Friday, 24 January 2014

Kate Fashion Awards & Kate Sightings + News

Welcome-welcome to the Kate Fashion Awards! Over the past couple of weeks we have held several polls looking back at The Duchess of Cambridge's sartorial choices in 2013. From dresses to clutches, it has been so much fun seeing your choices and determining Kate's post popular pieces. Thousands of votes have been tallied and it's time to see the winners as chosen by the wonderful readers of this blog. So, without further ado let's see the results. *drumroll please*

Best Day Dress


The award for Kate's Best Day Dress of 2012 goes to the Alexander McQueen ensemble the Duchess wore for Prince George's christening. With almost 50% of the vote it was one of our clearest winners in the poll. The bespoke cream ruffled garment was a fabulous choice for the occasion. A very worthy winner indeed!

PA

Best Evening Dress

I think most of us, from a fashion perspective at least, favour seeing Kate in an evening gown above all else. There were few events in 2013 which called for a floor length frock, but we did see a small number of gorgeous dresses - most notably our winner - the ink-blue Jenny Packham off the shoulder gown from the designer's Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 Collection. The Duchess wore this for a reception at Kensington Palace and it clearly impressed many of you.


Best Coat

The Duchess has a stellar collection of coats, many of which we had the opportunity to see in 2013, both new pieces and older ones. I was particularly interested to see which one would prove most popular and wasn't at all surprised to see the beautiful Black Watch tartan Alexander McQueen coat dress was your favourite.

PA

Best Separates Look

Many of us love seeing Kate pair individual items together achieving an altogether polished look. For Kate's Best Separates Look you chose the navy Max Mara jacket and Orla Kiely pleated skirt she wore back in November. The garments worked together perfectly and Kate looked fantastic. It was a sophisticated yet youthful and fresh look.


Best Designer

The award for Kate's Best Designer very deservedly goes to Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

Vogue

Ms. Burton has created a selection of incredibly detailed and structured garments for the Duchess in the past year. It was a relatively close race, with Jenny Packham not far behind, however, comparing the two talented designers' creations for the Duchess in 2013, Sarah Burton was marginally ahead. She really knows how to dress Kate beautifully, in pieces befitting her position. A terrific fashion partnership, I think you'll agree.


Best Shoes

The award for Kate's Best Shoes goes to her ever reliable L.K. Bennett Sledge Pumps.


Best Boots

Kate has a fantastic collection and her go-to Aquatalia Rhumba Boots are our winners! They look excellent with coats, dresses and jeans, and add so much to any look.

Aquatalia

Best Hat

The Best Hat Awards goes to the Jane Taylor 'Georgie' Hat Kate wore for Prince George's christening. Obviously it was created to match the McQueen ensemble and named after George. The sinamay beret features delicate ivory silk/organza rose and classic veiling trim. It remains available for £755.


Best Earrings

Kate's most popular earrings from 2013 are the diamond chandelier earrings lent to her by The Queen for the Annual Diplomatic Reception. Splendid choice!

Splash News

Best Necklace

This was one of our smallest polls with a mere four nominees. The voting was incredibly close but the award for Best Necklace goes to the £20 Zara Sparkly Bead Crystal Necklace the Duchess wore to the Mandela première. Fans of the piece may be interested to know it's coming in and out of stock regularly on the website.


How much did we love Kate's Tiara Appearance?

I included the tiara in the poll to gauge just how popular it was. The vast majority of you 'loved it' or 'didn't care which tiara we saw, the fact Kate was wearing one was enough'. I do hope we see it properly at some point this year.


Best Clutch

Our final award for Best Clutch goes to Kate's red bow Alexander McQueen clutch. A gorgeous accessory, which injects a pop of colour into any look.


Congratulations to all of our worthy winners and thank you all so much for taking the time to participate by voting and commenting. I wish to reiterate my earlier words - this has been so much fun - and a welcome series of posts during an exceptionally quiet month in terms of royal news and appearances. Let's do it all again after the tour! :)

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As we mentioned above it has been an incredibly quiet month. Despite this Kate continues to make headlines; this week Her Royal Highness marked 1,000 days as a Duchess. The Daily Express's Richard Palmer wrote a lovely article yesterday about the milestone.

'Inside her grand home in an ornate 17th-century palace, it is unlikely there will be celebrations as The Duchess of Cambridge marks a milestone today. It will no doubt be business as usual: looking after her young son, chatting with the housekeeper and nanny about domestic duties and holding discussions with her private secretary about official duties.
 But as she ponders an uncertain future and gets to grips with motherhood, the former Kate Middleton could be forgiven a quiet smile to herself after notching up 1,000 days as a Duchess.'

