Jul 292014
 

Kate was in navy and royal blue for today’s activities at the Commonwealth Games.

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

The Duchess started the day with a SportsAid reception, attending mentoring sessions and meeting with athletes and ambassadors for the organization.

SportsAid

SportsAid

She also took part in activities in the Athletes Village with Harry and William. More from the Daily Mail’s coverage:

They were given a tour of the recreation facilities for the athletes, where William played video games with some of the Welsh women’s hockey team.

All three moved on to the village green where they heard a performance of the Games’ anthem for Unicef from a group of local school children.

Prince William reacts after playing a traditional South African game called ‘three tins’.

UNICEF UK Facebook

UNICEF UK Facebook

Many of the children seen playing above are part of East40, a choir from schools in Glasgow’s East End. Here you see little Kacey Armstronge giving Kate a teddy bear that is a gift for Prince George.

Mirrorpix/Splash News

Mirrorpix/Splash News

The Commonwealth Games have partnered with UNICEF and the Commonwealth Games Federation in a first-ever joint fundraising initiative, Put Children First. More from the UNICEF blog:

Throughout the Glasgow 2014 Games, UNICEF has been leading sessions for athletes and the public drawing attention to the Put Children First appeal which aims to reach every child in Scotland and around the Commonwealth.

That fundraising effort was kicked off during the Opening Ceremony last Wednesday. By the time the Ceremony concluded more than £3.1 million was raised, with nearly 600,000 donations coming just by text. Back to the UNICEF blog:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry then joined the children in playing three traditional games enjoyed by young people from different countries across the Commonwealth.

HRH the Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a game from the Caribbean with the children although she said, “This is much harder than it looks!”

UNICEF Blog

UNICEF Blog

William and Kate in a more formal picture, surrounded by children who look elated to be spending time with them.
John Young/UNICEF

John Young/UNICEF

The trio also spoke with athletes competing at the Games. Here you see them with the world’s fastest man, Gold Medal sprinter Usain Bolt.

Usain Bolt Twitter

Usain Bolt Twitter

Kate and William played a game of table football with athletes.

Clarence House Twitter

The photobombs continue, below we see Prince William grinning in the photo of Guyanese cyclist Scott Savory (l) and Olympian Sir Chris Hoy (r), shared by Mr. Savory in this Instagram picture.

Scott Savory Instagram

Scott Savory Instagram

Prince Harry was reveling in the practice last night, he can be seen giving the double thumbs-up in the photo being taken of (left to right) All Blacks coach Sir Gordon Tietjens, former boxer Trevor Shailer and professor Gary Hermansson. Mr. Shailer posted the photo on his Facebook page last night.

Trevor Shailer Facebook

Trevor Shailer Facebook

A photo posted on Twitter by Street Soccer Scotland founder David Duke prompted us to ask “best photobomb ever?“, as it features Princes Harry & William, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Mr. Bolt again, all behind Mr. Duke.

David Duke Twitter (MrDavidDuke)

David Duke Twitter (MrDavidDuke)

(Fear not, your correspondent stands corrected and now grasps the distinction between a “photobomb” and a “selfie”.)

Many will recognize key pieces in Kate’s ensemble.

Mirrorpix/Splash News

Mirrorpix/Splash News

We’ll start with the Ridley Stretch Cady Dress by designer Stella McCartney.  The color is ideal, almost identical to the blue in Scotland’s flag.

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Below you see Kate wearing the frock to an opening at the National Portrait Gallery in 2012, at the Men’s Tennis Finals at the 2012 London Games (she and Prince William are seen speaking with Andy Murray) and most recently when arriving in Canberra during the April tour.

Splash News/Bryan Graham/Polaris

Splash News/Bryan Graham/Polaris

The dress is a stretch jersey, its most distinctive feature is the exposed seaming on the darts, a tailoring element usually concealed on the inside of a garment.

Kate was also in her Smythe Jacket today, previously worn with a Ralph Lauren top and skinny jeans for this SportsAid engagement in October of last year.

All Photos Splash News

All Photos Splash News

The piece is Smythe’s One Button Blazer. We are using an older product montage below from retailer Revolve Clothing to better showcase the cut-out portion on the back of the blazer.

Kate-Heathrow-Smythe-Blazer-4-shot-1024x457

It has been reissued several times since Kate first wore it when departing England for the 2011 tour of North America.

