Friday, 30 November 2012

Kate Reveals Old Nickname on Visit to Old Prep School

Duchess Kate visited her old preparatory school St Andrew's in Pangbourne, Berkshire today to mark St Andrew's Day.

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Kate was met by excited pupils and greeted by staff.

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Kate attended the school from 1986 to 1995. The Duchess met the girls hockey team which no doubt brought back childhood memories of her own, as Kate played on the school hockey team during her time at the school and enjoyed a quick game with the pupils (in heels) Kate also opened a new Astroturf pitch. The pitch was created by artificial turf specialists McArdle Sport-Tec.

Newbury Today Twitter

St Andrew's is an independent preparatory school and was founded in 1934 as a boarding school for boys. In 1971 it first admitted girls, going on to become fully co-educational. Just a few minutes from Pangbourne, it is a rural school which offers a safe haven where children can be children. St Andrew's offers an all-round education which includes sport, art, music, drama and activities. The school's main building is a listed Victorian Gothic country house called 'Buckhold' designed by Alfred Waterhouse and set in fifty-four acres of woodland and playing fields.

St Andrews

Here's a rather interesting story you may not have heard. Kate first laid eyes on William as a ten-year-old pupil at St Andrew's when William was part of a Ludgrove School Hockey team that came to play a match there. According to The Telegraph story "all the girls, Kate included, were desperate to catch a glimpse of him and afterwards at match tea they were all trying to speak to him and shake his hand". Fascinating to think their paths crossed at such a young age and almost twenty years later they were married.

One of Kate's annual class photos at St Andrew's.


Speaking about her time at St Andrew's Kate said

'It is such a treat to be back here at St Andrew's. I absolutely loved my team here. They were some of the happiest years, which makes it so incredibly special to be here today. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that when I had to leave I told my mother that I was going to come back to be a teacher. While that didn't quite happen, I was thrilled to have been asked back today on St. Andrew's Day'.

Kate went on to discuss her love of sport:

'It was while I was here at school I realised my love of sport. Sport has been a huge part of my life, and I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities I had to get outside and play in such wonderful open spaces - thought sadly there was nothing quite as glamorous as this in my time'. 

Kate and Pippa's nicknames were also revealed during the course of the visit :)

Valentine Low Twitter


St Andrew's Day is celebrated on November 30. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and St. Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day. Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Romania and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. St Andrew's prep school traditionally observes a day of activities and festivities to mark the occasion.

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Kate looked elegant in a green and blue Alexander McQueen tartan coat dress. Q by McQueen regularly use Black Watch Tartan and it is thought Kate's piece is a bespoke version of this coat (with many thanks to Susan from   WKW)


The McQ Alexander McQueen Tartan Wool Dress features an incredibly similar print. The navy and forest dress is described as a cool blend of classic and contemporary. The dress has a dropped waist and pleated skirt. It is available for €650.


Alexander McQueen

The print is also similar to Cambridge tartan.

The Scottish Register of Tartans

Kate teamed her coatdress with her $698 Aquatalia Rhumba Boots.


Aquatalia


Kate accessorised with her black suede clutch and her sapphire and diamond earrings.

I thought the McQueen piece a lovely choice. The tartan was very appropriate for the nature of the engagement. Kate appeared to have a lovely time especially whilst playing hockey. She clearly loves sports and has many fond memories at St Andrew's.

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You can watch a video from the event at ITN Source.

64 comments:

  1. Oh dear Charlotte you again came through for us fans. Great post. I loved the dress and her hair looked great today. The beautiful Duchess looked just stunning today.

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  2. The coatdress looks a little bit like the scooluniforms of the pupils :-) very nice

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  3. Thank You Charlotte for this awesome update!!!Kate looks gorgeous and I love the coat she's wearing. It compliments her school color pine beautifully.her hair also seems to have settled somewhat :-)Can you tell what earrings she's wearing???thanks chica!xoxo

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    1. They are the sapphire and diamond drops that match her engagement ring. Beautiful! :)

      Sara from Tennessee

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    2. Siddhii, there's a lovely picture on the Daily Mail's site from Catherine's visit. It gives a close up of her face and her hair is pushed behind her ear so you have a close look at her earring.

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  4. Hi Charlotte,
    is the Mc Queen a coat or a jacket+skirt?

