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It’s a New Erdem Coat & John Boyd Hat for the Duchess at Commonwealth Day Service – UPDATED Possible Dress ID

The Duchess debuted a new coat by Erdem and hat by John Boyd for today’s Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

©David Mirzoeff / i-Images

Commonwealth Day is always commemorated on the second Monday of March. Here you see HM, Prince Philip, William, Kate, Harry and the Duke of York entering the Abbey.©Anthony Devlin/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The Commonwealth consists of 53 member nations representing more than 2 billion people. The theme for this year’s observances is An Inclusive Commonwealthemphasizing the Commonwealth’s strength in working together to achieve progress.  The annual function is the UK’s largest multi-faith service.©Anthony Devlin/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Kofi Annan delivered the keynote address for the service, “A Reflection”. The Ghanaian diplomat was the United Nations Secretary-General from January of 1997 through December 2006. More on Mr. Annan’s remarks from Gordon Rayner’s story in The Telegraph:

Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, paid tribute to Her Majesty in his address, saying “no individual has made a greater contribution” to the Commonwealth’s success than the Queen, adding: “You have shown an unwavering and steadfast dedication to this great project.”

Now to what Kate wore, beginning with her new coat by Erdem.

The piece is similar to a style from the designer’s pre-fall 2015 collection.Erdem/Lyst

A view of the back.©Splash News

Here is a closer look at the fabric used in the coat similar to Kate’s style; initially I thought it was a laser-cut suede or similar fabric.Lyst

With apologies for the blurriness, here is a closer look at the lace detail. This almost looks more like a needle-punched material than the laser-cut fabric I mentioned above.©Splash

In this photo, you can just see the seams on the back, and the pocket on the left.©Splash News

The coat is said to have a retail price of £2500. I presume that reflects the price for the 2014 off-the-rack version of the coat as shown above that retailed at French boutique Colette for $3580. 

UPDATE MONDAY P.M.: After receiving several emails and direct messages, it’s clear Kate is *not* wearing the Orla Kiely dress initially shown in the post.

UPDATE TUESDAY A.M.: In looking more closely at the skirt one can see the pleat pattern is different from the Orla Kiely dress.©Splash News

It’s a subtle difference, but as pointed out by Jane in another stellar From Berkshire to Buckingham post, the pleat pattern is different. I’m sure this will be another instance where we will see the dress worn at a point in the future and recognized as the frock worn for today’s service.

UPDATE TUESDAY PM:  Anna of My Small Obsessions thinks Kate may have been wearing this dress yesterday, first seen at a 2007 book launch.

The pleat pattern appears identical and the color also looks the same. I think Anna may have done it again, she also deserves a Tip of the Tiara! Kate’s hat is by John Boyd.©David Mirzoeff/i-Images

A view of the hat from the back.©Splash News

Mr. Boyd was a great favorite of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. More from this story by The Telegraph’s Emma Spedding:

He first worked with Diana on the pink tricorn that she wore with her ‘going away outfit’ after her wedding in 1981. “My new range was just being completed when Diana arrived, and sitting on a chair surrounded by ribbons suddenly took a tricorn shape in sparterie that was hanging on the door and said, ‘I like that style, I will have it for my wedding,'” Boyd has said of working with the late Princess.

Below, Princess Diana leaving for her honeymoon with Prince Charles, wearing that tri-corner hat by Mr. Boyd.

Mr. Boyd, at age 90, is the Scotsman is the oldest working milliner in London. Back to Ms. Spedding’s story and details on Kate’s hat:

“John has been making this shape since the 1940’s – it’s a classic, flattering brim,” the people at Boyd’s Knightsbridge shop told The Telegraph of the Duchess’s hat.

The custom wide-brimmed grey peach bloom felt hat with a silk dark grey trim would have taken up to a week to make, with everything hand-stitched by Boyd’s three-person team. Similar styles retail for £500.

Another look.

