Kate returned to another favorite designer for this evening’s engagement at the Natural History Museum.
The Duchess of Cambridge chose pieces by her “go-to” designers for today’s State Visit ceremonies, as she and Prince William welcomed the President of Singapore and his wife, Mrs. Tony Tan Keng Yam, to the United Kingdom.
The Duke and Duchess officially greeted the couple on behalf of the Queen, enjoying a brief chat at a London hotel. More from the Daily Telegraph:
Mrs Tan said she was glad Kate could make the engagement and the Duchess replied: “So am I. I’ve been looking forward to getting out of the house, that’s for sure.”
The Cambridges posed for an official picture with the president and Mrs Tan before sitting down to tea.
The president commented on the view of Kensington Palace from the hotel, prompting the Duke to joke: “You can probably see into our bedroom window which is a bit worrying – I wouldn’t look too closely.”
The foursome then traveled by car to Horse Guards Parade for ceremonies with the Queen, Prince Philip, and dignitaries. This was Kate’s first official public appearance in more than two months
President and Mrs. Tan arriving at Horse Guards parade.
HM and the Duke of Edinburgh welcome the Singaporean President.
The Queen and Prince Philip with President Tan and Mrs. Tan.
Richard Palmer of the Daily Express reported the Queen wore a coat and dress by Karl Ludwig Couture and an Angela Kelly hat. Kate and William at Horse Guards parade.
After the ceremonies at Horse Guards Parade Kate and William took part in the carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.
The couple rode in the Scottish State Coach with Singaporean government minister Grace Fu.
One young lady along the carriage procession was excited to see the Duchess. Stacey Castiel’s tweet can be seen in a screen grab below.
This image offers a closer look at Kate in the bespoke coat by Alexander McQueen worn for today’s engagement.
It showcased a familiar silhouette for the designer and for Kate: a fitted bodice, nipped in waist and full skirt. These images show the darting on the front and gores on the back.
The coat also featured a shaped, gored back, flared sleeves at the wrist, a chest besom pocket and angled pockets at the hip. You can see the similarities betweens Kate’s coat and these McQueen designs by Sarah Burton for the pre-spring 2015 collection.
Digitally enhancing the coat above left better emphasizes the parallels between the two garments.
A look at the back of the piece, under which Kate wore a black dress.
Many readers will recognize Kate’s bespoke Jane Taylor hat, previously worn Easter Sunday in Australia as seen below right. The hat is the ‘Lupin’ style, described by the designer as a teardrop beret in grey velour felt.
Below left you see Kate again in the hat on Easter, the two other photos are from today. The Duchess wore her hair pulled back in a loose pony tail.
Kate carried a new handbag today.
With thanks to those emailing with information about the handbag, it is Jenny Packham’s Roxy style in black suede. It features pleated material, a Swarovski crystal clasp and a detachable snake chain.
The bag is from Jenny Packham’s Fall 2014 collection and can be purchased with gold or silver hardware. It retails at £378, about $600 at today’s exchange rates.
The reason I emphasize ‘appears’? Because the sole of the shoe doesn’t show the raised, gold Prada logo we are used to seeing.
The precise Prada style kate wore to the Mandela premiere, and could be wearing today, is now sold out. There is a similar pump available at discount site Bluefly, the Prada Black Suede Classic Pump; it has a slightly more almond-shaped toe.
It retails for $650 but the Bluefly price is $535. You can save an additional 20% off the price by using promo code FAMILY; that brings the cost down to $436.
Kate’s jewelry today included her Annoushka pearl drop earrings suspended from Kiki McDonough hoops.
Today’s events showcased the pomp and pageantry the British do so very well.
There are several videos of today’s ceremonial events, including this one of the procession to Buckingham Palace, posted by The British Monarchy on its Facebook page.
It was nice to see thew Duchess well enough to take part in an official appearance. Richard Palmer noted on Twitter that “Kate looked well, not too gaunt, despite suffering HG, acute morning sickness, for weeks now.”
Once again we close with a quick reference to our recent London excursion, this one involving a simply wonderful visit with milliner Jane Taylor at her studio. If wondering about the inspiration for the hat’s style name, meet Jane’s dog, Lupin, ‘supervising’ work at the office.
