Monday, 23 May 2016

UPDATED: The Cambridges Make Their Debut at the Chelsea Flower Show

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their debut at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show today.


The show is very much considered Britain's undisputed horticultural event and known globally for its spectacular floral displays. It is also considered a staple on the royal calendar thanks to Her Majesty's patronage of the Royal Horticultural Society, and the show has been attended by countless royals over the years. Since the Queen's ascension to the throne in 1952, she has only missed it five times.


The Cambridges arrived with Prince Harry, who is becoming a regular at the event. Last year Harry was involved in a garden created for his charity Lesotho; at his request it featured plants that are both native to the UK and Lesotho.


There's been much speculation as to why William and Kate haven't previously attended, a spokesman said it was due to "diary issues. This year the diary has worked out fine and especially in the Queen’s 90th year, Their Royal Highness were keen to join her."


There was quite the royal guest list for this year's opening with other members of the Royal family present, including Prince Philip, the Duke of York and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Princess Anne, the Countess of Wessex, the Gloucesters, the Kents, and Princess Alexandra.


A gorgeous shot of William and Kate.


The prestigious Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two world wars. It is attended by 157,000 visitors annually with tickets purchased in advance. Highlights of the show include avant-garde show gardens, and smaller artisan and urban-inspired gardens.


Preparations have been underway for some time.


This year's show was another visual feast featuring cutting-edge gardens from world renowned designers. One of the reasons for the large royal turnout was surely down to the selection of tributes for the Queen's 90th birthday.


To mark the occasion, the RHS installed a magnificent floral arch at the Bull Ring Gate entrance.


A photographic exhibition celebrating the Queen's regular visits to the flower show was on display.


Her Majesty enjoyed the displays.


The royals viewed a selection of exhibits.


Perhaps the most poignant of the displays was the '5000' poppies, an Australian community tribute for those who have served their country in wars and conflicts.


Designer Phillip Johnson - who won Best Show Garden in 2013 - is the creator behind the exhibit. Using almost 300,000 individually crocheted poppies, Phillip’s garden design covers nearly 2,000 sq m of the grounds.


More on the poppies from the RHS website:

'Phillip has collaborated with the 5000 Poppies Project on the design of his spectacular tribute garden. The design stems from an installation at Melbourne’s Federation Square on Anzac Day 2015.
 Creators of the 5000 Poppies project, Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight, initially set out to crochet 120 poppies to honour their fathers who both fought in the Second World War, but this quickly escalated into a final total well in excess of quarter of a million poppies from an estimated 50,000 contributors. It captured the hearts and imaginations of people from all over the world, and inspired Phillip to present the collection at Chelsea this year.
The poppies have been beautifully handmade as a tribute to those who served in all wars, creating a thread of connection to servicemen and women in the armed forces. Each of the hand-knitted and crocheted flowers was individually crafted by people from a range of cultures, and communities and ages, from two to 102 years old.'

The Countess of Wessex views the poppies. Sophie looked elegant in the Floral Ruffle Dress by Kate's favourite brand Alexander McQueen.


William and Kate were particularly keen to see one flower in contention for the coveted 'Flower of the Year' award - the Princess Charlotte Chrysanthemum.


Produced by Dutch company Deliflor, the world's largest chrysanthemum breeder, the flower is helping Kate's patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices to bloom, with the charity receiving 50% of all royalties from sales.


The royals enjoyed the beautiful display at East Anglia's Children's Hospices garden.


Peeking to see a display.


This photo begs a caption contest :)


The Duchess was pictured grabbing a hanky from her clutch. I expect Kate may have encountered a touch of hay fever from the pollen.


The theme of this year's show will champion the health and wellbeing benefits of greening-up our grey spaces.


As a lover of flowers, plants and nature, it is always such a treat to see concept images of the displays. Below, a look at the Harrods British Eccentrics Garden by Diarmuid Gavin. It is inspired by kinetic sculpture from some of the UK’s most imaginative minds. Elaborate machinery performing simple tasks has become associated with Britishness.

RHS

A look at the garden today.


Absolutely stunning, aren't they? Let's look at another design - the LG Smart Garden, which is inspired by the concept of intelligent homes and is intended to demonstrate that technology can be incorporated harmoniously into the garden as well as the house. You can view all the gardens on the official website.

RHS

Emily Nash shared this tidbit from the show.

Emily Nash Twitter Feed

Afterwards, the royal party attended a private reception, at the newly named Queen Elizabeth II pavilion.


I had a feeling the Duchess would repeat a previously seen look today, however, I thought we might see one of her floral-print dresses. Instead Kate surprised us by bringing back the bespoke grass-green coatdress by Catherine Walker, first worn for engagements in Canberra in 2014.


The garment incorporates elements of both the Evelyn Coatdress and the Lara Coardress. The Evelyn is described: "The sharp and precisely cut shoulders of this grass green Venetian wool coatdress are softened by the sinuous neckline and full A-line skirt with hand pick stitching." As you can see the neckline on Kate's has been altered, whilst the Lara features the distinctive high neck and zipper.

Catherine Walker

I must admit the coatdress was my least favourite piece worn during the tour (if I recall correctly it received the least number of votes in our tour polls) and seeing it again today I can't say it's grown on me. I think it's the combination of the fabric, the buckled belt, the high neck, and the very vivid colour. Has it grown on you?


The Duchess accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings.

Kiki McDonough

And carried her new £185 L.K. Bennett Nina Clutch.

L.K. Bennett

It looks like Kate completed the look with her L.K. Bennett Fern pumps.


L.K. Bennett

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Also today, to mark Children's Hospice Week, the Duchess sent a message of support to East Anglia's Children's Hospices. In the letter, Kate praised the work of hospices: "The amazing, and life changing support provided by children's hospices and palliative care charities across the UK offers a lifeline to families under incredible pressure."

EACH

Children's Hospice Week runs from 23 - 29 May. You can read more about it here.

The Queen is hosting her final garden party for this year at Buckingham Palace tomorrow. I think it very likely Kate will be in attendance.

174 comments:

  1. I'm probably in the minority but I always loved this coat. I like the silhouette and color. It's different from her other coats and stands out a bit. I'm happy she wore it again

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    1. I'll join you in the minority CuriousKat becasue I like it as well.

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    2. Agreed. It's a stunning piece. Perfectly tailored. Great for the occasion.

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    3. Tedi in California24 May 2016 at 10:50

      Well, I will join you both, as I think it's a great choice. I love the color, and it fits right in with all the lovely flowers

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    4. I agree! I really like this coat! When the Duchess chose green in Australia/NZ, I personally didn't like her Erdem coat (the one she chose when she attended the ceremonial start of the Tour de France too, I think), but I really loved this one. I think this colour really suits her and it's interesting too see her wearing something different from her usual style. Plus, I think this was a great choice for someone who was going to visit a Flower Show while being photographed. The colour was ok for the theme of the visit but perfect for photos too... If she had chose a dress with a flower print, maybe in the photos it would have been "too much"...
      I like how she styled her hair too. I thinks Kate looked youthful yet sophisticated :)
      I've never been to the Chelsea Flower Show, it does look very beautiful and it must be indeed. I don't know why, but it made me think of Downton Abbey!

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  2. Thank you for the post Charlotte--have been checking every hour! I don't care for the coat dress either. Too much green and too staid for my taste. Looking at a photo of the Queen wearing a similar coat dress years ago (in red) I finally agree that Kate can be quite "meh" in her choice of clothes. Still love her but this look just didn't excite me.

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  3. It has grown on me!

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  4. Call me crazy, but I think green is a fabulous color on her. Not that I'd want to see her wearing it all the time however ;)

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    1. Agree, Anon 19:39 - no, no, not that you are crazy :), but with the green colour. It's gorgeous on her. It's the same with a green shift dress, Kate wore in L.A., i liked it a lot.

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  5. Hi there,

    Updated photo and letter from the Duchess on http://www.icpcnconference.org/ Photo is stunning!

    Thanks, Linda

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    1. Photo not seen, this links to another website...