The article discusses William's future career possibilities and mentions engagements in February for Kate:

'William has been looking into the possibility of postponing full-time royal duties for at least another couple of years by performing some as yet unidentified public service role. Those closest to William say they are still working it through with him and a decision will be made in September. But there is a hint of subtle change in the royal household with some suggesting that much-vaunted public service role could now mean starting full-time royal duties.  
 Whatever her husband does, courtiers anticipate Kate stepping up her royal duties in 2014, starting with a handful of engagements in February.'

I expect we will hear an engagement or two announced for the Duchess shortly.

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Earlier this week, Kate was spotted out and about on the Fulham Rd enjoying some retail therapy. She was also seen at Selfridges. Super sleuth Ashley Marie spoke with Jordan, who saw the Duchess and noted she was accompanied by a royal protection officer and wearing a Ralph Lauren Collection Dress from the Spring 2013 Collection. Jordan actually works for Ralph Lauren and noticed the dress immediately.

Stylebop

The Contrast Collar Montgomery Dress features an eggshell round collar with eyelet trim, black crepe, puff short sleeves, padded shoulders, button-down front to waist with hidden top snap at the collar. The tailored fit dress is currently on sale at StyleBop reduced from €2800 to €1400. It's worth noting, the dress bears remarkable similarities to Kate's Topshop Contrast Collar Dress.

Ralph Lauren/PA

Kate also wore a long black coat, her Russell and Bromley Charge It Boots and carried a green clutch bag.

Finally, Prince George is six months old on Wednesday. It's hard to believe it's been that long! The Royal Family welcomed a new addition with the arrival of Ms. Mia Grace Tindall (daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall) and no doubt she and George will be great pals. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! :)

80 comments:

  1. Great post as always Charlotte! I was surprised with some of the choices but mostly in agreement! Have a lovely day. I love how you made the cute award statuettes!

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  2. A much appreciated post Charlotte after a day of feeling slightly under the weather. Loved the polls and reading everyone's comments. It was so hard to pick which item was my favourite under certain categories! One of my all time favourite outfits was the Christmas Day 2011 ensemble. The Aubergine coat with the Jane Corbett hat and I believe a matching clutch. I loved the make-up she had on too. Stunning! I don't know who the designer of the coat was though?

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    1. Hope you're feeling better and keeping warm Kathryn!

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    2. Aaww thanks Charlotte. Once again thank you for all your hard work.

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  3. Lovely wrap-up to the poll. I love the little 'Kate Award' graphic! Well done!

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    1. I agree with you!!Charlotte, the graphics are simply amazing!!Thank you so much for putting in all the hard work in creating them!! xoxo

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  4. prince george is already 6 months... how time flies... still remember their appearance at the hospital steps, so complete as a family.
    can't wait for another moment like this, maybe during the tour..

    thanks for the post, charlotte!

    regards, faw in kl

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  5. I'll say it again, Charlotte...you *have* been busy! :)

    The only surprise for me is the Zara necklace. It was so out of the norm for her (maybe that had something to do with it...) and it didn't work with the neckline (in my opinion).

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    1. bluhare in Washington State25 January 2014 at 03:58

      So with you on the necklace and dress. We are a minority of two!

      Only one of my votes made the cut. The Packham blue gown.

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    2. I agree about the Zara necklace worn with that gown. But the ink blue Packham gown was not my favorite. It is a beautifully made piece but I did not think it flattered Kate at all. Great fun though.

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    3. I have to admit it wasn't my favourite either. I'm in love with the Asprey pendant you see!

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    4. bluhare in Washington State25 January 2014 at 17:15

      Greybird, that's interesting as that dress was far and away my favourite. Which did you vote for?

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    5. I, too, disliked the Zara necklace. Does that make us a minority of three or four? Also, Miss Tindall's first name is pronounced My-yah, not Mee-yah. Not sure which one I like better.

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    6. Me three or four in the minority of disliking the Zara necklace.
      Also, Ms. Tindall's first name is pronounced My-yah, not Mee-yah. Not sure which one I like better.

