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Kate Brings Back Bouclé Suit for Evelina London Engagement

The Duchess was in familiar styles for today’s engagement at Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, where she is Royal Patron.  

The hospital is part of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust; HM is patron of that organization.

Kate was at the hospital to take part in a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery’s Hospital Program. Many will recall the NPG is another of her patronages. Below, the Duchess is welcomed with a posey from Anna-Victoria, who is nine-years-old. Anna-Victoria is a patient at the hospital; she has a form of dwarfism called Achondroplasia. 

It looks like Anna-Victoria was pointing out something she wanted Kate to see. 

Evelina London offers specialist services for children dealing with complex and rare conditions.  In this image of the Duchess being greeted, you can also see the familiar face of Nicholas Cullinan, the Portrait Gallery’s Director. 

Kate was at the hospital to see the Portrait Gallery’s Hospital Program in action, and see ways creative arts can benefit children’s health, wellbeing, and happiness. 

One of the benefits of the program is that it can be delivered bedside. Patients don’t need to be fully ambulatory to participate. Below you see Clive, a patient at the hospital (in the hat) and his father. They were taking part in activities on the hospital’s Beach Ward. 

Rebecca English reports in her Daily Mail story that Clive, “The 12-year-old from Gravesend, Essex had already had surgery at the hospital for a cleft palate and was preparing to go down again for a bone graft on his gum minutes after Kate left.” 

Kate speaking with a staff member who helped manage today’s session. 

Hello! explains that the Portrait Gallery “….collaborates with play specialists from Evelina London to take artists into the hospital to host activities with children of all ages, along with their siblings and parents.” 

There was a workshop with different activities for the children, including illustration, photography, and 3D set design.

Children practiced their photography skills. Here you see Kate’s photo being taken by Luke, who is age ten. (You can see Luke at the end of the table in the photo just above.) He has a serious heart condition. 

And here is Luke showing his photo of the Duchess. The Daily Mail reports that “Luke said he didn’t feel nervous taking the duchess’s photograph with one of the cameras provided to the children for their art project and felt very proud of the end result – which was picture perfect.”


More about Luke from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail story. 

Luke’s mother, Joanne Wheeler, 47, later explained that she discovered her son had a congenital heart condition in the womb and he was first operated on just five days after he was born. He still attends regular check-ups at Evelina and may require further surgery in the future ‘This place saved my son’s life, it’s as simple as that,’ she told Kate.

‘We would do anything for the staff here. ‘ In fact Luke, from Rainham, Kent, has managed to raise more than £14,000 this year to donate towards the hospital’s work by selling the rag wreaths he and his sister make, doing a sponsored swim, auctions and standing with collecting boxes at The Oval .

And here is Luke’s younger sister Savannah with Kate; they might be looking at Luke’s photograph. 

Luke and his sister also presented the Duchess with handmade rag wreaths.  You can see more in this tweet from The Mirror’s Russell Myers.  

 More from People’s story

Kate even mentioned that the pink rag wreath was destined for Princess Charlotte’s room. (Kate previously shared that pink is her 4-year-old daughter’s favorite color!)

The Duchess also worked with children making characters for a mini-theater. At the top of this young man’s picture, you can see the word, “backstage”. 

I loved this photo of Kate and a little girl. 

The Sun reports that the National Portrait Gallery’s Hospital Programme “runs in three other children’s hospitals in London – Great Ormond Street Hospital, Newham University Hospital and The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, working with nursing staff, hospital teachers and specialists.”

Now for our look at what Kate wore to today’s workshop, as she continued her theme of repeating pieces. Just as with yesterday’s ensemble, everything worn today has been seen previously. We begin with her Dolce and Gabbana suit. 

We first saw the suit worn to a mental health in education conference last February

The material is a black, white and light blue bouclé tweed. The suit features a fitted double-breasted jacket with oversized ornate buttons, pocket flaps and fringe trim at the placket, pocket flaps, collar, and cuffs. The full skirt is a drop-waist style cut on the bias with a fringed hem.  Here is a closer look at the fabric and jeweled buttons. 

Accessories included Kate’s go-to Piper 85 Suede Pumps ($695) by Gianvito Rossi.   

Kate brought back two of her favorite jewelry pieces by Mappin and Webb, wearing her Empress Earrings in 18 ct. white gold and diamonds (£3750, about $4880 at today’s exchange rates). 

And her matching Empress Pendant (£2200, roughly $2900 at today’s exchange rates). 

Many noticed the Duchess was not wearing her engagement ring or eternity band today. 

Gemma Strong’s piece for Hello! offers more info:  

HELLO!has now confirmed that Kate’s reason for removing the bands was down to health and safety. Kensington Palace told HELLO! Online that the Duchess took off her accessories because she was visiting the children’s wards, and, as such, it was important for the royal to remove any potential hygiene hazards. It’s not the first time Kate has removed her precious jewels for a hospital visit. In January 2018, when she spent time with the children at Great Ormond Street, she appeared without both bands, choosing instead to solely wear her wedding ring.

And from People’s story: “This is because Kate slipped off her sparklers in adherence with the hospital’s policy on minimal jewelry. Since she would have to cleanse her hands thoroughly before touring the wards and treatment areas, it is recommended to remove jewelry before entering.”


The Royal Family Channel offers more than 2 minutes of coverage in this piece. 


The Daily Mail has a 2-minutes of video as well; shuttling through the Royal Family Channel video above and this one, they look almost identical to me. 

 This People piece runs just a bit more than a minute. 



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Monday 3rd of February 2020

I really like this suit but i don't like the placement of the jacket it is too low down for me i also hate those shoes!


Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Finally an age appropriate outfit! Love D&G. The long skirts are frumpy and unattractive. It amazes me to read the comments, as I am 65. But I am an american?


Wednesday 29th of January 2020

I really like this suit a lot and am thrilled to have a break from midi length skirts. The skirt is not too short, especially with the dark tights. I disagree that she’s too old for this style. She’s only in her 30s and she’s making sure to style it professionally and protect her modesty.

I love tweed and would wear that jacket with jeans or black cropped trousers. I think the duchess looked sensational and she clearly shines around children.

Hair makeup and accessories were lovely.


Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Katefanatic, I was going to write my own comment but you said what I wanted to say. Completely agree!


Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Wow, D&G again and what a statement. Short, sharp and with an element of sass with the flip skirt. Love the block heel which is so fashionable at present. So glad no matronly skirt or plain black pant which would have looked so conservative and out of place in this environment. Just saw a sneak peak of Kate at event today, skinny jeans and gorgeous teal coloured coat...stunning


Tuesday 28th of January 2020

I wonder if she might wear the jacket with black trousers in the future. The short skirt dates the outfit somewhat. But tweed is classic. Love the Mappin Webb jewelry. I think her hairstyle made her instantly approachable to the children and overall made her suit less formal by having her hair down.


Tuesday 28th of January 2020

I thought that too - black trousers or even a black skirt or dress. Something about the cut of the skirt does not work with the jacket.

But clothing aside, Kate is just magic with kids. The way she enters into the visit is really lovely. It may or may not bring a tear to my eye when I see her interacting with sick children!

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