Thursday, 20 February 2014

Kate Becomes a Godmother, Royal Tour Style Possibilities + More

Hello-Hello Duchess Kate readers,

We have a selection of updates to share today beginning with news the Duchess became a godmother to Oliver and Mel Baker's five-month-old baby son Henry on Sunday at an intimate christening at St Barnabas Church in Mayland, Chelmsford. Kate became mum to George last July and has been "enjoying motherhood" since, so it comes as no surprise she was chosen to guide her friend's son in his spiritual life. Of course, William and Kate chose university pal Oliver Baker to be one of George's godparents, so it's quite nice to see the couple returning the favour and no doubt George and Henry will be playmates throughout the coming years.

Wikipedia

Reverend Ken Dunstan who presided over the service shared quite a few details from the event. More from The Express story:

"I think my usual congregation were surprised at who was joining us. My main concern was that I got the tone right for the family and for the baptism. I don't normally pay a huge amount of attention to godparents as long as they are there and willing to make the appropriate promises. She was there as a godmother not a princess.
The couple said they wanted four godparents but weren't quite sure whether one would be available. Then later the father rang me to say the other godmother is available. It's a friend from uni. Then he told me who it was. I got the impression that a number of the congregation had been to the same university."

Prince George joined his parents at the service and was "very well behaved" according to the Reverend. "Prince George was awake the whole time, and the royal couple took turns to hold their son. They got it just right". Security officers were spotted checking out the church's surroundings before the royals appeared. No photos were taken at the event, as it was a very private affair. (With a special thank you to one of our readers who shared details from the christening).

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Moving on to fashion updates we've been meaning to share with you for a couple of weeks. With merely weeks left until the tour we thought it a good time to take a look at more possibilities for the Duchess. It is believed Kate will need up to four outfit changes per day and given the duration of the tour (roughly 3.5 weeks), well, we're taking about a considerable number of outfits, even with Kate's penchant for recycling. Let's begin with a brand we saw Kate wear during the South-East Asia tour - Beulah London. The white Sabitri Dress with matching head scarf was voted one of her best tour looks.


The UK-based label's Spring/Summer 2014 Collection offers an array of pieces which would work very well for the Duchess throughout the tour. Offering a formal sophistication combined with soft feminine colours and floral prints.

Beulah London

Below we look at the incredibly pretty pale blue, off the shoulder Kiku Dress, the Hana Dress, the Lily Dress and the elegant Cameo Jacket.

Beulah London

There's plenty of gorgeous pieces in the collection which would be perfect for Her Royal Highness at evening events, such as formal dinners and receptions, including the backless Porcelain Gown in navy. It also comes in a striking Blossom Print.

Beulah London

Four more gowns from the Spring/Summer Lookbook.

Beulah London

We know many of our readers are familiar with The Beulah Trust, partially funded by 10% of the brand's accessory sales. The Trust gives grants that pay for skills courses - giving women who have been victims of sex trafficking and abuse the opportunity to become self-sufficient, independent and, most importantly, free from abuse. The invaluable work the organisation carries out is one of the reasons we were so pleased to see Kate wearing the label - no doubt a component HRH took into consideration herself as she puts a lot of thought into her sartorial choices and the message they convey. If you wish to donate to the trust, you can make a minimum donation of £1.

Beulah London
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Jenny Packham's Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection was loosely based on Bianca Jagger. "Not what she wore, but how she wore it. Eclectic, with intelligence and wit," the designer said backstage.

Rolling Stones Wikipedia

As you'll see, the reference was very much abstract. Instead, Ms. Packham injected Ms. Jagger's eccentricity and sparkle into divine gowns and sequin separates.


The red gown on the left is unquestionably my favourite garment from the collection. One could envisage the Duchess wearing it with an elegant updo/demi-chignon and the Papyrus tiara she wore to the Annual Diplomatic Reception. This is very much our dream look for Her Royal Highness in 2014!


Jenny Packham's designs incorporate a fabulous amount of embellishment, not something many designers can successfully achieve (Jenny and Elie Saab do it best in my opinion).


"Daywear" featured in the collection would be more suitably described as cocktail attire. Looks 2 and 3 below are very Kate indeed. Note the white tux jacket thrown over the shoulder is a reference to Bianca Jagger's signature style. Fashion writers and fans all dubbed the collection "What Kate will wear", and no doubt the Duchess was closely watching too, selecting pieces both bespoke and off the rack for her most rigorous tour yet.