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    7. bluhare in Washington State25 January 2014 at 20:06

      My-yah. I think I like it. Mia "Shed Head" Tindall. Very regal indeed. :)

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    8. I loved the Zara necklace, thought it looked terrific with the dress (no neckline problem at all in my opinion), and regarded the whole look, including the hairstyle, as one of her more successful -- more experimental, more sophisticated, and slightly more progressive and fashion-forward than is her usual wont. I was actually inspired to buy a similar necklace to wear with a black velvet dress I own, one that has a similar neckline.

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  6. I fear the Ralph Lauren dress looks rather a lot like a maid's uniform. I really dislike it.

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    1. I actually like it, and think it looks cute. Would have liked to have seen a picture of Kate in it though. Maybe she'll wear it to an engagement sometime soon.

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    2. It actually reminded me of the dresses my mother made for me in grade school, so it's hard for me to envision an adult woman wearing this dress.

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    3. Really? That's an interesting opinion coming from both of you ladies. Did either of you like the TopShop dress that she wore that looked similar? I actually did not like that one as much, I thought that one was a little too short on her. I actually prefer the length of the other one.

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    4. No, I didn't care for the Topshop dress and agree that it was too short. Hazel's remark about dresses she wore in grade school is apposite: the Duchess does have an unfortunate tendency now and then to select clothes with a childish cut. I'm thinking of the butter-yellow Jenny Packham and the bird-print Orla Kiely in particular. Both the Topshop dress and the Ralph Lauren fall into that category, but I still think the RL looks like a maid's uniform.

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    5. I think it's cute too to be honest. But I could see it looking dowdy on a full figured gal.

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    6. Trying to recall which Ralph Lauren dress you're referring to.
      The turtleneck dress with the black belt?
      I can't recall when I've seen any maids wearing turtleneck dresses. The blazer over the Topshop dress (which was WAYYY too short) was Ralph Lauren, is that the one you're talking about?
      I agree about Kate's dresses being too short - a lot. I think we've all commented on that at various times. I'm not sure whether it's a lack of tailoring, bad tailoring or just Kate thinking it makes her legs look longer (it doesn't) but the thigh-high length has made even some of the cutest dresses she's worn look awkward and childish.
      A case in point, in addition to the spotted Topshop dress, is the grey Moloh coat which was embarassingly short and the orange/peach Tara Jarmon coat and dress worn in August. I was worried that one of the photographers - not to mention the audience - might get a view they weren't counting on when Kate knelt and leaned over during that hospice visit!!

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    7. I agree that Kate sometimes has the tendency to wear dresses that look more along the lines of something a lot girl or maybe even a teenager would wear. That's what the Topshop dress reminds me of, more of a teen style. When I go shopping I see plenty of dresses similar to that one in the "Juniors" section. I don't remember the Jenny Packham dress, where did she wear it?

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    8. Gina we're talking about the Ralph Lauren dress that's in the post above that she was spotted out wearing and the Topshop from above also that she wore while pregnant.

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    9. @Gina we're talking about the Ralph Lauren dress from above in the post that Kate was spotted out wearing as well as the Topshop that she wore while pregnant to the Hospice engagement I believe.

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    10. Blair, I'm referring to the yellow Jenny Packham she wore on the Canada tour. It got a lot of attention, because the wind blew it up and revealed rather more of the Duchess's derriere than she would have wanted to be seen publicly. And yes, Gina, look at the black Ralph Lauren dress with the white collar in the post above. That's the one I think looks like a maid's dress.

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    11. Ok yeah Vittoria I know exactly the dress you're talking about and I agree. It was really unfortunate that the dress blew up in the wind like that, but you would have thought she would have known better. Especially after that but she somehow seems to keep making the same mistake. I hope that one of these days the wind does not completely blow her dress up and give us a full view. She's had some very close calls. Also I can't help but question her underwear choices. I mean if you wear those kinda wispy dresses that go up and the slightest gust of wind, you should make for sure to have on appropriate underwear whereas Kate looks like she has on none. Especially in the yellow Packham dress.

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  7. Oh, how cute is that little gold statuette? Well done! All lovely, classic choices.

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  8. I really enjoyed the poll!!! Please do it again after their tour!!! Thank you for your work!

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    1. You're very welcome. We'll do it all again after the tour :)

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  9. Ahahaha so cute! Your'e adorable, Charlotte!
    I love the golden award too, ingenious :)

    But the name "Mia"? Really? It kind of makes me cringe. Mia is one of my favourite nicknames, but I feel that a royal baby should have something more formal, like Amelia, or Emilia.

