Dec 212011

Kate returned to a favorite US designer for today’s visit to Centrepoint’s Camberwell Foyer facility, she wore Ralph Lauren Blue Label, the brand’s most mainstream collection (not the more upscale purple or black labels).


The Duchess wears a Long Sleeved Turtleneck Dress in the olive melange colorway, also referred to in some locations as the ‘Khaki Jersey Dress’.

Ralph Lauren

The garment is a wool/cashmere blend, with ribbed cuffs and collar, here are two more views of the piece.

Shop Style UK

The original price for this piece was $399, it is now on sale at $159 online on the US website, available in sizes M-XL as of this writing.  The turtleneck dress also is available in Charcoal and Black.

Ralph Lauren

The dress is a good choice, offering a casual yet elegant style that is more appropriate than the jeans some expected her to wear, and the shade is ideal for Kate’s coloring. Once again we saw the Duchess’s Aquatalia Rumba boots, as well as her Kiki McDonough Grace earrings.

Kate and William were at the shelter to take part in a cooking class and to watch a talent show. Centrepoint shared photos on its Facebook page.

Photo by Harriet Armstrong/Centrepoint Facebook Page

Kate clearly enjoyed meeting and speaking with the young people.

Photo: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

The cooking class was part of the centre’s ‘Healthy Living’ education program.

PHOTO: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

The couple worked alongside residents and staff making lowfat mince pies and cookies.

Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

A few treats were decorated just for the Duke and Duchess, there are reports Kate also decorated several cookies especially for some of the young women taking part in the class.

PHOTO: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

Below we see a picture of William’s now-famous ‘swag dance’ with 18-year-old Vanessa Boateng.

The British Monarchy

It sounds like everyone enjoyed themselves, more on the visit from the Suffolk Free Press:

The Duke of Cambridge has proved to the world he has got street credibility by creating a new dance.

William was labelled “cool” by style conscious teenagers from a south London centre for homeless youngsters after coming up with the “Swag Dance”.

The new moves involve brushing imaginary dust off your shoulders as your partner copies you – signalling you have trendy threads.

It is unknown if this photo was taken before or after the dance.

PHOTO:Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

“Centrepoint’s Got Talent” showcased several residents and staff.

PHOT: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

The visit looked like a success, nice to see as Centrepoint was William’s first patronage, he started in that role in 2005.

PHOTO: Harriet Armstrong via Centrepoint Facebook Page

The shelter for homeless young people has long been close to the Duke’s heart, his mother was also a longtime patron. Centrepoint was also the focus of William’s very first public speech, given at a reception for the group.  Below we show William in 2009, he spent the night sleeping outside with Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin as part of an effort to better understand what homeless people face.


Below we see Prince William speaking about the organization’s 40th anniversary in 2009.

You can learn more about the charity on its Facebook page or website, or visit the group’s ‘More Than a Gift’ page to see how far a small donation really goes.

The BBC has a great story on today’s visit.


There is also an excellent Sky News story about the day’s events.

Sky News

We next expect to see Kate and William as they and other Royals walk to church on Christmas Day.

Dec 192011

Kate was simply stunning at this evening’s “Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards” in London.

Splash News and Pictures

The Awards were at the Imperial War Museum, they honor the nation’s military, as well as civilians involved with the armed forces. Awards are given in a variety of categories, including the True Grit Award, Lifesaver Award, and Best Recruit. Below we show Sergeant Duncan Slater, winner of the Overcoming Adversity Award.

The Sun

You can read the Sergeant’s remarkable story in The Sun. Here we see Kate with Award winners.

The Sun

Below we see other winners with entertainer Peter Andre.

Peter Andre Twitter Feed

The Duchess selected a spectacular black velvet frock by Alexander McQueen, a modified version of this dress at Net-a-Porter; it originally sold at £3,995 (approximately $6200), but is now completely sold out.


Much as some hoped to see Kate in this exact gown, the transparent black chiffon from mid-thigh to shin wouldn’t have been at all appropriate, nor in sync with her style. Kate’s velvet dress has a sweetheart neckline delicately trimmed with pleated black tulle or chiffon, a flared trumpet-style skirt and a figure-hugging fit. I expect it is the same silk/rayon blend used in the off-the-rack gown shown above.

Those familiar with evening gowns worn by both Princess Diana and Kate early in their official roles couldn’t help but be taken by the linkage between Kate’s gown and one worn by Princess Diana.

Kerry Taylor Auction

Diana’s dress was worn on her first formal black tie appearance following the announcement of her engagement to Prince Charles; there are a number of notable elements about the two dresses:

  • both are black, a color rarely worn by members of the Royal Family with the exception of very somber affairs, such as Remembrance Day or periods of mourning
  • both are made by the same designers who created their wedding gowns, Diana’s by Elizabeth and David Emanuel, Kate’s by Alexander McQueen
  • both are strapless with sweetheart necklines topped by a ruffle, although Diana’s ruffle was wider and embellished with sequins

Of course Diana’s gown was more-than controversial; not only was it black, the décolletage was scandalous, especially for a young Lady about to marry Prince Charles; obviously that was not a concern with the McQueen couture dress this evening. Kate has shown herself to be an astute follower of previous royal fashions, the similarity of elements between the two garments require one view tonight’s dress as an homage to Princess Diana.

