Thursday, 10 April 2014

Kate Pays Tribute to New Zealand in Jenny Packham for State Reception

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a State Reception at Government House hosted by the Governor-General of New Zealand.


Following a busy day of engagements in Blenheim, William and Kate took a short flight back to Wellington where they would have had the opportunity to spend some time with George before getting ready for this evening's reception.


Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, The Queen's representative in New Zealand, was immensely pleased to host the glittering event in honour of Their Royal Highnesses. During a warm speech he admitted the "prestige goes to Prince George. There has been a hubbub of delight from New Zealanders". The Cambridges are using his residence Government House as a hub for much of their stay in the country.


The reception was held in the ballroom, the largest room in Government House. It is used for concerts, balls, investitures and large formal dinners. Most significantly, it is the room where the Prime Minister and his or her ministers are sworn in as members of the Executive Council after a general election.

Governor-General of New Zealand

At one end is the dais on which stand the two thrones. Above these hangs a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, painted by Denis Fildes in 1960. The Ballroom also features a large portrait of Queen Victoria, which is on permanent loan from Queen Elizabeth II, and which was once on display at Windsor Castle. By Frank Winterhalter, the painting is a copy of a 1843 portrait and is said to be the one Queen Victoria liked best.

Governor-General of New Zealand

Prince William addressed the gathering with a short speech in which he thanked New Zealand for welcoming him to the country again - this time with his wife and son.


The proud dad told guests:

'I hope that George doesn't keep you up. He's at his most vocal at 3 a.m. as you may have noticed. I swear I heard him doing the haka this morning. He's a bonny lad and you'll be pleased to know that he's currently preparing for life as a prop forward.
I can't tell you happy I am to be back in God's Own Country as I have learned to call it and this time with my wife and son. On this visit I have no doubt it will be Catherine - and not just me - who falls for New Zealand.'

The couple unveiled a new portrait of The Queen by New Zealand artist Nick Cuthell.

Governor-General of New Zealand Flickr

Kate beside the portrait.


Her Majesty is wearing a blue dress, pearls and The New Zealand Fern Brooch. William said the brooch is " a clear reminder of her deep affection for the people of New Zealand". The portrait will be on display at the New Zealand portrait gallery after tonight. I must say, it isn't my favourite portrait of The Queen, it doesn't capture her particularly well compared to its counterparts.

Governor-General of New Zealand

Most of you will recognise the brooch as the same one Kate wore when she stepped off the plane in Wellington. A lot of consideration and planning goes into choosing appropriate pieces from The Royal Collection to take on tours. Perhaps Her Majesty felt the Fern Brooch was an ideal choice not only for it's significance in New Zealand but because also featured in the new portrait.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website

William and Kate mingled with guests.


The guest list was mostly MPs and their partners, along with some military men and women and a few judges.


Kate beside Prime Minister John Key.


The dress code for the evening was business suits and cocktail dresses. The Duchess was suitably attired in a bespoke black Jenny Packham dress which had been hand-stitched with silver beading to represent New Zealand's national emblem. Royal correspondent Rebecca English correctly noted The Queen has long employed the trick of incorporating an item of national importance in her outfits when on foreign tours and it's interest to see Kate following in her footsteps. It's very much an understated way to pay tribute to their hosts and a thoughtful gesture.



A closer look at the exquisite detailing.

Splash News

The always informative Perth Fashion believes the frock may be a bespoke version of this Fall 2013 Collection style.
Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham described the dress as "a bespoke black crepe knee length dress with long sleeves and embroidered crystal ferns on the shoulder".

Jenny Packham Facebook

For a Malaysian State Dinner during William and Kate's last royal tour in 2012, Kate incorporated a similar touch by selecting a bespoke Alexander McQueen gown with gold embroidery in the shape of a hibiscus, the official flower of Malaysia.


The Duchess chose her Jimmy Choo Cosmic Pumps this evening. The $695 black suede pumps are currently available on the Jimmy Choo website.

Jimmy Choo

Kate carried her black Mulberry clutch (with thanks to Ashley Marie) and completed the look with the bracelet and earrings Prince Charles gave her as a wedding gift.

Splash News

A brief video of the royal arriving can be viewed here and here.


Tomorrow is a fun-filled day for the royal couple in Auckland:

  • Late morning - William and Kate will fly to Auckland.
  • They will visit the Royal New Zealand Air Force in Whenupai, and meet base personnel and their families.
  • Travel into the city centre, before taking two separate boats for races against each other (Hopefully we'll see photos similar to the Dragon Boat Race in Canada in 2011).
  • Afterwards, they will return to harbour aboard a Sealegs,an amphibious vehicle, before returning to Wellington.
For those who are just joining us, today's earlier post covering William and Kate's day in Blenheim can be found here.


It was quite a day full of interesting events, memorable photos and a terrific style choice from the Duchess. Are you all enjoying the tour thus far?

143 comments:

  1. To be honest I expected a bit more glitz but she looked pretty as always, somewhat I preferred a different hairstyle but not a big suprise as she has a hairdresser on hand. Perfect blow out she is really keen on that all the time.Blue27

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  2. I'm not a big fan of black dresses but I really loved the silver fern detailing on the shoulders - personally I think the dress would have looked better if it was silver with black detailing?

    I'm so very very excited for tomorrow; it's finally my chance to see Kate in person in Auckland. I'm planning on going to the Westpark Marina, and hopefully they'll greet the public there instead of just getting off the Sealegs craft and getting straight into cars!

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    1. Ana from Portugal10 April 2014 at 10:20

      How very lucky of you! :) please share pictures and let us know the details!

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    2. Theresa, from Paris10 April 2014 at 10:55

      How exciting to see them ! I do hope you'll get a good look and that the weather will be nice.
      Do let us know how it went :-)

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    3. Ana B. from Brazil10 April 2014 at 13:22

      Hi, Silvereyed!
      I'd like to wish you the biggest GOOD LUCK ever! Hope you do have the chance to meet the Duke and the Duchess and, maybe if it's possible, share your pictures with us!
      Can't wait to hear your news!
      Hugs :)

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    4. good luck! When they came to Canada they didn't come far enough west for me to get out and see them.

