Nov 202013

Kate was in a navy ensemble for today’s visit to a Place2Be forum on “Resilience and Emotional Strength in Schools”.

Geoff Pugh/Splash News

Geoff Pugh/Splash News

Kate is Patron of the organization, it offers support to help children cope with the many issues they face in today’s world. Some may recall that the Duchess took part in a Place2Be event in April of this year.

Paul Ellis/PA Wire

Paul Ellis/PA Wire

For today’s engagement she wore an Orla Kiely Crepe skirt, a style from the spring/summer 2012 collection.



Many thanks to Anna of My Small Obsessions for her help on the skirt. The top worn by the Duchess is a Max Mara piece.

Splash News

Splash News

As of this writing (8pm EST Weds. Nov. 20) the exact style hasn’t yet been discovered.

Kate sported a pair navy gloves we’ve not seen previously. They are *very* similar to the Cornelia James gloves worn frequently by the Duchess, but the way the bow is knotted is just a bit different.

Splash News

Splash News

Kate carried her navy Muse clutch by Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley, a bag she has carried many times. Below, one of those instances during the Jubilee Tour last year.

Rebecca English, Daily Mail /Splash News

Rebecca English, Daily Mail /Splash News

Today Kate’s hair was partially pulled back, revealing her Annoushka pearl drop earrings. The photo below right is also from that 2012 Tour.

Annoushka / Splash News

Annoushka / Splash News

The blue pumps worn today are the pair attributed by many to Alexander McQueen.

Kate was so interested in today’s activities she ended staying an hour longer than expected at the forum. A local school’s children performed several songs for the Duchess.

Place2Be Facebook

Place2Be Facebook

Place2Be offers services in more than 200 schools, helping 75,000 children. More on today’s event from the Daily Mail, quoting Professor Tanya Byron:

She’s genuinely engaged with the issues. She has given us such a seal of approval in a very public manner, from a woman who is loved by the public and has become a mother herself.

The Duchess was asking questions, and mentioned she was at a meeting yesterday when the issue of sexting came up as well.’

That is just one challenge children face; self-esteem issues, bereavement and loss, bullying, domestic violence, and self harm are some of the others. The organization assists educators, parents and children ages 4 through 14, offering help and support in dealing with difficult situations.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s post is being written at an unfamiliar computer with unfamiliar software, please forgive any technical issues, as well as the brevity. (We have been without power since Tuesday morning, this is being written offsite.)

Mar 192012

Kate looked every bit the royal this morning as she undertook her first public speaking engagement. The morning’s activities centered on the formal opening of the Treehouse, a new addition to the EACH family (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices).

Anthony Devlin/Press Association

The Duchess chose a dress that would not detract from the day’s events, an older frock by Reiss, you will note that Kate wore the original belt that came with the garment. Our thanks to WKW Facebook friend Samantha Wakelin, as well as Michelle, for finding those other images of the garment, you can see the details better in those photos.

Coolspotters (L)/Fat Girls like Nice Dress Too

It is the ‘Trina’ dress, dating back to 2008. As Reiss noted on its website:

“…the Duchess of Cambridge chose to wear the Reiss Trina dress for her first public address at The Treehouse children’s hospice, Ipswich. The Trina dress is no longer available, but why not shop our favourite blue dresses from the spring/summer ’12 collection.”

Via Reiss Blog

There is a lot going on with the dress: it is double-breasted with an elaborate, oversized collar, two features that could stand alone as design elements, but there are also scoop pockets at the hip and horizontally pieced fabric about 8 inches above the hem.  The color could not have been better, and the length was ideal. Kate’s dress would have benefited by a touch of additional tailoring on the bodice, it seemed to hang loosely in certain photos. But in reality it matters not at all, the children and new hospice were the focal point today, not Kate’s dress.

As noted by many, it is a dress also worn by Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, on a 2010 outing to Ascot. The consensus is that both Carole and Kate own their own version of the dress, as opposed to borrowing from each other. Kate wore her black Episode ‘Angel’ shoes (hers are suede) and carried her trusty black bag.

The rest of the Duchess’s accessories were equally low key, she wore the sapphire and diamond earrings we believe were re-made for her from a pair of Princess Diana’s, and she had on the cross pendant we have seen on many previous occasions.

Press Association

She also wore her Tiffany Diamonds by the Yard bracelet, as well as another piece of jewelry.

Press Association/EACH

That is the fundraising bracelet from EACH on Kate’s other wrist, available for sale on the group’s website for £10, about $15 USD at today’s exchange rates. Color clash? Not at all, I don’t think there was a better style statement that could be made today. Below, two photos from the EACH website showing Kate wearing her bracelet.

EACH Website

UPDATE 3.20.12: We asked EACH about shipping the Bracelets to places outside the UK and heard good news, they will ship anywhere in the world, here is more from EACH:

We’ve had a lot of enquiries about the EACH bracelet which The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing yesterday. It is available to buy from our website and we can send it anywhere in the world.

Please be aware that these bracelets are individually hand-made in Suffolk – therefore your order may take a few weeks to reach you. We can send orders anywhere in the world – P&P will remain the same for all orders.

