Thursday, 13 July 2017

Kate Reveals "I Care Deeply About Life Under Our Waters" During Hintze Hall Re-Opening

Fresh from last night's glittering State Banquet, the Duchess of Cambridge visited her patronage the Natural History Museum this evening to attend the opening of the museum's spectacular new Hintze Hall.


Hintze Hall re-opens to the public tomorrow following a six month refurbishment programme, after two years of planning. A diving blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling is at the heart of the refurbishment and will lead a cast of natural world stars, including ten other star displays in the ground floor alcoves called the Wonder Bays, and hundreds of new specimens altogether across three floors.


The Duchess was warmly greeted by Sir David Attenborough.


Scientists, curators, conservators and engineers worked on the blue whale skeleton for months - mostly in an off-site warehouse due to its enormous size – cleaning and preparing it for its new home in Hintze Hall. The 25.2-metre skeleton arrived back at the museum in April.


The NHM noted "The blue whale is the largest known animal to have lived on Earth. Driven to the brink of extinction by hunting, it was one of the first species that humans took action to save. It tells a story of hope. In 1966, it became the first animal to be protected by international law, after decades of aggressive hunting by humans. After hunting was banned by the International Whaling Commission in 1966, blue whale numbers began to slowly recover. Placing this whale in the heart of the museum is a public reminder of humanity's responsibility to protect our fragile planet."


In the 1800s there were an estimated 250,000 blue whales across the world's oceans. Decades of commercial hunting drove the species to the brink of extinction, with only around 400 thought to be left in 1966. That year, in London, the world took a remarkable decision to legally protect blue whales from commercial hunting. Since then the population of blue whales has steadily grown to its current level of around 20,000. The skeleton now on display in Hintze Hall is from a whale that became stranded in 1891 in Wexford Harbour, Ireland, 10 years after the Museum opened in South Kensington. It was bought by the Museum and first displayed in the Mammal Hall in 1934, where it was suspended above a life-size model of a blue whale, though it was not in full view.


The NHM shared this video depicting the process of installing 'Hope' in the museum.


The whale takes the place of Dippy the Diplodocus, the dinosaur skeleton cast which previously stood in the centre of the hall and is soon to be embarking on a tour of the UK. You might recall Kate attended a tea party at the NHM with a group of local children last November to bid farewell to Dippy.


The launch event recreated the sounds and scents of the ocean.


Sir Michael Dixon, director of the Natural History Museum, said:

'This is a landmark moment for the Museum and for the millions of people from all over the world who visit us. The transformation of Hintze Hall represents a new era for us as a natural history museum for the future.
"Putting our blue whale, Hope, at the centre of the Museum, between living species on the West and extinct species on the East, is a powerful reminder of the fragility of life and the responsibility we have towards our planet."

Kate told Sir David "Hope the whale tells a completely different story to Dippy the dinosaur. You must have seen a few changes here over the years".


There's an array of other interesting attractions in the new Hintze Hall including ten other star displays called the Wonder Bays. Each has been picked out by Museum scientists from the collection of over 80 million specimens. Together with the blue whale, they tell some of the most compelling stories about the past, present and future of our planet. The new specimens range from mammals to meteorites, representing the history of this planet - from the beginning of the solar system to the biodiversity of the present day.


Kate toured some of the new Wonder Bays where she met the curators. The Palace said "Ocean ecology, is a subject of particular interest for the Duchess".


The Atlantic blue marlin, one of the biggest and fastest-swimming fish in the world and one of the largest specimens preserved whole in fluid in the Museum's collections.


Kate viewing the blue marlin.


Attractions include a skeleton of an American mastodon, the elephant's Ice Age relative that went extinct around 13,000 years ago due to climate change, habitat loss and hunting by humans sits beneath the blue whale.


A Mantellisaurus, a taxidermy giraffe and a banded iron formation are also on display.


During her speech, Kate reflected on visiting the Natural History Museum as a child, and spoke of the joy of bringing George and Charlotte.


The full text of Kate's speech:

'Like many of you here tonight, I remember visiting the Natural History Museum as a child, and being inspired with a love of nature. And now, as a parent myself, I am experiencing the joy all over again with my own children, who adore coming here, and it is not just to see the T-Rex mind you.
Who could fail to be inspired standing here in this wo nderful hall. It is so fitting to see the ocean now taking centre stage, with many other marine specimens as star attractions in this splendid Hintze Hall. As we are increasingly learning, marine conservation is a global challenge, for all nations and all people.
I, personally, have always been in awe of the sea.  As someone who has been fortunate to experience scuba diving, something I love doing, and seeing the incredible marine life, I have come to care deeply about life under our waters and the conservation of our oceans.
Sir David Attenborough has famously talked about the fact that people will not protect what they don’t first care about, and will not care about what they have never experienced. This idea lies at the heart of this new Hintze Hall design.  As I stand here tonight, I have every confidence that this spectacular display will go a long way not only inspire a new generation but it will also encourage us all to think about and to care for our marine life.
Our Blue Whale, Hope, at the heart of the museum will help the millions of visitors that come here each year, experience the wonders of our oceans. So, as Patron of the Natural History Museum it gives me great pleasure to declare the new Hintze Hall open. I now have the honour of introducing a great friend of this Museum, and somebody who has perhaps done more than anybody else on the planet to inspire a love of nature - Sir David Attenborough.'

A video of the speech.


After speeches, Kate watched a musical performance in the hall before joining a short reception.


The Duchess was pretty in the pale blue Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Everly Dress.



The £637 dress is described as "Perfect for summer weddings or garden parties, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi's partially lined 'Everly' dress is cut from stretch-crepe with a flattering gathered waist. The pale-blue hue taps this season's pretty pastel trend, too." It appears the dress has been sold out in blue for some time, however it remains available in black at The Outnet.

Net-A-Porter

A closer look.