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    5. Maybe you will also see Anna!! According to the get-up she described, you won't be able to miss her That was Anna, wasn't it?
      Rosa.

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    6. Jennifer from Wisconsin10 April 2014 at 21:13

      Sending warm wishes your way!

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    7. Hi there! Silvereyed and I are heading towards different spots. She is going to Westpark Marina which will be later in the afternoon I believe and I am going to the Viaduct Basin at the Auckland waterfront in the late morning/midday-ish. At least I hope so. Terribly busy at work but I am determined to squeeze it in between 2 appointments. Good luck to everyone around Auckland! Have a fun day!!!

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  3. Loved this and her hair is perfection!
    Tracy

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  4. God bless Her Majesty the Queen.

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  5. Thank you for the superlative posts I am glued to the screen today, its school holidays in Queensland, Australia and my kids are seeing a fair bit of mummy on the computer - but its so special seeing New Zealand portrayed so well, and the beautiful couple. I love whatever she wears I am definitely not a fashionista, & I am in awe of her gracefulness; I just enjoy the photos and your research, and seeing them interact. Haha to the haka and George comment - William really is a natural speaker and has clearly had years of practice! He seemed relaxed and a ready smile tonight. Catherine stunning and slim in black. Thanks lady charlotte!
    Theresa , Kiwi in Auz

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    1. Hope the cat. 5 storm is nowhere near you. Enjoyed your post.
      Rosa

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  6. Jean from Lancs10 April 2014 at 10:07

    Love the dress and the hair,
    I think we are getting a pattern now, elegance is paramount and lower skirts--but personally I would have liked the dress just a tad shorter.

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    1. I know, her hem needs to be shorter. The longer hems are a little frumpy. She's a young beautiful woman and although I agree mid-thigh hems might not be appropriate, take up the hems!

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    2. Yes! On Catherine that dress should have grazed the knee-cap not the calf. This is what happens when a woman with natural style is told what to do by minders of protocol and some outmoded notions of what constitutes a regal appearance.

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    3. I think the hems here show that the DM article about her being requested to dress more "regally" (their term not mine) may have some merit. Her hems have been noticeably shorter in New Zealand.

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    4. her hems have been noticeably LONGER. Oops!

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    5. I like the hem like that but can see your points. I like it because it's something different and as cocktail is short or long, I bet everyone felt they wore the right dress seeing Kate's was in the middle!

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    6. Shorter? Oh!!! where is royalfan when we need her?

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  7. As a kiwi, I am relatively disappointed in her JP choice. Wasn't it the perfect opportunity to wear a NZ designer? Perhaps that is not how Kate rolls... Hmmm. On reflection, she generally sticks close to home on her designers-of-choice for big occasions. She looks lovely, and the fern embroidery is very nice - tick that box! But all I can say is Kate, I'm waiting to see which NZ designer you really like!!!

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    1. It is truly interesting, she has not yet worn a NZ designer right? Maybe the best is yet to come!:-)))Blue27

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    2. I bet she will wear some NZ designers. Going out in British designers when travelling and photographed is a good way to promote them as well and maybe she's more comfortable asking for custom silver ferns from designers she already has a relationship with. Who would you love to see her pick from NZ designers?

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  8. Ana from Portugal10 April 2014 at 10:19

    Charlotte, first and foremost I must take a minute to thank you hard work to give us all updated and real-time information! How are you coping with the time difference? :) Having just arrived from Australia I for one can state that it is pretty hard to get used to the jet lag, I wonder if TRH are feeling it too!

    I have a question though (not sure if I should post it as a comment, but as I can't find an e-mail adress for the blog - is there one? - here goes): how did the Duchess change clothes in between planes? She arrived in Australia wearing one thing and when she jumped out of the plane in New Zealand she was wearing something else... These things are a mystery to me, is she supposed to have changed while on the plane to NZ?

    Regarding today, LOVED the Jenny Packham dress more than I was expecting to! She looks radiant, and the make up is glorious too!

    Please keep up the excellent and professional work - but get some sleep too as you certainly deserve it! :)

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    1. Theresa, from Paris10 April 2014 at 11:00

      Hello, Ana ! The Duchess can change easily on the planes. Don't forget they travel in very luxurious conditions so she has her hairdresser with her and everyone to help her. Plenty of space too ! Lucky her :-)))

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    2. Silvia from Portugal :))))10 April 2014 at 11:21

      Really Portuguese??? Mee too Silvia :))) From Porto and you????

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    3. Ana, inside a HUGE plane there's always amenities such as dressing room. I have not seen one in person but I know that even first class areas have that kind of room to change.

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    4. I don't have the link, but you can Google "first class Quantas flight, London to Sydney" and see pictures of their amazing accommodations on the plane. Sleeping pods, etc. And they bought out the first class cabin.
      Victoria, Oregon

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    5. Thanks for the info Victoria - I am totally going to do that!

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    6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2081284/Qantas-Airbus-A380-class-looks-like-Starship-Enterprise-Star-Trek.html

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    7. Sydney to Wellington was via a NZAF plane, not a Qantas airbus. That was what the original remark was about. We tend to respond to the responders, instead of re-reading the original thread. Sort of like a DM interpretation of a Scientific America article. I catch myself doing that, too.
      I'm sure arrangements had been made, because she did indeed change on that AF plane.

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  9. Finally her trademark hairdo is back!

    I'm not liking all the lower hemlines. This JP dress would've been much better with the hem shorter.

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    1. I saw the whole event on livestream and admit felt a tad disappointed when I saw her dress from a distance.
      However, on close up, I think it's quite appropriate and quite lovely. But does need to be slightly shorter so it skims the knee. Cocktail dresses according to the grand dames of fashion code actually specify a cocktail dress should sit at the knee or be a maxi length. The hem line on this looked unsure as to which it should be.
      I think given all that laborious hand beading detail on the shoulder, Kate's hair should have been up, or at least half up. This way those gems would have really sparkled.
      Did expect a kiwi designer, but maybe she's saving that for something special/more public?
      I must say though, Kate is glowing through this trip. And is that water in her glass?

