Sunday, 15 May 2016

The Royal Family Gathers for a Birthday Party Fit for a Queen

The Royal family were out in force at Windsor tonight for the final night of the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall joined the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for the star-studded evening of entertainment chronicling the events of the Monarch's life.


A shot of William and Kate taking their seats.


Prince William and Princess Alexandra looking through the programme.


The royals chatting before the show began.


The audience stood as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in the Scottish State Coach to the music of the national anthem. A crowd of 6,000 waited expectantly inside the royal arena.


Other members of the Royal family in attendance included the Yorks, the Wessexes, the Kents, and royals from around the world were also invited.


Kate chatting with the Duke of Edinburgh.


Prince Donatus of Hesse sat next to Kate.


There's been a fantastic atmosphere at Windsor with crowds gathering to celebrate and watch in front of huge screens.


Roya Nikkhah shared photos of the stars of the show backstage.


Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday party celebrated the Queen’s love of horses, her dedication to the Commonwealth and international affairs, and her involvement with the Navy, Army and ­­­­Air Force. Created by the team that organised the Diamond Jubilee Pageant in 2012, technology played an important role in the planning of the event with a fusion of the latest video projection, LED effects and theatrical lighting.


The evening is described: "Over 90 minutes, 900 horses and more than 1,500 participants from around the United Kingdom and the World will create a joyful event for the Queen. The 90-year journey will take us from the excitement of the birth, through to World War Two, her marriage, the coronation, and a reign of more than 60 years. The Celebration will use horses, actors, bands and dancers to tell the story."


As patron of the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations, Prince Charles shared a programme note for the event:

'I am delighted that we have succeeded in bringing together hundreds of members of the armed forces of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and other long-standing overseas friends to mark this special birthday.
 It could not be more fitting that a quite different group  which also enjoys the Queen's unfailing interest and support - horses, of myriad breeds and colour - will join the 600 sailors, soldiers, airmen and women who make up this evening's celebration. As we marvel at the incomparable skill of rider and horse alike, we might allow our minds to drift to Xenophon's  observation that "A horse is a thing of beauty...none will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendour". We can know with some certainty that a rather memorable spectacle awaits us.'

The royals enjoyed various performances.


Presented by popular British presenters Ant and Dec, a host of well-known names performed. Katherine Jenkins sang "I Vow To Thee My Country", with other artists taking the stage including Dame Shirley Bassey, James Blunt, Andrea Bocelli and Kylie Minogue. Well-known names from film and television were also involved, such as Damian Lewis, Jim Carter, Imelda Statunton and Alan Titchmarsh.


I was thrilled to see the wonderful Dame Helen Mirren, (whose iconic performance in The Queen won her an Oscar) take the audience through Her Majesty's young years.


This adorable pony almost stole the show as her performed tricks :)


There were surprises in store as Prince Edward and his daughter Lady Louise participated in the event.


Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Tindall also took part in a parade of horses.


The party ended with performers and spectators singing Happy Birthday to the Queen. For those wishing to read more on the event, the HMQ 90 website is here. There's a page dedicated to the highlights of the Queen's 90 Glorious Years.


Kate chose a the red Blazer with Back Pleat by Zara (with thanks to Morel Melany) The £50 jacket has quite a 1960s feel to it with a swing style, peter pan collar, bracelet length sleeves and large buttons.
Zara

The Duchess debuted a new white dress tonight. Middleton Maven identified it as the Dolce & Gabbana Cotton-Blend Lace Dress. The midi-length white dress is an intricate piece with a nipped in waist and tiered swishy skirt. It's available at Net-A-Porter retailing for $5,995.

Net-A-Porter

More from the product description:

'Dolce & Gabbana's white dress is a romantic choice for special events or brides. This exquisite design is crafted from pretty cotton-blend lace.'

A closer look at the lace.

Net-A-Porter

Kate accessorised with the Queen's diamond chandelier earrings. They have been loaned to the Duchess on several occasions since 2011. The Duchess wore her hair in an elegant updo.


Kate completed the look with her black prada clutch and a black shawl.


The Duchess frequently gives a nod to an event or host with her sartorial choices and I imagine choosing two of three colours of the Union Jack was no accident. The earrings are also a nod to HM. What do you think of Kate's look tonight? Individually, there's a fabulous selection of pieces, I'm just not sure the jacket worked well with the lace dress - it seems to be more of a casual/daywear jacket.

We are not only discussing Kate's sartorial choices tonight, but now turning our attention to the princes. William, Harry and Prince Philip wore the Windsor uniform this evening; the uniform is worn by senior members of the Royal family at Windsor.


It was introduced by George III in 1779. The full dress, which had a good deal of gold braid about it, did not survive beyond 1936, but the undress form is still worn today as demonstated by the princes, a dark blue jacket with red facings. It is now worn only at Windsor Castle, and since the reign of King Edward VII has usually only been worn for evening occasions. Below we see, Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, son of George III wearing the undress Windsor uniform.


More on the jacket from Wikipedia:

'The uniform takes the form of an evening tail coat of dark blue cloth, lapelled, with scarlet collar and cuffs. There are three buttons on each front two at the back of the waist, and two at the end of each tail, and also two on each cuff and one above. The gilt buttons bear a design of a Garter star within a garter, surmounted by the imperial crown. It is worn with a white single-breasted waistcoat with three small gilt buttons of the same pattern, and with plain black evening-dress trousers. When the court is in mourning a black waistcoat and black armband are worn. As well as the tail coat version, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales also wear a dinner jacket version of the coat.'

It was an amazing night of spectacular entertainment, highlights of the Queen's life filled with fulsome tributes and beautiful displays. A birthday party fit for a Queen :) We'll update when a video becomes available. We'll see you tomorrow for the launch of Heads Together.

176 comments:

  1. Let the pregnancy rumours begin. That is if they had even ended.
    I thought for the first time that Kate looked like a really senior royal family member. I know many will not like todays outfit but it just stood out in a good way for me.

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    1. I agree. The pregnancy rumors will be flying. It will probably be on the cover of magazines in the morning. I love the hair and earrings but don't like the coat with the dress. Maybe if it was longer? I do think she was matching the princes.

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    2. My first thought was "Did I miss some news?" :) Michael you are so right, she's among her Royal Family!:)

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  2. I thought Kate's choice was right on. In my opinion she was matching what William and Harry were wearing.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden15 May 2016 at 23:24

      I agree. Might not be the most stylish look ever but she looks nice. And I love that it picked up the red colour of the windsor uniform! I really liked her updo and the delicate earrings as well!

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  3. Oh no! At least from the initial pictures, this is all wrong. The jacket would look so fabulous with skinny jeans - I hope to see it that way as it is such a great color on her. But a short swingy jacket with a full-skirted dress looks...sorry Kate!...like one of Lucy Ricardo's maternity outfits. White lace seems odd on a cold evening, too. Weird all around.

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    1. I completely agree with the Lucy Ricardo maternity outfit reference. I also don't understand the red heavy blazer with a light lace summer dress.

