Sunday, 27 July 2014

William and Kate Attend Batcombe Wedding, Calendar Updates & L.K. Bennett Autumn/Winter Styles

Hello dear readers, we hope you're all having a splendid weekend!

Yesterday The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the wedding of Alexander Vaulkhard and Sarah Nicholson at Batcombe. The groom went to Eton College with Prince William. (with thanks to Ikon Pictures for the info). There's a few snaps available at the Shepton Mallet Journal.

Due to the lack of photos it's very difficult to tell what Kate is wearing but if I had to guess I would say her pretty frock looks very much like the Jenny Packham dress she first wore to a polo match in Santa Barbara in 2011.

It's described as a "de Gournay silver and marble grey hand-painted silk chinoiserie dress". Below we see the dress on the runway, it's from Ms. Packham's 2011 Spring/Summer Collection.

Jenny Packham

Indeed, it is the second wedding Kate has chosen it for - she also wore it for Emily McCorquodale's wedding in 2012.

Kate's hat looks like the cream Jane Corbett piece she wore to Order of the Garter in 2012.

Jane Corbett

We'll updated with details and hi-res photos should they emerge.


Tomorrow and Tuesday The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The young royals will watch an array of events which match their personal sporting interests including hockey, swimming, athletics and boxing. It is expected the Palace will release specific timings on both mornings.

Commonwealth Games

William and Kate, who are known as The Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, always enjoy these events and we can expect to see some great shots of them taking in the games. Will Kate opt for her blazer/skinny jeans/wedges look or a smart dress? Do you have any predictions?

In other updates to Kate's calendar further information has been released regarding William, Kate and Harry's visit to Belgium on 4th August. More from Majesty Magazine:

'Engagement 1: The Duke and Duchess will first be welcomed to Liège by His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians and Her Majesty Queen Mathilde at L'Abbaye Saint-Laurent. 
 Engagement 2: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend a ceremony at the Cointe Inter-allied Memorial, Liège, the main event of the morning. The Duke of Cambridge will deliver a speech. The Duke and Duchess will then attend a private Lunch at the Prince-Bishops' Palace. 
Engagement 3: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend a reception at Mons Town Hall.

Engagement 4: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend a commemoration event at Saint Symphorien Military Cemetery.'

It's always nice to see royal families mingling and interacting through their support of commemorative events and charitable organisations. It should be a real treat for royal watchers to see photos of William and Kate with King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

On 5th August, William, Kate and Harry will visit the exhibit 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' at the Tower of London, commemorating The Great War (the day itself marks the 100th anniversary of Britain's first day fighting in the war).

Historic Royal Palaces

'The evolving installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, will be unveiled on 5 August 2014; one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War.
 Entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, the installation is being created in the Tower’s famous dry moat. It will continue to grow throughout the summer until the moat is filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies, each poppy representing a British or Colonial military fatality during the war.
The poppies will encircle the Tower, creating not only a spectacular display, but also an inspiring setting for learning activities, as well as providing a location for personal reflection. The scale of the installation reflects the magnitude of such an important centenary, creating a powerful visual commemoration.
 The last poppy will symbolically be planted on 11 November 2014'.

It's an incredibly important year for commemoration, reflection and remembrance. It's excellent to see the Royal Family participating in so many events which do just that. Aside from Kate's trip to Malta in September, there are no other engagements scheduled at the moment, apart from the aforementioned ones above. This is very much subject to change, particularly considering how quiet this month has been.


Last Tuesday morning, Kate and Nanny Maria Tereasa were photographed taking George to Buckingham Palace. Many assumed it was due to George's birthday and he was visiting his great-grandfather Prince Philip. It turns out George has been enjoying weekly swimming lessons with his mother every week, at the historic pool.

Buckingham Palace

The pool, which is situated at the rear end of the Palace, was converted from a conservatory in 1938 and has been used by a number of royals including Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and the late Princess Diana, who used it as part of her fitness regime and to teach William and Harry to swim, so it's very much a case of history repeating itself. Palace staff may also use the pool while none of the Royal Family are in attendance. Should a royal arrive they must leave immediately unless invited to stay.

