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Fashion Flashbacks from 2014 & 2017, Plus a Giveaway

We are back with a few Fashion Flashbacks and a giveaway I think you will like. 

We begin with a dress worn six years ago today

The occasion was the official kickoff of the fundraising appeal for a new EACH children’s hospice in Norfolk, The Nook.

You can see the back of the dress in these photos.

Part of the day’s activities included unveiling limited edition pieces from Britain’s iconic Emma Bridgewater pottery sold as a fundraising tool for the new hospice.

The Duchess watching the formal program. 

Another image from the event. 

In 2017, the Duchess wore Katherine Hooker’s ‘Ascot’ dress.

The dress featured a fitted silhouette with princess seams and three-quarter sleeves in a length hitting just above the knee. 

Katherine Hooker still offers the Ascot. It is available in several fabrics and sleeve lengths.

The Duchess wore her ‘Aimee’ heels by Jimmy Choo

And carried her trusty clutch, the Muse style by Stuart Weitzman, most likely purchased at Russell and Bromley.

Kate’s earrings were by Kiki McDonough, the 18ct Gold and Diamond Hoops (£500) and Cushion Cut Green Amethyst Drops. The photo below right shows the back of an earring. 

And she had on her ‘Fortune’ necklace in white gold and diamonds by Mappin & Webb, shown below as worn at a different engagement.

Kate assisted with fundraising for the Nook through its opening in November 2019

She helped plant a garden at The Nook this June. 

One more look at the Duchess six years ago today. 

Our second look back was from just three years ago yesterday.

That is when the Duke and Duchess attended the Royal Variety Performance

The couple entering London’s Palladium Theatre. 

The Duchess wore a bespoke gown by Jenny Packham

The gown was constructed with a layer of illusion tulle covered in sequins and crystals in a floral motif atop a light blue lining. 

Awesome IDer and friend Laura noted the dress’s similarity to a style from the designer’s a/w 2017 collection (l) and a Jenny Packham Bridal design (r).

A closer view of the embellishment. 

And the continuation of the floral theme in the lace at the hem.

Kate carried her Miniature Casa Clutch, also by Jenny Packham.

She wore her Platinum Lamé Cabrina Pumps by Oscar de la Renta.

She wore the Queen’s diamond chandelier earrings. 

A closer look. 

This year’s performance will be done in front of a virtual audience, staged at the Winter Gardens Opera House in Blackpool.  Here is a final look at the Duchess three years ago yesterday.  


Also today, a giveaway for a wonderful new book on royal fashion from my friend Elizabeth Holmes. The book is called HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style, and it looks at the style of HM, Diana, Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duchess of Sussex.  

More about the book from the publisher:   

Veteran fashion journalist Elizabeth Holmes expands her popular Instagram Stories series, “So Many Thoughts,” into a nuanced look at the style, branding, and positioning of the four most fashionable members of the contemporary British Royal Family: Queen Elizabeth II; Diana, Princess of Wales; Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge; and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex.

With one section devoted to each woman, HRH is a celebration of their stories and their style, pairing hundreds of gorgeous photographs with extensive research. A picture emerges of the British monarchy’s evolution and the power of royal fashion, showing there’s always more than what meets the eye.

This was a delightful read, very well researched, and laden with fabulous photos of the four women whose fashion is covered in the book.  

From the section about Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Duchess of Cambridge.

And the Duchess of Sussex. 

From a People story about the book

Holmes, who spent more than 10 years as a business and fashion journalist for The Wall Street Journal, gained a massive following for her Instagram series, “So Many Thoughts,” in which she explored royal fashion. After interviewing a number of fashion experts and designers, some of whom have worked intimately with the royal family, Holmes expanded her analysis of the “power” of royal fashion to create HRH, a deep dive into the branding and fashion journeys of Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex

One of my favorite parts of reading the book? Learning things about Kate’s wardrobe I had never known. For example, the orchids on the bespoke Jenny Packham dress worn in Singapore worn to visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens were designed to echo the orchid named in their honor. 

