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All About Kate’s New Stylist – SEE UPDATED POST

Hello, and Happy April to everyone.

For months there has been discussion about the possibility/likelihood the Duchess was working with a new stylist while Natasha Archer is on maternity leave. It turns out she is; Richard Eden broke the story last weekend in his Daily Mail column.

The Duchess of Cambridge has secretly drafted in a talented stylist who has been advising her on her wardrobe.

Out go the stiff coat dresses and Home Counties lady look. In comes a more modern, sleek style, such as the £800 Gucci pussy-bow blouse and wide-legged trousers she wore for an engagement earlier this month.

The woman working with Kate is Virginia Chadwyck-Healey, described in the Daily Mail piece as “…an aristocratic 36-year-old former editor at Vogue magazine.”

She is an old friend from St. Andrews University, where she was the Hon Virginia Fraser (her father is the third Baron Strathalmond, thus the honorific before her name). Below, Prince William and Ms. Fraser at a 2008 Royal Marsden fundraiser. 

In 2012 Ginnie (as she refers to herself) married another old friend from school, Oliver Chadwyck-Healey. Like William, he attended Eton.    

Before their marriage, the couple attended Kate and William’s wedding. 

Ms. Chadwyck-Healey wrote a piece for The Telegraph about the look she chose for Kate and William’s wedding.

Being a Vogue staffer, this wedding was always going to be a fashion conundrum.

Early that morning we discovered our boiler had packed up. As I took a freezing shower, my lips turning blue, I bellowed to my boyfriend, now long-suffering husband, “I bet Kate isn’t having a sodding cold shower at The Goring!”.

The primary pieces in the ensemble were by a designer the Duchess has worn many times, Emilia Wickstead. Back to The Telegraph column:

Emilia and I set our sights on the ultimate double act: a high waisted watermelon pink skirt and a bubblegum pink trapeze-sleeve silk top. It was fun, it was bold, but it was also elegant. I wore the trademark LK Bennett patent nudes (because sometimes there just isn’t any other shoe that works for an occasion like this).

As mentioned in the stories, Ms. Chadwyck-Healey now has her own consulting business, VCH Style.

Former British Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman wrote a Daily Mail column about Ms. Chadwyck-Healey working with the Duchess.

At Vogue, Ginnie was retail editor, a role that involved hosting reader events and industry trend talks. Her skill was in translating fashion information for real people rather than edgy fashion shoots.

You can see how all of this would be invaluable to the Duchess, whose every hiking boot and clutch bag is analysed and scrutinised. While Catherine has a very distinct sense of her own style, she is not interested in spending hours poring over fashion pages and reading designer profiles.

The stylist also has an Instagram page. Many of the brands worn on the page are familiar. Below left, a Beulah London dress and on the right, an Erdem top. 

From the VCH Style site: “Ginnie’s mantra is ‘Condense, Curate, Create.’ It applies to all ages, all spending levels. Her service is to personally ‘condense’ your wardrobe, sort through and ‘curate’ new ways of wearing pieces you never knew worked well together and ‘create’ space for new pieces that Ginnie then advises on.”

Here you see Ms. Chadwyck-Healey wearing LK Bennett (left) and Alessandra Rich on the right, in a photo with friend and Vogue alumni Emma Elwick Bates.

You may remember we saw the Duchess wearing Alessandra Rich for the first time in family photos marking Prince Charles’s 70th birthday.

Below, the stylist with jeweler Kiki McDonough in another Instagram picture

We return to the Alexandra Shulman Daily Mail column:

The impeccably organised Chadwyck-Healey’s style is, in fact, similar to Kate’s, but with a fashionable and more colourful, pattern-clashing twist — she’s far more Gucci than LK Bennett.

So far, Chadwyck-Healey’s influence has been seen in the duchess’s decision to don a slinky purple pussy-bow blouse by the Italian fashion house, a sparkling mint Missoni dress on an evening out in Belfast and a blue caped Mulberry coat that fast became a social media sensation.

The Missoni dress mentioned above that the Duchess wore in Belfast.

The Telegraph’s Fashion News & Features Editor, Bethan Holt, suspected Ms. Chadwyck-Healey was assisting Kate. From a column she wrote:

In recent months, there’s no doubt that Kate has upped her fashion game and naturally the industry rumour mill fast turned to who might be responsible for the subtle yet significant shift in her look. With the duchess’s usual PA/ wardrobe adviser, Natasha Archer, on maternity leave, the presence of a smart new strategist with impeccable understanding of the balance between the requirements of Royal protocol and exerting fashion influence was palpable.