    Good evening!

    x

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    1. I wrote the post and thought it needed a little extra something. twenty minutes the little gold statuettes came along :)

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    2. Except, of course, that this is not a royal baby, not even a titled aristocrat. She can be called a member of the extended royal family, but she's not royal, and unlike her mother, she doesn't even have a royal parent. Frankly, I like the name "Mia" better than those of her maternal first cousins, Savannah and Isla Phillips. I like it better than "Zara," too.

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    3. Too true, it is a better name than all of those at least :)

      It reminds me so much of Princess Diaries, for better or worse!

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    4. I'm in the minority because I LOVE that Zara and Mike named their baby something normal and not some clunky, 17th-century name!!
      This is the 21st century, EVEN for the royal family of England and I'm glad to see free spirit Zara, whom I've ALWAYS admired for her independence, with a beautiful baby girl and a great name. I'm sorry but I cringe when people name babies George, Louise, Beatrice and Eugenie. I can't help but think the baby already will be saddled with the burden of a clunky, old-fashioned name. Not all old-style names are clunky but the Windsors seem to have a knack for choosing the worst ones!
      Vittoria, when Princess Anne declined the HRH titles for her son and daughter, she did NOT renounce their royal rights. They remain in the line of royal succession, albeit far down the line and both Peter and Zara have their own royal trust funds. In fact, Autumn Phillips, Peter's wife, converted from Catholicism to the Anglican church so Peter would not have to renounce his right to the throne.

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    5. Hey Gina! My name happens to be Louise! Yes, it's old-fashioned. No, it's not clunky! :)
      What's surprising is that some of these older names come around again into popularity.
      I think Mia is a fine name, but Zara sounds so trendy - more like it was whatever the latest fad was. I've never thought it was a good idea to name kids after the latest fad.

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    6. Aw I agree!! Louise is so pretty! (and George!) (and neither are clunky at all)

      However, old-fashioned, really clunky names in my opinion are so fun, look at Benedict Cumberbatch or Cressida Bonas or Rupert Grint or Helena Bonham Carter or Domnhall Gleeson or Imelda Staunton etc.....

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  10. that dress is way too short!

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  11. I totally agree about the Zara necklace; it didn't seem to fit the neckline at all on that dress.

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  12. I totally agree about the Zara necklace; it didn't seem to fit the neckline at all on that dress.

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  13. bluhare in Washington State25 January 2014 at 04:04

    I love the little statuettes!

    OK, I'm embarrassed to admit this (sort of), but I had a dream the other night. royalfan and I were arguing away about something and Charlotte gave us our own column to snipe at each other. So we did, and of course the world loved us, but our real claim to fame was starting a fashion police sort of thing on Kate's outfits. We had a rating system, and we gave each outfit one to five tiaras depending on how much we liked it, and we had a demerit booby prize for something we both hated (royalfan wanted to call it The Camilla, but I wouldn't let her), and we bestowed the Diana Engagement Ring Hall of Fame for services to fashion immortality if we really liked something. It was a fun dream and your little statues reminded me again. :)

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    1. I can very easily envisage that scenario :)

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    2. Theresa, from Paris25 January 2014 at 06:51

      Love it, bluhare :-))))
      And we are a minority of three about the necklace with that dress :-)))

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    3. bluhare in Washington State25 January 2014 at 17:20

      Merci, Theresa! I'll get royalfan to stop hogging the couch and you can join us. :)

      Charlotte . . . LOL. It's true that there's not much that royalfan and I agree on!

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    4. bluhare, since it was your dream it's difficult for me to argue with you. But trust me, in MY version, the booby prize would be called The Camilla. :)

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  14. I love the statuettes!!! Well only two of my votes reached the "best" catagory, the Zara necklace and the Rhumba boots. From Kate's insipriation, I too ordered a bib type necklace, definately not my style, but I've received nothing but compliments on it! It felt fun to wear it, I paired mine with a plain white tee and jeans, since my Roland dress is at the cleaners. :)

    I've long coveted Kate's rhumba boots and was so glad to see they won the "Best boot" award!!

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  15. Kristin, San Francisco25 January 2014 at 15:54

    Theresa, bluhare & royalfan - I am sure our camp has more members than just the few who posted.
    Like many posters have eloquently posted in the past , in Kate's formal appearances it's all about the hair and on some dresses we can't see much above chest level...
    As a sewer I always wondered what fabric was used with this RM dress; to me it looks like a bonded crepe (?).
    Do love your posts, Charlotte - I admire your dedication and energy on both blogs....it is much appreciated!