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    2. Lower hemlines are far more regal in appearance. There's nothing regal about knobby knees.

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    3. AMEN to the hemline! It's not her! I'll bet she's not liking the longer hemlines either!

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    4. This hemline is totally on trend. She looks comfortable and happy. It's not like a few inches of material are oppressing Kate :)
      That said, an inch off of that hemline would have been the best look for me. Still under the knees but not as much.

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  10. Beautiful dress loved the embroidery on the shoulder. Very appropriate length. I think Kate looks good.

    I have been glued to this awesome blog ever since the tour started. Hope you're keeping well Charlotte and getting plenty of rest.

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  11. I love the silver ferns, what a lovely touch. Such an elegant dress. I too am waiting for a NZ design to show up. I love Trelisse Cooper, but I think she would be too frilly for Catherine, but Karen Walker does some beautiful, more classic clothing.

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  12. there is spo many elegant updos that kate can do with her hair, this style i am sorry gives her a cheap look especially on galas and cocktails, it looks a bit messy

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    1. It's totally perfect! the fern is far enough to the shoulder it can be seen with hair down and her hair is perfectly styled and healthy.

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  13. Beautiful and understated elegance. Catherine pulls it of with grace. Loved the embroidery, very appropriate!

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  14. Very disappointed in Kate's dress. The sliver fern detail was beautiful but the dress overall is boring. It needed something else, a bit more omph to take it to the next level. Maybe another silver fern somewhere and a kiwi designer too please. Kate has the ability to look so exquisite but so far, not impressed by her selections, I just think they let her down from the potential we know she possesses.

    William speech was excellent. He has a lovely timber to his voice which makes it a pleasure just to listen to.

    Once again, another great blog Charlotte. Well done!

    Kiwi NIc

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    1. I think it's special in its simplicity. The cut, the fern standing out. It wasn't a super fancy party and this dress is beautiful for what the occasion was. I hear you on the NZ designers - I bet there are some coming!

      Did you watch a video of William's speech? I want to see it!

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  15. Theresa, from Paris10 April 2014 at 10:58

    She's lovely... I love the simplicity of the dress and the embroidery, but I'm curious to see her in NZ designers. Maybe a tad too long, I agree with those who think so, although it seems to be the choice of the dressmaker. Great hair as usual.
    I didn't much like the portrait of the Queen either, Charlotte... The face is not right.

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    1. Her expression might be a part of the "Queen role" someone mentioned . She must approve, or it wouldn't have made it out of BP. That said, there have been a number of beautiful photos of her recently. I would almost prefer one of those to this portrait.
      Rosa

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  16. I think Catherine looked lovey and it was very fitting to have the Silver Fern beading stitched on to her dress as a tribute to New Zealand. Very elegant and sophisticated. Hair looked lovely but a bit of a let down after how nice it was to see up earlier in the day. I agree with the previous comments that the hemline would have been nicer just a fraction shorter as to not cut her off at the widest part of the calf.

    Was that water in that wine glass? Cue the conspiracy theories about a second pregnancy any minute now ;-)

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  17. Silvia from Portugal :))))10 April 2014 at 11:20

    So I see there are other Portuguese followers :))) So wonderful :)))
    I think Kate smashed on today!!! She was absolotely fabulous :)))) I really hope their love lasts forever :))) Charlotte thank you so much for amuzing us and spoiling us :)))) Maybe one day you should have an article about you. I wonder your face and so on... :)) Maybe one day one could arrange a getting together in London and we could all meet and talk person to person about our favourite topic HRH Katherine Middleton :))))
    Looking foward for tomorrow:))) Charlotte in the mean time have a nice rest and please do not forget to provide some atention to your fiance as well :))))

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  18. Love love love the beading. So pretty! The accesories she chose really complimented the whole look as well. Though I must say I also am not a fan of the lower hemline...

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  19. I think she looks FANTASTIC! The dress is perfect for the occasion.and the embroidery Is stunning. Her hair looks great but more importantly, she looks happy and healthy

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    1. I agree with every word! Well said. :-)

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  20. Thank you for this and all the other upcoming articles.... with the time difference it is really an extra effort!

    I loved the imgaes of them "this" morning and you can see a happy couple totally in love and enjoying what they are doing and especially the REAL and not faked excitement I felt they are displaying while discovering new grounds.

    Deing a wine lover and in the wine industry I must only comment - I HATE how they are helding the wine glasses and it is water not wine while their hosts are drinking wine and have the glass properly on the stem and not around the midst of the glass. Someone should tell them that it looks riduculus and uneducated about table manners! In addition just a sip of the outstanding NZ wines wouldn't hurt as it is part of the extraordinairy nature NZ is offering.... Look forward as I heard they will visit a winery....

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  21. She looks pretty but that dress is hideous. It's an odd length, the material looks cheap and the embellishment makes it look straight out of the '80s. So far I'm quite disappointed in her clothing choices on this tour. She's wealthy and lives in one of the most fashionable cities in the world- I don't understand why she can't choose outfits that strike the right balance between elegance and glamour with a bit of trendiness mixed in. I'm hoping this is the work of a stylist who had strict orders to make Kate look as conservative as possible, because I'm very reluctant to believe a 32 year old living in a such a fashionable city like London would actually choose this dress.

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  22. I never thought I would say this, but the dress is a wee bit too long. Other than that, I think Kate looks fabulous! I'm glad that William wore a dark blue suit. At least there is a little contrast between the two of them.

    But, what about that awful picture of the Queen! It looks like she is scowling, her lipstick is too dark and not the right shade. The artists they choose, never seem to get it right. That's unfortunate, because it will be on permanent display.

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  23. Was HRH drinking just water in that glass? Hmmmm. Looks like trying for a baby to me!

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  24. anon from Leominster10 April 2014 at 13:14

    While I wish there had been an occasion for Kate to look more princess like, I love this elegant dress and particularly love the length which looks very polished on a tall girl like Kate. One of her best cocktail dresses in its gracious simplicity. Her hair looks very nice as well. I also loved the blue day coat and the ponytail seemed right for the serious engagements. Glad Kate has put some of her fashion missteps of her pregnancy and post-pregnancy with those too girlish short skirts behind her. She looks so wonderfully happy too. Very nice to see.