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    2. Victoria, Oregon15 May 2016 at 23:01

      Yes, I love the color choices too, just not the swingy/baggy on loose/flowy. I don't even know what kind of coat would look good with a flowy (can't find the right spelling - must not be a word. Oh well) lace dress. Interested to hear what others would pair with the dress. I love each piece individually and hope we get to see repeats.

      Thanks for the interesting history on what William and Harry are wearing, Charlotte!

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    3. I agree. Again, as in the outfit worn to open the playground, great pieces separately, just not together. Rebecca, the jacket with skinny jeans is the perfect pairing. It would
      look amazing with a pencil skirt as well.
      However, the Zara jacket with the flowy
      D&G dress just comes across as bulky and
      shapeless. She looks beautiful from the
      neck up though.

      I hope she wears each piece again in
      separate wearings because I would love to see them worn to their full potential. From what I can see, I like this white lace dress better than the two other lace D&G's she has worn previously. It has a more youthful silhouette.

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden15 May 2016 at 23:25

      I like the jacket. Feels kind of retro :) And I have no problem with it with the lace dress. And even if you do, she was mostly sitting so you can just imagine she wore something else on the bottom :P

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    5. I am so disappointed. I am going to imagine a cute outfit on her from now on. Good suggestion Rebecca. That way I won't keep being frustrated by her dubious choices. Maybe she is just trying in a weird way to prove she doesn't care about fashion. She is working hard to do that.

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    6. She would'nt be wearing $6,000 Dolce and Gabbana dresses if she did'nt care about fashion.

      The red jacket looks like an after thought. She realized it was chilly before she walked out the door and grabbed the first coat she saw. Weird combo. She looks pretty though

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    7. You ar right about the after thought. She still has a lot of nice coats to pair with this expensive dress. However she seems to totally enjoy the show.

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    8. Agree, it's all wrong here.she has dozen of flirty White dressed to team with fitting jackets, why spending such a big amount and spoil in this way?

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  5. Sarah Maryland usa15 May 2016 at 22:48

    I actually think the dress is too casual for the coat! The two don't go together! I love her hair up though!

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  6. What a truly spectacular show. I've been enjoying every moment of it and it seems so has Her Majesty! I also surprisingly like Kate's ensemble. She's looking radiant and chatting along with Prince Philip. Brings a smile to your face.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden15 May 2016 at 23:26

      I agree with it all :) What a wonderful show, Kate looks cute and she and the Duke seemed to have some wonderful chats!

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    2. The Duke does seem to be very comfortable with Catherine. To me that shows her wonderful people skills with a variety of ages and personality types.

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    3. Her rapport with Prince Phillip speaks volumes.
      Because if he doesn't like someone he doesn't usually hide that fact very much. You can tell he really likes Kate.

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  7. This is an odd outfit. Nothing matches! The pretty coat does not go at all with the dress, and neither Goes with the black accessories. I don't like the dress at all but the whole thing is just not working...

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    1. Annette New Zealand16 May 2016 at 07:18

      The more I look at the photographs the more it looks as if they have all had a formal dinner together earlier, as the men are wearing black bow ties. So Catherine would have been dressed formally in the white lace dress with her hair up and the beautiful diamond earrings and with the black shawl and evening bag. Then when it was time to leave for the outdoor concert it was quite chilly so some of them, including the Duke of Edinburgh and another older man behind them put on warmer coats which don't really go with dinner jackets and formal lace dresses. Sometimes comfort trumps fashion!

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    2. Yes, I think you are bang on. With guests around particularly you can bet there would have been a formal dinner. It explains Kate pushing the boat out with an expensive dress too.

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    3. Nicole from France17 May 2016 at 18:27

      that's what I thought too, formal dinner hence the chandelier ear rings, the dress .... but did she really have to choose that jacket which seems good for a good walk in Scotland or taking Georges to school by a chilly morning ....she has a lot of beautifull coats she could have chosen from ! and black accessories .....

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  8. Was shocked when I saw the first pictures. The coat is not so flattering, particularly with this outfit. Kate does look extremely regal, though. This dress would look lovely with a longer black or red coat, in my opinion. When I first heard she was in red, I was hoping it was the McQueen coat from Aus/NZ...but alas, this was a huge disappointment. The white is also odd. She is definitely experimenting a lot more, and departing from her classic style.

    Thought it was extra nice that she was seated next to the DoE. :)

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  9. Skyking, Iowa, USA15 May 2016 at 23:00

    Looks like a spectacular show, and that the royals enjoyed it. Love Kate's updo and earrings, and like the coat - just not with this dress. And I'm "meh" on the dress. What a treat it would be to be in that audience!

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    1. I would have liked to see this dress with a shoulder cape of rabbit fur or rabbit stole in soft pink or white if she needed to be warm. But I guess that would upset too many people. I love the coat. It's timeless. My mother had one--also red--in the 1940s and I in the 1960s. I'm determined, now, to find another like it.

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    2. That would have been very nice Philly. Dreamy.
      She could have easily worn a fake fur one. That would have been soooo pretty.

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    3. I would say generally people really don't wear fur in the UK. Fake might be OK for a bit of trim or a hat but a jacket or stole would be a bit much. People are dressy but not that dressy.

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    4. The Queen wore her mink coat recently (remember the photo of her giving Kate a sweet kiss?). And the Queen has worn some coats and hats that had mink on them.

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  10. Ahhh ... another great and super fast post! Charlotte the Great! Thank you ~

    My first impression was the same as yours: the jacket does look a little 'heavy' with the dress. But then I saw the picture of the Duke and the Duchess together. It seems to me that the red of Catherine's jacket is a perfect fit to the red of William's collar and cuffs. It must be awfully hard to find a matching color jacket if that was the intent ... Along those lines I can't help but wonder whether the clutch and shawl Catherine brought along might not be black but in fact be a dark blue similar to William's coat. Again, looking at them standing together, William's coat looks black, but according to the Wikipedia excerpt is actually blue ...

    While I'm still somewhat on the fence about the jacket/dress combo I think Catherine and William looked great together (and not to forget, Catherine wore the earrings I love best) so I'll give the combo a pass :)

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden15 May 2016 at 23:27

      I agree :) They really fit together! :)

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    2. In color only. Otherwise the coat and dress are a mismatch.

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    3. Maggie - Minneapolis16 May 2016 at 00:42

      I don't think William's red is really that hard to match. It's a pretty typical red. And if the goal was to match, then she could have always changed the dress and kept the jacket.

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    4. When I first saw the coat I thought to myself that she has finally decided to wear a pair of nice black trousers and rejoiced. It didn't even strike me she would wear this dress under the jacket. Golly. I think she was indeed matching the red to William's uniform. Sort of the very literal thing she is apt to do.
      Incidentally in December I bought a Zara cape almost identical to this (minus Peter Pan collar - can't stand them) in tan and grey and it is a lovely versatile piece. Goes very well with pencil skirts and ankle length pants. Absolutely perfect for work.
      Kate really needs to stop wasting money on the same style of dress shoes, bags etc. and hire a stylist who will stretch those pounds a bit. Just because she has infinite resources does not mean she needs to go out and acquire 10 lacy dresses in different colors. She is so unimaginative in her dressing it is hard to believe she actually studied art history. She has been splurging on clothes like nobody's business. In the past year she must have spent at least 50-75K on new dresses and accessories. I might start a tracker like Moxie on this.
      I normally don't rant about her fashion because I actually think it's challenging to be in her position with having to cater to the public's likes and dislikes. Besides she always looks gorgeous regardless of what she is wearing. I would go batty in her position because I like to wear nice clothes and fabric but have zero interest in actually spending time on it and I suspect she is the same. But this is a bit much. In the beginning I had a lot of regard for the fact that she seemed to be mindful of the expense and was recycling heavily. But now it seems wasteful. And uncreative.
      Just hire a stylist and outsource this headache. In the long term she will be saving the taxpayer $$$ because the stylist will mix and match lovely pieces and give each outfit a new look. I think she has William's penchant for control freakery. No other explanation for this insistence on trying to do something she clearly has no flair for.

