As most royal watchers know, the first month of the year tends to be an incredibly quiet one for William and Kate, but this time round several engagements have been announced. The Cambridges experienced a backlash after going on holiday last year while carrying out very few public appearances, and this was obviously noted by their PR team. To avoid a repeat a number of appearances have been scheduled for mid January - before the annual holiday to Mustique with the Middletons.
There's also Kate's pregnancy to consider (most likely the deciding factor, as opposed to generating headlines unrelated to Prince Andrew) with the Duchess taking maternity leave this spring. Perhaps she wants to visit more charities before the third trimester, and while there's no official word on when Kate will take maternity leave, I suspect the annual St Patrick's Day Parade at Aldershot may mark her final appearance before the baby is born). Whatever the reason, it's wonderful news for royal watchers and most of all the organisations involved.
15 January 2015
In her role as patron of The Art Room, Kate will officially name The Clore Art Room at Barlby Primary School. Readers may recall this engagement was one of several which the Duchess couldn't make due to her illness. At the time the Palace said she was "hugely disappointed". During the visit she will meet staff and students before attending workshops where she will learn more about the charity.
16 January 2015
The Duchess will attend an event hosted by The Fostering Network in Islington to celebrate the work of foster carers who provide support for vulnerable young people. Kate will be given an overview of the world of fostering and meet carers and social workers. It seems to me this is very much a possible future patronage for Her Royal Highness, which would appropriately continue the trend of supporting young people. It is sadly a largely ignored area in many ways which could greatly benefit from having her on board.
|The Fostering Network Twitter Feed|
19 January 2015
Kate has a day of engagements in Kensington on Monday, 19 January. Her first stop of the day is a coffee morning at Family Friends, a voluntary organisation providing befriending and mentoring services to families in deprived areas of the borough. This is one of many organisations we look forward to sharing a background and history of on the day of the engagement.
Next, the Duchess will formally open Kensington Aldridge Academy where she will tour the building, watch a dance performance and unveil a plaque. Finally, Kate will formally open Kensington Leisure Centre. Her Royal Highness will tour the facilities, including the swimming pool, gym and sauna and watch groups of children from nearby primary schools playing various sports.
There's a nice mix of engagements involved with a focus on young people and a possible new patronage. We look forward to covering them and hearing your thoughts on the day!
We're continuing on with our annual polls today asking you to Vote for Kate's Best Dress of 2014. We've decided to divide the voting into two polls, 'Kate's Best Dress' and 'Kate's Best Gown'. Once again, because we voted for tour pieces back in May, it seems best not to include them again.
Kate got off to a stylish start in 2014 wearing the "snorkel blue" L.K. Bennett 'Detroit' dress. The silhouette of the dress is one Kate favours, and in fact, she liked it so much she elected to wear it again in August for a visit to the poppy installation at the Tower of London.
Kate repeated her beautiful red Alexander McQueen knee-length dress for a dramatic arts reception with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace.
|The British Monarchy Flickr|
Kate repeated her Whistles 'Bella' dress for the wedding of friends back in March.
The Duchess was perfectly attired for a visit to the Maritime Museum in support of Ben Ainslie's America's Cup bid in the navy and white crepe trim dress from Jaeger.
For the Queen's Garden Party, Kate brought back her very popular bespoke lace champagne Alexander McQueen dress. It's beautifully fitted and the length is very elegant.
Kate made a private visit to her patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices wearing a pink and black DVF wrap dress she's had in her wardrobe since 2002.
Kate stepped out for a Place2Be conference wearing the Tory Burch 'Chrissy' dress. To view photos of Kate wearing the dress please click here. The printed jersey piece from the Resort 2014 Collection is a striking summery frock.
In July, the Duchess made a Place2Be school visit in the coral-pink GOAT 'Scarlett' pleat-front dress. Made from Italian wool crepe it features a pleated bust and optional belt that keeps the waist in focus.
The Duchess was pretty in her white cotton broderie anglaise Zimmermann 'Roamer' day dress for an afternoon at Wimbledon (a floral-print version of the dress is available at Net-A-Porter).
And HRH brought back her Jonathan Saunders 'Evelyn' dress to support British number one Andy Murray at Wimbledon.
|Wimbledon Twitter Feed|
For Prince George's first birthday portrait, the Duchess looked radiant in the green print Suzannah 'Budding Heart' silk tea dress.
Kate chose her much-loved Stella McCartney 'Ridley' dress for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Kate's Temperley London 'Emblem' flare dress for Action on Addiction's Autumn Gala received mixed reviews on the night. The panels of the dress didn't photograph particularly well and it will be interesting to see how it fares in the poll.
The Duchess selected the Hobbs London animal-print shirt dress to wear under coats over the Autumn/Winter season. The classic shirt dress is currently on sale at House of Fraser.
For Remembrance Sunday, the Duchess wore a frock from 2008 - the BCBG Max Azria Tuxedo ruffle front dress.
Kate debuted a new dress for a November SportsAid workshop - the GOAT 'Vreeland' dress. The lightweight crepe dress has a self-belt and buttons down the front. The colour is called 'iris'.
Her Royal Highness wore the Katherine Hooker 'Ascot' dress in a bespoke colour for a visit to EACH in November.
In New York, Kate chose the Beulah London black lace 'Amara' dress. The Duchess was in her element in the fit and flare dress from the brand's Spring/Summer Collection.
Another black dress Kate wore in New York was the £59 Séraphine 'Vanessa' dress. The black roll neck maternity dress is made in luxurious ponte roma.
Our second dress poll is my personal favourite - Kate's Best Gown of 2014. We have just three options for you to choose from beginning with the Jenny Packham ink-blue, off-the-shoulder gown. The Duchess loves the gown so much she wore it twice last year: for a NPG Gala and in New York for the St Andrews Gala.
Next, we have another Jenny Packham design. The gorgeous powder-blue wrap dress made headlines and was deemed a daring fashion choice for the Duchess due to its high split. It's a departure from Kate's usual style and it looked stunning on her.
At the Royal Variety Performance, Kate dazzled in the black lace DVF 'Zarita' gown. The entire look was perfect for the occasion and the Duchess looked regal.
We look forward to seeing your choices! :)