PA Wire

PA Wire

The blazer is currently stocked in all sizes at Saks ($595). It is made of 100% wool, features princess seaming with front pockets and the cut-out back section. Shopbop also has the blazer in stock, although sizing is limited.

Smythe One Button Blazer at Saks Fifth Avenue

Smythe One Button Blazer at Saks Fifth Avenue

There has been some discussion about Kate’s handbag and whether it is actually her oft-carried Stuart Weitzman for Russell & Bromley Muse. These are both from today, and to me it looks like it is, but I will be the first to admit I don’t always catch every detail on an item, one reason I value reader feedback and comments.

i-Images/Polaris

i-Images/Polaris

UPDATED 7pm EDT: The always-brilliant Carly from Kate Middleton Style suggests the bag may be by Emmy, a brand we know Kate carries in multiple colors. Here is one more picture from today: the angle might make it appear the flap comes all the way down the full front of the bag, but that is just the perspective of the photo. Today’s tip of the tiara goes to Carly for sorting this out.

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Below you see two Emmy bags as Kate has carried them.

i-Images/Splash

i-Images/Splash

Our thanks to everyone who commented or tweeted yesterday and/or today saying they didn’t think the Muse pictured was Kate’s clutch, I’m off to correct that post next!

The Duchess wore her favorite shoes, the Corkswoon style by Stuart Weitzman.

i-Images/Polaris & Stuart Weitzman

i-Images/Polaris & Stuart Weitzman

Kate kept things simple in the jewelry department, opting for the pieces she wore yesterday. Left to right we have the Kiki McDonough Citrine Drop earrings, Cartier’s Ballon Bleu wristwatch, and charms from Asprey, the jeweler’s Woodland Collection.

Kiki McDonough/Cartier/Asprey

 

 

LINKAGE:

Jul 282014
 

Kate was in familiar styles today in Scotland.

James Whatling/Splash News

James Whatling/Splash News

The Duchess joined Harry and William for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Their first stop today was at the gymnastics competition, the Daily Express has more.

They sat in the family section of the arena shortly before 3pm as gymnasts from across the Commonwealth competed in the men’s and women’s team finals.

Their arrival at the Hydro went almost unnoticed by the crowds until cameras showed them on the arena’s big screens.

After gymnastics the trio went to the boxing venue, where they watched England’s Scott Fitzgerald take on Azumah Mohammed of Ghana.

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

Mr. Fitzgerald was triumphant over Mr. Mohammed, winning the welterweight match.

Splash News

Splash News

As the Duke, Duchess and Prince departed the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre after the boxing match, Kate thanked volunteers. (Our thanks to John Cushing for allowing us to use his photograph.)

Photo: Kind Permission John Cushng Global Radio (@

Photo: Kind Permission John Cushing, Global Radio (@JohnCushing)

Thus far the Games have been enormously successful, more from the Daily Mail:

Since the Queen opened the event last week, the Commonwealth Games has proved popular with royal visitors, starting with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, who kicked off a week of royal visits the day before the event got underway.

Other royals to be seen cheering on the athletes in Glasgow include the Queen, who joined the crowds at the hockey and the swimming on last Thursday, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, who were seen over the weekend at the hockey and the rugby sevens. 

The Glasgow games have already broken Scottish visitor records with more than 350,000 spectators watching events yesterday on so-called ‘Super Sunday’.

In these pictures via Michael Kurn you see them arriving for field hockey competition.

Photos via Kind Courtesy Michael Kurn Twitter (@MichaelKurn)

Photos: Via Kind Courtesy Michael Kurn (@MichaelKurn)

Prince Edward, who is Vice Patron of the Commonwealth Games, joined the younger royals to watch the women’s field hockey.
Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

Whether watching competition, traveling between events, or meeting athletes, Harry, William and Kate seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. Here we see Kate and William reacting to action in the hockey game.

i-Images/Polaris

Having this generation of royals supporting sports initiatives makes perfect sense. The Duke, Duchess & Prince Harry are all athletic, with a particular affinity for team sports. They have all volunteered time for other sporting endeavors, especially those benefiting charitable organizations. Kate is royal patron for SportsAid, an organization providing financial support to young athletes who ultimately want to compete at the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games level.

