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Kate in GOAT's Elodie & L.K. Bennett's Delli in Manchester

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

William and Kate made a joint appearance today as the couple attended the Children's Global Media Summit in Manchester. By the looks of the photos, they had a grand time. 

The Duchess of Cambridge arrived wearing a houndstooth patterned coat from L.K. Bennett. Apparently Donna Air has been pictured wearing the same coat, so perhaps Kate took some style inspiration from her? 

The coat is L.K. Bennett's Delli Check, and the Duchess paired it with another new dress from GOAT London! When I said this would be the GOAT London pregnancy, even I didn't realize Kate would take it this far. But this choice has delighted me. Notice the Elodie's darling "gathered funnel collar," and pleated sleeves.  Just enough sweet detailing to make this simple dress flirty and fun. 

She pulled the two pieces together with black stockings and accessories (her Tod's pumps and Bayswater clutch), and added a hint of sparkle with Mappin & Webb's Empress earrings. 

A video of Kate greeting little fans:

William revealed that prince George played the sheep in his school's nativity play, which sparked a million jokes about Love, Actually and the lobster. Doubtless a humble role, but hey, at least the lamb was at the nativity, which cannot be said of the lobster. I am sure George's costume was tons of fun to wear, too. Below is a picture of Prince Harry playing a shepherd when he was a little guy. I don't think we will see photos of George, but maybe someday they will be shared as historical shots.

Recently, William has been focusing quite a bit on cyber bullying, and the Duke gave a speech today about the concerns he feels as a parent surveying the digital landscape in which we now live. I hope William encourages parents to limit digital technology to their children even more, so that the young minds of the next generation can develop and form by interacting first and foremost with the natural world. Apparently, both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates limited their children's access to digital devices because of the impact digital devices can have on mental development, which I think is very interesting. I am glad William is shining the spotlight on this area, because it is such a crucial concern for society. You can read his speech here

The verdict on Kate is definitely a win! The berry Elodie was sweet and fun and looked great paired with her black stockings, and I also enjoyed that she wore a chic coat, too. We got two separate looks today, which was a real treat. 

This is, I think, the last of the abridged posts as I am about to wrap up those deadlines I had. :) Looking forward to getting backing the swing of things here on the blog. On another personal note, prayers to all of you in southern California. I know it has been a harrowing and horrifying 48 hours, and that the winds are picking up again tonight. I am praying so hard for you, for the firefighters, and for your homes. 

Kate In A New Evening Gown for Diplomatic Reception

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Good evening all! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace this evening. It's the annual royal tease-fest, when we get just enough of a peek at the fancy clothes and glittering diamonds to whet our appetite, but not enough to satisfy. Oh well. Better than nothing! 

Kate's tiara, the Lover's Knot, has been her signature piece for several years now. It is an absolutely stunning tiara and Kate loves pearls, so it is a great choice in and of itself. Nevertheless, I think the connection to Diana, who made this tiara famous, plays a part in Kate's decision to make it her tiara, too. To me it is her subtle way of embracing her role as the future Princess of Wales. It is a very substantial and regal piece, with so much glamour and history. By wearing it so proudly, Kate seems to confidently embrace her role in the royal continuum, and the glamor and history she will write in her chapter. I really love that she wears this tiara!

Kate is wearing a new evening gown, which we can't see much of (per usual with the Diplomatic Reception), but it looks in lock step with Kate's preferences. Unlike her last bejeweled dress, though, this one looks like something I might really like. I hope it is an Empire waist with a flowing and airy chiffon skirt... Whatever it is, the pristine white with the sparkling diamond necklace (on loan from HM!) and her Collingwood Pearl earrings, I am sure she was absolutely striking tonight. 
You all have been asking about Pippa lately, well we got a bunch of pictures today. Pippa is an ambassador for the British Heart Foundation, and she was recently at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children as part of the Christmas appeal. She looks fantastic, and although I am not always on board with her ensembles, I love this skirt and turtleneck!

Seeing her in these photos reminds me how much I have missed seeing the Middletons around. It's been a quiet fall with Kate under the weather and down for the count. (Ring alert belong!)

