“Her Majesty, the Queen, is pleased to order that in future, upon St Patrick’s Day, all ranks of her Irish regiments shall wear, as a distinction, a sprig of shamrock in their head dress to commemorate the gallantry of her Irish soldiers during the recent battles in South Africa.”
That decree came in 1900, and this St. Patrick’s Day the Duchess of Cambridge was on hand to distribute shamrocks to 40 Irish Guard officers.
Kate chose a deep green Emilia Wickstead piece in what is becoming a familiar cut: fitted on top, a belted waist that flares into a full skirt.The piece is from the a/w 2010 collection, it was an outstanding look on the Duchess.
Born in New Zealand, her mother was a made-to-measure designer. “It’s quite funny. I grew up with my mother: as a designer, she was always working and I actually used to say to her: ‘Whatever you do, never leave me your business'”.
Fortunately Ms. Wickstead decided on a career in fashion after all, that strikes us as a very good thing. Below we share five looks from her sping/summer 2012 collection via London Fashion Week.
All five would work for Kate, although some would clearly require modification, primarily in the bodice, providing more appropriate coverage. Below styles from this fall’s collection, as shown in our previous post about the designer. It is easy to see why Kate is fond of Ms. Wickstead’s creations.
Wonderful looks, many of them ‘very Kate’.
The Duchess seemed to revel in her new role, smiling and joking with the officers while also being respectful of the location and responsibilities attached to the occasion.
Our thanks to Ashish Joshi of Sky News, who tweeted word about the dress and hat designers, the chapeau was another piece by James Lock & Company, the firm’s “Betty Boop” style. The hat is not a bespoke piece, it retails at £245, approximately $390 USD at today’s exchange rates.
The hat and shoes were both a rich brown, nicely offsetting the green in Kate’s coat. After much searching, the shoes were IDed on the WKW Facebook page by super-sleuths Leisa George-Meigh and Betty Bader.
They are by UK brand Emmy, creators of “beautifully designed and lovingly handmade collection of shoes and accessories”. It is a label Pippa Middleton has also been seen wearing. It is easy to see why the brand is favored by both sisters, more from the company’s website:
“Emmy Scarterfield is the innovative designer behind the brand. She has worked for many of the most influential fashion houses in Italy and the UK including Giorgio Armani, Bottega Veneta, Pringle and Mulberry.”The designer also did a joint collection with Jenny Packham (now sold out), more proof as to why Kate would appreciate her work. You can follow Emmy on Twitter, visit the company’s Facebook page, or read the blog the company recently launched.
A special mention also to Kate Middleton Style blog, it was Carly’s close-up of the shoe’s sole that offered a good look at the logo, ultimately leading to the correct identification. The company confirmed to both KMSB and Betty Bader the shoes were theirs.
After presenting the shamrock sprigs Kate also joined Guardsmen in the mess hall for a toast and sip of Harvey’s Bristol Cream. We can expect to see Kate fulfilling this role many times in the future, more from the British Forces News:
It is the Duchess of Cambridge’s first solo military engagement and the start of a longstanding relationship with the Irish Guards.
Last year, she was appointed to the honorary rank of Colonel of the Irish Guard and on 25th June the Royal couple presented operational service medals in Windsor to the battalion for their Afghan deployment.
The gold shamrock on Kate’s lapel is the same she wore on Armed Forces Day in June, the brooch is actually owned by the regiment and loaned to those using it on occasions such as Saturday’s. Previously it was worn by the late Queen Mother, as well as Princess Anne. You can see it below, as well as the extra fabric used to hold the shamrock punch pinned to the Duchess’s coat.
Some may recall that Prince William was made Colonel of the Guards last year, it was the unit’s deep red uniform he wore on his wedding day. And last June the couple paid a ceremonial visit to the regiment on Armed Forces Day. More on the ceremonial history may be found on the British Army’s Facebook page.
The Guards have had an Irish Wolfhound as mascot since 1902, and Conmael received his own shamrocks from Kate Saturday.
More on how the dogs are named from the Irish Guards’ website:
The Mascots are all named after High Kings and Legendary Chieftains of Ireland.
A note about the spelling of the Mascot’s name: several leading UK papers spell it Conmeal, but other sources, including the Herald in Ireland, use Conmael, thus our decision to use the latter. One other note, there has been a bit of chatter about a few of the Guards who appeared to faint before the actual ceremony, more on that from The Express:
Afterwards, Captain Ed Roffe-Silvester, 27, said it was not uncommon for soldiers wearing the 7lb hats to pass out. “The bearskin is fairly heavy,” he said. “If there’s a bit of a breeze like today then you have to put it on pretty firmly and that can restrict blood flow to the head.”
Today’s ensemble was a classic look exuding grace and style while retaining an understated elegance. The accessories were spot-on, enhancing the ensemble without being overly fussy or detracting from the look.
We move now to a quick update on LK Bennett & the company’s plans to re-issue some of the pieces Kate has worn, we shared this on Twitter & Facebook last week but neglected to include the information in a post. (Apologies for the oversight, my brain is no longer a steel trap, more of a steel sieve, honestly.)
The jacket will come in a new camel color, as well as the re-issued black and chocolate brown. For those not familiar with the Darwin, here is a look.
Kate has been seen on other occasions in the jacket, below we show her wearing the piece in February.
It was the Davina dress and Jude jacket that Kate wore when visiting Leicester with HM and Prince Philip.
If interested in acquiring either piece, LK Bennett suggests emailing CustomerServices@LKBennett.com.
However, the retailer is not planning to release the navy Art court shoe, the Sliver Sandal in taupe. Our thanks to WKW Facebook friend Adrienne for letting us know they are thinking about other styles to be re-issued, asking Facebook fans for input on which they would most like to see.