SportsAid

SportsAid

Below, Harry posing for a photo with England’s hockey team, tweeted by Georgie Twigg, Team GB Olympic hockey medalist.

Georgie Twigg Twitter Feed

Readers won’t be surprised at what Kate wore at the Games today, many will recognize her clothing and accessories. The jacket is by Zara, we first saw the Duchess wearing it in Auckland, New Zealand, during the royal tour.

Zara / Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online Twitter Feed (@RE_DailyMail)

Zara / Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online Twitter Feed (@RE_DailyMail)

She also wore skinny jeans and a blouse we have yet to identify.

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

The button-front top is sleeveless and appears to be done in a tone-on-tone stripe. Below, a better look at the collar.

splash News / Polaris Images

Splash News / Polaris Images

It also has domed buttons and vertical tucks from the shoulder seam to the bustline.

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

If/when the blouse is identified we’ll update the post with that information.

Kate was carrying her Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley Muse clutch in navy suede (£255, about $430). For those not as familiar with the handbag, a snippet from the product description.

In blue suede, the chic minimal design and simple flap closure make this understated evening bag the last word in luxury.

Russell & Bromley

Russell & Bromley

With thanks to those questioning the handbag ID in this post (and on Facebook, Twitter, as well as via email), I raised the question with several closeup photos in Tuesday’s post on the Commonwealth Games. Kate is carrying an Emmy clutch, not the Stuart Weitzman Muse.

At times Kate could be seen holding a pair of sunglasses, but we haven’t yet seen photographs allowing a firm identification. And she was also wearing her trusty Corkswoon wedges by Stuart Weitzman.

Stuart Weitzman

Stuart Weitzman

We show them at Stuart Weitzman above, but they are also available at Zappos. Both retailers charge $398 for the shoes.

The Duchess accessorized with her Kiki McDonough Citrine Drop earrings, Cartier Ballon Bleu wristwatch and Asprey charms necklace featuring charms from the company’s Woodland Collection.

Kiki McDonoough/Cartier/Asprey

Kiki McDonoough/Cartier/Asprey

Not everyone was thrilled with what Kate wore: a look at Twitter, the WKW Facebook page, other blogs, and some of the comments on this post is all one needs to verify that sentiment. Why? Because many feel Kate settles for a ‘uniform’ when she should be showing variety, at least a little bit, in her wardrobe. A look at the headline and montage from Dhani Mau’s post today in Fashionista:

Fashionista.com

Fashionista.com

From Dhani’s story:

“…fashion-wise, it was not very exciting. That’s because she was wearing an outfit that she’s worn literally a dozen times and seems to choose for every occasion that calls for something casual — i.e. not a dress.”

It’s a good point. Except I think Kate wants to be “boring”: she wants attention on the occasion/event/function she is attending, and the people involved with that event. She doesn’t want the focus on her and what she is wearing. I respect her feeling that way (if, in fact, it is how she feels, obviously it’s mere speculation on my part). Unfortunately, one need only look where all the cameras are pointed when Kate is present to realize the noblest of intentions can be overwhelmed by the reality of a wired world demanding its pictures. Now. They want them now, as in I wanted-them-yesterday-now.

Would there be even more buzz and tweeting and chatter if the Duchess wore something new? I don’t know, but my instinct is there would be; the old Tweet-o-Meter would be peaking in the red zone. While I am not a fan of everything Kate wears in this sort of ensemble, I respect what appears to be her determination to not feed the beast, if at all possible, and to stay in the pleasantly ‘uninspired’ category.

Kate and William watching swimming this evening.

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

And William fanning her with her credentials because it’s warm at the swimming venue.

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

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Also today, a very quick update on what the Duchess wore this Saturday when attending a wedding with Prince William. They were in Batcombe, a small village in Somerset, for the marriage of Alexander Vaulkhard and Sarah Nicholson. The Prince became friends with Mr. Vaulkhard when both were attending Eton. There are no photos available for licensing, although you can see a few images here. The Duchess was in a Jenny Packham frock we have seen before, worn to a polo match in California during the 2011 N. American tour.

Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham

We did not see the dress again for almost a year, when Kate wore the silver and marble grey hand-painted silk frock to the June 2012 wedding of Prince William’s cousin, Emily McCorquodale.