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  6. I don't understand the coat. Although its not my favorite in terms of color, neckline, and styling, I also feel like...is it actually cool enough to wear that? Other dresses are short sleeved, although the Queen herself is wearing a coat...As someone in a VERY warm climate - temps haven't been below freezing in over 12 months and we are gearing up for 100 degree stretches soon - even I might have been to warm with highs in the 60s. Is a coatdress a coat, a dress, or sometimes one and sometimes the other?

    Not my favorite look.

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    1. max 18 C min 8 C so not the warmest of days

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  7. Victoria from North Carolina23 May 2016 at 19:42

    Yeah I didn't like the coat/dress before, and sadly it hasn't grown on me at all. I do love the half up half down hair style. I know many readers have suggested that Catherine should dress more funner, if that is how to say it. Many have expressed that Kate plays it "safe" with her style. Does anyone think that because she is so close to the throne, that may be the reason behind her safe style? I wonder if Harry's future wife will dress differently like pant suits or trousers because she wont be queen? Eugenie looks nice in her dress.

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    1. I suppose that could be why. It would make sense. If my opinion counts, I don't think so though. Letiza wears pant suits and pants and she is queen. And Mary wears pants as well and she's second in line to the thrown, closer than Kate. I think this is just Kate's style and sometimes her style is just kinda boring or matronly lol.

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    2. You expressed my thoughts exactly. I feel the closer she gets to the throne the more official looking she is adopting now. We might not see the old Kate. Maybe she's just maturing earlier. Who knows

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  8. Rebecca - Sweden23 May 2016 at 19:48

    Great to see so many royals there. I cannot say that an event like this interests me at all (to my mothers dismay) with flowers and my feared wasps! But it's nice to see them there :)

    I am ok with this coat. I don't love it. But it's servicable and nice. I like the colour, i like the skirt, I like the belt, I kind of like the buttoned up look. It's kind of unassuming (with that color even!) and a nice working look. It was a good time for a repeat with the Queen around etc.

    And I have to say, Beatrice and Euginie really fit in that kind of full A line skirt silouette.

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  9. I am quite jealous! It would be fantastic to visit and wander among the various exhibits. In regards to Kate, I adore the color of this dress and like the silhouette as well. But I would not have been sad if she had left it slightly unzipped and accessoried with a necklace. I bet somewhere, among the various family members, someone has a necklace with a flower theme. Or even a lovely brooch, like the Queen was wearing. Just that little something extra to knock it out of the park.

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  10. I am sorry but I don't really like the dress nor this bright green on Kate. It is too vibrant, darker green is better on her. I have to say the shoes are so elegant and classy! Love them. And I love today's hair style as well!

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  11. I must say I was really struck by how Sophie's outfit looked so much more chic, fresh and appropriate...not that Kate didn't look appropriate, but perhaps she doesn't always welcome the glare of attention on her. Almost as if the outfit was picked to be boring on purpose.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden24 May 2016 at 08:14

      She has a tendency to go "boring" or blended in around the Queen.

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  12. I usually love the Duchess' wardrobe choices but this one is disappointing - for my taste, too buttoned-up for someone as young and vibrant as she is. I wish she would unzip the top down a little bit and push the sleeves up. Even Queen Elizabeth was not this severe. The colour is lovely and great on Catherine but given the surroundings, it does not seem very summery. But maybe it is cooler in England than we are here in Canada at the moment.

    Great job on the blog; keep on just the way you are!

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  13. Nicole from France23 May 2016 at 19:54

    such a quick post, Charlotte ! you are the best ! as a very passionate flowers and gardens lover, and visitor of the best French flower shows since their beginning, I had a good augh seeg what kind of shoes kate and Sophie wore .... that's what we usually call "tourists" ..... I wonder if she really appreciates gardening , I am not sure she does ..... and like you, Charlotte, this dress does not seem to match the occasion .... is it the colour, or the round neck, or ...? quite dull, again, despite the flashy colour ..... she actually wears duller shades than the queen, who is 90 ....

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  14. I think the entire look is a miss---from the dress, to the dreaded nude pumps, the twee heart earrings, and the unflattering hairstyle.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden24 May 2016 at 08:15

      The earrings are actually leaves :) (I also happen to love them, but that's a case of personal taste)

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  15. Such a fun engagement! I hope it becomes a regular for the Cambridges. I also expected a repeat today, but cringed when I saw this coat again. I don't mind the vibrant color or even the high neckline, but I hate the belt. I would have loved to see the LK Bennett blue poppy dress again. I had hoped to see it again during the tour of Bhutan. If the Duchess was looking to keep it neutral, the Zimmerman eyelet dress would also have been fantastic.

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  16. Thank you for another great post!
    I'm not fond of the dress either, but it seems to me that her outfits make her more and more easily recognisable from afar, like the Queen. Hence the vivid grass green today!

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  17. great post! it would be nice if we can see some pictures of the private reception. I would love to see a big family picture. we don't get them to often.
    I am not a fan of this dress, I don't like the color, or the high neck. I was hoping for something more flowery or springy. I do like her hair today.

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  18. I've always liked this coat ;) She looks spectacular in the color and I always like seeing Kate pull off something that no one else probably could! Ha! She stood out amongst all the flowers and it fits her like glove. Big thumbs up from me although I'm sure some will disagree. That's what I love about fashion, it's so personal!

    I'm also loving the way she is doing her hair lately. It keeps her hair out of her face and shows off her gorgeous bone structure. William, Harry, and Kate were in great form today. One day I hope to be able to visit!

    As a side note: The picture of the Queen in front of her profile made out of flowers is one of my favorite photos ever. Such a great shot.

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  19. This is a really disappointing look (in my humble opinion!!). That cost is just so frumpy and boring, and the whole look is just so middle-aged. See how Sophie Wessex wore a fabulous flower printed skirt and the York girls are wearing funky heels and cute dresses / skirts. It never ceases to amaze me how such a beatiful lady which such an amazing figure makes such odd sartorial choices. Chelsea is a gorgeous summer event (I've been there once, long to return!!!), and a staid, Kelly green, zip up to neck coat dress is a disappointing outfit choice.

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  20. Alejandra Ramírez23 May 2016 at 20:25

    Great post! The garden are truly impressing!
    I think the color of the coat was perfect for the occassion; as for the style I'm a bit biased because I read comments that the coat was not adequate for summer because of the high neck, but I think today it looked nice. I'd remove the belt and that would make it prettier, I think :p

    Thanks for the hadr work! :D

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  21. Hi everyone! I love seeing William, Catherine, and Harry together and adding in beautiful gardens,I can't ask for much more! I absolutely loved the flower outlining the Queen's profile, so beautiful and it seems like she enjoyed it as well. I know I am on the minority but I love this coatdress, I though it was perfect for this engagement as floral would be so predictable. Loved the accessories especially the leaf shaped earings. Kate always does such a perfect job with choosing meaningful designs and accessories for the engagement.
    I am so looking forward to seeing what Kate does for Children's Hospice week, my grandfather was in hospice and the hospices do so much for the families, I did not know there were children's hospices before I started following Kate but EACH is probably my favorite patronage of hers. Thanks For The AWESOME Post Charlotte! :)

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  22. "I thought we might see one of her floral-print dresses."

    I thought the same thing as well. I wonder why she didn't pull out the Jenny Packham dress she wore when she visited Santa Barbara, California in 2011?

    I do think it's appropriate she wore the "Fern" pumps to a gardening event. :) (sorry, I am corny lol)

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  23. I actually like the coat, but it seems inappropriate for a flower show! (Except maybe the color) I would have loved to see her in a floral print dress as well.

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  24. lol, Charlotte. I think we should certainly have a caption contest, within guidelines.

    I love that shade of green so I liked the coat dress.

    Did the other royals there, when they encountered William and Kate, have to bow/curtsy to them? Do you know?

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    1. good question about the bowing. Anyone know?

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    2. The highest ranking royals are bowed/curtsyed to when they are met the first time by lower ranking family members (typically done in private now, but still done in public ie., Catherine curtseying to HM at Christmas when they visited a memorial after church at Sandringham). Google a picture. Catherine is curtsyed to when William is with her by everyone except HM, Duke of E, Charles and Camilla. Catherine curtseys to everyone (those born a Prince or princess as opposed to marrying into the family) when William is not with her. Apparently those born into the family were upset curtseying to someone who married in. This didn't use to be an issue because princesses were formally princesses by birth and then also by marriage. HM had to amend the order of precedence.