The total cost is only £10, that includes postage and processing, about $15.90 at today’s exchange rates. There is a great story behind the bracelet’s design, it was created for EACH by Imogen Sheeran, her son is a well-known musician, Ed Sheeran.

As mentioned above, the occasion was the formal opening of The Treehouse, a new children’s hospice in Ipswich.


Kate became Royal Patron of EACH in January following a visit to one of the organization’s hospices. Below we see “before” and “after” photos of the Treehouse.

EACH Website

Kate’s talk also went very well, she remained focused despite restless or uncomfortable children in the audience, no easy feat. According to ABC she practiced before “family, friends and a mirror.” Below we share the entire text of her talk, something she wrote herself.

“First of all, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you for not only accepting me as your patron but thank you also for inviting me here today. You have all made me feel so welcome and I feel hugely honored to be here to see this wonderful center.

“I am only sorry that William can’t be here today; he would love it here. A view of his – that I share – is that through teamwork, so much can be achieved.

“What you have all achieved here is extraordinary. You as a community have built the Treehouse; a group of people who have made every effort to support and help each other. When I first visited the hospice in Milton, I had a pre-conceived idea as to what to expect.

“Far from being a clinical, depressing place for sick children, it was a home. Most importantly, it was a family home, a happy place of stability, support and care. It was a place of fun. Today I have seen again that the Treehouse is all about family and fun.

“For many, this is a home from home — a lifeline, enabling families to live as normally as possible during a very precious period of time. What you do is inspirational — it is a shining example of the support and the care that is delivered, not just here, but in the children’s hospice movement at large, up and down the country.

“The feelings you inspire — feelings of love and of hope — offer a chance to families to live a life they never thought could be possible.

“So thank you again for inviting me here today. I feel enormously proud to be part of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and to see the wonderful life-changing work that you do. Thank you.”

To watch the BBC video and hear Kate’s speech, click here.


More on Kate’s speech from Ipswich radio station Town 102 FM:

Kate looked confident as she stood in front of staff and volunteers from a charity and paid tribute to their efforts helping children with life-threatening conditions.

The royal sounded a little apprehensive but nerves never got the better of her and she had clearly committed her speech to memory as she glanced at her notes only occasionally.

Town 102FM, Ipswich

Fans were up and out early, more from the Eastern Daily Press:

Several people arrived at the scene early this morning, armed with their Union Jack flags, in the hope of catching a glimpse of Kate. Among the members of the public who turned out for the visit was five-year-old Tabby Cook and her mum Louise from Fressingfield.

Tabby said: “I’m really excited. She is so pretty, I’m excited about seeing a princess.”

There was plenty of entertainment for those waiting.

Town 102 FM, Ipswich

Following time with the children and a tour of the new building it was back outside for a walkabout.

Peter Hunt, BBC Twitter Feed (@BBCPeterHunt)

And tree planting duties – what could be more apropos for a hospice named The Treehouse?

Town 102 FM, Ipswich

Kate also was given flowers, she obviosuly enjoyed chatting with everyone.

Town 102FM, Ipswich

To see Town 102 FM’s entire photo album, click here.

Learn more about EACH on its website, visit their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter here. There is now a special fundraising effort to help celebrate the Treehouse opening and Kate’s visit, you can make a donation by clicking here.

At the wise suggestion of several WKW Facebook friends we wanted to share resources for US-based children’s needs as well, always a good idea. Be advised the US children’s hospice movement is in its infancy, you may want to look at some of the links shown below, or do a search with your location and the term “children’s hospice” or “children’s medical research” if interested in becoming involved with a local organization.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Many thanks for the kind emails, I promise to have a new post up tomorrow about Saturday’s Emilia Wickstead look for the St. Patrick’s Day Irish Guards event. :)

Mar 082012

Kate opted for familiarity today, selecting favored brands for her engagements with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip as the UK portion of the Diamond Jubilee tour was launched.

Below we see Her Majesty and the Duchess as they are leaving London for Leicester this morning, the Queen was resplendent in another Angela Kelly ensemble, a cashmere coat and hat trimmed in black, Kate wore LK Bennett.

The British Monarchy/Clarence House

It was an important day for Kate, her first full day of official engagements with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. A high point of the morning was seeing Prince Philip looking so healthy.

This is Leicester

There was added significance with the monarch officially kicking off the Jubilee Tour commemorating her sixty year reign.

RachelGreen_29 Twitter Feed

The Duchess wore LK Bennett’s Davina dress and Jude jacket, both in dark teal.

The jacket is 100% wool, it was originally priced at £295 ($475).

De Montfort University Twitter Feed

Most recently the jacket could be found online for £145 at both LK Bennett and John Lewis, although I expect it to be sold out just about everywhere by the time our post is published.

The Davina dress is part of the brand’s Signature Collection, crafted from a fine wool crepe. We show it in three colors that better highlight the design details: the side ruching, asymmetrical collar and cap sleeves.

The frock remains available in many colors on the LK Bennett website, however, the dark teal is sold out.

