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Kate Brings Back Another Christmas Classic on Solo Visits to Newcastle & Stockton

We saw another Christmas coat from Kate today as she made her solo visit to Newcastle and Stockton.

Weir Photos / Splash News

Prince William was scheduled to make the appearances with Kate but changed his schedule so he could attend the funeral of Olga Powell, the longtime nanny he and Prince Harry shared.

Kate’s first stop was the Newcastle Civic Centre, crowds gathered early to have a glimpse of the Duchess.

Newcastle City Council Facebook Page

Fans didn’t seem to mind the cold as they awaited Kate’s arrival, many came with flowers and other gifts for the Duchess.

Newcastle City Council Twitter Feed

We are fortunate that WKW friend Alyssa Phillips was on the scene, she shared these photos with us.

Courtesy of Alyssa Phillips

Glimpses of Kate’s frock peeking out beneath her coat have also provided an opportunity to finally identify that piece, more on the dress shortly.

Gathered inside the Civic Center, volunteers from multiple local initiatives, including many who worked on the London 2012 games. Among those she met, Newcastle’s Street Rangers (left) and Will Hardy (right), one of the City’s inspirational torch bearers, he was selected to give flowers to Kate.

Newcastle City Council Facebook Page

Kate also met students from the Percy Hedley School, the school specializes in working with students who have physical and communication challenges, many with cerebral palsy.  In this picture from the Percy Hedley Sports Twitter feed the Duchess is shown trying her hand at Boccia.

Percy Hedley School Twitter Feed

The next stop on the agenda was Elswick Park for a Fields in Trust function, that organization is the only group in England dedicated to preserving open recreational spaces in perpetuity. Prince William is a Patron of The Queen Elizabeth II Fields, some may recall the Jubilee visit he, Kate and HM made to Vernon Park in Nottingham this past June for a Fields in Trust event.

My Nottingham Facebook Page

Again, there were large crowds eager to see the Duchess, I couldn’t resist sharing the look on this little girl’s face.

Weir Photos / Splash News

Kate’s then traveled to meet with representatives of Keyfund at the Gateshead Youth Council, that group was chosen as a beneficiary of William and Kate’s wedding Charitable Gift Fund. Below, Kate leaving Gateshead.

Jo Taylor Twitter Feed

The final appearance on the schedule was at CRI Stockton Recovery Service, located in Stockton-On-Tees. Again, crowds gathered early.

Amy MacLaren Instagram Feed

Photographer Dave Charnley of Charnley Photography shared this image of Kate as seen in his viewfinder as she headed into the CRI building.

Dave Charnely Twitter Feed (@CharnleyPhoto)

The purpose of this portion of the trip was to meet families working with Action on Addiction’s M-PACT program, “Moving Parents and Children Together”. Kate is a Patron of Action on Addiction. Below, Kate meets with people at CRI.

Lee Johnson Twitter Feed (@LeejTees)

Kate very much seemed at ease throughout today’s activities, not at all fazed by undertaking the obligations alone. That confidence and comfort zone are evident in this picture shared by the BBC’s Caroline Alton.

Caroline Alton, BBC Twitter Feed

Clearly the day’s events were a success for the Duchess and those individuals and organizations she was on hand to showcase., she seemed to relish meeting people and learning about the places and people she visited.

Underneath the coat Kate wore a dress that hadn’t been positively identified, previously it was noticed when Kate and William made their trip to Copenhagen last November. That appearance was for a visit to UNICEF’s Emergency Supply Centre with Princess Mary and Prince Frederik of Denmark, the function designed to draw attention to UNICEF East Africa Crisis.

A word from St. James’s Palace that Kate was wearing a Whistles dress led to confirmation it is the label’s Sophie Rae dress.

Whistles/Splash News/Whistles

Back when the Denmark trip was made several savvy WKW Facebook friends suggested the dress was the Sophie Rae, it turns out they were correct. The piece is 100% silk, the color is called ‘burgundy,’ although it looks like a brighter hue in many photos. It features a deeply veed neckline, what some call a ‘granddad collar,’ a below-knee length and significant fabric gathering at the waist and shoulder.


It appears the body of the dress is lined while the sleeves are not.

Kate also wore the aubergine coat made by an independent dressmaker, it was first seen on Christmas Day at Sandringham. (Our original post is here.)