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    5. That's harsh. I'm sure she chose the dress, very different in cut & style from her other lace dresses, for a formal dinner before the event. She then add the red jacket to keep warm. As she was sitting down it really isn't a big deal that the two weren't a great match.

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  11. Oh gosh, no. A red wool short jacket with a long white lace dress at an evening event?. IThe problem is not even just that the jacket is too casual for the dress. The jacket is the wrong length and style for a summery dress like that. I'm not even sure the dress works at all at this event. Looks like something you'd wear to a wedding, if it was appropriate to wear white as a wedding guest. And why would she cover up the beautiful lace design of a fantasy expensive designer dress with a cheap department store jacket? I've said it before, Kate has a very quirky way of putting outfits together. If it weren't for her tremendous beauty and figure, she'd never be considered a fashion icon.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden15 May 2016 at 23:28

      And I, personally, love that she doesn't care if the dress was designer and the coat department. If she wanted to wear the jacket, she wore it even though it covers up a designer dress. I like that she doesn't need to show off her designer pieces.

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    2. Zippy,

      Kate is not a fashion Icon. Maybe she had started to be but that ended years ago. No offense, but her combinations are even surpassing Anne's. And while I want her hair up, this updo is very pioneer school marmish and she wears it often. Again, hopefully not following in the footsteps of Anne. There's so much she could do. Zara's stylist knows how to do updo's. Bring sexy back Kate. It's okay to be classy sexy. And, please get a new stylist.

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    3. Quirky is good. I hope Kate has the strength to always be herself. She looks so healthy and happy but not pregnant, btw.


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    4. Rebecca, whether she wanted to be cavalier about mixing Zara with Dolce Gabana isn't the point IMO. The point is they clash. They don't play nicely together. The occasion called for some forethought and respect and this combination, to me, lacked both.

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    5. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 00:25

      Ok, I think we are going one step to far now. It's one thing to not like the outfit, not thinking it fit the occation etc. But it's another thing to say she's not showing respect. It's not like she was in hot pants and a tiara!

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  12. The dress and coat look terrible together, what was she thinking?? The proportions don't work together at all.

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  13. Carol from Connecticut15 May 2016 at 23:07

    As you said Charlotte, fabulous individual pieces but they don't look well together. Perhaps she was trying (unsuccessfully) to give a nod to the Windsor uniform by including the black shawl and clutch..... oh well. On a positive note though, I love her updo and earrings!

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  14. I am assuming they had a formal dinner ahead of the show with guests hence the lace dress and earrings and the coat was simply worn as a nod to the Windsor jackets worn by the men. Agree the two do not really mix well but it works OK for the occasion.

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    1. I had the same thought about dinner but she still needed to wear a different jacket. The Zara really doesn't work with the dress.

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    2. Or maybe a reception after. Agree the coat is still an odd choice. Who knows.

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    3. No - this does not work - At all

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    4. Ah thank you. The odd choice of dress is beginning to make sense. I couldn't understand why she wanted to buy such an expensive new summery dress for an evening outdoor show. She has much better already in her wardrobe imo - I really don't like the deep frill. As for the combination with the jacket I thought of Little Red Riding Hood. Such a shame as she made super choices in the main for the tour and already has other lovely pieces we've only seen once.

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    5. I've now thought more about this and think it is an issue about managing the transition between a formal dinner and a more casual event. Kate's hair and earrings also look too formal for the show, particularly when you look at the style of the women around her. I guess it is easier for the Queen and Duchess of Cornwall as their hairstyles don't change. They are probably wearing knee length evening style dresses under their coats. So I've decided (!) an existing midi 'evening' style dress (perhaps the plum lace d&g dress) with the chandelier earrings and up do for the dinner, covered with one of her longer coats for the evening with different earrings and her hair brushed out. Oh how I wish it was so easy to make the right decisions with my own wardrobe !

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    6. Camilla wore a white coat beaded with pearls. So similar to Diana's. Did anyone else notice that?

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    7. Yes, and I didn't appreciate that. She had to have known how much like Diana's outfit hers is.

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    8. It's nothing like Diana's outfit! That was a full length dress with a matching bolero jacket in silk encrusted with pearls. This is a knee length outfit with sequins or glitter in a slubby fabric. There are only so many basic varieties of outfits. Two being cream and a bit sparkly does not make them identical or even similar.

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    9. 16:50, of course she knew. Granted, it was appropriate, but still...

      Now to change the subject to a far more pleasant one...KATE! :) It is ironic how often she has been criticized for wearing a coat or coatdress, but I think this would have been the perfect occasion to wear one! Something with a bit of sparkle designed for an evening such as this.

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  15. I think she has started experimenting a lot recently. I am not sure about the white dress with the red coat, especially in such an official evening. Beautiful hair style though!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 00:06

      She certainly seems to be experementing, trying new silouettes and brands :) I like that she does that :) A bit hit and miss, but I like it!

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    2. She has the resources to make her "experimenting more hits than misses. I think she has the wrong "stylist".

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 00:27

      Most people even with stylists (sometimes especially with stylists) do misses, especially if they don't do a formula. When Kate dresses in her coatdress formula she's accused of being boring, when she tries something new shes either labeled looking matronly or juvenile and other things. I say "Kate, you dress for yourself. As long as you follow the dresscode, then your choices is fine by me. I might not always like it, but that is ok because you are not dressing for me!"

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    4. Think the experimentation might have started last year. Reminds me of the floral curtain dress many here hated

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    5. Thank you Rebecca, I so agree with your 00:27 comment. I sort of liked the red coat matching Williams red in his outfit. If we didn't have a picture of what the dress looks like, we would never know it didn't exactly fit together as we never saw it. As it was what we saw was a red jacket over a white dress. It is only the very intrusive long distance lenses of the camera, we would never know the lace detail on the dress. Maybe she didn't plan to wear a jacket but at the last minute a jacket was needed and of what she had available to her at Windson it was the best match. Either way she does not need to be ripped apart as some have done. A simple statement as 23:23 made would suffice.

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    6. Michael, exactly. I think it's the business of either the print (the floral "curtain" dress to which you refer) or the lace, with the added tiered fabric that just simply don't work and make both dresses fussy. Imo, either have a "busy" pattern and leave out the tiered layer or keep the fabric simple without a pattern and add the tier.

