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Kate Brings Back Black Watch Coat for Dundee Engagements

Kate wore her Black Watch tartan coat for today’s trip to Dundee, Scotland.

The Earl and Countess of Strathearn, as they are titled in Scotland, were there to officially open the V&A Dundee Museum. Kate is the V&A’s royal patron. 


Here you see the pair being welcomed by the Lord and Lady Provosts in a photo from the Dundee City Council.

From Lord Lieutenant Ian Borthwick, Lord Provost of Dundee:

I am delighted to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to V&A Dundee.

This magnificent building is continuing to raise the city’s global profile and celebrates Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.

Dundee is a Unesco City of Design, a place where culture is helping to transform people’s lives. This museum has already brought huge benefits to the city of Dundee.

More about the museum’s origins from Kensington Palace:

The establishment of the museum was made possible because of the unique collaboration between V&A, the University of Dundee, Abertay University, Dundee City Council, the UK and Scottish governments, the National Lottery and Scottish Enterprise.


Here you can see how the Museum sits right at the water’s edge, with part of the building extending out over the River Tay.

Kensington Palace also reports the new museum “…is at the heart of a £1 billion waterfront regeneration plan, is already bringing significant economic and social benefits to the local area, helping to reshape the city’s future as a hub for the creative industries.”

The Earl and Countess as they arrived.

Kate was given flowers by Debbie Gray, from Rosebank Primary School and Sean Edgar, from Our Lady’s Primary School. 

The museum was designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, an award-winning Japanese architectural firm. Below, founder Kengo Kuma.

The pair spent time speaking about the design with Mr. Kuma. 

Below, the Duke and Duchess meeting representatives from the Museum’s Young Peoples Collective. The group leads tour and activities at the V&A Dundee, and they also come up with ideas for programs at the museum.

Since its opening in September, more than 380,000 people have visited the museum. Below, Senior Curator Joanna Norman shows the couple a dress by Scottish-born designer Christopher Kane.

Below, the Duchess in Christopher Kane for a 2015 visit to Dundee.  

The dress is one of 300+ exhibits in the Scottish Design Galleries.

Speaking with guests. 

As part of the day’s program, Kate was slated to deliver a brief speech. 

From her remarks: “Walking around this world-class space, it’s easy to see how Scotland’s first dedicated design museum is already inspiring the next generation, by providing a new learning space for discovery. I have been captivated by the breath-taking architecture, and the sheer range of design on display.”

More from the Duchess’s comments:

But most of all I’ve been moved by the passion of the people who work here, and the dedication of all those who have helped make this important project to succeed. I believe we should celebrate all our leading galleries, museums, and cultural centres playing a greater role in communities, not just in London, but up and down the country too. The cultural riches of the UK belong to all people of the UK

I hope that this Museum will serve as an inspiration to others, by showing how great things can be achieved when different communities all pull together. With this thought in mind, I am pleased to declare V&A Dundee ‘officially’ open.

The pair also unveiled a plaque marking the occasion. 

Then it was time to head back outside. 

Where they spent time greeting crowds. 

Kate always seems to enjoy these. 

Royal photographer Mark Stewart tweeted a brief update on Prince Louis shared by the Duchess during the walkabout.

The crowds were large despite the cold temps.

A WKW Facebook friend shot this photo, and also noted that “it was freezing.”   

One little girl wanted to touch Kate’s hair. 

A quick video of the walkabout.

Shona Reilly was at the V&A today and was kind enough to say we could share a few of her fantastic Twitter photos

She got an outstanding picture of Kate.

A wave goodbye. 

The Earl and Countess then departed for their second engagement in Dundee. They met with employees from the Dundee Michelin factory who will be losing their jobs when the plant closes next year.  

They also heard from family members of those working at the plant.

Roughly 840 people work at the factory. More from a Scotsman story:

The French firm said that despite efforts to make the factory “economically sustainable,” it was now considered “unsuitable,” with the prospect of its conversion not “financially viable.”

In a statement issued on its website, Michelin said the Dundee site has “faced serious difficulties in recent years,” with an “accelerated shift” in the market towards what it described as “low cost, entry level products from Asia.”

Below, a file photo of the plant taken in November 2018.