Net-A-Porter

Kate teamed the pale blue dress with a pair of plum Prada Scalloped Sandals (with thanks to The Royal Cambridges). The $820 sandals are made in Italy. Set on a vertiginous stiletto heel, this pair has three precision-cut straps that are strategically placed to flatter your foot. They are available in limited sizes in black at Net-A-Porter.


Kate opted for colourful toenail polish.


If the shoes look familiar, it's because Kate wore a very similar pair to the Bollywood Gala in India last year. Middleton Maven points out they soles on Kate's plum shoes tonight are beige while the soles on the India pair are black.


The Duchess accessorised with a familiar pair of earrings - her £1,685 Cassandra Goad Temple of Heaven earrings.

Cassandra Goad

More from the product description:

'Temple of Heaven girandole earrings in 9ct yellow gold with clip and post. The Emperor of China was regarded as the son of Heaven, responsible to the celestial power for success or failure of his government. The Ming Dynasty built the Temple of Heaven in about 1530, and it was the detail of circles and squares that decorate the roof edge of the temple that inspired these earrings. From the Journey to China.' 

Kate carried a new purple clutch.


We had a good look at Kate's shorter hairstyle tonight.


Overall I thought it a lovely engagement. The Natural History Museum is a unique treasure trove filled with natural history and learning opportunities for all ages. The refurbished Hintze Hall offers fascinating exhibits and carefully selected features. The NHM is the ideal place for a family day out, which is why I was pleased to hear Kate recall visiting as a child and now enjoying all the museum has to offer with George and Charlotte. I thought Kate's speech was very good; confidence in public speaking takes time and as she becomes more experienced in giving speeches. The improvement is markedly evident, and it was well written with nice personal notes: "As someone who has been fortunate to experience scuba diving, something I love doing, and seeing the incredible marine life, I have come to care deeply about life under our waters and the conservation of our oceans." I also enjoyed hearing Kate pay tribute to the indefatigable Sir David Attenborough. As Kate correctly said he's "somebody who has perhaps done more than anybody else on the planet to inspire a love of nature". As for Kate's look tonight, it's drawn divisive opinion thus far, primarily due to the choice of colours. Blue and purple are close together on the colour wheel and can prove a tricky pairing, however given the paleness of the shade of the dress, I think it's an interesting combination (those Prada sandals are divine). I'm a big fan of Preen and glad to see Kate selecting another of their designs. The statement combination is reminiscent of the pale blue Jenny Packham gown Kate teamed with her pink L.K. Bennett Agata Sandals for the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards, coincidentally also held at the Natural History Museum.


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the night. :)

We'll see William and Kate at Wimbledon on Sunday for the Gentlemen's Singles Final.

355 comments:

  1. Sarah Maryland USA13 July 2017 at 22:18

    The description of the dress is hat it is perfect for "a summer wedding or garden party" this is not evening wear. The color especially makes it so. Maybe in like a red or black but not pale blue. Plus I don't think the shoes or the bag go with the outfit
    Again I like the dress just not for this event. Still undecided on her hair.

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    1. It was a really nice speech, very good to see she has improved so much!! She also toned down her fake posh accent, and helped a lot to understand. Well done!! We also got a glimpse of what she cares for after 6 years, sailing, Wimbledon, and now the marine life!! Hope she will add many more to that list in the future!!

      On fashion front, I think longer hair suits her better. As it was an evening reception, I was totally expected an evening wear, but as bluhare suggested she did not want to take the attention away from the whale, well, with this dress, she had no chance to do so. The plainest dress of all the time, simply I am so underwhelmed. And while the shoes are very pretty, and painful, they break the boring harmony of the dress,all the delicacy she tried to create was lost.
      Painted toenails, yesssssss, and as I read a nod to Spain from yesterday, I am amazed by the mental gymnastics I read here every day. Wow!

      Finally, it was really peculiar to see how the night unfolded, hardly any royal reporter was at the event, and all the photograghers voted rather for Harry's enegagement and the Spanish Banquet. Ofc, they attracted bigger crowd, but this is not the first time when Kate's found less interesting than others.

      Lovely post!

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  2. I like the dress and I like the shoes. Very nice and low key. She probably didn't want to take any attention away from the whale, although I am expecting paroxysms of delight for the pedicure.

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    1. She was probably honoring the whale by wearing blue, you know, one of her "Kate things" :) (I couldn't resist).

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    2. Hahaha! Why didn't I think of that, JF?

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    3. JF, you maybe mocking(?), but I agree. I think the blue was intentional.

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    4. So glad you couldn't resist. LOL

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    5. Katie, I fully agree.
      Kate's "literal dressing" as the media labeled it or "Kate things" as we've said for a long time. I will even go as far as to say that it dawned on me while I was critiquing her shoes that the straps bear a striking resemblance to waves. lol

      I have a feeling that if our "Kate things" officianado, Paola, wasn't busy elsewhere with other things, she could even tie in the purse to
      "Kate things" for us.

      Paola, come te la passi?

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  3. The dress is middling but the shoes are fantastic. Kate's new hairstyle gives her middle-class look (I'm myself middle-class so don't take it as something bad,I hope you know what I mean).

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  4. Rebecca - Sweden13 July 2017 at 22:23

    Wonderful event and everyone look really happy. Nice that she made another speech. Especially nice that she mentioned marine conservation. It works well with the sailing patronage and the patronage of the natural history museum. And also with Harry and Williams work with endangered species! I liked her speech very much. Talking about her going there as a kid, and now reliving it as a parent. She is really improving. The whole speech was well written and delivered. Kudos!

    I really like that Kate is wearing more of these kind of open toed shoes. I didn't see at first that they were purple. Now i like them even more! Love that she went "all out" with some colour on her toe nails! And she's wearing one of my favourite pair of her earrings!! Nice new little clutch. She rarely wears purple so it's fun with some variety!

