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Garden Party Styles Worn by the Princess of Wales

Garden Party Styles Worn by the Princess of Wales

Hello-Hello, and welcome to another What Kate Wore post. We’ll begin with observances commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy. The King, Queen, and Prince of Wales participated in ceremonies at Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy.

Veterans of Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare, were guests of honor at the National Commemoration Event. Below, RAF veteran Albert William Westgate.

Joe Randall, another RAF veteran, is welcomed to the ceremony.

Here you see veteran Roy Howard, who was wounded in the landing, losing both of his legs below the knee. The BBC reports, “He said he represented all the “men and women who put their lives on hold to go and fight for democracy and this country.”

Another vet at today’s commemoration.

The King addressed those gathered in Portsmouth.

More from The Telegraph’s coverage

He acknowledged that today, 80 years on, it was “near impossible” to imagine the sheer terror and anxiety that faced the hundreds of thousands who took part in the Normandy landings.

The King said: “At this remove, eight decades later, it is a near impossible task to imagine the emotion of that day: the pride of being part of so great an enterprise, the anxiety of in some way not coming up to scratch, and the fear of that day being their last.”

Today’s ceremonies clearly moved the King and Queen.

The Prince of Wales also spoke at the ceremony.

Here is a portion of his remarks. 

We will always remember those who served and those who waved them off. The mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters who watched their loved ones go into battle, unsure if they would ever return.

Many of those that took up arms had never seen combat before, some were still only in their teens. In their letters and diaries we see their great strength.

The Prince spoke with veterans before the ceremony got underway. 

This is an event the Princess of Wales would typically have attended. When asked how she was doing, Prince William said, “She’s doing very well.”

More from this Telegraph article

He was asked by Geoffrey Weaving, aged 100, how the Princess of Wales was faring with her cancer treatment and replied: “Yes, she is getting better, yes. She would have loved to be here today.

“I was reminding everyone how her grandmother served at Bletchley, so she had quite a bit in common with some of the ladies here who were at Bletchley. They never spoke about anything until the very end – it was all very secret.”

You may remember the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attending 70th Anniversary events at Normandy on June 6, 2014.

Yesterday, UK veterans, ages 99 and 100, gathered at Sword Beach.

Sword Beach was one of five beaches where Allied troops landed 80 years ago tomorrow. Here, veteran Peter Newton is talking with Cpl. Paul Squires.

Veteran Donald Jones. 

Mr. Jones was reported to be overcome by the gratitude expressed to him by people at the beach.

This afternoon the Princess Royal, Patron of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, took part in a ceremony at Bayeux Cathedral in France. 

Tonight every grave at Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy was illuminated. It is the largest Second World War cemetery of Commonwealth soldiers in France. 

The Princess Royal was at the cemetery for tonight’s commemorative service. 

The scene at an event tonight above the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. 
Embed from Getty Images

There is a lengthy list of D-Day 80 events taking place tomorrow in France and throughout the UK. The King is in France this evening ahead of tomorrow’s British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer. We’ll close this section of the post with a video covering the Portsmouth ceremony earlier today. 


We now turn to our review of garden party ensembles worn by the Princess of Wales. She attended her First Garden Party in May 2012.

She repeated an Emilia Wickstead dress for the occasion.

The designer’s Alice dress featured a fitted bodice, squared neckline, concealed off-center front closure, inset waistband, and a full pleated skirt.

The Duchess debuted a new hat by Jane Corbett that showcased a broad brim, lace trim on the underside, and a bow detail atop and below the brim.

She wore a pair of double-drop pearl earrings that I believe are still UFO (Unidentified Fashion Object). The Duchess carried her Natalie Clutch and wore her Sledge Pumps, both by LK Bennett.

The dress was worn to the late Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Luncheon at Windsor Castle the previous week.

We saw another Emilia Wickstead design on the Duchess at a May 2013 garden party

The Duchess was expecting Prince George.

The Duchess wore a modified version of the designer’s Marella coat, named after Italian socialite and art collector Marella Agnelli, née Princess Donna Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto.

The silk coat from the Spring/Summer 2013 collection featured an abstract yellow and white pattern, three-quarter-length sleeves, and a collarless neckline.

The Duchess wore her hair partially pulled back. 

Her creamy percher-style hat by Jane Corbett featured an intricate bow detail. It was initially worn in June 2012 for Order of the Garter.

Additional accessories for the Duchess include her Fifth Avenue Clutch and Park Avenue Pumps, both items by Russell & Bromley.