Below, the Vanda William Catherine orchid. 

And the Erdem dress worn to the V&A in 2018 had special significance.

In the book, Elizabeth explains the designer’s s/s 2018 collection, which the dress is from, was inspired by research Erdem did on HM’s wardrobe. 

There were many other tidbits I learned in HRH. It is an outstanding read for any fashion fan and a terrific holiday gift for those royal watchers on your list. So I am excited to be able to do a giveaway for a copy of the book. 

  • To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment sharing your favorite Kate look. It can be dressy, casual, whatever you like. There are no right or wrong answers; the only rule is to have fun! Just tell us your favorite look worn by the Duchess by midnight EDT Tuesday, December 1st. 
  • You will need to use an accurate email address on your comment (email addresses do not show on comments). I will use a random number selector to draw a name and then contact the winner by email on Wednesday; the winner will need to respond within 48 hours.  
  • This is open anyplace the US Postal Service ships, more than 180 countries at last count!   

Check your local bookstore for the book, or try, supporting independent bookstores. You can also find it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other retailers. 

UPDATE: Congratulations to Betsy, the winner of the book!   


As some of you may have heard, in a column for today’s NY Times, the Duchess of Sussex revealed she had a miscarriage this July. This post was written before today’s news, but I wanted to let you know about the column and extend condolences to Meghan and Harry.  It was just six weeks ago when many of you shared your experiences with the loss of a child in comments responding to the post about the Duchess marking Baby Loss Awareness Week with a visit to the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology at Imperial College London. 

May all who are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow enjoy a good holiday. I am grateful to each and every one of you for reading the blog. 


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Monday 21st of December 2020

Excuse me, who won this book?


Monday 21st of December 2020

Hello, Vee! The winner's name is Emily. That was announced in this post: I will also add it to the original post. :)

Denise Muller

Tuesday 1st of December 2020

As everyone said, it is so hard to choose. I loved the Emilia Wickstead ‘ Jordin’ Blue Seersucker Dress. Not the fanciest, but it caught my eye when she wore it. I said to myself - she is really such a lovely woman. She has such grace and poise.

She can wear anything and look fabulous. She has the height and figure to wear clothes whether they are formal or informal.

Sandy S

Tuesday 1st of December 2020

I have always admired the beautiful blue sheath that Kate wore when she deplaned in Canada (2016). I thought she looked absolutely stunning. Her dress had such lovely features; the unusual collar, concealed zipper and self belt. Add to the ensemble the striking hat, Canada broach, and amazing hair updo- WOWI

Moreover, as I watched Kate effortlessly negotiate the narrow airplane steps while holding young Princess Charlotte In her left arm and Prince George with the other hand, all while wearing high heels - I was truly astonished.


Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Sandy, I enjoyed your fantastic description of both her clothing and demeanor as she arrived. One of her most iconic and gorgeous looks to date!


Tuesday 1st of December 2020

I love it each time she wears the Lasa poppies dress.


Tuesday 1st of December 2020

So hard to choose a favorite! This may be totally cliche, but I adore the Reiss Nanette dress as styled for Canada Day on Kate’s first North America tour. Their visit was all over the news in the US and that dress was eye catching and piqued my interest in Kate’s style for the first time.

(Also, this is my first time commenting - I’m a shy lurker! - but I’ve really enjoyed the thoughtful coverage and the friendly and insightful comments every time I’ve visited. Thank you for the amazing work you do, Susan!)


Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Hello, shy commenter! So happy you spoke up because I am joining you in loving that Reiss Nannette dress. Am I remembering she carried a fabulous fan clutch with it? I remember the whimsical hat & clutch really making the outfit super special.

Have a lovely day, Ariadne!


Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

So glad you joined in Arianna, hope you come back soon! The variety of opinions and reasoning is what makes this page so fascinating. And many thanks to Susan for helping us all stay rational ?

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