We are back with a few updates as we approach a busy month on the royal calendar. Trooping the Colour is Saturday, the 18th is Order of the Garter, and Royal Ascot begins on the 19th. We also expect a christening for Prince Louis in the next month to six weeks but do not have a specific date for that event.
There has been no announcement from Kensington Palace about the Duchess being part of Trooping the Colour, but I believe we will see her on Saturday. Thinking of Saturday’s ceremony prompted me to take a look back at the ensembles Kate has worn for previous Trooping the Colour ceremonies. When the Duchess took part for the first time in 2011, she wore an Alexander McQueen cotton/wool blend coat in a double-breasted style with a softly pleated and tiered Samurai skirt. Kate’s hat was by Lock and Company.
In 2012 we saw a bespoke dress by Erdem with a gored bodice, seamed waist, three-quarter sleeves and a modified portrait neckline, crafted from an embroidered grey fabric. The Duchess wore a hat by Jane Corbett.
Alexander McQueen was Kate’s choice again in 2013. She wore a soft pink maternity coat with a wide collar, side darting, three-quarter sleeves and oversized pearl buttons. She paired the piece with another hat from Jane Corbett.
2015 was the first time we saw one of the Cambridge children at Trooping the Colour, as Prince George made his debut on the iconic Buckingham Palace balcony. For this occasion, the Duchess wore the Astrid coatdress in silk dupioni by Catherine Walker; the hat was the Marisabel style, designed by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Co.
In 2016 it was Princess Charlotte’s turn to make her debut at Trooping the Colour. Kate opted to re-wear Princess Charlotte’s christening coat by Alexander McQueen, accessorizing with a hat by Philip Treacy.
Last year the Duchess was in a bright pink dress by go-to designer Alexander McQueen that showcased a paper-bag waist and pleated neckline. Kate wore another hat from milliner Jane Taylor.
Do you have a favorite? Should we do a poll on Monday with this year’s outfit added to the mix?
Also today, a very quick update on the annoying troubles many of you are experiencing in terms of receiving blog posts by email. Or, more accurately, not receiving the posts. I am *so* sorry this has been an issue for many of you. We *think* the issue has been rectified. If you are receiving posts again that is terrific; if for any reason you are not, I apologize. I know it is a hassle, but if you could drop me a quick email or comment on the post, we will continue to try and correct any outstanding issues with our email service.
Our final note involves Wednesday’s very sad news about Kate Spade. Below, the designer/entrepreneur at Glamour magazine’s 2002 Women of the Year awards.
For anyone who may have missed the story, Ms. Spade was found dead at her home in New York; police and family say she died by suicide. The NY Times has more:
“We are all devastated by today’s tragedy,” the Spade family said in a statement. “We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.” Andy Spade, her husband, later said that his wife had sought treatment for depression that was at times severe, and that the couple were still close but had been living apart for 10 months.
This is what one sees when visiting the Kate Spade website today.
Back to the NY Times story:
Ms. Spade… worked as an editor before making the leap to designing, constructing her first sketches from paper and Scotch tape. She would come to attach her name to a bounty of products, and ideas: home goods and china and towels and so much else, all of it poised atop the thin line between accessibility and luxury.
One of the first of a wave of American women contemporary designers who emerged in the 1990s, she built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made shoppers smile. She embodied her own aesthetic, with her proto-1960s bouffant, nerd glasses and playful grin. Beneath that image was a business mind that understood the opportunities in building a lifestyle brand, almost before the term officially existed.
I have heard from many who were shocked and saddened by the news, and several shared pictures of their Kate Spade bags(s) and/or other treasures. As I mentioned on Twitter, I think the shock is heightened because of the colorful, optimistic traits that characterize the brand’s products.
Kate and her husband (and business partner), Andy Spade, sold 56% of the company to Neiman Marcus in 1996; they sold their remaining interest in 2007. Over the years, the products have stayed true to the brand’s original vision, regardless of ownership. If the word exuberant can be used to describe merchandise, that’s a word I would use in referring to Kate Spade goods. Many featured witty, whimsical quotes.
The Duchess has worn three items (that we’re aware of) by Kate Spade. For World Mental Health Day in 2016, she sported the brand’s Encore Rose dress (below l); she accessorized a Marchesa Notte dress with a pair of the company’s earrings in April 2017; we saw her wear another Kate Spade frock in November of 2017 for a visit to London’s Foundling Museum.
Kate Spade was 55 years old; she is survived by her husband Andy, and daughter Frances Beatrix.
Years ago someone was kind enough to explain to me that life might be easier if I avoided judging my insides by someone else’s outsides, meaning I can’t possibly know what led such a talented, gifted individual to make the decision Kate Spade did. One can only hope family and friends are allowed to grieve privately.
We’ll see you Saturday.