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.
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.
There was added significance with the monarch officially kicking off the Jubilee Tour commemorating her sixty-year reign.
The Duchess wore pieces by royal favorite LK Bennett.
The jacket is 100% wool, it was originally priced at £295 ($475).
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.
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.
The Duchess wore a pair of Episode shoes, a brand that 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. UPDATE: They are the Episode ‘Angel’ style.
Below we see the Duke, Her Majesty, and Kate leaving the Leicester Cathedral following the service.
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.
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.
The University’s award winning Gospel Choir entertained those waiting in the brisk morning air.
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.’
These youngsters will have a story they can tell for generations.
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.
Here we see Kate, the Queen and De Montfort Professor and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Shellard watching the fashion show.
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.
Becka’s design was the blue suede with beaded lace overlay, we show her with the winning design today after hearing the good news.
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.
Here is a better look at Becka and her winning shoe design via the University’s home page.
Below we see Kate accepting flowers (L), and with Prince Philip as they prepare to leave the University.
It looked like Kate was very much enjoying herself.
All three royal family members looked splendid, what a lovely start to the tour.
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 Diocese of Leicester here, and see its Flickr feed here, there is also a nice video from The Telegraph here, and ITN’s story is here.
Another look at the Duchess today.
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:
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.