Today we have a very special Fashion Flashback.
It is from ten years ago today.
When there was a big announcement at St. James’s Palace.
Prince William and Kate Middleton revealed they were engaged to be married.
It was a very big deal. Below you see some of the satellite trucks outside Buckingham Palace.
The announcement was in the State Apartments at St. James’s Palace.
Not a small venue.
The couple was beaming.
During the photocall, the Prince revealed he proposed during a trip to Kenya when the couple spent several weeks at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Another view of the twosome.
And the official release from Clarence House.
Of course, the Duchess was wearing that iconic blue dress by Issa London.
Here is how the ‘Sapphire London’ dress was described.
The classic Issa wrap dress in royal blue is the ultimate wardrobe staple, taking you from day to evening with ease. This ultra-flattering shape with V cross front neckline and long sleeves is belted at the waist and sits just above the knee. Fabricated in the brands’ signature silk jersey.
The fabric is a silk knit with a little stretch that is very comfortable when worn, according to friends. The designer had no idea Kate was wearing the dress. More from this Elle story:
….Helayel recalls: ‘That morning I’d gone to yoga as usual, and then I got a call from a friend telling me about the royal engagement. It was all very exciting.
‘We didn’t have a TV at the studio and this was pre-Instagram, but we soon knew Kate was wearing Issa because at four o’clock the phones began ringing and didn’t stop. It was bonkers,’ she adds.
With sales doubling following the appearance of Middleton in her dress design, Helayel reveals she didn’t have the money to finance production on such a mass sale to meet demand.
Ultimately Ms. Helayel sold a portion of the label and then left the company altogether. House of Fraser bought the rights to the name and now offers a small collection of pieces.
One of the more most talked about elements of the day’s news was the engagement ring, a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by fourteen solitaire diamonds, made by Garrard. It is the engagement ring chosen by Lady Diana Spencer when she was engaged to the Prince of Wales.
Back to William and Kate in this Vogue piece:
…in a rustic cabin at the foot of Mt. Kenya, Prince William pulled something out of a knapsack. He’d traveled around Africa with it for weeks, nervous as hell, because “I knew if this thing disappeared, I’d be in a lot of trouble.”
He said: “It’s my mother’s engagement ring. So I thought it was quite nice because obviously, she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all; this was my way of keeping her sort of close to it all. It’s very special to me, as Kate’s very special to me now, it is only right to put the two together.”
In addition to The Ring, Kate wore jewelry by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany, a Sapphires by the Yard necklace and earrings.
The necklace featured an oval sapphire cabochon with two round diamonds. The earrings also had cabochon stones with a bezel-set diamond at the top. The Color by the Yard collection is still carried at Tiffany., but the settings have changed. Below left, a sapphire By the Yard necklace ($3600) in platinum; on the right, a By the Yard version with emeralds set in 18k gold.
We saw the earrings again during the Canada tour.
Kate wore a pair of black suede pumps by Episode, a brand sold only at House of Fraser. The style was called the ‘Angel,’ and it featured a small platform and almond toe.
Where were you when you learned of the engagement?
On a related note, I am excited to announce next year’s What Kate Wore calendar is a special tenth-anniversary edition.
As with previous calendars, we are fortunate to have worked with award-winning royal photographer Mark Stewart. Below, one of Mark’s photos featured in the calendar.
In the special edition calendar, we cover Kate’s early style.
And the Cambridge family.
It was challenging to put together only because it is such a large body of work to choose from! Featuring Mark’s work is a delight, as he has covered the couple since the early days of their relationship. Below, Mark in Bhutan during the 2016 tour.
It has been great fun collaborating yet again with Susan and Kevin on this year’s What Kate Wore Calendar which celebrates the 10th wedding anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It has been a huge privilege to travel around the world with TRHs and I hope you enjoy this selection of images which show Kate from Home Counties girl to wife, mother and future Queen.
The calendar is available for preordering, with shipping expected to start in ten days to two weeks. Kevin put together a quick video with some of our previous calendars.
And here are videos from the engagement announcement. The first is one the Royal Family released of the photocall.
The second is the interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby. Below, the full 17-minute clip.