We’re back with the overview of Kate’s Chelsea Flower Show ensemble over the years. But first, a ‘new-old’ image of the Duchess from last year’s flower show that Kensington Palace released today.
In the newly released photo, you see the Duchess working on the construction of the Back to Nature Garden that debuted at last year’s show. Below, a portion of the completed garden.
You may remember the garden was designed to highlight the physical and mental health benefits of being outside in the natural world. Below, Kate working on the garden build on a different day.
Another view of the Duchess during the build, this time in the garden’s treehouse, with Andrée Davies and Adam White. The Duchess co-designed the garden with Davies White Landscape Architects in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society.
The garden was also created to inspire children, families, and communities to enjoy spending time outdoors. Here you see Kate taking a minute to enjoy the garden before it opened to the public.
A quick note about what Kate wore in the photo released today, it looks like a past-season Zara Linen Shirt (with thanks to Georgie’s Mum on Twitter for the ID!) and her Superga Cotu Classic sneakers in the Sherwood Gum colorway (below left). This color is not available on the US site but offered at End Clothing ($65 and $9.99 shipping to the US), and also at Superga’s UK site ($57 with promo code THANKU20, but shipping to the US is $25, making the total $82.29).
One quick note: everything on the US Superga site remains discounted by 40% with promo code SNEAKER40; this includes Kate’s Cotu Classic in white.
This year the Royal Horticultural Society is doing a virtual flower show because of the pandemic.
There are video tours, workshops, Q&A sessions, and more. Click here to visit the Virtual Show pages.
The show has long been one of the most popular events on the royal calendar. It is very much a favorite event for HM, who has been Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society since 1952; below, you see her at her first Show as Monarch.
A letter from HM about this year’s show.
For this year’s Virtual Show, The Queen and other members of the Royal Family shared a selection of images of some of their favorite plants and flowers at this time of year. HM chose Lilies of the Valley, featured in her coronation bouquet, and shown below growing in the gardens at Buckingham Palace this spring.
From the Prince of Wales: “For me, the magnificent, gloriously apparelled delphinium, with its impeccable bearing and massed in platoons, holds pride of place in my botanical affections.”
The Earl and Countess of Wessex chose azaleas, which are “so breath-taking at this time of year and have the most intoxicating scent.” This image was taken by Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
You can see all of the choices by Royal Family Members by clicking here. (Evidently Kate and William did not take part in this.)
Now to the looks Kate has worn for the annual preview held on Monday afternoons before the show opens to the public. For her first official visit to the show in 2016, the Duchess repeated a Catherine Walker coatdress.
Below, looking at a rose display with Harry and William.
This was the year Emily Nash of Hello! shared that terrific photo of everyone looking at a certain display through a tiny peephole.
And the year there was a display of almost 300,000 individually crocheted poppies created as a tribute to those who served in all wars.
And it was the year providing a photo I very occasionally bring out to answer the question, “What does Kate carry in her handbag?”
We know she carries tissues, or at least she did at the 2016 show.
The grass green piece featured a fit and flare silhouette with concealed front zipper, multiple fabric panels on the bodice, high collar, full A-line skirt, wide self-belt, and hand pick-stitching throughout the garment. Kate accessorized with her Nina Clutch ($250) by LK Bennett.
And her Fern Pumps (no longer available) also by LK Bennett.
The Duchess opted for her leaf-shaped Lauren earrings by Kiki McDonough.
This was the year we saw Kate and Mary Berry chatting, although I don’t have very good photos of that encounter.
It was also the year BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans gave the Duchess a tomato to taste.
Kate’s dress was from the Rochas 2016 pre-fall collection.
Crafted of silk crêpe de chine in an emerald and ivory floral print, the piece is midi-length with a fitted waist and flared skirt, side slit pockets, exposed back zipper, and silk lining.
The Duchess did not carry a bag in 2017, accessorizing with her LK Bennett Floret heels ($295).
Her hair was in a ponytail.
In 2018 the Duchess was expecting Prince Louis and did not attend the show. Last year we saw her at the show several times: wearing a dress by & Other Stories in photos of the Cambridge family exploring her Back to Nature Garden, wearing casual separates from Massimo Dutti and MiH for the official unveiling of the Back to Nature Garden, then in an Erdem design for the formal preview event at the show, always on Monday before the show opens to the public.
For the purposes of today’s post, we’ll limit our coverage to the afternoon preview event.
Below, the Duchess greeting HM.
A quick video with the Duke and Duchess showing HM the Back to Nature Garden.
Gardening Charity The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood and the charity aims to “enrich lives through plants and make the UK a greener place”. pic.twitter.com/CxcZRH9b5E
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 20, 2019
At this point, Kate had to be relieved with the preparation, construction, and official preview of her Back to Nature Garden behind her.
The Duchess wore Erdem’s Sheba Floral Silk-Cotton Gown.
Made of a linen-cotton blend with a floral print, the Sheba was described as “showcasing the Victorian influence on the British label; this high-neck style is accented with white crocheted lace and raw-edge ruffled trim.”
The dress has a hidden back zipper, three-quarter sleeves with a ruffle or flare, and the distinctive flounce or ruffle on the lower portion of the skirts. In this montage below you can see how much fabric the Duchess had taken off the bottom.
This better shows the crocheted lace and ruffle at the skirt (L), and on the center collar (R).
Kate accessorized with Castañer Carina style espadrille wedges ($170).
She wore her hair partially back.
And had on her Cassandra Goad Cavolfiore Studs (£4490, about $5700 at today’s exchange rates) in 18ct yellow gold with pearls accented by diamonds.
In this video, you hear Kate talk about the Back to Nature Garden and you see her working on it as well.