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The Return of the Elie Saab Separates for Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Return of the Elie Saab Separates for Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Princess of Wales brought back a much-loved ensemble for today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace. Below, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

More from People’s story by Simon Perry

As is customary, the party started with the national anthem being played as the royals and their guests stood to attention. The rendition of “God Save the King” had an added resonance so soon after King Charles’ spectacular coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6.

The Prince and Princess acted as hosts on behalf of the King.

A quick video via Richard Palmer of The Express. 

Yeoman of the Guard at today’s festivities.

More from the monarchy’s website. 

Yeomen of the Guard are not the same as the Yeomen Warders who guard the Tower of London, although their uniforms are almost identical. The Yeomen of the Guard can be distinguished by their cross belts, worn from the left shoulder. They carry a sword, which is not drawn, and a halberd known as a ‘partisan’.

The Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard was created by Henry VII in 1485 after the battle of Bosworth. It is the oldest of the Royal bodyguards and the oldest military corps in existence in Britain.

Guests at today’s party.

In this photo, the Princess speaks with 93-year-old Aldith Grandison and her daughter, Jay Cee La Bouche.

More about the parties from the Monarchy website

Established during the reign of Queen Victoria, Garden Parties are an important way for members of the Royal Family to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have made a positive impact in their community. 

Returning to the Monarchy backgrounder on garden parties. 

While the bands continue to play a selection of music, Members of the Royal Family circulate among the guests through ‘lanes’. Each takes a different route and random presentations are made so that everyone has an equal chance of speaking to a Member of the Royal Family. Members of the Royal family then arrive at the Royal Tea Tent, where they meet further guests. Guests are free to eat, drink and stroll around the beautiful Palace gardens.

You can better see the lanes in this photo from last week’s party.

The Princess spoke with scouts about the family’s volunteer efforts yesterday as part of the Big Help Out.

More from this Daily Express piece

The Prince and Princess of Wales hailed the success of the Coronation weekend yesterday when they met guests at a Buckingham Palace garden party today. William and Kate spoke of their pride in the Armed Forces and Kate enthused about the Big Help Out, which the couple and their children took part in by helping renovate a Scout hut in Slough, Berkshire.

“The children had a great time,” the Princess told Craig Turpie, the Scouts’ deputy chief commissioner, and his wife Cheryl, from Peebles in the Scottish Borders.

Below you see the family at yesterday’s engagement. 

We return to the Express story. 

You must be thrilled. It was a wonderful turnout,” she told Graeme Hamilton, a lead volunteer with the Scouts, which has half a million children as members in the UK but thousands more on waiting lists to join if more adult volunteers can be found to help. “It’s so great getting young people involved in helping others.”

Kate, who was wearing an Elie Saab dress and Philip Treacy hat, was intrigued by an idea to create a national volunteering app that could match volunteers with local voluntary groups looking for helpers. “There are mums who can do a Monday morning,” she said, vowing to get more involved. “The more I can do outdoors in the fresh air the better.”

In addition to military guests and representatives from the Scouts, the royals also met representatives of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and the South Wales Police.

Prince William met a guest who was on her third coronation.

More from this Sky TV story

A 93-year-old guest told Prince William how she slept on the pavement for three nights to see his grandmother’s coronation.

Dame Elizabeth Watts, who has lived through the past three coronations, said: “I came to Elizabeth’s coronation and slept on the pavement for three nights. 

“I had measles for George’s coronation when I was seven years old. Of course, there was no television then so I couldn’t watch it but we had an accumulator radio.”

Speaking about the King’s coronation, she said: “We watched the coronation at home, on Sunday we had a street party and on Monday I had to recuperate ready to come here.”

Dame Elizabeth added: “It means absolutely everything [to be at the garden party].”

One more photo of the Prince and Dame Elizabeth.

The Duchess of Edinburgh with guests. 

The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Duchess of Gloucester.

And the Duke of Gloucester. 

Kensington Palace’s social media accounts carried photos from today’s celebration.

The Duchess of Edinburgh was in a Suzannah London design first worn at Royal Ascot, the Isla Guipure Lace Dress ($1670), accessorized by a Jane Taylor hat.  

Now for our look at what Kate wore.