And her Annoushka Pearl Drops suspended from her Kiki McDonough Diamond Hoops

The following year, 2014, the Duchess opted for an Alexander McQueen design. 

The knee-length dress used a basic sheath as the foundation for the garment, showcasing exquisite lace atop an ivory base.

It had long sleeves, a modified boat neckline, and eyelash lace at the hem, sleeves, and neckline. The dress color was referred to by many different names, including beige, gold, caramel, eggshell, blush pink, and others. (I call it ‘champagne.’) 

The dress was first worn for the 2012 Jubilee National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral. On that occasion, the Duchess wore a band at the waist.

The Duchess wore her hair partially pulled back and chose another Jane Corbett chapeau for the party. The milliner noted in her blog, “The new hat was specifically designed to be worn with the beautiful Alexander McQueen lace dress that HRH has worn previously.”

She brought back the Kiki McDonough Diamond Hoops and the Annoushka Pearl Drops, along with her Fifth Avenue Clutch. The shoes were another Russell and Bromley design, their Fifth Avenue pumps.

We saw another Alexander McQueen design when the Duchess attended a May 2016 garden party.

Another view. 

This was the first time the Duke and Duchess attended one of the parties together; the Duchess flew solo at the previous parties.

Many recognized the ensemble immediately.

It was the Alexander McQueen and Jane Taylor look worn for Prince George’s christening in October 2013.

Here you see the ready-to-wear version of the ruffled jacket and a straight skirt on the left, and the Duchess with Prince George in 2013. The Duchess’s jacket was modified and featured fewer ruffles.

The Duchess wore her hair up.

She repeated the Georgie hat by Jane Taylor worn in 2013. Ms. Taylor described the piece as a “sophisticated sinamay beret with delicate silk organza rose and classic veiling trim.”

This event brought the debut of Gianvito Rossi’s 105 Pumps in the Praline colorway. The Duchess also carried an LK Bennett clutch, the Nina style. The Duchess wore the same Kiki McDonough hoops and Annoushka pearl drops noted earlier in this post.

The Duchess attended another 2016 garden party, this one at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. 

Prince William was also on hand at this function.

This was another look many recognized, anchored by the Duchess’s Day Birger et Mikkelsen brocade coat. Featuring a subtle gold paisley pattern, it had a single-breasted silhouette with flap pockets, off-center three-button fastening, and princess seams. I believe this was the fifth time the Duchess wore the coat.

Lady Carrickfergus (as she is titled in Northern Ireland) accessorized with a new hat by Lock and Company, the Morning Rose Perching Hat.

She brought back her Nina Clutch and Fern pumps, both by LK Bennett.

The Duchess also wore the Irish Guards’ Shamrock Brooch as well as new earrings that were a customized version of Kiki McDonough’s Eden Diamond Flower Drop Earrings, with citrines instead of lemon quartz stones.

When attending a May 2017 garden party, the Duchess of Cambridge was in a Christopher Kane coat. 

It was a piece worn on previous occasions. 

The fitted design was a bespoke style crafted of ice-blue eau de nil satin. It featured multiple gores front and back, with four panels per side. There was also a covered front placket, vertical front pockets, a self-belt, and notched lapels.

The coat was initially worn in 2012 for the Opening Ceremony of the London Games. The Duchess wore it again in June 2014 for Order of the Garter ceremonies.

The Duchess’s hat was the “Sweet Delight” style by Lock and Co; it was paired with this coat for the 2014 Order of the Garter events.

Accessories included the Duchess’s vintage beaded clutch by Josef and her Gianvito Rossi 105 Praline Pumps.

She also had on the Blue Topaz and Diamond earrings by Kiki McDonough. 

The Duchess chose a soft pink Alexander McQueen coatdress for a May 2019 garden party at Buckingham Palace.

The Cambridges chatting with guests.

The design was double-breasted with slightly raised shoulders and pleats at the front and back.

Juliette Botterill in matching pink topped off the look. The always-on-top-of-things experts at the Royal Hats site noted it was a “…percher in pale pink straw. The hat is trimmed with a pale pink rose, feather and silk abacca ruffles both on top and below the raised edge of the hat.”

The Duchess wore her Gianvito Rossi 105 Praline Pumps and carried her Loeffler Randall clutch. 

She had on the Collingwood diamond and pearl drop earrings that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. 

The Duchess chose a vibrant coral or salmon Emilia Wickstead design for a garden party in May 2022

The Duchess greeting guests. 

