Kate paired a previously worn coat with new accessories for church services at Sandringham today.
Kate paired a previously worn coat with new accessories for church services at Sandringham today.
Kate was in an old favorite for Christmas church services this morning.
But the bigger news is that we saw George and Charlotte accompany their parents to church for the first time. The Cambridge family is spending the Christmas holiday with the Middletons at their home in Berkshire.
Above you see Carole, Michael and James Middleton; Pippa and fiancé James Matthews are somewhat obscured. Carole Middleton’s arm looks like it was in a sling. UPDATE: Although it looked like Carole Middleton’s arm was in a sling, it turns out it was not. In the video at the bottom of the post (at about :22 into the video) you can see both arms are moving freely, it looked more like she was carrying something(s). Our thanks to Vicki for noting that and letting me know.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended their first Christmas communion service at the 12th century St Mark’s Church in Englefield near the Middleton family home. Bells rang as the Royals arrived outside the church where some 100 smiling locals were seen entering for its 10.30am Sunday service.
St. Mark’s is where Kate and William attended Christmas Day services in 2012. It is also where Pippa Middleton’s wedding is expected to take place this May.
We learn a bit more about the music from the service via Richard Palmer’s story in The Express:
At the service, overseen by The Rev Nick Wynne-Jones, they joined the congregation singing three much-loved carols: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and O Come All Ye Faithful.
Below, William and George after the service.
You can see Carole, Michael and James Middleton behind Kate in this photo.
Now to what Kate wore this morning. Many will recognize her ‘Celeste’ coat by Hobbs; it was also worn by the Duchess when attending that 2012 Christmas service with her family.
This is the 5th time we’ve seen Kate wearing the piece. Previous occasions include the Duchess’s visit to Liverpool on Valentine’s Day in 2012; as mentioned above, Christmas Day of 2012; and also for engagements in Grimsby in 2013. It was also worn at Balmoral in September 2013, but photos from that day are of Kate inside a car and little is seen of the garment.
The coat is crafted in a wool crepe in a color called chestnut brown, and embellished with studded leather cuff straps and coordinating belt.
This offers a look at the back of the coat.
As you might guess, we have all been chattering about what Kate was wearing beneath her coat; what dress, or skirt and top, she might have on. Here is the best closeup I could make using the photos I have licensed.
The piece that really seemed to make the look sing is the faux fur collar the Duchess added to her ensemble. The always-on-top-of-things Gemma of Food, Fash, Fit suggested the Duchess was wearing the ASOS Faux Fur Mini Sloth-Through Collar, and I think she is spot-on.
The piece was described as being “Super soft-touch faux-fur. Satin-style lining. Stretch band to secure in place. Machine wash.” Originally priced at $23, the collar was most recently selling for $16. Unfortunately, it is now sold out.
Kate wore her Tod’s Fringed Leather Pumps, first seen during the Canada tour in September. The design showcases a block heel, fringe leather trim with a gold buckle, and the brand’s pebbled sole. The color is called burgundy.
She carried another familiar item, her Bayswater Wallet Clutch by Mulberry, a design no longer being made.
Her earrings are one of the loaned pairs from the Queen we have seen recently. Below left they are shown as worn today; on the right, Kate wearing them for the Duke of Westminster’s memorial service in November.
One update I think people will want to know about: for the first time in 30 years, the Queen did not attend Christmas services at Sandringham. The cold that bothered her last week continues to be a problem, she stayed inside today. From The Telegraph:
In a statement issued this morning, a Palace spokesman said: “Her Majesty The Queen will not attend Church at Sandringham this morning. The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery. Her Majesty will participate in the Royal Family Christmas celebrations during the day.”
It was a treat to see the entire family this morning, a lovely surprise on a Christmas morning. I thought they looked terrific, the blues and wine/maroon shades worn by the four coordinated nicely, and George and Charlotte looked just precious. For all of the details on what they wore, pop over to our sister site, What Kate’s Kids wore. I hope everyone celebrating Christmas has had a beautiful day, as well as those marking the second night of Hanukkah. Until then, we’ll leave you this picture of Prince George, the expression on his face is priceless.
We are back with a few newsbytes, a brief look at how Kate does her shopping for clothing and accessories, and then a quick touch of tartan.
First, an update on the Cambridges’ plans for Christmas Day. I have received quite a few email and messages asking if a new family photo is being released, and also inquiring about the family’s plans for Christmas Day. Addressing the first subject, we will not see a new family photo released this year. Historically, the Duke and Duchess have not released a seasonal photo. In December 2014 we did see new pictures of Prince George.
And a photo with the entire family was released last December.
But that was the first time Kate and William released a formal family portrait near the holidays. More about that photo from The Daily Mail:
It is the first time the family have released a photograph at Christmas and only the second official portrait of the family of four. A Kensington Palace spokesman said the photograph was commissioned for their own use but that the couple decided to make it public because they liked it so much.
UPDATE: A new photograph of HM and Prince Charles was released today by Clarence House, accompanied by the message “As a year of 90th birthday celebrations draw to a close, we would like to share this special photo of The Prince and The Queen.”
