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The Princess In Separates for Task Force Launch & A “New-Old” Family Portrait

The Princess In Separates for Task Force Launch & A “New-Old” Family Portrait

The Princess of Wales chose tailored separates for the launch of an Early Years business task force today.

The inaugural meeting of the Business Taskforce for Early Childhood took place at NatWest headquarters in London. Above, you see the Princess being welcomed by NatWest CEO Dame Alison Rose. (NatWest Group is a private banking company.)

The organization is described this way on the Royal Foundation site: “Run by business, for business, the Business Taskforce will play an essential role in The Princess of Wales’ work to transform the way in which society prioritises and supports children and the ecosystems around them in their earliest years.”

Its formation follows the late January launch of the Shaping Us campaign, the long-term effort spearheaded by the Princess aimed at changing how society views and treats children in their formative years. 

We learn more from Victoria Ward’s Telegraph story

Nine global firms, including Unilever, Ikea, Aviva, Deloitte, Co-Op and Lego, have already signed up and it is hoped that many more will join.

It is considered the next chapter in the Princess’s Shaping Us campaign, which was launched in January and aims to raise awareness of the critical importance of the first five years of a child’s life.

In the long term, it is hoped that the taskforce will create broad principles about staff wellbeing that big business will adopt.

At today’s meeting, the group discussed why Early Childhood is so critical for business, focusing on ways the business community can build a supportive and nurturing world for children and those who care for them.

Below, the Princess with Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc (left) and VP of Lego UK/Ireland Christian Pau. 

Participants viewed a 90-second Shaping Us video, and then remarks were delivered by Dame Alison.  

This is a critical issue for the future growth and success of our businesses, our economy and our society. 

As business leaders, we have an important responsibility to the colleagues, customers and communities we serve. This Taskforce can deliver positive change by bringing together a wealth of experience across the private sector to help provide the support and resources that young children and their carers need to thrive.

The Princess of Wales delivered a speech. 

From her remarks: 

 This however is not just about supporting children in the earliest years of their lives. It is also about building healthy communities in which they can grow. Because the healthy development of our children relies on healthy adults. So this is why we all have a part to play. 

And that is why I’m standing here in front of you, to ask you, some of Britain’s most influential business leaders, for your support in helping create the societal change that is needed.

 I have spoken before about the need to make early childhood the societal equivalent of climate change. In the way that the business world has embraced the net zero target to protect our environmental ecosystems, you also have an important role to play in ensuring that our social ecosystems are protected too.

 Your business organisations are living examples of these social ecosystems, so building healthy environments both in and out of the workplace is fundamental.

We return to the Princess’s comments. 

I believe therefore that we need two things to really transform society for generations to come.

 The first is to prioritise creating working environments that provide the support and training your workforce needs to cultivate and maintain its own social and emotional wellbeing. This will benefit them personally and professionally as well as creating a better working culture within your organisations. Given most of your workforce have a role to play in raising the next generation at home, it will also transform the experience of the very youngest in society too. 

 The second is a more concentrated effort in supporting the social and emotional development of our youngest children. Because as with most human development, the key time to build these social and emotional skills in the first place is in the first five years.

 I know businesses are feeling the pressure across the board. However, I truly believe that by investing in early childhood, with a specific focus on social and emotional development, businesses in turn will see in the future… better communication, better working relationships, improved resilience, employees finding better work–life balance, less stress, more patience and understanding and increased job satisfaction.

The Princess also visited NatWest’s rooftop garden.

One more photo, this one of the Princess and Dame Alison.

Now for our look at what Kate wore.

We begin with the Alexander McQueen Ivory Crepe Blazer ($2190), with thanks to Found by Bojana for the ID.

The jacket is made in a blend of 52% viscose, and 48% acetate, and bears many of the signature McQueen design elements, including the snug fit, sharply angled pockets, peaked shoulders, and double back vent. It is available at Alexander McQueen ($2190), Luisa Via Roma ($2190), and Net-a-Porter ($2390). 