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    3. I didn't find anything about that but that would be nice to know?

      Charlotte, do you know what "between royals" bowing protocol was followed at the flower show, if any?

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    4. So, did the Yorks, Sophie, the bearded Royal guy bow to William and Kate at the flower show in the gardens?

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    5. Annette New Zealand24 May 2016 at 22:57

      It must be hilarious at Balmoral and at Christmas or other times when lots of the Royal family are together. If I was Catherine I'd make sure I stuck to William like glue, otherwise I'd be curtseying to everyone. As a matter of interest is Lady Louise Windsor (daughter of the Earl of Wessex) a real princess and not a second class one like Catherine? And what about Princess Anne's children? This snobbish thinking is the worst part of Royalty!

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  25. This coat dress actually has grown on me a bit. For some reason, it looks much more graceful than it did when Kate first wore it. I like the flowing skirt and the pick stitching and the diagonal seaming. The neck still seems a bit high and zipped up too far, and I think a scarf in a floral print tucked into it would have been pretty. Green is certainly appropriate to the Chelsea show, and a great contrast with those amazing poppies.

    Thanks, Charlotte, for including the description of the poppies, as well as a few of the gardens. Chelsea is such an amazing show, with so many blossoming plants and shrubs and even large trees grown to perfection elsewhere, then transplanted just in time for the opening. The indoor pavilion also has a multitude of displays of beautiful flowers and plants, and wonderful ideas. I visited the show about 15 years ago, and I have special memories of a round garden with round furniture. Every year since then, I have gone to the RHS web site to see that year's displays. My favorite from all those years was a wonderfully natural garden designed by school children.

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  26. One word- BORING. I thought Sophie's outfit more interesting and was really hoping that Kate would recycle the piece that she wore to Southeast Asia when they saw Diana's orchid. I am finding more and more that I prefer watching to see what Princess Mary of Denmark wears. Does anyone know of any really good blogs for Mary?

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    1. Try style of Mary. Best I've found, but keen to hear if you find others. Mary is true natural style and class in my opinion!

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  27. I would love this look with a v-neck. I do not care for the Duchess' fondness for high necks. She looks wonderful in v-necks. Too buttoned up. I like the color and style of everything else. I also like how it photographs at the flower show.

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  28. Kate has so many beautiful clothes, I don't understand why would she bring back this terrible coat which was so poorly accepted.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden24 May 2016 at 08:20

      My guess? Because she likes it.

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  29. I despise this dress and I feel it was a particularly bad choice for Kate's first time at this prestigious event in the Queen's landmark year. A new, pretty, and approachable outfit was what this occasion called for. I'm all for recycling clothing but there is a time and a place for it. This wasn't it. Major miss for me. The Countess of Wessex made an appropriate choice with a designer dress (Alexander McQueen no less) in a beautiful floral print. Take notes for next year, Kate!

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    1. Just to point out Sophie’s Alexander McQueen was also a repeat, although I do like it better than the green coat.

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    2. Perhaps she really likes thr outfit. I love the color and she looks completely appropriate. I would not wear the outfit Sophie wore because I like clesn lines and don'r care for florals.

      Differences in taste and opinion are allowed. May I say respectfully, that you probably don't like the Duchess and so nothing she wore would please you.

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  30. Though I don't hate this outfit, I would love to see it with a contrasting belt! I was hoping for something light, floaty, and spring-like; this seems rather heavy for a flower show. But as always, it's great to see them. The show looks gorgeous; I'd love the chance to attend someday!

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  31. I Don't like this look at all..this coatdress is just awful.

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  32. I have to say that I am disappointed in Kate's repeat today. Spring and a flower show call for something lighter colored, flirty, feminine - and that outfit looks heavy and "green". Eugene and Beatrice both have lovely outfits on today, also Sophie. Sometimes I just can't figure out her outfit selections... Today was a "thumbs down".

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  33. I like the green coat. It makes her visible in a crowd and would look even better with a QEII-inspired brooch on her shoulder! Since she isn't the Princess of Wales yet and even further from her future Queen days, most of her clothes are more understated and not as loud. I can see this coat being a good stepping stone as her role changes and she becomes more central in the royal family.

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    1. Thank you for a reasonable post.

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  34. I have been checking your blog all day to day for this post and it is so wonderful to see it. I like the color of Kate's coat but not the look so much. I think a brooch would have really broken up all the green a little and added a wonderful touch, but I don't know if she has that many brooches or if any or QE is available for her to borrow.

    I had wondered why William and Kate had never attended the Chelsea Flower show so it is nice to see them. Do you think there is any chance they will attend Ascot this year? I have wondered why they never attend some that since they used to go before they were married

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  35. Not fond of the look in Oz, not fond of it today. Sophie wins the day for me. What a spectacular show.

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  36. i never liked this dress and i still don't like it she should have worn something floral and not so buttoned up she seems to always cover up i think she is to young to wear things all the way up to her neck and and down her arms. the queen looked amazing and so happy. sophie looked very fresh. william and harry looked the same as they always do.all in all very fun day for the royals. are they smelling a wall? if so what is it.

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  37. The Duchess is still beautiful today, I think she could wear a bag and still be pretty, but something is off for me?! Is it her hair, the coat?? Can't put my finger on it..

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  38. I really disliked the dress when first worn; today it looks a little better.I like the shoes with it. Lovely to see the 'trio' of Harry, William and Catherine.

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  39. Princess Eugene is wearing the Beulah Flower show dress.

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  40. Zora from Prague23 May 2016 at 21:51

    Oh, to see a flower show like this! HM seems to have enjoyed it thoroughly. As for Kate, hope she enjoyed it as well even though it was so different from yesterday's sporting engagement.
    Much as I love green leaves, grass and trees, especially in the spring, green is not my favourite clothing colour and this particular shade seems a bit "poisonous" to me, so I'm not a fan of this coat dress.
    The photo which "begs a caption contest" is really great! :) How about "They say Harry Potter made it through a wall... Perhaps he's still there?"

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  41. Charlotte, I have to say that I really do like it this second time around. The belt compliments her petite waist and I must say for,the event looks colorful, breezy and comfortable!

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  42. I've never have been a fan of this one! One of her pretty summer dresses would have been better imo. I like Sophie's dress much better. I'm super that that the trio showed up and the picture of them gaming at the wall at different level is priceless! Thanks for the post Charlotte!

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  43. I really like the coat in this setting and prefer it this wearing. The block colour looks great against all the floral. Originally I thought she may wear the Asian tour outfit, but it may have been too cool for the late afternoon/ evening attendance at this event. Most the women seem to be dressed with coats of some sort.

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  44. I do wish she would move away from the coat dresses; they are so aging and dowdy. This one also looks too big for her. The York girls however looked great, young and pretty and trendy. Take notes, Kate!

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  45. The letter on behalf of EACH is so poorly written I had to catch my breath. There are too many adjectives and sentence construction is .. unconventional. It could also have been shortened by a couple of sentences to be more succinct. This is the third or fourth time where I have read missives from Kate's office and have been surprised at how poorly written they were. I don't know who writes these things but whoever it is they need to read Strunk's Elements of Style.

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    1. I really do agree. It does make Catherine's office look very much unprofessional.

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    2. I see a need for one comma, but otherwise I think the writing is not bad. (I am a former English teacher.) The letter sticks to one aspect of the need for palliative care, and develops it in each paragraph. If you read carefully the sentences, though complex, make good sense. I wish someone would point out specific instances of the need for Strunk and White (as it used to be called)!

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    3. I really do agree. It does make Catherine's office look very much unprofessional.