Speaking of Kate's preparation for the tour, the Daily Mail reports the Duchess has turned to one of the late Princess Diana's favourites Catherine Walker. The French-born fashion designer supplied over 1,000 outfits for the Princess including the black dress she was buried in. Ms. Walker tragically passed away in 2010 but her husband has continued to run the fashion house.

Catherine Walker

More from the Daily Mail's story:

'Kate is most likely to wear Catherine Walker's day dresses - which are the label's area of expertise. But the Duchess will also need show-stopping dresses. And Kate has asked the fashion house to create some bespoke gowns. Kate's mother Carole wore Catherine Walker to the Royal christening and to the Royal wedding, said a Palace insider.
 She loves the cut of the clothes and the quality of the fabric. Kate will not be taking a dresser with her, despite the fact that she will be changing as many as four times a day. Another source said, "Catherine Walker is a byword for glamorous, yet conservative and comfortable clothing. The Duchess loves the designs."'

Kate wore Catherine Walker twice during her first royal tour to Canada in 2011. Both looks were considered hits for the Duchess, both in terms of style and appropriateness. I for one, would love to see Kate explore more designers and think this would be a perfect match.

Canadian Heritage Flickr

A look at some of the label's latest offerings.

Catherine Walker

What did you think of the brands featured? Any favourite pieces?

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Kate graces the cover of Hello! Magazine this week. The more I see of Kate's L.K. Bennett 'Detroit' dress, the more I like it. It really is a very striking colour.

Hello! Magazine

What's next for Kate? I anticipate we'll hear at least a couple of engagements announced for March, including the annual St. Patrick's Day parade at Aldershot. I'm hearing rumours definitive details including the itinerary for the tour will be released in a couple of weeks at the latest.

Finally, there are so many wonderful aspects to blogging and one of them has been getting to know my fellow Kate bloggers. I did a brief interview with the lovely Trisha from A Petite Princess. The site offers style advice for petite ladies with news and a strong emphasis on charitable works.

54 comments:

  1. Thank you for another wonderful post Charlotte. Congratulations to Catherine on becoming a grandmother

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  2. I know I'm definitely going to try my hardest to meet Kate when she's in New Zealand! My mum met Diana when they did the first tour with William, and it would be something cool to make a family tradition :)

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    1. Silvereyed, that sounds wonderful!I was just thinking I should probably take a few days off work "to make myself available" :)..... A few older friends remember standing outside of Government House in Auckland, franticly waving. They still have very fond memories of Diana's and Charles' (well, it was all about DIANA really) visit and the excitement it brought. So, good luck to both of us!!

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    2. Lovely! I saw Diana in person, at a distance. I couldn't get closer due to all the crowds & photographers! But, she waved at me, a little girl and an elderly lady as her car was passing us when she left. We were the only ones there on the pavement!

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  3. Sarah from Calif.20 February 2014 at 07:55

    I love what the Beulah Trust does for these women. The Jenny Packham dresses are lovely and the spring dresses are perfect. Wow spring is just around the courner.
    Thanks for the great post Charlotte.

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  4. charlotte i really enjoyed your interview and look forward to your coverage of the upcoming royal tour! you are the best royal blogger in the biz! cheers to you!!

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  5. Reference Kate becoming a godmother I saw yesterday that Kate is godmother to Oliver and Mel Bakers' 5 month old baby son I hope George and Henry, that is the little boy's name, are able to become playmates as they become older. the information was published in a local newspaper with a picture of the Church and the Vicar

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  6. Hello,

    Thank you so much for commenting. Is there a link to the newspaper online?

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  7. I just found one, thank you again :)

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  8. Obviously the local newspaper found the name of the family, but I am glad no one leaked photos---much as we all would like to see them. The Parishioners of St Barnabas Church obviously leave their phones at home on Sunday morning!.
    The Vicar also said that Baby George was very good and was wide awake throughout the service,

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  9. I was so surprised and happy to see your post!! When things are quiet with their appearances and you post something it is always such a nice surprise! I absolutely agree with you that the red Jenny Packman gown would be amazing for Kate. I also love the one below it - the pink gown with all the embellishments. Thanks again for all your hand work for you fabulous blog! Loved reading the interview about you too! Just curious if you know if Kate reads your blog?

