Kate wore Prada for today’s events remembering Diana, Princess of Wales.
A video of Kate, William and Harry arriving at Kensington Gardens.
— Victoria Murphy (@QueenVicMirror) August 30, 2017
The first portion of today’s engagement was a tour of the white garden created in Diana’s honor.
The garden features “flowers and foliage inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style.”
From Historic Royal Palaces:
In the summer, pots of classic English white roses will surround the reflective pool in the centre of the garden and the planting will become more exuberant, with glowing ornamental grasses weaving through Cosmos daisies and billows of graceful Gaura.
Below, the trio speaking with Sean Harkin, who designed the garden, and Graham Dillamore, he knew The Princess when he worked in the gardens 30 years ago.
In addition to visiting the garden the Duke, Duchess and Prince met with representatives of charities championed by the Princess.
They were also meeting representatives from the charities supported by Diana in the final years of her life, including Great Ormond Street Hospital, the National Aids Trust, The Leprosy Mission, Royal Marsden Hospital, English National Ballet and Centrepoint.
William, Harry and Kate have ties to many of the charities included at today’s event: Centrepoint, Royal Marsden Hospital, and Child Bereavement UK are among the groups represented at the reception.
While chatting with representatives of the English National Ballet Kate spoke about Charlotte dancing. This is via Rebecca English on Twitter.
As tomorrow’s 20th anniversary nears, fans have been placing remembrances at the gates of Kensington Palace.
Harry and William did a brief walkabout just outside the gates.
They were given flowers by the crowd.
They placed them with others at the makeshift memorial.
The images evoke memories of the boys at those same gates in 1997.
Here is a brief video from ITV.
When this little girl wants to leave flowers for Diana, Prince Harry helps out … placing them exactly where she wants them pic.twitter.com/kBFTOnfZdI
— ITV News (@itvnews) August 30, 2017
Kensington Palace released a statement saying “The Duke and Prince Harry are grateful for the many flowers, letters and messages they have received about their Mother.”
Now, a tough turn to what Kate wore.
The Duchess was in a silk dress by Prada. I don’t think anyone was surprised to see a floral print, a nod to the occasion in a color that wouldn’t stand out or be a distraction. The poppies in the print were a lovely symbol, representing remembrance and consolation.
The frock is done in a lightweight silk-crepe. It features a full skirt, gathers at the shoulders, long sleeves, stand collar with detachable with a self-tie bow and most distinctively, a
smocked shirred waistline. It is available at Matches Fashion in mixed sizes, and at My Theresa in a mix of sizes. It is $2340 at both retailers. Once again we thank HeavenQRF on Twitter for a fab ID.
Kate accessorized with her LK Bennett ‘Fern’ heels. The shoe is available in very few sizes at the LK Bennett US site ($345); it is in stock in all sizes on the LK Bennett UK site (£195); it is offered in limited sizes at Shopbop ($325). House of Fraser stocks the shoe in ‘beige’ (as opposed to ‘trench,’ the color Kate wears), this is a very good repliKate.
And her Monica Vinader ‘Siren’ earrings ($195).
Kate wore her hair down.
UPDATE 5pm Aug 30: It looks like Kate is carrying a Brigg umbrella from British heritage brand Swaine Adeney Brigg. Below, a look at the metal plate on the handle of one of the company’s umbrellas from its website; a close-up shot of Kate’s handle; another photo from the brand’s website, this one showing Princes William and Harry carrying umbrellas by the company.
From the website:
The Brigg umbrella is famous for its high quality and long history supplying Royal Families, Prime Ministers and distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen around the World.
Today, we are still crafting reputedly the best umbrellas in the world in our workrooms in England!!
I am unable to tell what kind of wood Kate’s is made with; I’m not seeing it on the website for either the gentleman’s styles or the ladies styles. (But I am not a stellar wood identifier.) Below, a screen grab showing the colors available for the canopy portion of the umbrella. Kate’s may be a bespoke style; I have an inquiry in to the company for more information.
Many thanks to a delightful WKWer for the umbrella tip.