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    7. Nicole from France17 May 2016 at 18:36

      Yes Michael,GH , that floral dress looked like a lamp shade to me, and again this lace dress does not matches well with Kate's body ! she is very thin and that kind of dress wants a bit of "something" behind, if you see what I mean .....

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  16. Thank you very much for this post! Love Kate's dress sense and when you can borrow earnings like that, you can't lose! :-)

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  17. I think both Her Majesty and Kate looked absolutely glowing tonight. What Kate wore is of less importance in an event such as this one. What matters is the Queen got the show she deserved and her family was there to support her. Big smiles from everyone, it is so good to see. I loved that Edward, Anne and Louise came out to ride. A little bit sad to see a pic of Beatrice texting during the show though.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 00:07

      I noticed Beatrice as well, and thought she was texting. But the more I think of it... how high she held it, I think she probably took a picture :) Everyone my generation and hers knows how to text with the phone half covered in your lap so I doubt she would need to hold her phone that high to text :P

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  18. Love the dress, love the jacket, just not together. To me the jacket belongs with slacks or jeans- it does not appear to be dressy. That said, love HRH's hair and make-up. William is looking handsome -as always. Charlotte, thank you for your quick posting. Wishing all a safe & happy week. Many Blessings.....

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  19. I love that dress-beautiful! And if she had worn a red or red and black scarf or shawl, THAT would have been perfect. But that coat, I hate it, actually. Together, the combination was dreadful. If she was pregnant, it would work very well with skinny jeans, but...sorry, Kate, not the best combination and it makes you look almost fat and shapeless, which you most certainly are not��.

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    1. Yes, I think a shawl would have bern the perfect solution..

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 01:04

      Considering the Duke sat in a heavy coat, a shawl probably wouldnt have been enough.

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  20. Looking forward to tomorrow's engagement!

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  21. Who is the woman beside Harry?

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 00:08

      The wife of the man beside Kate :) As I understood it, he's Pince of Hesse.

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    2. Annette New Zealand16 May 2016 at 05:52

      I think he might be a member of the Duke of Edinburgh's family. His three sisters married German princes so perhaps he is a nephew? It would also be interesting to find out the names of the younger members of the Royal party in the rows behind.

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  22. I have to agree with everyone, the proportion/color/fabric/style of this combination do not "officially" work together, and I am curious to know "what was she thinking"...that said, it's kind of fun and pretty and Kate manages somehow to pull it off IMO. The updo, beautiful make up, delicate diamond earrings and her radiant attitude make it sparkle. I would LOVE to know what shoes she wore, but I'm afraid they might be black pumps which might ruin it for me completely. Judging by the black accessories she carried, I'll bet they were - which would tip the sartorial apple cart into Santa Claus realm, and no hair or diamond earring can fix that. Oh well, she's lovely anyway! :)

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    1. Well, we know Kate has two new pairs of black suede sandals, so perhaps she wore one of those. But I can't tell what sort of surfaces she had to traverse, and therefore I don't know whether sandals were appropriate - or warm enough given her jacket and Price Philip's overcoat.

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    2. I agree, I can't figure out what shoes would work given the occasion, the temperature (it does look cold), and the clothes themselves. Black sandals would be strange, but so would every other shoe I can think of, lol!

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  23. Edward and Lady Louise were on horseback in the ring for the Queen, as was Anne. Zara may have been also. Was Andrew there?

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 00:10

      Andrew was watching in the stands :) Anne, Zara, Edward and Louise were the ones riding :) Reeally nice to have them involved. Louise rode in one of the shows 2 days ago as well :) The next Windsor olympian in the making? :P

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    2. I thought it was wonderful to see the four of them on horses. How fun and what great memories for all involved.

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    3. I love how seeing the 4 of them riding made it seem like a Family Affair to me:) Partly too because The Queen reminds me so much of my Mother in law!:) Same age same demeanor & poise & they could pass as Sisters:) My MIL is always dressed similarly to HM even in dressed down clothes & watching the video of HM making sure things were "just so" for The State Dinner cracked me up as it was just like my MIL who Only hosts Dinners with all the china & the Sterling Everything down to the Formal Coffee Service:) We all have place settings & she has the most beautiful Floral arrangements all around:) My Sisters in law & I joke about which of us is going to go to all that work after She's gone? It's really just that Special Touch:)

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    4. Nicole from France17 May 2016 at 18:38

      who is the lovely blond lady seting between W and H ?

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    5. The Landgravine of Hesse, Fiora, married to the Prince of Hesse seated next to Kate.

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  24. I should just stop with the pictures and Charlotte's excellent commentary...the negative onslaught on the Duchess's sartorial choices is a downer. When I can no longer stand the negativity of the news and World in general I come to this blog for a much needed uplift. Thank you Charlotte for all you do. For those of you who feel it is a daily requirement to sartorially shred Kate Middleton, perhaps you should try a little empathy and put yourself in her shoes for a moment. She is doing her very best, and in my humble opinion in succeeding marvelously despite all the hen picking. You are very blessed Great Britain in your future monarchy. I frankly wish we had ones such as she, William, and Harry to be such great role models to the youth of this Country (USA), and to lead our dubious future.

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    1. We are just saying her outfit didn't work...we are not shredding her apart...geez... :/

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    2. There have been in the past a huge amount of negative comments but that was due mainly to an event Kate chose to not attend. "Controversial" is a nice way of putting that whole exchange (I got very tired of that myself). This however is just about her outfit and it is, after all, the point of this site to comment upon her style and fashion choices. So far everyone who's commented on this thread hasn't said anything derogatory about Kate herself in an insulting way save one person (saying she lacked respect for the occasion). To comment upon her clothing is not "shredding" her as Anon 01:10 pointed out. Besides, it seems most folks here so far, have given her kudos for her attempt at something outside her comfort zone even if the combination wasn't liked, and we've all pretty much admit she still looks beautiful.

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    3. Jen I totally hear you. However, we all have our feelings about supporting her & we all are here wanting her to succeed... & that's where the differences come in, because we all have different opinions on how that can & should be done.:) For me.... Seeing her Still called "Middleton" really upsets me! How long does she have to be Married to be called her proper name? So we all love Catherine, & we all have our pet peeves. Not intening to bite your head off, just sharing my view of this Blog & what gets my Dander up when it comes to supporting Kate:)

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    4. Not liking an outfit is not necessarily shredding someone but, I *believe* Jen's comment has more to do with the big picture...the overall theme. And she's correct.

      Becca, how I wish I could share your view that we "all love Catherine" (or even like or respect her.) Unfortunately, I beg to differ with you on this being the common denominator. :(

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  25. Thank you for the photos Charlotte! Will look forward to video too, especially with the singers that were there! So glad you were able to post as it must be late for you. I agree that Kate looks like she threw a coat on over her dress. Maybe she brought the shawl thinking it would be warm enough and then realized she needed a coat. I remember being at Edinburgh Castle for a Gathering of the Clans event one July evening and being really, really cold even with my tartan shawl

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    1. Oh Valerie That sounds really fun!:)

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  26. For such a high profile event, this outfit is a total disaster. White lace couture dress with diamond drop earrings paired with a red department store jacket that looks like something I would wear out shopping on the weekend... what on earth is she thinking? Her stylist needs fired, fired, fired. Or if she doesn't have one, please, please hire one! It's a good thing she is so beautiful that she can still look amazing, but really, this look was just dreadful.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 01:07

      I think it's rather funny that people are so intent on putting the words "designer" and "department" as indicators for if she should wear them :P I mean, if they work together (debatable) it doesn't matter where it's from. I mean, if we just saw her, we wouldn't know they were. The jacket could just as well had been Emilia Wickstead or Eponine and the dress could be Temperley or Asos. So I think it's rather odd to base the look on the labels and not on how it looks. And how it looks is fair enough to debate, I just think it odd that they label (unless it was scandalous) could weigh so heavily on how it looks.