Tina Bay Twitter Feed

The Duchess selected another brand she is fond of, John Lock, for her hat. Our thanks to WKW FB friend Melissa, she identified it as the ‘Fairy Tale‘ style.

James Goley Twitter Feed/John Locke

The hat is available in 8 different colors, retailing at £285, roughly $450 USD at today’s exchange rates.

Kate’s earrings were from another familiar name, Kiki McDonough, the green amethyst pair widely believed to be a Christmas gift from Prince William. Below we show a pair of Kiki McDonough earrings in the same design as Kate’s, made with citrines instead of green amethysts, on the very far right we have a different style of Kiki McDonough earrings shared only to provide an idea of the color in the earrings seen on Kate.

Kiki McDonough/Matches Fashion/Kiki McDonough

The Duchess wore a pair of Episode shoes, a brand is now carried only at House of Fraser, previously it was stocked by Debenhams . The company told me the pair is no longer available, they are from autumn/winter.

Below we see the Duke, Her Majesty, and Kate leaving the Leicester Cathedral following the service.

Diocese of Leicester Flickr Feed

This is one of those instances where we were lucky, we actually wrote about both pieces back in November, saying:

The (dress) side gathers running from the bustline to high hip and detailed neckline look very Kate. Next, the Jude jacket, also by LK Bennett. The gathered waist and kick pleat on the back of the jacket seemed to shriek Kate, the neck detailing and self-covered belt only added to that perception.

We updated the story in a December post, when it was reported by Grazia the Duchess purchased the items in advance of the Christmas holidays.

Grazia Magazine

Upon seeing the story intrepid WKW FB friends Bella Hayward (now found sharing Kate updates here on FB) and Jo Baldwin dug up more information on the specific items purchased.  Kate accessorized with a belt thicker than the one shown with the jacket.

Students were more than excited to meet the royals, more from the Daily Mail:

Lingerie design student Polly Shelton, 21, said: ‘I told Kate she looked gorgeous and she said “I like your lipstick”.

‘I can’t believe it. She loves my lipstick. I can’t even remember what colour it is.

Enormous crowds were on hand to greet the royals.

De Montfort University Facebook

The University’s award winning Gospel Choir entertained those waiting in the brisk morning air.

De Montfort University Facebook

Many waited for hours to see the royals, more from the Daily Mail:

Erica Swift, 85, from Blaby, was one of the well-wishers who had been waiting at the 300-year-old cathedral to see the royals since 10am. ‘I came because I want to see the Queen,’ she said.

‘Sixty years reign – she’s a gracious lady and I admire her a lot. Nobody can beat her. I wish her all the best now and for many more years.’

I love the poster this group of nursing students made.

De Montfort University Facebook

These youngsters will have a story they can tell for generations.

Diocese of Leicester Flickr

One of the day’s bigger events was the fashion show put on by students, below we see some of the models waiting backstage before the event.

Via HannahPorter24 Twitter Feed

Here we see Kate, the Queen and De Montfort Professor and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Shellard watching the fashion show.

De Montfort University

ITN also has solid fashion show coverage here.

Perhaps the happiest person on campus was Becka Hunt, she was one of six footwear design students involved in a contest to create a shoe for Kate.

De Montfort University

Becka’s design was the blue suede with beaded lace overlay, we show her with the winning design today after hearing the good news.

Demon FM Twitter Feed (L) /De Montfort University Facebook

Thank you to the 3189 voters who took part in our informal poll about which of the designs they thought Kate would pick, Becka’s design was close to being your first choice, the vote almost reflecting Kate’s selection.


114 voters thought Tabitha Duffield’s nude and soft pink shoe would win.

De Montfort University

Here is a better look at Becka and her winning shoe design via the University’s home page.

De Montfort University

Below we see Kate accepting flowers (L), and with Prince Philip as they prepare to leave the University.

De Montfort University Facebook

It looked like Kate was very much enjoying herself.

De Montfort University Facebook

All three royal family members looked splendid, what a lovely start to the tour.

Philip Vernon Flickr

You can learn more about the Diamond Jubilee here, the official Jubilee Tour here, visit De Montfort University here or on its Facebook page, the Dicocese of Leicester here, and see its Flickr feed here, there is also nice video from The Telegraph here, and ITN’s story is here.

The Telegraph


One other item of note today, yet another addition to Kate’s calendar. Just as the royals arrived in Leicester this morning Clarence House tweeted the following:

Clarence House Twitter Feed

Kate, Charles and Camilla will meet children participating in the Great Art Quest, a program managed by Children and the Arts, Prince Charles is the group’s royal patron. More about the project:

Great Art Quest introduces children from deprived areas of the UK to the visual arts by partnering schools with local galleries, professional artists and storytellers, and providing them with the skills and confidence to create their own work.

The Duchess of Cambridge has a personal interest in the arts and supporting young children, and The Prince of Wales is taking this opportunity to show the successful educational work His Foundation for Children & the Arts has been doing in London.

Children and the Arts

The event will take place at Dulwich Picture Gallery a week from today, learn more here.


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