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    1. bluhare in Washington State25 January 2014 at 19:40

      Hi Kristin. You might be right about the bonded crepe for the fabric. It looks like that or even a lighter weight wool gabardine. That type of fabric makes a lot of sense to me, especially in the colder weather. I don't know how people do strapless or short sleeved gowns in the winter time. I used to have to go to a client's gala every Christmas and it took exactly one for me to wear long sleeves or at least have a long sleeved something over it as I froze myself solid the first night. All those men in suits and ties and women in open shoulders? BRRRR.

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    2. Kristin, yes, the long hair / evening gown combination is a pet peeve of mine. :) I have this imaginary poll in my head where we could do side by side comparisons of Kate's evening gowns with her hair up vs. down. And while I don't have a crystal ball, I know the outcome I'd bet on.

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    3. royalfan, I COMPLETELY agree with you on the hair down with evening gown combo. It's long been a pet peeve of mine because it just looks clunky. During their tour in California, it just looked hot. When she had her hair in the braided updo in Canada for the concert one night, it looked spectacular and REALLY showed off her pretty features. So glad I'm not the only one who wishes she'd put the hair up at formal occasions.

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    4. Gina, I totally agree that wearing her hair up would really emphasize her features. IMO she really does herself a disservice by wearing it down so much, especially with evening gowns. And from a PR angle, wouldn't THAT just say I'm ready for business...and not young and inexperienced like my step mother-in-law may wish. LOL.

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  16. Maybe Kate's hair is like a security blanket for her.

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    1. You may be correct about that. It's definitely a possibility. But she hasn't changed her hairstyle in 12 years (at least going back to when she was first photographed and linked to William). If she doesn't want to update it as she gets older, she should be a little more flexible/creative with it, especially given the formality of certain occasions.

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    2. Agree with royalfan (again!).
      Her hair may be a security blanket or Carole may have imbued her daughters with the "boys don't like shorter hair" nonsense but she needs to update it in some way. If she wants to wear long hair until she's 80, that's fine (actually, it looks sad, long, long hair on older women, but that's not my point), as long as she styles it.
      As it is now, she just does nothing with it, other than color and treatments. It detracts from the clothing because it's just - there. She goes to all the work and expense with clothing, shoes, jewelry, hosiery - and then does nothing with that hair.
      I have to wonder at the salon where she gets her color and treatments. You'd think there would be one stylist who could step up and say hey, let's try it up or pulled back or something different than you've done.
      Personally, I WANT my stylist to tell me if something looks outdated or not right for me or if we could do something different.
      Hopefully her new friendship with Victoria Beckham will lead to some updates and changes and get Kate out of the 60-year-old woman rut she's been in lately, with both hair AND clothing!!

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    3. Kristin, San Francisco26 January 2014 at 20:09

      Well, my dear royalfan - you have brought up a very interesting idea on this calm & quiet Sunday - speaking of our maturing Kate's hair I wonder what hair style ideas our group can suggest for Kate going forward.
      I do so love her half up dos & those 'dos ' should be increased by 40% , say, for day events.... A simple chignon or French twist - is there such thing as a British twist? - would be welcome for dressier events. I LOVED the half do she did for the first event she subbed for PC - he went to SA
      funeral(?) - Kate wore a silvery strapped gown which I also liked, she oozed confidence on that picture ...

      So, what hair style ideas does our community have for Kate's coming years?

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    4. Gina & Kristin, my vote would be for a shorter, more adaptable style like Princess Mary. It isn't short, but it's short enough to work with...and boy does she. :)

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  17. So with you on the Zara piece fighting with the neckline of her dress. The necklace looks very cheap to me, in contrast to the dress she was wearing, and did not look very elegant. Didn't work for me on any level.

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    1. Agree on that awful bib necklace. It looked clunky and awkward. And that hunk of hair hanging down didn't help!