UPDATED: Kate wore another pair of towering heels, the Daily Mail reports they are Prada satin pumps, the same shoe WKW FB friend Cherry pointed out last night. We show them in suede at Neiman Marcus, the pumps have a 5″ covered heel, they are $720.

Prada Suede Platform Pump

Others think Kate wore some the Jimmy Choo ‘Cosmic’ in black suede, with heels of 120mm, or 4.8″, although they sit upon a sizable platform that looks to be at least 1″. This shoe is still available on the Jimmy Choo US website, priced at $695. A tip of the hat to WKW FB friend Ashley who pointed the shoes out.

Jimmy Choo

To be honest, I have no idea which shoe it is, although these are both very good candidates.

UPDATED: Kate’s bag is by Pretty Ballerinas, by Jaime Mascar³.

Pretty Ballerina by Jaime Mascaró

We show the bag at Large Size Designer Shoes, it measures roughly 11″ x 7″, has a double magnetic clasp closure, and is lined in signature Jaime Mascaro fabric.  The clutch originally retailed at roughly $245, but was last on sale at about $145 USD.  It was the perfect accent with her ensemble, enhancing the look without detracting from the exquisite jewels, the sensational dress or the Duchess herself.  The credit for identification of Kate’s bag goes to Vera, who was kind enough to let us know!

The evening was already glamorous, but Kate boosted the glitter factor, shimmering in a new suite of jewelry, diamonds and rubies at her neck and wrist.



We have seen the earrings previously, below we show Kate wearing them at the Canada Day concert this summer during the Royal Tour. Our many thanks to those who left comments here and on Facebook correcting my statements that the earrings were also new, special appreciation to Anna of My Small Obsessions.

Canadian Heritage

Media were told the matching bracelet and necklace were a wedding gift from a friend, a generous friend, indeed. The necklace very much looks like it is convertible into a tiara, not unheard of in the annals of royal jewelry. The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor shows Sophie wearing just such a piece both ways in this post.

We look forward to seeing Kate’s necklace as a tiara at some point in the future.

One of the most striking aspects of the evening is that it seems clear Kate plans to bring black back to the House of Windsor, at least on some level; a topic we’ll explore more in the future. In my estimation this is one of Kate’s best looks: the black velvet was seasonably appropriate and the style more sophisticated. Kate’s hair is always lovely, worn up it would have looked a tad more elegant, more in keeping with a black tie function. But really, the Duchess looked so lovely we’ve no interest in nit-picking on any level.

I think all in attendance, particularly the young royals, would agree the night belongs to the military. The Telegraph shares how eloquent Prince Harry was tonight:

“I am a young Army officer, a serving soldier. Like my brother, I share many of the same hopes, the same aspirations to go on operations, and the same fears as all those who serve our Queen and country.

By an accident of birth, though, it falls to 564673 Captain Wales humbly to express “ on behalf of my comrades-in-arms and people up and down the country “ the admiration we feel for the extraordinary men and women we honour here tonight.”

For more complete coverage, the Sun‘s story is here, its “Millies Roll of Honour” is here.

Earlier today William, Harry and Kate were among those in attendance at the Queen’s pre-Christmas luncheon. For more on that, click here. We will see you on Wednesday, when the Duke and Duchess visit Centrepoint.


Dec 172011

Greetings, we hope everyone is surviving the holidaze (yes, that is how we occasionally refer to this time of year), we have an abundance of news to share! Readers will no doubt be familiar with several of the stories, but in an effort to provide a comprehensive overview, we’ll cover as many as we can.

First and foremost, Kate and William will be on tour again next year. They are heading to Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, and the tiny nation of Tuvalu. Tuvalu is the third smallest nation in the world, second only to the Vatican and another island nation, Nauru.  The Telegraph spoke with the country’s consul to the UK about the trip:

“We will give the Duke and Duchess a traditional way of welcome. The first surprise they will have will be when the arrive on the shores of Tuvalu.

“They will sit in a canoe and the young men of the island, dressed in skirts of coconut fibre, will carry the canoe on their shoulders.”

This form of welcome won’t come as a surprise, it’s likely Kate and William will have seen photos of a previous royal visit to the island, below we see none other than Her Majesty on Tuvalu, back in 1982.

The trip is part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, almost all of the royals will be touring next year. The Daily Mail has a good map illustrating where the tours will be taking place.

The Daily Mail

Dates have not yet been announced for Kate and William’s tour, the Jubilee is formally marked by multiple celebrations the weekend of June 2-5, although there will be events throughout the year. For the news release detailing all of the tours, click here. To learn more about Jubilee Events, click here.

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