The Princess was in separates by Elie Saab, first seen at Royal Ascot in June 2019

The look included a modified version of the designer’s Macramé Pussy Bow Top ($1625) and Embroidered Tulle Skirt ($3100). The top is crafted of a cotton/poly/silk blend fabric and features a relaxed fit, button front, and partial lining. The skirt is done in matching tulle fabric with embroidered dots; it has an A-line silhouette and is lined.

Here is a closer look at the fabric. 

Modifications to the blouse included a change from short to long sleeves and the addition of a solid fabric cuff. The macrame trim on the sleeves is vertical, running the length of the sleeve, as opposed to being a horizontal border at the hem. The bow was also shortened.

Today’s ensemble was almost identical to the Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Ascot look, including the Philip Treacy hat. It was described in 2019 by the Royal Hats site as “pale blue sinamay, the oval-shaped formed saucer is trimmed with silk flowers beneath the raised side of the brim.”

The Princess carried her Elie Saab Abat-Jour Metallic and Leather Clutch, measuring roughly 5″ x 7″ with a leather back and a detachable chain.

She repeated the Gianvito Rossi 105 Pumps in silver metallic.

The style is available in limited sizes at Elyse Walker ($363) and in just two sizes at SSense ($745)

And she brought back her ‘Lola’ Blue Topaz and Diamond Hoops (£3500, about $4400 at today’s exchange rates) by royal favorite Kiki McDonough.

I will see you in a few days for a follow-up post to the coronation covering some of the things we missed along the way!


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Tuesday 13th of June 2023

It was absolutely the right call by Sophie and Kate to wear repeat outfits for such a public occasion so soon after the coronation. Very pleased to see these separates again – but then I am partial to bows! The hat is gorgeous. I don't love the bag or the shoes, though I appreciate that silver is a more interesting match to this shade of blue than Kate's usual beige accessories. I prefer these bigger earrings to the ones worn at Ascot.


Sunday 14th of May 2023

Really nice and always gives me my fair lady vibes


Sunday 14th of May 2023

@shannon, what a lovely connection, and one of my favorite movies! The lovely Audrey Hepburn is Incomparable, as is Princess Catherine!


Saturday 13th of May 2023

I took a look at the comments about this lovely outfit on this great site, but from 2019, instead of 2023, and found some interesting trends. Like now, this outfit was also rather divisive in 2019. Some disliked it, even to the point of "hate" being used to describe how they felt about the dress (alas, bows are also not favorites of many; in fact, bows are, in and of themselves, very strongly disliked by several who comment on this site - then and now). Of course, many were quite over the moon about this outfit; in fact, my sense of it is that in 2019, most seemed to love, or at least appreciate, this beguiling ensemble, including the silvery heels and accessories (and several wondered, then as now, how Kate can walk on damp grass in those sky high heels; I just assume it is one of many super powers 😊)! I also saw that several ladies were dressed in blue: Queen Elizabeth, Kate, Zara, Eugenie and Beatrice. (There might have been others, as well). So, judging by all that blue from 2019, there's nothing particularly unusual in the same color being worn by several ladies of the British Royal family at the same event. (Personally, I love how all this looks, when each lady wears a different style in the same hue). I also noticed that Beatrice wore a lovely blue lace dress in 2019 that reminds me a lot of Sophie's blue lace dress of 2023. I 100% love both dresses. Seeing the ladies of British Royalty wear clothes that are both modern, and yet also borrow style elements from decades ago is super fun for me!


Saturday 13th of May 2023

Been awhile since I commented, I had family visiting from out of town during all the coronation stuff so I didn't watch it live or really pay attention to any of it while my relatives were here. I didn't love this outfit the first time I saw it but it grew on me with time. I do love the retro look but I do prefer it with the original short sleeves. I'm also not convinced it's separates either the way it looks. I do think it needs to lose the pussy bow and Kate needs to lose this on all dresses/shirts with those annoying bows. It would be such a stellar look if that was snipped off. I do like the fairytale/Downton Abbey-esque vibe. But that bow has got to go.


Saturday 13th of May 2023

There was discussion when this was originally worn for Ascot, it was a little confusing. At the very end of the Ascot post I added two photos that show it is separates, not a dress. 😊


Friday 12th of May 2023

Susan - I really appreciate your creating concentrated "snippets" of reports' about the coronation events - your format made for lively and interesting coverage over several days, and we did not have to wait for one huge report. I agree with so many here, this dress could have had several of its accumulated effects eliminated and still have worked. Not that I like it but it appropriate for a garden party. And I cannot think of another person who could have gotten away with it!

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