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  18. Disappointed to see the winners. None of my choices made it there. And that's fine, everybody has different likes and dislikes. But I wonder if some of the choices weren't influenced not so much by the clothing itself as the engagement to which it was worn and/or the comments about it. I'd guess that would hold true for the christening ensemble and the blue jacket/flippy skirt ensemble.
    The cream dress for the christening was nice enough but certainly not thrilling. The blue ensemble received quite a number of comments about the skirt flying up so I'd guess the Kate-worshipping crowd may have been trying to make a statement? Or maybe not.
    Anyway, interesting Kate news bits to discuss ... BBC historian Christopher Lee made the comment in an interview that he believes that William and Kate will never be the fairytale prince and princess that the public expects and that as they approach middle age, they will be viewed as "nice people, but rather dull and inoffensive."
    It's also concerning to some that Prince Charles's press office has now taken over the press duties for William and Kate and Harry, after swallowing up the Queen's press office.
    While the official statement is that Charles wants more press focus on issues rather than outfits, I've read concerns that Charles, who was famously jealous of all the attention paid to Diana, could be growing a bit of a jealous bone and is resentful of the media attention paid to Kate, William and Harry for their social lives, rather than any work they're doing.
    In all fairness to the media, there's not much else to cover as far as the young royals go, other than the very rare public engagement and what designer they're wearing.
    What do you think?
    I'd actually have to think that's a little true.
    I don't have any problem believing that Charles and Camilla are at least a little, if not a lot, resentful of all the attention paid to Kate and her clothing choices, and to Harry and his activities and his relationship with Cressida.
    I also read, I think it was a New York Times piece, that was about Cressida, saying she would not be spared the scrutiny that Diana and Kate underwent, nor the namecalling, and that Kate has been transformed into a "typically decorative, mostly mute royal consort."
    I don't want to ignite a firestorm and it probably will but, in a way, that's not an inaccurate description.
    We don't recognize Kate for her charities (as Diana is famously remembered for holding the hands of an AIDS patient or walking through a minefield), we talk about her clothing and her hair - because that's all we have to talk about as far as Kate is concerned.
    There are so many great causes she could really get involved with - children's fitness and sports, eating disorders and body image issues among young girls, pregnancy health issues (since it's been reported that she really had a rough pregnancy all the way through) and morning sickness, and so many more that could make a much bigger impact than the handful of non-controversial, non-offensive charities and patronages chosen for her.
    If Kate (and William, for that matter, probably more William than Kate) wants to be taken seriously as someone other than a well-dressed royal socialite, then she needs to get to work, literally. She needs to get out and be seen doing something other than shopping at Peter Jones.
    William, I might add, might want to find something to do. If they do want to carry on this play of being "just like us," then they both need to get to work. I don't know too many new moms who can take six months off of work for a maternity leave, nor any new dads who can just up and say they're taking a year off work.

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    1. Gina, I believe with all my heart that C&C feel threatened by W&K. For Charles it must feel like deja vu and he does not want a repeat of the eclipse Diana's popularity and, eventually, split offices caused. Plus now he has the added task (no...burden) of selling Camilla as the next Queen (I'm speaking from a PR point of view). And frankly, Camilla is very shrewd and I worry about how W&K (and Harry) will come out in all of this. Also, regarding Lee's statement that W&K are "dull", well, wouldn't that image just suit C&C? You have to wonder.... The irony is that W&K don't need "selling" if they take on a f/t schedule and are left to it.....but C&C do/will require said selling no matter how busy they are.

      My opinion only, but I'm sticking to it. :)

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    2. I am not sure that the monarchy WANTS them to work more. The monarchy constantly re-invents itself and the need to have its members seen as working for one’s keep never goes away, but this is a unique place in history the British Monarchy is facing :Charles is the longest waiting heir, and clearly is eager to move forward as at least the King in waiting and after what seems like many many years of consideration the Queen is finally handing to him some of the more burdensome roles. As for the press factor - I am sure that Charles and Camilla would be happy to step forward and become increasingly the main attraction – and that this would be aided with W&K fading to the background. Such subtle messages are likely readily welcomed by W&K as they fit neatly with their likely personal desire to continue to focus on their young family. Yes yes, I am sure they will continue to do much work “behind the scenes” to develop their roles and understanding of the charities they represent. But it appears at this stage that the M.O. will be to keep the appearances to a minimum. Rather than this being the result of being lazy I think
      the approach of (1) focusing on George and maybe having another baby in the next 12-16 months; (2) keeping public appearances to once a month; (3) letting Charles and Camilla really come to the fore” are all outcomes consistent with what is likely perceived to be by the "grey men" in the the long term interests of the Monarchy.And that's the concern. I worry, not that they aren't working enough and that the public will resent them - rather will this really help serve Catherine’s (and this is a blog of those interested in her) interests long term? While she may be tired (new mothers justifiably are) and accept opportunities to focus on George and furnishing two new homes, is that a long term trap? if no one in her environment is “pushing” her to work (William out of his concern for her and avoiding the fate of his mother with the press and Charles from his need to step forward and not share the limelight)…who will support her on the “good energy days” when she is ready to explore a desire to work more? Who does she have around her to truly support her in that? She has shown thus far she is keen to be accepted ... The forces identified above however may conspire NOT to encourage more work from her, but just the opposite. Given that, I just wonder if 5 years from now, as her other non royal peers are deeper and deeper into their own careers and interests and lives, if she has not been able to roll up her sleeves and really dive into work outside of her family and children, if she will start to feel disenchantment with the glass cage. I think we could all agree that having a discontented, disaffected 36 year old duchess is not going to help William, George, or the Monarchy. Perhaps, as with much thus far, the key influence will come from her mother, who although she “stayed at home” – created a million dollar business out of her house. Hopefully she will remember that she too needed a place to use her unique talents and skills – and will encourage her daughter - gently - to find a way to do the same WHILE being a mother and Queen in waiting (once removed). In doing so they could forge a new path that reflects Catherine’s strengths, give her a life of meaning AND help build a monarchy of the 21st century. I for one will be looking eagerly for signs that this is happening, hope for their success and cheering from the sidelines...Follower in Vermont

