Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Kate's Day of Home Decor Shopping + Top Designers' Maternity Sketches

The Duchess was out and about home shopping in the upmarket area of Chelsea London yesterday. The photos are available to view at E! Online. Pop over and take a look and let us know what you think!

Kate shopped at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour where she was spotted browsing for lighting. Perhaps pieces for Kensington Palace's Apartment 1A or Anmer Hall, the couple's new country home.

@GlossInterior Twitter Feed

The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour  is described as "the world's premier design centre" catering for all one's home décor needs. The dazzling space provides the perfect environment for 90 showrooms and over 500 international interior brands. It is the largest of its kind in Europe.

My Fashion Connect

One can also enjoy a look through specialist design titles in the bookshop or have a spot of lunch in one of the relaxing cafés. According to the E! story Kate had breakfast in the Dome Café.

Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

Kate left with a bag from fabric store Turnell and Gigon. The prestigious brand carries a royal warrant and distributes a collection named after royal residence Clarence House. You may recall Kate was photographed shopping there last July and reportedly left with a selection of samples and swatches. Turnell and Gigon carry beautiful fabrics. It's no surprise it's a favourite of the Duchess's.

Australia's New Idea Magazine/Princess Diana Frances Tumblr/Turnell and Gigon

The Duchess purchased a rug in a shop on Lots Road, known for stocking vintage and contemporary furniture. Max Casimir shared the sighting as well as his sense of humour. :)

@MaxCasimir Twitter Feed

The lovely ladies over at the What Kate Wore Facebook Page quickly identified Kate's tweet jacket as a Zara piece. The grey wool military blazer features gold buttons and is thought to be from the brand's 2011 collection, and is unfortunately sold out.


It is thought Kate's flat shoes are Mint Velvet Taupe Suede Plimsolls. The Duchess was seen shopping in Anglesey last week and onlookers noted she was wearing plimsolls. These could very well be the same pair. They are available in sizes 4-8 for £79.

Mint Velvet

Kate accessorised with her Aquacutum Club Check Scarf. The luxuriously soft scarf is currently available at John Lewis.

John Lewis

And injected a pop of colour into the look with the very pretty Gold Plated Azuni Earrings. The £22.50 cornflower blue earrings are available at John Lewis.


Kate carried her grey Tod's D-Styling Tote.


The Duchess also wore a white top, light blue jeans and wore her hair in a pretty updo. I quite liked the whole look; perfect for a relaxing day of shopping. What do you think?


Our next segment is one the fashionistas among you will enjoy! Kate is currently in her third trimester and has thus far avoided maternity wear instead opting for non-maternity pieces with the occasional bespoke piece from one of her favourite designers. Naturally, the world's top designers would love to dress Kate's bump, but what would they design for the Duchess?

The talented folks over at Women's Wear Daily asked a selection of designers to sketch a design for Kate and share their creations. The Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel design is quite different to anything we've seen Kate wear. I couldn't imagine the Duchess opting for a low cut garment, but Karl said, "I think this design is very much in her taste." The salmon Chloé piece seems a much more likely choice for Kate.

Karl Lagerfeld & Chloé

Nanette Lepore and Nina Ricci's offerings.

Nanette Lepore and Nina Ricci

Donna Karan's blue creation is beautiful. The designer said, "This is a dress she could wear forever, at any age, at any stage, during and after pregnancy." While Andrew Gn's black and white egg shaped dress is definitely a possibility for the Duchess.

Donna Karen and Andrew Gn

One of Kate's favourite British designers, Amanda Wakeley, chose:

'a softly draped cocktail dress from our spring collection, but in an exclusive made-to-order mallard green... a shade I think would be amazing on her colouring... it is youthful yet demure with a beautiful embellished shoulder.'

We also look at Vera Wang's design, Huishan Zhang's floaty dress. Lela Rose's cream frock with black beading and Lorry Newhouse's ruffled creation.

Amanda Wakeley/Vera Wang/Huishan Zhang/Lela Rose/Lorry Newhouse

A true variation of garments in terms of design and colour. I would love to hear your favourites and which dress you think would suit Kate's style best.


  1. The Chloe, the Nina Ricci and the Amanda Wakeley. Any but the Lagerfeld, really. Love the Duchess's casual about town style, always. Want that Tod bag!