©James Whatling/Splash News

I very much liked the Duchess’s hat, it was nice to see a change from the smaller styles she favors. She clearly has the capacity to carry off a larger, wide-brimmed piece. The coat struck me as having a lot going on: the gray fabric topped by the black lace and the needle-punched effect combined for a busy look, and the high, tight collar seemed constrictive. Having said that, it’s good to see Kate continuing to try new looks with different design elements – garments a step removed from the Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham styles we often see. (Styles I happen to be very fond of in most respects.) It’s interesting that this is the second piece from Erdem that might be considered to be in a “riskier zone” for the Duchess. (The first is the tiered evening gown worn for the 100 Women in Hedge Funds dinner in October.)

The Duchess was in a new pair of shoes by Rupert Sanderson, the Winona style. You can just make out the signature on the soles.©Splash News

The designer’s reaction to the Duchess wearing his heels comes via Footwear News:

“I am honored. The shoes looked wonderful with [the Duchess’] beautiful gray coat,” Sanderson told FN on Monday. “It is a nice and privileged thing to quietly be able to do, to make a pair of shoes for the future queen of England.

Below you see the shoe in black patent leather at the Rupert Sanderson website (originally $675, now $405).  Today’s Tip of the Tiara goes to Sharon Baum, online style and beauty editor for US Weekly, she made the speedy ID on Kate’s shoes.©Polaris Images/Rupert Sanderson

Kate was carrying a clutch by Emmy London.

Kate Commonwealth Day March 14 Gray Erdem Coat Tight Shot Hands Emmy Clutch David Mirzoeff i-Images 600 x 500

And she wore her diamond/aquamarine drop earrings.Kate Commonwealth Day 2016 Two Shots Aqua Diamond Earrings i-Images Splash 600 x 245

A final note from Ms. Spedding’s story on something I had nary a clue about – groutfits.

The Duchess of Cambridge isn’t usually one for following trends, but by stepping out in a new Erdem grey coat, matching John Boyd hat and Rupert Sanderson heels she’s the latest person to buy into fashion’s current vogue for Groutfits – a head-to-toe grey look that’s proved so popular it now has it’s own tumblr, FiftyShadesOfGroutfits.

In fun news, Victoria Murphy shares in her story that Prince George is keeping Kate busy:

She told pupils from St Matthew’s Primary School, Westminster: “He’s got a scooter. He’s going super fast on it.”

Rolling her eyes she added: “It’s hard to keep up with him. Charlotte is keeping him in check‎. She’s getting bigger by the day.”

Thanks today also to HRH Duchess Kate and Anna of My Small Obsessions for their identification of items! Below, is another view of the Duke and Duchess.

While this is a site focused on the style and fashion of the Duchess of Cambridge, today we leave you with a photo of HM as she exited Westminster Abbey. The Queen has served as Head of the Commonwealth for more than 60 years, a remarkable accomplishment.Geoff Pugh/NMA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris


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Saturday 19th of March 2016

I agree! She would look so much more confident if she would stand up straight!


Friday 18th of March 2016

I thing that when 1 item should as the coat is of significant statement then the other accessories should be neutral. The hat would be great with a black coat, the coat would be great with a black hat but together it does not seem to compliment each other. The shoes color is off from the other pieces so those we also a miss for me. I like lace overlays on winter coats, I think it adds a feminine flair. The tailoring around the collar and bust has been off on her last few garments, which leads me to believe that she is having a hard time getting a good fit possibly because she has stopped breast feeding. I would have liked to see an open collar, maybe also with a lace overlay. I would also like to see Kate use more scarves for accents of color.