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    4. As a former English teacher at the university level and a current book and business editor, I looked and looked at the letter and cannot imagine why you (Anonymous 22:23) think it is unprofessional. Even considering the differences in grammatical style between British and American English, I find this letter is perfectly grammatical and stylistically correct as written--I do not see where Anon 4:13 sees a need for a comma. But Anon 4:13 is perfectly correct in assessing the structure of the paragraphs. I do not see a need to shorten it. The details provide the proper amount of compelling evidence that persuades people to support hospice and give the readers a sense of Catherine's true concern for this issue. Please give specific instances of the problems and then we can figure out if they are truly errors or simply differences in style and preference.

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  46. In garden upon garden of multi-colored flowers, I think the solid grass green coat dress looked perfect. Thanks for all the wonderful photos of the show!

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  47. I agree, that picture cries out for a caption contest! I'm not feeling the dress. I don't like the style or the color.

    It was good to see a good portion of the RF out for the show. The flowers are beautiful. I'm not wild about the Charlotte Chrysanthemum. I hope it does well for the sake of EACH, but I don't like the pink with the green.

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  48. I agree with you, Charlotte, this isn't my favorite choice for Kate. I like the green color for the occasion (though would have preferred pink! or a pretty shade of blue!), but the tailoring and wide belt strike me as too severe for a garden party. But she did look radiant, and was, as ever, beautiful.

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    1. It's not a "garden party", it's the Chelsea Garden Show. probably the most prestigious garden show in the world. It's a huge undertaking for entrants who come from all over the world and the Queen's Day is very formal.

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  49. Sarah from Calif.23 May 2016 at 23:13

    :)))

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  50. Maggie - Minneapolis23 May 2016 at 23:15

    Few thoughts - first, and this is going to seem random and I apologize for that, but everyone it pertains to will know what I'm talking about - I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who wished me well in my current health battles. I know a lot of us don't always get along ;) and I greatly appreciate the kind words from everyone. I'm sorry I didn't say this before, but sometimes I'm bad about catching up on replies to my comments. Thank you again!

    Second, ugh I still hate this coat. Its flattering on her figure but the closed off buttoned up to her neck look just feels so wrong for a flower show. I wish she had at least ditched the nude heels for maybe some white shoes instead. I don't know if that would have made the outfit even more obnoxiously bright though. I'm also honestly getting a little sick of this hairstyle.

    Lastly, my god, the letter to EACH is horribly written. The sentence structure is terrible, there are misplaced commas, and it's incredibly repetitive. It looks like someone spent MAYBE 5 minutes writing it, and then never took another look at it again. I'm sorry but it's a little sad when the most well-written letter to come out on Kate's behalf is the one about paparazzi photographing her children, instead of one of the letters for one of the few causes she champions.

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    1. Glad to hear you are doing better Maggie. I agree with you. The letter to the paparazzi was written by Jason and clearly it was far better than what comes out of Kate's office. Both Harry's and Willam's speeches sound far better than Kate's. So I am inclined to think that Kate writes and edits her own speeches (as has been said officially before). She could very well use a speechwriter.

      I will do some armchair diagnosing of my own. I am sorry if this is too harsh for some - please scroll down if you wish.
      I think that the Middletons built Kate and her siblings up so much that they can't see their own mediocrity. That is the trouble with being "too" nurturing to your children. They have no sense of where they stand with respect to the rest of the competition. I had friends like that growing up. Their parents thought they were literally the best things since sliced bread. It was a rude shock when they ended up at the bottom of their cohorts !
      The Middleton siblings clearly believe that they can do a bunch of things well when they are absolutely appalling at them. Kate's makeup, her speechwriting. She is simply not very good at any of it yet she continues to labor under the misapprehension that she can get away with with no help. I suspect she may be a more rubbish cook than she probably realizes - who knows what people actually thought of those chutneys! Jame's marshmallows seem to be ticking along but VCs will fund anything these days. Bubbles abound everywhere. Pippa's ... well.. what exactly is her skill ? Yet she has tried everything. From TV shows to cooking to party planning to writing books to writing columns. The only area where she clearly excels is sports. She finally seems to have realized that and seems to be focusing on that solely.
      A while ago Kate's office came out and said that Kate reads "scientific papers" and is intelligent. As someone who actually reads papers for a living I fell out of my chair laughing. Who actually says that.

      I looked at international rankings and St Andrews is at the same level as Ohio State in the US. Of that, make what you will.

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    2. Lecia - Your remarks are not harsh, they are rude, elitist and mean-spirited. It's one thing to criticise an outfit, hair style, whether the Cambridge's conduct sufficient events and activities. But you are denigrating the Middleton's family character and values without even knowing them except through a filter of tabloid media. Through their hard work and industry the parents build a thriving business. Catherine's cooking - how would you even know? And to suggest that there is little intellect...it's beyond. You find the Middleton's appalling, I find you appalling. Btw, Ohio State is a highly respected university. So if St Andrews is at that caliber then kudos for both institutions.

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    3. Lecia. Wow you sure sound like you know Kate on a personal level. You have some many unkind words. And to say those things about the Middleton are off base. I do not believe you know them either but you write nasty stuff about them. I thought we were to be nice on this blog. But you are spitting nasty words.
      You are making Kate look badly. I would watch what you say unless you know all this to be true.

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    4. What a very nasty comment Lecia. Completely uncalled for.

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    5. Agree with you Maggie whoever wrote the letter must be changed. But Leica you seem to have taken it a bit too far imo. If I was Kate I would have felt insulted. But I understand its your opinion.

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    6. Lecia, IF it is as you speculate,( the chutney may be good, speech may be written by staff),I would say kudos to the Middletons for raising children with a strong sense of self. After all this sense of self confidence has ensured one of their daughters place in the history books, while many will continue to sit in their armchairs and find it satisfying to nitpick her every look and move. As my mother always used to say " you can never fault anyone for trying".

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    7. Tedi in California24 May 2016 at 13:04

      Catherine was blessed with a bounty of riches. Her great beauty, and from her interactions with people, plus interviews, she has a charm and kindness that shines through. She is a college graduate, a first for a future Queen Consort of England. She excels at sports, has an artistic eye, which is evident in her photography. I haven't had the pleasure of tasting her roast chicken or chutney, so I can't comment on her skills in the kitchen, but then neither can anyone else here. I would say her parents have a lot to be proud of in their eldest child.

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    8. Lecia warned you ALL not to read it. Now, all of you take a step back and read yourselves!!!

      Free speech, I know it sometimes hurts.

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    9. Tedi in California24 May 2016 at 20:33

      Free speech includes our rights to express ourselves.

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    10. Maggie - Minneapolis24 May 2016 at 23:09

      So I agree, Lecia, in that I think the Middleton parents have maybe coddled their children too much, but I'm not sure that means we can really make assumptions about things like Kate's cooking.
      I think it's telling that none of the Middleton children have managed to hold down a job (or company) in which their parents aren't the bosses for more than a year or two. Then again, Pippa and James are in very tough positions because they can't be seen as capitalizing on their royal family connections, even more so now that Kate has actually married in. So really, I think the most telling is Kate's own working life, or lack thereof, because she certainly had more freedom as a royal girlfriend. I don't think it's healthy for any woman (or man!) to center their 20s around their significant other, rather than finding themselves and learning to be independent. Many children of rich people choose not to work much in their 20s - the difference is, it seems like Kate did it/everything in her life at that age to accommodate William. THAT is what bothers me, more than the never having a real, regular job with regular bosses for very long. Although I don't think that is ever great either.
      Also in terms of her being built up to think she is amazing - well, I'm not sure it's fair to put all that on the Middletons. First of all, I can imagine that anyone in the spotlight would have a hard time dealing with all the pressure, scrutiny, and inevitable criticism. To a certain extent, they HAVE to learn to develop self-confidence and not let the criticism of others get to them. Now they can definitely take it too far - William strikes me as someone who perhaps feels like no criticism is worth considering. And I can imagine that being a born a Prince, a future King, and Diana's son all have led to him developing an ego. But that is just a guess, although it does come off that way a lot in his demeanor. With Kate, I can understand why after so many years associated with the BRF, she may be used to brushing off criticism too, as a self-defense mechanism. I also get the feeling that IF there is any issue of never feeling like she needs to improve, it stems from William, not her parents. I think William runs the show. I think if he had demanded she get a full-time job, rather than sit around at his beck and call, then she and her parents would have found herself one immediately. And I feel like he is so busy trying to make sure she isn't thrown into the deep end like Diana that he's gone too far in the opposite extreme.
      BUT, that is about royal engagements. I really don't think we can make many assumptions about Kate's cooking, or any other abilities related to her as a wife and mother. I get the feeling that she cares a lot about creating a nice home, and maybe puts pressure on herself for that. That pressure may be different than what most of us face - i.e. she has a cook to help her, etc., but there can still be pressure in other ways.
      But I would also like to point out to everyone who is acting so horrified by what Lecia said that like 90% of what anyone says on here is an assumption. People on this blog call Kate a good wife and mother all the time when really, we can't know if that is true either. Lecia didn't really base what she had to say off of anything more ridiculous than the rest of us do on a regular basis. Yall are just mad because you disagree. And that doesn't seem fair. Because judgment is judgment, whether it is positive or negative.

