Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Duchess Kate in Familiar Blazer for Coach Core Graduation!

Another surprise appearance from Kate today! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited West Ham United's London Stadium to attend the graduation for more than 150 Coach Core apprentices.

The royals were welcomed upon arrival.

It marks Kate's third public engagement since the pregnancy announcement. Yesterday, Kensington Palace confirmed the royal baby is due in April - a sign the Duchess is past the twelve week stage and all is well. The Palace also confirmed the postponement of the Norway/Sweden tour until early 2018. A Royal source told Rebecca English "she's better and is keen to do as much as she can. But she's taking it day-to-day in deciding what she can do." It very much looks like Kate's pregnancy is following a similar pattern to her first two, and she is feeling much better now. It's great to see her with William and Harry today.

The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to take young people aged 16 – 24 with limited opportunities, and train them to be sports coaches and positive role models and mentors in their communities. The apprentices learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Coach Core is proud to have transformed the lives of its apprentices with 98% of its graduates now being in full-time employment or education, and 80% retain strong ties with their employers and continue to engage in community sport. Apart from qualifications, participants gain the opportunity to grow, support from a network  of professionals and the chance to develop personal qualities including leadership and confidence.

Kate talked to apprentices about their experiences.

The royals have been supporting Coach Core for years. Below, we see the trio at the launch of the sports programme in 2012.

Before the ceremony, William, Kate and Harry watched a number of different sports being played. Duchess Kate chatted with Judy Murray, who has been helping with tennis elements of the programme.

A video from Simon Perry.

More from the Mail Online:

Judy Murray, who is a tennis coach and helped inspire and train her son Andy to grand slam standard, caught up with Kate to talk about their shared love of sport. She said: 'To have the backing of the princes and the duchess is amazing and a huge inspiration for all the young people.'
She said she and Kate spoke about developing coordination in children. 'We were talking about the things you can do with kids when they're little to help them develop those core skills. They don't need to be taught by a coach. Parents have got a big role to play in that. The prince and the duchess are very sporty so I'm sure they'll be keen for their kids to enjoy sport as well. We were talking about the things you can with balloons when kids are very small and that bean bags don't roll. She's been trying with the balloons and I was telling her to try bubbles as well. Blow bubbles and splat them with a little table tennis (ping pong) bat. It's a fun way of developing those basic skills. Kids learn best when they're playing.'

William and Kate chatted with representatives from West Ham United.

Prince Harry gets involved in a rugby masterclass.

This apprenticeship programme improves the availability and quality of sports coaching, creating a solid career path. Apprentices attended the ceremony from seven different areas where Coach Core operates (London, Glasgow, Essex, Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester, and South Wales), with those graduating from London, Glasgow, Wales and Essex.

Prince William poses for photos.

Next, it was time for the graduation ceremony, pitchside at London Stadium, with speeches from the Chairman of Coach Core Ed Wray, and Karren Brady the Vice-Chairman of West Ham United.

William and Kate took to the stage and listened as Harry delivered a speech.

During a speech, Prince Harry announced that Coach Core is starting in three new areas: Middlesbrough, Devon, and Bristol. "It's so appropriate that we are back here – five years after it all began, during the incredible summer of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. At the time, William, Catherine and I were looking at the issues that we wanted to tackle together with our newly formed Royal Foundation. It was clear that all three of us believed firmly that sport could be such a powerful force for good. We felt confident that for many young people, at risk of falling through the cracks, as they left school, sport could be the answer to keeping them on track or change the course their lives were already headed. We knew that with the enthusiasm sweeping the country during that summer, we had a window of opportunity to bring the right people and organisations to the table to make something really exciting happen. The idea for Coach Core was born."

The royals congratulated graduates.

Before departing, they posed for photos.

Did you do a double take when you saw Kate's jacket?

Kate Middleton Style instantly spotted it's the blue version of the red Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini blazer Kate wore on Valentine's Day for an engagement with RAF Cadets. We know the Duchess has often purchased pieces she loves in several colours.