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  10. Charlotte, I so love your optimism in hoping that she might wear her hair up should she wear an evening dress during the upcoming tour, however I wouldn't bet on it! Looking back at the photos from the Canadian Tour how much better her hair looked just those few inches shorter - maybe it will be so hot 'down under' that she'll feel the need to wear it up or take a few inches off the length, and if the awful nude sledge shoes are lost or left behind then my cup shall truly runneth over! Again, all bets are off!!

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    1. In April, when the tour starts, it will be Autumn/Fall in the Southern Hemisphere. Not very hot to be honest.

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  11. I absolutely love the new Beulah collection. Nothing that I wouldn't wear. It's all so very pretty and I hope to see the Duchess in a couple of their pieces, barring windy days. Can't beat wearing a designer that gives back to good causes! As for Jenny P, I too zeroed in on the scarlet dress for Kate when I saw the first pictures of the new collection. It would be a new favorite look if she wore it. Hair down in that dress would ruin the drama though! Here's hoping! I also like the pink gown for the Duchess, but I can't see her pulling off a perfect look in the others without modification. I love the gray Catherine Walker dress from the Canadian tour. The back was such a great surprise! But I don't want to see anything like the navy and gray coats Carole has worn. They're just too matronly on Kate. I would be disappointed in styles like those.

    I just have to share that yesterday I was in a department store browsing through the sale racks and managed to find a tweed Ralph Lauren jacket for $30! It's not something I would normally choose, but I thought about how cute Kate looks in hers, so I gave it a try. It was cut almost perfectly for me - I'm small in the chest, so those darts will have to come in just a bit - and the price was amazing so I couldn't pass it up. The Kate Effect in action!

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    1. Melanie from California21 February 2014 at 02:45

      Thanks for sharing your department store find! It made me smile. I'm always on the look-out for good deals on Kate Effect clothes/shoes! Congratulations on getting a classic jacket! :)

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  12. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy this blog. It has been the killer of many hours of productivity for me at work but well worth it. You do a lovely job Charlotte!

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  13. Since it will be autumn in Australia and New Zealand in April, I would guess Catherine will use a bit darker colors, and sleeves. She owns at least one dress and coat in burgundy, and she looks beautiful in them. The coat would probably be too heavy, but the dress would be lovely. Sorry, I don't remember the designer, but I think she wore that dress to view her own portrait.

    I also hope Kate will repeat the flowered dress she wore in Indonesia to see the orchids. It is one of my very favorites among her outfits. As for Catherine Walker, the red coat dress in Canada was very nice. I did not care for the grey dress, a dull color and very stiff design that I did not think suited Kate.

    I'm sure the tour wardrobe will be beautiful, and I hope Kate does not hesitate to recycle her best outfits for that time of year.

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    1. I'm from NZ and am quite looking forward to seeing how the Cambridge's tour unfolds here!
      April is often still warm and sunny here, with beautiful autumn colours as the trees change, so hopefully Kate keeps things fresh and not too wintry :) The burgundy/plummy Whistles dress you mentioned would suit nicely.
      She will need warmer wardrobe options for if they travel to the South Island (a bit cooler down there) but things don't get too chilly until the end of the month.

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  14. Thanks for another fast, info-packed post, Charlotte! Love all the details and the Jenny Packham collection is beautiful.

    Kudos also for being #2 (even before the Duke & Duchess' official website) on Bing when searching for "Duchess of Cambridge". Well done, Charlotte!

    Julie

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    1. Charlotte, you're even the first when searching for "duchess kate" on Google!!!!

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    2. Gosh, that is splendid to hear. Thank you :)

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  15. Isn't that the Catherine Walker coat that Carole Middleton wore to the christening there on the right?
    Lovely things for us to see!

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    1. Pauline Oak Hills21 February 2014 at 03:35

      I believe Carole Middleton also wore a Catherine Walker dress to the wedding.

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  16. Jenny Packham's dresses look amazing. Incredible talent. Her name hadn't registered with me till Kate started wearing her dresses. And, then I read that she is the sister of Chris Packham, the presenter & wildlife expert. 'Yahoo' seems to be trending 'pregnancy rumours' re. Kate. Constant speculation & scrutiny for her.....

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  17. Thank You Charlotte!!Good to learn Kate supports brands like Beulah that provide employment and help to the laborers and the needy. Cannot wait for Kate's next engagement!!xoxo

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    1. I wanted to add your interview was a delightful read!!And Thank You for posting the pictures from Beulah London,its nice to see the people who actually work behind the scenes for the big label brands.

