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Princess Beatrice’s Wedding Gown Exhibit, Fashion Flashbacks, & More

We are back with some quick updates, Fashion Flashbacks from eight years ago, and then some repliKates. 

Our first update involves Princess Beatrice’s wedding gown, worn for her July marriage to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

The stunning Norman Hartnell design will go on display at a special exhibition at Windsor Castle running from September 24 – November 22.

The gown was loaned to the bride by her grandmother, The Queen. Made of peau de soie taffeta and organza and trimmed with duchesse satin, the piece was updated for its recent appearance. The dress was first worn to a 1961 state dinner; HM was photographed wearing the gown in 1962 for the premiere of Lawrence of Arabia (below), and it was seen again at the 1966 State Opening of Parliament.

More from the Royal Collection Trust news release:

Sir Norman Hartnell’s original design was altered for Princess Beatrice under the direction of Miss Angela Kelly, Personal Advisor, Dresser and Curator to The Queen, and the British fashion designer Mr Stewart Parvin. The full-skirted silhouette was softened to give a more contemporary, simplified shape, and the underskirt and petticoats were recreated and bound with silk tulle. Short sleeves of triple organza were added to the straps and embroidered with vintage diamantés to match the original Hartnell embroidery design. Each alteration made to the dress is reversible.

Those going to the exhibit will see Beatrice’s Valentino shoes, first worn to Kate and William’s 2011 wedding. The sandals are done in blush suede embellished with gold microstuds and a 4.5″ heel.

A replica of Princess Beatrice’s bridal bouquet has been created for display as well.

For anyone in a position to consider going to the exhibit, you can book tickets by clicking here

Next, an update on the Duchess’s Hold Still photo project done in tandem with the National Portrait Gallery. Upon learning the final 100 photos were selected for a special online exhibit, several wondered if there would be any kind of physical catalog or remembrance of the project. Longtime WKW friend Irish Sara asked the Gallery about that possibility.  She shared the response on Twitter. 

 Thank you, Irish Sara! I’ll update when we learn more details about the exhibit and catalog. 


Now for our fashion flashbacks. We begin with a look at the Duchess eight years ago last Wednesday when the 2012 Paralympic Games were in full swing.

It was day four of the games. 

The Duchess awarded medals for the men’s discus throw.

She wore the Punto Milano double-breasted blazer by Pucci we first saw back in March 2012. It is a classic style with peak lapels, flap pockets, double vents, gold buttons on the front, and at the cuff.

Kate also had on her Corkswoon wedges by Stuart Weitzman

And brought back the Team GB Paralympic scarf.

Earlier in the day, the Duchess was in more casual designs.

She watched men’s rowing, which was held in Windsor.  Below you see her with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and her daughter Lady Louise Windsor. 

Kate chatting with Lady Louise. 

It was rainy on and off throughout the day. 

And just two days before this, Kate and William attended other Paralympic Games events. Below, the couple watching cycling in the Velodrome

Royals doing the wave.

Another view.

Here you see the couple as they left the Velodrome.

At times Kate had her fleece on over her Adidas polo shirt, and at others, she took it off.

She wore her vivid red Supernova trainers by Adidas

And her Kiki McDonough ‘Grace’ studs. (Shown below as worn on another occasion.)

That evening the Duchess made a solo visit to the Aquatic Centre. 

She wore her Team GB duds and skinny jeans.

Here you see her doing the wave with Tim Hollingsworth, the Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association.

She pulled her hair back in a partial pony. 

Through all of the events, the Duchess also wore her security ID. 

And back on the 29th of August, 2012, the Duchess repeated a coat for the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

Many recognized the piece immediately. 

It was the DAY Birger et Mikkelsen brocade worn prior to this event and several times since 2012.

Kate accessorized with Sledge 2 pumps by LK Bennett.
And her Wilbur and Gussie gold clutch. 

It’s hard to believe that it was eight years ago last week! 


Now for the other part of our post, a smattering of holiday sales and savings for anyone able to shop this extended weekend. Many of the deals expire at midnight tonight, although some retailers may extend them another day. 

I’ve been updating repliKate for shoes, as well as dresses, a smattering of outerwear,  and some jewelry. Here is a sampling:

For the Allegra K Plaid Block Heel Pumps ($36.99) as offered at Walmart, the FSJ Plaid Block Heel Pump ($69.99). 

For the maroon Whistles dress worn for her portrait unveiling in 2013, here are a couple of possibilities: on the left, the Wrapped Midi Dress ($49.99) from Mango; second from left, the Pleated Midi Dress ($59.99), also from Mango; on the right, the Silk Long-Sleeve Wrap Dress ($129.99) as offered at Uniqlo.  