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  25. I thought members of the royal family were to only wear black for funerals and during times of mourning. Is that true????

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    1. That's what i thought annon 13:24 that they only wore black for funerals and mourning. I remember reading when Princess Dianna's father died, she returned from Klosters in black, that royals travel with black attire for this reason, Maybe that is why William does not wesr black, but he could do with fresher and better fitting suits for sure.

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    2. I believe he wore a black suit for the Wellington ceremony. I would think the RF got its fill of black during Queen Victoria's reign. Also, didn't Diana wear a black gown dancing with John Travolta? She was still a Royal then.
      Rosa

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    3. I think the black is a tribute to nz, as black is the national colour.

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    4. Diana's Travolta dress was a deep midnight, definitely not black.

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    5. I would have never noticed the no black - thanks for pointing it out!

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  26. thanks for the update charlotte. i really enjoy their tour, activities, mentions about baby george, her dresses and hair styles..

    rgds, .faw from KL

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  27. Wow.. I really liked this dress because it's very simple but with some bling (the fern) and the line is really good for her. I don't mind the length 'cause she is so tall that she can wear everything indeed; I also love her when she's dressed in black..
    Just one question: has William just blue suits???? Another colour maybe??

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    1. I've been wondering that, too! I've seen what I would call an ink blue, then tonight's shade, which with the lighting and flash looks like a royal blue, pardon the pun! I can't immediately recall any pictures in recent time when I've seen him in a different shade or another color altogether! Or Harry either, but that's another matter.

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    2. I agree - it seems odd that William always wears blue, and that shade of blue too. He would have looked terrific in charcoal or black, especially since his wife was in black. I thought his suit looked out of place compared to the formality of her dress. And his slacks are always a tad too short - but we've discussed that on this blog before.

      Her dress was stunning. No problem with the length at all. She needs to dress conservatively and elegantly - this was not an occasion to try and show off her legs. Love that beading - just beautiful!

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  28. Eve from Germany10 April 2014 at 13:51

    The dress itself is really nice, with beautiful embroidery, but personally, I don´t like this "greyish" black colour on her - the pitch black on that velvet dress she once wore to a film premiere (if I remember it correctly) suits her much more. I´ve noticed the lower hemline, too, and I agree I would have prefered a shorter one with this particular dress shape. It would have been different if the dress had had the shape of the runway dress. But these are just really "minor" things. What I love about all the pictures we´ve seen so far (so many, thanks to you, dear Charlotte!! :-)))) ) is that the Duchess looks truly radiant. She´s got that special "shine" about her again, that seemed to be missing after George had been born (well, with a very "lively" newborn, it´s no wonder, really!), and I´m really glad about that. Ever since they´ve arrived "down under" she really seems to be happy, calm, relaxed and at ease at all times. It´s just wonderful to see....

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    1. As a kiwi it is a nice thought that Kate seems relaxed due to being in this part of the world. Many people seem think that there is something in the air here that is relaxing.
      Perhaps it is the extreme distance from home that helps.

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  29. Angela Kelly is all over that dress, kate is taking some great cues fron her majesty.

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    1. Right! She's dressed like an octogenarian. The Queen would wear that dress.

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    2. Not octogenarian at all! She is dressed as befitting her position. She's a duchess, no longer in college, wife of the heir to the throne. She should always dress with poise and elegance - no more of those flippy skirts. But... get the hair out of the way! I really liked it earlier when she had her hair pulled back from her face. It gives her more sophistication than these college-girl curls.
      I think a low pony tail, clasped at the nape of her neck will a beautiful barrette, would be very nice.

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    3. I'm 29 - I would wear that beautiful dress in a heartbeat! I get that it's not everyone's taste but it is mine and she was perfect for this event!

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  30. Charlotte - you're amazing! Great work and hang in there - we're all supporting you and hoping you are not delirious while in classes! xoxo

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  31. Love the dress! She looks fabulous. Really enjoying the coverage and a chance to SEE them so much. Wish they'd do engagements 365 days a year (well, OK, I'd be happy with 300 days)! It seems a few are against the longer hemlines, but I believe that is THE fashion trend of the moment? http://www.marquisoffashion.com/hemline-fall/

    KJ (Dallas, TX)

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  32. I like the silver embroidery, the hair and the makeup. But the color of the dress and lower hemline makes her look a little frumpy.

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    1. Understand your point about frumpery, but I'm not sure it's just the hemline. It's the general cut. A more body conscious cut would not look frumpy with that hemline at all. Throw on some hot evening shoes and it would be "come to mama!".

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    2. Hooray, bluhare!! However, hot evening shoes to unveil the Queen? Remember the last time? The toenail remarks, etc. Open-toe remarks?
      Was it Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Ben Franklin, Harry Truman, or Winston Churchill who said: "Some of the people some of the time....." I have decided our Kate is just not going to please all of the people all of the time. Which is fine.

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    3. Hot evening shoes don't have to be open toed. I've got a great pair that are totally closed up with an ankle type strap and they are sexy as all get out. I also have a pair, also closed toe, with a corset pattern up the back that are sexy. Also a suede pair with suede ties that wrap around a lot. Sexy and closed up can be done.

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    4. I think the dress is very bod-con, tight fitting thruout to just below the waist.

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    5. bluhare--now I'm just jealous!! Would love to see you all gussied up. You must be an awesome sight!!
      And please don't group me with all those "anonymous' s." There is only one A non mouse. Just thought I would mention that.

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    6. Still, hot evening shoes to unveil the Queen?

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    7. “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

      That's been attributed to both Abraham Lincoln and P.T.Barnum, with no proof either way. Whoever first said it, it's very much to the point here!

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    8. I think PT Barnum said, "There's one born every minute." (sucker) Of course, he could have said that, too. I was hoping for Harry T.
      Thanks for the input.

