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Kate in Cool Blue Catherine Walker for First Solo Overseas Trip

The Duchess debuted a new suit by Catherine Walker for today’s visit to The Netherlands.©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Above and below you see Kate with King Willem-Alexander at Villa Eikenhorst, the royal family’s official residence. More from Richard Palmer’s story for The Express

Kate, 34, began a day of engagements in The Hague and Rotterdam by going for lunch with the King at thVilla Eikenhorst, a 1980s mansion where the monarch lives with his Argentine-born wife Queen Maxima and their three daughters on a wooded estate six miles from the centre of The Hague.

Koninklijk Huis/Dutch Royal House

This was an important visit for the Duchess, her first solo overseas trip. (A visit to Malta by Kate was planned in 2014, but canceled because of her illness when expecting Charlotte.)

Today’s engagements come as Britain continues working on terms for its exit from the European Union. While the trip is said to have been planned months before the EU referendum, the timing is such that Kate follows in the steps of British PM Theresa May, who was in Holland yesterday. More from a story by Gordon Rayner in The Telegraph:

If Britain is engaged in a pre-Brexit charm offensive with EU nations, it will have few ambassadors as effective as the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Netherlands is one of Britain’s biggest trading partners, with £68 billion of goods crossing the North Sea every year, but has not received a visit from a senior member of the Royal family for three years.

Kate’s first stop following lunch with the King was at the Mauritshuis Gallery/Museum

Her primary goal at the Museum was viewing an exhibition featuring works from The Royal Collection.Stephen Lock / i-Images / Polaris

More via the Museum’s newsletter:

The visit is planned to coincide with the exhibition At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his contemporaries from the Royal Collection, which includes 22 important genre paintings from her family’s collection. The Duchess of Cambridge, who took a degree in art history at the University of St Andrews, is familiar with the collection of the Mauritshuis.

The Mauritshuis

Kate is with Emilie Gordenker, one of two Museum Directors. Mauritshuis Musuem

The Duchess and Ms. Gordenker in front of The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, part of the Museum’s permanent collection. We’ll hear more about the Duchess and this painting in just a bit.The M

Ms. Gordenker’s comments about Kate’s reaction to the artwork via The Telegraph

“The Duchess seemed to particularly enjoy seeing The Goldfinch, by Carel Fabritius, but she asked a lot of questions about the presentation of the paintings, because although she is familiar with a lot of the Queen’s paintings she has never seen them in this setting before, which gives them a different context.”

Below, Kate studying The GoldfinchKensington Palace

Kate spent time with children having a painting lesson as part of an art workshop at the Mauritshuis. The

This event must have been enjoyable for the Duchess: an art class at an art museum with children, very much in keeping with some of Kate’s interests.Mauritshuis

Greeting crowds outside the Museum.Nick Heath, Deputy British Ambassador @NickHeathFCO

More from Gordon Rayner’s Telegraph article:

She delighted crowds outside the art gallery by going on an impromptu walkabout, shaking every hand that was offered, though declining requests for selfies.

The Mauritshuis

The Duchess then headed to the British Ambassador’s residence for a meeting & discussion about “tackling addiction and mental health issues across generations within the family” according to Kensington Palace. 

Representatives from two of Kate’s patronages, the Anna Freud Centre and Action on Addiction, took part in the discussion, as did professionals from the Trimbos Institutethe Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction. 

Kate’s final stop was at Bouwkeet Makers Spaces, an experimental project offering communal working space.Kensington Palace

More from The Evening Standard:

… a new charity-funded project designed to keep youths off the streets by teaching them manufacturing, maintenance and repair skills.

The project, housed in a formerly derelict post office covering 1,000 square metres, uses an American idea – Makers Spaces are usually places where people pay to use machinery – and is trying to develop it into a scheme to combat high rates of crime and unemployment in the area.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

From Victoria Murphy’s story in The Daily Mirror:

Kate chatted to the teens in a woollen class at the Bouwkeet workshop project for teenagers in a deprived area of Rotterdam.

Kensington Palace

There was quite a crowd outside the building eager to see Kate.Kensington Palace

Now to what Kate wore for the day’s engagements, a bespoke skirt suit by Catherine Walker.©Ian Jones / Allpix / Splash News

The jacket features a fitted bodice with a wide collar, large self-covered buttons, a peplum waist, and a wide belt.©

We have had quite a few comments about the fit of Kate’s jacket and the bumps beneath the fabric.© Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris

I think what we are seeing is the outline of Kate’s undergarments, not any kind of body armor. Regardless of the cause, the fit on a garment of this caliber should be such that we don’t notice little bumps and bubbles, the puckers and pulling we’re seeing today.