  2. It's difficult to see much of her with the umbrellas in the way, but perhaps that was not an accident. Lol. She seems to take the fuss in her stride and that's a good thing.

    Andrew Gn captured her beautifully!

  3. What a wonderful surprise post!! I love Kate's look today - I love seeing her in casual wear - one can really get a sense of her personal style when seeing her out and about. Plus, it's fun to see her wearing something similar to what I might put on for a day of shopping!

    On a different topic, Charlotte, any plans on doing a Royal Digest post about Prince Harry's USA tour?? Would love it!!

    1. Hello Meghan! Thank you so much for your comment. If I have free time before the weekend I definitely will write one up. I tend to prioritise this blog around other commitments but find it desperately hard to find time for The Royal Digest as much as I enjoy writing it and researching all things royal.

      Now, if only there were a few extra hours in the day :)

    2. I completely understand the not-enough-hours-in-the-day dilemma! :) I absolutely love this blog and so appreciate all of the research, time, and effort that you put in to it. You're the best!

    3. Sarah from Calif.16 May 2013 at 01:50

      Awwww yes Charlotte, a few more hours in in a day.......
      What can I say "Well done Prince Harry " the Colorado Springs event with the Veterans was very thoughtful and admirable. Hats off to all of our Veterans. I need to go see my WWII Veteran who just fell down and broke his hip.
      Our Veterans who have been disabled (or called for a different purpose) are very special and deserve all of our support.
      Meghan I too love Kate's causal comfortable look. Very relaxed and enjoying being a mom to be. NESTING,
      Do people in other countries use that word NESTING?

    4. Kate, Texas, USA16 May 2013 at 05:20

      Looks like this trip to the US was a huge success! Charlotte, I know you are super busy, but would love to see a post in The Royal Digest about Harry! He raised some great funds for Sentebale at the polo match today. WTG Harry!!!

  4. I love the way Kate finds new and interesting ways to do her hair -- very creative. I also really like her jacket and scarf (may pick up the scarf myself!). However, and I hate to end on a down note, but honey, PLEASE do not ever wear those shoes in public again. I hoping they are only being worn due to swollen pregnancy feet. I think flats would have gone much better with the outfit -- the shoes are just too casual for the rest of the outfit. And any outfit (in my humble opinion) can be made or broken by the footwear. Am I wrong, ladies?

    1. Totally agree about the impact of footwear. :)

      These shoes (what I would call sneakers) don't look bad with rolled up jeans as Kate is wearing them. I thought the lace-less version (from a prior post) looked frumpy. :(

    2. I love the shoes... I have the same ones :) but flats would look nice with the outfit!

    3. Pauline Oak Hills16 May 2013 at 04:36

      Maybe flats if it was not raining. But I love the jeans and tennis shoe thing. She look's just beautiful no matter what she is wearing.

    4. I think the shoes are cute. She probably wanted to be comfy since she was walking/shopping & maybe her feet were swollen. Also, it was raining so it makes sense. They are very chic & fashionable. She could have worn regular old sneakers, but she didn't. ;-)

      I am actually glad to see her wearing something so casual. She is dressed the way many women dress on a cold rainy day shopping. Actually she is dressed BETTER! I think she looks fab! xo Lulu

    5. I totally agree with you, Lynn :) I love the whole outfit, except for the sneakers. I must say I loved the jacket (very classy) and the hairdo (so funny!).

      Regarding the designers creations, my favourites are Chloe's (lovely!) and Donna Karan's.
      But Karl Lagerfeld's dress... my God, does he hate Kate? It's just like when Valentino said that she should have shorter hair...

      Hugs from Portugal

    6. I agree. Though I like the shoes and think they'd look great with some other, entirely casual outfit, they struck a jarring note with this otherwise sophisticated-casual look. However, at this stage of her pregnancy, she really may need something very comfortable on her feet, especially if she's doing a lot of walking around shops.

      Suede is not the best choice for a rainy day, I might point out.

