We saw another Christmas coat from Kate today as she made her solo visit to Newcastle and Stockton.
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.
Fans didn’t seem to mind the cold as they awaited Kate’s arrival, many came with flowers and other gifts for the Duchess.
We are fortunate that WKW friend Alyssa Phillips was on the scene, she shared these photos with us.
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.
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.
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.
Again, there were large crowds eager to see the Duchess, I couldn’t resist sharing the look on this little girl’s face.
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.
The final appearance on the schedule was at CRI Stockton Recovery Service, located in Stockton-On-Tees. Again, crowds gathered early.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
The Aquatalia black Suede Rhumba Boots returned as well.
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.
- Learn more about Fields in Trust via its website, its Facebook page or the group’s Twitter account
- Read more about Keyfund and its work here or donate by purchasing something from its online shop here
- Visit Action on Addiction here
- The Daily Mail’s story about a darling 10-year-old boy who gave Kate a hug is here
- ITN’s video story on the day is here
- The Telegraph’s story and video is here