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    11. Tedi in California25 May 2016 at 00:39

      Exactly, judgement is just judgement. However, why is anyone upset with people disagreeing with what Lecia posted? "Y'all are just mad because you disagree", HELLO, she is disagreeing with the positive thoughts about Kate. We who support Kate must be silent. I think not.

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    12. I don't mind either Maggie's or Lecia's criticisms of Kate, but I do quibble with their saying her letter writing is unprofessional and bad without giving one specific example from her letter along with a specific style or grammar guidebook reference to back up their opinions. Opinions about writing are right in my professional arena. You should say this writing style is not my preference, or else you should be able to point out exactly what is wrong that could be corrected by a reference to the experts.

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    13. Tedi

      You are right to defend Kate as much as you want.

      What strikes me though is the coward Anon's wording "nasty" and spitting". It still amazes me what some fans can say in defence of a lovely woman who they know absolutely nothing about.

      If supporting equals only positive words whatever BS they do, we have nothing left to talk about.

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    14. Annette New Zealand25 May 2016 at 06:45

      We do know that Kate was bullied at the first boarding school she attended and changed schools. That will have had an effect on her and people have remarked on this blog that she seems quite nervous about public speaking. This doesn't equate with claims that her parents brought her up to think she is better than she is. As to being aware of her own "mediocrity", it must be hard to be reminded that you are not on the same level as the "blood princesses." She may not be brilliant, but which members of the Royal family are? Most of them would find it hard to get a job in the real world. She is a pretty girl who loves William and her children and is content to be a wife and mother as well as carry out some royal duties. From the evidence so far she is unfailingly pleasant and smiling on public occasions. She is fortunate to have had great parental support, something that some Royalty have missed out on, for whatever reason. She certainly doesn't have the emotional problems which plagued Diana. If she had got a regular job before marriage like Sophie, then that can also cause problems as the Wessex family well knows.

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    15. And I suppose ripping Kate to shreds from behind a keyboard and monitor is not cowardly. Love it!

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  51. Ladies: who do you think has the idea to "blend" the two coats? I can't imagine it's anyone at Catherine Walker, do you think it's Natasha Archer? Kate herself? Some of the articles after India indicated Natasha's much more involved in altering wardrobe than we thought, and again I'm not sure how talented she really is.
    I don't like this coat at all because it really does look like two separate pieces, and frankly I'd like either of the originals better, the curved neckline is much more modern and suits the fuller skirt while I think the streamlined look is better from top to bottom.
    I also think I need to face the fact that Kate is just not a fashionista! More than anything I think the way this outfit is styled makes it a fail. The high streamlined neck is begging for a sleek ponytail or sleek straight half back hair --- and where are the accessories? How about sleek hair and large statement earrings? And at a flower show have some fun with patterned strappy sandals and clutch. This could have been styled so much better than it was. Oh well.

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    1. Lol. I think it has long been established that Kate isn't a fashionista. ☺

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  52. Anon 22:23 Strunk is a style book for American English. There is a difference between British English and American. Even as a Canadian I often ran into trouble when I was completing a Master's degree in the US. My advisor told me off for the very reasons you cite. But when I went back to Canada for my doctorate, no problem.

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    1. Thanks Valerie for clearing that up! I find Americans don't really realize the difference between English and American English which is sometimes miles apart.

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  53. I think this was an exceptional choice for today's event. The cut/style while simple but with a slight modern twist. The solid color allowed HRH to stand out amongst all the vivid colors of the flowers and displays, but yet didn't compete with them either. As a result I think the pictures are visually stunning - so much so I love this re-wear much much more than the original. I think HRH was brilliant in making this selection for today's event.

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    1. I agree! The vibrant color and the clean lines of this dress really stood out amongst the cacophony of color and pattern. Smart move! It photographed so well today. I do love this coat dress. The color is vivid while the zipper and wide belt are great elements. Nice pairing of a structured bodice with a full feminine skirt. The effect is soft without being too sweet.

      I thought the York girls looked great as well. I love to see them out and about.

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  54. This coat is not my favorite, but I believe the decision to recycle was a wise one on Kate's part. It eliminates some of the fuss-factor out of Kate's first appearance at this event. Had she worn a new outfit, it would have dominated the headlines. Kate is confident enough to wear a recycle and let the other ladies knock themselves out. And they did. Bea and Eugenie looked very nice today. Truly. And, once again, Sophie chose to wear Kate's go-to designer when Kate would be in attendance. No competition there. Nope. None. ;)

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    1. royalfan, isn't it possible that Sophie was wearing McQueen *before* Kate arrived on the scene? After all, McQueen himself lived and designed and died before Kate even walked down the aisle.

      Perhaps if Anna is reading she can provide better background, but there was life and fashion before Kate arrived... And just because she now gets/has the public connection for certain milliners, designers, jewelers, doesn't mean others weren't wearing them beforehand and continue to do so :)

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    2. Maggie - Minneapolis24 May 2016 at 01:11

      Yes because it must be because of Kate that Sophie decided to pick a dress by a top British designer! It must have nothing to do with the fact that they are very good at what they do or that they are also British. Nope, it must be competition.
      Even though I'm also not sure how it is competition to pick a designer another attendee of the same event also favors. What is the competition?

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    3. Of course it's possible, Claudia. After all, Sophie (with a PR career and 15 years of royal life on her resume), by her own admission only recently realized that clothes matter.

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    4. My goodness, Lecia, I brought up the subject of competition in the fashion arena. Hardly shocking, especially given some of the factors involved. Age, position, etc. It's reality. Similarly, I suppose Camilla never reaches for the largest tiara or a hat that requires the input of air traffic controllers. And for the record, I like her hats!!

      But since you brought up the subject of "hearing yourself speak", I wonder if you read your own armchair analysis of the Kate and her siblings, and Mike and Carole as parents. Amazing.

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    5. Maggie - Minneapolis24 May 2016 at 07:28

      Sometimes my friends dress nicely and spur me to do the same. The only year of college that I actually put on makeup every day was my 4th year because my roommate did and she inspired me to try to look my nicest. It wasn't competition - it was being inspired by someone else in a similar situation. Why does Sophie perhaps showing more interest in clothing after Kate married into the BRF have to be an ugly competition ?if someone ever assumed that about kate, you would bite their heads off, royalfan. Heck in this same post you made Kate's intentions so benign - when it comes to her, she must have worn this coat dress to let others shine, not maybe because sometimes she has had taste. But for Sophie, or almost anyone else, it must be something nefarious!
      Let's also not forget that Sophie has a duty to her causes, and in order to get press for them, she DOES have to "compete" with Kate in the sense that otherwise Kate gets all the news attention. Can you blame Sophie for stepping up her game? Kate is the first woman to marry into the immediate BRF in forever, not counting Camilla who was obviously around much longer and also not younger.

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    6. Tedi in California24 May 2016 at 11:07

      Sophie, in my opinion is a nice, pleasant looking middle aged lady. She can wear whatever she chooses, but she will never outshine the beautiful DOC.