Tonight was Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund Carol Concert, and Harry, Pippa, and Carole Middleton all attended, as they do most years. Obviously, William and Kate were otherwise occupied, but even when the Cambridges don't have the Diplomatic Reception, we haven't seen Kate at this Christmas staple in so many years. I love it for the opportunity to see Carole and Pippa, but...I do miss the old days. You can see pictures of the guests here

Comment Section Malfunction

Monday, December 4, 2017

I've been getting the emails and the messages that we've hit the 200 mark in the comment section, which means further comments won't load. I know it is very frustrating. Unfortunately, it is a problem that Blogger has had for a while, and there isn't much I can do about it. Disabling the thread feature would fix it (I hear), but that's just messy and makes it difficult to follow different conversations. Ultimately, despite the trouble it can be to get used to at first, I should probably switch us to a 3rd party platform. I will likely do that sometime this month. Until then...bear with me! 

Kate Spotted at King's Cross + Meghan Markle's First Public Engagement in Nottingham

Friday, December 1, 2017

As Harry and Meghan made their way to Nottingham this morning for Meghan's first public engagement with her prince, the Duchess of Cambridge was pictured arriving at King's Cross in London. The Duchess was keeping the chilly morning weather at bay in her new tartan coat (just debuted on Wednesday as she was pictured leaving Kensington Palace with her mom) and carried her Mulberry Polly Push Lock satchel.  

Although the Daily Mail didn't really have any details, it appeared Kate was meeting someone at the station that she knew. The third picture above shows her spotting and reacting to something, likely someone. In any event, she wore this Iris and Ink turtleneck to a Cub Scout meeting in December of last year:

Reader Cepe has told me that Prince William flew into Norfolk yesterday and the current guess is that the couple are likely taking off for Anmer Hall. In years passed, Kate has been pictured shopping in the little villages near her country home before Christmas, and most years the Cambridges have enjoyed taking their children to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. Maybe all that gardening earlier in the week got Kate itching to get back to the country. She might also be planning to host Meghan Markle at her home over the Christmas holiday and therefore off to decorate and prepare? Hard to say. 

Daily Mail

Speaking of Meghan Markle... As Meghan carries out her first official engagement with Prince Harry today, many are pointing to Kate's visit to Anglesey in 2011 as her first royal appearance. But, Kate made her first public engagement as a royal-fiancée in Norfolk at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular on December 18, 2010.  

Meghan's debut is certainly faster than Kate's was, and certainly more "real engagement" than Kate's early forays, but that might have something to do with the fact that Harry is older now than William was when he got engaged. When William got engaged, both boys were still pursuing their "other" careers, and obviously now Harry has transitioned toward charity work. I don't think it is odd that they would make a public appearance so soon, and that it would be a full fledged public engagement.

Turning to Nottingham today... Used to Canadian winters, Meghan Markle wrapped up for her first day of official engagements in a Mackage coat, and wore a maxi skirt from Joseph underneath. The happy couple were super hands on throughout the day, which made for some great photos! 

I really enjoyed watching Kate on her first walkabouts, so I have pulled together video of Meghan doing her first royal walkabout! It is so interesting to hear an American accent in this context!  

And a quick photo of the couple with their coats off:

William and Kate have added a new engagement on the 6th, and I will keep an eye out for any further confirmation about Kate's trip. 

[Updated] Princess Kate in Barbour at Robin Hood Primary School

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kate made a visit to Robin Hood Primary School today to see the fruits of the students' participation in the Royal Horticultural Society's Campaign for School Gardening in London. It called for a casual and ensemble and Kate put together some absolute favorites for a really winning ensemble.

The Duchess is wearing a Barbour jacket and her Temperley London Honeycomb sweater. She has this sweater in cream and black, and it is one of her classics, and my favorites. This black one paired with soft, black skinnies and her Penelope Chilvers boots is the perfect classic casual Kate. The princess really loves those Lauren Leaf earrings from Kiki McDonough, and she is wearing them here today.

This video by Rebecca English is from the back where the press must have been standing, but you can hear Kate's remarks quite clearly, as she tells students her fond memories gardening and the skills she is trying to pass on to George and Charlotte. We did hear a few years ago that Kate grew potatoes and other vegetables at Anmer Hall, and it is fun to imagine them all in such a normal and down-to-earth (literally) environment. 

A birthday celebration, which this was, of sorts, demands cake. I am just going to admit that I follow a million different cake decorators and wedding planners because I love cake decorating. I never do it myself, but I dream about it. Someday... Based upon my extensive "knowledge" of the industry, this shabby chic cake is super en vogue. :)  I love the flowers all over it. It looks so good, too.

Kate cut the cake, and I hope she had a bit, too.

Kate also got her hands dirty, today, as she spent time gardening with the kids. Her natural dialogue with them is different from her official presentations, and I imagine very much the way she talks seriously to little Charlotte and George.

In this photo you can see Catherine Quinn in the background. Kate also appears to have put on leather  gloves...

