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It’s Emilia Wickstead & Brora for RAF Christmas Party, & the 2019 What Kate Wore Calendar

The Duchess wore a festive Emilia Wickstead skirt and Brora cardigan for today’s Christmas party at The Orangery.

The party was for families & children of deployed personnel from RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham serving in Cyprus. RAF Marham is home to the Tornado Squadron. 

Oddly, there was ‘snow’ in very isolated parts of Kensington Gardens near the Orangery. You can see it as Father Christmas arrived.

A video from Rebecca English.

There is even heavier snow in this photo of the Duke and Duchess. (The snow content is tongue-in-cheek.)

The Orangery is located in Kensington Gardens. The name hearkens back to an era when prosperous homes had a room dedicated to housing fragile plants during the winter, keeping things like orange and other fruit trees safe from the harsh elements. There is a restaurant and the facility can be rented for private events. 

The party was done in tandem with the Royal British Legion. More about the event from Simon Perry’s People story.

At the palace party, kids enjoyed an fun mix of activities, including a photo booth, Christmas stocking, snow globe decorating, cracker making and entertainment from U.K. party planners Sharky and George. Prince William, 36, even got in the holiday spirit by joining children in making crackers.

More from this Hello! story:

Approximately 7,500 military personnel are currently serving overseas or away from home on exercises. A large portion of these have children who will have a parent away over the festive period.

And the Duke chatting with Harry.

Both Kate and William were very much in their element.

A video with Prince William from Richard Palmer.

And the Duke with 5-year-old Ivan Mother.

Kate delivered remarks at the party. From Kate’s speech:

William and I just wanted to pass on our huge gratitude to all of you here today.

Not only are we grateful for you coming here to join our party, but also for the sacrifices you make on a daily basis on behalf of the nation.

As someone whose husband has served, I know how hard it feels when a loved one leaves home to do the job they’ve trained for,” she said.

When William served in the Falklands or went search and rescue, I remember how it felt. But I can’t imagine how it feels when your loved ones are away on active service over Christmas or at those special family moments.

There was even a “snowball fight” with faux snow.

A quick video from Victoria Murphy as the Duke and Duchess depart.

Now for our look at what Kate wore.

Her skirt is from Emilia Wickstead’s AW ’18 collection. The designer says the 1970’s film Love Story inspired the collection, especially the plaid skirts worn by Jenny, Ali McGraw’s character. (A photo from the film is here.) The skirt was available at Farfetch earlier in the season. It is made of polyester with a touch of elastane. 

Here is a closer look at the fabric.

There were several pieces in the collection featuring this pattern. Some are still available, including a dress with sheer sleeves ($1381) and a sleeveless dress ($630).

Kate’s cardigan is by Scottish brand Brora, renowned for their cashmere pieces. It is the Cropped Cardigan style($375).

The style is fitted, with ribbed trim at the collar and cuffs, with wide ribbing at the waist. Thank you to Christin for pointing out the cardigan.

We continue to look for the new boots Kate was wearing.

We saw the ‘Empress’ earrings by Mappin and Webb again.

A reminder that we hope to see photos tonight from guests arriving at the Queen’s annual diplomatic reception.


Also today, a topic near and dear to our hearts: the 2019 What Kate Wore calendar, created in partnership with royal photographer Mark Stewart (you may know him as Regal Eyes on Twitter). 

As always, we include our ‘Many Faces of Kate’ page along with all the info on what Kate wore.   Mark Stewart’s talent really shines, as it does every year. But it’s especially evident in Mark’s exclusive photos of Prince George, as well as his images of Princess Charlotte. You can just see them in the twelve months view shown above.

The calendar measures roughly 11″ by 16″ when open and hanging on your wall. It is available in limited quantities here.


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Tuesday 11th of December 2018

Nice casual look overall, but a red sweater or striped shirt with same colors as skirt would have been more young and fashionable looking. I do like the silhouette of the outfit and you can't go wrong with a tartan skirt at Christmastime.

Jordan Parks

Thursday 6th of December 2018

My mother and I had tea and the Orangery when we visited London six years ago, so I was especially excited about this engagement. Such a lovely event and Kate and William looked totally in their element.

I loved today's look. I'm already a huge fan of plaid, but especially for a festive Christmas outfit. The only thing I would have changed is instead of the button down cardigan, I think a sleek black turtleneck would have looked a bit more chic. Something about the cardigan is just not doing it for me. But I love the long skirt with boots. All in all Kate looks gorgeous and glowy as usual.


Wednesday 5th of December 2018

As a fellow long waist-ed woman, I heartily approve of this whole look. When you have a high waist-ed skirt with detailing at the waist band, it can read frumpy so quickly if you add the bulk of a longer sweater or even tuck in a sweater or blouse. This is the look I used to love to wear back when I had a trimmer figure - now my mommy tummy ruins the look for me.

Love the festive red plaid and boots with a more practical heal height.

A solid YES in my book.


Wednesday 5th of December 2018

I suspect the boots are Aquazzura, they have made more shoes with similar shaped heels


Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Thank you for the tip! I'll take a look. :)


Wednesday 5th of December 2018

amazing look. I've had high tea at the Orangery, it's lovely, would recommend.

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