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    3. I agreen to your last point Gina... if Kate wants to be recognized for anything but her clothes and hair, shes got to get to it as far as work goes. The occasional social event does not cut it.

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    4. Dear Vermont follower,

      I really enjoyed your perspective on the Kate working debate. I'd never thought about the "grey men" keeping Kate and William in the background in order to bring C&C into the foreground. It certainly would make sense, especially since Charles is going to be taking on more of QE's engagements and needs to be seen as able to perform the duties and responsibilities of monarch.
      My only hesitation on this line of thought is it seems as though Kate has never really worked very much at all, even before her marriage. I recently looked up Countess Sophie's schedule, I know that she's been a royal longer and her children are older, but she is attending several events a day for 2-3 days a week and is getting ready for a royal tour, raising a family, etc. Surely Kate could support her causes at least once every week or so.

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    5. Anon 18:27, I think your comments are on the money. IMO Charles' goals have far more to do with his and Camilla's best interest, and not that of his son(s) and grandson. Just look at the European royals; the heirs and their spouses are out there doing their thing and no one seems to be threatened by it. Queen Beatrix was the best example of this and she was more than happy to share the stage with her son and Maxima. And as a result, the transition has been very successful. How many engagements has Charles undertaken with his sons in the past 10+ years? Not very many. If Diana was alive, she would have both of her sons out there and she'd be showing them how it's done and beaming with pride every step of the way. Charles couldn't do it with Diana, and he won't do it with his sons. And as far as Camilla is concerned, it's not that he's changed, it's just that Camilla doesn't pose a threat from a popularity angle. She's a challenge, but certainly not a threat.

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    6. Gina, one of Kates patronages is Action on Addiction. I don't believe this particular charity to be "non-offensive" or "non-controversial". In fact addicts and alcoholics are way to often branded the scum of society, as if they chose to have a disease that will eventually destroy everything in their life they hold dear, including their mental and physical health. I found kates choice on this particular charity to be a huge risk for her and very brave. You just don't see many people with a high profile like Kate supporting addicts and alcoholics anymore. I just can't say enough about how wonderful I think it is. Anybody who has a family member suffering from addiction, or maybe suffering themselves would appreciate kates choice to support the cause

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    7. jenndog, how right you are that addiction is an important cause. I could really see William, Kate, and Harry making a difference in this area. It makes me think back to the huge impact Diana had when she shook hands with an AIDS patient (without wearing gloves). That was a photo that went around the world. When it comes to this type of issue, the younger generation would be seen as far more approachable and in-touch than an older royal showing up in a suit and tie.

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  19. How interesting, none of the clothing Kate wore when she was pregnant won the poll.

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  20. Thank you for the fun and informative posts. I was a HUGE Princess Diana fan and so enjoy following Princes William and Harry and Duchess Catherine. Here in the U.S. we don't have as much access to the magazines and news from England, but I can always count on you. Thank you!!!!!! Please keep your blog going!!!

