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The Duchess in Elie Saab for Royal Ascot

The Duchess added a new designer to her wardrobe for Royal Ascot 2019. 

Day One of Royal Ascot started out rainy and misty, but the Royal Family and guests were in open carriages for the procession. Below, HM in Carriage One. 

As hoped, Queen Máxima and King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands stayed overnight following yesterday’s Garter Day events in Windsor.  They joined the Queen in her carriage along with Prince Andrew (back to camera).

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge rode in Carriage Two. 

This gives you an idea of how the procession looks as it enters the track. 

Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, were in Carriage Three with Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and Lord de Mauley (Master of the Horse). 

The racetrack was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and has since received the patronage of eleven additional monarchs. The Ascot summer race meeting officially became a Royal week in 1911.  

We return to today’s action. 

From People’s story:

In her welcoming remarks to racegoers in this year’s Royal Ascot program, the Queen calls the event “one of the sporting events that I have been fortunate to enjoy throughout my life.”

Signing it “Elizabeth R,” she adds that even though racing has been taking place there for more than 300 years, and “much has changed, the horses remain the stars, thrilling us with their beauty, brilliance and courage.

“The best horses and jockeys from across the globe are increasingly drawn to Royal Ascot, and it is truly exciting to welcome competitors from overseas, as strong international competition always adds further interest and fascination.”

It was a sea of hats in the stands. 

The event is described this way by Ascot Racecourse: “The Royal Meeting is the perfect occasion for socializing, hosting a choice of four separate enclosures with plenty to offer in terms of dining. Royal Ascot is equally synonymous with sartorial elegance and is awash with colourful fashions as well as the most magnificent millinery creations.”

There was no shortage of royals on hand. Below, Zara Tindall greeting her grandmother. 

Zara’s husband Mike and his mother in law, Princess Anne. 

Kate and Zara greeting each other. 

The Tindalls and the Cambridges. 

Another view. 

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. 

The Duke and Duchess. 

King Willem-Alexander, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William are seen in this photo. 

Eventually, the rain returned. 

Although it didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits. 

We turn now to what was worn for the first day of Royal Ascot, starting with HM, who was in Angela Kelly. 

The Duchess was in Elie Saab.

The brand is headquartered in Beirut and shows at Paris Fashion Week. Kate is wearing styles based on separates from the Resort 2019 collection

The Duchess wore a bespoke version of the Macramé Pussy Bow Top ($1625), crafted of a cotton/poly/silk blend fabric. It has a relaxed fit, button front, and partial lining. The Embroidered Tulle Skirt ($3100) is done in matching tulle fabric with embroidered dots; it has an A-line silhouette and it is lined. 

Here is a closer look at the fabric. 

Kate has had long sleeves added to her top, as well as a solid fabric cuff. The macrame trim on her sleeves is vertical, running the length of the sleeve, as opposed to being a horizontal border at the hem. She has also had the bow shortened.

Many thanks to Laura and Elizabeth for their ID work on the Elie Saab pieces.

The Duchess wore a new pair of Gianvito Rossi heels, the brand’s Gianvito 105 style in Silver Metallic ($745). 

The style is a classic point-toe pump with a 4″ stiletto heel in leather with a metallic sheen. The style is available at Net-a-Porter and also at Gianvito Rossi. Our thanks to Thaís, Gabi, Laura, and The Cambridge Court for their work on the shoe ID.

Kate carried a new bag, a clutch style with brushed metal bands and leather back. 

It appears to be this Elie Saab style. The piece measures roughly 5″ x 7″ has a leather back (better seen above right) and a detachable chain. The photo above is from a resale site; that piece is shown as having sold in October 2017, so this is not a new item.  Thank you to Laura and Gabi for their work identifying the bag!

Many recognized Kate’s Philip Treacy hat. 

It is the same style worn to Trooping the Colour in 2016.  

This is the perfect segue to a look at Kate’s updo. 

The Duchess brought back her Kiki McDonough Blue Topaz/Diamond Drop earrings (£2916, roughly $3600 at today’s exchange rates).

The Duchess of Cornwall was in a pale peach ensemble. 

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wore Emilia Wickstead. 

