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Our First Year in Review Poll & A Fashion Flashback

NOTE: This was originally scheduled for publication on Wednesday.  Clearly, that would not have been appropriate and yesterday still felt raw, like an open wound.  I struggled with posting it today because we remain in such an unsettled situation.  I am doing so in part because of past comments about the merits of ‘distraction’ from the continued turmoil. 


I am back with a couple of news updates and then the first of our annual polls on what Kate wore last year. Today we’ll look at the new coats worn last year by the Duchess.  But first, the news updates: 

  • England has started a new lockdown phase. The Cambridge family will remain at their Anmer Hall country home where they have been for the last several weeks. Normally the family would have returned to London at this point and George and Charlotte would have headed back to school at Thomas’s Battersea.  It’s also likely an announcement would have been made about Prince Louis starting nursery school. The restrictions are expected to be in place until at least mid-February, so it is back to homeschooling for George and Charlotte.   
  • Earlier this week Buckingham Palace announced that this year’s garden parties in London and Edinburgh have been canceled.  The Telegraph reports: “Deadlines were approaching for contractors and work would soon have had to begin on drawing up guest lists for the 30,000 or so people who attend annually.”    
  • At this point Trooping the Colour is still on the books.  This is not an event that involves enormous catering issues, among other things, so making a decision about holding the event can be delayed. 

Now for our overview of the new coats worn by the Duchess in 2020. The year in coats began with a delightful new Roksanda Ilincic design worn in early January when the Duke and Duchess attended church.

The couple was at Sandringham, and they were joined by the Duchess’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, along with several close friends, some of whom are godparents to the three Cambridge children.

Kate wore the Roksanda ‘Denton’ Coat from a 2016 collection. As I originally wrote, it is a striking fabric that mixes midnight-blue and orange hues in a midweight wool blend.  

Made in England, the piece features a funnel neck and double-breasted design with distinctive bar-shaped hardware closures in a copper color. It also has lightly padded shoulders, front slit pockets, and a back vent. The fabric is a wool blend described as a “midweight” blend of 65% wool, 30% other, 10% polyamide.

In mid-January the Duchess debuted a new coat by Alexander McQueen, worn for a day of engagements in Bradford.

Below, Prince William gives the Duchess a rose that was given to him. 

The structured garment featured a high collar, fitted bodice with multiple darts and flap pockets, exposed seams with topstitching detail, waistband, concealed placket, diagonal besom pockets at the hip, and princess seams on the back of the bodice. 

The coat was worn two more times last year, for events in Galway and also at the launch of the mini-tour aboard the Royal Train

When rolling out her 5 Big Questions survey in late January, the Duchess was in a design by Massimo Dutti, a label appearing more frequently in her wardrobe. 

The coat was a classic camel color. 

The Limited Edition Cashmere Wool Camel Coat showcased double-breasted styling with front flap pockets, peak lapels, and a deep back vent for ease of movement.

At another 5 Big Questions event at Stockwell Gardens Nursery & Preschool in London, Kate wore a new design. 

The piece remains UFO as of this writing. 

The petrol blue coat hit just below the knee with notch lapels and flap pockets.

For February engagements in South Wales with Prince William, the Duchess sported a new design by Hobbs.Kate Middleotn Wales Arrival RNLI Navy Hobbs Bianca Coat

The couple’s visit to The Mumbles and Port Talbot was on a windy day.Duke Duchess Cambridge Mumbles Wales Navy Hobbs Binca Coat

Kate wore a military-inspired coat called the ‘Bianca,’ a blend of 78% wool/22% polyamide in a maxi-length style. The structured design showcased a double-breasted silhouette with distinctive burnished buttons, oversized patch pockets, and shoulder epaulets.

When the Duke and Duchess began their three-day visit to Ireland in early March, Kate wore Catherine Walker. 

The Duchess’s Catherine Walker coat was a bespoke piece with a double-breasted fit and flare silhouette. It also featured a broad collar, a slight flare at the sleeve cuff, and a back vent. 

It was October before we saw the Duchess in another new coat, this one was another Massimo Dutti style.

It was worn when the Duchess visited students at the University of Derby for engagements marking World Mental Health Day.  

The Handcrafted Checked Wool Coat was made of an 89% wool/11% nylon blend in a small gingham print.  It had a straight cut, notch lapels, front buttons, and large patch pockets.

Kate debuted a rich red Alexander McQueen design for the community launch of the Hold Still photo project in mid-October. 

Design elements of the double-breasted style included peak lapels, front flap pockets, contrasting black buttons at the cuff, and front closure.  

Our final new look was worn for Remembrance Sunday

The Duchess chose a military-inspired design by Catherine Walker for the annual service. The fitted piece had a high mandarin collar, angled braided embellishment at the waist, epaulets, flared sleeves at the wrist, and silver buttons.

Now it is time to cast your vote! 


This portion of the post was written today, motivated in part by the hope that nothing distracts like a pretty party frock. (With the possible exception of a tiara.)  Our fashion flashback is from nine years ago today when the Duke and Duchess attended the UK premiere of War Horse.  

The event was a fundraiser for the Royal Foundation.

The Duchess wore a gown by Temperley London.

It was the label’s Amoret Black Lace Maxi Dress.  

The dress showcased a deep vee neckline with black French lace atop a blush slip lining.  The sheer, bracelet-length sleeves were finished with scalloped eyelash lace, as were the neckline and hem.  Other design elements include a keyhole back, removable silk crepe bow belt at the waist.

Here is a closer look at some of those elements. 

The Duchess accessorized with a black velvet bow bag by Mascaró.

She wore the diamond earrings and bracelet believed to be a wedding gift from Prince Charles. 

Many readers will recall the Duchess wore the Amoret two more times: in November 2012 for a fundraising dinner and again in December 2013 for an engagement at the Natural History Museum.  

One more view of the couple nine years ago today. 

We close with Happy Birthday wishes for the Duchess – tomorrow is her 39th birthday!



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Sunday 7th of February 2021

Regarding the M Dutti checked coat, there is a darker brown version currently on sale for €99, by the way.

linda hoad

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

the roksanda coat the winner - but please no more pussy neck tie blouses or dresses they are so matronly



Tuesday 12th of January 2021

I voted for the Roksanda Ilincic coat, the first one she wore in 2020. The purple-blue-orange wool blend was just so exquisite looking and it's a huge departure from the usual single color coats she typically wears. I thought she accessorized it really well with the navy blue hat and the boots. My second favorite was the teal UFO as it is a great color on her. And I also liked the Massimo Dutti in the gingham print.

As for the flashback, I remember when Kate first wore that Temperley gown. I think that was the dress where I realized she really loves lace. I loved the dress when I saw it the first time but on repeated outings, it lost its impact on me for whatever reason. She also has since worn several evening dresses that I much prefer over this one. This was one of the first "fancy" dresses we saw her wear early on in her marriage to William and she has diversified a lot since then.

shannon maxwell

Tuesday 12th of January 2021

I voted for the remembrance day coat it was rather quirky and chic.

Mary H

Sunday 10th of January 2021

Thank you sincerely for the post. This site truly brings a little joy and welcome distraction for so many around the world.

The UFO coat is my favorite. Absolutely gorgeous cut and color, and perfect for the occasion. The coat worn to church in Jan 2020 is a fun second-favorite - though a main reason it was a hit was how she accessorized it - the hat and boots were a bold, unique way for creating a fantastically fun look. (Had the coat been worn without the hat and with her more typical heels, it just wouldn't have had the impact.)

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