We are back with some newsbytes, updates and a look at Russell and Bromley’s terrific spring collection.
Our very first item: the latest on Kate and Baby Cambridge #3 as the family starts what is expected to be a very warm weekend, with London and other areas experiencing record high temps for this time of year.
The sat trucks are now in place near the Lindo Wing, seen in a photo shot today.
Royal followers are still camped out, in a photo taken yesterday.
More on the family’s weekend plans from this Hello! story.
… it’s believed that the Cambridges may even head out of the humid capital and escape to Bucklebury, Berkshire, to spend time with Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton.
While she would be further from the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, should she feel the early signs of labour while at her family home in Berkshire, it wouldn’t take much more than an hour to drive the 50 miles to the hospital from there.
Of course, the name game continues with British bookmakers posting their ever-changing odds. This is via The Express:
Princess Alice is now a leading contender among the other suggested names, according to the latest odds from OddsMonkey. OddsMonkey spokesman Peter Watton said: “Girl names are still dominating this market, but rather than Mary – it is Alice which is now leading the market.
“However, the big move has been for a boy’s name in the shape of Arthur – that is now into 5/1 after Bookmakers reported substantial money coming in – yet still the public fully believe that it will be a girl.”
The article notes that other names near the top of the list include Victoria, Albert, Jack, and Alexandra.
Next, another look at the Queen’s Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace. You may remember the Duchess wearing it to the Spain state banquet in July 2017. You see just the tiniest hint of it in this photo of Kate and William on their way to Buckingham Palace for the event.
We saw it again last night, worn by HM to the Queen’s Dinner for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings. We’ll do a quick overview of the dinner as we don’t get to cover that many formal events in the course of Kate’s engagements, and they are fun to see. Below, the Queen welcomes Adama Barrow, President of Gambia.
HM greeting India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Queen with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Editorial aside: I think she might be rather fond of Mr. Trudeau.)
HM greets Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand. She is wearing a traditional Maori korowai cloak, according to CNN.
More from the CNN story:
The korowai was loaned to Ardern by the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club, who said it was the second time it had been worn in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II. “The Queen encountered this particular Korowai … meeting our Whaea Esther at the Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day Service,” the club said on Facebook.Honorary President Whaea Esther Jessop QSM told CNN the garment had been made for a wedding years ago and, upon its original owner’s depart for Italy, it was given on permanent loan to the club.Jessop said it had been made by using a special weaving technique to combine flax fiber and feathers. “We felt very honored and delighted that the request came through,” she said.
This is an event the Duchess would normally attend, were she not at this stage in her pregnancy. Before dinner, drinks were served in the Blue Drawing Room. Here you see Prince Harry and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.
Prince William (in an image that shrieks “caption contest”).
Many other royals attended the function, including Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. There was discussion ahead of the dinner about seeing them wearing tiaras; that turned out not to be the case. As you can see in the pictures, this was a black tie event, a level below a white tie function. It is generally at white tie affairs that we see tiaras. My guess is that the Queen is wearing one because she is hosting the function.
UPDATE: With thanks to those pointing it out, it looks like Sophie, Camilla, Princess Anne and others wore tiaras, so I am wrong about the level of formal attire equating with tiara-wearing. Here are some tweets from jewelry expert and delightful blogger Royal Order of Splendor:
These are also from last night, responding to tweets about the belief that only married women and brides should wear tiaras.
Below, Princess Beatrice with her father, Prince Andrew.
Following the drinks reception, it was time for dinner. Below, Prince Charles, HM, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland and Prime Minister Theresa May.
The dinner was in the Picture Gallery. In this photo, you get a sense of the room’s size as the Queen delivers her remarks.
Now it’s time for a closer look at the necklace.
This offers a better view of the piece, as well as the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.
Pictures from formal Palace dinners can be tough to see; they are taken in lower light levels by photographers quite a bit away from the subjects being photographed.
The necklace was a wedding gift to the Queen from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. In this photo from The Queen’s Jewel Vault, you can see it among the display of wedding gifts.