    I am personally not very fond of t-shirt sleeves and necklines on dresses but she pulls it off. And the neckline is square and open enough for me to like it! I really like this kind of skirt though. I like the small detail at the bottom of the skirt. Preen has turned out to be quite a good brand for her! They have alot of stuff that would not work on her but some of the more retro stuff works great!

    This is a servicable but not groundbreaking look. It's rather breezy and summery.

    Now I'm looking very much forward to the upcoming tour!

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    1. I agree, Rebecca. The retro Preen pieces seem to really suit Kate. I'm in love with this look & her accessories.

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    2. I agree her speeches are getting a lot better. This one was almost serviceable. I quite enjoyed it.
      I can't wait to bring my children to the NHM next summer.

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    3. I like that she tied in conservation as well. Her speeches are getting better, but man, she must be really uncomfortable with public speaking. For a 2 minute speech, that was a lot of pages turns. Which means, not a lot on each page...meaning she needed to be able to see everything so she must get really flustered!

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    4. Rebecca I think I'll steal your line in future! "This is serviceable but not groundbreaking" - well put :)

      Her mother and/or her assistants are most definitely reading her press it seems to me, polished toes, contrasting accessories... or maybe she's gearing up for Miss Markle's arrival ;)

      I like this dress but it seems a very odd choice for an evening event, I think some fabulous straight out of the royal vault earrings and matching bracelet might have helped? Something to turn up the volume!

      (And I always think hair back is better for making speeches)

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    5. I agree, Kiwi Gal. Retro looks do work well for Kate.

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    6. dress seems like something audrey hepburn could also have worn well. I do like the simplicity of it. And I really like her experimenting with color combos and trying things out.

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    7. Rebecca - Sweden14 July 2017 at 13:34

      She's about on parr with the Queen now Katie C.H.. After all her experience, the Queen still reads every word, looks down etc. In general the british royals are not great speech givers. I would say Harry and Sophie are the only ones with a natural talent for it and Sophie is the only one I would call a great speaker.

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    8. It is Hepburn-like, Momma Mary. It will look good for other events and with some appropriate accessorizing.

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  5. Great to see Kate again:)
    Not thrilled about the dress. To me the upper part looks a bit boring. However she looks good! Finally some nail polish:) and again open shoes! Sometimes really think she's reading your blog...who knows ;-)

    Think she somehow looks different. Maybe the shorter hair and different style. And think she gained some weight (face and arms)? Think she looks healthier!

    Did they already move to London? Dies anyone know?

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  6. Love the shoes.
    Just wondering about colours..Blue dress, purple clutch and black sandals.
    Is this a new trend?

    Fan from Ontario, Canada.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden13 July 2017 at 23:46

      The shoes are actually purple as well :)

      I like the "unexpected" colour combination with the pale blue and the purple. They are in similar colour families and since the dress is so pale it almost feels like a neutral colour. I like it!

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    2. I didnt realize the shoes were purple until later. I still dont see it. But i do love the look. Painted nails. And the purple clutch. I have to say i love her hair. It looks really nice on her. She looked amazing last night and very pretty tonight. (no family order. Im not sure why not. It would be nice to see it on her she deserves it. In my eyes.
      Looking forward to the tour. Thanks for the post. I always look forward to reading it.

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    3. I see the purple tone now that you mention it. It is not easy to spot. Great colour for a shoe then.

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  7. Love the shoes.
    Just wondering about colours..Blue dress, purple clutch and black sandals.
    Is this a new trend?

    Fan from Ontario, Canada.

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    1. Shoes are a purple tone as well.

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    2. I'm with you Mary, I'm crazy about those shoes and it's especially nice to see some colour on her feet. I also love that purple clutch! It would look lovely against a baby pink dress or skirt suit.

      I'm not crazy about the dress tho. To me it doesn't look like a pale blue, it just looks like it's been washed one too many times and has lost its colour.

      She does look beautifully youthful and happy with her new hair style. Looking forward to the tour next week.

      Manuela

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  8. When I saw the photo of Kate half turned towards someone and smiling I immediately thought of Natalie Wood. Natalie wore her hair like that and it is the kind of dress that she wore in West Side Story. She looks fresh and pretty although the shoes make my feet hurt just looking at them. But I hope the toenail polish people note that she has polish on ;)

    I thought she did well with her speech too.

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    1. Jo, you are right she does resemble Natalie Wood with her hair shorter!! cc

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    2. Now that you bring it up - I see the connection!

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    3. HA!! We "fussy" American Southern Belles in USA noted the pretty pedicure!! Sandals just seem sad without pretty painted toes!!!

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    4. Do not see Natalie Wood at all.

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    5. Jules, that is too funny. Can you imagine going out in the south in sandaled shoes without polish, even a clear or neutral polish. My word. :)
      That would be like having a luncheon or bridal shower without cheese sticks (homemade) of course.

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  9. Courtney Providence Village, Tx13 July 2017 at 22:37

    FABULOUS FABULOUS FABULOUS!!!! I have not ONE "complaint"!!!! She's beautiful! Her hair!?! Holy moly! The dress? Superb! Those SHOES!???!!!! By goodness, I'm completely smitten with her styled like this!! She looks like a sexy 50s housewife meets regal, sophisticated princess! Love love love!!!!

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    1. Agree! Great description!

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    2. Patricia, Chicago14 July 2017 at 14:38

      Agree! Great description!

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  10. Love, Love, Love this! And...she did a pedi, yay!

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  11. Courtney Providence Village, Tx13 July 2017 at 22:38

    .....And the toenail polish!!! Wowzu!! :)))

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    1. I echo everything you said in your posts Courtney! :) Am just in love with everything about this look.