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    2. Nothing odd about the phrasing at all. All her clothes become known where they come from. It IS odd to pair this elegant dress with a frumpy jacket that clearly looks out of place to almost everyone here. If no one cared where these garments came from, there probably wouldn't be a blog that is 3/4 about her clothing and accessories, or a "Kate Effect."

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    3. In her defense (not that I liked the combo) I've seen many an evening jacket, in that style, at The Opera & Symphony & Gala Benefits in Heavy Satin & Moire or Velvet. My guess is that it Was planned to match the red of William & Harry's Windsor Jackets & she meant it as an Evening Jacket...... but it missed:(

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  27. The Royal Watcher16 May 2016 at 00:42

    Here's what I think happened. I bet she wasn't planning to wear a jacket with that dress. It's a little chilly tonight over there tonight and as she stepped outside Kensington Palace, she asked William to run back inside and grab her a jacket---and that's what he picked out (men, ya know). That's what I'm choosing to believe because I can't imagine that was a planned outfit. Totally doesn't go together. Love the pieces separately though. Other than that, she is gorgeous as usual.

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    1. LOL oh, if only we could blame the loving husband on this one!

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    2. Annette New Zealand16 May 2016 at 06:01

      She is at Windsor which is a long way away from Kensington Palace, so it is quite possible that it was the only warm jacket she had with her, or that she even borrowed it. Occasional mismatches happen to us all. I think it is quite endearing that she occasionally looks as though she didn't take much trouble to plan it all. Perhaps she was just busy enjoying herself!

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    3. Hey I'm in, we'll go with that!:)

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    4. Annette,

      That's fine. When you are not the Duchess and future Queen. But Kate is. And this was a very important, historical event.

      Delete
  28. Maggie - Minneapolis16 May 2016 at 01:00

    I agree that the jacket and dress look pretty bad together (the difference in material is jarring, but also imo with longer, more flowy dresses or skirts, a paired jacket generally needs to be a little more fitted in the waist, instead of hanging as loosely as the dress). I also think that this jacket could be a very fun piece in a different outfit, but that Kate's posture will never make it a good piece for her. Big collars and buttons on loose coats can be very 60's and quirky, but her rounded shoulders just make it look too much like a child's coat to me. It's the same reason I think some people can pull off Peter Pan collars but Kate honestly would need to get something like Queen Maxima's posture and confidence to be able to pull it off as well. But also - is it just me or is the arch in Kate's eyebrows quite a bit higher than usual? Like she usually will get that arch from the faces she makes, but from the pictures at this event, it seems like her eyebrows are actually shaped like that. This is not a big deal at all - I don't think her, or anyone else's eyebrows actually matter one bit - but that doesn't mean I won't notice things about them and honestly the first thing that stood out to me was that she appeared to look slightly shocked or amused at all times haha. And then I realized they even look like that in the pictures she's smiling in, so seems too consistent to be a particular face she is making.

    I will say - despite this jacket looking amusingly bad paired with this dress to me, I do think it is indicative of a continued effort on Kate's part to branch out, and that is something I appreciate and respect. As we all have noted at one point or another, she tends to stick to her coat dresses and avoids separates, or even something like this where it isn't literally separates but serves a similar purpose. And I can get why - it probably requires less work because you don't have to match things, and it's safer. So I like that once she started getting back (somewhat) into the swing of royal duties after Charlotte's birth, she seems to be trying to branch out more. That full-length Erdem dress is another good example of this - the bottom ruffle thing made me want to barf, but it was a bold, and very un-Kate choice, and I liked that. So I like this outfit for the same reason. Although the branching out via the coat is perhaps offset by her 8391208390128th lace dress, including her 3rd from D&G in the past year. It always amuses me how Kate really sticks to a style for a while, and then sometimes abandons it forever. Last year was the season of Mulberry clutch and black suede heels, but I don't think we've seen them very much at all this year. Lately it seems to be the time for D&G lace, pointy nude heels, and middy dresses. Oh and this one same updo, and then that pulling back a few strands of hair on both sides that she debuted in India and continued on that day with multiple engagements she had recently.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 01:13

      I agree with your last part. Even when she doesn't hit the right note, I appriciate her going outside her comfort zone (even though I also understand the need for a comfortable uniform).

      Yeah, she really has "phases" in her fashion, doesn't she? :)

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    2. I think if Kate was truly in charge of her "branching out", she would be doing a much better job of it. The efforts heretofore are from more a novice and someone who does not have the innate style that Kate has shown in the past.

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    3. So now I had to go back and look at her eyebrows. LOL. Not sure--it's hard to tell but I sort of think it was an expression and not newly arched brows. I hope. Please.

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    4. Maggie I have to tell you I was laughing when you said the wide gathered Erdem dress made you want to barf! lol:) Because it's a similar style to my Wedding Dress & my Bride's Maids' Dresses! No Joke!:) Those of you that were around back in the "Olden Days" of the 70's will remember after the "Prairie Dress" came a style that had a fitted bodice with several gathered tiers below ending at the floor. The same was seen in skirts too. We had Bespoke Dresses all in the same matching style, It was a Summer Garden Wedding & My Dress was made of White Eyelet w/each gathered layer below the bodice having a layer of eyelet on top (the effect was pretty with the eyelet border) The Bridesmaids Dresses were ib a soft pink airy cotton with white satin ribbon sewn over the seams of each gathered layer. We all wore Wreaths of a Garland of Flowers in our hair & mine was all white flowers among the garland. Whenever I watch "Forest Gump" I always think of my Wedding when I see "Jenny's Wedding Dress":) I have to laugh because I've kept my Wedding Dress of course but crack up at the thought of anyone ever wearing it because it's so time period specific that it borders on a costume:) Truly! So when I saw Kate's Dress & the Price? I thought Heck, maybe someone in the Family Will want to wear The Dress? Who Knew!? What goes around really Does come around! lol :) I just wish I could post a pic! You all would Crack Up its Such a Hoot!:)

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    5. Tammy from California17 May 2016 at 00:52

      I will say it's funny that you hate her in Peter Pan collars, because it's my favorite on her.

      I do agree however, that the dresses with that poofy lace bit on the bottom are awful and the designers should lose their licenses :) for even making such a dress. I don't care HOW popular that look does or doesn't become, I will never succumb...

      I also want to mention that I thought her eyebrows were out of her norm on the Vogue cover. If you know who the American actor Eugene Levy is: that's all I could think of when I saw the Vogue cover shot. I thought maybe because she had less eye make-up than usual, they looked a little like "crazybrow".