More about the photo from The Mirror:
Royal correspondents report that Kate, William, George and Charlotte will spend Christmas Day with the Middletons at Michael & Carole Middleton’s home in Berkshire. Richard Palmer notes in his story for The Express that William and Kate will join the Middletons for church services near the Middleton family’s home. When the Duke and Duchess spent Christmas with Kate’s family in 2012, they attended services at St. Mark’s Church in Berkshire.
That doesn’t necessarily guarantee there will be pictures on Christmas; photographers may not be allowed access or other unforeseen circumstances could preclude the shooting/dissemination of images. We’ll hold a good thought and hope for a picture or two a week from tomorrow.
I share both updates not to launch a discussion about the family’s holiday plans because that’s not the purpose of the site, but because of the volume of inquiries.
Also today, insight into something that is an ongoing topic of interest for many Kate fashion followers: where & how does Kate buy her clothing and accessories? We know that her shopping habits have changed since marrying William and she is not seen out shopping at her favorite retailers with the frequency of her pre-marriage days. Below, Kate leaving Peter Jones just days before her wedding in April 2011.
If not able to spend much time looking at merchandise in a retail establishment, how does one acquire the ensembles that play such a key role for public engagements? Acquiring an upscale work wardrobe without personally looking at goods in a store environment requires some different strategies. Does that mean the Duchess does research via magazines and websites, then making purchases directly from retailers’ websites? Yes, at least some of the time. Does stylist Natasha Archer help in this endeavor, and make sample requests for more upscale designs? It’s likely this happens with some frequency.
We know that designers often send garments to Kensington Palace, hoping the Duchess and/or her staff will see something that might find royal favor. In some cases fashion houses are contacted directly by the Palace with a request for sample garments. For example, Kensington Palace got in touch with Naeem Kham and requested samples of his work months before the India tour.
Are plans for high profile pieces from Kate’s upper tier of fashion houses (like Jenny Packham, Alexander McQueen, and Temperley London) discussed via email and phone, followed by a look at fabric samples and sketches? This is probably the scenario in at least some cases, with fittings at Kensington Palace or Anmer Hall. I imagine Kate is also able to meet with designers at their studios for conferences about upcoming dresses.
Bethan Holt, The Telegraph’s digital fashion editor, wrote a column this week about Kate shopping online. It was pegged to her appearance at a Cub Scout meeting wearing a sweater by Iris and Ink, the in-house brand for online retailer The Outnet.
But as well as being a lesson in off-duty styling and the timeless appeal of a brilliant cashmere jumper, last night’s look tells us something new about Kate’s shopping habits- that she’s clearly a fan of online shopping.
But is the Duchess still able to get out and do some shopping in person, flying under the radar? Apparently so; the story talks about two recent purchases:
…when the Duchess wore a black Preen dress, the same style she had previously worn in red during the tour to Canada in September, Bond Street department store Fenwick confirmed she had come in person to buy the first dress, then asked for the black version to be delivered.
Below left Kate wears the black Preen ‘Finella’ dress in November for a Place2Be awards ceremony; on the right, she is seen in the red ‘Finella,’ worn for a reception during the fall Canada tour. The red remains available in XS and L sizes at Matches Fashion ($1332); it also offered in XS, S, M, and L at Net-a-Porter ($1577).
Fenwick isn’t a retailer we have discussed at any length in this space. Below, the Bond Street store in Mayfair.
Founded in the 1880s, the firm is run by a 5th generation family member, Mark Fenwick. The company keeps a fairly low profile, unusual in today’s retail landscape, and stores maintain a strong local identity. Among the brands carried at the Bond Street store: Barbour, Diane von Furstenberg, Dolce and Gabbana, Kate Spade, By Malene Birger, Longchamp, Max Mara, LK Bennett, Joseph, and Bobbi Brown.
As far as knowing precisely where and how the Duchess acquires all the parts and pieces of her enviable wardrobe, that is something known only by a very limited cadre of staff and perhaps family members. It is likely to be a combination of the varying means mentioned above, augmented by other methods of which we are unaware. But it is a fascinating topic, one we may explore at greater length in a future post.
Now to our little gift guide. Many readers were fond of Kate’s bespoke coatdress by Alexander McQueen that showcased an elegant Black Watch tartan. First seen in November of 2012 when Kate visited her old prep school, the piece was seen again on Christmas Day 2013.
That got me thinking about some of the goodies available for holiday gift giving.
Starting at the top, and going clockwise: 1-a perky Hair Bow ($8.99 at etsy seller VirginaBows); 2-Personalized Phone Case ($59 at Minnie and Emma); 3-Barbour’s Blackwatch Scarf in a snuggly blend of wool and cashmere ($49 at Tuckernuck); 4-Lauren Ralph Lauren Gloves ($35 at Dillard’s); 5-Tartan Mug ($14.50 at Talbots, not available online); 6-Wool Tartan Pumps ($178 at Brooks Brothers); 7-Sabrina Cosmetic Case ($50 at Tuckernuck); 8-Le Kilt 01 in Black Watch (£405, about $500, at Le Kilt); 9-Grace Bow Blackwatch Plaid Flats ($71.40, online & catalog only at Talbots); 10-the Kate Coat ($568 at the Scotland Shop).
A couple of notes:
We will see you early next week!