James Whatling / Splash News

James Whatling / Splash News (June 2012)

Kate also appeared to be wearing the ‘Sliver’ sandal this weekend, the same shoe originally worn with the dress in 2011, it is by LK Bennett.

LK Bennett

LK Bennett

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In Friday’s post we wrote about the incredible display of 880,000+ handmade ceramic poppies being ‘planted’ in the dry moat at the Tower of London.

The Tower of London/Historic Royal Palaces

The Tower of London/Historic Royal Palaces

Ceramic artist Paul Cummins and set designer Tom Piper are doing the installation in tandem with Historic Royal Palaces as part of the World War I Centenary observances. Mr. Cummins has been working with volunteers for more than a year, creating the handcrafted glazed red ceramic poppies. Now there is a small army of more volunteers (8000+) who have been working for days ‘planting’ the poppies at the Tower, all part of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.

Historic Royal Palaces Instagram

Historic Royal Palaces Instagram

From Historic Royal Palaces:

Entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, the installation is being created in the Tower’s famous dry moat. It will continue to grow throughout the summer until the moat is filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies, each poppy representing a British or Colonial military fatality during the war.

It is a massive undertaking.

Coming Home Facebook Page

Coming Home Facebook Page

The sea of red is already a spectacular sight.

Coming Home

Coming Home

This photo gives you an idea of the scale in terms of size, that is Crawford Butler holding the flower in a picture taken earlier this month. Mr. Butler is the longest serving Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London and he was given the honor of planting the first flower.

Tower of London

Tower of London

A closer look at one of the poppies.

Via

Via the Tower of London

Here you see another Yeoman Warder in a photo taken today, as he stands amid the poppies rapidly filling the moat.

Historic Royal Palaces Twitter

Historic Royal Palaces Twitter

Several WKWers have actually worked on the project as volunteers, and others have registered their interest to purchase one after the installation is closed.

Each ceramic poppy will be available to buy for £25 (+p&p) from 5 August 2014. 10% from each poppy, plus all net proceeds, which we hope will be millions of pounds if all poppies are sold, will be shared equally amongst six service charities.

The charities chosen are Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).
To register your interest in purchasing a poppy, click here. We’ll leave you with this latest image shared by Coming Home, one of the 6 organization’s  that will benefit if enough of the poppies are sold.
Coming Home Twitter (@ComingHomeOrg)

Coming Home Twitter (@ComingHomeOrg)

We will see you tomorrow, when Kate is due back at the Commonwealth Games.

 

LINKAGE:

 

Jul 252014
 

We are back with updates to Kate’s Calendar, beginning with word about participation in events surrounding the Centenary of World War I.

August 5th is the anniversary of Britain’s first full day fighting in the War; William, Harry and Kate will visit a special exhibit at the Tower of London commemorating the Great War. Nearly 900,000 handmade ceramic poppies, one for each British and Colonial war fatality, will be placed in the Tower’s moat. More from Historic Royal Palaces:

… the installation is being created in the Tower’s famous dry moat. It will continue to grow throughout the summer until the moat is filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies, each poppy representing a British or Colonial military fatality during the war.

The 888,246 poppies have been handmade at the studios of artist Paul Cummins.

Paul Cummins Facebook page

Paul Cummins Facebook page

The final poppy will be ‘planted’ on November 11th to coincide with the Armistice ending that War, it took effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. After the installation ends individual poppies will be available for purchase, each will cost £25. More on how proceeds from the poppy sales might be used from the Derby Telegraph:

If all of them are bought, the sale will amount to £15 million which will, in turn, be distributed between six various charities for the armed forces, including the Royal British Legion and Help For Heroes.

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Also related to the calendar, a little more information on the events Kate, William and Harry will attend at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next Monday and Tuesday. They will watch competition in athletics (known as track & field events in some countries), boxing, hockey (field hockey in the US), gymnastics and swimming. Both mornings the Palace will release specific times and events the three young royals will be attending.

The spectacular opening ceremony for the Games was Wednesday, with more than 4500 athletes from 71 nations and territories taking part.

Denise Evans Twitter Feed

Denise Evans Twitter Feed

The Queen was part of Wednesday’s dramatic ceremony, officially declaring the Games open. For those who enjoy following Her Majesty’s style, she wore a silver lamé and white tweed ensemble by Angela Kelly.

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

Also on hand for the ceremony Wednesday evening: Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Edward (he is Vice Patron of the Games) and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Below, Team Scotland entering Celtic Park.