From the Queen’s Jewel Vault:
The intricate piece is set in silver and gold and features single rubies between diamond flowers. It’s an interesting bandeau format, a deep v-shape culminating in a diamond pendant. The Queen did shorten it, as she tends to do with necklaces….”
Here you see the necklace on the Queen and also on the Duchess. The two pieces you see in the middle of the center photo are from the necklace, removed to change the length of the necklace.
For those interested in the Queen’s earrings, she is wearing Queen Mary’s Ruby Cluster Earrings. That comes to us via the always-on-top-of-all-royal-things-that-shine-and-shimmer folks at the Queen’s Jewel Vault, also the source of much of the information about the necklace.
I don’t know about you, but it really is a treat to see photos showing jewelry pieces as worn by HM and Kate, as well as other royals. It was a delight to put this together.
We have a few royal calendar items for the weekend:
- Saturday night is the Queen’s Birthday Party concert at Royal Albert Hall commemorating HM’s 92nd birthday. It includes performances by Kylie Minogue, Sting, Sir Tom Jones, Alfie Boe and Shaggy, as well as a special tribute by Prince Harry. Proceeds from the concert benefit the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust; last week it was announced that Prince Harry is President of the Trust. The concert will be aired live on BBC One and BBC Radio 2; it starts at 8 pm local time, that is 3 pm EDT/Noon PDT.
- The Queen is going to be the official starter of Sunday’s London Marathon.
In addition to the financial benefits from the 2017 race, the event was used as a launch point for elevating discussion around mental health issues.
This year there is not a huge push tied to the race, but Heads Together is fielding a team of runners. (Below, another image from last year.)
While this year’s Head Together team doesn’t have the level of media attention the 2017 team had, the organization’s runners are ready to go and the charity is looking for volunteers to cheer the team on during the race.
Also, tonight Heads Together is hosting ‘An Evening with Mind Over Marathon‘ on its Facebook page. Last year the BBC followed ten Team Heads Together runners as they trained for the marathon. Tonight the runners are “…back together, reflecting on their incredible achievements, and talking about out what they’ve been up to since.” The Facebook live event begins at 7:30 pm local time, 2:30 pm EDT.
One more photo from last year’s race.
Also today, we are simply delighted to welcome back Russell & Bromley; most Kate fashion followers are familiar with the company, and we’re going to take a look at some of the loveliness in this year’s spring/summer collection. But first, a quick refresher on some of the Russell and Bromley styles the Duchess wears; she has a veritable wardrobe of footwear from the brand.
The label’s Half ‘n Half Boots are a staple in Kate’s closet. Made by Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley, Kate has long worn them in black; this year she added the brown, first noted when worn in Oslo during the Sweden/Norway tour.
Kate also added a new pair of ankle boots to the mix this year, the Fallon Dry. Worn for a Coach Core event last October, the style is crafted of weather-resistant black suede and made exclusively for Russell and Bromley by Aquatalia.
You may remember the Xpresso flats worn by Kate during the India tour.
In addition to the blush suede Kate wore, this spring the Xpresso is also offered in navy, soft grey and black suede.
Another style we’ve seen Kate in, the brand’s Chester loafer, available in a broad range of colors and finishes. The heritage loafer features fringed trim topped by two tassels; below left we show the shoe in a blend of patent leather, suede and textured leather; in the center, a rich red nubuck hue; and on the right, a natty navy calf leather.
Now for our look at this year’s spring/summer collection, offering some outstanding styles, from low-heeled loafers to sky-high heels. One of the new designs I really like: the Baxter, a backless loafer available in tortoise-printed leather, as well as black leather. This one looks super-versatile; it would work well with many different outfits, from jeans to trousers. Wedges are always fun and there is an abundance available this spring: on the left, the Twist Cork Wedge; in the center, we show the Pukka Up in black suede, and on the right, an updated classic, the Popsicle Crossover Wedge.