It may look like the Alexander McQueen blazer first worn in Jamaica, but that jacket is a bright white, while the garment worn today is ivory.

The design is a style the Princess is fond of; she owns it in black, most recently worn at a January Early Years advisory board meeting; in purple, seen here when arriving in Boston; in navy, shown during a Windsor Castle audience with crew members from HMS Glasgow; in pink, worn for a June 2022 Early Years meeting, and in white, seen here at Windrush Day engagements at Waterloo Station. It is a key component of her working wardrobe, essentially a part of her uniform.

 The Princess was in her Gianvito 105 black suede pumps. The style is available at FarFetch ($647), at My Theresa ($695), and in limited sizes at Net-a-Porter ($725).

She brought back her Asprey Oak Leaf Small Hoop Earrings ($8250), done in 18K yellow gold with pavé diamonds. 

For those who like the design, I have a few pairs of repliKates on this page

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Also today, a look at two delightful photographs released for Mother’s Day/Mothering Sunday, celebrated in the UK this past Sunday.

Kensington Palace released the photos via social media on Sunday. The images were accompanied by a message: “Happy Mother’s Day from our family to yours ❤️.”

Matt Porteous shot the photos, which appear to have been taken when the family’s 2022 Christmas card photo was shot (seen below) last summer, as everyone is in the same clothing.

A very quick refresher on what Kate wore in the pictures, beginning with the ‘Mabel Shirt’ by MiH Jeans, long sold out.

She also had on her Superga Cotu Classic sneakers, $69 at Zappos, at Nordstrom, and at Superga USA

And her Orelia Chain Huggie Hoops ($23) shown below when worn on another occasion.

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Theresa

Monday 10th of April 2023

Ensembles like these always make me wonder how she would have dressed for this event if she weren't the Princess. Of course, style evolves, but her pre-engagement style had more sass and loads of personality, and many of her corporate engagement looks don't seem to suit her. This outfit in particular seems to be missing something--a necklace, a pop of color, some sort of statement. But I always wonder if she looks exactly as she wants to and if I'm just projecting my preferences.

Janinelo

Thursday 6th of April 2023

I think her business look is very boring. A striped or subtly patterned button down or even a crisp cream shirt on cream would really elevate the look especially worn underneath such a beautifully tailored jacket. And cropped skinny leg pants with mega high pumps is very dated. I don’t really understand why such a tall woman needs to wear such high stilletoes during the day. It’s a bit intimidating to those who meet her ( which I have). And in a small way diminishes the seriousness of her job. Just a thought.

Zell

Saturday 1st of April 2023

While she always looks beautiful and appropriate, I often wish that Princess Catherine would show some more daring with her corporate looks. Here are three outifts that Princess Diana wore, which I think are corporate appropriate, yet not overly demure, safe or sedate, which I often see with Princess Catherine's business looks. All three are examples from the 1990s, so yes, from a rather long time ago, yet they do show exactly what I'm getting at:

1. This outfit has an unexpectedly beautiful color combo that really brightens everything by pairing a soft yet dramatic hue with all black everything else. The skirt length is daring but also completely appropriate:

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Nq8SYVeOUOY/ULkXq3O2rLI/AAAAAAAABbg/t9Z-YyNKcDc/s1600/PrincessDiana12.jpg

2. This mostly black outfit gives a bright visual sizzle with sumptuous golden accents on the blazer and bag. The bold, yet also conservative pearl and gold earrings show up nicely, even from the side, because the Princess had chic, short hair. (I love Princess Catherine's gorgeous long hair, but I think she needs to find a way to let her wonderful earrings show up more):

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7f/c3/30/7fc3303e990cf40b7dd7ae6830a55a4f.jpg

3. Here's a gorgeous color trio of cream, caramel, and what looks to be an olive green blazer. It's the details on the bag (and those wonderful shoes!), as well as the gold buttons on the blazer, that take this outfit from basic to smashing.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/46/0b/d9/460bd93ad14b4eea5a7b8df547a1d553.jpg