      Lastly, I wanted to say Maggie: hang tough with your health battle. I wish you the best.

      Delete
  29. Rebecca - Sweden16 May 2016 at 01:12

    Someone in another place noticed something I liked :) Together, the 3 leading ladies wore Blue (the Queen), white (Camilla) and red (Kate) nicely forming the colours of the flag :)

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    1. The Queen was in Sea Green, not Blue.

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    2. That's a fantastic observation. Thanks for highlighting the thought

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    3. The third lady in the patriotic triad is Princess Alexandra, who is wearing blue. :-)

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  30. I certainly would not have wore that jacket in the 60s - not sure why you suggest it's 60s inspired. I would however, have wore it in the 50s when swing coats and jackets were in style. In the 60s, we were more in tune to stream-lines that Jackie Kennedy and others inspired early in the 60s. The dress is an over-stretch in terms of the cost. It sure doesn't look like close to a $6000 dress! I hope the lace was very soft and silky feeling at that price tag! Love the hair and earrings.

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  31. She has really favored lace Dolce & Gabbana dresses this past year. I think this is her least successful lace dress. I agree the dress and jacket do not go together. The jacket is very casual. For such a grand event this jacket was totally out of place.

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  32. Shame, she has such a beautiful body but this outfit combination is completely unflattering, not only for her but for anyone wearing that. You don't combine short coat with such a dress! I agree with people saying that she no longer is the fashion icon that she used to be. And moreover, taking aside the fact of being "a fashion icon", it's a matter of how you pull out what you wear. She's getting boring. Also, I'm getting tired of Kate choosing a piece she feels comfortable with and acquiring it in different colors and lower modifications. I mean, this is the fourth lace D&G dress she wears in less than a year. Same happens with the breton stripes t-shirts, and with shoes. I feel so frustrated because when I see this happening I think of all the potential Kate has... She's beautiful. Take as an example Princess Mary of Denmark and Queen Letizia of Spain... Both mothers, royals, beautiful women; they dress in such a sophisticated and feminine way, so elegant yet very modern, without being exclusively dull fashionistas. Nope, they stay true to their role. So much class! Kate could do that! I know she can. Still, I would never be negative on Kate, I admire her very much. This is just me being frustrated.

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    1. But Patricia why be frustrated? So Kate is not into clothes, there are plenty of other women out there who love clothes and you can follow them for fashion and Kate for other reasons:).

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    2. Nicole from France17 May 2016 at 18:47

      I really can understand buying a piece in twos or threes , if one feels comfortable wearing it , seeing all what she has to do when she makes apprearances, the thing is you just have to accessorize the pieces differently .... Kate hardly ever has accessories apart from her clutches, I wonder why ....and that's what makes her a little boring ....apart when she "tries" things like this dress and this coat ...... I'd rather have her stick to

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  33. I love the whole outfit. It's unique, and probably warm! I love that she wears what she wants! Good for you, Catherine!! You look wonderfully elegant!

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  34. Your explanation that she is wearing 2 of the 3 colours of the British flag is lessening my disapproval of this outfit (mostly the pairing of the red coat with the white lace dress). If she sought a symbolic meaning to her outfit, I can understand why.

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  35. The Royal Watcher - I'm going with your logic that William ran in and grabbed her a coat. :)

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  36. Like just about everyone here, I like the coat and dress separately but definitely not together. If she wanted to coordinate colors with the guys' uniforms, she has plenty of choices, starting with a few of her red coats. She also has that red tea-length dress she wore for Wimbledon last year I think it was. It's possible that she might not have a coat that is long enough to cover a tea-length dress as most of them hit her knees or thereabouts. Another idea would've been a black coat (maybe buy a longer one) with her red scarf and some sort of dress underneath. Oh well. Still, the pieces she wore are nice and suggestions here for the red coat are good ones. But as always, Kate looked so pretty.

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  37. Kate looked beautiful. I love the updo and earrings. Very elegant. But I admit to not being a fan of the jacket and dress combination. I like both pieces, but not together. The dress, particularly in white, is a more of a summery daytime look while the jacket is more casual and makes me think of cooler months.

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  38. In the third row, I can see Lady Sarah Chatto and her family and Lord Linley and probably his daughter. I believe Lady Gabriella Windsor is between her father and uncle. Who is the man directly behind the Queen and Prince Philip?

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    1. In the added pictures, Serena Linley and her son, and Peter and Autumn Philips, are visible. I have yet to spot Prince Andrew or the Gloucesters, and Princess Michael is missing. Sophie Wessex probably was assisting her daughter, who rode. So did Prince Edward, Princss Anne, and Zara Phillips. Maybe their spouses were also backstage or in another section. Anyway, the Queen's family turned out in force to honor her. It was nice to see all of Princess Margaret's descendants, including the young people who have served as bridesmaid for Kate and pages for the Queen.

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    2. When I paused a shot of the whole family in an itv report, I found Prince Andrew at the far left end of the front row. Also James Severn next to Princess Eugenie, before Camilla sat down. Still could not find Gloucesters, but it occurs to me that the Duke is next in line to the throne after the descendants of King George VI, and perhaps given such a public venue with so many participants, his absence was for security reasons. A sobering thought, but one that security would have to consider.

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  39. It is important to remember that this night was for the Queen. Kate is not supposed to "stand" out on these occasions. She looked great as always. Let's give her a break shall we? She usually has exquisite taste and style.

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  40. Oh no! Is all I can say. It is a shame to hide her enviable figure under such a shapeless jacket! I look forward to seeing these pieces as separates though.

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  41. P.S. I think what makes it also a bit odd is that the sleeves of the dress compete with the sleeves of the jacket.

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  42. Why would she even have the black wrap in hand if she hadn't been planning to wear it?
    The red coat was NOT a part of the plan. To me,it demonstrates Kate's no fuss attitude that she can accept alterations in plan and go on with the show.
    She obviously borrowed the jacket from someone at Windsor or perhaps she even had left a coat there.
    The men are in black-tie, the women formally dressed -the Queen in lace, Princess Alexandra in sparkles.There was likely a formal reception/ dinner either before or after
    the extravaganza with photographs taken.
    I think HM may have awarded the FO. Just thought I'd throw that out there. ha!

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  43. She looks fantastic! Love the hair, the dress is Ahhhh-mazing! Oh that I could afford it. And the Q's earrings look divine.

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  44. Does anyone know who the woman between William and Harry is? (Hopefully I didn't miss it in the comments. I didn't take time to read them all.)

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  45. When I saw the pictures of Kate before I read about the pieces she was wearing, I thought she looked great. Then when I examined the pieces, I didn't really like them together, but then looking again at the pictures of Kate, I have to conclude that she can take seemingly disparate pieces and make them work in an interesting way.

    I love that you included a full description and history of the Windsor uniform. That was so interesting to read. Thank you Charlotte!

    Now, the event was wonderful. The Queen deserves every tribute she gets. What an amazing woman; a role model for everyone.

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  46. I'm not crazy about the garments together either but who knows, we haven't seen the whole outfit. However, she definitely looks happy and radiant!

