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The Duchess Brings Back 2012 Dress for New Video & Fashion Flashbacks

Kensington Palace released a new video tonight of the Duchess encouraging Britons to submit entries in the Hold Still community photo project

Hold Still, a portrait of our nation in 2020′ is an effort to create a national snapshot of the UK during the Coronavirus crisis. 

Here is the full 35-second video shared on Twitter by Roya Nikkhah of The Sunday Times.  

 The Duchess and National Portrait Gallery launched the project in May, asking the public to share photos of life in isolation to capture “…the spirit of the nation, what everyone is going through at this time…all those things that people are experiencing.”  More than 12,000 photos have already been submitted. 

From the new video: 

“There have been so many amazing entries to Hold Still over the last few weeks. From families up and down the country showing how they are adapting to life during lockdown, through to some of the most amazing NHS and social care staff who are putting their lives on the line to save the lives of others.

“But it isn’t too late to take part. So please take a moment to capture what life is like for you, because together I hope that we can build a lasting illustration of just how our country pulled together during the pandemic.”


People can submit photos until 6pm next Thursday, the 18th, via this link.  Ultimately one hundred images will be featured in “a one of a kind digital exhibition open to all, hosted by the National Portrait Gallery” next year. 

Now for our look at what Kate wore in the new video. 

Many will have recognized Kate’s dress, it very much looks like she brought back the ‘Ridley Stretch Cady’ style by Stella McCartney.  The garment is a fitted style, with a round neck, short sleeves, and a concealed back zipper. It’s made of a heavy rayon/poly jersey with a touch of elastane for stretch.  The most distinguishing design element is the position of the darts: instead of being concealed on the inside, they are exposed on the outside as shown in the photo below right.Stella McCartney

This is the sixth time we have seen the Duchess wearing the garment for an official engagement. Below you see her in it on previous occasions (from left to right); most recently at a July 2016 air show with Prince George and Prince William; in late July of 2014 at the Commonwealth Games; when the Cambridges arrived at the Canberra airport during the 2014 tour; at the London 2012 Games when watching Men’s Singles Tennis; and earlier in July 2012 for a function at the National Portrait Gallery. On several occasions, she paired it with her Smythe One Button Blazer.

NOTE: This is a corrected graphic and chronology; initially the post and graphic said the Commonwealth Games were in 2012. That is not correct, the Games were in 2014. Many thanks to Anneke for pointing out the error.  

It looked like the Duchess wore her Twisted Circle Drop Earrings (£5) by Accessorize. Below, you see the earrings when worn on a previous occasion.


Also, today, Happy Birthday wishes to Prince Philip as he celebrates his 99th birthday. 

A new photo of HM and the Duke was released yesterday to mark the milestone. The picture was taken by Press Association photographer Steve Parsons, shot a week ago today in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle.  Today photos of the Duke with Prince William and the Duchess were posted on the Kensington Palace social media accounts. 


There is also news today about a new private secretary for the Duchess, replacing Catherine Quinn. The new staffer is Hannah Cockburn-Logie. More from this Hello! story

Hannah has spent the majority of her career representing the UK overseas, with over 20 years’ experience working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 2017, she was awarded an OBE for services to the UK-India relationship having led the royal tour and a number of Prime Ministerial visits, and in 2008 received an MVO (Royal Victorian Order) for her work leading the Queen’s visit to Slovenia that same year.

And from The Daily Mail’s coverage

Mother-of-two Hannah grew up in Cleethorpes and Grimsby, attending Signhills infant and junior schools before moving on to Franklin Sixth Form College. 

She studied her undergraduate degree in Modern History at the University of East Anglia before completing a Masters in Social and Public Policy at the University of Leeds.

Ms Cockburn-Logie started out her career as a press officer at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office before moving up the ranks.

The role involves being responsible for everything from organizing Kate’s diary and meetings to accompanying her on engagements. 


And finally, two fashion flashbacks to share. The first involves a gown initially worn nine years ago yesterday.

Of course, we’re talking about the Jenny Packham dress worn for the annual ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) dinner in 2011.  It was the couple’s first formal engagement since their wedding, and William also delivered the keynote address.