This is a huge win for me. Not only did we get some old school Kate Middleton style, but I love when she reflects on the various projects and activities she does with her children, particularly something like gardening. I have lots of memories of watching my dad plant his tomatoes and sometimes getting my hands muddy, too, under his direction, or watching the beans slowly grow on the trellis by the back door until it was time to pick and eat them. Those are really happy memories and it's great to see Kate is working with the RHS to promote outdoor activities for youngsters in her London community, and that she is creating these experiences with her own kids.

William gave a statement about Harry & Meghan's engagement. I really like William. I think he is a great royal. He balances the job really well. He is personable and natural and comes up with clever comments that don't sound like a cliche. I also think sometimes he is too uptight about the press, but that's for another day. No one is perfect. Enjoy his cute comment:

Meghan and Harry to Wed at Windsor

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It was a busy day for royal watchers as Kate the Great made a stop at the Foundling Museum, and the Palace released a bunch of data on the upcoming royal wedding! 

Here are the highlights:

  • The couple will wed in May of 2018 (this suggests that Kate is probably due in early April).
  • The wedding will take place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. You will recall that Prince Charles had his marriage blessed at St. George's Chapel after he married Camilla in a civil ceremony, and Autumn and Peter Phillips married at St. George's Chapel. That was a wedding Kate attended, and the occasion she first met the Queen! 
  • Harry and Meghan are keen to involve the public, and I am hearing the wedding will be televised. I don't know that that has been confirmed yet.
  • Official engagement photos have not been taken.  
  • Meghan and Harry will undertake their first official engagement together on Friday in Nottingham. 
  • Meghan will break ties with all current charities and join Harry, William, and Kate at their Royal Foundation. (Smart move, even if disappointing to her current charities)
  • Meghan will become a British citizen.
  • She will be baptized and confirmed in the Church of England before her marriage. 
  • The dog she had to leave in America will not be joining her in the UK.
  • Harry and Meghan were spotted arriving at Buckingham Palace today. The couple waved enthusiastically to the crowds as they were chauffeured in. I suspect this was tea with the Queen to chat about wedding plans. 
  • Harry was spotted later in the day at the gym. :) 
  • Meghan will also be traveling for a few months to spend time with friends before her wedding. 
Royal reporter Emily Andrews shared the actual press statement she got from Harry's office at KP, and you can read it below for yourself. Big thanks for that, Emily! [the above bullets were sourced throughout the day from Emily Andrews, Rebecca English, Richard Palmer, and Niraj Tanna]

N.B. I am running on a truncated schedule here, because Harry and Meghan's very happy news coincides with a few weeks of very important deadlines on my end. But, I will keep you up to speed, even if I am a little less wordy than usual, and we will be back to regular programming in a jiffy. Following all this engagement news is making me nostalgic for William and Kate's engagement. I think everyone knows that I follow Kate for more than just the fashion, and I know the hubbub of this new engagement has stirred up our quiet little corner of royal watching. A little stirring can be a good thing, and I am excited to share more of my thoughts about Meghan and Kate over the holiday season. I do want to clarify, though. I will cover Harry and Meghan's engagement and wedding, because I am following every detail and excited for it all, and I know the overwhelming majority of you are following it, and it is a huge part of Kate's focus these days, too. But, this will not be a joint blog moving forward. More on that later. But, I hope we all enjoy this season of excitement together in a spirit of goodwill. 

Ok kids. Onward! 

 P.S. Best photo of the day. I just love this Princess. 

Duchess of Cambridge in Kate Spade at Foundling Museum

Yesterday's engagement announcement was certainly exciting, but it is good to get back to the Duchess of Cambridge! Kate is visiting the Foundling Museum in London today, and HRH arrived wearing a dress by Kate Spade. She is carrying her Bayswater clutch in burgundy and wearing Gianvito Rossi heels in a matching hue. 

Of course, every royal is being asked thoughts on Harry's happy news. Kate was ready with a warm and friendly answer, one of the rare times she has spoken directly to the press. 
“William and I are absolutely thrilled. “It’s such exciting news. “It’s a really happy time for any couple and we wish them all the best and hope they enjoy this happy moment.”
In that department, we should hear this afternoon more details about the wedding including month and venue, perhaps, and maybe even the actual date!  

This dress is certainly a win for me. I love the burgundy and pinks, which work so well on Kate, and I love that she is wearing a dress with a bit of an Empire waist-line. Also, anyone notice the buttons are little pearls? So pretty, and so Kate. Most of all, I am happy to see Kate today.