    I was amazed at the resemblance between Zara and William. Perhaps just because she was on horseback and wearing a hat, but still.

    A very special celebration and evening! Thank you so much, Charlotte!

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  47. Well, this combo certainly the worst she has ever come up with. I don't even go to detail, though I wonder if there is a mirror in the palace.

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  48. I think the dress is very pretty and I like the romantic style of the dress but it certainly does not look like a $6,000 dress. I would like Kate's hairstyle to not look so matronly. I hope she changes the style frequently.
    A pretty modern French twist, a cute bun on the top of her head like the style is now. There are many fun options.

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    1. I would LOVE to see her in some less austere updos. That French twist and the bun would be cute places to start. I hope someone from her team reads this blog so we can see her in some flirtier updos.

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  49. hmm I love the duchess look perfect jacket and the white dress hmm I think its coordinated with the duchess of Cornwall and the queen plus its favour the duke and prince harry whey assume she was pregnant again

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  50. Zoey - Washington state16 May 2016 at 06:15

    I agree with those who think the jacket was a last minute addition and she had planned on just using the shawl. Anyway, looks like they all had a great time.

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  51. I am definitely in the minority here, but I like the look. She matches Prince William and Prince Harry very well, and I like that she is trying a new look jacket (60s inspiration from the Vogue shoot, anyone?). I do think a more fitted white skirt or dress would have worked better, but I do like the texture of the lace with the jacket.

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  52. Ok Gang I'm going to jump ahead here in our little "Monarchy Family Tree" discussion. I'm inspired by The Windsor Coats of George lll. For those who missed the first entry, I'm going down The Family Tree or "The Succession" starting with William The Conqueror! The 1st entry can be found in Charlotte's Post of Kate visiting The NPG for Vogue 100! I've been revisiting the History as I recover from Hospital. I was stumped to remember the details of the shift from Stuart to Hanover. So The Hanovarian King George l was the Grandson of Elizabeth Stuart (Grand Daughter of Mary Queen of Scots who was Great Grand Daughter of Henry Tudor (King Henry Vll) & Elizabeth Plantagenet who's Marriage ended The War of The Roses). Next time I'll go back to where I left off last time with Henry ll the First Plantagenet King & Great Grandson of William the Conqueror via his Grand Daughter Matilda who married Geoffrey Plantagenet & thus began the House of Plantagenet. Again emphasizing that the change of "Houses" happens when one of The Heirs marries & there is a surname change, thus beginning a new "House" yet The Same Family Decending from William the Conqueror. One last thing that can be misleading. Diana used to point out that The Spencer's "were more English than Charles' Family"! But That was just because George l was German & they often continued marrying German Wives, but They were Always Still the Kings & Queens descended from William the Conqueror & The Spencer's (while always living on English soil) were Aristocrats. I hope this is understandable & makes things more clear? Keep letting me know ok? Thx:) & I'll keep flying my "History Nerd" Flag! lol :)

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you Professor Becca.
      I so enjoy this kind of stuff and you make it fun.

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    2. It's actually a bit easier to understand if you get a little closer to the change. King James II had a first wife and 2 daughters who were protestant. Then he married a 2nd wife and had a male heir who were catholic. The people didn't like it when he started governing more like a catholic.

      So, his nephew (son of his sister) Prince William of Orange (Netherlands) who married his daughter Mary, were invited to invade England and their army chased James II out of the country.

      After a Convention of the Estates of the Realm, they became King William III and Queen Mary II in their own right as heirs.

      After they died, Mary's sister Anne became queen.

      So Anne died with no heirs. William and Mary and Charles II also had no heirs. In order to get to a non-Catholic heir, they went to a granddaughter of James I, called Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and that is how George I (of Hanover) came to the throne.

      HTH,
      DWLee333

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    3. Annette New Zealand16 May 2016 at 17:06

      I always thought it was really sad that Queen Anne had about 23 children who were nearly all still born or died as babies. She had one son who died when he was 11 and she and her Danish husband were devastated. Charles the second had no legitimate children but Jemes the second had two boys with his Catholic second wife as well as Mary and Anne with the first wife. That is where Bonnie Prince Charlie comes in. And his younger brother was a Catholic Cardinal buried in St Peters in Rome. There were no surviving legitimate children from the Stuart side, however Diana was descended from illegitimate children of both Charles the second and James the second so William has Stuart ancestors in abundance !The Spencers and lots of other so called "aristocrats" have similar ancestry from illegitimate royal offspring.

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    4. Thanks Anon and Annette. I love history. Who knew?

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    5. Thank you. All the history is very interesting.

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    6. Thanks for the clarity on Diana's comment, Becca.

      Thank you Becca, HTH, and Annette for contributing such cool Information, (and no quizzes, yay). Don't stop.

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    7. Thx you all for joining in!:) Anon 15:08 you are so right & it's interesting because Sophia's Mother was James l's Sister "Elizabeth Stuart" who I referenced above. What I find really Facinating are the amount of Heir's that never lived to take The Throne (throughout the centuries) So many "Spares" ended up in The Hot Seat:) For instance James l & Elizabeth Stuart had a brother Henry who died as a young man (it was suspected that he had been poisoned) so that's how James l became King! As so often was the case, these younger siblings were not psychologically prepared & thus felt at a deficit during their Reigns. Also, for any of you "Outlander" Fans, I specifically jumped ahead to the Stuart/Hanover time period to refresh my memory of the events to enhance my understanding of the timeline during Season ll set in France.:) I watched "Lion in Winter" the other night about Henry ll The First Plantagenet King (& where I left off last time) & his marriage to Eleonor of Aquataine (played by Katherine Hepburn). I know the Play & Movie well, but it makes it so much more interesting to me to lay it all out & put it into context. So thank you all for indulging me as I share my own Refresher with you:) Annette, you also bring up an important thing! It's Mind boggling to realize how many Babies & Children these families lost! It's funny tho... It sometimes seems like the illegitimet children were pretty healthy:) Several times there was not an Heir, but there were Dozens of "Natural" Children:) But their were a few Kings who were known for being Extremely Faithful to their Wives & that's when we see upwards of 10+ Children & Heirs:) I'm glad to have some others to chat with about how The Royal Family came to be, despite all the twists & turns:) I wanted to go straight down from William The Conqueror & I'll get back to that, just had this little detour.:)

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    8. Annette New Zealand17 May 2016 at 02:57

      Sorry, I slightly miscalculated. I double checked and Queen Anne had 18 pregnancies not 23. Of these most were miscarriages or still births but she did have four or five children who died at about two or three plus the one boy who died at 11. London wasn't a very healthy place to bring up children and of course many children died of infections before antibiotics were discovered. I love reading history too Becca. I always pitied the royal wives who in earlier times had no choice as to who they married.

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    9. Yay Becca.

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  53. Theresa, from Paris16 May 2016 at 11:01

    Oh dear !!!
    Jacket + dress + shawl and clutch = total miss, in my opinion.
    Shuddering at the thought of the shoes :-) !

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  54. Tedi in California16 May 2016 at 11:41

    A wonderful event tonight, and they all looked as though they were having a marvelous time. Loved the pony! Perhaps this wasn't my favorite outfit, but she looked radiant and very much a princess.