Jane told us that Lupin was actually named for a flower, the Lupine, because of the color of her coat. We’ll have more on the designer and her amazing creations in a future post!
A reminder that Kate’s next appearance is this evening at the Natural History Museum, where she will join Sir David Attenborough in announcing winners in the Museum’s annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
It appears Kate may be feeling a bit better. Today Kensington Palace announced the Duke and Duchess will take part in a State visit October 21st, officially welcoming Singapore President Tony Tan and his wife Mary Chee Bee Kiang, to Britain. This will not be the first time Kate and William have met the visitors; below you see President Tan and his wife Mary greeting the Duke and Duchess in Singapore in 2012.
More on the upcoming event from Richard Palmer’s story in The Express:
The second in line to the throne and his wife will be expected to greet the visiting couple at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington and then travel with them by car to Horse Guards Parade to make their first appearance at a ceremonial welcome for a visiting head of state.
The couple have never attended a colourful ceremonial welcome with Household Cavalry and foot guards on parade at Horse Guards.
“I think it would be fair to say that this is the first time the Duchess has played a formal part in a State Visit programme,” a Kensington Palace spokesman said.
William and Kate at the Singapore State dinner in 2012, part of that year’s Jubilee Tour.
Obviously any participation on Kate’s part will depend on her health; more from a story by Ruth Styles in the Daily Mail.
Kensington Palace did warn that she may yet be forced to cancel this latest engagement, and has said her appearances are being reviewed on a ‘case by case’ basis.
The Duchess has been ill with hyperemesis gravidarum, a result of her second pregnancy. William and Kate are not expected to take part in the official State Dinner during the visit, but it is hoped they can attend the luncheon following the welcoming ceremony. Back to Richard Palmer’s story:
If she takes part in the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards, she would normally be expected to travel there by car but return to Buckingham Palace in a carriage procession along The Mall before attending a palace lunch for the visitors.
Aides said the Duchess’s role in the State visit would be kept under review, including any decision about whether she will take a bumpy carriage ride and attend the Buckingham Palace lunch.
Hopefully this announcement signals an improvement in Kate’s health.
We have a few Sales & Savings opportunities to let you know about, beginning with the Links of London Friends and Family promotion.
The promotion gives shoppers 20% off all purchases at the US online site and in US stores. This makes Kate’s Effervescence Bubble Stiletto earrings drop in price from $225 to about $180. Below you see Kate wearing the earrings in July for her visit to an MPACT school program.
The Hope Egg earrings in white topaz retail for $475; with the discount they are $387. Most notably the Duchess wore them for one of her formal engagement photographs, we also show Kate wearing them for a visit to Fortnum & Mason.
This really is the best time to purchase either pair of earrings, as they rarely go on sale. To receive the discount on the earrings (or any other item) use promo code FRIENDS2014. If considering a purchase it’s best not to wait too long, the sale ends on the 13th.
Our other update involves the Gap Fitted Boyfriend Shirt’ Kate wore during the 2014 royal tour. It looks like the shirt has been re-stocked in almost all sizes. Best of all, it remains on sale at $19.99.
The shirt also comes in Tall and Petite sizes.
“Lee’s [McQueen’s] work transcended the catwalk. He had this ability to touch people from all walks of life, which was a huge part of what made him special,” Sarah Burton, McQueen’s longtime collaborator and the creative director of the house since his death, said as the V&A unveiled details of the exhibition, which opens on 14 March 2015.
More on the significance of the London exhibit from Vogue‘s story:
McQueen’s homecoming exhibition is to feature more material focussing on McQueen’s roots as a British upstart in London, from his Central Saint Martins MA graduate collection of 1992 through his first seven shockingly sensational shows—boundary-crashing experiences that dragged fashion into the realms of art performance.
The resonance of the location is a very personal one: McQueen sourced many of his historical inspirations in the archives of the V&A—as he put it, “It’s the sort of place I’d like to be shut in overnight.”
One of the galleries from the exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Women’s Wear Daily reports more than 16,000 tickets have already been sold for the exhibit.