After spending time with the employees and their families, Kate and William met with the Michelin Action Group.

The group “is aiming to find and take forward solutions for repurposing the plant and providing a sustainable future for its skilled workforce,” according to a palace news release.

Below, a portion of the remarks William delivered at the meeting.

The factory has been a huge part of Dundee’s very fabric. It has been a key employer for generations, and has helped sustain the local economy for nearly 50 years. For everyone affected, the hope is that all of you sat in this room can find a positive way forward.

The meeting marks a pivot of sorts for the Cambridges and what they generally do at public engagements. It’s not an enormous turn, but one I think we should note nonetheless. More from ITV’s royal editor, Chris Ship, in a piece written before today’s meeting.

…the Duke and Duchess will do something that I’ve not seen a senior member of the Royal Family do since I started reporting this brief nearly two years ago. William and Kate will visit a factory which has been earmarked for closure where 850 people are facing redundancy.

William and Kate will hear about what it’s been like to live under the cloud of uncertainty caused by Michelin’s announcement.

Back to Chris Ship’s story.

And this won’t be a one off.

Kensington Palace wants to do this sort of visit more often, particularly as William and Kate, along with Harry and Meghan, have campaigned for better understanding of the variety of causes of mental health problems.

It will be interesting to see how things do or don’t change in this regard going forward.

After the meeting, it was time to head back to London.  

Now to what Kate wore for the day’s engagements, starting with her McQ Black Watch Tartan coat. McQ is the Alexander McQueen diffusion line. 

Kate has now worn the garment three times, including today (left). In the center you see the coat as worn on Christmas Day 2013 for church services at Sandringham; on the far right, when it was first seen on St. Andrew’s Day in 2012, when Kate was visiting her old prep school, Saint Andrew’s, Pangbourne.

The piece has been referred to as both a coat and a coatdress. Here you can see the dress Kate was also wearing today. 

Many will remember that Alexander McQueen was Scottish and often incorporated tartan into his designs; Sarah Burton has continued the practice. More about the tartan from the McQueen website.

The use of the navy and dark-green plaid of Scotland’s 3rd Battalion Regiment, the Black Watch, represents the brand’s reverence for history and tradition. The same fabric has been used in previous McQ Alexander McQueen collections and unites the label with the mainline brand.

Jessica of the Fug Girls had this to say about Kate re-wearing the piece:

..she has popped up in MY FAVORITE of her coats — a coat we love so much, it makes a cameo in The Royal We.  We truly are getting a Greatest Hits of Kate lately and I am delighted. (It’s also, obviously, apt to wear your tartan coat to Scotland.) BLACK WATCH TARTAN COAT FOREVER!

The Duchess wore a new scarf that we’ve not yet identifiedUPDATE: Heaven pointed out on Twitter this could be a scarf Kate was seen wearing in 2006. Oona suggested this as well on the Facebook page, and I think both women are correct. I cannot license the photo, but you can see it on Pinterest or look at Heaven’s tweet/Oona’s FB comments linked above.

UPDATE 2 JAN 30: It looks like Kate may have been wearing Pickett London’s Pashmina Stole in emerald green ($126). 

The company says this color is sold out, but it can be preordered on the Pickett site. Our thanks to Middleton Maven and Kate’s Closet for their work identifying the piece. I initially sai don Twitter that Kate’s fringe looks a skosh longer than the Pickett style, but the company says it is their piece.

Kate also carried a new handbag from a brand we weren’t familiar with, MANU Atelier. It is the label’s Micro Bold bag in a color called Emerald Green. The leather and suede bag measures roughly 7″ x 5.5″ and can be used as a shoulder bag, a crossbody style or carried by the handle. It is a structured design with a geometric cutout flap on the front, an interior zippered pocket and the brand’s signature logo. Our thanks to UFO No More for their fab ID of the bag.

We show Kate’s suede & leather style above left at Net-a-Porter, where it is no longer available. There is an all-leather design that we show above right. That version is offered in a color called Monte Green; it comes with a goldtone link chain strap at Monnier Frères ($545).  At 24 Sèvres ($550) and MANU Atelier ($545), it is offered with a green leather shoulder strap.