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    7. Royalfan, your admiration of Kate is, well, admirable. No one doubts your loyalty. But (and I'm trying to say this as gently as possible) I feel like your admiration sometimes leads you to project certain feelings onto others - for example, one constant theme in your posts is the idea that women MUST be jealous of or competing with Kate, from the other women in the royal family to commenters who have anything negative to say about the Cambridges. I think it is far too simplistic to boil everything down to envy/competition, and a little offensive to the women in question (Sophie in this case).

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    8. I think there's no competition between Sophie and Kate. Sophie is a senior Royal and Kate a younger Royal. Sophie has been part of "the firm" for years, she represents HM in important occasions in UK and outside (she's the one who represents the Queen at important events where the Queen is invited by other european royals), she has nothing to prove. I think she chose Alexander McQueen just because their pieces are beautiful, very well done and because Alexander McQueen is a british designer. I think every member of the Royal Family wants to represent the british fashion industry at public events, not just Kate :)

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    9. 12:03, I thank you for being gentle. :) For the record, I too have criticized outfits and hairdos. I have agreed and disagreed with some folks and would not, in all honesty, categorize the majority of differing comments as being driven by the envy or competition you speak of. But when it comes to the small percentage of comments that are just plain nasty, and are cheered and supported for it, well, then yes I do believe it has something to do with it. My opinion. And one that has been voiced by others. But I do recognize that posting under one moniker makes me an easier target (not directed at you, but a reality nonetheless).

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    10. And to Claudia, a belated "by the way"... :) My comment at 1:25 is missing the smiley at the end. It was a cheeky comeback on my part and I hoped you would appreciate it. I did NOT intend for it to sound as abrasive as it appears to do without it. I apologize if it was received that way...

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    11. I agree RF @ 01:16.

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  55. The Queen looks blooming and gracious 90s. Princess Anne's photo is not posted here. Her peach, or blush cape, coordinating ensemble all looked nice. Sophie looks too flowery for a flower show IMO. The York girls both look nice, but the white dress in that cut makes Eugene look a bit too wide on the hips. This was one of the times I was curious what Kate will wear ( since I love flowers, nature and flower shows), not only disappointed, but boring. She did stand out in that green though.

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    1. I'm not a huge fan of Kate' s choice today, but at least she was complimenting and not competing with the flowers. My biggest surprise was Sophie. Personally I think this was a hot mess on Sophie. She looked, to me, like she was trying to compete with the York girls for "what were you thinking?" honours. Not an attractive look for her at all.

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    2. Better/correction: floral for a flower show...

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  56. Andrew's girls need a stylist.

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    1. I could not agree more. They're attractive women and they obviously have money to afford these clothes. They should invest a little in a stylist.

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    2. They really, really need a stylist.

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    3. They certainly do. The white dress is the wrong design for Eugenie. That and the all-over white are not flattering and neither is an ankle strap.
      Don't mean to be negative. Just an honest opinion. And the fabric of Beatrice's skirt looks like upholstery fabric. Beatrice and Eugenie need a good stylist that they will allow to dress them in outfits that are becoming to their body type, skin tone, height, etc. outfits that are camera friendly.

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  57. In the (slightly modified) words of Miranda Priestly "Florals for a flower show? Groundbreaking.." Wearing a floral dress to this event is way too literal. Kate is already being criticized as a theme dresser so I am glad she didn't go there. I like the color and shape of the dress but the neckline is way too severe. It looks uncomfortable.

    On the subject of the hospice week, I am a bit over KP and their badly written,repetitive letters. These letters just seem to be a copy and paste job from previous press releases. It reflects bad on KP (and thus Kate) that they can't be bothered to come up with new things to say about the hospices and their benefit. Also a missed opportunity for a visit or event for the children. Hopefully she is doing something this week in a private capacity and we hear about it later

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    1. She wore herself out last Friday with Ben. Took all her engery flirting with him.

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  58. Not a fan of this coat dress. Maybe if she had unzipped the top and worn a blouse or tank underneath to change it up some. Scrolling down I thought please not the dreaded nude pumps, but alas it was the dreaded nude pumps. At least she looked better than the York girls. The cut of Eugenie's dress was very unflattering. And I didn't get Bea's color scheme: black, blue, and dark purple shoes.

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  59. This coat dress is just OK in my book - the front bodice is not all that flattering and it would be nice to see it remade (or donated and retired from her wardrobe).

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  60. I think bright pink or royal blue pumps and a fun brooch would take this dress to the next level. To me it's the nude styling that drags it down. I love the color, shape and wide belt so much I'd love to see this outfit reworked as a skirt and paired with a blouse. It's a good color and shape on her.

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    1. I absolutely agree! A pair of Prada pumps - a sleeker hair style, a touch of lip colour and the coat would actually shine brightly (!).

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  61. 22:23,
    That is a good information to share. I don't deny my own weakness in lacking perfect English grammar. I admit grammar can be boring unless drilled in primary schools (even so, can be forgotten). Once mastered, it is obviously an excellent skill. Punctuation and sentence construction can be tricky too when going colloquially, and in formal writing. Considering English is not the first language for some commenters on this blog, many people write clear English. Even if that can not be the case, I hope grammar and style rules don’t make posters refrain from communicating ideas.

    Another one is: http://www.grammarbook.com/
    It is time to get into it myself.

    By the way, on the right hand side of this blog, there is google translator. I wonder if people whose first language is not English can make sense of the translation into their own languages.

    Kate has professional assistants; this is not the first time commenters of this blog have complained regarding grammar-style structure of letters from her office.

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    1. Zora from Prague24 May 2016 at 08:40

      The Google translator is no good in my opinion. The sentences that come out of it usually don't make much sense :), at least in my language. Perhaps if someone doesn't know any English at all, s/he can get an idea what the text is about, but that's all. It definitely can't be used for translating my language into English. When students are to write something in English and they put the Czech text into the Translator, the outcome is awful and you can tell immediately it was translated by a machine. Some mistakes are really funny.

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    2. I agree it is most likely some software/machine which translates it automatically. As you said, "Perhaps if someone doesn't know any English at all, s/he can get an idea what the text is about, but that's all."

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  62. Love HRH in green! Very sophisticated and uncluttered choice to not distract from the millions of blooms, while being a bright complement to the flowers and greenery. Well done for the occasion!

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  63. HRH looks fantastic in green and this is an elegant and uncluttered choice for the occasion, to walk among millions of brightly colored flowers of every shape and size. The color was fresh and a brilliant complementary choice - perhaps a deliberate attempt not to compete with the extravagant, blooming designs of nature. Well done, Duchess!

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  64. Skyking, Iowa, USA24 May 2016 at 01:22

    The event: gorgeous! What a treat it would be to attend. And great that so many royals visited this year. Loved the pic of "the 3" peeking into an exhibit. And visiting gardens from patronages is, obviously, a plus.

    The much-maligned coatdress: love the color and silhouette from the belt down. I agree with other posters that a different neckline, or floral scarf and/or bling would have softened and updated the look. A brooch would have been a nice touch, as well. Her new nude pumps look great - more chic than the Sledges.

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    1. I am liking all her new pumps also, especially happy to not see wedges as much:) Her feet look great in that pointy toe, my feet are so wide that to wear a very pointed toe I am up a half size and the shoes look huge on me:) Ali

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    2. Adding a scarf is a wonderful suggestion. It would be a nice addition to update the look.

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  65. I also am not a fan of the design or color of this coat dress. I also am not a fan of Sophie's dress, the print or shape. I actually liked the Queens today and loved the peach/orange coat she wore years ago that we have a photo of. Agree with someone who called the earrings "twee" I have never really liked them and that word describes my reaction well:) I am being negative but also thought her hair was a big miss, that particular pulled back style to me looks like what I wore around age 13. Pulled back can be great but I did not find this styling sophisticated enough. I do like the fullness and movement of the skirt. Thought Eugenie and Beatrice looked fine. Poor writing is rampant. Drives me nuts. I do plenty of it in emails but anything going out professionally is well written, edited and checked for accuracy. Ok, done now.

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  66. Why does she wear so many coat dresses? Other royals seem to prefer regular dresses or skirts. Wish she would change it up!

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  67. Charlotte, you do a great job telling us where to find her clothing and accessories so I am wondering, where can I get a pair of calves like Kate's? ;)

    My goodness she's got great legs!