Ian Jones/Splash News

This is the coat described as being made by an ‘independent dressmaker,’ I wonder if it was another design originated by Kate and brought to life by one of the Queen’s seamstresses. Kate accessorized that day with a Jane Corbett hat.

Today’s accessories included the Kiki McDonough Citrine Drop earrings we’ve seen so often, and we also saw the Alexander McQueen suede belt again.

Splash News

The Aquatalia black Suede Rhumba Boots returned as well.

Courtesy Alyssa Phillips/Aquatalia

As of this writing, both Neiman’s and Bergdorf Goodman have the boots available in a mix of sizes and colors with the Espresso more readily available than Kate’s black, Aquatalia looks to have multiple sizes in both colors.

One additional note, Kate will be attending the October 23 reception at Buckingham Palace for Team GB athletes, coaches, and others. The function is hosted by the Queen and Prince Philip. More on the function from the Royal Blog:

The monarch and her husband Prince Philip will host a garden party at Buckingham Palace on October 23 in honor of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic stars, with all medalists among the 350 invited guests.

A source said: “The queen is very proud of what the amazing athletes achieved in our wonderful summer of sport and wanted to personally thank them.

“It will be a fitting finale to a truly spectacular year of sporting success for Britain.”

Despite the formal setting, organizers insist the event will have a more casual feel – and the Olympians will attend wearing their Stella McCartney-designed Adidas tracksuits.



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Mari Larson

Friday 12th of October 2012

I liked this coat very much over Christmas. It was such a beautiful color and had the matching hat. The color and the addition of the hat seemed perfect for the holidays. This would make one think that I also like the coat today, right? Well, not quite right. I am not sure what caused the problems with the fit of the dress, weight gain, more movement, more bulk from garment underneath, the addition of the belt stops the coat from moving the way that it is designed to, etc. It just doesn't fit in an appropriate and flattering way. Most any garment can be made to look like a million dollars if it is fit correctly. I have always told women to purchase for less and then pay for expert tailoring. Tailoring is something available to the Royal Family and should be used with every garment that they are going to wear in their public life.


Thursday 11th of October 2012

Beautiful woman, but the entire ensemble was not her best look. The cost was too tight, the dress clashed with the color of the coat and the boots looked too heavy for the occasion. Further, why did she leave the coat on indoors?


Thursday 11th of October 2012

I like the coat, and the flash of brighter colour is great. The boots are to die for (and beyond my pocket). But that belt - I just don't like her coats with the great big belts. They look much more elegant without.

With her hair down like that this belted look reminds me of early morning and dressing gowns. Sometimes less is more.


Thursday 11th of October 2012

Although the Reiss coat was more striking, I like this coat's color but it's much too tight! It's pulling at the closure, bunching over the arms and flying open to show too much of the dress. It may be that Kate has gained weight although that wasn't apparent in the Reiss coat which is also from last year. The silk dress shouldn't cause much bulk so maybe the belt is the culprit. Agree would have looked better indoors if she had taken the coat off (easier if there had been no belt) but I've noticed royal ladies seldom do that.

Just seen pictures of Kate in a black coat and dress at a Mayfair club. She looks fabulous! Black is definitely her color. What a pity royal duties don't allow it to be worn more often.


Thursday 11th of October 2012

As always - Love the post! However... 1. I do wonder how cold it really is. The coat seems heavy for this time of year? BUT, I live in the deep south so my "cold" is slightly skewed... 2. I love the jewel tones and varying shades of the color! Monochromatic outfits are boring and she should change it up a little and wear color as much as posbsible. 3. I don't like the belt or the boots with this coat. Maybe its because she just wore them both yesterday that I think she should change it up. Yesterday she was outside, in the grass a good bit, where boots would come in handy; whereas today she was "in town" where I think pumps would be more appropriate. 4. ***Has anyone figured out if there is a protocol regarding removing one's coat when inside at an event? I'm very curious!!*** 5. I love Catherine and her bravery after such a humiliating couple of weeks. She is a wonderful woman to look up to and I think she is not recognized for what she does as often as for what she wears.


Thursday 11th of October 2012

No the coat isn't too heavy. That day in parts of the UK it was cold. Surprised she wasn't wearing gloves. I was :) She was in the north east which can be particularly chill with cold air coming off the continent. Today is warmer and wetter. Very changeable - which is why we always talk about the weather.

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