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  5. Another great post Charlotte, thank you.

    I think Kate looks really lovely today and very relaxed on her own - lovely to see.

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  6. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous, loved everything about this look today, kate is back on form!!

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    1. Agreed! Kate is totally back in form!!:)

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  7. Is this a coat dress or a suit? It looks a bit from these photos that it is a peplum jacket and a full skirt. I have a Black Watch plaid jacket which I love, so I have to say I like this outfit. For me I would prefer a different neckline, although Kate is slim enough to carry this one.

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    1. Hello,

      I believe it's a one piece coatdress.

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  8. Love her choice of dress (coatdress that this!) here! She looks sophisticated, suited for the occasion and the weather. Definitely A+ :)

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  9. I'm a little confused by the British school system: can anyone from there tell me a little bit what is a 'preparatory school' ? How is British system different from the states? Thank you!

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    1. I saw something that said a prep school was for ages 3 to 13.

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    2. Dear IP
      Usually Preparatory schools start at about 7 years--but this one seems to have children from about 3 and as the name suggests prepares the children for Public school--such as Marlborough which Catherine attended and Eton were William was educated.
      However, despite being called Public Schools---they are actually private--that is fees are charged--this school charges about £15,000 per year.
      Most children are educated in the state system.
      You are probably now totally confused.

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    3. Try this link http://lmgtfy.com/?q=brittish+prep+school+system

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  10. Theresa - Austin, Texas30 November 2012 at 15:55

    I absolutely love this dress! She looks amazing today.

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  11. Oh she looked sooo wonderful! love the dress! and the hair looked better too! fantastic!

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  12. love the coat dress! i think i would have liked it even more with a collar, but nonetheless i really like the pattern and fit and flair style.

    also really like the boots with the coat.

    i'm also liking this version of her hair with less curl to the bangs.

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    1. btw, i don't know if she's pregnant or not, but i think she looks so much prettier with her face looking fuller and softer like this.

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  13. Ana B. from Brazil30 November 2012 at 16:32

    I just love to hear Catherine's memories!
    And today her choice is one of her best by far, in my opinion! She looks very classy, demure and chic! I absolutely adore her outfit today...
    No doubt a very special day for the School and it's students!
    Hope you all have a wonderful weekend =)

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  14. Just love this outfit! Thank you for this lovely post with all that great background information. It's always so nice to get to know more about her roots so thank you for this great coverage. Happy St. Andrew's day!

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  15. Shantel (@fashionandfaith)30 November 2012 at 16:40

    The Duchess looks adorable today! ...and you can disregard my Tweet from last night--I am beginning to like her hair a lot! LOL!:) I think she is finally hitting her stride with the new 'do!
    Shantel
    Minnesota, USA

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  16. Absolutely love this dress! So appropriate and very wintery. Also love the new hairstyle, looks really great today.

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  17. I love that she wore tartan to her old school, its very cool. I heard that palace aides told reporters that Kate doesn't remember ever seeing William when they were 10? -Brit

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  18. Great post, Charlotte. And the Duchess did look absolutely wonderful. I'm really liking her hair, and the Black Watch coat dress was amazing--both very appropriate and very beautiful. Thanks for the pictures and information on St. Andrews school, too. As a retired educator (USA), I am always interested in schools! St. Andrews looks like the best, and the children today were just precious. I think this was a happy day for Catherine.
    Lynn

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  19. Deborah from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil30 November 2012 at 17:36

    Once again, great post, Charlotte! Thank you very much :-)

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  20. A comment from Scotland: Just to note that the tartan is a weave, not a print. As you mention, Catherine is wearing a Black Watch tartan. It is the tartan of the Black Watch Regiment, but also widely worn as a hunting tartan (due to its dark colours) and by Scots families that do not have a tartan attached to their name (like my family for instance). There's now actually a St Andrew's tartan - a modern one invented in the late 1990s - which is a rather beautiful variation on the Black Watch, with purple and white through it.