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    1. William and Kate are attending the Queen's garden party. Harry wasn't there?

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    2. Who is the little girl behind Beatrice and why wasn't she shown with the York girls?

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    3. She was the little girl who presented bouquets.

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  68. The color of Kate's coat is definitely a spring color, so I understand that may have been a factor in her choice. Perhaps a black belt would have broken up the simplicity or the sense of "too much green"? Of course that would mean a change in shoes and purse. I think Kate looks great in the color, though. I like her hair pulled back that way as well. Nice change, keeps it out of her eyes as someone has noted.

    I do think it's weird to see Sophie wearing 80's/Diana-esque cream colored "tights" (we call them nylons here). While I like the pattern of her skirt (or dress?)--it's floral and appropriate-- I think the cut isn't right--too busy to go with that bold floral pattern in my opinion. I guess the cut just even alone I wouldn't have cared for.

    I was a bit surprised the Queen didn't wear a hat actually. I guess I'm used to seeing her with a hat more often than not. I'm also curious what K,W, & H could see behind that "wall" they were peeking through. =) Love to see all three of them together.

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  69. I thought the skirt on Sophie's outfit was very strange and unflattering. It reminded me of the outfit Eugenie wore to the Royal wedding. I did not like Beatrice and Eugenie's outfits at all, but then I seldom do. The fabric of Beatrice's skirt looked like furniture upholstery fabric. Did not like the pointy toe of her shoes. The design of Eugenie's dress was not flattering to her body type at all. And all-over white did her no favors.
    They both need a stylist who understands body types, skin tones, texture, scale and proportion.

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  70. Thank you as always, Charlotte, for such a quick and thorough post!

    The coatdress isn't my favorite, although with a different neckline I'd be 100% on board with it. I do wish she'd gone with something more summery today though!

    Princess Beatrice and Eugenie looked lovely!

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  71. Too bad the boys didn't wear floral ties. =) This is from one of the Saville Row tailor shops-- http://www.richardjames.co.uk/shop/accessories.html?cat=63

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  72. First of all, thank you, Charlotte, for this blog!
    Now, for those of you snickering over today's dress - Catherine Walker operates from Chelsea. Ever thought of that?
    Sometimes, and it happens more and more often while skimming through the comments section, I wish you ladies would recall the hurtful and poisonous nature of bullying. Aleksa.

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  73. The coat dress is not a favorite of mine, but I also agree with many above that it is a good choice for Chelsea Flower Show. First of all you can really see her in that color which is always good at a public event like this and I believe one of the floral Packhams would of been too casual. And it is cool when you are standing on concrete for hours at a time....it's a practical choice to be sure. The Queen has always gone with mostly solid colors and it looks like Kate is following her sartorial lead. Smart gal!

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  74. The more I see pictures of today, the more convinced I am that she needs to have a crash course in accessories. Ironic that her job was once accessories. I know there are other people here who dislike the earrings she wore. I don't hate them, but they really got lost in her outfit today. The bold color called for some statement earrings. I would wish for some color, but would be content with the gold ones she wore frequently in India.

    I have also wondered for a while if she has a hard time with EACH, especially now that she has young children. Maybe there is something about it that hits too close to home. I would imagine it would leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth if she came to engagements and cried or had a hard time controlling her emotions. I am assuming you can't just dump a patronage for a reason like that, so maybe that's why she supports at a distance? Maybe?

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  75. hmm the duchess coat was fine I love the HM outfit she compliments the flowers plus the fact she doesn't look like 90 at all sophie wessex was good and her choice the York girl seems to compliment each other hmm they need a stylish lesson but the outfit is fine

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  76. Sarah Maryland USA24 May 2016 at 03:54

    It is so weird that I'm like the only one who likes this coat! I just can't believe that some of you dislike this coat but we're in love with that grey coat! This green one is one million times better!
    Also am I the only one wishing Kate did a public visit to a hospice this week since it is hospice week?

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  77. She looked lovely! Floral print to a flower show or a "Spring" Fair is way too "kitch". As for those who wants her to dress like the York girls, she is almost 10 years their senior... she definitely shouldn't! This for me shows her strong character, her press team and PA's will certainly know this outfit was not well received- maube they even read THIS blog. She still wears it. So it must be comfortable and she must like it and feel good in it. She can't be too daring and adventurous- she is the future Queen. Rather the media has nothing to say than publish images on the front page of her "daring" or "too young" looks. This coat photographed REALLY well and she looks stunning and regal!

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  78. I wonder whether Kate purposely wore a coat dress similar in cut to the orange one in the picture of the Queen attending Chelsea years ago. Perhaps Kate knew about that photo. I agree with whoever wants to see the dress she wore to the orchid event in southeast Asia again - it is lovely, and I have been wishing Kate would repeat it. But would any of the dresses from that tour have been warm enough in London today? The Queen has attended the Chelsea garden show for many years, and knows just what to wear. She looked lovely, except for the nasty sore on her leg.

    Looking through the photos on the DM web site, I am struck once again by the ignorance of the caption writers! I did not bother to read the article, but goodness, the captions were terrible. How can they be so ignorant of colors, flowers, and members of the royal family??

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  79. I don't think the cut does anything for Kate. The coat seemed a little heavy for the occasion, don't mind the colour. It is difficult to dress for the Flower Show without clashing with the exhibits - I think Sophie made a mistake with this - so the plain fabric stands out better, but, honestly, a bit meh overall.

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  80. I really dislike this dress. All I can think when I see her in it is "Kermit the frog." It looks cheap and is not attractive at all.

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  81. I think what bothers me most about this dress is that it reminds me very vividly of a 50s superhero costume.

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    1. It reminds me of the space influenced designs that we thought were the way of the future when Star Wars was popular!

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  82. Love the color and thought it quite in synchrony with the other vibrant colors surrounding her. I'm curious as to why she is so fond of coat dresses though. They look so heavy and structured.

    If she does continue to insist on a coat dress for every engagement, I do wish she would spoil us with a carefully selected and well placed brooch. There are so many gorgeous floral ones in the vault that would've added sparkle and pizzazz to this ensemble.

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  83. Sharyn from AUS24 May 2016 at 09:14

    I don't mind this dress. I dont love it, but i dont hate it either. But I do think it is Natasha's influence.
    And at last we have proof of what is carried on the clutch! What else do we think Kate carries? Hanky, mints, lipstick and blotting paper? Phone? Lollies for a sugar hit on long days?
    Also, ai love that you all get to see photos of the hand made poppies. I remember walking past/through them when they were on display here in Melbourne. I remember it was raining and I was worried they would be ruined, but somehow the rain made them seem even more beautiful. It seems like they were a popular display at the Chelsea Garden show, and so fitting that they were displayed outside the hospital where Aussie soldiers were sent during the wars

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  84. Meh...
    Another monochromatic-zipped-up-uniform-coat-dress.
    It has become painfully obvious to me, that this lady is doing her best to be hidden in plain sight.
    This is not a coat dress. It's a coat of armor.
    D.

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  85. Tedi in California24 May 2016 at 11:26

    What a beautiful event. The flowers are just spectacular. I love the color of the dress, and Kate is so beautiful, she can wear anything and still look lovely. The green complemented the surrounding flowers and plants.
    Did anyone else see pictures of HM, that show a painful looking sore, on her right leg? I'm concerned about that.

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    1. Zora from Prague24 May 2016 at 19:49

      Yes, Tedi, and I was worried as well. My father had a similar sore when he was about 80. Hope it heals soon; however, it takes longer with elderly people. The doctors probably wouldn't let HM go out if it were anything really serious - that's what I say to myself.

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    2. Tedi in California24 May 2016 at 20:39

      I am sure you are correct Zora. HM must have the best doctors looking after her. :)

      Delete
  86. What a fantastic outing for the royals. The Chelsea Flower Show is so spectacular & it feels so awesome to have contributed a tiny piece of the display. I crocheted a poppy for the 5000 poppies display – it was such a community effort & looked amazing in Federation Square in Melbourne just as it does here.