    7. Ana B. from Brazil16 May 2013 at 22:02

      I totally agree with you, Lynn. Those shoes ruined her outfit because the jacket doesn't match a pair of tennis. That look is exactly my style, but I would certainly wear a pair of flats.
      Nice hairdo! She always does different things with her hair when she is out and about! But I love when she has a blow-out! I'm always trying different products to reach that volume she has!
      I think she must be doing a great job redecorating so many houses! And I like the idea of not hiring a interior designer, it is nice to do these kind of things on your own!
      Hugs to you all :)

  5. John and Joan, East Tenn.

    Thank you again for your amazing posts Charlotte for those of us in the U.S. and making it very easy to catch up on the exciting but noble lives of William and Catherine. We are just amazed that Catherine is running around shopping for not one home, not two, but four homes. This is one very, very special principled young lady who is shopping for not one person, not two, but three people. And, oh by the way she performs her royal duties to perfection. I could expand this post to several pages just taking about all that she is doing and must get done to keep up the cottage in Wales, two homes in London, and taking on the county house to make it a home for William, baby, and herself. Let us hope there are others recognizing that Catherine in one special royal…

  6. Sarah from Calif.16 May 2013 at 01:11

    I think Kate would look lovely in all of these except the first Karl Lagerfeld and the last Newhouse creation.. sorry they are just a bit to 80s for me.
    Lynn maybe I'm old but the shoes look sporty and compfy to me :)

    1. Kate, Texas, USA16 May 2013 at 05:17

      Sarah, have to agree on the Newhouse dress. I posted it looked like something Princess Diana would have worn 30 years ago. :( Also loved the shoes....comfy and cute!!!

  7. I actually think the shoes are very cute. It's nice to see Kate in something that the average woman might wear while shopping and it was raining... so no slipping. Also, they're not exactly Keds. Much more upscale. LOL I am a bit shocked at some of the mean-spirited comments about Kate on E-Online and it sounds like they are coming from Brits. I guess it's impossible to be liked by everyone.


    1. Agree Carol about her shoes...and your comment about how rude some comments can be. Not on this page; it's pretty friendly but on other sites it is really bad.. I have a page on FB that is all about the royals & the main rule is that all comments have to be positive. Check it out. xo Lulu

  8. Love everything about her look today! The shoes, the jeans, the jacket, the scarf, the hairdo. Very chic! A great shopping outfit! What a blessing she is to William and the Royal family! So fun to watch her style and activities.

  9. One more thing this last trip that prince harry in usa
    Love the duchess wearing in her shopping she looks relaxed and never looks annoyed in her shopping here thw latest pics of here

  10. Kate, Texas, USA16 May 2013 at 05:11

    LOVE Kate's hair in the shopping pics!!! So pretty!!! Also loved her casual and cute look! The shoes are super cute and looked really comfortable for shopping. Hope she found some great things for her new homes. Such and exciting time of picking things out and planning! Thinking a stop in John Lewis might be added to my list. Loved the scarf and earrings too! :)

    I thought all the gowns were pretty and unique in their own way. Only one I really didn't care for was the Newhouse. Looks like something Princess Diana would have worn 30 years ago. :( Hoping for a couple engagements with Kate wearing a designer maternity frock....hoping!

    1. Oh do stop at John Lewis, I promise you will enjoy it :)

    2. Kate, Texas, USA16 May 2013 at 18:42

      It looks like a great store with such a variety of things to shop for! I must tell you how super excited I am about the trip! I have a friend traveling with me who has never left the country. I am hoping to show her the best of London and surrounding areas in our short 6 days. I did warn her there would be very little sleep. :)

      I did want to ask what you thought the attire for the Coronation Concert at Westminster should be? I am not sure how nice to go, hat or no hat, etc. Already started packing and planning outfits. Did I mention how excited I was?

      Charlotte, this is silly, but I wish I could meet you in person and give you a HUGE thank you from all your readers and fans! :)

    3. Aww Kate that is so sweet of you! It's amazing to think the blog is two years old and even more amazing to think that so many royal fans from all over the world take the time to comment. It never ceases to surprise me and I feel incredibly lucky to have such an amazing readership!

      The Coronation concert will be unforgettable for sure. I wish I could be there myself (I'm not living in London at the moment unfortunately, I've recently moved in with my fiancé, needless to say moving is something of a nightmare :)) but I would definitely go with a smart conservative outfit. A fitted blazer and matching knee length dress/skirt would be gorgeous or a nice trouser suit. I know you will have a wonderful time!

      It sounds like you'll be in London around the time Baby Cambridge is born Kate!