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  12. That blue whale skeleton is awe-inspiring! Such an impressive display...to think enormous creatures like that are swimming around in our oceans. I'm glad that a concerted effort was made to stop the hunting of them to the point of extinction. The Hintze Hall is just as amazing. I would love to visit the NHM sometime.
    Kate looked lovely...I especially like her clutch & the plum shoes with those glamorous red toes poking out. I don't know how she's able to stand, let alone walk, in such teetering stilettos. Sir David Attenborough is remarkable for his age, just like the Queen.

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  13. I don't mind the dress or shoes. But the hair, oh the hair. I'm so glad it's shorter, but please stop with the curls, they don't work with that length of hair.

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    1. Caroline in Montana14 July 2017 at 16:14

      Im going to have to agree with you on her hair. A sleeker look would have worked so much better with this shorter hair.

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  14. Oh dear, this is a bit of a miss for me. The dress is adorable - I personally love vintage silhouettes - but the pale colour doesn't photograph well, and without any jewelry it looks a bit plain. A necklace or bracelet or even a belt would have worked wonders. Along with a different shoe. I love seeing her in something other than a pump, but not with this dress.

    I think the shorter hair is fabulous, though!

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    1. Agree on the jewelry front - I think a beautiful necklace would have really been the final touch for a polished look.
      AH

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  15. This is a nice engagement, and the Hall looks beautiful. At engagements like this, I wish William would accompany Kate and let her take the leading role and he just goes as her date. So often on their joint engagements, he speaks and she is just more like his guest. It would be nice to see him supporting her at a more formal event like this. But, definitely not a complaint just a wish!

    Not totally in love with the dress, but I don't hate it either. She did accessorize nicely although those shoes look PAINFUL. Now, we get ready for the tour! Can't wait.

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    1. I totally agree with you regarding William accompanying her. I always think it's a bit strange when they do a joint engagement that's really "his" engagement and he's the only one who speaks while she just sits there watching. But William has been busy with separate engagements of his own this week.

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  16. Beautiful! So much more youthful than last night. But that's probably just my style preference. The dress last night seems SO frumpy to me but I know that style is popular now. I actually just went shopping and saw a dress in the same shade of pink with flared sleeves very similar to that one. Looks awful to me but to each their own. To me, she looks much classier today. Showing off that much breast, as she did in last night's dress, cheapens the look in my opinion. So unnecessary and not a good example to young girls out there. She typically is a great example so I'm hoping for more classy outfits like today's. She always carries herself with such grace and kindness, seemingly very interested in all she speaks to. She is a very lovely woman.

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    1. There's nothing shameful about breasts and we shouldn't shame young girls about their bodies.

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    2. I don't think she was implying that it is shameful. I took it as women are more valuable than just their sexual looks.

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    3. Leslie (from Canada)14 July 2017 at 00:51

      "Shameful" is quite different than "unnecessary" and "Cheapens the look". I agree with Abby that it is unnecessary and cheapens the look. And that young girls need role models that are beautiful despite their sexuality. Shameful is totally changing the context of Abby's comment.

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    4. Are we looking at the same woman? With Kate's figure, she was not showing off her breasts. If a full-figured gal chose the same plunging neckline, then let's talk. LOL.

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    5. Way back in the dark ages of this wonderful blog, I seem to remember someone saying that there was a dress code for the state banquets/dinners,and included in it was the request that women have their shoulders covered. I don’t remember anything about plunging necklines though! I must go see if I can find that info again.

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    6. Abby, I agree with you about the pink dress at the banquet, I did not like it. I think those puffy sleeves just looked so "trendy" and not really stylish, if you know what I mean. Just because designers show something with a puffy sleeve doesn't mean that it will look good and Kate is one of those gorgeous women who can pull off anything.

      Also, the queen's necklace was very pretty but sooo not for that dress. She either should have left that necklace out or had a higher neckline which would not have required a necklace. The tiara and Diana's earrings were such a delight tho, warmed my heart!

      Love Avee from SA

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    7. Caroline in Montana14 July 2017 at 16:19

      I thought the same thing you did Royal Fan, LOL! I even commented on it in the last post when someone brought up "how much" cleavage she was showing. Kate really does not have too much up front if you know what i mean, so its not like she was showing off the girls! Now if i wore that, we could talk:)

      and Queen Letizia was also wearing off the shoulder so are the state banquet dress code rules out the window??

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    8. Louise, London, UK14 July 2017 at 16:49

      The jewellery IS part of the dress code for big state occasions. Look at some photographs of the queen at state banquets or even the state opening of parliament. Tiara, necklace, rings, bracelets, earrings. They are all piled on. The queen did pretty well on Wednesday evening as she wore items from a parure. But she is not averse to wearing very unmatched items, and necklaces which clash with necklines.

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    9. Julia from Leominster14 July 2017 at 18:35

      Here's the link to the Rita Wilson article on supposed requirements - tights, structured dresses, closed shoes but nothing about necklines. http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a740/rita-wilson-buckingham-palace-dinner/

      These rules don't seem too strictly enforced (as much fun as it may be to imagine equerries peeking under gowns to see if ladies are wearing tights) and are often violated by royal ladies themselves - neither Letizia or Kate are wearing gloves - not certain Camilla was either. I believe it's more so state dinners don't start looking like Hollywood premieres - with legs sticking out at odd angles and dresses revealing more than the average wedding night nightie.

      I think a decollete neckline is fine for a state banquet and almost required to wear that necklace with any degree of success. Kate's dress was too costume-like for my taste - pick your favourite fiction - Betsy Ross, Poldark, Marie Antoinette, I was personally thinking of Les Liaisons Dangereuses - but there was nothing inappropriate about it. (although that West End production years back in the eighties had some of my parents' walking out - quite tame by today's standards.)

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  17. I love that the Duchess has been experimenting with her accessories lately and seems to be moving away from her matchy-matchy style of accessorizing (which works wonderfully at times but not as a rule for me). Love the plum color of the sandals and hope to see them again (maybe with a crisp white dress at Wimbledon), but the new purple clutch is unfortunately a miss for me. I appreciate the classic lines of the Preen dress and would be very happy to see it again even in a different color. Admiring the toe nail polish, I am reminded of earlier readers' comments - wonder if someone special has been checking in and taking our feedback...