The caped Mulberry coat, another piece from the Northern Ireland trip, is a design several have pointed to as evidence of the tweaks to Kate’s wardrobe.

Ms. Chadwyck-Healey has also shared some family photos on Instagram; below, with her two little girls. 

More about the stylist’s professional background comes via this Tibbs Jenkins piece in The Times.

 Having spent her youth frequenting the boutiques of the Kings Road in Chelsea, Chadwyck-Healey recently quit South Kensington in west London to live near Pangbourne in Berkshire with her husband and daughters, Maggie and Nancy, becoming part of a fashionable “girls-gone-mud” set.

So far, so gilded, but Chadwyck-Healey has also spoken publicly, and movingly, about her experience with postnatal depression. She wrote in 2016: “My interest in food vanished, my tearful moments grew. I wondered how people did this whole ‘two under two’ business. I was scornful of myself.” The piece was honest on a relatable subject that is still taboo for many.

Ms. Chadwyck-Healey posted about her own situation on Instagram. It is a topic Kate has expressed an interest in; she has spent time learning about maternal mental health and spoken about the issue.

Updated accessories have been noted as another sign of the changes in Kate’s wardrobe. Below left, a Manu Atelier Micro Bold handbag first carried in Dundee. On the right, the Aspinal Midi Mayfair bag that we first saw in October of last year. The bags are considered something of a departure because as a rule, the Duchess carries clutch-style bags. 

We wrap up with a few more thoughts from Alexandra Shulman’s column.

Catherine is not remotely interested in being a clothes horse, she knows that it’s a huge part of the job and will want to be seen as being at the top of her game.

I would expect her to introduce some new names to the Duchess’s repertoire, or encourage her to bring some of those she has in her private wardrobe on to the public stage.

We’ll leave today’s topic with another design worn recently, the Alexander McQueen one-shoulder column gown from the BAFTA Awards in February

In her comment, Caitlin asked a good question: when is Natasha expected to return?  The answer is that I don’t know; I’ve not seen anything about a timeline. In the UK women can take up to a full year of leave, so it could be quite some time before Natasha is back at Kensington Palace.

If wondering when we’ll see the Duchess again, it could be a few weeks. George and Charlotte are on their school breaks, with classes resuming for both on April 24th.


The newest issue of Hello! magazine offers a different perspective on the role being played by Ms. Chadwyck-Healey. The story, “The truth behind Kate’s new glow and edgy fashion sense,” notes Natasha Archer has been more involved in Kate’s wardrobe than described.

Despite widespread reports that this bold new look has been honed by Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey, HELLO! can reveal that, while the former Vogue staffer has given occasional advice, Kate’s much-admired wardrobe continues to be the work of her long-time PA and stylist, Natasha Archer.

The piece is in the April 15 issue of the magazine. 

The story goes on to say:

Natasha is on maternity leave following the birth of son Theo in December, but she planned outfits for the Duchess ahead of her time away and works behind the scenes as needed. “Natasha has been meticulously organised in her work, styling the Duchess despite her pregnancy and maternity leave,” a royal source told HELLO! “She is incredibly loyal and does a great job.”

You can read the entire piece here.

UPDATE #2 APR 16: There is additional coverage of the story indicating Ms. Chadwyck-Healey has not been involved in Kate’s wardrobe choices to the degree described by other media. More from this Tatler story:

‘Tash’, as she is affectionately known to friends and members of the household, had diligently pre-planned the Duchess’ wardrobe according to her longstanding diary prior to taking maternity leave to have her son Theo with her Royal Photographer husband Chris Jackson, late last year.

With such a huge job on her hands in fashionably presenting the future Queen of England to the world, she regularly speaks to contacts from various fashion houses and people such as former Vogue staffer Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey, who despite reports Tatler can clarify has not taken over the main role.

‘I think it’s fair to say Tash was a bit upset at the rumours, particularly as she worked so hard to pull all of the looks together,’ one source told Tatler of the stylist who was honoured with Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in the New Year Honours list for services to the Royal Family. ‘Kate is very fond of her and has been supportive during her pregnancy. She hasn’t been replaced.’