Kate’s emerald leather and suede combo was used in other styles. Below we show (l to r): the Frame Suede Top-Handle Bag (30% off at Saks, $416); the Mini Pristine Crossbody, measuring about 7” x 8”; and the smaller Micro Pristine Crossbody, roughly 5.5” x 5” ($392 at Farfetch).

The Micro Bold bag itself is offered in a great mix of colors and material. We show (l to r) the Micro Bold Combo Bag in burgundy/red/ice blue ($595; a basic black Micro Bold Leather style ($535); and a Micro Bold in green/brown/ivory ($502).

MANU Atelier was launched in 2014 by two sisters, Beste & Merve Manastir, who grew up watching their father making premium leather products in Istanbul. More from the company’s About page.

The desire of presenting their father’s artisanship and unique talents in creating and manufacturing handcrafted leather goods brought the sisters together as business partners. The brand aims to preserve its loyalty to the old, while presenting its products to modern women of the new age by combining premium leather with pure handcraftsmanship.

The Duchess was in her black suede Tod’s pumps. 

And she had on gloves by royal favorite Cornelia James. The company tells me it was their Imogen style

If you are thinking about a pair of gloves for yourself, you can receive 10% off with promo code WKW10191.

Kate also wore her diamond and sapphire earrings. 

We’ll leave this portion of the post with one more photo. 


Also today, a quick shopping note. In our sponsor post about Madderson London’s autumn/winter collection, Daisy Poltimore left a comment saying she purchased the Ophelia Dress in Grey. Last week I was delighted to receive an email from Daisy with photos and thoughts about her shopping experience. She gave me permission to share the content with you here on the site. Below, Daisy’s package. 

She was very complimentary about the packaging, saying, “The unboxing experience was lovely.” Below, a look at the info and correspondence that come with the purchase.  

Daisy praised the construction and tailoring of her dress. She also said, “It’s so sharp looking that I doubt anyone would guess it is also SO comfortable. I’ve never been pregnant, but I can see why they do a big maternity business. I got a couple compliments immediately and probably would have gotten more if my office hadn’t been so freezing cold yesterday that I had to throw additional layers over it!!”


A quick reminder: if you haven’t voted in the Favorite 2018 New Coat poll, you can pop over and visit the post by clicking here.

Here is a 6-minute video about the museum.

This video from the walkabout runs about 45 seconds and includes the little girl who wanted to touch Kate’s hair.

This video from the Daily Mail shows Kate’s speech and a bit more video from the museum.

And this 4:45 video covers the visit.


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Friday 1st of February 2019

Like everyone here, I adore this coat dress. Am I the only one who think navy accessories would have looked better than black? Love that green hand bag! She looks gorgeous as always.

Mary Bolt

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

You can never go wrong with navy my fav color !!!


Thursday 31st of January 2019

I will never tire of this dress!!! One of my forever favorites! If I could buy this in the US for a reasonable price I would snatch it up in a nano second!

finding tartan

Friday 1st of February 2019

Agree! Wish someone would post a link to it, or to a look-alike coat dress, so tartan admirers could order it too!


Thursday 31st of January 2019

Susan, I think you should consider adding one of the appearances of this coatdress to your "iconic looks" tab! :)


Friday 1st of February 2019

I concur! Not only is it nearly unreservedly approved of by this community, it also captures her aesthetic so well. I personally vote for the Christmas day outing since it includes the hat, and dress boots are a common choice for her in chilly weather. This outing with the scarf and true purse is a bit of a departure for her styling overall.


Thursday 31st of January 2019

They look especially striking as a couple in these ensembles. The coatdress and all of the accessories were spot on. I especially enjoy the chunky heels with the black tights. It’s great, in my opinion, when the royals wear something other than stilettos. The scarf is also beautiful on her and such a lovely color. Great overall look!


Wednesday 30th of January 2019

I love this coat and Kate looks amazing in it. I would've liked to have seen a brooch of some type on the jacket to spice it up instead of the scarf but to each her own. :) I LOVE the handbag she chose this time and I love how she and William matched so nicely.

sue d

Thursday 31st of January 2019

Fun and fabulous! I am so happy that Kate is switching to proper handbags from time to time! She looks fantastic in any tartan!

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