There was a bit of a to-do as the couple arrived; the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Jonathon Douglas-Hughes, slipped on the wet pavement and fell. Prince William and others quickly stepped in to help the gentleman, who was not seriously hurt, although he bruised a wrist.
The focus of today’s visit was helping pupils deal with the pressure of starting at a new school. Below, Kate and William hear from parents how their children coped with the stress associated with a school change.
More from The Daily Mail:
The couple spent two hours touring the school, which has just over 1,000 pupils aged between 11 and 16, and couldn’t hide how impressed they were at what they saw.
The school works with one of the Duchess’s charities, Place 2 Be, and offers a buddy system and extensive counselling to ensure that children are well supported emotionally as well as academically.
Prince William published a blog post today on the Heads Together site, the following is from that post:
“The truth is, for many young people, the changing schools or starting a new academic year is really difficult to deal with.”
“The sooner children learn in life that asking for help is okay, the better.”
The rainy weather didn’t dampen the spirits of students, staff and parents.
Now to what Kate wore.
She has added another US brand to her closet, wearing ‘Altuzarra’s ‘Aimee’ from the designer’s pre-fall collection. The sky blue fabric (officially called Regatta by the label) is a stretch crêpe in a blend of viscose and nylon, with a touch of spandex to provide the stretch.
The dress was featured in a Wall Street Journal piece:
“To create the print, we superimposed polka-dot patterns from the ’30s and ’60s,” said New York-based designer Joseph Altuzarra.
The frock has gathers at the shoulders, as well as the front and back yoke.
The front yoke is so deep it creates a bib-effect on the bodice.
Other design elements include a vee neck, button-front, and half-sleeves that are ruched. The dress is still available in limited sizes at Neiman Marcus ($2150); it was also offered at Matches Fashion, but it appears to be sold out.
More about the choice of designer from Emma Spedding’s fashion story for The Telegraph:
Throughout her time as a senior royal the Duchess of Cambridge has stayed loyal to a number of British designers and labels, such as Alexander McQueen, Jenny Packham and L.K. Bennett, but every so often she surprises and ventures beyond her usual realm of comfort…. for her back-to-school look the Duchess has had a wardrobe refresh, turning to New York-based designer Altuzarra.
Monique Jessen of People magazine noted that actress Margot Robbie has also worn the dress.
— Monique Jessen (@moniquejessen) September 16, 2016
There is a sheath version of the dress, it is also carried at Neiman Marcus ($1495).
And wore her Fern heels ($345), also from LK Bennett.
We saw the return of Kate’s Mappin and Webb Empress earrings and pendant.
Judging by online feedback, this was not a universally applauded look. Many didn’t care for the fabric; it reminded one person on the Facebook page of an apron (pinny), while another found it reminiscent of the material used for hospital gowns. Others didn’t think the color was flattering on Kate, while some thought the slit on the dress was too high. I like the color and the polka dots didn’t bother me, although I concur with those suggesting the side slit could have been shorter. While there *is* a lot going on with the dress, it had a bright, fresh look. It wasn’t as flattering as other dresses we have seen Kate wear, but I didn’t have that visceral, “Oh, dear. Oh, my.” reaction experienced with other pieces.
On a related note, this week Kate was named as the “UK’s Most Influential” icon by Rakuten Marketing. This is the same group that recognized Prince George in the same way this July in the toddler category. More from The Daily Mail:
Her wardrobe isn’t exactly cutting edge but when it comes to style icons, Kate Middleton is the fashionista women in the UK most want to emulate. Research by Rakuten Marketing found that some 29 per cent of women aspire to dress like Kate.
The study results were released earlier this week,timed with the opening of London Fashion Week. The Mirror has a story listing 6 reasons why she is so influential.
Kate is a girl after our own heart and loves a bit of high street. Her favourite labels include Reiss, LK Bennett, Zara, Gap, Monsoon, Topshop and Hobbs. Kate has done more to champion high street sales than any other celebrity.
One other tidbit, this one related to the tour: our 2016 Canada Tour page is now online. The home page has an abbreviated version of the schedule, links and social media accounts you may want to follow. There is also a page with the detailed itinerary.
We’ll leave you with a quick video of Kate and William leaving the school.
— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) September 16, 2016
- The Heads Together website is here; the Facebook page is here and the group’s Twitter feed is here ; the blog post referenced above is here
- Place2Be’s website is here; its Facebook page is here and Twitter feed here
- The Daily Mail’s photo-laden story is here; The Mirror’s story is here; The Standard’s story is here;
- Emma Spedding’s fashion piece for The Telegraph is here;
- The Express photo gallery is here; PopSugar’s gallery is here
- The Mirror’s story about Kate as style icon may be seen here; The Daily Mail’s piece on the topic is here