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    1. She did look effortlessly regal Tedi. Regardless of the mismatched outfit. Kate is living her true destiny in my opinion. She has blended into the Royal family seamlessly. As a matter of fact, she is the crowning jewel in the royal crown as far as I am concerned.

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  55. How beautiful. Kate would look in that dress at one of the summer garden parties. With a lovely pair of mid heel pastel shoes... I agree with the majority of the comments - great pieces separately, definately should not be worn together.Does anyone know who is the lovely woman seated between William and Harry is?

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    1. wife of the Prince of Hesse

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    2. That is Prince Donatus, titled as Landgrave of Hesse. Sitting between William and Harry is Donatus' wife Floria, titled as Landgravine of Hesse.
      Donatus is a great, great, great grandson of Queen Victoria and a third cousin to Queen Elizabeth. His wife was formerly titled Countess Floria-Franziska Von Faber-Castell. The man seated next to Queen Elizabeth is the king of Bahrain.

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    3. There are also three people I don't recognize between Prince Andrew and Camilla. Prince Philip paused to pat an older lady there on the shoulder. Are they his relatives? There is the man just behind the Queen and Prince Phillip and a couple of men next to Prince Michael of Kent. Anyone know who these men are? They are mingled among the family as though they are family guests. And I think there are Mountbattens in the row to the right above the Linleys. Fun to try to identify people, but past the first two rows it was rather dark to be certain.

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    4. Zora from Prague17 May 2016 at 08:23

      Thank you for clarifying, Anon 17:48. How very interesting. I've always loved the idea how the BRF is connected with royalty and nobility all over Europe. And seeing them on an occasion where they could actually get together is a treat. And I just love Prince Philip - isn't he incredible?!?

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    5. Zora, yes,

      He has supported his Queen and loved his family.
      He could have turned out quite a mess, given his early circumstances, but Thank God, he has had a long and happy life. Thank God he found Elizabeth.

      Delete
    6. Zora from Prague17 May 2016 at 22:15

      Exactly, Anon 20:21.
      Who would have believed when they were a newly married couple that they would still be together when she is 90 and he 95! and still working and supporting each other! What an inspiration.

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  56. Hi Charlotte - great and informative post as usual. I think I have to agree with the majority here and have to question dress and jacket combo. From first glimpse on TV, the red coat looked quite Jackie O/50's inspired harking back to Hartnell/Dior silhouettes which I thought would be a striking glamorous look for her, but then then close up and other images proves me wrong alas. The make-up and Hair were flawless though and I generally did think she looked regal and elegant sitting chatting, and stood out along the line of family for it. Fustrating for some I see here, understandably.
    Thanks too for the nod to the Mens fashion - I always wondered about the Windsor uniform - itself a slightly odd combo - but fascinating history to it.

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  57. Kate, Texas, USA16 May 2016 at 12:35

    What a beautiful evening! The clips I have seen are fabulous! The organizers certainly celebrated HM beautifully and everyone looked to have a wonderful evening!

    Kate looked beautiful! I loved the different pieces she chose, but don't know if I would have put them together. The red jacket was striking and looking sharp with William's Windsor evening wear jacket. The Queen is simply beautiful. Her smile and contentment says it all. It was lovely seeing so many family members come out to celebrate HM.

    Thanks for the wonderful post Charlotte!

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  58. The Queen, Camilla, and Princess Alexandra all wore dressy cocktail outfits embellished with lace, beading, or sparkles. Kate's lace dress fit the bill. And she had a shawl for warmth. But someone must have noticed that if she added red, she along with Camilla in white and Princess Alexandra in blue would be patriotic. For precedents, see the Wimbledon and Chinese banquet pictures. And so the red jacket, from whatever source, was added. As someone pointed out above, from a distance the effect was very nice, as it was when Kare and Sophie accidentally wore matching black coats. The original scheme would have had Camilla and Kate complementing the Queen's green with their white on either side of her. But on this special occasion, Kate was willing to change her plans and wear a mismatched outfit in order to honor the Queen with red, white, and blue. My take, anyway.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think Kate changed her outfit at the last minute for the Queen. I am sure she had this planned out in advance. And I am sure if Kate were trying to be patriotic she could have found a different and more appropriate red outfit from her closet.

      Delete
    2. Wild guess: The jacket belongs to Zara, who took it off in order to don her riding attire. ;-)

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    3. Well, 17:40, she wasn't with her closet. Windsor Castle is quite a distance from Kensington Palace and farther still from Anmer Hall.

      Someone suggested the New Zealand arrival outfit, but I don't think it was dressy enough for the Queen's birthday celebration, which was black tie with the ladies in cocktail outfits. The same goes for the red dress from Wimbledon.

      In any case, I think Kate's combination of dress and jacket was not planned.

      Delete
    4. Annette New Zealand17 May 2016 at 02:58

      But we'll never know for sure!!

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    5. I don't think the red coat was planned. I think she had the black shawl for warmth and found it just wasn't warm enough and the red coat was added. Plus, she was sitting nearly the whole time so likely thought the mismatch wouldn't matter so much. Just my opinion, though.

      Delete
  59. 80+
    No! No! on every level. Love the dress for another event but Red Jacket and Black shoes and purse????

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  60. She literally looked like Red Riding Hood in this dress!! Why would she cover up an almost $6000 dress under a Zara jacket? She could've worn a red silk scarf with sequins/beads which would've looked far better on her. That red jacket is more for winter wear with jeans and boots. This was a big No for me.,especially the Red coat.Thank You Charlotte for the update!!XOXO

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    Replies
    1. In 7 years of following the Duchess, this is the first time I've not liked something she wore. My mouth literally fell opened! Siddhi, you said it - cover up THAT beautiful, expensive, delicate dress with a casual coat?? The folks at Dulce & Gabanna must have cringe. I don't believe I could ever be convinced that these go together.

      Love the Duchess, love her hair, her earrings, love her bright smiling face though!

      Delete
    2. I absolutely love our Duchess too! I just hope she recycles the $5995 dress with a ruby/diamond brooch or a stylish scarf :-))

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  61. Two questions (sorry if I missed something): Who is the lady between William and Harry and the photo of some of them holding their ears is cute, anyone know what was going on that was so loud?

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    Replies
    1. Wife of the Landgrave of Hesse, described a few comments up. Loud gun salute to the Queen.

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    2. Thanks!

      Delete
  62. Sarah from Calif.16 May 2016 at 23:35

    :)))

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    Replies
    1. Annette New Zealand17 May 2016 at 03:00

      Canon were being fired (but the Queen never turned a hair!)

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    2. I noticed that! And, neither did Kate (at least not in this picture). :)

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  63. Thanks for another great post Charlotte! Kate looks elegant and Happy Birthday to the Queen!

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  64. I actually really like this outfit and the idea that, on a family night out, the Duchess grabbed a warm coat in a lovely colour and slipped it on over her pretty dress. I expect that's what happened. It can be pretty cold on English summer nights and a wool coat makes perfect sense. I think that, in the context of a family night out, this is a very fun,pretty outfit.

    ReplyDelete

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