    The video didn't work for me so I'll have to snoop around online to try and find it, but I'm happy to hear that both the Cambridge children have enjoyed under-the-radar visits to the museum. Although private visits are important, I would love to see George and/or Charlotte attend the museum for a children's event with their mom. I know there have been calls for more appearances at home and think a public outing to the Natural History Museum would be perfect.

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  18. I think Catherine is a lovely young woman at a credit to her country. However, The kind of shoes she's wearing make her legs look lovely but she is developing hammertoes. I had them and they require surgery at sometime or another.

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  19. Mmmm...light blue dress and plum shoes and purple clutch? Am I the only one who doesn't get it?

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    1. I'm with you - another case of each piece is good, but not together. Love the shoes, but not on Kate. Makes her feet look gigantic and does funny things to her toes. Women have no idea of how unattractive their feet look in some of these shoes they force their feet in.

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    2. Nopity nope nope, zippy! Not just you.

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    3. I like the color combination, joust think the clutch is to formal.

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    4. I don't like the combination either. The dress is very pretty. The shoes look like they have rickrack on them, which screams 80's and cheap, and they are way too high heeled. The colors seem too mismatchy. I know not matching is supposed to be "in," but this seems to be taking it too far.

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    5. Caroline in Montana14 July 2017 at 16:23

      Im with you. I dont say this often, but, this is a total miss for me:( this dress seems out of place at this event, those curls in her hair are not working for the length, not a fan of the loud purple cluth. i like the shoes but they dont really work with this for me, they would go great with a pair of capri's! the best part was the painted toe nails!! oh and the whale skeleton:)

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  20. I would assume the ones women in India are the same as todays....how do you know they are different? I literally just bought the ones she wore today!!!! Am in love! Thank you for the link!

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  21. I really love this dress. The ballet neckline, full skirt and color are beautiful. She went for it with the purple Prada shoes - and aren't they exquisite - and a new purple clutch. I think this dress would have been perfect for pearls.

    The event looks lovely and her speech really shaped the event. Does anyone else think that these might have been the shoes wore in India? They never looked black to me. Oh and before I forget - her toe nails are red so I know that must make some readers very happy.

    Back-to-back events and a tour right around the corner. Would like to see Kate at the Ladies' Final at Wimbledon but Johanna was overtaken by our US ladies champion Venus so not as likely.

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    1. "Perfect for pearls" is right!

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    2. I think I read as Patron Kate will be handing the trophies.

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  22. Thank you for such a wonderful post!! I absolutely love the dress the hair and the shoes(i would hurt myself in them ��). I Love the midlength dress and hair to me it is a classy 60's lady! I Love this look!

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  23. Squeal!! Love this look. The sandals are fab, so happy not too see nude court shoes; plum with light blue. Positively risquΓ©!! She looks fabulous.

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    1. "Positively risquΓ©". Cute, Mrs.D. :)

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  24. Rhonda - Wisconsin13 July 2017 at 23:24

    I really like this dress. Very simple, yet very flattering. Holy cow those shoes are something - I'd fall flat on my face with that heel. I don't know how she can go to an event like this and wear that high of a heel and not have terrible foot pain. However, when you are young, it's not that much of a bother. I think that she looks wonderful.

    Did anyone happen to see Princess Anne today? I thought that she was simply awesome. Her dress was a little youthful, but very regal and definitely Princess-y. From the side, with her hair done up in her deep curtsy to the King, it reminded me a whole lot of Cinderella!!!! Queen Letizia with her deep blue dress and stunning Sapphire earrings just killed it!!!

    Anyway - Kate is on a roll this week and is knocking it out of the park. Now that she's had her pedicure and has had her toes polished a pretty red, I am seriously beginning to believe that someone at KP reads this blog!!!!

    Again - Charlotte you are just amazing with your coverage. Thank you so much for the last few posts. Can't wait until the tour!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about that deep, gracious curtsy from Anne? Impressive :) I liked Anne's dress...someone mentioned in the DM comments that she keeps herself in such great shape, they wouldn't be surprised if that dress is from 30 years ago.

      Delete
    2. I saw that Kiwi Gal. Very special. She does keep herself in shape. And even if the dress is 30 years old, lol, even I won't complain because I like her so much. :)

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    3. After reading your post, I had to go search for photos. Amazing. Anne is older than I - but I'm not sure I could get that low. And Queen Letizia looked just as stunning as last night.

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    4. I saw the photos:) She had a perfect curtsy, ramrod straight back, lots of practice over the years:). I wondered about the dress also, do you think it is an old one? Her "Princess" look was different from her usual looks. I have never seen so many smiling pictures of her. I say good for you Anne, enjoy your life.

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    5. I think she hit the floor with that one Kiwi Gal! I think even Felipe and Letizia were taken aback ;)

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    6. WOW, OMG and WOW again. It's time to get our Kate into the sapphire section of the royal vault.

      http://www.gettyimages.com/event/state-visit-of-the-king-and-queen-of-spain-day-2-775003358?#queen-letizia-of-spain-attends-the-lord-mayors-banquet-at-the-during-picture-id813976388

      Delete
    7. I'm with you on the royal vault raid royalfan... that or I'll have to send her to Clarence House to borrow a choker or two ;)

      Delete
    8. Rhonda thanks for sharing. Had to search for photos as well and found this youtube clip that has several together. Wow, Princess Anne is very impressive. She looks every part the princess...love the tiara, the necklace, and her graceful demeanor. I agree Claudia that the King and Queen were somewhat surprised.....very endearing. cc

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEpwnH67Fk0

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    9. Caroline in Montana14 July 2017 at 16:34

      I too had to go searching to see princess anne after your comment! i love those photos of her, she looks great and smiling so much, and you can tell that Felipe and Letizia's smiles are so genuine, maybe a bit amused? that was one heck of a cortsy!! I think im really falling in love with Letizia's style!