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    1. Thanks for the info on tartans. Can you recommend a good web site or book on the subject? I'm quite interested because my mother sewed a red plaid skirt or vest (you say waistcoat, I think) for me to wear every winter of my childhood and teen years (1950's and 1960's--I'm old!). She always emphasized that the garments were made in honor (honour, in the UK) of our Scottish heritage. Since her maiden name was Stewart (and that's my middle name as well as my daughther's middle name), the fabric must have been the Stewart (Stuart) tartan. I remember that they were beautiful, and I wish I'd kept them. Thanks for eliciting those memories and for piquing my interest in Scotland's tartans. (:
      Lynn
      USA

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  21. Love the coat - very appropriate...and very game of her to try her hand at field hockey.

    And I'm liking her 'new' hair more each time I see it.

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  22. Love it! I imagine some people may not be crazy about the plaid, but I think it looks great- very flattering shape, and vintage-inspired in the best way.

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  23. I don't think it's possible for this woman to be more beautiful. Great outfit, great hair and, I must say, her speaking poise was terrific!! Love her in tartan. She looks gorgeous in blues/greens; really brings out those beautiful sea-colored eyes. Silvia

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  24. Tartan: what an excellent suprise. Kate is 100% gorgeous today. I adore tartan, and I always wear tartan skirts with knee high boots, just like her, every fall/winter. Definitely a timeless style.

    But if I were Kate I would certainly freeeeeeeeze without a big warm coat, gloves or a scarf... I don't know how you brave british girls cope with the cold weather in the UK :)

    Best wishes to you, Charlotte
    Z. from Portugal

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  25. Love the coat/dress/suit---whatever it is. I think the shape of well fitted top and swingy skirt is her best look and the Blackwatch tartan lovely. I have a jacket of this tartan-I'll get it out from the back of the wardrobe as it is sure to become a fashion must.
    Her hair looked lovely today and she looks so happy.
    Thank you Charlotte

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  26. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her look today!!! The McQueen coatdress is perfect for the occasion and absolutely gorgeous! I thought it was a nice match to the students uniforms. I think plaid is so classy and again Catherine looked wonderful for the occasion. Her hair is growing on me. I actually like how it was styled today and thought she looked absolutely beautiful.

    Charlotte, you always do a great job of informing us about the locations of Catherine's visits. I enjoyed reading about St. Andrew's from the link you posted. I will admit I am really confused how the British school system works. Do the students really start full time school at age 3? At what age do they become "boarders"? Also, are public schools actually private schools in the UK? I am sure it's an excellent school, but was also surprised by the pricey tuition. I am a stay at home mom, but was a former educator before starting my family. I was surprised at how the young the children were. I thought the little ones saying good afternoon in unison was absolutely precious. SO sweet!

    Can I also say how VERY impressed that she was playing field hockey in heels! I would definitely end up on my face trying that.

    It seemed to be a happy visit for Catherine and the post was WONDERFUL!!! Charlotte, you do an amazing job! Thank you!

    Kate from Texas

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  27. she is sparkling

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  28. No I don't line this look, very drab colours , frumpy for her age. Hair is bit better, like it straighter more. She was great with the children, and I wouldn't want to have a go at hockey in those heels!! Well done to her!

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  29. I don't think she looks pregnant!
    Troy. Las Vegas. USA

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  30. Beautiful tartan coatdress! Kate is so gorgeous and I definitly love her new haircut!

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  31. A fabulous looking coat dress and so appropriate for St Andrew's day. Her late mother-in-law also wore tartan coat dresses, a great look. Kate looks slim and so put together. She may be taking a leaf from Diana's book and wearing thermal underwear underneath.

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  32. I absolutely love the look!! The tartan was a perfect choice for a visit to her old school and the boots worked quite well with it.

    I also agree with Anonymous 18:30...Kate couldn't be more beautiful.

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  33. Theresa, from Paris30 November 2012 at 21:06

    Great look today... I loved the coat and boots for this occasion. But I'm still not convinced with the new fringe, sorry.

    I'm happy to hear the Duchess speaking so much better now in public. I had already noticed it on the reports of the Museum, but she seemed even more relaxed at her school today. It's so important for a public person like her to be able to speak with confidence and determination, just as Prince William does.
    Looking forward to december ;)

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    1. I agree about the speaking and her being more relaxed today. Might just be me but she seems to be more relaxed and, well, happier, less formal and more in her element when she does the solo engagements like this. I'm sure the pressure of measuring up to William, who's had a lifetime of practice, must play a part when they do engagements together!