The design showcased a fit and flare silhouette with a pleated skirt, peak lapels, strong shoulders, set-in waistband, and concealed off-center front closure.

It is a favored Emilia Wickstead style worn by the Duchess in other colors. 

The Duchess wore her hair up. 

We saw the return of Jane Taylor’s ‘Lyssa’ hat, a style first worn in 2017 at Trooping the Colour, as shown below right. The product description notes it has “swerving abaca pleats in tonal shades, which emphasise its depth and intricacy.

The Duchess repeated her Rebecca Heels in ‘Makeup pink’ suede ($595) by Emmy London and her vintage Josef clutch.

The Duchess also wore earrings by Kiki McDonough. In some photos, they look like the Morganite Cushion Drops; in others, they look like the White Topaz Cushion Drops. The hoops and gemstones are set in white gold.

The Duchess attended a second garden party in May 2022

The look was built around a soft, floaty aqua dress.

The Duchess speaking with Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg and his wife. 

Kensington Palace said a private dressmaker created the dress. Design elements included a pie crust collar, button-front bodice, set-in waistband, bishop sleeves, and a full-flowing skirt.

A closer look at the high, ruffled collar, the self-covered buttons with loop fasteners, full sleeves coming to a fitted cuff, and slightly puffed sleeves.

It was first worn for a March 2019 reception marking the fiftieth Anniversary of Prince Charles’s investiture as Prince of Wales.

The Duchess wore her hair partially up.

She sported a new hat by Philip Treacy. 

It was similar to the Philip Treacy design first seen at the May 2018 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (shown below right), then worn again at Trooping the Colour in June 2019 (below left).

She carried a bag by Hobbs, the British retailer’s Evesham Clutch ($155), and appeared to be wearing a pair of Jimmy Choo Romy heels in green suede. 

Her earrings looked like the Aquamarine Delicate Orb style ($183) by Carousel Jewels, a UK-based company. They are done in sterling silver with 22k gold plating.

Our final look covers separates worn for the Princess of Wales’s first garden party with her new title.

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

The event was in May of last year

The look was familiar for most readers, centered on separates by Elie Saab

The ensemble was made up of a modified version of the designer’s Macramé Pussy Bow Top ($125) 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. The blouse changes included a switch 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.

A better view of the fabric. 

The ensemble was first seen at Royal Ascot in June 2019

The Philip Treacy hat was also worn to Ascot in 2019. It was described at that time 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.”

Accessories included the Elie Saab Abat-Jour Metallic and Leather Clutch and silver metallic Gianvito Rossi pumps. 

The Princess brought back her ‘Lola’ Blue Topaz and Diamond Hoops by royal favorite Kiki McDonough.

A montage covering all ten ensembles. 

By the numbers: 

  • 8 of 10 looks were repeats
  • 3 ensembles showcased Emilia Wickstead’s designs
  • 3 featured Alexander McQueen styles
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Friday 14th of June 2024

The D Day coverage is very moving. I admire how What Kate Wore posts are always educational and informative. I get a lot out of each and every one!

Regarding Catherine's outfits for Garden Parties, each one is lovely in its own way, but I have a few that I particularly love:

So much splendid bright yellow! I refer, of course, to the Marella coat by Emilia Wickstead. Catherine looked superb in this coat! I adore all that the Admin mentioned, in summing up this beautiful coat: "abstract yellow and white pattern, three-quarter-length sleeves, and a collarless neckline." Oh, and all the accessories were Perfect!

Next up is the Alexander McQueen lace dress, which I think is one of the most beautiful dresses that Catherine has ever worn. (However, I do prefer it a bit more, with the belt). The color is dreamy and especially changeable, depending on the photo in question. To quote the Admin: "The dress color was referred to by many different names, including beige, gold, caramel, eggshell, blush pink, and others. (I call it ‘champagne.’)" I can't help but love a color that seems to shimmer into other colors like that dress color does. I am also definitely a fan of lace. Whenever Catherine has worn lace, I have loved every lace dress or lace gown. She always looks especially lovely in lace.

Another choice I'm fond of is the Day Birger et Mikkelsen brocade coat, but what makes this entire ensemble look particularly amazing is the hat that was worn with it. The Morning Rose Perching Hat, by Lock and Company, was a delightful confection of a hat, that looked exactly like a beautiful, sophisticated rose! Such a romantic hat was lovely with the more tailored coat, offering a nice contrast that also went together Beautifully.