At a recent engagement William admitted bath time had become "quite painful". Perhaps little George enjoys his splash-abouts at the pool a tad more?


We're beginning to see glimpses of Autumn/Winter stock appearing at Kate's favourite brands. I don't know about you, but I favour Kate's choices in those seasons as the Duchess very much opts for coats on a regular basis and she has a fabulous collection, which look superb with a fitted dress, tights and boots underneath - perfectly appropriate for the colder weather.

I was browsing through L.K. Bennett's website when I noticed several 'very Kate' pieces in vibrant reds, elegant black and cool greys. Below we look at the scarlet Cadiz Belted Coat - a statement piece for the coming season with a pared-back collarless silhouette. We also see the £350 Beni Check Coat.

L.K. Bennett

Next, two stylish dresses which would work well for a variety of evening events: the Nerine Cross Front Dress and the Fiji Sleeveless Dress.

L.K. Bennett

A versatile shirt dress can be a wardrobe essential. Perfect for daytime engagements, they're a solid transitional piece to have in your wardrobe as the season changes. L.K. Bennett's Brindi Shirt Dress would be an excellent choice for Kate. The £195 piece comes in scarlet and ultra blue.

L.K. Bennett

The Marina Dress is a classic piece with a ruched side panel cut for a flattering shape. Again we see the strong scarlet colour included - a shade we'll be seeing plenty of in the coming months.

L.K. Bennett

Colour-blocking is a trend we saw the Duchess embrace during the royal tour of Australia. An excellent way to incorporate it is the simple but striking Santana Colour Block Shift Dress. Tailoring and smart skirt suits may also feature in Kate's autumnal choices. We think the Lupin Peplum Jacket and matching dress would look stellar.

L.K. Bennett

A look at the brand's Autumn/Winter 2014 Lookbook offers a peek into other items we can expect to see. On the far left, the Finch Lace Dress is very pretty as are the other floral inspired items.

L.K. Bennett

There's a lot to like in the collection, certainly many pieces we think a certain Duchess would like!


In other fashion news, One of Kate's favoured designers Roland Mouret has designed a capsule collection for Banana Republic. Available from 7th August, Mr Mouret's love of showcasing the female figure in fitted silhouettes and versatile feminine dresses is very much evident.

Banana Republic

To create the collection the designer used Banana Republic's Sloan fabric, which he cut, draped and fashioned into dresses with slim silhouettes. The little black dress dominates the collection with several takes on the wardrobe staple to be seen below.

Banana Republic

Many will recall the retailer also collaborated with ISSA. The collection produced mixed results with many feeling the quality of the garments wasn't entirely up to scratch. It shall be interesting to see how this one fares. Prices will range from roughly $50 - $150.

Finally, for those who simply cannot get enough of Prince George's birthday portraits, the Cambridge family grace the cover of Hello! Magazine.

Hello! Magazine

We'll see you all tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Family and Friends Gather at Kensington Palace for Prince George's Birthday!

It was quite an unusual day at Kensington Palace as the Royal Family celebrated Prince George's birthday. The day no doubt began with various preparation for the party; icing the cake, preparing food and ensuring the children had plenty of activities to keep them entertained. Earlier, Kate and Nanny Maria Tereasa brought George to Buckingham Palace to see his great-grandfather Prince Philip, who was unable to attend the party due to other commitments.


In the early afternoon onlookers began to gather outside Kensington Palace to see guests arrive.

Julius Sowu Twitter Feed

One could say people were really (and I mean really) getting into the spirit of the day :)

According to one observer there was "a fabulous atmosphere and a sense of excitement in the air as the future king marked his first birthday. It was a beautiful day and all the guests looked very happy as they drove past".

Emily Andrews Twitter Feed

As expected, the party was a small affair including only the couple's closest family and friends. Mike and Carole Middleton were among the first guests to arrive; they travelled separately.

Pippa, who just completed the Bosphorus Cross-Continental Race, arrived solo for her nephew's party. It is thought the author played a large role in organising the event.

