Feb 052012
 

With multiple public appearances on tap for Kate we thought it a good time for some updates and a look at her upcoming appointments.

The Duchess plans to stay busy while William is on his six week RAF training mission in the Falklands. The Ministry of Defence has released video of Flight Lieutenant Wales at work in the Falklands, it may be viewed on many sites, our version is from The Telegraph.

Ministry of Defence via The Telegraph

The Times has an excellent story about William’s deployment for those interested in learning more.

This Wednesday Kate will enjoy a private viewing of the National Portrait Gallery’s Lucian Freud exhibit, the show opens to the public on Thursday.

National Portrait Gallery

The NPG is one of Kate’s patronages, the Freud exhibit is generating a significant amount of buzz.  Below, banners for the show hanging outside the Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery Twitter feed

For US residents interested in seeing the exhibit, it comes to the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth this July.

On Valentine’s Day the Duchess heads to Liverpool for several events.  Kate will visit the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, in addition to touring the facility she will spend time in the Oncology and Burn units.  The Duchess is also slated to visit the Alder Hey Ronald McDonald House on the hospital grounds. The House offers 69 rooms and 15 apartments where family members of critically ill children may stay while they are being treated at the hospital. Below, a ceremonial check presentation to the Ronald McDonald House.

Alder Hey Ronald McDonald House

Kate’s third function in Liverpool on the 14th is a visit to The Brink, an alcohol free bar and restaurant. The Brink is affiliated with Action on Addicton, one of the charities for which Kate is a patron.

The Brink Liverpool

The Brink carries a full menu and also features concerts, film showings and other activities.  A special smoothie has been created in Kate’s honor, below we show several Brink staffers with one of the frosty drinks.

Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo

Dubbed “The Duchess,” the concoction is made of “banana, honey, almonds, milk and cream,” according to the story in the Liverpool Echo.

Kate has been spending time familiarizing herself with Action on Addiction, Thursday she paid a private visit to Clouds House, a residential treatment program for those abusing alcohol and other drugs.

Clouds House/Action on Addiction

The Mirror has more on Kate’s visit.

The royal met staff at Clouds House in East Knoyle near Salisbury – a former private residence set in beautiful parkland where addicts are treated. Many go through detox when they arrive then start a 12-step programme of intensive counselling.

There have been multiple reports Kate will accompany the Queen on some upcoming engagements, today’s Daily Mail offers a bit more info:

The 30-year-old Duchess is to accompany the Queen on two Diamond Jubilee engagements next month, and a courtier says: ‘The Queen is taking a very close interest in the Duchess’s development.

And The Telegraph says the Duchess will join Prince Charles in the next several weeks for a joint appearance on behalf of the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts. As soon as we know more we’ll share the info here, on Facebook, and Twitter.

Kate’s patronage of another charity, Scouting UK, has landed her on the cover of the group’s magazine.

Scouting UK

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Other Bits and Bytes:

Canadian Heritage/British Monarchy

  • Kate has been named “Hat Person of the Year” by the Headwear Association in an online poll.  From the Association’s blog: “Kate received a an overwhelming 91% of the vote, beating Rachel Zoe (4%), Ne-Yo (2%), Justin Timberlake (1%), Bruno Mars (1%) and Charlie Sheen (1%).”
  • We have known for some time Kate and William’s Jubilee tour will take them to Malaysia, Tuvalu and Singapore, it has now been announced that tour will happen in September.

British Monarchy

  • Jenny Packham fans will be delighted to know that she is doing a capsule collection for UK retailer Debenhams, with The Telegraph reporting the line is slated for a spring release. For those not familiar with Debenhams, I generally compare it to a Kohl’s or Penney’s in the US. Above, just a few of the Packham pieces she has worn.
  • The Telegraph reports Kate may stage an exhibit of her own photography as a fundraiser for her charities

“She is understood to be working on her portfolio of pictures in the hope of putting on a show of her photographs in the next few years.

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Photos from the Middleton family’s vacation in Mustique have surfaced.

Pop Sugar

Pop Sugar has the pictures, the group on holiday included Carole, Michael, Pippa, James, Kate and William.

In the photos showing the group returning home Kate mixed familiar pieces with some we hadn’t seen before, putting Milly’s Gabrielle jacket over her Warehouse Lace Kimono top. Our thanks to WKW Facebook friends Debbie and Therese for their fast work in identifying the piece.

Milly Gabrielle Jacket/Warehouse Lace Kimono Top

The wool crepe jacket is from Milly’s 2010 collection, it originally sold for $315. Both Saks and Neimans offered the garment, it is now sold out on those sites as well as others we checked.  If interested in learning more about this brand (one of my favorites), our sister blog consistently follows Milly, the most recent post is here, a more extensive piece with a look at the spring 2012 runway show is here.

Kate also wore her J Brand skinny jeans, wedge espadrilles and carried a Longchamps Le Pliage bag.

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The Paris Haute Couture shows wrapped up last week, we thought it would be fun to share a few styles from Elie Saab.

Elie Saab

It’s no secret many Kate fans are fond of the Lebanese-born designer’s party frocks, he is a particular favorite of the WKW Facebook community.  We thought his inspiration for the collection would be of interest as well, as shared in this story:

“In this collection I thought about a very modern princess…”

Here are several full length gowns.

Elie Saab Facebook Page

The dresses all look exquisite.

We leave you with a reminder that as of tomorrow, the Queen’s Jubilee is officially underway.

Official Jubilee Website

It is now 60 years ago Her Majesty accession to the throne. For a remarkable series of photos featuring Queen Elizabeth, visit this link to Canada’s National Post.

Merlin Archive via The National Post

A new official portrait of Her Majesty has been released for the Jubilee.

© Royal Household/John Swannell

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).

AP

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.

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

Centrepoint.org.UK

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.

Centrepoint.org.UK

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

BBC-TV

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.

Net-a-Porter

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.

Polaris/Splash/Splash

Polaris/Splash/Splash

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.