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    10. Kiwi Gal. If Felipe and Letizia couldn't feel the love from princess Royals then...
      I have never seen Anne so overtly demonstrative with her feelings. It was quite an honor for Felipe and Letizia, and Spain. I hope they really know Anne and just how special that was. Anne is one of my favorite Royals in case you couldn't tell. :)

      And, yes, Elle, lol, she has must be working out.
      She is so limber. :)

      Delete
  25. I love the purple clutch! How does she stand up, let alone walk, in that high heel?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's actually very easy to walk in heels that high. It just comes from wearing them a lot

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    2. I was thinking the exact same thing! Ouch.

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    3. I know right? I remember wearing sandals like that back in the day, and it makes your toes grip to keep from sliding forward. Actually, I think standing still is harder than walking in these high of shoes....but she does it and very gracefully. cc

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    4. I agree, CuriousKat. If the heels are quality, they actually aren't that hard to wear. And some people just wear heels well. I have several friends who would prefer heels to flats with how their feet are built.

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    5. Some people wear them much more easily than others. The podiatrist told me to wear heels (along with doing other things) when I got plantar fasciatis, and said I'm perfect for heels as my foot has a high rigid arch. So if your arches are higher you'll find it much easier to wear heels. I can wear shoes like Kate's. My poor flat footed sister cannot.

      Delete
    6. CeCe in full body shots you can see her toes gripping! She might as well rock shoes like this while she's still young enough. :-)
      AH

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    7. I agree! They are so high and there's barely any break in her ankle. I couldn't dtand let alone walk around for hours.

      Love the color and style though!

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    8. CuriousKat and KatieCH, that is actually not at all true. Whether or not you are comfortable in heels has nothing to do with practise.
      Firstly, Pradas and Manolos or Choos are not really that much easier to walk in than your $50 Nina shoes. In fact I actually have Choos that are less comfortable than a suede Clarks pump with 4 inch heels. Manolos are actually incredibly misogynistic shoes - have you ever worn them? They are not friendly to the wearer at all. Some designer shoes are definitely much better than your macys shoes.. but not all of them.

      Whether you are comfortable in heels or not depends on the arch of your foot. If you have a low arch years of practising will not make you comfortable in heels. They just won't. You might be able to do it, but you will cry at the end of a day. On the other hand if you have a high arch they will feel comfortable right off the bat. I have a high arch and have been wearing heels since college. Actually I find it excruciating to walk in ballet flats for very long - I only have one pair that I wear when I drive. I need a wedge or platform at the very least when I walk. I am absolutely at home in 3-4 inch heels and wear them everywhere even to the grocery store. I am the envy of both my sisters in law who have low arches and wide feet and would love to have my shoe collection but wouldn't know what to do with them.
      That said, what Kate is wearing - that is too high for me. I have boots that high but boots give good ankle support and even then I feel tired at the end of the day wearing them. I would be very afraid of wearing sandals this high. Maybe it's fine for an hour, which is what an engagement typically is.

      Delete
  26. Love it all - especially the toe nails :)
    I just wanted to tell you, I so appreciate the speed of your posts! I'm always impressed, not only by how quickly you post, but with the quality as well. Thank you!

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  27. Kate's speech was great- her delivery was so professional. She is growing into her role more and more everyday. The dress is rather ordinary- more appropriate for a daytime event. This light blue looks more white in photographs- it washes her out a bit. Killer shoes though.

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  28. She looks lovely. The hair is still not quite right. I think she needs more volume at the top near the part and maybe more of a side part. I am not sure short hair this length is the best with her strong features, especially her nose, but more volume in the curls helps and more of a side part and volume on top would really help. Love the shoes.Not a fan of the earrings, not sure about the clutch, almost to "formal" of a clutch look for the shoes and dress. Like the color of the clutch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you on the hair. I think it needs to be straighter and layered. I think that this cut is exactly wrong for her face. Layers with a side swept little bang is what she looks best in.
      Really don't like the rest of the outfit at all. But hey - great speech !

      Delete
    2. Ali, I don't like the earrings either. Never have. They do nothing for this dress. Don't tie into the style or purple of the shoes. And as much as I think the purse is so cute, it is too formal for the dress. Also not a fan of the current cut. AND, especially not parted in the middle.
      She did share in her speech about loving scuba diving, so that's good and she attempted to interject humor about not just T-Rex. She is trying. Kudos to her for that. Glad she has found a sport she can get away from the cameras with.

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    3. And did anyone else notice that she did not touch her hair once during the entire speech? That's great discipline for her.

      Delete
    4. Becky, they've been reading the blog for sure. :)
      Julia's message got through. ;)

      Delete
  29. So fresh!!! Open-toed heels with toenail polish and I love her hair shorter!

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  30. I love this outfit! A prefect And youthful outfit. Finally some fun shoes! And Kate is getting better at speeches. She seemed less nervous this time.

    Her people must read the blogs because she made sure too get a pedicure this time after all the comments from Wimbledon πŸ˜‰

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  31. Holy cow, I can't imagine how painful those shoes must be! My feet hurt just looking at them. Kate must be numb from the ankle down!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beautiful shoes, but not on Kate. Her feet are too big and she has some issues going on with them. Dress is lovely, short hair is a welcome change. Strange combo of shoes, dress and clutch but you can't hit a winner every time...

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  32. The dress suits her, the style and colour. A clean, fresh look. And I love the more-adventurous shoe style! Though VERY high!

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  33. Pam from Boston14 July 2017 at 00:01

    LOVE this! The dress is perfection. Her hair and shoes are gorgeous. She looks fantastic!