Kate Admirer

Wednesday 29th of March 2023

I think Catherine has to tread a very fine line in her choice of a "working wardrobe" (excluding formal occasions). That line is both obvious and obscure making the balancing act challenging. When the day's duty is running a race or sailing, it's pretty obvious what clothing choices are appropriate. When Catherine is meeting with schools, there may be certain limitations, but in general, it is professional, some ease of movement and not fussy. When it's a corporate event, perhaps it is the most challenging. The need to be taken seriously, look professional in a sometimes very prescribed way, display some, but not too much, royal bling, are all parts of a high and narrow path. Catherine does the job every time. It is not always cutting edge or innovative which some may view as boring, but it is always appropriate, no small task. I believe William and Catherine are taking their royal duties and responsibilities in a new direction. So far, they have shown a more active, involved and personal approach. I believe that if the monarchy wants to survive, this is necessary and to that end, Catherine's clothing choices support that direction. I have always admired her subtlety and find it refreshing in a very unsubtle world.

Zell

Sunday 9th of April 2023

@Berenike, oh yes, I do hear you! You and Kate Admirer have both made so many excellent points! As to the outfit you refer to, I wasn't able to find it, unfortunately. If you can post a link, that would be great, but no worries if you can't.

Berenike

Friday 7th of April 2023

@Kate Admirer, definitively! And as we discuss the other Royal Ladies here sometimes, Queen Camilla looked lovely in the dark blue and white dress she had on, delivering the Maundy Money. I quite liked her hat too. She can really carry a large hat like nobody else.

Kate Admirer

Friday 7th of April 2023

@Berenike, such a good point you make about the pre-royal Catherine and the Catherine we see today. There does seem to be a common thread and I think "safe" describes it well. In the early days, I remember thinking Catherine was a pretty girl who dressed nicely and maybe that continues to be her comfort zone, but, as you say, on those glam occasions, "she lets it rip." I imagine that's what we all look forward to: the fabulous gems, sumptuous fabrics, sky high glittery shoes and those glorious dos, and the after party gab to top it off. Lucky us!

Berenike

Tuesday 4th of April 2023

@Zell, Yes, the ring in itself is really beautiful. I was trying just to make a point in difference of approaching things depending on personality differences in general. Catherine has always had the ability of being able to surprise. So maybe in the future we will see some quite different styles of corporate looks, who knows. One thing that I'm looking forward to, is the length of her skirts this coming summer. Now that shorter hems seem to be back again. Will she go with the style or stay with the classic midi? Can't wait to see.

I'm still interested in what do you think of Catherine wearing mid blue jeans with a white blazer to an appointment? I was surprised first but then thought it looked quite nice. It was a low key thing. Just a few years ago it would not have happened, I believe. Let's keep the discussion going!

Zell

Monday 3rd of April 2023

@Berenike, thanks for joining the discussion! Those are Great points that you make! (Oh, and I'm no "fashion expert" in any sense. I only add in my 2 cents because I so enjoy talking about color, fashion and style! Berenike, you are so astute to point out how Kate can and does shine when the occasion calls for it. She definitely took some risks with her BAFTA look, that many here didn't like (I did!) - and her various Bond premiere looks have always been amazing! While I continue to hope she will also liven up her corporate looks, you may be right; that it's just not in her to do that, and that she is quite comfortable and happy with how she looks, as is. And she does look gorgeous, Always! It's interesting you brought up her engagement ring, because, while it's not one she chose (and might not have been within her personal style), I've never thought the ring has ever looked too big for her hand, (and I'm guessing you haven't, either). She wears the ring, that Diana once chose, quite gracefully, and the larger size of that stunning ring means it almost always will show up nicely in photos! Two different women with that one ring, that has always looked so beautiful on each hand of each Princess of Wales. Diana chose well! 💙

Linda

Tuesday 28th of March 2023

I much prefer the wider leg trousers. They look better in motion.

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