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The Duchess Brings Back a Favorite for Australia’s “Thank A First Responder Day”

The Duchess returned to a favorite dress in a new video marking Australia’s Thank a First Responder Day

This is the first year the day is being celebrated in Australia. 

The special day is being managed by Fortem Australia, a non-profit “focused on improving the mental health and wellbeing of those who protect, defend, and care for our communities.” In the video, William speaks about the tireless efforts by first responders to protect communities from Australia’s deadly wildfires, saying “The world was watching your efforts, and we were deeply moved by what we saw.”  

The Duchess then speaks:

Sadly, you’re now on the front line of yet another emergency. 

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought first responders across Australia together again.

Day in, day out paramedics, police, firefighters and support staff work tirelessly to keep everybody safe, often risking not only their physical health, but also their mental wellbeing.

Here is the full 1:18 video. 

Kate adds that first responders “all deserve our huge thanks” and William sends best wishes and thanks. 

Now for our look at what Kate wore in the video. From everything we can see, it appears to be the Roksanda Ilincic ‘Ryedale’ dress first worn for the family’s 2014 arrival in Sydney, Australia.   

Kate brought the dress back at Wimbledon 2016 as she watched Serena Williams take on Elena Vesnina. The colorblocked dress showcased a square neckline, inset fabric panels, and elbow-length sleeves.

The Ryedale is from the spring/summer 2014 collection. Crafted of 100% wool crepe, it is lined in a silk/cotton blend. The dress also incorporates many features Kate is fond of in a dress: the off-center slit at the hem on the front, exposed back zipper, and defined waistline.

Can you spot the distinctions between the off-the-rack design and Kate’s dress? 

The Duchess had the neckline squared off, instead of the round neckline you see above. She also had a significant amount of fabric taken out of the belled sleeves, and the colors were ‘reversed’ so that what is white in the photo above is yellow, what is yellow becomes white.  This is also the dress about which Kate said, “William said I look like a banana.”

The Duchess in 2014, 2016, and again today. 

You may have noticed she also brought back her Catherine Zoraida Fern Drop Earrings (£165/$202), shown below when worn during a previous engagement.


Also today, word that the Duchess has joined other royal women in making calls to people who are elderly, self-isolating, or in other vulnerable circumstances, through a Royal Voluntary Service program; the Duchess of Cornwall is that organization’s President.

More from this People story

The Duchess of Cambridge — along with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex — has been participating in the volunteer organization’s “check-in and chat” initiative. 

One of the calls Kate placed was to Donna Williams, a 42-year-old mother of two who is currently keeping her daughter Alessandra, who has a rare form of Type 1 Diabetes, safe and healthy.

The calls were made in advance of the annual Volunteers Week in the UK, held June 1 -7. The Daily Mail notes in this story that the RVS “is in charge of organising the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who opted to help the NHS during the pandemic. The scheme has now completed its 250,000th task and is averaging 7,000 jobs a day…”.  


It looks like the Duchess has been busy going through photos being submitted for the Hold Still photography project that was launched in early May.  You may remember the endeavor asks UK residents to document life in lockdown, submitting photos that fit in one of three themes: Acts of Kindness, Helpers and Heroes, and Your New Normal.  100 photos will be selected for a virtual Hold Still exhibition next summer. 

This week eagle-eyed followers noted that the Duchess was leaving personal comments on some of the photo submissions shared on Instagram. This terrific image was shared on AnnaFMehta’s Instagram page.

Thanks to Cambridges News on Twitter as well as The Daily Mail for their info about the Duchess personally leaving comments on some of the photos! 

Here is one more, this one was posted on Instagram by EsmeandFlo.

I chose the rainbow as the final image because, well, we all could use a rainbow right now. Any sign of hope, especially here in the US. This post has been finished for some time but I waffled on whether I should hit ‘publish’ or not. I am doing so, but want to raise the flag that I feel I’m getting close to the it-doesn’t-feel-appropriate line as the level of trauma and devastation increases every day. Let me know your thoughts.

I am sending a hug to everyone in the WKW family coping with lockdown, loss, and anxiety about the future.  


  • a Town and Country story about the call is here; the Daily Mail’s piece is here; an Express article is here
  • The Daily Mail’s piece on the Duchess’s Hold Still comments is here; an Evening Standard piece about it is here 


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Stacey Hessler

Monday 15th of June 2020

So glad to see this one again (even though William thinks she looks like a banana). :)

Lin S.

Thursday 11th of June 2020

I, too, find this site a restful haven in our increasingly fractured country and world. I think your site has evolved from the early days to a fantastic balance of substance and style. You highlight and give historical context to the Duchess' activities while also paying homage to her wardrobe choices. She and Prince William are such admirable people, and seeing them carry on in spite of the pandemic has been encouraging. That we get to see some pretty clothes, shoes and accessories are a bonus. Thank you for all you do.


Tuesday 9th of June 2020

Please continue to post, Susan! This site is such a bright spot in these times, and will really continue to be a joy as we all go forward. Thank you for all of your work and sensitivity to current issues.


Tuesday 9th of June 2020

It is a lovely bright dress and the earrings compliment it too.


Friday 5th of June 2020

Dear Susan: I would like to add my voice to the many who acknowledge the value and taste in what you do. I started following Catherine shortly before her wedding. This blog has been a large part of keeping me informed. I know that monitoring the comments can get labour intensive because one of my favourite sites shut down at one point. I believe you are supporting Kate and William in their rolls. I believe their job is to support her Majesty. The roll of a monarch is to bring Joy to the people. The comments certainly indicate that you are bringing people joy. I do hope that your work building this blog and community brings you joy. ( I am at work; that is my excuse for this being a bit pedantic.) I apologize for eavesdropping for so long. I hope to participate more fully and be supportive. Please know that this Canadian has you, your State, and your Country in her prayers. Leah


Saturday 6th of June 2020

Lovely to hear from you and how long you've been following Kate. I think I started in earnest after the Sandhurst ceremony followed by the split. I didn't reach WKW until the first Trooping as I was hunting everywhere for a studio shot of the McQueen coat. I'd fought shy of fan sites till then as the odd one I'd looked at seemed a touch OTT to say the least!. It means I still feel a latecomer to this site, and a beginner! Have you been following WKW from the start?


Friday 5th of June 2020

Oh, Leah, no need to apologize! It's lovely 'meeting' you; I very much appreciate your lovely comment and send a hug from "across the river," as we say in Detroit. :)

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