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Tuesday 16th of April 2019

I rarely comment on this site or WMW, but I do visit each of these sites every day. And I read all comments. What do you find so discerning, JR, that you need to take a “fast” from all of this? These are fashion blogs and we comment on clothes and fashion choices but the comments are always respectful and rather insightful. I too have learned quite a lot; from the intricate details of the clothes worn to the careful selection of the accessories chosen. I can’t fathom how anyone could be so put off by all of this. ????


Wednesday 10th of April 2019

I scroll through these comments so rarely anymore, and today reminded me once again why I stay away. It's fascinating that two websites run by the same group (yes, MM has an extra Susan on board), can have such different comments sections. I'm even more fascinated that commenters on both sites have a very their remarks on this one vs that one.

And not fascinated in a good way.

Time for another WKW/WMW fast...


Thursday 11th of April 2019

I don't follow the Duchess of Sussex, so I have only visited WMW a couple of times and not at all recently, but I am curious to know how the comments differ between the sites.

I think the comments here are on the whole respectful albeit at times quite passionate, and while hardly sycophantic are never mean-spirited.


Thursday 11th of April 2019

I'm sorry that my comments rubbed you the wrong way. As always, any criticism I levy is about the fashion, and not the person. I can understand how my comparison might have seemed unkind, but my intent was not in any way to suggest that the Duchess herself (whom I straight-up worship) looks like the movie character; just that certain dresses bring the movie to mind. In fact it was a strong association I had with those dresses (which I grant you, I dislike) that I had been struggling to pin down for a while--they are reminiscent of a certain mid-80s, middle-aged professional woman vibe that is perfectly captured in the wardrobe of that movie.

I understand that my words sounded flippant, and of course I was trying to be funny to some extent, but my intention was never to be unkind, and again I apologize that it came across that way to you. I comment on both WKW and WMW, and in general I find the comments on both sites to be respectful, along with a good mix of critical, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and entertaining.


Wednesday 10th of April 2019

Hi JR, You make some strong statements about not appreciating the comments here, but fail to give any specifics as to what you don't like. I'd say, that people who comment on a regular basis on both WKW and WMW are fairly consistent, although generally speaking comments on WMW seem to be briefer.

If people's opinions bother you, then there is no need to read them. You can still enjoy the sites, learning about the activities of the two Duchesses and their fashions, without delving into the comments.

Speaking for myself, I find the comments interesting and often educational. I've learned so much here. We are a compatible community of royal watchers. Unlike many public online forums WKW and WMW are respectful and fair in their discussions.


Wednesday 10th of April 2019

Hi. I LOVE the one shoulder McQueen dress and the Aspinal box clutch...other than that, I am not a fan of the pussy bow blouse and wide legged trousers or the Missoni seafoam dress or the light blue coat with cape. They all seemed to share the same trait--they overwhelmed her, especially those trousers. Even the navy polka dotted dress in the family portrait--the collar was too pronounced. They all seem to be kind of a faux prim look, and they seem out of place on her. She also didn't seem totally comfortable in those looks. Give me Kate in that Gucci dress at the V & A any day. She was beautiful and comfortable, and she made the museum her runway!


Thursday 11th of April 2019

Oh my GOSH I hope we see that dress again! One of my all-time favorite looks!


Wednesday 10th of April 2019

Great comments as always. I do hope that if the Duchess wears more tailored pants more often that she gets them hemmed properly! I hope she doesn't go all VB (Victoria Beckham) and wear them so long that they are caught under her shoes! Drives me nuts! Hemming is part of tailoring!


Wednesday 10th of April 2019

I like Ms. Chadwyck-Healey's personal style (the red/pink combo from Will and Kate's wedding is stunning and–unlike many guest's outfits–has aged incredibly well), but I have mixed feelings about the outfits of Kate's that she was supposedly responsible for. The Mulberry coat was stunning and wonderfully–if not particularly interestingly–accessorized and I was impressed by the Missoma dress and trousers/blouse combo, but what Kate really need a stylist's help with is pulling an outfit together and I'm still not really getting that from many of her recent looks. I'm not really interesting in seeing Kate in the sort of ritzy, uber-fashionable looks that someone like Queen Letizia wears, but I do think that many of her accessory choices can cause an otherwise spectacular outfit to fall flat and I haven't really noticed any sort of net change in that over the past few months.

Personally, I'm not sure that I see Natasha returning to work for Kate in the same capacity as in the past, since it would likely require her and Chris to operate on the same travel schedule. That's an incredibly personal choice and I hope that they have all the support and understanding that they could ask for in making it, but I also wouldn't be surprised if one of them needs to cut down on travel or step back a bit.

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