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  34. LOVE! The shoes make this whole look, but the cut, fit, and color of the dress are spot-on. Her hair looks great today, as well. But for real, the shoes! They add a perfect touch of chic and make her legs look even longer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that she's finally upping her shoe game too, about time. But then she goes all Donna Reed with the hair and dress, I don't get it.
      She looks like she's dressing for another era sometimes, it really gets gimicky on her. Maybe it all looked better in person but it didn't photograph well to me at all. Oh well. Her feet looked great lol.

      Delete
    2. Hahaha I think it may be that she likes some vintage looks, but I agree that the dress would've benefitted from being a different color or at least the addition of a necklace.

      Delete
  35. I think Kate's hair looks extraordinary tonight. I know that straight hair is often more popular than curly hair, but as someone who has naturally curly (think Shirley Temple) hair, I am so glad to see Kate embrace curls. I think this hairstyle suits her very well. I remember when Dove produced a commercial several years ago about the beauty of curly hair. After years of hearing friends complain about my curls, that commercial reminded me that my naturally curly hair is beautiful. I'm teaching my daughter to embrace her natural curls too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kate doesn't embrace curly hair though. She has naturally curly hair and straightens it. She gets a blowout to straighten it and then as the curls at the end. Sadly she doesn't embrace naturally curly hair- she is actually the opposite by trying to get rid of it. I would love for her to let her hair be natural for once.

      Delete
    2. You are right, in that most of the time she does not allow for her naturally curly hair. There have only been a handful of occasions (such as their 2012 trip to Malaysia) when she has let her hair be natural, and I too wish she would do so all of the time. I realize that her curls/waves for this event were likely formed with a curling iron, but at least she is willing to do that. When my sister got married years ago, she requested that I straighten my hair for her wedding. This upset me and I pushed back for months, before finally relenting. I like my curls and it hurt me that my sister did not, but she wanted my hair straight for her wedding pictures. I had to get my hair professionally straightened and I remember it took 3 entire cans of hairspray to force the curls into submission. When I left the salon, my hair was straight, but two hours later in the 95 degree heat and humidity, the curls were back. My sister was deeply upset and couldn't understand what happened. I told her that my hair was meant to be curly and no amount of styling or hairspray could change that. She asked me, "Do you really like your curls?" I responded in the affirmative. She shook her head and said, "I don't get it. Straight hair is better." I said, "To you it may be better, but not to me. There is nothing wrong with curly hair. It is just as beautiful."

      Here is the Dove commercial I mentioned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou7CyPtkpng

      Delete
  36. Have readers seen Kate's interview on the recent BBC1 'Our Wimbledon' programme? (2.7.17)

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  37. Oh Happy Day!!! I think I'm with the few who think maybe she (or someone close to her) pays attention to this blog!! (I would if I were her.) A shorter hair cut, polish on her manicured toes, open toed sandal, open toed sandal in a new color, new colorful clutch, accessories that are in contrast to her dress and not matching or similar shade.....hmm, think she's trying to cover all the suggestions. I think she looks beautiful and I like her retro vibe!! While I like the style of the dress, am not a fan of this neckline, think a deeper V looks or a squared neckline looks good on her....but very minor quibble. Am very much looking forward to the tour, given her style choices of late....should be interesting!! cc

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  38. Laura in Canada14 July 2017 at 00:24

    Well...hello again...feels like I just finished posting on yesterday's amazing State Dinner.

    For me this look gets a thumbs up rating for the shoes alone. They look amazing on her. And I will admit I am in the pro-polish camp, nothing wrong without the polish but I just think makes the whole look more interesting. So another positive.

    The dress is pretty, fresh and I think very appropriate for a summer event. I would like to see what the other patrons were wearing but I don't think there was a dinner, so although it was an evening event, I don't think you need a fancy cocktail dress. The purple shoes and clutch are great (thankful it is not black or nude!). I am not sure about the purple with the light blue dress...seems a bit odd but I reserve judgement on color combinations because I think that pictures often don't reflect them as well as they appear in real life.

    The only thing I would have considered is maybe smaller earrings and then a necklace. (Not pearls...that would have made this way to costumey!) But a sharp statement necklace might have just taken the whole look up a notch. I like the earrings but they tend to get lost in her amazing hair (and I don't think the length matters....her hair is amazing!)

    Will be keeping an eye on Wimbledon on Sunday and then the tour next week. Ya!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Cara, Australia14 July 2017 at 00:25

    I really enjoyed the speech - well written and delivered. Such a great partnership between Catherine and the NHM.

    I love the look - as someone mentioned earlier, channelling Natalie Wood. I think the dress would have popped with a plum coloured belt or broach or necklace. But it was a fresh, fun look. Love the colour combo of light blue and plum.

    Last word from me: pedicure!!!!!!!

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  40. Love love love the shoes and bag. A pedicure! Finally! Love the red tonails. I do so love this dress, but wish it was a different colour for evening. I really hope she repeats this at some point during the day. It reminds me of West Side Story. I love it. I'm fully on the positive side of the fence regarding her hair now. It looks so healthy and shiny. Love this length on her.

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  41. Seems like it CuriousKat, and it isn't the first time.

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  42. Perhaps her red toenails were done for last night's banquet? They would match the rubies nicely and she has just 'recycled' them today. The pale blue puzzled me a bit at first but then I saw the whale skeleton which has a bit of a light blue tinge in the earlier photo. Maybe whoever did the recce saw that and thought a matching dress would be nice. I think she would have looked a bit odd in evening dress because nobody else was wearing it, the ladies were wearing day wear and the men lounge suits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There again, I think she wore the blue as there was a blue hue in the museum. I agree, 00.46.

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    2. Caroline in Montana14 July 2017 at 16:53

      I think this would have been a good venue for a nice pair of slacks!

      Delete
  43. Beautiful hair! So much classier than the Kardashian blow.