James Middleton followed closely behind. It is rumoured James was accompanied by his TV presenter girlfriend Donna Air. 

William's cousin and George's godmother Zara Tindall was all smiles as she drove past with her husband Mike and daughter Mia Grace.

The young royals' closest advisor Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton was there too. As someone who has played such a significant role in guiding the Princes in recent years it would have been quite special for him to see his godson George turn one.

William and Kate's close friend, and another of George's godparents, Emilia Jardine-Paterson was also there with her baby.

Fashionistas will recognise Emilia's dress as the Beulah London Blossom Dress; Kate also owns this dress and wore it to Alice St John Webster's wedding in 2012. It's a beautiful piece and perfect for the occasion, which leads me to wonder: what did Kate wear today?

Official Freyja Twitter Feed

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

No doubt the event got underway after the guest of honour, Her Majesty The Queen was inside the palace.

Prince George Pieces Twitter Feed

Despite her very full schedule I thought it a lovely gesture she made time for her great-grandson's first birthday party. Charles and Camilla were otherwise engaged with royal duties.

Prince Harry was reportedly there too, and the van Cutsem's were spotted by onlookers and members of the press. It seemed a perfect celebration for a one-year-old with family, godparents and a couple of little playmates in attendance too. 


Since we wont be seeing photos from inside, we leave you with a look at Legoland's interpretation of Prince George's birthday party. A miniature Buckingham Palace was recreated with a traditional garden party for the prince. If you look closely you'll see a cake with one candle marking his age, balloons and birthday presents.

I hope it was an excellent day for all in attendance and a fun one for Prince George!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Family Portraits of the Cambridge Family Released, Malta Trip Confirmed & Latest News

Two portraits of the Cambridge family were released by the Palace to mark Prince George's first birthday tomorrow.


As expected, they offer lovely shots of William and Kate with their son in an informal setting. In this beautiful photo below Kate is holding George as he touches a butterfly which is resting on his father's hand. I think this one is my favourite official photo of the family together thus far.


A closer look at the Blue Morpho butterfly.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed/PA

The photos were taken by Press Association photographer John Stillwell at the Natural History Museum's 'Sensational Butterflies' exhibition earlier this month. On Saturday night the Palace released a portrait of George toddling towards the camera. Shall we take another look? (I don't know about you, but I never tire of seeing photos of Georgeous).

Clarence House Twitter Feed

William and Kate issued the following statement to mark George's birthday:

'We would like to take this opportunity on George's first birthday to thank everyone over the last year, wherever we have met them both at home and overseas, for their warm and generous good wishes to George and our family.'

A closer look at the birthday boy.


Can you believe it's been a year since this?

The portraits have proven very popular with tomorrow's papers.

Daily Mail

A look at the cover of The Express.

Daily Express

For the portraits, the Duchess selected her Budding Heart Silk Tea Dress by Suzannah. The £475 frock is based on the brand's best-selling 1930's inspired tea dress style. It's described as "a fabulous day dress" with a matt silk crepe skirt part lined in 100% habotai.


The Duchess wore the pretty frock underneath her Erdem coat during the royal tour and most recently at the Tour de France send-off. It's great to finally see it properly and it was an excellent choice for the nature and location of the photo-call.

Kate accessorised with her Annoushka pearls.

It is believed the Cambridges plan to move to their country home in Norfolk shortly where Prince William will take up a full-time position with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. This may be the last time we see little George for quite a while, at least in an official capacity. Royal commentators hold the opinion the public will see far less of the future King compared to previous generations. What do you think of the birthday portraits?


One year on, Sir Marcus Setchell, the former royal gynaecologist who delivered Prince George spoke about the experience for the first time:

'You just keep reminding yourself that although it's very important, for the couple and the-about-to-be-born baby, it's just another healthy young couple giving birth to another, hopefully, very healthy baby.
 And I constantly reminded myself of that so that the pressures of the hundreds of media people outside the hospital didn't affect me, at least not more than minimally.' 

The Duchess attended Sir Marcus's retirement party earlier this year.