Friday 18th of March 2016

I’m usually late in my posts & there seems to have been a lot going on in the posts – so here goes with my little bit! I don’t come here because I “love” Kate, I don’t know her; I love my family, pets & friends but not people I don’t know, nor everything ANY person does, even those I DO love! The word ‘fan’ is short for ‘fanatic’ – enough said! I DO come here for many reasons; to see varying points of view about styles, choices, fashion tips (like finding out about tanzanite); ideas for making my own clothes & also, I find it interesting to compare ideas from myself & other British contributors with those from the US & Canada (there is a site HRH Duchess for British viewers). I also sometimes find some shocking or amusing differences in culture despite the common language (which is close enough that we can often be horribly misunderstood). But I still like the similarities! I came to the site post ‘the Wedding’, I think; I am still unsure how it is run but today I found out ‘Susan’ ran it! Susan’s posts are always informative & I don’t know how she does it considering she is not British. Yes, I know, computers etc, but it still involves huge research on a non-domicile. I have also found some comments either picky (but it is a fashion site) or slavish which I don’t like, but we are all different. Now, to my little bit about Kate’s fashion choices: Some said the Eponine suit was youthful & gingham; it was not gingham the way I understand it, it was chequered like a Formula 1 flag & that’s what it reminded me of. It's a patten worn by women old enough to still have shampoo & sets in curlers, NOT youngsters! I also couldn’t understand why the designer made it a suit rather than a dress – who would wear the top on its own? To today’s church coat; at first, I thought it was an embroidered wool coat; reading Susan’s article surprised me; I have never seen anything like this! I liked the punched suede/suedette a lot, even the lace on top after a while but it would only be a coat for wearing at ‘dress’ occasions because too many ‘sit-downs’ would puncture the lace!!! The yolks on the original designs are horrendous & I agree the tailoring is wrong on Kate & her neck disappears which is disappointing for what appears to be a custom piece. Royals do co-ordinate outfits for public appearances but grey is nothing new for Kate as all her college with William coming out of nightclubs etc pics mostly showed Kate wearing White, Cream, Black or Grey in some shade; it continued for a while afterward too.

Nancy Robertson

Thursday 17th of March 2016

I think Erdem needs to exercise some restraint. There's far too much going on in for one garment -- the checked fabric, the multiple seams and all that tatoo parlor lace. I hope the always beautiful Kate buries this coat in the back of her closet until the day it's auctioned off for charity.


Saturday 19th of March 2016

Agree 100%!


Thursday 17th of March 2016

I absolutely LOVE this look. The grey felt hat is so exquisitely lush and the coat is just pure elegance. She looks very polished, regal, and yet very comfortable in this ensemble. I am a long time looker and first time commenter here, and I felt the need to counter the oft-heard criticism that Kate dresses too old for her age. I understand how some may arrive at this opinion; her choices would be dated for many women of her age. But Kate is no ordinary young woman! She is the future Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Nations and mother to the future King of England! Her manner of dress should communicate her station, and I think she is en pointe with demonstrating her position in the Royal Family with her sartorial choices. I love the beautiful rich grey tones and the highly detailed fabrics. The colour, of course, doesn't upstage her in the presence of the Queen, but still says, "Hey, I belong here too." The thing is, I don't think we will see Kate's style change very drastically throughout her lifetime. I think she is well on her way to establishing an iconic and reliable fashion repertoire, much like the Queen herself. She has a few flirtly pieces, like the tiered Erdem dress and the green Peace & Love Mulberry dress, which to me seems to have a bit of Bohemian edge; these are the pieces I actually love the most, because they seem to evoke Kate's personal side a bit more. But you have to admit, she knows how to dress like a Royal and I think that is what we can and should expect from her.


Friday 18th of March 2016

Yes, on point. And it's a church service, I think the ensemble is sombre yet interesting.

Ann Roehrs

Thursday 17th of March 2016

I couldn't agree more. This is particularly evident when you look at the first pic posted. In these scenarios HRH must remain quietly dignified, dressing beautifuly but demurely. Her Majesty the Queen needs to be the focus absolutely. There's really no room here for cutting edge or youthfulness. This coat is quietly magnificent!

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