, as well as Dolce & Gabbana, and other labels she has worn.
- Luxury retailer and trunk show site Moda Operandi has a large amount of merchandise on sale,
- Banana Republic is promoting 40% off your entire purchase with promo code BRTAKE40.
- Discounter Bluefly is offering an additional 20% off orders with promo code MDW20. This includes styles form Jimmy Choo, Stuart Weitzman, and other Kate favorites.
NOTE: The post has been updated to correct a misplaced quote implying rationing coupons were collected for the coronation gown, when it was the wedding gown that required the coupons.
- Specific info on the exhibit at Holyroodhouse in Scotland may be seen here; a preview of the Windsor Castle exhibit is available here; the Buckingham Palace preview is here
- There are some exquisite shots of the Queen’s fashion at the Royal Collection’s Instagram page