UPDATE 2 Thursday, August 31: The good folks at Swaine Adeney Brigg have gotten back to me and verified Kate was carrying their umbrella. It is the Ladies maple with a
terra cotta colour canopy and a gold collar. UPDATE 3 Friday morning: Swaine Adeney Brigg tell me the color is brown, not terra cotta.
This had to have been a difficult engagement for all three. Tomorrow they will observe the anniversary privately.
Frequent readers know we rarely discuss Diana in this space; of course, if it is relevant to an engagement or another element of a post we write about it. We have worked hard to avoid, in particular, comparisons of Diana and Kate. But today it seems appropriate to write a little more about Diana.
When thinking about The Princess of Wales, one word always comes to mind: incandescent.
She lit up a room, an engagement, an event, in a way few could.
This is not the site nor am I the writer to properly convey the sense of enormous loss and immense grief so many felt in 1997, and feel to this day. A comment Harry made today is fitting.
There are thousands of stories about Diana’s role as a fashion icon, as a humanitarian and as a mother. It is that role as a parent I wanted to briefly focus on, for it was the role of which she was most proud. I put together a few photos and thought I’d share some of William and Harry’s quotes about their mother. This is from William’s interview with British GQ.
“I would like to have had her advice. I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her.”
Her role as a mother was the primary focus of this summer’s documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. Prince Harry, speaking in that documentary.
“She was our mum. She still is our mum. And of course, as a son I would say this, she was the best mum in the world. She smothered us with love, that’s for sure.”
Below, Diana with William in Australia in March 1983; Prince William was the first ‘senior British heir’ born in a hospital, not at a royal palace. (Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips, was also born at St. Mary’s Hospital, although he was 5th in the line of succession at the time.)
From William, part of the Prince William’s Passion: New Father, New Hope ITV documentary.
“I never realised quite how much of an impact she had. You can feel and see when she’s talking and visiting that she really connects and cares about what she’s doing.”
Diana was a hands-on mother, more so than in previous generations. Below left, a photo that was actually taken by Prince William shows Diana with Harry on the royal yacht Britannia. On the right, a formal portrait of Prince William in December 1982.
Prince Harry, from a Good Morning America interview:
“I hope that a lot of my mother’s talents are shown in a lot of the work I do. I hope she’s looking down, you know, with tears in her eyes, being incredibly proud of what we’ve established, I suppose.”
This photo was released this summer by William and Harry; it shows Diana holding William in 1984 while expecting Prince Harry.
Prince William, from the BBC Mind over Matter documentary.
“The shock is the biggest thing I still feel 20 years later, about my mother. You never get over it.”
We’ll close with an unpublished cover of Hello!. This was how the September 6, 1997, issue of the magazine was supposed to look.
This is what was published.
It feels rather awkward including this, but I thought people would want to know a number of engagements have been scheduled for next week, including Prince George’s first day at school. Click here to visit our Kate’s Calendar page if so inclined.
- With thanks to Bonnie for her comment, the text is revised to more accurately refer to the dress waistline being shirred, not smocked.
- A thank you to Suzanne, Bessie and Lavender for their comments on my description of William as the “first heir” born outside a royal palace. I’ve made an addition to the text on this topic.
- Centrepoint’s site is here; its Facebook page here and Twitter page here.
- The National Aids Trust site is here; its Facebook page here, Twitter feed here and the organization’s Instagram page is here.
- The Great Ormond Street Hospital site is here; its Facebook page may be seen here, and Twitter feed here.
- Royal Marsden’s website is here; its Facebook page here and Twitter page here.
- The Child Bereavement UK site is here; its Facebook page is here, Twitter feed here and Instagram feed here.
- The Landmine Survivors Network site is here.
- An Evening Standard story on the white garden is here;
- Mario Testino’s site features some of his iconic photos of the Princess used in a Kensington Palace exhibition.
- The Daily Mail’s story is here; The Mirror’s story is here; The Telegraph story is here; The Guardian story is here
- The Hello! story about today’s engagement is here; PopSugar’s stories and photo galleries are here and here; The Fug Girls piece is here