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The Duchess Wears Ridley London for Photo Workshop & A New Patronage

The Duchess wore a new dress by Ridley London for a previously unannounced engagement today.

Kate took part in photography workshops with young people from Action for Children, one of her patronages. The workshops were put on by the Royal Photographic Society.

The engagement dovetailed perfectly with Kensington Palace’s announcement that the Duchess is the new royal patron of the Royal Photographic Society.

This is another patronage passed on to the Duchess by HM. The Queen was the organization’s patron for 67 years. 

The Royal Photographic Society is one of the oldest photographic societies in the world, founded in 1853 with the objective of promoting the art and science of photography. Its very first royal patrons were Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. 

The society honored Kate with an honorary lifetime membership in January 2017. The Duchess has been widely applauded for the photographs she has taken of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.  

The society’s chief operating officer, Mike Taylor, said: “It is a huge honour to have the duchess as our patron, especially given her personal interest in photography.” Below, Prince George on his first day of nursery school in photos taken by his mother. 

Returning to the day’s activities, Action for Children helps disadvantaged children across the UK.

More than 7,000 staff members and volunteers provide 522 services, “…helping 300,000+ children, teenagers, parents and carers every year…from before birth until they are into their twenties.” Below, the Duchess looking at a timeline showing Action for Children milestones.  

Kate became Action for Children’s royal patron early in 2017; previously The Queen was the charity’s patron. The Duchess’s first engagement with Action for Children dates back to February 2015 when she visited Cape Hill Children’s Centre.

Today’s workshops were held at the Warren Park Children’s Centre, a residential care service for young people with disabilities that offers both short breaks and long term care.

The workshops were led by honorary RPS fellows Jillian Edelstein and Harry Borden. Below you see Ms. Edelstein with the Duchess. 

The interactive sessions were designed to show how learning photography can help young people develop confidence.

Various elements of photography were covered, such as the use of light and color. Below, Kate with Ffion Turner. 

Another discipline the groups worked on was taking portraits.

The Duchess with one of the participants.

Below, Kate with 9-year-old Josh Evans from Liverpool.

More from The Daily Mirror’s coverage:

Sitting on a bench in the garden with the schoolboy, Kate said: “Oh wow, you’ve got a real talent there. That’s really good. Do you like taking artsy pictures like that? I think you are very good, you should definitely keep it up.”

Russell Myers of The Mirror tweeted a video of the Duchess and Josh.


The Mirror reports that Josh’s mother said: “…her son, who has ADHD and suffered from behavioural problems, has been transformed after being supported for a year by a junior mentor provided by Action for Children.” 

In addition to learning new skills, the workshops also demonstrated how photography offers a universal language for young people to express themselves and explore their thoughts and feelings. Below, a hug for Faith Olukoya from Kate. 

Kensington Palace noted that “As part of her longstanding work on early years The Duchess is on a mission to support organizations like Action for Children that aim to give every child the best possible start in life.”

Here you’ll see the Duchess and children as they pose for a picture memorializing today’s visit.


And the end result. 

This image of the Duchess with Chloe Cooper (l) and Josh Evans (c) was taken when everyone was posed for the group shot. 

The Duchess as she was leaving today’s engagement.

Now for our look at what Kate wore today, starting with her Ridley London dress.

Below you see Kate’s dress design, the Virginia Midi Dress (£449, about $570 at today’s exchange rates) in silk chiffon. It is shown in a different colorway, the apricot Josephine pattern. (Kate’s design is not available online.)

The dress features a v-neck, flutter sleeves, a fitted bodice with an A-line skirt that also features a flounced hem. A closer look at the bodice shows the darts used for shaping and the invisible zipper on the back. 

It is also available in a sage green colorway.

Camilla Ridley started the brand in 2016. She has worked in fashion for more than thirty years, and her original training was in textiles; that background is evident in the company’s fabrics. Below, three of Ridley London’s current designs: on the left, the Adlington Maxi; in the center, the Milly Shirt Dress; on the right, the Araminta Maxi Dress.

It was a treat to learn Kate was wearing this brand, as it is one I have thought for some time would be ideal for her. Thoughts on today’s look from Bethan Holt in her Daily Telegraph column.

A midi dress like Kate’s is a failsafe option for dressing smartly in the heat, better still if it’s in a breathable fabric like cotton. But warm weather dressing has always proved seemingly effortless for the Duchess, who typically strikes the right balance between looking appropriate for the occasion and comfortable in the heat.

