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The Duchess in Alessandra Rich for V&A Reopening

The Duchess of Cambridge debuted a new dress by Alexandra Rich for an engagement at the V&A museum today.  Below, you see her with museum director Dr. Tristram Hunt.

She was at the V&A to mark the museum’s reopening and visit Raphael Court. The Duchess has been the museum’s patron since 2018. More about today’s engagement from People’s coverage: 

 Kate, 39, viewed Raphael Court, home to the magnificent Raphael Cartoons, which underwent a nine-month refurbishment to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death. She heard about the renovations and how the center’s new interpretive approach, which features an on-site digital experience, will transform the way visitors experience The Raphael Cartoons. The Cartoons have been lent to the V&A from the Royal Collection by Queen Elizabeth.

A look at the museum’s site offers more information. 

Another view. 

The Duchess also viewed an exhibit opening this weekend, Alice: Curious and Curiouser

The exhibit is described this way: “Exploring its origins, adaptations, and reinventions over 157 years, this immersive and theatrical show charts the evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from manuscript to a global phenomenon beloved by all ages.”   

The Evening Standard notes she “seemed particularly animated as she viewed an interactive Mad Hatters’ Tea Party, complete with dormouse.” 

In a news release, Kensington Palace says the exhibit includes more than 300 objects from the last 158 years spanning film, performance, fashion, art, music, and photography. The Duchess is seen with exhibit curator Kate Bailey in these images.

A video from Kensington Palace offers a sense of the exhibit’s immersive experience.  


More from The Evening Standard’s story

Speaking after the visit, Kate Bailey, senior curator at the V&A, said the duchess had seemed thrilled by her visit.

“She was so engaged and interested,” she said.

“She clearly has a great knowledge of art history and I think it’s just so appropriate that she was here, among the first members of the public to come in, as our royal patron.

“As we were leaving she said how important it was to be here in the now and reflected on how the exhibition was multi-sensory, which is probably what people need now after months of lockdown.”

Another view of the Duchess and Dr. Hunt.

After seeing the exhibits, the Duchess met with a small group of staff. And from The Daily Mail‘s coverage:  

She was firstly introduced to Tony Ryan, from the technical services team and was told he recently had the task of carefully moving Canova’s The Three Graces down to its new position in the museum’s sculpture gallery.

‘That’s some responsibility!’ joked the duchess.

Niede Gentelini, from visitor experiences, told her: ‘The museum is this beautiful because to the collections, it is the soul of the museum. We are very happy to welcome you. People have been craving art.’

Kate replied: ‘Yes I think people have been craving beauty and inspiration. It’s going to be a good time to visit museums and galleries as they are not full of tourists coming in,’ the duchess said.

She added: ‘I am very glad to be here today as we have had to cancel three previous visits because of COVID, so it’s nice to be here.’ 

Now for our look at what Kate wore.

She was in a design is by Alessandra Rich, the Pleated Houndstooth Silk Crepe Midi Dress ($1955, most recently selling at $782). 

The dress is from the spring/summer 2020 collection and made of 100% silk crepe de Chine. It features a Peter Pan collar, puffed sleeves, and a dropped waist, in addition to the distinctive pleats. Below left, the puffed shoulder on the Duchess today, and on the right, a closer look at the cuff from a merchandise photo online. 

In a video from The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English, you see how the dress moves. 

The Duchess chose a statement shoe today, veering away from her Guianvito Rossi and Emmy London styles, wearing Jennifer Chamandi London’s Lorenzo Jewelled Buckle Pump ($820).  The style is black suede, and it showcases the brand’s signature ‘eye of the needle’ heel detail. 

Many thanks to Heaven and Gabi for their speedy shoe ID.  

She carried her trusty Bayswater Clutch by Mulberry.

And sported a new pair of earrings, a style by & Other Stories, an offshoot of H&M.  Christine suggests they are the brand’s Twisted Sphere Hoop Earrings ($25) and I think she is spot-on with the ID. 

UPDATE: Another suggestion for the earrings is this ASOS style, which might be a better match for what the Duchess wore. This style is the ASOS Design 14K Gold-Plated Twist Hoop Earrings ($14.50, now out of stock) and it also comes from Christine

The Duchess layered her necklaces, bringing back her Asprey Woodland Charms

As well as the Spells of Love Double Strand Beaded Satellite Chain Necklace. 


Also, today, delightful news for Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi: the couple is expecting their first child together. Below, an image from their July 2020 wedding

More from a Sky News story

“Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice and Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi are very pleased to announce that they are expecting a baby in autumn of this year.

“The Queen has been informed and both families are delighted with the news.”

UPDATE: Tour news! The Duchess heads to Scotland on Monday for four days touring the country with Prince William, who heads there this Friday.  I am working on a separate post about the trip that will be up tomorrow . 


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Tuesday 25th of May 2021

No, just no, almost everything is wrong with this dress: the colour, the collar, the lenght, the buttons on the front. It accentuates her long torso in a very unfortunate way

This is a dress for gardening with children ( no offence to the children) or doing the washing up, but not for an official engagement.

I am amazed, because the dress looks good on the model, did they alter the dress for the duchess (besiedelt the collar)


Tuesday 25th of May 2021

I've looked at the photos three different times and today I really like the dress and how it looks on her. Maybe it's just the rainy day we are having on the west coast of Canada, but the dress really stands out to me in a good way.

Mary H

Monday 24th of May 2021

I would love to love this outfit, but I'm sadly going to have to pass. Head-to-toe houndstooth is dizzying on anyone, including Catherine. And pairing the extensive breadth of this pattern with the slightly ill-fitting nature of this dress - particularly the torso that's simply too long on her - and it just doesn't quite "work." Her hair looks fantastic, though.


Saturday 22nd of May 2021

I love everything about the dress except the collar. I think it would work perfectly without a collar. And loving the layering of necklaces! On another note... Is Dr. Hunt single? ?


Monday 24th of May 2021

I noticed the Duchess and Dr Hunt always look good photographed together. I actually like the collars and it may work on some necklines than others. Like most women, I agree the Duchess looks great in anything but the droop waist is not going to work with most body shapes.

NOTE: admin edit

Teresa G

Saturday 22nd of May 2021



Friday 21st of May 2021

Her hair looks amazing!

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