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    2. She will get better at speeches as time goes on.
      The first time I made a speech I could hardly speak for nerves and I had only about forty people listening--she has millions listening in.
      Friday's speech by Catherine is all over the internet--unbelievably even US newspapers have it.

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  34. Jenna from Germany30 November 2012 at 21:12

    What a great post! As I'm not from the UK it is very interesting to get to know about the school system and it's nice how many activities are offered at school - so different from Germany!

    I absolutely love Kate's look today, the tartan is so wonderful and matches the uniforms of the pupils. Also really like her hair today.

    Very looking forward to the next appearances!

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  35. Thanks Charlotte!
    Kate looks lovely in her dress!

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  36. Love this look! It all came together today, great dress, awesome go-to tall boots and the hair looks great! She also looks considerably happier and less formal than she has at her past couple of events! Love the bespoke dress Kate wore today and having serious love for the short-sleeved version of the dress! Glad she was able to shake off the last couple of missteps and come up with this winner! And thanks again, Charlotte, for the great pics of the school and information about its history!

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  37. Sarah from Calif.1 December 2012 at 02:40

    Kate looks great! Love the slightly delayed curtsy of the adoreable little girl..(she might be thinking omg she's so pretty oh yeh I'm suppose to curtsy. )Have always loved tarten clothing knowing there is a history behind the weaves. My son recently asked me what our family crest was. Ha being in America and a few generations of blending I think we lost it. Bummer. That means (what a shame) Lots of rain here this weekend. We were in state of emergency at school but made the best of it. Have a great weekend all..
    Thank you Charlotte for the great post!!

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  38. Thank you all for your comments. I greatly appreciate you all taking the time to share your thoughts on the event, the outfit and of course the post :)

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    1. I absolutely love that PA picture of Kate(right above the video image)where she has her head to one side and she's smiling happily:-))
      Thank you Charlotte for all the hard work you out into the blog researching the information for us outside the UK and uploading beautiful pictures. Your blog is the best:-D

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    2. That's very kind of you, I appreciate it Siddhii :)

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  39. Great look all the way around! Thanks for your hard work, Charlotte. You are always the first and best! Colorado

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  40. Charlotte, my family is part of the Campbell Clan, in Scotland. The fabric in her coat appears to be our tartan. I am not sure if there is an English version for another Clan, but I thought you might like to know. Beautiful blog. LOVE looking at Duchess Catherine and her amazing style. :-)

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    1. Thank you so much for the information on the tartan unifletch. It's beautiful!

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  41. I just noticed that in the 2nd photo of Kate, the white haired lady greeting Kate is wearing a Katherine Hooker coat, the same that Kate has worn in the past. The Kate-effect? :)

    Charlotte this was an awesome post! Thanks so much for all your hard work putting this together, I love your blog!

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  42. I agree with many of you, this ensemble was a winner in every way... Appropriate, classy, elegant! I LOVE the tartan and boots combination. Her hair looked very pretty today, although I still wish she would put it in a half-updo more often. She looked comfortable and composed, lovely!!
    Kim

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  43. I wonder why it is royal protocall that the ladies can't wear trousers? It would have been so much more appropriate when she was playing the hockey, at times I thought their was going to be a mishap! It's a shame in that way the royals don't modernise a bit or should I say the royal courtiers who run the show.
    Alice. London uk

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  44. Yup, couldn't agree more with everyone, she is stunning in this ensemble. Gosh could she be any more lovely! :)

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  45. Sarah from Calif.1 December 2012 at 23:39

    I spelled tartan wrong. I think that is because that's the way I say it. (Tarten) When you on the other side of the pond say tartan does the last (a) sound like ( Santa, in the first a ?)

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  46. love the dress the duchess is very lovely.... she is playing hockey with the bloddy high heels

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  47. Wow she looked SO PRETTY! And how sweet of the headmistress to curtsey to her considering how much younger Catherine is :)

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  48. A breathtaking day! Wonderful footage of the duchess with the children. Super speech.
    Janet. Boston USA.

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  49. BABY!! You know, I've stayed away from the baby rumors for so long, but this dress seemed a little looser, less formfitting than usual on the midriff, as did her white coat a few days ago. I started thinking HMMM, could it be...? but desisted in speculating on the forum.

    Now we all know!!! Silvia

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