The dress was described by Jenny Packham as a “pearlescent rose sequin gown with Swarovski crystal from the SS11 catwalk collection.” At multi-brand retailer My Theresa, where it was available the time, the description read this way: “Layered mesh inserts at neckline, shoulders, and sleeves. Hidden side zipper with hook-and-bar top closure. Fully lined with mesh spaghetti-strap dress lining.” Here you see it on the Duchess alongside the runway photo.

We saw the piece again in 2016 when Kate wore it for a gala fundraising dinner in support of EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices).

A closer look at the details.

The Duchess carried a Prada clutch we have come to recognize over the years and she wore the Agata Sandals by LK Bennett on both occasions.

For the ARK dinner, she also wore her Links of London Bubble Effervescent Earrings. 

Our second flashback focuses on another evening gown, this one by Roland Mouret.

The event was a Kensington Palace SportsAid party four years ago yesterday. 

The event marked the charity’s 40th anniversary. 

Kate wore the ‘Nansen’ gown from the Resort 2016 collection.

The dress showcased a mermaid silhouette, multiple darts, tucks, and fabric inserts.

Made from a viscose/acetate blend with a touch of elastane for stretch, the Nansen also featured the ‘cold shoulders’ look and an exposed back zipper. 

The Duchess accessorized with sandals by Gianvito Rossi first seen on the tour of India and Bhutan; the shoes were suede with ‘pin-thin stiletto’ heels that measure 4.3″. She also carried a black satin Prada clutch that also debuted during that spring 2016 tour

But the big buzz that evening among Kate’s fashion followers focused on her earrings.

They appeared to be by Cartier, hoops made in rose, yellow, and white 18K gold covered in diamonds.

Two very different looks, one soft and shimmering, the other bold and striking, both well-suited for the event and audience where they were worn.   


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Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

Hi - I realise it's not at all important, but the Commonwealth Games where she wore the blue Stella McCartney was late July 2014, not late July 2012 as written. Thanks for your beautiful posts :)


Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

Thank you, Anneke! I thought it sounded off when I made the graphic and was writing about it, but I forgot to double-check. :)


Sunday 14th of June 2020

That Stelly McCartney dress is timeless, it looks so good dressed up or down and the darts give it an interesting touch. I agree with others on here that this style, sheath hitting just above the knee, is one of Kate's best. If I remember correctly the Roksanda dress in the photo with Philip is similar – I was so happy to see that one again in Kensington Royal's post!

The gowns are both stunning and among my favourite looks. Kate must have known the pressure was on at her first formal engagement as a duchess and she absolutely brought her A-game. By the second outing she looked even more confident wearing it and the updo and accessories upgrade made it look fresh. I've always found the Agata heels to be so interesting (and have coveted a pair for myself), I really wish we would see them more often! The Mouret took my breath away as well when we first saw it. That beautiful shade of blue elevated by the bold earrings and Kate's hair looking absolutely gorgeous. This is certainly a good time of year for evening gowns!


Friday 12th of June 2020

The Jenny Packham gown is one of my all-time favourite outfits that Kate has worn, it is stylish, stunning, elegant and will never look out of place irrespective of the year that it is worn . I would love to see a return as I simply love it.


Saturday 13th of June 2020

I agree with you 100%. Would love to see it again.


Friday 12th of June 2020

Lovely photo - soft flattering lighting and certainly a more elegant, calmer background than in the many Youtubes which have been so rapidly forthcoming, but I am very impressed with all the contacts the Cambridge pair have made with their patronages over this long period of isolation. The dresses here are just outstanding, though I think the designers are sometimes just looking for a quick unusual gimmick in an otherwise quite classic and simple silhouette - thinking of the inverse darts and that long (long, long long) back zipper. This post was a joy to view, though, thank you!


Friday 12th of June 2020

I don't think I can fit in any of my 2012 clothes and I don't even have children. Kudos to Kate! But oh my the eyebrows are becoming a bit wild, aren't they? I second the petition for the Jenny Packham gown to be added to the Iconic Looks category, but as usual when we talk about Iconic Looks, I must ask that the beautiful white BAFTA gown to also be added to that page!


Friday 12th of June 2020

Spruha, that is one that is actually on the page already. It's not been there that long, just a few months, so easy to miss! :)

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