The Duchess was in a new dress by Roksanda Ilincic for the Patron’s Lunch, the final event in an extended weekend of celebrations officially marking the Queen’s 90th birthday. Today’s lunch was designed as a way to thank volunteers at all 612 charities the Queen has connections to, while also recognizing HM’s contributions to charitable organizations throughout her reign.
The day did not begin auspiciously as seen in this picture my friend Autumn shared.
It was a soggy, sodden scene in London.
Crowds were not as large as expected.
But those braving the weather were in high spirits.
Royal photographer Tim Rooke shared this photo of HM and Prince Andrew taking a look at conditions prior to venturing out this afternoon.
Even Prince George had something to say about the inclement weather. From Richard Palmer of The Express:
Kate arriving on The Mall.
— Emily Nash (@emynash) June 12, 2016
The Duchess chatting with representatives of The Tusk Trust, the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Retail Trust.
Royal family members spoke with representatives from a broad spectrum of charitable organizations. Here you see Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie with UK Scouting volunteers.
Lady Louise Windsor did her first solo walkabout this afternoon. She is 12 years old, the eldest child of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Sophie was wearing Azzedine Alaïa. (If interested in specifics HRH The Countess of Wessex blog is sure to have all the details.)
Gordon Rayner of The Telegraph noted that Prince William was “literally shaking every hand as he goes down The Mall.”
Mr. Rayner added that Kate was doing the same thing.
HM wore a floral silk dress and coat by Karl Ludwig in a color called “deep cerise.” Her hat was by Angela Kelly.
In this quick video clip from Victoria Murphy of The Mirror you can just hear the crowd singing Happy Birthday to the Queen.
The skies did brighten, and the sun peeked out as the day progressed.
In this screen grab from Sky News you see how the crowd grew from the sparse attendance seen at the top of the post.
After greeting people royal family members were seated in a covered area.
The Queen spoke to the thousands who braved the elements to help celebrate her birthday and patronages. From The Evening Standard’s coverage:
Addressing the Patron’s Lunch in The Mall – dubbed the world’s biggest street party – Her Majesty said: “To everyone here today, and to those holding street parties elsewhere I would like to say thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you continue to give me.
Prince William also addressed the crowd, saying “Granny, thank you for everything you have done for your family.”
“We could not wish you a happier birthday. Thank you for showing that the Great British public doesn’t let a little rain spoil a good day out.”
Prince William and HM enjoying the events.
There was also a parade with displays grouped by decades representing the Queen’s life. Below, the Royal Yacht Britannia.
The Southern Highlanders Pipes and Drums.
Curious about what was on the menu for today’s lunch? This diagram from The Daily Mail identifies many of the items.
One more quick video.
— The Patron’s Lunch (@thepatronslunch) June 12, 2016
There was a separate UK event today called The Big Lunch. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall took part in a Gloucestershire Big Lunch, that is why you do not see them at the London function.
For today’s celebration the Duchess wore Roksanda Ilincic’s Marwood Color Block Dress.
The garment is wool crepe with blocks of color in ‘Roksanda blue, sorbet and blush.’ It features a round neckline, short sleeves and an exposed zipper. Kate has changed the zipper on her dress to a full-length version, the dress seen at The Outnet has a more standard length. My guess is that Kate purchased the piece off the rack and had the zipper changed by a seamstress or tailor.
Previously we saw The Duchess wear a color block design from Roksanda Ilincic when arriving in Australia in 2014, although that garment was customized. The biggest change was reversing the color scheme: all of the white material became yellow and everything that was yellow became white in Kate’s version of the dress. She also had the neckline squared off and excess fabric in the sleeves removed.
There are a large number of pieces still left from this group, including a Pastel Pink Color Block Dress ($765), Belted Color Block Gown (£565), and Strapless Wool Crepe Dress ($694). (Princess Beatrice owns the frock on the far left.)
She also wore her LK Bennett Fern heels; the Fern has a pointed toe and heel that is just under 4″. It is almost entirely sold out on the LK Bennett UK/International website (£195).
The style is expected to be available on the US website (and in-store) very shortly. The retailer suggests those interested in the shoe register their interest via email. (Send an email to: US.Customerservices@LKBennett.com)
In this photo you can see Kate is wearing her Mappin and Webb ‘Empress’ pendant.
A closer look.
The Duchess wore her hair partially pulled back.
A few separate notes, beginning with word that Prince George thoroughly enjoyed himself at yesterday’s Trooping the Colour fly-past.
The other item involves Friday’s National Service of Thanksgiving. You may recall the Queen arrived at St. Paul’s Cathedral more than 10 minutes late. Gordon Rayner reports HM was not interested in being late again today.
…the Queen was in no mood to keep 10,000 rain-drenched charity workers waiting for a minute longer than necessary….
Anxious that her speech at The Patron’s Lunch should be on schedule, Her Majesty felt the driver of her open-topped Range Rover was processing too slowly down The Mall. At her urging, the Duke of Edinburgh banged on the roof of the car to alert him to pick up the pace, and the event was quickly back on track.
Come back for another visit tomorrow, when we expect to have Order of the Garter coverage.
NOTE: We are seeing an increase in comments about the Duchess’s weight, a topic we elect not to discuss here. In isolated instances there may be a plausible reference to the topic, but only as it relates to the fit of a garment. Noting something is loose (or, as has happened, snug) and in need of tailoring is far different from talking about Kate being frail, too thin, etc. Lately I have approved some that fall outside of this definition because editing them and then also dealing with emails asking for an explanation about why a comment was edited (this happens more than you might imagine) is time consuming and energy sapping. Please be mindful of this going forward. If you have any questions this link takes you to the comment policy page; remembering the “When in doubt, leave it out” mantra can also be helpful.
- Learn more about The Patron’s Lunch at this website or on the organization’s Facebook page here
- There is a fundraising component to the lunch, click here to visit The Patron’s Fund donation site
- The Telegraph’s story is here; The Mirror’s article is here; The Express story is here
- The Evening Standard’s story is here and photo gallery here; The Daily Mail’s story is here;
- Hello! magazine’s most memorable moments of the Patron’s Lunch’ may be seen here; British Vogue’s gallery from the entire weekend is here