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It’s a Royal Repeat as Kate’s Suit Honors Christchurch & Canterbury

The Royal Tour headed to Christchurch today, on New Zealand’s South Island. Below, Kate takes part in another Hongi greeting as she and William are officially welcomed.Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

From Hello! magazine:

Christchurch gave Prince William and Kate Middleton the warmest of welcomes as they arrived in the city on the next stop of their royal tour.

Flags and cheering crowds greeted the couple as they alighted from their car outside the Christchurch City Council building, where they were formally welcomed to Christchurch by Mayor Lianne Dalziel and elder members of the Ngai Tahu tribe.

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Christchurch is the area hardest hit by the earthquake that killed 185 people in February of 2011. Prince William flew to the area shortly after the disaster; below, he is shown speaking at the Memorial Service in 2011.Blue Wasp/Grey Wasp/Splash News

William and Kate met families who lost loved ones in the earthquake. Sizable crowds waited to see the Duke and Duchess, you can see them in a photo tweeted by Amanda Abate, a reporter for 7 News.

Amanda Abata, 7News

Amanda Abate, 7News

ITV’s Louisa James shared this photo of young ladies wearing their best tiaras as they awaited Kate and William’s arrival.

Louisa James, ITV

Louisa James, ITV

There was great disappointment when the Rugby World Cup matches scheduled for Stadium Christchurch had to be moved elsewhere because of the earthquake damage. Landing the 2015 Cricket World Cup tempers some of that disappointment for many. Today William and Kate took to the pitch with local school children as part of the countdown to next year’s World Cup.New Zealand Governor-General

The just-for-fun play helped underscore progress and excitement over the championships.Andrew Parsons/i-Images /

From the Daily Mail:

Lee German, Chief Executive of the New Zealand cricket association and former New Zealand cricket captain said: ‘People involved in cricket have been looking forward to this day for a long time.

There is also a World Cup event in Sydney on the 16th.

The couple visited Wigram Air Force Museum, where William made brief remarks during a lunch with regional business leaders. The Daily Mail has more:

He said: ‘As you all know, this is Catherine’s first visit to New Zealand, and the two of us could not be more grateful for the way in which we have been made to feel so very welcome. There have been many highlights from the past ten days in this beautiful country – Catherine beating me at sailing does not count amongst them, not for me anyway.’

He added:’There have been a number of moving reminders this week of harder days in New Zealand’s past – particularly poignant during this centenary year of the start of World War One.

Before leaving Kate and William went to the RNZAF Wall of Remembrance, dedicated to those Royal Air Force members who died serving their country.

Kate and William also visited the Botanic Gardens, cutting a ribbon to officially open the Christchurch Visitors Centre located at the Gardens.

New Zealand Governor-General

New Zealand Governor-General

Kate’s ensemble today honored the local colors of Canterbury, red and black. More on that significance from the Daily Mail:

It was a poignant tribute to the people of Christchurch. After the city’s devastating February 2011 earthquake, which claimed the lives of 185 people, New Zealanders held a red and black day to show their support and solidarity with Christchurch.

We first saw the Luisa Spagnoli suit in February of 2011, worn when the Duke and Duchess visited their alma mater, Saint Andrews University. Following the Saint Andrews engagement Kate and William, joined by Prince Harry, went to the New Zealand High Commission on London to sign the earthquake book.Splash/Splash/Splash

I don’t believe it is mere coincidence that we see Kate in the same ensemble today as that worn for signing the condolence book; she is too well-researched and meticulous an observer to casually bring the Luisa Spagnoli to New Zealand for this occasion.

When more closely examining photos from today one notices two things, the first being that what the Duchess wore today is longer than what she wore in 2011.Splash News/i-Images/

The second: It appears the Spagnoli dress may have been converted into a skirt.Andrew Parsons/i-Images/

You can see the decorative top-stitching on what Kate wore above, and below you can see the same stitching on the dress.

2012 eBay Auction

2012 eBay Auction

That leads to the conclusion Kate’s dress was converted into a skirt. The tailoring is very well done, were it not for the added length it’s unlikely most would have noticed the alterations. Thanks to Ayvee, of Dianas Jewels renown, for sharing insight and photos on the WKW facebook wall, and also to @Royal Forum Moron for raising the issue on Twitter.

