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It’s Seraphine Maternity for Kate’s Kensington Engagements

Kate returned to a favorite brand for today’s engagements in the London borough of Kensington, not far from her home at Kensington Palace.James Whatling/Splash News

The Duchess started the day with a morning coffee at Family Friends, a group that “recruits, trains and matches volunteers with parents, children or adolescents”.Geoff Pugh/The Daily Telegraph/PA Wire

Kate was given a bouquet of flowers by 2-year-old Ryan Dixon; he was somewhat shy, and eager to hold on to his mother, Tracy Samuels. Sarah Ann Harris has more in this Daily Express story:

The Duchess was presented with a bouquet of white lilacs and nasturtiums by Tracy Samuels, a single mother who was helped by Family Friends.

Ms Samuels was forced to take over the role from two-year-old son Ryan Dixon after he became overcome by shyness. The normally boisterous toddler had spent all weekend preparing for his star turn but at the last moment ran away saying: “No, no, Mummy!”

Kate was unfazed by the hiccup and told the toddler:  “I would be shy as well.”

Geoff Pugh/The Daily Telegraph/PA Wire

The organization helps families living in disadvantaged areas of Kensington and Chelsea. Back to Sarah Ann Harris’s story in The Express:

Ms Samuels, who works as a care team supervisor at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, said: “The Duchess was asking how I coped after Ryan was born. I told her I was very depressed and I was even thinking about suicide, but my mentor got me right back on track.  “She could see I’ve got my confidence back and self-belief because my smile is back.”

Another lady, called Marie-Christine, told the Duchess that the charity “literally saved me”.

The mother-of-three found safety in Britain after her family was slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online Twitter (@RE_DailyMail)

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online Twitter (@RE_DailyMail)

Kate spent time with a family that has benefited from the services Family Friends offers (below left) and learned about the organization’s work from a volunteer (below right).  Family Friends says its goal is to help families help themselves. Rebecca English of The Daily Mail shared a lovely photo of Kate at Family Friends.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail and Mail Online Twitter Feed

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail and Mail Online Twitter Feed

Next on the agenda, a visit to Kensington Aldridge Academy in North Kensington.©TGB / Splash News

Students were eager to greet the Duchess.

©Ben Stevens / i-Images

©Ben Stevens / i-Images

Below we see Kate chatting with students and school administrators.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed (@KensingtonRoyal)

The school has a focus on performing and creative arts, as well as growing students’ entrepreneurial skills.Kirsty Wigglesworth/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

An interesting note about today’s school visit comes via the news release about today’s event at Aldridge Academy:

Sir Rod Aldridge, founder of the academy’s lead sponsor the Aldridge Foundation, said:

“The Duchess, together with Prince William, opened our first academy in Darwen (Lancashire) in 2011, in what was one of the last official engagements they carried out before their wedding. We are thrilled that Her Royal Highness will be opening this wonderful new school in Kensington this month.”

Below, William and Kate at Darwen Academy back in 2011.

Kate Middleton Amanda Wakeley suit

Kate’s final engagement was just across the street at the new Kensington Leisure Centre; the Academy is actually on land where the previous Leisure Centre was located. Once inside the Centre Kate was given a tour of all the new facilities.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail and Mail Online Twitter (@RE_DailyMail)

Children from nearby schools performed for Kate.

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Kate met people from different community groups who use the Centre, as well as Tai Chi students. One young lady is a teenager named Martina whom Kate spent time speaking with. More on what the two discussed from Richard Palmer’s story in The Daily Express:

“It’s moving all the time. I can feel it kicking now,” she told Martina McDonagh, 17,” while holding her tummy to show the disabled teenager. Martina, a wheelchair-bound pupil at Jack Tizard School in White City met Kate, 33, when the six months pregnant future Queen officially opened Kensington Leisure Centre in west London.

“I told her I hoped it was a girl but she said she doesn’t know yet,” Martina said afterwards. “She said it was moving around a lot.”

Both Prince William and Prince Harry took swimming lessons at the old Leisure Centre when they were young and attended the Wetherby Prep School nearby.
During today’s ceremonies Kate, William, Prince George and the family’s second child were given lifetime memberships to the Centre.  More from The Daily Mail:

‘The Duchess was talking about Prince William learning to swim here and she said she hoped Prince George can come here to learn too,’ said Tim Ahern, the council’s Cabinet member for environment and leisure.

‘If George goes to school at Wetherby or one of the other local schools, he will almost certainly come here.