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  33. Loved, loved, loved the dress! What gorgeous gesture to NZ (and the embroidery itself just exquisite. As for the portrait of the Queen I have to say I love it, too! It looks like her and her expression is that of a statesperson-which she has been. I appreciate that it is not a "fuzzy, warm" grandma expression because she deserves credit as the agile leader and politician (in the broader sense of the word, that is) she's been for over half a century. That said, the portrait also reflects her in a warm manner, through her dress (and, of course, the NZ brooch!). Did you notice the blue of her portrait dress is the same shade of blue as the DoC's dress from yesterday? The hours you are keeping must be insane-thanks for the hard work Charlotte. Silvia

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  34. Theresa - Austin, Texas10 April 2014 at 14:34

    Kate looks gorgeous!! I love this dress. I'm thinking that the length is partly due to the change in fashion. I saw many dresses on the runway shows that were this length or longer. Her hair is beautiful, too. Looks like this hairdresser is much better than the one she had recently. William looks great, too, but as a side note, I sure wish he would wear something besides these navy suits. Other than formal occasions, this is the only color he seems to wear. He would look amazing in just about anything, given his trim build.

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  35. I loved it head to toe. Simple, sophisticated and both the prince and the duchess look gorgeous!! Charlotte you go gal!!! thank you for your hard work!!

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  36. LOved it head to toe! simple yet sophisticated! both the prince and the duchess look dashing. However I wish the duke wore a black suit too or even a gray. Looks like he always favors navy or a different shade of blue.

    thanks Charlotte great job as usual!! keep it up!

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  37. She looks gorgeous, the hair and make-up are beautiful and absolutely love the jewelry, but I have to say I am not a fan of the dress AT ALL. I agree with the other posters that the longer hemline is not flattering, and I have to say the dress itself, for being a JP in particular, looks really really cheap. Like those flimsy black stretchy dresses with cheesy sequins you find at a discount retail store. I would have much preferred if the dress was in a cream color with the gorgeous beading at the shoulder, as she looks spectacular in cream and ivory. I also would have either liked it shorter or perhaps flaired out into an A-line. It was just really boring black and straight up and down, and the shoulder made it look dowdy and matronly vs. a tribute to NZ. Another color instead of black would have completely changed the entire look. I hope to see her in something spectacular next cocktail or black tie reception!!!

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    1. I love the dress. The black and silver are taken from the black and white New Zealand flag with the fern emblem, and are a compliment to the host country. See a picture of it in the previous thread. You should understand Kate's reason for wearing something before you criticize.

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    2. The fern embellishment was meant to be the focal point. I think any but the plainest of frocks would have detracted from it and made a cluttered presentation. The length- dress code was cocktail mode for women
      Rosa
      .

      Delete
  38. Beautiful dress! I probably would've gone a little shorter, but it looked great on her. Very appropriate for the occasion. Thank you for the post!

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  39. Kate looks gorgeous but she should have had her hair up for a state affair. The dress is nice and long and I love the fern.

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  40. Another solid hit for Kate. Entirely appropriate in every way, shape and form for this event. I first wondered at a cocktail length dress but I see that the other ladies also are wearing knee-length or slightly longer dresses.
    I'm sure the trashy supermarket tabloid editors are gratified to see the masses swallowing their "KATE IS PREGNANT!!" rumors like fish swallowing tasty bait.
    Of course, there could be no other reason for Kate drinking water instead of wine at a public engagement like this, right? It MUST mean she's pregnant!!
    The portrait of the queen is not particularly good but it did capture her perpetual frown/scowl very accurately.
    Somebody needs to get Wills a couple of cups of coffee or a strong cuppa or something, he looks like he's half-asleep at most of these engagements.

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  41. The Duchess always looks beautiful. I'm loving her hair and just how happy and at ease she looks. I didn't care for the length of the dress (too long) or the full length sleeves or the color. I loved the shoulder embellishment.

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  42. Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts. I have to say I thought might have seen a New Zealand designer but the detailing on the shoulder was very special indeed.

    I've updated the post to include higher res photos, close-ups of Kate's dress and jewellery!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Charlotte!

      Delete
  43. I am usually in favor of longer skirts after the school girl halfway up the thigh length horrors during her pregnancy, but the bespoke version of this dress could use a top of the knee hemline, IMO.
    Hem aside, I thought she looked beautiful, and a worthy representative of the monarchy.

    Funny to see a new portrait of Elizabeth presented when apparently New Zealand intends to cut ties with the Commonwealth when Charles succeeds his mother. I don't care for it either, her face looks quite lifeless.

    Charlotte, I think you mean 1843, not 1943, on the favorite portrait of Queen Victoria. Sleep, you must sleep!

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  44. i love the duchess wearing looking forward too see pictures of them tomorrow i hope you see william and kate tomorrow silveryered oh did i spelled right hope you can post a pic of them it will great privilege to us to post it

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  45. Hello Charlotte! First of all, thank you for this fantastic tour coverage (much better than the media coverage).
    I simply loved this two last looks. The blue suits her perfectly. I loved the coat, but I must agree that those pockets are slightly too big. The black dress is amazing, classy and elegant. I am not quite fan of her hair style though.

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  46. Love this look! Such a beautiful dress and love how she incorporates the small details of national emblems into her outfits. She did this when in Canada as well, including her one hat that was red with a maple leaf. So far this tour has been a total hit in my books. It's unfortunate about her dress getting off the plane, as you can tell she is really trying and evolved her look into longer hemlines which are much more appropriate for her duties. I really hope in the future she starts to wear more fitted dressing getting on/off the plane or perhaps very nice dress pants. I don't think the Duchess always needs to be in a dress when on tour.

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  47. Black and the fern detail to honor the host country is nice...however this looks like a dress one would wear to the office Christmas party in the U.S. She's just missing the shoulder pads to honor Dynasty and the 1980's.

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    Replies
    1. She wouldn't wear that to my office Christmas party, that's for sure. It is formal, classic and elegant. Not office-party fare.

      Delete
    2. This is classic elegance. The cut and beading. A cheap knock-off would maybe show up an an office party. Not this. This is a special dress.

      Delete
  48. Thank you, I will amend it immediately!