The re-engineering of the garment is reminiscent of the altered Katherine Hooker coat worn at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2006 and at a lifeboat christening in 2011.Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

Kate wore her Episode Angel black suede pumps and carried her Mulberry Bayswater clutch.Andrew parsons/i-Images/

She wore her Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch and Annoushka Pearl Drop earrings.Cartier/Annoushka

The Duchess also had her Mappin and Webb necklace on, most of the time it remained beneath her jacket.Robin Nunn/Nynn Syndication/Polaris Images


NEXT ENGAGEMENTS: Monday (Tuesday in New Zealand) is an off day. Following are the Wednesday (Tuesday night in the US) engagements:

  • 10am / 6pm EDT / 3pm PDT – Visit the Royal New Zealand Police College, located on the outskirts of Wellington, a facility officially opened by William’s father, the Prince of Wales, thirty years ago.
    • The couple will officially acknowledge the 29 officers who lost their lives in the line of duty
    • This will be followed by a Mihi and Karakia, a traditional Māori greeting and prayer, the police kapa haka group
    • Watch police recruits in training, and also see a police canine team in action
  • 11:15am / 7:15pm EDT / 4:15pm PDT – Return to Wellington, with a stop in the city centre to sign the official Visitor’s Book, with the possibility of a walkabout
  • Noon / 8pm EDT / 5pm PDT – Depart Wellington for 3-hour flight to Sydney, Australia via Royal Australian Air Force
  • Arrive in Sydney, New South Wales, early in the afternoon
  • Travel to Sydney’s famed Opera House for a reception given by the Governor and Premier of New South Wales; William makes a short speech at this venue. Next, a trip across the Harbour to Admiralty House, where William, Kate and George will be staying during a portion of their visit.



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Tuesday 15th of April 2014

I've seen some complaints about Kate not wearing local designers - but is this something that she has done a lot on prior tours? I am thinking of Erdem in Canada and Prabal Gurung in Singapore and that is all I can recall. So I think we can expect one, maybe two local designers on this tour at the most (and still two weeks to go)? Having said that, I agree she should wear more local, but I don't think this is as much of a prior trend as it's been hyped up to be.


Tuesday 15th of April 2014

I think Kate looks beautiful. Her outfit is perfectly tailored, and really shows off her gorgeous figure in an understated and elegant way. I love the hemline here-right at the knee; so much preferable in my opinion to the longer hemlines that end mid-calf. That color is great on her as well, and I love the black accents to her outfit-the buttons, belt, clutch and pumps-adds style and interest to an otherwise monochromatic look.


Tuesday 15th of April 2014

Are we absolutely sure that the Spagnoli was originally a dress? To me, the lines of it, and the way it moves as she walks at St. Andrew's seems more like a skirt? Also, I think I read some other users commenting that the suit was originally sold as a dress or skirt option. Just wondering if this is more conjecture or not. Thanks for all the detailed posts! :)


Tuesday 15th of April 2014

I, too, wondered whether it had been a dress, yet when I looked at the photos in this post, there are a couple of Kate wearing something red under a dark coat. At first I thought it was a coat over the suit, but in one of the photos there is no sign of buttons. It looks like a dress to me, and it's the same length and colour as whatever Kate was wearing with the jacket.

On the other hand, would Kate have worn a black roll neck pullover under a dress under a jacket? I know it was St. Andrews and Scotland can be cold even in summer.

At the moment I'm in favour of her having a dress and a skirt, but who knows if this is correct? :)


Tuesday 15th of April 2014

AshleyOlivia, I don't think you'd know how to be combative if you tried! I strive for an even tenor on my own working though I know anyone could point out umpteen instances where I fail -- the problem for all of us is not being able to read words in the same tone of voice in which they were spoken!

The teal LKB was a fabulous outfit, and the hem length looked great -- as long as Kate was standing -- I was referring to the difficulties she was shown as having on trying to get out of a car. As for sitting down, I congratulate Kate heartily on her skill in keeping legs together, it was just that she was sitting next to the Queen which gave the most marked contrast to Kate's own fast-rising hem!

I would agree with you completely about the short hems that don't work when it affects the overall balance of an outfit. Now that we have then, I'm also finding it takes a bit of adjusting to get used to the longer lengths, further proof that I may not know my own mind, sadly...


Wednesday 16th of April 2014

Ah, yes, I do remember that her exiting the car in the teal suit appeared awkward; some added length to the skirt might have made that maneuver less difficult. I have to hand it to any woman that can exit a car in a skirt with the whole world watching. I thank my lucky stars that I'm not famous every time I have to manage it, as I don't think it would be possible for a person to look more un-ladylike than myself in those moments!

You are absolutely spot-on about my inability to be combative. I took Karate lessons in high school for 2 months: I was having such fun learning the kicks and positions, then they told us we had to start kicking each other. I actually cried during the experience and never went back! If the Zombie Apocalypse occurs, I'm afraid I will just have to hand over my brain.


Monday 14th of April 2014

I continue to applaud her again and again for choosing so well for herself. I suppose she may have help with the plethora of outfits she has to keep track of (no dresser ever). What I am so amazed by is that not only does she recycle/repurpose but she chose well when she was a very young woman, then kept her good clothes in excellent shape and has no qualm at 31 recycling clothes from her 20s. That is one smart young woman. I love the tour and seeing her be so happy and natural with William during all their different appearances. At first, I did not like the dowdy, yet palace-approved longer coats. Now, she looks regal yet still fresh and stylish. I love WhatKateWore and all the photos and comments!

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