The Duchess was also given a gift for Prince George, an inflatable duck, you can see her holding it in this frame of a video made by the Borough showing today’s activities; we put a link to that video in our ‘Linkage’ section at the bottom of the post.

Royal Borough Kensington & Chelsea Twitter Feed (@RBKC)

Royal Borough Kensington & Chelsea Twitter Feed (@RBKC)

The new Leisure Centre opens to the public in March. Below we see Kate as she is leaving the Centre, with thanks to Lucy Elliott Photography for allowing us to share their lovely photo. Standing with the Duchess is Robin Hannay, who presented Kate with her bouquet, and the Borough’s Nicholas Paget-Brown.

Kind Permission Lucy Elliott Photography

The Duchess wore pieces by go-to maternity brand Seraphine.

Seraphine Maternity

Seraphine Maternity

The Natasha coat is from the brand’s spring/summer 2015 collection, and part of Seraphine’s ‘Luxe Line,’ a more upscale collection of styles.

Nils Jorgensen/i-Images and Seraphine Courtesy Photo

The Natasha is a 70% wool/ 10% cashmere/20% poly blend, done in a shade called “soft mist blue,” a color that is very flattering on the Duchess. The coat features a round neck, empire waistline, faux flap pockets, and large mother-of-pearl buttons. A look at the back of the coat.

Robin Nunn/Polaris Images, Seraphine Courtesy Photo

Robin Nunn/Polaris Images, Seraphine Courtesy Photo

If looking at the coat on the Seraphine website it is out of stock; it hasn’t actually been in stock yet. I’m not sure if the brand is taking pre-orders for the coat or not. If interested in it I would suggest emailing or calling Seraphine. It is shown with a $349/£195 price.

Kate’s dress was also by Seraphine; it is the ‘Florrie,’ another item from the spring/summer collection.

Seraphine Maternity

Seraphine Maternity

The Florrie is just above the knee in length, with short sleeves and a curved empire waistline. It is made of digitally printed crepe de chine, in 100% viscose rayon. Seraphine will be taking pre-orders for the dress beginning February 1st. It retails for $179 in the USA and £99 in the UK.

In terms of accessories today, we saw Kate’s bring back her suede Alexander McQueen heels.

Kate Middleton McQueen heels suede

She carried her Stuart Weitzman clutch from Russell and Bromley, called the ‘Muse’ in the UK and known as the ‘Raz’ in the USA.

Kate Middleton Navy suede raz muse

And wore her Kiki McDonough Green Amethyst Cushion Cut Diamond Drop earrings. The earrings are currently out of stock at Kiki McDonough, but Astley Clark does show them in white gold.

Kate Middleton green kiki earrings

She looked happy and healthy and very comfortable in her role.

Geoff Pugh, PA Wire/Stephen Lock, i-Images

Geoff Pugh, PA Wire/Stephen Lock, i-Images

Hopefully no one minds the length of today’s post, there was an abundance of great photos available that I wanted to share. This one is also by Lucy Elliott Photography.

Kind Permission of Lucy Elliott Photography

Kind Permission of Lucy Elliott Photography

We’ll see you again on Wednesday.


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Penny Garnett

Monday 26th of January 2015

I think she looks just stunning in this outfit - the blue's really suit her. Her coat does look slightly looser than the one shown on the model, but to buy a slightly larger size does make sense when you are 6 months pregnant, as in the next 3 months her "bump" could well double in size! There is no comparison to her "animal print silk dress" worn a few days earlier, which drains all colour from her face, and the style is dowdy, especially when teemed with dark panty hose and shoes. It is just possible that she was having an "off" day, maybe feeling nauseous, remembering how ill she was at the beginning of her pregnancy.


Sunday 25th of January 2015

She does looks great and very relaxed and confident. I also noticed that her eye make-up is less severe looking than in years past. She had a tendency to wear harsh eyeliner. Maybe she is been instructed in improved makeup techniques.


Wednesday 21st of January 2015

How time flies......Our Star of an Admin has given us this privileged site for 5+ years....BRAVA! I cherish this blog - the professionalism, the range of opinions - every outfit has both sides of the coin which has been a gift to my fashion-limited/challenged world. Thank EACH of you!

Question related to the DoC's eye makeup. I am rarely photographed and wear the least amount of makeup........perhaps her makeup is related to distance from paparazzi at venue photo ops - across the street versus several blocks? Just thinking and typing.....

Margo, Thrift at Home

Wednesday 21st of January 2015

wow, she looks great! The first maternity look this pregnancy that I think looks sharp and flattering.


Wednesday 21st of January 2015

Smashing, elegant well thought out and put together and she looked warm.

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