    We'll know I'm sleep deprived when I start referring to George as 'Princess George' which I did the day his name was formally announced :) :)

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    Replies
    1. Charlotte,,Thank You so much for your excellent coverage!!Kate looks lovely and the fern detailing on the shoulder is subtle, classy and perfect. Thank YOu for sacrificing your sleep to provide us the excellent coverage!!xoxo

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  49. I love this dress. I love that she included the emblem on the shoulder, such a thoughtful touch. Great hemlines. Wish she would do a classic updo sometimes. She played her hair a lot unfortunately.
    However, I do love this look, and most importantly - she seemed engaged and attentive with the governor-general and his wife, etc. I liked William's speech as well, it was sweet.

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  50. Charlotte, you've done a great job with this blog!! I check it every morning :) I've been a big fan of Kate for a while now, but I must say, I'm getting bored with her sense of style. I understand she's a 32 mother and the future Queen, but come on, that doesn't mean you have to be boring and frumpy. She always looks best when she does something classic and pretty, but with a twist. Like the blue/teal dress of gorgeousness by Jenny Packham or that beautiful purple graphic Prabal Gurung dress from Malaysia. We didn't fall in love with her fashion sense for the below-the-knee hemlines and boring coat dresses. I must say, overall I'm pretty disappointed so far and really hope she has something with a bit of a 'wow' factor coming up soon. One thing that is nice to see is how radiant her face looks. Motherhood looks good on her and she is clearly a very happy lady!!

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  51. Since my Safari browser at home doesn't allow me to make comments here, I am sneaking on from work to say -- great posts, Charlotte!! Someone else said earlier that each day feels like Christmas when Kate & William are on tour and I completely agree. You are so good to us, to keep us updated and entertained each step along the way of their tour. Gorgeous photos and interesting details. You certainly do your research! While I wasn't a huge fan of the style & fit of Kate's blue coat earlier, the color was fantastic on her and the wrapped ponytail was spot on. Loved the Tory Burch dress yesterday and the fern emblem on tonight's Jenny Packham is beautiful. Can't wait for the next post!

    Lauren

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    Replies
    1. Jennifer from Wisconsin10 April 2014 at 21:27

      Lauren,
      I agree with everything you wrote! (And I am on a break at work on my phone too. )

      Delete
  52. I wish Kate would keep this hair dresser with her in London. The way her hair was styled in graceful curls, with her left side clear for the beautiful embroidery, is brilliant. I have looked again at the skirt length, and I rather like it. It is currently fashionable, suits her, and shouldn't be more than an inch shorter. Maybe the Queen's portrait, the way she was dressed, influenced the evening's dress code. The Queen, by the way, looks more like herself in this portrait than in many I have seen. Prince William's speech was charming, and he looked much more relaxed than in the morning. Perhaps he was relieved to have the official functions, including his meetings with New Zealand's leaders, accomplished.

    I do hope that those who spent the early part of the year criticizing Kate now realize that she put a lot of effort into planning this trip, from devising her special wardrobe and enduring many fittings, to participating in planning for the tour itself. The consideration given to Prince George and his fans with the play group, and the time spent with Peter Jackson and the airplanes for Prince William, no doubt needed her participation. Yes, she has aides, but I think her fingerprints are all over the events so far. The tour has included time for rest, for her baby, for the people of New Zealand, and even for her preparations for the evening while her husband was otherwise occupied. And we have only seen the results in the first three days and in the first country. This detailed planning, more complicated with George along than for previous trips, will no doubt assure the success of the whole tour.

    I do believe that the Queen's influence is also apparent. Both William and George have been sent on the Down Under tours as babies, unlike the Queen herself and her older two children, all of whom stayed with their grandparents in London while their parents were away for long periods. The Queen Mother and the Queen both suffered from leaving their babies behind. Princess Diana once said it had not been her decision to take William along. Whether the Queen's wardrobe influence has extended beyond loaning precious jewels, she certainly has made life easier for young parents and their children by ending those long separations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is that the Queen Mother and Prince Charles influenced the idea of taking William to Australia when he was a baby. The Queen Mother knew how badly she had felt leaving her baby behind, and also remembered that her little daughter and even Charles and Anne, who were a little older, had trouble remembering their parents when they finally returned. Prince Charles no doubt knew what the effect on Diana would be if she were to be parted from William for weeks on end.

      Delete
    2. A lesson in how to critique with grace. Doesn't hurt to mix in a few compliments, either.
      However, not sure the Queen dictated taking George along. I think Prince William was quite clear they made the decision . Perhaps you have a direct line to the Queen.( I am serious here, not being snarky, hopefully) or maybe read it somewhere? Is the Queen taking personal responsibility now? Maybe her role is in allowing it? And I bet Prince Charles wasn't about to put his son through what he went through.
      I believe it just demonstrates the difference in the times.

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    3. Thanks for the compliment, A Non! Very kind. No, I don't think the Queen necessarily made the decision about Prince George, though she did give her permission for him to travel on the same plane with Prince William. I am pretty sure from past reading that she and Prince Charles made the decision about allowing Prince William to go along with his parents when he was eight or nine months old. At that time, it was a break with a tradition that the Queen Mother (read her official biography) had found very difficult, and that I think she knew did not work out very well for the Queen's children, By now, a new tradition has been established, and it was logical for William and Catherine to follow the lead of Charles and Diana, no doubt with the Queen's agreement and perhaps with Prince Charles's also. They are spending more time with Prince George, and so the new tradition has been strengthened. They have made a point of keeping him with them and of including other children and parents. My feeling about these arduous tours has changed as a result. William and Catherine are making the expected tour (a tradition for generations) in a gentle and happy and thoughtful way, rather than having their young family put under tremendous stress by a long separation.

      Delete
    4. And you would know gentle and thoughtful. Thank-you for seeing my compliment in there, instead of choosing to see my post another way
      I keep hitting the wrong key and spelling post with an "i." I worry will miss correcting it.Sounds a little raunchy..