Princess Beatrice (L) wore the Maje Ralfa Lace Dress ($267), with thanks to Samantha Salazar for the ID. Princess Eugenie was in Calvin Klein, the brand’s 205W39NYC Sleeveless Pleated Dress ($1403).  If wondering about the label name, it comes from Calvin Klein’s 205 W. 39th Street address.  

From The Telegraph’s coverage:

Whether it was a united front or accidental coordination, the royals made for an elegant ensemble in shades of blue on Tuesday, as they arrived for the first day of Royal Ascot.

The Queen, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Zara Tindall all clearly got the memo, in shades ranging from pastel hues to deep turquoise.

Zara Tindall wore the Allia Floral Maxi Dress ($695) by Zimmermann in lightweight linen.

(I’m sorry I don’t have a better photo of Zara but will continue seeking one.)

Queen Máxima was in a dress by one of her go-to designers, Natan.

Based in Brussels and run by Edouard Vermeulen, Natan is a favorite of Belgium’s Queen Mathilde and other royals. Today you can see why the Dutch Queen has a reputation for selecting spectacular hats.      

In fact, some seeing the picture on the WKW Facebook page asked where the Queen’s head went. 

Her hat was by Berry Rutjes, a Dutch milliner. Our thanks to Josine Droogendijk of the Mode Koningin Maxima (Queen Máxima Fashion) blog for today’s information on Queen Máxima’s ensemble.

Here is a closer look at the Queen’s clutch, bracelet and earrings. 

Ella Kay at The Court Jeweller reports the bracelet is “…the Dutch royal family’s gorgeous Diamond Trellis Bracelet,” and the earrings are the “removable diamond clusters from the top of the Stuart Tiara, which she famously debuted in its full form in Britain last autumn.” Below, the Queen in that tiara at last October’s state dinner

This link takes you to the full post on jewels from Royal Ascot.

One more look at Kate today.  

And here is a look at the three ensembles we’ve seen the Duchess wear for Royal Ascot: white lace by Dolce and Gabbana in 2016; more white lace in 2017, this time by Alexander McQueen; and today’s blue separates by Elie Saab. 

UPDATE: I have had a few messages and emails asking why some are wearing name tags and others are not. I don’t know why this is the case, as the requirement was enforced rather strongly in previous years. If I discover anything new I will update the post.

UPDATE 2: There have been a number of questions about the possibility Kate had the separates made into a dress. Here are two photos that show the waistband and back zipper on the skirt. In the one on the left, you can see the zipper has moved about an inch to the left of the center back seam on the top. In both photos you can just see the zipper separating a teeny bit at the top; a hook and eye might have been helpful there.   



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Varun Sharma

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Ohh wow amazing and beautiful duchess in elie saab for royal ascot.

Barbara Pelletier

Friday 12th of July 2019

I would have loved the short sleeve version with the belt on Kate as seen on the model. As Kate wore it, it was boring and the sleeves make me cringe for her.


Tuesday 25th of June 2019

I loved everything about this and overjoyed to see her in Saab at last. She looked like she stepped out of a painting and the colour was perfect for her! Thrilled to even see a bit of fun with the silver shoes. I will take these a 1000 times over the dreaded praline versions. Definitely her best Ascot look in my opinion.


Friday 9th of August 2019

This outfit ticks all the boxes. Color is stunning on her. Dress is classic and classy. It falls so beautifully on her and she is dressy and appropriate while looking cool and comfortable. LOVE THIS!


Saturday 6th of July 2019

I agree about Elie Saab! I love the label and it suits Kate perfectly- floaty and romantic. I hope someday we see her in one of Saab’s incredible evening gowns.


Tuesday 25th of June 2019

I have never seen William and Kate look more like a future King and Queen than they did today!


Monday 24th of June 2019

While I probably wouldn't pick this dress myself, it looks wonderful on the duchess. It reminds me of a teal dress she has worn previously with a similar cut and the same bow at the top. Can you remind me of what that was? I feel like I've seen her in this look before though it was a different dress.

Is it just me or does Camilla always wear pastel pink?

Queen Maxima's Hat - YES YES YES! It needs it's own Twitter page. Love it.

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