Woven with touches of wool, this twill piece has a double-breasted front, peak lapels and embossed gold buttons. The garment is from the Resort 2017 Collection and was made in Italy. The blazer has been sold out for some time, you can view product information at FarFetch. It originally retailed for £720. A very similar blazer is available in black at Farfetch

The background of the brand:

'Renowned Italian designer Alberta Ferretti founded Philosophy in 1984 with a focus on soft, feminine dressing for day and evening. In 2014, Lorenzo Serafini assumed the role of creative director, adding a touch of glamour to the label’s romantic roots.'

Once again, Kate styled the blazer with a black turtle neck sweater and black skinny jeans.

A closer look at Kate's new double zip ankle boots.

They are the Fallon Dry style from Russell & Bromley (with thanks to What Kate Wore, Katherine Elizabeth & Bonnie Lass). The £295 Chelsea Boots are described as "With elastic detailing and a stack heel, Fallon Dry by Aquatalia is the perfect gaucho-chelsea boot hybrid. Crafted from weather resistant black suede and featuring two zips, they delicately toe the line between smart and casual."

Russell & Bromley

Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings.

Kiki McDonough

Well done to all those who graduated today. It's good to see an increased focus on Royal Foundation projects.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Royal Baby Due in April & November Tour Postponed Until Early 2018!

Good afternoon dear readers,

Kensington Palace made two significant announcements today regarding the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Firstly, it's the update we've been eagerly awaiting; Baby Cambridge is due in April 2018. The news confirms Kate is past 12 weeks and all is well with mother and baby. KP shared the news via Twitter with the message: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in early 2018".

Kensington Palace

April is already a very special month in the royal family. The Queen's birthday takes place on 21 April and William and Kate will mark their seventh wedding anniversary on 29 April 2018, they couldn't ask for a better gift than the arrival of a new baby the same month. Interestingly, when Kate was expecting Princess Charlotte, the Palace said the due month was "April". I understand both George and Charlotte arrived a little late, with the Princess born on 2 May 2015.

Royal watchers and global media will once again be firmly focused on the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital. Our first glimpse of the little prince or princess will come when William and Kate leave the hospital with their new baby. When they left with George they had a brief chat with reporters. When Charlotte was born, they returned to KP just hours after she was born, naturally the Duchess was exhausted and they headed home.

We've seen the Duchess publicly three times during her pregnancy. On 31 August, she joined William and Harry at The White Garden at Kensington Palace, to mark the 20th anniversary of Diana, Princess of Wales. Kate was beaming (she and William had quite possibly just found out she was expecting). Kate wore the Prada Printed Silk Dress with her very pretty Monica Vinader Siren Wire Earrings and L.K. Bennett Fern pumps for the appearance. Days later the Palace confirmed Kate was pregnant and suffering with Hyperemesis gravidarum.

Six weeks later, Kate returned to public duties to mark World Mental Health Day at a Buckingham Palace reception celebrating those working across the mental health sector. Kate was in good spirits on the evening. She wore the pretty iris Temperley London Eclipse Lace Collar Dress, Gianvito Rossi pumps and Kiki earrings.

And yesterday, we had a surprise appearance as Kate joined William and Harry for a Charities Forum engagement with children from organisations they support. It was a lovely event, and it was great to see Kate dancing with Paddington. William revealed "She's feeling much better". An aide added: 'The Duchess is feeling much better but she has still not fully recovered.' Of course, each pregnancy is different, but during her previous pregnancies, I believe it was around this point she began to really feel better. For Kate's third maternity look, she chose an A/W 2013 Orla Kiely Dress with new Tod's Suede pumps and Kiki Morganite earrings.

I expect we'll see Kate popping up at more engagements in the coming weeks.