Harry & Meghan's Full Engagement Interview

Monday, November 27, 2017

I am pretty sure that BBC aired an edited version of this interview. Here is the full twenty minutes. I have thoughts, but I need to reclaim some of my day here, so that post will have to wait for another time.

I am intersted to hear what you all think. The photo-call in Kensington Palace's Sunken Garden is here, and the first post of the day, with the press releases form KP for William and Kate, and the primary announcement from Clarence House, is here

Meghan Markle Displays Ring Designed by Prince Harry

At 2pm GMT, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met with the press in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace for their engagement photo call! The choice of location was appropriate as Meghan displayed a sparkling ring designed by Prince Harry that features two stones from Diana's personal collection, and one stone from Botswana, according to royal reporter Emily Andrews.

The couple walked together to the garden and circled the reflecting pool before taking their position. If you missed the live-stream, this is a clip Emily Andrews shared of our first glimpse of Harry and Meghan!

This year, the Sunken Garden was transformed by white blooms to honor Princess Diana. Just three months ago, the Sunken Garden was the scene of Kate's last appearance before she announced her third pregnancy, so it has now been the stage of joy both for Prince William and now Prince Harry. 

Kate's blue Issa dress became an instantly iconic ensemble when she wore it to her own engagement photo call in November of 2010. Seven years later, Meghan must have felt the pressure to pick the right dress! Given the chilly London weather today, though, Meghan wrapped up in a soft white coat from The Line, with a green dress peeking out underneath that is reportedly from P.A.R.O.S.H. If she wears the same dress for the interview, we will get a good look tonight! 

The couple kept it quite short. Harry is very personable with the public, but he is a little dodgy with the press. Hopefully Meghan, who is very relaxed, can help him warm up a bit.

Emily Andrews shared this snap shortly before the couple made their appearance:

And this is the view that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had (with more press by the time they made their entrance!) standing in their final position. 

Tonight at 6pm GMT, all networks will air Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement interview.

Official: Prince Harry is Engaged to Meghan Markle!

[New post featuring the Sunken Garden photo call and the ring is live here] Prince Harry seems to have found his happily ever after, after all. Clarence House announced this morning that he is engaged to Meghan Markle and the couple will wed in the Spring of 2018!

Kensington Palace released a statement on behalf of Meghan Markle's parents in which they expressed their happiness.

William and Kate put out a brief remark via Kensington Palace, too, saying:
We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.
Rumors hit fever pitch over the weekend, with fans and the media alike expecting an announcement and day. Now, camera crews are quickly setting up at Kensington Palace and we will have engagement pictures this afternoon, as well as an interview airing this evening. 

via Victoria Murphy
When William and Kate got engaged, the first thing they did was film the tv interview, which aired later in the day, then they made their way to St. James's Palace for the photo call with the press. I suspect that Harry and Meghan will follow the same schedule, so they are interviewing now, and we will get a late afternoon press meet. Sounds like they are doing it in the opposite order. Early press call (2pm local time) and then the interview, which will air tonight at 6pm London time. What do you think Meghan will wear to the photo call?

There is already a report that the wedding might in March, which is earlier than I would have expected, but I do think that now these two have announced, they'd like to be married as soon as possible. There has been a suggestion that the couple could marry in Los Angeles, Meghan's hometown. I don't know what to think about that. My sense is Meghan will be excited for a British royal wedding, but you never know! Wherever they marry, it will be a media bonanza. 

The second whisper is that Meghan will receive and accept an invitation to Christmas at Sandringham this year. I keep hearing that "Kate wasn't permitted to spend Christmas at Sandringham the year she got engaged," but that is a little misleading. William worked that Christmas. It was his last as a single man, so he took the holiday shift so that daddies could be home with their kids. I do't know if Meghan will attend Sandringham Christmas, but just like it was clear these two would get engaged quickly, where William and Kate went very slowly, it is clear that Meghan and Harry are keen to start their lives together. Again, the difference in age (at this stage in their relationship) between William and Kate and Harry and Meghan cannot be under emphasized. 

I will update the blog later today when we get pictures from the photo call! 

Kate in Glittering Blue Gown for Royal Variety Performance

Friday, November 24, 2017

Kate has turned to her Queen of the Night this evening to make her second appearance at the Royal Variety Performance. The Duchess is wearing a bespoke Jenny Packham gown in a shimmering light blue with an embellished tulle overlay. 