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    2. Thank you so much. Tirsha has just relaunched her website and I recall when I started back in the day, one or two well known royal sites gave it a mention and it was such a help.

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  18. Thank you for a wonderful post, Charlotte. :) How nice to come home to this after a crazy day.

    I could see Kate wearing many of the dresses/gowns you featured, but I must admit that I am absolutely crazy about the Catherine Walker pieces. I love the look because they're a perfect combination of feminine and tailored.

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  19. I personally liked the dark-red gown with 3/4 sleeves and sparkles in the first row of Jenny P pictures. I didn't care for the bright red one below it because of the fluttery sleeves. That seems too little-girly to me. I'd like to see the Duchess stay away from little-girl looks (like the yellow dress she wore at the windy airport in Canada!).
    The Beulah dresses and Catherine Walker are wonderful. I always liked Diana in CW - divine fabrics and beautifully tailored. Can't wait to see what Kate chooses for the tour. I could see her in the seafoam green sleeveless CW gown. Sigh - we still have a month to wait for the tour!

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    1. Very true. Diana looked sensational in Catherine Walker's designs. And Kate *would* look great in the seafoam green gown, especially with her dark hair. I can't wait to see what she picked for this tour.

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  20. Hello lady Charlotte..

    Have u heard in the US that the Duchess is pregnant with a second child. My relatives are saying it's all over the US networks. Can u confirm. ???

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    1. Hello Sam,

      As far as I know, the Duchess is not pregnant. I know the rumour mill is in overdrive at the moment but according to those I've asked it's untrue and I do think it quite unlikely Kate would undertake a 3.5 week tour if she was expecting.

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    2. Poor Kate. :( I thought we would make it to George's first birthday (at least!) before the next round of "she's pregnant!" rumors started to circulate.

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    3. I'd agree, Charlotte. The royals are notably meticulous planners in the baby department, with a late spring/early summer delivery reportedly being the preferred arrival date for the royal ladies. It's not all over the US networks, it's all over the US tabloids but if Kate had a baby every time these tabs announced she was pregnant, they'd have 15 children by now!!
      The Australia trip is extremely important to the royal family. Australia has repeatedly had those who want the country to hold a referendum to vote itself a republic and free of the royal rule. These royal visits solidify the hold the royal family has on the country. I'm sure it's been made extremely clear to William and to Kate that the trip must succeed, they must succeed and that only a major unplanned event - and I'm not talking about a pregnancy - could cause the trip to be cancelled.

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    4. Pauline Oak Hills21 February 2014 at 03:33

      @Sam It is just in the rag papers and not on the regular news. I do not believe she would be pregnant and go on a tour for 3.5 weeks with a 9 month old baby. But I do believe that once they return we will hear something within a few months that she is pregnant. I bet they will have their babies within 18 months apart.

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    5. The Australians have already had the "Referendum", and decided no. Keep up. They couldn't decide which form of republic they wanted apparently. There doesn't seem to be anything better anywhere in the world than what they already have.

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    6. bluhare in Washington State21 February 2014 at 16:53

      Regina's post still stands, referendum or no. She didn't say anything specific and keeping Australia in the commonwealth IS a big deal.

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    7. Cute joke, Regina, about Kate's 15 children! I, too, very much doubt the accuracy of the pregnancy rumors, based particularly on the close proximity (and importance!) of the Australia/New Zealand trip combined with her history of having had a difficult first trimester with Prince George. As I was waiting in the grocery checkout line (queue), I saw the announcement that not only is Kate pregnant but also that the baby is a girl and that the dying Queen Elizabeth has given Kate and William permission to name the little girl Diana! WOW! That's all I can tell you because I PROMISE I did not buy that rag!

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  21. Thanks for the post Charlotte! I find it very sweet that Kate is godmother and I'm interested to hear of how she will interact with her godson. On a another note, I'm really curious to see close up and clear photos of George. I'm sure he has grown and changed so much. Do you think Will and Kate will ever hold official photo-shoots for him like Diana and Charles did for William? I can't wait to see what the Duchess will wear on the tour, I'm sure we will like most of her outfits. I wonder if she will recycle any?

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    1. Hello Nala,

      George is a future monarch so I expect we will see something but most definitely not very often. We'll see photos on the tour but I think William in particular will want to keep George's upbringing as private as possible. On the other hand, if there was an official photo shoot it would lessen the value of pap pics.