      As for engagements, I'm hoping something will be announced for late May, I'll let you all know if I hear anything :)

    4. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)16 May 2013 at 22:55

      Kate from Texas,
      Have a blast in London! I am jealous/ super-excited for your trip! You will have to let us all know how it goes.
      Great post! I think she looks adorable! I can remember how excited I was during my third tri-mester and am so happy for the Duchess.
      Thanks again for the update. You are my go-to source!
      Shantel, Minnesota, USA

    5. Kate from Texas,

      SO happy for you and your trip to London! Dunno if you've heard about the hop-/hop-off tour bus companies, but they sound like a great way to see a city like London. My sister travels extensively and highly recommends them.

      Have a fabulous time!

    6. Kate from Texas

      I'm super excited about your trip, do keep us posted!:-))

    7. Kate, Texas, USA17 May 2013 at 19:46

      Charlotte, thanks for your sweet reply! VERY excited!!! Do you think a fascinator for the concert would be appropriate or too much? I think I am wearing a black dress with pearls (hose and heels of course), so I think I am on the right track with smart conservative as you suggested. :)

      I will be in London a little before the baby arrives unless he/she decides to come a bit early. :) I will be at Trooping the Colour to celebrate the Queen and hopefully get a good glimpse of William, Kate, and Harry! :)

      Shantel and Julie, thanks for your posts! I'm really looking forward to the trip and showing my friend how amazing London is! This will be my 5th visit there, but she has never left the country. Julie, I have heard of the bus tours, but have never done one in London. We purchased the London Pass, so hopefully we can pack our days full of sightseeing! I did tell her there would be very little sleeping!

      Hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing weekend!!! :)

    8. Your outfit sounds beautiful and the fascinator would be a lovely addition! I hope you all have a great weekend x

    9. Pauline Oak Hills18 May 2013 at 00:26

      @Kate- I am I hope you have a great trip. You must share with us when you get back. I hope you will get to see the Duchess & her Prince. Will you be there for the birth of the royal baby? That would be so fun if you were.

      Well have a very safe trip. Wish I was tagging along. I have family roots in England and it is on my bucket list. Now I just need to win the

    10. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)21 May 2013 at 16:13

      Pauline, if I ever win the lottery I will take a bunch of us to London for a fun weekend and we can finally meet our Charlotte! LOL! (Sigh...if only....)

  11. Another fun surprise post! Thanks loads, Charlotte - this was a real day brightener! :o)

    It's lovely to see Kate out and about, looking chic and casual. I think the shoes were a perfect choice for a rainy day of shopping. I can't imagine having to decorate four houses! I wish Kate, and those helping her, great good luck.

    1. It is lovely to see Kate out and about. Judging by the stores she's been shopping at the apartment/Anmer Hall are both going to look incredible. I know Kate and Carole love antiques also. The sighting along with the wedding came at a great time, since I don't anticipate engagements for another couple of weeks.

    2. Kate, Texas, USA16 May 2013 at 18:46

      Do you think there will be any engagements before the service on 4 June? How sad for us, but looks like Kate is resting up and busy decorating! I do agree it's nice to see her out and about. She's in the final stretch....about 8-9 weeks to go!!! :)

  12. Chloe and Lela Rose are my favourite outfits (especially Chloe!!). Love this casual shopping look too.

  13. Kate always buys the most simple beautiful clothes.

  14. She always does much more interesting thinks with her hair when in private than in official engagmenets- probably she is aware of the fame her trademark brown-locks-look has and doesn´t want to disappoint people, while in private she feels much more free to experiment.
    I like very much the style tweed jacket+scarf+jeans+flat shoes-either ballarinas or sneakers, I wear it myself so I have to give her high marks :)
    Decorating your house seems like a very enjoyable think until you really have to do that and to choose from all the market offers and make everything compact and stylematching. It is very time consuming, more with two houses to furniture and I bet Kate want to do everything by herself, not to leave it completely on a designer or architect (which is likeble to me)
    Regarding to Harry visit in USA, it seems that the past week half of the Eurpean royality was in States:)

    1. I agree with you Mia, her casual style looks effortless yet stylish. I'm not a fan of gray shoes but after seeig Kate in them, I've changed my opinion :) all of the designer clothes are gorgeous, my faves are the Amanda Wakely dark green dress and the Nina Ricci floral dress. Hope Kate wears something new for the June 4 engagement. Looking forward to more Kate sightings! Gosh how awesome it would be to "casually" bump into Kate while shopping!!!thanks chica for this fabulous post!!xoxo

  15. where did Kate wear that top before also when is her next engagement?