It is Ms. Holt who initially identified the dress after many of us had searched unsuccessfully for the piece for more than an hour. Our thanks also go to the UFO No More crew who confirmed things with the company.

More reaction comes from Jessica of The Fug Girls:

This dress is really pretty. It’s VERY I’m Just Strolling Around My English Garden At This Party I Didn’t Have To Plan, which is my favorite type of party.

UPDATE: With thanks to a lovely commenter, it turns out this is a Liberty of London print, something several of us suspected early on in the search for the garment.  Our commenter directed us to Scottish retailer House of Bruar, where we found what looks like the identical print in cotton, used for House of Bruar’s Ladies Liberty Open Collar Shirt (£49.95, about $64 at today’s exchange rates).  

The pattern is called ‘Peach Flourish’ from what I see on the House of Bruar site. Here is another picture of the top as well as close-ups of the fabric used in the top and in Kate’s dress.  

As best I can tell, the pattern is the same but the colors may be different.

The Duchess brought back her Castañer ‘Carina’ espadrilles. The shoe has a jute toe and sole, a suede upper, and suede ankle ties. The heel cup is made of cotton; the height is 9cm, about 3.5″.

And she wore her Fern Hoop Earrings (£150/$191) by Catherine Zoraida.The earrings are also offered in sterling silver here, as well as here.

One more photo from today’s engagement.


Also today, a quick update on the HRH Countess of Wessex blog for those who have been asking about a site specializing in coverage of Sophie. My friend Anna, who created the site, has decided to stop writing the blog. I spoke with her last night and she says the decision is final. Her post with the announcement about her decision is here.


This Royal Family Channel piece about Kate’s new patronage runs about 1:30.

This video from the Royal Family Channel is focused on today’s engagement; it runs roughly 3:35.


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Monday 1st of July 2019

I love the dress. I think it’s the perfect dress (in length, material, style) for an event like this where she’s moving around a lot and bending to talk to children. She seems very comfortable and that’s most important. It’s not a pattern or outfit which draws a lot of attention to her or seems very formal, which probably helps relax the kids at the event so the focus can be on them and the organization. As far as fashion, I don’t like the color of these shoes with the dress. I think they clash. The dress seems to have pink, red, blue, and olive tones and the leather of the shoes seems very yellow in comparison. I think wedges or flats would be a good choice, just not these particular shoes with this dress.


Sunday 30th of June 2019

She looks cute as a button today a real english rose.


Friday 28th of June 2019

It is nice to see Catherine is softer looks. I think this looks nice. The shoes simply don't go with the dress. The color is wrong and the style is clunky. Maybe a strappy sandal would have worked better.

sue d

Monday 1st of July 2019

I was just about to suggest t-strap sandals. The dress is light and flows and the sandals are off! Do not like this type of summer dress on DOC at all!


Friday 28th of June 2019

Susan, thank you for this wonderful site! I check in every day, even if the DOC, isn't out and about! I do have a question! Has anyone seen any pictures from Pippa's wedding reception? The family was very adamant concerning their request for privacy, yet I'm still dying to see who wore what! Certainly, there must be a leak somewhere! Just a little peek????? Thank You!


Friday 28th of June 2019

Pippa and her family made an extreme effort to keep the reception private. It was said, that people were asked to hand in their cell phones, so as not to use them as cameras. Had the Middleton's wanted us to know who was there and what they were wearing, then public photos would have appeared. I am very happy for them, that there weren't any leaks. While I understand your curiosity, I also greatly respect the bride and her family's wish to keep a private event, just that, private.


Thursday 27th of June 2019

Love the print and soft muted colours on this dress A perfect summer outfit for the Duchess. I am on the fence about flounced hem dresses. I cannot wear them without feeling or thinking I look floppy and dowdy. But I guess it works on Kate because she is so long legged? She looks so comfortable and at ease. Splendid.


Friday 28th of June 2019

I am in the same boat as you are with the flounced hems. I'm not a fan but she pulls them off nicely. The print looks lovely on her and those earrings are wonderful! The only thing I'm not a fan of was the color of her shoes. They don't seem to match the dress. The style works but not the color...too much of an orangey beige. I feel like grey or ivory would've worked better.

Anyway...I love the photos Kate takes and the work she does with these young photographers. Kudos!

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