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    2. bluhare in Washington State22 February 2014 at 01:35

      William needs to quit being so near sighted. I understand his attitude toward photographers to an extent, but his child will be a King. When the Queen and to a lesser extent Charles die the monarchy will not be as strong as it is now. William needs to recognize public opinion counts for a lot in his position and I don't think releasing some photos every now and then is asking for much, and will pay out much more in good will.

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    3. bluhare, I agree with you. And if we do look at the bigger picture, releasing photos from time to time would actually give him the ability to minimize the value of pap photos, as Charlotte pointed out.

      Charles and Diana released photos every few months and you just can't put a price on that kind of PR, or goodwill as you stated.

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  22. Charlotte,
    Another great post. I so enjoy your updates and keeping us up to date on Kate's activities. I find this blog to be one of my favorite things to read regularly.

    Nancy

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  23. Great interview Charlotte. And I notice a lot of US readers on this blog. If you haven't done so, you should read the Royal Digest and Charlotte's report on the queen and all the presidents she has met. It's amazing and even possible the queen might add a couple more! And congratulations to Princess Madeleine ofSweden on her baby girl, born in the US.

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  24. Beulah is doing good works and the clothes are very pretty, but I think (at age 63) maybe many are a decade too old for Kate. I include the white dress that was worn out of respect for the local culture.
    It's a fine line at her age. Not too schoolgirl, not Cressida Bonas style; but not something the very stylish Countess of Wessex would wear either. Charlotte, I love the red gown, a smash. With a less dramatic split it is perfect for Kate. She always looks wonderful in shades of red.
    I have not seen or heard these pregnancy rumors here in the States so it must be the supermarket tabs. Very seriously doubt a disciplined planner like Kate would allow herself to fall pregnant on the eve of a major tour, considering the trials of her first trimester with George especially. Great post Charlotte, thanks!

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  25. It looks as though we may get a visit to Christchurch. The Press has published a letter from Prince William this morning as it is the third anniversary of our terrible earthquake. In that letter he says he is greatly looking forward to returning to Christchurch. Fingers crossed!

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  26. Marci from Salt Lake21 February 2014 at 22:40

    Thank you Charlotte, for a posting that included not only the fashion information, but the cause supported by the Beulah Trust. What a great reminder! I would love to buy only clothing that supported causes, but far too few makers do that. Well, I give what I can . . . and I'm sure I could be doing more if I thought about it and just did it.

    Kudos to Catherine on becoming a godmother. I adored my godmother. She was a glamorous lady, awe-inspiring to me as a little girl who was a complete tomboy.

    Eve---I LOVED your comment on the last post about an internet support group for those of us afflicted with Charlotte's-Blog-Addiction-Syndrome. "My name is Marci and I read Charlotte's blog all the time. Especially all the comments."

    I love all the comments--both the ones I agree with and the ones I don't! I love a good discussion. I love people, period, and all their wonderful, interesting thoughts. Thank you, everyone.

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  27. I don't usually comment on the couture clothes you show us, as I am well aware that on the whole people of Catherine's age would possibly not like what I like.
    However I think the ice blue dress positively screams Catherine (But please no wind--or a straight slip under!). The pink jacket on the same row and the red gown with the three quarter sleeve seem very elegant as does the white Catherine Walker suit.
    I wondered whether she would take some of her previously worn clothes like the lovely outfit from the St Paul's Service for the Jubilee, or the outfit she wore for George's Christening.
    Whatever she wears I am sure she will look beautiful as always. I note that in an interview with one of the Essex papers, the Vicar of St. Barnabas Church was unable (or perhaps unwilling) to describe her outfit except that she looked very smart.

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    1. I would love to see that lace sheath from the Jubilee church service again. It is one of my all-time favorites! Wearing it in Australia or New Zealand would be a nice tribute to the Queen and to the Commonwealth, I think--in a roundabout sort of way (Kate wore the dress to honor the Queen at St. Paul's and again to represent the Queen in the Commonwealth:)).

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  28. I like the pieces by Walker and Packham best.
    I suddenly noticed the terrific resemblance of Bianca and Mick Jagger, wowtsy!
    Seeing the clothes Diana wore at her time, they now look terribly old-fashioned.

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  29. I think that the navy blue coat with lace side panels by Walker is the coat worn by Carole Middleton to the christening.

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  30. Thanks for the post Charlotte! I love your blog.
    Wedding Flowers


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