There is a superb selection of sandals for s/s ’18, with looks to suit any taste or occasion. From left to right, the Laurenlite in tan leather with a lightweight flatform sole; the center image shows the Pirate, an excellent accent for many an ensemble with its embellished criss-cross straps; and the Dime, a flat sandal in a classic thong design that is perfect for loads of locations and events.
Who doesn’t love a new trainer this time of year? The Park Run sneaker in pink nubuck has a touch of navy at the back; the Bow Wow’s darling bow takes the basic white sneaker up a notch; the Juliette Lace-Up in Khaki looks über-comfy.
Moving to dressier styles, you can see there’s no shortage of dress flats in the new collection. We share just a smattering of designs, beginning with the Slipper Flat in Navy Velvet with silver decor and heel; the Classique Jewel Heel in the center sends an elegantly subtle signal; on the right, the Slipper Flat in Black Velvet features a striking gold and red floral pattern.
It’s that time of year for parties, weddings, and other elegant occasions. Many of us have royal weddings on the brain (Harry and Meghan! Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, oh my!) and the Rosehip fits the bill for a special event style statement. The shoe comes in soft blue suede, an elegant stone color, and mint green leather, all embellished with goldtone studs and glittering crystal roses.
Here is a better view of the detailing on the Rosehip. (There is also a matching Rosehip bag.)
A timeless style that’s a must for many, and perfect for a party: the basic stiletto. Say hello to the Spike. I love that name and the product description; there’s no beating around the bush in terms of heel height, “…this vertiginous style culminates in a sharp pointed toe and sits on a pin-thin stiletto heel.” The Spike is offered in soft tan leather as well as a black nubuck, very much a classic look.
If life seems better with a bow (and a somewhat shorter heel), there are plenty of options: the Bowdacious Slingback in black patent with a glitter block heel; the Vivacious in shimmering fabric; the Kickback Kitten Heel, also in black patent.
There are soft suede designs in colors ideal for this time of year; on the left we show the Display Pointed Toe Court in lilac; next to it in soft grey, the Exhale Platform Sandal, another style by Stuart Weitzman made just for Russell and Bromley; the Cipriani pump is shown in sky blue suede; on the far right, the Dolores Bow Trim Slingback in a soft peach shade.
Sandals are always fun, but particularly so in warmer months. These designs in neutral tones will work well for a broad array of outfits and occasions. From left to right: the Duplex Two Strap Sandal in black nubuck with a block heel (this one looks ‘very Kate’ to me); the Network Sandal with a strappy criss-cross design; the Rock-Up Studded Platform Sandal in black leather; and on the right, the Leaflet Leaf Trim Sandal in an elegantly understated nude satin with patent leather petals.
The new collection offers an array of vibrant styles in a mix of motifs. We share just a few here: the Humbug with its very cute critters perched atop the shoe; the Vivid Slingback with its geometric cutout design; and on the right, the Bouquet Jewel Flat in a lush floral pattern.
Classic slides and slip-ons are perfect this time of year and there are loads of styles to choose from. From left to right we show the Bowery Soft Bow Slide, with a soft and supple leather footbed; the Chromeheart Buckle and Stud Sandal, made in Spain with three adjustable leather straps; the Candycrush Eyelet Trim Espadrille sits on a traditional raffia sole; the Sunshine Mule Espadrille is adorned with twinkling jewel-like stones.
If you feel pretty in pink there are lots of choices: The Candyfloss Peep-Toe Espadrille offers a bright take on the basic espadrille wedge; the Bleeker Three-Strap Slide is fun in fuchsia and white nappa leather; the Chester brings a bold splash of color.
Lacking royal baby news we’ll see you early next week with maternity wardrobe poll results. (If you haven’t voted for your favorite outfits, click here to vote on the first-trimester looks, you can vote here on second-trimester styles, and click here to vote on the third-trimester wardrobe.
A reminder that should we hear Kate is at the hospital, we will start our live blog. And tomorrow we’ll have coverage of the Queen’s concert on our sister site, What Meghan Wore.