SEP 7: For the double-breasted Pucci blazer we offer (from left to right): the Double-Breasted Stretch Wool Blazer ($249) as offered at Brooks Brothers; the Sleek Double-Breasted Jacket ($129.50) as carried at Boston Proper; the Double-Breasted Blazer ($45.89 on sale, no code needed) as sold at Banana Republic.  The BR blazer comes in regular, tall, and petite sizes; swap out the silver buttons for gold ones if you really want to have it look like Kate’s!

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Wednesday 9th of September 2020

I can only imagine the joy it gave the Queen to have a granddaughter borrow her dress. I can’t imagine in 50 years anyone borrowing one of mine. I still would love to know how those conversations go: B. “Looking for a dress. Any white ones laying around?” Q: talk to the mistress of the closet. You can borrow anything before the 1990’s but be careful, you are taller than me”


Tuesday 8th of September 2020

I think it would be wonderful to go along to Windsor Castle and see that dress for real. The embellishment alone makes Beatrice’s wedding gown a source of fascination for any student of fashion. It is such a wonder that the dress could be adapted to use some five decades after it first appeared, demonstrating the value of Hartnell’s classic skill.

I’m grateful we have details on the alterations, confirming the slimmed down skirt. I can well imagine that unpicking the mysteries of a bubble hem could well lead to adding a satin trim at the hem. I’m surprised to see that the original dress is described is also described as having some satin trim as I'm unable to distinguish any in the photos. It might also help explain the satin on the new hem. Also intriguing to learn that all the alterations can be reversed. I wonder if the bride would not like to keep it as she wore it on her big day?

Great fun to see Kate in her sporting spectator outfits, they suit her so well as she deftly exploits smart navy with various contrasts in patriotic red and white. It was great to see her in a neat navy suit for the medal awards to upgrade her usual jeans look. It was also great how she could bring out the Birger et Mikkelsen brocade coat for a rerun, it worked well for formal royal duties.

Great news about a potential Hold Still catalogue in the works, and many thanks for the wealth of shopping ideas for repliKates. Many thanks too for continuing to provide regular posts while we wait for the autumn schedule to resume.


Tuesday 8th of September 2020

I’m still in awe of Kate being able to wear those corkswoon wedges. Love the olympics and getting to see members of the royal family in the stands and at various functions. Beatrice’s dress is one of my all time favorites and is probably even more beautiful in person - would love to see that exhibit!


Tuesday 8th of September 2020

I found I liked the Corkswoons more this time around. They are a fun touch to an otherwise conventional suite outfit, helping to break out from the predictable and adding a refreshing touch of casual.


Tuesday 8th of September 2020

Enclosed here is an Instagram post from Cherie Balch/Shrimpton Couture where she shows the dress as worn by the Queen, by Princess Beatrice and an original Norman Hartnell gown she has in her shop. The designs are very similar.

The black gown can be studied more up close on the link below.

The dress worn by the royals had a bubble hem, as the Hartnell gown listed by Balch, but that had been removed sometime between 1962 and 1966, when the Queen wore it to the State Opening of Parliament in 1966. A link to a film of the state opening in 1966, filmed in glorious colour to see the beautiful dress and the jewels:

A interesting insight to fashion history!


Tuesday 8th of September 2020

Dear Annee, What wonderful research you have done! I found it all fascinating and loved watching the old newsreel of the opening of Parliament. The narrator’s voice is a relic of a distant age. It was also interesting to glimpse Princess Marina and the Duchess of Kent in all their sixties’ glory! Although the bubble hem of the original design of Hartnell’s dress had been altered to a straight one by that time, it is clear that the deep satin band on the skirt was specially added for Princess Beatrice’s wedding, as were the sheer sleeves.


Tuesday 8th of September 2020

Thanks Annee for the interesting links. I much preferred the white dress to a similar black one. In the 1966 YouTube video, the dress seemed to sparkle more than when Beatrice wore it. Not sure if it was just different lighting, or if the bling had faded somewhat over the 50+ years.


Tuesday 8th of September 2020

Thanks for telling us that the bubble hem was removed by the time of the State Opening. The obliterates one reason I'd dreamed up for the addition of the mysterious satin hem trim! The Insta post is fascinating, I'm also intrigued to learn that the skirt had been trimmed pre-Bea, maybe it was further slimmed down for her. I imagine her great height might have in part lead to the addition of the satin hem, though I had also wondered if marks due to wear had resulted in some necessary alteration. It hardly matters of course, the dress looked wonderful for Bea's wedding and was a diplomatic and appropriate triumph of recycling. Great fun to see the black gown on the Insta post as well.

Spruha Kurlekar

Tuesday 8th of September 2020

I love that Princess Beatrice wore non-new clothes for her wedding. She looks so beautiful and radiant, and I hope this normalizes sustainable fashion. It seems so obvious that someone with access to such beautiful, preserved dresses and jewels would rewear them, I don't know why we don't expect it! I didn't like Kate's skirt suit 8 years ago but now I'm liking it. Very professional, bar the cork shoes. The cork shoes belong with flowy summer dresses and nothing else.

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