  16. Oh, and regarding the designs for Kate, any of them but Lagerfeld, Zhang and Lorry Newhouse (yes, that one reminds me very much Diana in the 80´s..which is definitly not a plus for me). Chloe was obviously inspired by her peachy would make a great combo.Nanette Lepore dtto. And Donna Karan and Andrew Gn really match Kate personal taste. And I love to see her wearing Lela Rose.

  17. Are there any more pictures of Kate at that wedding

  18. Jean from Lancs.16 May 2013 at 12:50

    In my opinion Catherine looks her very best in casual wear. I must say I quite like the shoes and they are much more sensible at this stage of her pregnancy, than the high heels--especially on a wet day when pavements are slippery.
    Hair lovely--there are some good photos on the internet showing the back, though my favourite is part up.
    I intensely dislike dresses that are long at the back and short at the front and the Karl Lagerfeld also shows too much cleavage, but the Chloe dress is pretty--I can see her wearing that. Hate the stretchiness of the Nina Ricci. The Donna Karan's evening gown is lovely---I can see her wearing something like that when she is not pregnant. The black and white one is too much like the one she wore on the video for Children's Hospice week.The green floaty one would be pretty if it were the same length all round, whilst the Newhouse dress is most obviously designed for the wrong Princess!
    I don't think we will see too much of the Duchess now before the birth, though she has the ship's Christening in June.
    Thanks for keeping us up to date Charlotte and I expect you are busy with the prospect of exams as well.

  19. Can I bring up a point that I think has been missing from the discussions over Kate's decision to recycle her clothing at this point in her royal life and also her decision to shop off the rack and wear non-maternity clothing? I think she and William and their handlers - and I'm sure Carole Middleton, who seems to be a definite power behind Kate's throne - are keeping in mind that, although nobody is likely wishing for this, in due time, there will be another coronation with all the expensive pomp and pageantry - and expensive bespoke, couture ensembles - that go along with such an occasion, not to mention that Kate will be required to pick up more official duties as the Queen and Prince Philip step back and the younger royals step up. It's a good reason, along with the expensive renovations going on at KP and Anmer Hall, to keep the clothing budget on the frugal side. And yes, I know they're millionaires many times over but they are aware of how things play in the public and in the media. I'd guess that the way Kate is dressing is a combination of her natural style, her natural thriftiness, trying to take a page from the Queen's book of recycling outfits to maintain good relations with the in-laws, and being cognizant that more clothing purchases are in her future, not to mention that she really hasn't done a lot of engagements while pregnant. There's not a particular need for her to have a vast formal maternity wardrobe because she's not seen out in public, at least officially, that much. I'll be very surprised if we see her at any official engagement after Trooping the Color, if she attends that. She's announced that she intends to take quite a bit of time off after the baby arrives so there won't be a need for formal, dressy maternity ensembles after the baby arrives (as she regains her figure, which likely won't take long). One for the christening and that's probably it before she goes back to her official duties and we can presume that by then (I'd, again, be surprised if she does any official engagements before spring of 2014) she'll be fitting back into her normal, pre-pregnancy clothing. As for the ensembles by the designers, I think the Wickstead was the most practical and likely to be what we'd see Kate wearing. I do think the Queen stepping back, which will force Charles and Camilla, but especially William and Kate and Harry, to take on more public engagements and more of a public role will be interesting to watch, especially as William and Harry dislike the media and the public so intensely.

    1. I think it's important to give Princess Diana some well deserved credit. She appreciated the need for a more modern, relevant and approachable monarchy. This was the manner in which she was guiding her sons and, over the years, others have taken a page out of her book - sometimes willingly and sometimes not so.

      Some critics make William out to be a puppet of the Middleton family and I strongly disagree with that view. He is very much his mother's son and IMO the Middleton's are EXACTLY the type of family she would have wanted him to be a part of.

  20. Kate, Texas, USA17 May 2013 at 19:50

    Just clicked on the Baby Cambridge Fundraiser and it's up to 62%!!! Congrats!!! Hopefully the donations will keep coming!!! :)

  21. Kate is rockin' the pregnant skinny jeans!


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