The other update from the Palace concerns the postponement of William and Kate's November tour of Norway and Sweden. At the request of the Foreign Office, it was originally planned the Duke and Duchess would visit both countries and Finland at the end of November. Due to Kate's health, it has now been postponed until "Early 2018". William will now visit Finland solo next month.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

'The Duchess of Cambridge's continuing illness with acute morning sickness has forced the Royal Household to drop plans for her and Prince William to tour three Scandinavian countries next month. She and William had been due to spend four or five days touring Norway, Sweden, and Finland but Kensington Palace has decided she is not well enough to undertake the tour at the request of the Foreign Office.
 Instead, William, 35, will make a two-day visit to Finland on November 29 and 30 and the couple have postponed their visit to Norway and Sweden until early 2018. It was not possible to postpone the trip to Finland until next year, as the main official reason for going is to celebrate Finland's centenary year as a nation. It became an independent state on December 6, 1917. Unofficially, the visits to all three countries will be seen as part of a wider effort by Britain to shore up its relationships with European countries ahead of Brexit.
Her condition has improved in the last few days, allowing her to undertake two official royal engagements in the past week, but she is still not fully recovered. It is understood that even if she is feeling much better by the time William goes to Finland next month, she has ruled out joining him there.'

I suspect the change of plan was decided very recently. Last week, royal reporter Emily Andrews was told the tour was going ahead in November, contingent upon Kate's health.

Emily Andrews

When the Duchess was expecting Princess Charlotte in December 2014, she and William spent three days in New York. Kate was at the same stage in her pregnancy as she would have been on the November tour. Perhaps she found the travelling very taxing at the time? I understand the proposed itinerary for Sweden/Norway/Finland featured a hectic schedule over five days, much busier than New York.

Kate will be heavily pregnant when the tour goes ahead in 2018.


In other updates, last Wednesday, Kate's former private secretary Rebecca Priestley appropriately received the Royal Victoria Order at Buckingham Palace from Prince William. The honour is reserved for those who have served the monarchy. Rebecca worked for the Royal family for ten years and following the royal wedding, served as Kate's right-hand woman. She has already moved on to the next phase of her career, registering her own private company RAP Consulting and Communications at the beginning of this month. The business, based in central London, will specialise in publication relations and communications activities. Rebecca declined to speak with media after the investiture.


On the fashion front, I only just got a chance to have a gander at a new collaboration between two of Kate's favourite brands. L.K. Bennett and Preen have teamed up to create L.K. Bennett's first Ready-To-Wear Collection with internationally-celebrated label Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. Design duo Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi drew inspiration from the floral watercolours of artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh to create the capsule collection.

Looking at the collection, the Vali Rose Silk Dress instantly stands out whilst achieving the brief of marrying a classic silhouette favoured by L.K. Bennett with the designer's vision. Romantic and feminine, with an undone quality Preen is so loved for. Rendered in 100% silk satin, it is printed with roses on a graphic red striped base. A brand archive silhouette, this wrap dress has a waterfall collar and falls to an asymmetric hem.

The print is beautiful.

The Syd Floral Print Dress is a 'very Kate' piece featuring a feminine silhouette modelled on a Preen archive piece. It has a fitted bodice, round neck, bracelet sleeves and flowing full skirt.

Two striking pieces from the collection: the Sioux Tulip Print Dress and the Shelly Black Print Dress.

More from the Telegraph:

Many of the dresses and skirts in the 15-piece collection are made from pure silk and, with prices starting at £195, the collaborators were keen to ensure that this was not just another ‘designer does cheap version of their hits for the high street’ story. Rather, the original designs aim to bring a similar level of quality, with some new, fashion-forward direction, for those who already love to shop at L.K. Bennett.
“We’ve long admired the British DNA and feminine handwriting of Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and we felt there was a natural synergy between our two brands,” explains L.K. Bennett’s brand director Lorna Perrin. “We’ve developed floral feminine prints, which are already a big part of L.K.Bennett’s heritage, with Preen’s distinct silhouettes and a more directional slant, to create an exciting contemporary collection.”

The Patti dress is a pared-back piece with a very contemporary silhouette. This style is cut from a black silk-blend velvet, with a distinctive soft lantern shape and box-pleated skirt that swishes gracefully as you walk. The embellishment on the neckline is superbly done.

Separates include the Patti Blue Wool Jumper worn with the Shelly Black Skirt. We also see the Devoto Black Silk Top.

What do you think of the collection? Are there any pieces you would like to see Kate wear?

Kate's Favourites