      Delete
  53. Mrs. Thompson in Chicago10 April 2014 at 18:06

    Hi! Kate looks beautiful as always, but I wonder if we'd like the longer length if it was fitted, instead of flared, like on the model. She has a gorgeous figure and I think a closer fit around her legs would have still looked classy and elegant. Maybe Jenny did the flare to balance the boat-neck collar and embroidery. I also agree that a half-up or up do would have displayed the embellishment, particularly as so much thought went into the design. I love Jenny P., but I too am looking forward to being introduced to a New Zealand designer! Fingers crossed! xx

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    Replies
    1. I did not have any trouble seeing the embellishment
      . Am also looking forward to a Kiwi design. I have one in mind that Charlotte featured, but can't for the life of me think of her name She had a similar black dress that I had picked out for last night ,thinking of the NZ colors. Maybe she is varying the honors- a coat here, a dress, an embellishment, a piece of jewellery.

      Delete
  54. Well again not to many nice things to say about Catherine. First it was her dresses were to short, to childish looking. And now she dresses are to old fashion and to long. The hair seems to be an issue with alot of you too. This poor woman can not win here with all of the comments. All I can say is that I really hope she does not read this blog. To much negative comments. Not a nice place to be for Catherine.

    CJ from Washinton

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    Replies
    1. CJ--Just enjoy the happy posts and ignore the picky ones. If you respond to the rabble-rousers, it just encourages them.
      Some seem to be able to express an opinion without sounding snarky.
      I will never understand why it is acceptable to make rude statements about the Duchess, but not about the rude commenters. Neither is nice.
      It is obviously an online ettiquette thing, but I think it lowers the tone of Charlotte's lovely posts.

      Delete
    2. You should see some of the posts on places like Kate Middleton Review and Royal Gossip.
      You see posts about how vulgar she is, how scheming she and Carole are, how they used a surogate because she's too vain/infertile to be pregnant, and how Nurse Jacintha found out, and she was actually murdered because she found out the truth. How no one in the RF can stand Kate, and how William doesn't care about his wife and son and is never around.
      They believe she puts ZERO effort into her (few) engagements, and shows NO connection with George.

      THOSE places are quite ridiculous I think.

      In my opinion, THIS is a place that values Kate, and simply has reasonable constructive criticism. Don't be upset CJ :) Most here DO like her, but have the right to voice an opinion if they also do not like some things. They want her to do well.

      Delete
    3. Laurie - North Carolina10 April 2014 at 21:23

      I couldn't agree more, CJ. This poor girl can't seem to win. Her dresses are too short. They're too long. The skirt is too wide. It's not wide enough. She dresses too young. She dresses too old. The fabric looks "cheap". The silver beading looks too "Dynasty". The color isn't "black" enough (what does that even MEAN???) Her pockets are too big. Her buttons are too big. Her heels are too high. Her hat is too "frumpy". The collar is too constricting. Her hair is too long. Her hair is too curly. Her eyeliner too "cheap".

      Listen...I fully realize that we are all entitled to our opinions, and that a big part of why we follow Kate is because we're interested in what she wears, but oh my God...I could never imagine criticizing someone because their hemline was an INCH longer than I thought it should be. Just. WOW! Personally..I think she's looked amazing on this tour thus far. Perfectly dressed for every occasion. Perfectly engaged with her hosts. Truly enjoying her interactions at every function. She appears happy and glowing and looks to be in total love with both her beautiful baby and handsome husband. I think she wants to do her job the very best she can and I truly believe she's trying. I'm no Duchess, nor do I have access to the perks that Kate has, but as a wife and mother myself, who is just as in love with my daughter and husband, I can say that Duchess or not...money or not...I'm very happy for her :-)

      Delete
    4. Totally agree with you CJ.

      Delete
    5. Mrs. Thompson in Chicago10 April 2014 at 22:15

      Hello. I agree that some comments have taken a nasty turn in the past, but I think the fashion critiques are relevant and OK either way. If this was a blog about Chanel fashion, there would always be people who loved a collection or hated a collection, (and I doubt Uncle Karl would care!) so I would hope that if the DOC ever did read a blog as awesome as Charlotte's she wouldn't give a whiff if someone didn't like her hemline on a dress she loves and had put genuine thought and effort into. We all have different tastes and want to express them as much as enjoy reading about the Royals, which is why blogs like this one are so popular. It's fun to have a say and pretend our opinions on a particular color or cut count. :-)

      Delete
  55. I love how the dress has such a deep boat neckline, and of course it's very tailored and flattering, as is her style. Her outfits thus far do seem much more conservative than either of the past two trips. Everything has been past her knees! She can pull it off given how tall she is (and how tall her heels are), but I wonder if this is just a general step of dressing more conservatively?

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  56. I think she looked beautiful, although I am a little puzzled at the black. I thought black was a big no-no for royals other than at a funeral. Has this rule been changed?

    I like her hair, although I would have like to see it up considering the high neckline and the fern embellishment on the shoulder.

    I have no opinion on the length, but I do have a question for you ladies. I am a bit confused as to what you would consider a good length for Catherine. She's been criticized for too short and too long -- well, what length (in inches or centimeters above/below the knee) is appropriate? If you can, please provide actual numbers because I am a bit at a loss. Mid-thigh is too short, clearly because then we get into Kartrashian territory, but an inch difference one way or the other is really not enough to even complain about.

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  57. Her hair looks great but I'm really not liking her dress. My husband summed it up perfectly :"it's ok, but not great". She had months to prepare for this trip and I can't believe this is the wardrobe she came up with. I get that she's not a fashion icon, or meant to be starting trends, but the fact remains that she spends so much money on her wardrobe (money that comes from the British tax payers although I could be wrong?) and yet still only manages to look "ok". Where's the glamour? The wow factor? Londoners are some of the most fashionable in the world and yet you'd never know it looking at her.

    And I get that the Queen is probably responsible for her more frumpy fashion choices but, seriously, can Kate not speak her mind at all? Show a little bit of personality? Has she really dedicated herself to a life of other people influencing her fashion choices?

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  58. The designer I was thinking of is Helen Cherry. The dress, the black dress, second in fron the left.Thought it would be perfect for jewells.