It has been an exhausting day of royal watching! The Twittersphere and social media in general has been in a frenzy of expectation waiting for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to decide the time is ripe to announce their engagement. In the meantime, we were also waiting with bated breath for the Duke and Duchess to attend the Royal Variety Performance this evening at the Palladium. As you may know, just an hour or so before the Duke and Duchess were scheduled to arrive at the event, shots were reported near Oxford Circus underground, and according to royal photographers who had already gathered at the venue, Oxford Street erupted into madness as people stampeded to escape what they believed to be an attack.  

Police rushed to secure the area and determine if there was indeed a terrorist attack underway, while frightened shoppers sheltered in shops until the all clear was given. The show was, of course, delayed as organizer tried to decide if it would be canceled or not. After thoroughly sweeping the area, authorities gave the all clear, and slowly opened the various roadways and the tube station to permit access to the area around the Palladium. 

Happily, it was not a terrorist attack, but the police were unable to determine the source of the sounds of gunfire. The Royal Variety Performance said the show would go on, and everything proceeded, just on a delayed schedule. Unfortunately, though, a scare like this, so close to the arrival of a celebrity couple, is bound to rattle security. When Kate and William finally pulled up in their convey of Range Rovers, they didn't have a drawn out welcome on the sidewalk, but proceeded directly inside.
As a result, we didn't get the array of glamorous photos we enjoyed on the couple's first appearance at the Royal Variety. The two were welcomed inside the building, to our disappointment, but doubtless to the relief of Mr. Security et al.

The couple enjoyed the star-studded performance and William even got a chance to interact a little with the host, which happened last time the Cambridges attended, as well.  Kate and William reportedly had a ball with the entire program and took to the stage afterward to thank the host and performers:
Kate carried her Jenny Packham Casa clutch:

And wore her Oscar de la Renta Cabrina scalloped pumps.

Frankly, Kate really brought all the bling needed by wearing one of the busiest and most embellished dresses she has ever debuted, which is saying something... But, she did add her Chandelier Diamond Earrings that are on loan from the Queen to add some royal oomph.

I am going to try to ease into this by starting with the hair. I join those who are frustrated with Kate's shorter length. Although it was cute at the Wimbledon, the short and curly style hasn't been playing well for me, and I think Kate is still young enough that she should return to her longer locks. Tonight called either for the polished and bouncy waves of yore, or a sophisticated up-do. Instead we got the average curls that often end looking a little messy from most angles. Fine, I guess, for the average daytime engagement, but not a big win at a glamorous evening such as the annual Royal Variety Performance.

Ok kids, we are about to cross into choppier waters. I know most of you love this dress. It received a fast and enthusiastic response on Twitter and Instagram, but unhappily, I am not among the fans. At the risk of being the most unpopular person at the party, I will proceed. As has been noted, this is a lot like Kate's Jenny Packham from the reception in Paris, a veritable maternity version, if you ask me.

I found my way to liking Kate's Paris dress, but I just don't like this. I think my two primary objections are to the hemline and to the sleeves, which aren't flattering Kate at this stage in her pregnancy. To the first, I wouldn't have loved the dress just stopping above her shoes, but the netting extending beyond the underlay was jarring. The tulle overlay wasn't finished and it clashed with the lace hem. I can see why Kate might have been attracted to this design. It's unusual and highlights the beautiful hem, but it just didn't work for me.

I've talked a lot about how I think Kate adheres to her style preferences while pregnant and is reluctant to accommodate change. To me, tonight is a casualty of her loyalty to her baseline style. She should be bolder about "embracing the change," and dressing her evolving figure to its best advantage. Now is not the time for the busy crystals and embellishments, nor for the fitted column dresses. I'd love to see more streamlined pieces, à la Issa and Kate's 2011-2012 preferences. To be more precise, I'd love to see the maternity version of the Sarai Beulah London. A v-neck would be very flattering at this stage, and the filmy bell sleeves would be better than the busy and tight sleeves she showcased this evening. Finally, a more flowing or a-line skirt would show off her petite bump and balance her figure. 

This is a miss. The Royal Variety Performance benefits Royal Variety of which the Queen is patron. Historically, it a royal staple dating back to the reign of George V and Queen Mary. It was a big deal when William and Kate were deputized to represent the Queen in 2014, and Kate hit a home run that time in the DVF Zarita and an elegant chignon, completed by show-stopping Kiki McDonough sparklers. This is an event that demands royal sophistication.  Tonights' dress simply didn't measure up. From head to hem, I felt the Royal Variety Performance warranted a better showing. Kate is so stunning when she is pregnant, and I wish she'd play to her bets advantage. She almost always identifies the landmark events and nails them, but this was far from her best.