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Kate in Alexander McQueen for Ship Naming Ceremony

The Duchess brought back a familiar piece for today’s naming ceremony of the RSS Sir David Attenborough, a new polar research vessel. 

The Duke and Duchess were in Birkenhead for the event.

The renowned writer, television presenter, and naturalist at today’s ceremony. 

And the new ship. 

Today’s function was part of a three-day celebration focused on shipbuilding, science, and engineering in the UK.

The ceremony was at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, Merseyside.

More about the event from this People story:

Before the ceremony, the royal couple toured the ship, which will enable world-leading research to be carried out in Antarctica and the Arctic over the next 25 to 30 years. On board, Kate and William met a team of engineers from Cammell Laird who have been involved in the ship’s build, including young apprentices.

A quick video from Kensington Palace.


Another view.

There was entertainment for those who came to watch the ceremony, including a “penguin” parade as seen in this video from The Telegraph’s Hannah Furness.

Sir David said it is “the greatest possible honour” to be the ship’s namesake.

Speaking earlier about the ship he said:

I am truly honoured by this naming decision and hope that everyone who suggested a name will feel just as inspired to follow the ship’s progress as it explores our polar regions. I have been privileged to explore the world’s deepest oceans alongside amazing teams of researchers, and with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before.

“Britain began exploring the Antarctic over a century ago when it seemed to be an empty wilderness of little importance to the world as a whole.  Now we recognise that what happens at the Poles is of the greatest importance to everyone, everywhere.

The new ship is designed to withstand conditions in extreme environments, and the British Antarctic Survey describes it as one of the most advanced in the world.

Kate has done multiple engagements with Sir David, many involving the Natural History Museum. Kate has been the Museum’s royal patron since 2013.    

William delivered remarks. More from Metro’s story:

Speaking before the ceremony, Prince William said: ‘As last week’s climate protests the world over and yesterday’s report on our oceans and frozen regions demonstrated, there has never been a more important moment for this ship to get to work, and there is no person more fitting for this beacon of scientific research to be named after than you, David. ‘You have shown us how awe-inspiring the natural world is, and also how fragile and endangered it is, and you have inspired us all to do as much as we possibly can to protect it.

Kate is the ship’s official sponsor. When the time came, she pushed an oversized button on the podium, and it released a bottle of champagne that smashed into the hull to memorialize the christening. 

She said,  “It gives me great pleasure to name this ship Sir David Attenborough and may God bless her and all who sail in her.”

There is a bit of a backstory with the ship’s name that some may remember. It dates back to 2016 when the public was asked to name the new ship — more from this Slate story.

Instead, more than 124,000 people voted to name a state-of-the-art research ship Boaty McBoatface, and we all had a hearty laugh at the haplessness of government officials who trusted internet denizens to take anything seriously.

The name garnering the most votes in that 2016 online vote: Boaty McBoatface. The UK’s Department for Business, Innovation, and Skill decided that was not an appropriate name for the new vessel. Instead, that moniker was assigned to the underwater device seen below.

The Duchess with students seeing the autosub.   

Kensington Palace shared a video of the Duke and Duchess seeing the vessel with the famous name.


After the formal program was over the guests of honor greeted some of the well-wishers watching the ceremony. 

Kate and William met some of the ‘penguins’ seen in the short video above. 

Now for what Kate wore at today’s ceremony.

She was in the Alexander McQueen Utility Coat Dress. For a refresher on the piece, we return to our “fun with clothing math” graphic from an earlier post. It shows the 2014 off-the-rack styles with elements that were incorporated into Kate’s garment.

If interested in more information, the light blue garment was available at Net-a-Porter ($3875), as was the black version ($3995), and the product descriptions are still available to view.

It is the fourth time we have seen the Duchess in the garment. It was previously worn in May of 2014 at the Blenheim War Memorial in New Zealand, and also in June of that year for D-Day 70th anniversary events at Normandy. We next saw it at an RAF Air Cadets anniversary event in February 2016.

The Duchess carried a new handbag, the Asprey 1781 Pochette ($1950) in ‘blueberry.’  

The bag measures roughly 7.5″ x 5.5″ and features the classic Asprey clasp, an optional shoulder strap, and multiple interior pockets. “1781” references the year Asprey was founded.

Kate wore her Emmy London ‘Josie’ pumps ($455).  The point-toe style has a chunky block heel that measures 3″ in height.

The Duchess wore the Empress earrings (£3000, roughly $3700 at today’s exchange rates) from Mappin and Webb


We have one other quick note to share: there will be a royal wedding next year. This morning Buckingham Palace announced that Princess Beatrice is engaged to property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. 

More about Mr. Mozzi from the BBC:

Known as Edo, the 34-year-old millionaire property tycoon is descended from Italian aristocracy, according to AFP news agency.

Edoardo’s father – Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi – is a count and former alpine skier who competed for Great Britain in the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.

The Buckingham Palace media advisory. 

Several of the photos released today were taken by Princess Eugenie, including these.

Princess Eugenie posted the pictures on Instagram and wrote: “Beabea – wow! I’m so happy for you my dearest big sissy and dear Edo. It’s been a long time coming and you two are meant to be. ? by me!!”

The wedding will be next year.


The Royal Family Channel offers 4+ minutes in this video.

A 2-minute time-lapse of the ship being built.

This video gives you a vision of the work the ship will be doing.


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Wednesday 2nd of October 2019

In a world full of excess consumerism I am so glad that we get to see the royals recycle their clothes. Yes this is a clothes site but we must be realistic about “times worn” and celebrate than rather nitpick over getting bored with her look. Kate is not a clothes puppet that the viewers expect to perform on a daily basis. Lets give her credit for recycling a gorgeous outfit and comment appropriately. By the way I love boaty mcboatface....gotta get a sense of fun?


Monday 30th of September 2019

There is a price you pay for perfection, and that is boredom. I used to adore Kate's coat dresses and find them very fashionable. But I'm so bored by them now. Kate still looks perfect. She has her standard uniform and she executes it flawlessly. In her role as a royal, not a fashionista, she is still hitting all the marks and succeeding. But as someone who follows her FOR the fashion, I am getting bored.

Some royals can be criticized for their fashion "misses" (in some people's opinion), but at least those royals always leave you guessing. You can never predict what they will wear to an engagement, and sometimes it will be a miss and sometimes it will be a hit. With Kate, you can always predict it - and it WILL always be a hit, just a predictable hit.


Monday 30th of September 2019

I have always liked this coat dress and love that Kate brought it back for this event. It was an appropriate choice, especially with the navy blue accessories. She and William matched nicely.

Also so happy for Bea!! I didn't realize she was dating anyone! I'm looking forward to another royal wedding. Let's see what Kate pulls out of the closet for this one!


Sunday 29th of September 2019

W W II U S Army officer's uniform - jacket has same look in deep pockets immediately below a wide Sam Browne (or later, cloth) belt.


Sunday 29th of September 2019

I have to admit, this isn’t my favorite Kate coat, with the flappy pockets, and button-up-to-the-throat neckline, but she always makes it look great. The blue is a great color, and the tailoring is spotless.

It’s a nice, safe, appropriate look for a lot of engagements, and I’m happy to see her recycling her more expensive pieces.

On a side note, I’m really happy for Beatrice. She and Eugenie both seem like very sweet, caring, and down to earth royals (despite some of their luxury vacations, lol), both with a great sense of humor and a deep loyalty to family. I love royal weddings, and I’m excited to see Beatrice as a beautiful bride!

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