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris

One group stealing the show Wednesday evening: 40 Scottish Terriers, used to lead teams into the ceremony.

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris Images

Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris Images

The Scotties had special uniforms created for the occasion.

Claire Luit Twitter Feed (@Claire Luti)

Claire Luit Twitter Feed (@Claire Luti)

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were back at the Games today, where they watched a Women’s Hockey match between England and Wales. The couple also spent time meeting athletes and coaches, inadvertently (I think) giving some of Team Australia’s hockey players very special mementos from the Games. Below you see Ashleigh Nelson taking a ‘selfie’ (a picture of oneself taken by oneself), with The Queen photobombing (purposely or accidentally appearing in someone else’s photo) through the fence!

Ashleigh Nelson Twitter Feed (@nelson_ashleigh)

Ashleigh Nelson Twitter Feed (@nelson_ashleigh)

Ms. Nelson about it on her blog in a post she called “A Queenie Photobomb Kinda Day”:

Although we take our matches very seriously, sometimes life presents abundant opportunities. Today it was who could get the best selfie with non-other than our very lovely Queen Elizabeth more affectionately known as Queenie.

But that wasn’t the only appearance by the Queen in selfies, HM can be seen in the background of Jayde Taylor’s selfie with teammate Brooke Peris, both also play for Team Australia.

Jayde Taylor Twitter

Jayde Taylor Twitter

Back to Ms. Nelson’s blog post:

“…if you haven’t seen it yet… it seemed the Queen was ready and raring to photobomb. Apparently she has been taking lessons from her Grandchildren…”

Readers may recall William and Kate’s visit to Scotland earlier this year (original posts here and here) when they toured Emirates Arena. That was when Kate met Clyde (a Scottish Thistle), the mascot for the Games.

Glasgow 2014

Glasgow 2014

If interested in perusing the schedule for the Games to try and guess which events Kate will attend, click here.

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Also today, an early look at the upcoming capsule collection designer Roland Mouret has created for Banana Republic.

Banana Republic Courtesy Photos

Banana Republic Courtesy Photos

It is less than two weeks from the collection’s launch, it goes on sale Thursday, August 7th.  Most of the pieces showcase the feminine, figure-hugging silhouette Mr. Mouret’s designs are known for. One of the fundamental underpinnings of the collection is BR’s Sloan fabric, a bi-stretch, figure-hugging material used across a range of apparel items. Below we show the Sloan Sailor Skirt, the Sloan Sheath and the Sloan Slim Ankle Pant.

Banana Republic

Banana Republic

Black is used throughout the collection, there are several LBDs (Little Black Dresses).

Banana Republic Courtesy Photos

Banana Republic Courtesy Photos

Our final group of styles from the upcoming collection.

Banana Republic Courtesy Photos

Banana Republic Courtesy Photos

Prices start at $49.50 with the most expensive item retailing for $165. BR is offering charge customers and those on its mailing list the chance to shop early on August 6th.

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Also today, a quick note from our friends at Beulah London: the label is having a flash sale that is now underway.

Beulah London

Beulah London

A good selection of merchandise is available, as the brand starts making room for fall merchandise.  I really like the tailored lines in the Idona cocktail dress, that frock is discounted from £375 to £275 (roughly $645 to $460) in both powder pink and powder blue.

Beulah London

Beulah London

The Jade Evening Gown in navy silk is on sale for £195, about $325; it was originally priced at £495, just under $850. The Jade in Linear Floral is a bargain as well, pricing for the print version of the gown is the same as for the solid navy color.

Beulah London

Beulah London

Some of Beulah’s elegant scarves are offered in the sale. Below left we show the Asha, a silk satin floral print now 50% off (£95, about $160); on the right we show the Cara in Beulah’s Modal Cashmere blend, it is priced at £85 (about $145), marked down from its original price of £125 (roughly $215).

Beulah London

Beulah London

If spotting something you like in the sale, time is of the essence – the sale ends Sunday night.

LINKAGE:

  • click here to visit the Commonwealth Games website, the Facebook page is here,
  • visit the Centenary News site here, offering “news and information about the upcoming 2014-2018 First World War Centenary,” as well as “videos, details of events, educational resources, and links to articles and blogs” related to the anniversary of the Great War