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  59. In some of the comments, people say that Kate needs a dresser but I think William needs it more. All of Kate's outfits are beautiful and very well thought ( they either have small details like the fern leaf embellishment on this dress, the maple leaf on her red hat in the Canada tour, etc to honour the host country or they are appropriate for the event like the black & white Tory Burch dress with forgiving patterns in case of an accident, etc ) and she carries herself gracefully, she looks genuinely happy and at ease with people... She is just perfect and William is so boring with that ( almost ) same blue/navy suit that it looks as if Kate is the royal born princess and William is a staff member in his uniform accompanying her. William is a handsome and well built young man, I think wearing suits in different colours from time to time would be nice for him and he would attract more attention. In the end, it's William who is going to be the king and especially in official tours, he should be more on the spotlight than Kate but it feels like even if Kate went on this tour alone, she would do a great job and William wouldn't be missed much. William looks more like a schoolboy rather than a charming prince, I think Kate looks and behaves more royal, elegant and graceful than William.

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    1. I so agree annon 20:23 William needs to invest in a dozen suits or so and have them tailored properly. His pants always look to short and his jacket to small. Some variety would be nice in color or texture.

      Delete
  60. With regards to the length of the dress it's the same length as the model on the catwalk, so she yet again entrend and not frumpy. She just looks elegant and chic as someone in her position should. Reminds me of how the french woman dress. Ann London

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  61. For those who are interested, I had had a conversation in the Comments of a post about a week or two ago. I can't remember which one. The topic turned to Royal Protocol when it comes to dressing for engagements. I had referenced a royal follower's website, and she has offered some sources of where to read more about it :)

    (Do ignore the crassness and inappropriate manner in which the Anonymous asker demanded the information - warning: There is cursing/name-calling on their part, unfortunately)

    http://theduchesscambridge.tumblr.com/post/82311111749/i-was-asking-for-links-or-the-names-of-books-and

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    Replies
    1. FYI- I believe you refer to the April 7, @22:11 post about 3" heels. That was posted by "Anonymous," not "Stephanie." There was also a post under Stephanie March 26 @02:43 that referred to 3" heels and quoted Tumbler. That one had "Stephanie" for author.No cursing, just honest questions. Otherwise, I have no idea what you are talking about.

      Delete
    2. I remember discussing the tumblr post, March 26 sounds about right I suppose.
      When I say cursing, I am referring to the Anon asker within the tumblr link I just posted - not on here. Open the link, you will see the Anon asking the tumblr owner - in a very rude way.

      Delete
  62. Marion from Germany10 April 2014 at 21:53

    The Duchess has chosen wonderful outfits so far, I like everything: the red coat at their arrival was striking, the blue coat just amazing, the dress in the afternoon nice and appropriate for that occasion and now the black dress is so elegant. I like the lower hemlines, which make all the dresses look sophisticated and wonderful for a member of the royal family. And her hair is immaculate.

    On another note I must say that I could not imagine the Duchess as a committed mother – do not ask me why. But the photos of her and George show that I was totally mistaken. The bond between mother and son is obvious and heartwarming to see.

    And last but not least is Charlotte to praise for the always brilliant coverage. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I never really had doubts about Kate as a mother just by the way she interacts with young kids plus her family is incredibly close knit which says a lot because adult kids really don't have to hang out with their parents if they don't want to.

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  63. Whether we have our own preferences on hem length, hair style, and colour, no one can deny that Kate looks beautiful and appropriate for this occasion. Well done Kate!

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  64. 1. I think Kate looked divine.
    2. I want that dress!!

    It looks elegant-understated-sophisticated. Love the boat-neck collar and the embellishment. I am probably so excited because it's very much my style, or at least what I like to aim for. Regarding the length of the dress; I don't think it's matronly. I rather think it reflects current fashion as mentioned in several other posts. The only detail I would have changed is the hairstyling. Some sort of updo or half up would have given way for the collar area to shine is all it's glory.
    JP does incredibly well with bespoke pieces that honour the hosting country. I too would like to see her wearing a NZ designer. But since every outfit so far was just wonderful, I will keep quiet for now.
    In my opinion Kate is doing exactly what so many were asking for: dressing like a Princess. I am with Jean here, elegance seems to be paramount. But more importantly, I think Kate does it her way. And not as some Mary-Maxima-Victoria copy. I like that. Lots.

    Marion, funny enough I had similar thoughts about Kate as a mother. But the love between all three of them is very visible. I caught myself (out of control) smiling while looking at the pictures of Kate and George.

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  65. does anyone know what she wears for makeup? i would love mine to look like hers!

    sarah usa

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  66. The word that comes to me is "demure". Kate has been looking demure. Feet placed together, hands together, longer hems. But still her "Kate-ness" shines through! She has such a likeable, liveliness that whatever she wears, she just looks great. Slim, elegant, refined. I couldn't help but think, it is so ironic that it was risque see-through number that first attracted Prince William to her. That Kate is light years from the one we see in public now. But probably at home in private she can let the other Kate out a bit, and that is just the way it should be. In public, refined, regal, elegant, and with Will at home, a wonderful wife. Just a thought.

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  67. Just a small thing, I think it would have looked better if it was more "sheath like" with the longer hemline not with the slightly gathered skirt as she has it.

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  68. Gosh ladies your certainly getting your kate fix now lol. Ebody was complaining about her appearances, her engagements, her lack of so called "work" etc blah, blah. Well this is what's it's all about. This is the "work" she does. Yes the engagements are coming in thick '' fast. I just hope y'all can keep up. I told ya all along, to just be patient gurls. Our dream team is up and running. Just wait till she knocks the Aussies for six, with that oh so beautiful smile of hers. I bet our kate could even win back the 'Ashes', just on her own. Bleedin' Aussies always whinging..!!! Lol.

    Which person said about wearing black. ? It's the colour of NZ kiwi. She is honouring the country of New Zealand and the national emblem. Just as she did for Malaysia and the green for St Patricks day etc. These things take a lotta "work" and detailed planning. Being a former Uni student she already has that discipline of being able study and focus on a schedule. Now she has staff to work with. This is it. This is the monarchy.

    The Monarchy and the commonwealth is huge in terms of being unique to the rest of the world. Don't worry about Kate will have plenty to do, more than well ever know. I just hope with William they can do it all and raise a family together in the intense spotlight.. .

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  69. Love your post Sam, my sentiments exactly :-)

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  70. Great great great :-)

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