Kate has proved herself fond of oversized collars. Below left, a Catherine Walker piece worn St. Patrick’s Day 2015, and on the right, a bespoke Alexander McQueen maternity piece with a Peter Pan collar that we first saw at Trooping the Colour 2013. (With thanks to Madeline for her comment sharing that a Peter Pan collar should be rounded, not pointed.)kate-c-walker-peter-pan-collar-st-patricks-2015-mcqueen-pink-maternity-coat

The jacket also has notched sleeves that flare at the cuff.©Stephen Lock/i-Images/P

The pencil skirt has an interesting design, you can see seam details at the hip just below the hem of the jacket. I would love to see the skirt without the jacket.©Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Several noted the similarity in design between today’s suit and the Luisa Spagnoli worn in New Zealand in 2014. (As well as for an Air Cadets photo in 2015 and at the University of St. Andrews in 2011.)©

The suit has elegant lines, and it is crafted in a shade of blue that is very flattering on the Duchess. Unfortunately the wrinkles on both pieces were a distraction, particularly on the front of the skirt at the hips and on the upper arms. I’m not sure precisely what fabric was used for the suit, in some photos it looked like a silk/wool blend, or it may have been a wool crepe or Venetian wool. Kate took commercial flights to and from The Netherlands, so she had been wearing the suit for some time before her arrival at Villa Eikenhorst; I’m not sure there was a way to avoid the wrinkles. (Short of wearing a different garment in material less prone to wrinkle.)
UPDATE: According to Erin Hill’s story in People the suit is made of wool crepe. 
©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Overall Kate looked lovely: she was appropriately dressed for the day’s appointments and the wrinkles were a distraction, not a fashion disaster. Something you would rather not see with garments of this quality, but certainly nothing sending a negative message of any kind or interfering with Kate’s ability to do her job.  

The Duchess accessorized with familiar pieces, including her Gianvito Rossi suede pumps. We show them at Net-a-Porter where they are available in a dwindling assortment of sizes ($675); My Theresa also has the shoes in stock in a mix of sizes ($675).©

The Duchess carried her Nina Clutch, still available at LK Bennett online: the bag is $325 on the US/CAN site and £185 on the UK/INTL site.© LK Bennett/

Kate wore the pearl earrings that we first saw in Canada.©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

This is the pair that Anna of My Small Obsessions believed to be on loan from the Queen, previously worn by HM, as well as Sophie, Countess of Wessex.©Polaris/Polaris/i-Images

It turns out Anna was correct, reporters received verification today from Kensington Palace that Kate was wearing the pair loaned by the Queen. Great work by Anna!

From Gordon Rayner’s Telegraph story:

The secret of a successful royal visit lies in the planning, and the Duchess of Cambridge showed a superb eye for detail on her first solo foreign trip.

Knowing she would be shown Johannes Vermeer’s celebrated Girl With A Pearl Earring at an art gallery in the Netherlands, the Duchess borrowed the Queen’s own treasured pearl earrings for the day to provide the perfect photo opportunity.

©James Whatling/Splash News

A better look at Kate’s chignon.Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

We have had several questions asking why Queen Máxima was not at lunch, she is in Argentina.

Also today, a new engagement added to Kate’s Calendar.

  • Tuesday, October 18: Kate and William attend a reception hosted by HM and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace. The event honors Team GB and ParalympicsGB medal winners from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Others expected to attend include Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, Princess Eugenie and Princess Anne.

And don’t forget to vote in our earring poll!



It looks like the UFO sweater worn by the Duchess in Canada has been identified. Sue B Style says Kate was wearing Jigsaw’s ‘Katherine’ cashmere sweater. The piece is 100% cashmere, semi-sheer, and also sold out.Jigsaw/Polaris


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Thursday 20th of October 2016

I loved the entire look and thought the Duchess carried herself with such grace. Like many others have stated, I just wished the fabric hadn't wrinkled so much. However, I did find it considerate of the Duchess to go wearing her event outfit that way she and her staff could forgo the bags and other necessities for a wardrobe change.

I do have to add that the Museum Director's outfit was fantastic. Just a great choice especially for one in such a creative/artistic field. Do you happen to have the details on the yellow suede shoes she wore? I kind of love them.


Wednesday 19th of October 2016

I wish her suit had not wrinkled but she flew in it and it did. How considerate of her to arrive ready for the event rather than wear a more comfortable flight outfit, have people deal with her bags, and require a dressing room- she is preforming her role with grace. She is rising to duty and doing so beautifully. I loved seeing her in a new color and the earrings were perfect. Bravo!


Monday 17th of October 2016

I do not think this was the best color choice for the season. Such a pale color is better suited for Warner months especially as others have mentioned with light toned accessories. The wrinkles are a distraction for sure, so many fabric choices that would have not wrinkled could have been used. Cut of the suit is appropriate for this event. The sleeves, large buttons, peplum and belt are nice details but almost a bit too much for my specific style. One major detail done well is better than 4. A classic updo worked well for travel and those earrings were the star of the outfit. It was OK but could have been better. I prefer when she paired her navy blazer with the blue sheath dress during pre Olympic events for daytime professional attire.


Sunday 16th of October 2016

the museum director was better dressed.


Saturday 15th of October 2016

I was wondering if you could sometimes comment about when/if the Duchess is wearing hose/tights? It seems sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't, but it's hard to tell from the photos at times. I know a lot of women who still are trying to figure out when/if to wear "pantyhose." Love this site! I come here often, just don't comment much. Thanks, and keep up the great work!

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