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  21. Honestly, I love Kate and your blog, I check it everyday! Thank you for the treat! I just cannot understand why Kate is not completing engagements. I think it looks terrible. I know she has a baby, but really the engagements she undertakes only take 2 or 3 hours. Why can't she do that at least 2 or 3 times a week? She certainly has enough help. I think it is making both William and Kate seem very uncaring. They both could do so much good, why would you not do it. What a privilege to be able to change lives simply by making an appearance, it raises so much awareness to worthy causes. I myself do not understand why you would not. Of course I'm from the US, so I'm curious to know what those in the UK think.

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  22. I think Royalfan may be right about Charles, but I hope Kate at least ANNOUNCES some engagements soon.

    Celebrating her 1000 days by going shopping (the patroness of Peter Jones friends who once admired her are starting to call her) is not a good plan. In the meantime, the papers are full of her brother and his photographic marshmallows, the branding or William and Kate and other unfortunate publicity. Nature hates a vacumn and if the press has nothing else to publish, things like those scholar's remarks about William and Kate get far more publicity than warranted. The public will believe he is right. Notice there is little outrage this time. William and Kate are acting like lightweights he called them.

    In the meantime, on top of his "back to school" William starts announcemnts about more postponing of royal duties for some kind of "public service role" a synonym for goofing off in the public's mind, especially since no details are given.

    For heaven's sake, I wish that pair would think of George and his future that they are putting into jeopardy and get on with being royals. And if Charles and Camilla are stopping them, I wish they would see the light and put the good of the monarchy in front of their egos.

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    1. Kristin, San Francisco27 January 2014 at 22:38

      Wow! I agree and understand what Gina, royalfan and Anon16:31 & Anon18:27 are saying - I am one that also wants Kate to do 2-3 unscheduled events weekly...visits to the veteran centers, children's hospital & hospice and, how about the local SPCA facility which does not require dressing up...? There are a lot of politics in the RF, obviously - and oodles of discussions coming here!!
      But, the posters have made a good case for keeping W&K hunkered down out of the limelight.

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    2. Anon 16:31, I can't help but wonder just how much control W&K actually have over their diaries. I also have my suspicions about the sources and real purpose of stories like Kate celebrating 1000 days as a Duchess (a fluff piece intended to make people ridicule her?), or stories about her brother (another jab at Kate's family?),....etc. There is bold, in-your-face PR and then there are backdoor ways of influencing opinion.

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  23. If anything I am totally fine with William taking this year to figure out where he wants to go next. hes taking classes and doing more engagements. He worked so hard for years as a pilot. Yes, I understand people just dont get to step away like he does, but at least he is making this year productive.

    Kate has never lifted a finger. Sure we can say she worked for her parents company but people with real jobs cannot take the amount of vacations she did when she was still dating William.

    Like some of the above readers said if she can take time to go shopping on high street she for sure better make time to do some good in the community. She leaves George home for shopping she can leave him home for 2 hours to go to an engangement.

    And as for people defending her saying the Queen is on a winter break the Queen actually works so hard during the other 11 months out of the year. She deserves the month to chill.

    Kate isnt a full time royal. Fine. I get that she has years to take on more rolls. But for now, she should be seen doing SOMETHING. Motherhood is a job and its tough but most moms also work. We arent asking her to spend days away from George. Maybe a couple hours a week. Because I think its a joke she takes 6 months off from...from what really? 2 engagements a month?

    It amazes me we give kate a free pass for being a glorified housewife and give William more of a hard time when he actually is being productive.

    Sarah D

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  24. kate has an engagment on 14 february :)

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    1. Thank you Anonymous, I'm going to look into this this and see what I can find out!

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  25. Sarah from Calif.28 January 2014 at 00:13

    Hi Charlotte, thank you again for this fantastic post. It is so fun to see what people have chose. Looking forward to reading all the comments as soon as life slows down.

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  26. All this angst over a January lull when William is on a course and Kate is no doubt very busy as well! It seems to me that everyone is asking for a return to their pre-Christmas schedule, and interpreting anything else as a dereliction of duties. There will be plenty of appearances in Australia and New Zealand. Keep in mind that the Queen herself, other than attending church, is invisible during her break in January. A young mother who will have to be away from her son a lot when he is eight or nine months old needs to spend time with him now, and plan ahead how to handle the tour challenge and its logistics for herself and her family. She also is no doubt finishing one home and planning for the second one. Yes, she has help, but study and fittings can take a lot of energy and time, along with child care. I think everyone should give both William and Catherine the benefit of respect and consideration.

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  27. January is always a quiet month--I have always understood that it is the time when the next six months gets organized.

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  28. I was wondering, are there any pictures available from her latest outing?

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