For my next favorite, I enjoy the lovely, soothing, serene, Heavenly blues of the Christopher Kane coat, as well as those incredibly marvelous Kiki McDonough blue topaz earrings with diamond accents! These earrings are Stunning, and I very much would Love to see Catherine wearing them again at some point.

The vivid, vibrant coral hue of the Emilia Wickstead ensemble very much glowed on Catherine when she wore a lovely outfit in this rich and sumptuous, (yet still Summery) color, in May of 2022. On my screen there is a lot of pink to the coral, which makes the color look especially juicy in the bright sunshine. The coat is designed wonderfully and so is the Jane Taylor Lyssa hat. So stylish and with lovely ripples pink, this is a hat I'd love to see the Princess wear again! Special mention much also be given to the "Rebecca Heels in ‘Makeup pink’ suede by Emmy London, as well as the extremely pretty, vintage Josef clutch." I love the pink suede heels, but the lovely clutch takes the prize.

Another beautiful color was on display with the aqua (or pale green) dress that was masterfully created by a private dressmaker. This entire look is one of sheer, unmitigated Romance, which I completely and unapologetically Love! Catherine looked so beautiful in this dress, as well as the scrumptious Philip Treacy hat she wore with it, featuring marvelously lavish, frothy roses.

Last on my list of incredibly beautiful Garden Party outfits that Catherine has worn, is the filmy, dreamy, tulle creation by Elie Saab. Let me just say that there's nothing I do not 100% Adore about this elegant, superbly designed, vintage-gorgeous look! The skirt looks like it has layers and layers of lovely tulle. The silver metallic Gianvito Rossi pumps was a stroke of genius choice. I also love the bag and the Kiki McDonough topaz hoops. Truly, if I had to pick just one Garden Party outfit as my Favorite, this one would be It!

My Best Wishes to the Princess! May she recover fully in her own time, at her own pace. 💗


Tuesday 11th of June 2024

Always enjoyable to see Catherine's garden party outfits once again. I am always so impressed with how polished she looks regardless of the style and colour of her outfit. She seems to be able to wear most colours successfully, but my favourites in this group are the Elie Saab - so feminine, the coral Emilia Wickstead - glorious colour and the ice-blue Christopher Kane - beautiful accessories and jewellery enhanced this lovely outfit. We certainly miss the glamour and fashion details that Catherine brings to all her engagements. However, we will look forward to her return when she has full recovered. Sending every good wish her way. Thank you so much for another thoroughly enjoyable post, Susan.


Saturday 8th of June 2024

What a feast of loveliness Catherine has served up at all the garden parties, while keeping a firm eye on her recycle theme. In most cases it was pure pleasure to get a second look at a particular outfit. I especially loved the bright sunny yellow of the Wickstead maternity coat with its classic collarless neck and plain front opening. The abstract pattern on the silk was fascinating and took maternity wear to another level.

It was wonderful too to see the lace Alexander McQueen again with its rich lace overlay and bodycon fit. It was certainly instructive to get another look at the McQueen christening outfit and see the origin of all the ruffles and pleats free from baby christening robes. Other welcome and elegant repeats were the Berger et Mikkelsen brocade coat, the ice blue and beautifully cut Christopher Kane, and the stunning coral Emilia Wickstead, ably demonstrating that a different colour can completely enliven a familiar silhouette.

I have skipped over the ones I’m not so fond of as I’m sure others may have them among their own favourites and I don't wish to spoil anyone's fun. It only remains to praise Catherine for her infallibility in producing such an excellent range of smart hats and immaculate updos for these occasions.

Thanks so much for your coverage of the D-Day landing ceremonies, I’ve lost count of how many times I choked up at different stories and how grateful I feel that history turned out the way it did. Our Royal Family were a treat to watch both here in the UK and on French shores as they showed true respect for the amazing sacrifices made by so many.


Saturday 8th of June 2024

Surprisingly, my favorite is the yellow and white Emilia Wickstead from 2013. I think it gets overlooked because we never saw it again. The Princess rarely wears yellow - it's such a happy, fresh look for a garden party. Her hair looked amazing and she was extra "glowy" due to her pregnancy.


Friday 7th of June 2024

Gosh, I just love that Cinnabon hat. It's almost Surrealist, like a Schiaparelli. The hats in general are standouts for these garden party looks. I miss Jane Corbett's designs!


Friday 7th of June 2024

I miss Jane Corbett as well.

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