With George's special day almost upon us, a wide variety of articles looking at the Prince's first year and his future have been published. One particularly unexpected piece makes a shocking prediction. Diana's royal biographer Andrew Morton believes William will abdicate in favour of his son in time to come.

Speaking to The Sun he said:

'I think William will become the first King to do the job for several years but then abdicate. This could mean George is still relatively young when he takes over, which obviously mean he has a totally different life ahead of him.
 I'm not saying William has consciously planned this far ahead but I think this is how it will unfold. William never talked about his future in terms of his destiny or duty. He always talks about being king as a job, not a vocation or calling. '

It's quite a shocking prediction, one that will hopefully never come to fruition (one I cannot envisage). Perhaps, as William gets older a love for the role and all it encompasses will develop. It would now seem full-time duties are some time away, in fact, and I would predict not until Charles become king. Majesty Magazine's Ingrid Seward dismissed Mr. Morton's claims as "ridiculous".


The Palace has confirmed The Duchess of Cambridge will visit Malta on 20 and 21 September to represent The Queen on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Malta's independence. The two-day trip will mark Kate's first solo overseas visit as a member of the Royal Family. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh lived in Malta during the early years of their marriage while Prince Philip was first lieutenant on board HMS Chequers. It is believed they were extremely happy there and no doubt Her Majesty will be very pleased to see Kate representing her in September.

The British Monarchy Flickr

We'll hear about the itinerary and more details in due course.


In other news, it was revealed last week that Kate attended a two-week cookery course alongside popular television chef Rachel Khoo at the prestigious Leiths Cookery School - and passed with flying colours.

Rachel Khoo remained tight lipped about the Duchess but said:

'Kate was in my class. She was ill for a few days, so I took notes for her. She was a lovely person, but she kept to herself.'

The school has a reputation as a first-class culinary institute for chefs. Students come from all over the world to enjoy dedicated teaching and a friendly atmosphere. Interested amateurs like Kate enjoy perfecting new and much-loved dishes and learning some of the tricks of the trade, enabling them to add a professional touch to their own cooking at home. Courses usually cost around £1,600.


A look at some of the school's popular dishes.

Leiths Cookery School

It is not known exactly when Kate took the course, but her sister Pippa also undertook one at a different cookery school. It looks as if they're both following in their mother's footsteps with a keen interest in cooking and preparing delicious family meals. The Duchess is said to be a keen cook and was photographed grocery shopping several times during the couple's time in Anglesey.

William and Kate are very rarely spotted out for dinner, and it is thought they prefer to host dinner parties for their closest family and friends at Kensington Palace, which boasts two kitchens. Kate had the existing 350 sq ft kitchen, originally designed by Princess Margaret's husband Lord Snowden, refurbished at a reported cost of £170,000. Courtiers stressed that the additional "private, family kitchen" was paid for by the couple's private funds.


In tonight's fashion corner, we begin with news on the pink peplum Alexander McQueen ensemble Kate wore in Adelaide during the recent royal tour.

It was believed Kate was wearing a top and skirt at the time, however it turns out the garment is in fact a dress from the brand's Pre-Fall Collection. The Wool and Cashmere-Blend Dress is currently available at My Theresa for £1,985. It's partially lined with a zipped back, hook fastening and a flared skirt with high-low hem.

My Theresa

A closer look at the dress.

My Theresa

From the product description:

'Alexander McQueen lends a vintage theme to this pretty dress. Light pink fabric, reworked for a figure-sculpting silhouette, is given a feminine boost with a peplum waistband and draped detailing. 90% wool, 10% cashmere.'

It also comes in poppy red, a colour which suits the look and structure of the dress better than the soft pink, in my opinion.

Lane Crawford

Now that we've seen the piece properly, has your opinion changed? If I recall correctly it wasn't one of the most popular pieces worn during the tour.


Finally we take a look at the The Mirror's offering George: The First Year. The £4.99 84-page commemorative magazine recaps George's first year from his first appearance at St. Mary's Hospital to his christening and the royal tour.

The Mirror

Sending Prince George the happiest of birthday wishes!