    This coat is one of those pieces that polarises people. I saw Kate wearing it in Canberra during the 2014 tour & these were my impressions:

    - photos don’t do her justice. She’s much prettier in real life. I was so busy rubbernecking to see what she looked like & how she interacted with people that I didn’t really take much notice of the clothes. I remember thinking I was glad she was wearing such a bright colour because it made it easy to keep track of where she was. I like what Eugenie & Beatrice are wearing at the Chelsea Show but if the Duchess had been wearing these colours on the day I saw her it would have been much harder to pick her out in the crowd of officials.

    - This coatdress moves really well & didn’t look as stiff in real life.

    - She’s got a tall, lithe, very athletic figure & the wide belt on the coat really accentuated this

    - details like her shoes, clutch, jewellery are irrelevant – you just don’t register them because there’s so much else going on.

    - Kate is tall so seeing her is very different to seeing the Queen. You can actually see Kate whereas the Queen is so tiny that unless you’re in the front row of the crowd all you see is a hat walking by.

    Love the delicate colours of Princess Charlotte’s chrysanthemum – hope it raises lots of money for the East Anglia Children’s Hospice.

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  87. Charlotte please post this if you think it is appropriate. Perhaps some of the readers, supportive of the increased focus on mental health by our royals would be interested in this link. It is a TED talk given by a woman with schizophrenia about how it feels to be schizophrenic. In opening up the conversation those of us lucky enough to be disease free need to understand some of the things this lady talks about. Well worth a listen.

    A tale of mental illness -- from the inside
    http://www.ted.com/talks/elyn_saks_seeing_mental_illness?language=en&utm_source=tedcomshare&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tedspread

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  88. For once, I really like Beatrice's outfit today. So much so, that I am imagining that Kate is wearing this entire ensemble instead! Imagine how smart Kate would have looked in that skirt, top, and oh my-the shoes!
    That green thing is one of my absolute least favorite of anything she has worn. I cringed when I saw it again today.
    Thank you so much for the fantastic photos of the flower show!! I love to visit formal gardens. And in fact, my city boasts a first rate botanical garden just blocks from my house! I hope to take a trip to Vancouver and visit Butchart Gardens, it's nearing the top of my bucket list in retirement.

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  89. Richard Palmer ‏@RoyalReporter 6h6 hours ago
    The Duchess of Cambridge met representatives working in support of services for women in prisons yesterday before going to Chelsea.

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  90. I think she looked very nice but agree that this isn't my favorite outfit. The top being a zip up to the neck with the long sleeves make her look very constrained. I like the other elements, just wish it had a different neckline.

    But a grass green color at a flower show seems to make sense. I don't mind the bright color so much. Since I am pale skinned, bright colors are a must or else I look like a corpse. So it may be my bias coming into play with liking the color. I think the flowers really stood out next to Kate which are the star of the show after the Queen.

    So great that EACH had a garden there to represent the charity. Is this a ongoing theme that a charity has a garden at the show? I have never really knew anything about the flower show before the last couple of years that I started following the royal family. I am very envious of anyone who can care and grow plants. I have a beyond black thumb and have killed every plant I have ever owned except for a recent bamboo plant that is hanging on.

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    1. "I think the flowers really stood out next to Kate which are the star of the show after the Queen." Julie-NC.

      Good point!

      That is what this green dress accomplished. Other wise its reappearance in freshly Spring year of 2016, turned out to make it look boring (expectation, the coat dress factor, and as others have suggested, may be absence of accessories )

      Delete
    2. Julie, I also think "the flowers really stood out next to the green coat dress" Julie. AND, I think that is exactly why Kate wore that. Another "Kate thing".

      I think NC is beautiful, btw. I lived in near Cary, NC outside of Raleigh for awhile. Lots of Southern hospitality. Everyone called me "Miss"
      and the men are so polite. They open doors for women and everything.

      Delete
  91. I've considered the look a number of times and to be honest I'm undecided about how I feel about it. Underwhelmed perhaps as I'd hoped for a fresh spring look. How fun would the dress have looked with some funky patterned shoes to mix it up. Kate did look very well put together and happy which is all that really matters.

    By my count, I think there are only 2 dresses which haven't been repeated from the Australian tour - the yellow illnic and the blue poppy dress and 2 coats - red Russian and Easter McQueen. Let's hope we see some new outfits thrown into the mix!

    I hate the pregnancy speculation, but I still maintain a repeated wardrobe with few new purchases may indicate an intent for another pregnancy in the near future. Wouldn't that be exciting!

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  92. I agree with most here that this dress is not a favorite. Actually, I think it's horrid but there were some great ideas here about "softening" it with a scarf or jewlery. All in all, though, I hope she doesn't wear it again. I liked her clothing choices more before the children came along but I can't really fault her for that because I do think she's very busy and doesn't have the time to devote to it. I understand her approach to her wardrobe in that she is a future queen and her focus is probably not to dress like everyone else ie: Beatrice, Eugenie, Countess Wessex etc. In fact, her coatress is not unlike the outfit worn in that photo of Queen Elizabeth years ago - solid color, heavy fabric, simple lines. I do think there's a way to be regal and still be a bit less staid. I always come back to Jackie Kennedy - so stylish but also regal-looking. She always focused on tailoring and, in that regard, I think Kate definitely needs a different tailor. Her clothes should hang elegantly on her frame and fall in the right places - her clothes are too tight for my taste and the fabrics are too heavy. I hate to be critical because, overall, I think she is doing a wonderful job in her role and, contrary to some, I believe her days are so full that she must jump out of bed every morning with a to-do list a mile long. It will be interesting to see how she evolves. It's so refreshing to see that her relationship with her husband and family is so close - that is really what counts.

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  93. love the picture of the three peeking through the wall. My first thought was, Kate thinking "I can't see a camera boys, can you?"

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  94. I think that high neck lines are a deliberate choice because she is so tall. Think of all the criticism she would receive if every time she bent over to talk to children photographers would get a shot down her dress. Also, the general public would get the same view.

    I also think that she wears solid colours out a lot so that photographs of her won't be affect by her surroundings. If she had worn floral prints to a flower show she would have clashed with many of the displays.

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  95. This was such a great engagement! Lots of interaction with great quotes and the show itself is so beautiful. The cleaners just need to lose this garment as a service to us all. If she styled it differently (and I don't mean simply different shoes and clutch), maybe it could stay, but since she's married to this look alone, it needs to go away forever. I actually find it quite distracting and draws my attention away from what she's actually doing.

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  96. How interesting that this green coat is so polarizing. I like the look very much, especially in the setting of the Chelsea flower show.

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  97. Alaina from NJ25 May 2016 at 02:11

    I'm going to be honest and say, I don't remember whether I liked the coat or not. It clearly didn't make that much of an impression on me the first time. I will say, I like this color on Kate but the coat just feels heavy, I would've expected something along the lines of the dress she wore to wimbeldon last year. It was an LK Bennett I believe, and it was a vibrant red/orange color. Something along those lines would have been far better suited amongst the beautiful flowers.

    I'm not a flower or garden girl but I do love to look at them and they look stunning. Those flower silhouettes of the Queen (she's standing in front of it in the photos) are remarkable and so lovely, she looked to be having a ball, they all did!

    I love the photo of the 3 peeking into that display - in my head I hear Prince William saying "She's in heels and I'm the future King...so Harry you can squat to the lowest hole."

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  98. My thoughts on the coat--eh.s'okay. I don't hate it, but neither do I love it. The color seems like a great one for this event, the flowers make a great background to the springy green, but it looks so heavy. I wonder if a wide, black patent leather belt might chic it up a bit? I also think the hair, while obviously beyond gorgeeous and always enviable, is looking a bit--dated? I have no idea how she would fix that, she doesn't seem at all like a the fashionista sort who would go for a little blunt cut like Queen Letizia! (I've always wanted to go the Chelsea Flower Show, I love flowers and gardening, so thanks so much for the wonderful, in-depth look!)

    Amanda in Santa Fe

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  99. Beatrice and Eugenie looked very great! The best ouftifts of them!

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  100. Green really suits her (so does red).

    I love this look from head to toe youthful and gorgeous

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