    Dress is okay, can't say it's amazing and the shoes look very nice but certainly not healthy for her bones (a podiatrist would forbid them, in particular because she now has visible problems, from bunions to hammer toes).

    I am also not loving the pale blue with purple combination. I would have picked navy accessories, perhaps even with a bit of a pattern- either on the sandals or the clutch. And (like others have noted above) a statement bracelet or bangle would balance the bare, rather uninteresting look of the dress.

    However, also like others have noted before), a step forward from last night.

    ReplyDelete
  44. The dress is cute. A little plain. Needed something.
    Venturing out trying new shoes. yay. And, purple shoes even. And purple purse.
    Her speech was better. Hopefully the Queen's speech last night inspired her to just stop being nervous and get on with it. :) Even the Queen sounds a teensy but nervous once in a while. That should further encourage Kate.
    I do not like Kate's hair parted in the middle. No, no, no. Shades of London Poppy Day in 2013, in the long burgundy L.K. Bennett coat, on the bus, with her hair parted in the middle, grey roots showing and long dangling, drooping curls matching wrongly the long lines of the coat. The worst look ever. Obviously as I still remember that day. lol
    No everyone can successfully wear their hair parted in the middle and down. Kate is one of those people.
    Oh my. She's needs a styling team like Letizia. It matters. It would be so worth it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Surfer girl I admit I know little about Letizia (Felipe was always a heartthrob) but my goodness now I understand the interest in her. She is truly a fashion icon. The Burberry at Clarence House made me click to find it, a first I think! (Apart from Meghan's travel tech case which I still covet!)

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    2. Totally agree. Nice dress. Pretty but painful looking shoes. Interesting purse. But altogether, no. It needs something to tie them all together, like some aquamarines! And a necklace. How about a fun print or embroidered purse? And shoes one can walk in......she's plenty tall enough, and she keeps the dress waistlines high so she really doesn't need more leg lengthening. Perhaps she put so much thought into last night, that today she just wasn't inspired.

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    3. SG, a pearl choker would have worked for me. Or the Kiki earrings...

      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iAebHktlA78/Unhg-23WS5I/AAAAAAAAk9I/zB-_wpDdAxs/s1600/duchess+kate+hoop+earrings.jpg

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    4. Let's ask Letizia to style Kate for a week! Or send her team over LOL. Can't see Letizia putting up with Natasha and company as stylists.

      Delete
    5. I agree with your hair comments. I kept thinking 'Kate & Amanda Cook Tucker should take some notes!'

      Letitia's hair was great. Love the up do from last night. Really like it today. Interest in both & still really pretty.

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    6. I agree about the middle part but if it had been parted on the side it would have fallen in her eyes when looking down during her speech. Pulled back might have worked though.

      Delete
    7. I like the idea of hair this length on Catherine--in fact, I proposed this type of length on the blog some time ago. However, Catherine's hair has never looked as glorious as it once did after her original hairdresser opened his mouth and she was forced to cut him dead.

      Unfortunately, the hairdresser she is using is stuck in the past. I understand that she is a loaner from Prince Charles. Didn't she used to cut William & Harry's hair? Look at his own and Camilla's hair. Stuck in a dated rut. If Catherine had her own money from which to draw, she might be able to change her stylist.


      I'm not with the anti-curls set. I think that a brilliant hairdresser works with the hair a woman has and optimizes its natural tendencies to create splendid, varied looks. Diana was a perfect example of this effect. But Catherine does not have the right hairdresser.

      The dress is a little plain--and this is from someone who is quite Zen in her style preferences. Also, I'm not a fan of girlish frocks except for cocktail, formal or wedding wear. They're too costumey and Pleasantville. As is, this one screams, not for bling, but for an apron and an Aga in the background.

      Letizia is more in tune with a womanly, continental vibe. She is also much thinner than Catherine and must style herself differently. For example, the blush dress Catherine wore at the State dinner would look sack-dreadful on Letizia. Though I liked its distinctive features and old-world charm, I know that elements of it were not to everyone's taste. However, I quietly smirked at Catherine's (incredibly subtle) upstaging of two Queens. And in that colour it was so innocently, even demurely done. Brilliant.

      To me that gown screamed: Yes, I'm quietly stuck in the corner and background here tonight, but neither granny, M-i-L nor the undisputed fashionista Queen of Europe can pull off this daring decolletage! (Only Rose might have had the chance of beating her at that.)




      Delete
    8. Alas, RF, I have not yet been able to access that link. I will not give up. lol

      Delete
  45. Tammy from California14 July 2017 at 01:02

    I liked her outfit tonight. I thought it was very appropriate for the occasion and she looked darling. I liked her hair curled more like it was tonight, but still prefer her hair long. I loved her speech and thought she looked more relaxed than she has in the past giving speeches. It looks like she had fun there too. Nice evening all-n-all.

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  46. I love everything about her outfit yes. I love her speech she looks perfect and she looks calm. I wouls love too see the bbc wimbledon. Inteview sue baker can find. Youtube

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  47. Love the dress! Love her hair shorter too. But wow, how did she stand in those shoes!? Every time I wear something like that my feet KILL me. One time I stood in some Steve Maddens (granted, I'm not wearing $800 Italian shoes) for about two hours and by the end of the evening my feet were so swollen I could not walk from the restaurant back to the hotel! LOL. #lessonlearned

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  48. Princess Anne was so sweet, humble and looked so Princessy. Felipe and Letizia had to feel the love.
    I love that lady and I don't even care that her gown could have been from 30 years ago. She dressed the part with sincerity and aplomb.
    Queen Letizia looked stunning. Perfect. Don't know how she kept from a tear or two as she was greeted with such unabashed appreciation by Anne. That was very touching.

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  49. At first look, I was not a fan...but then better pics came out and it grew on me. Light blue-I would say a clear nod to water/the sea. The shoes are plum, which makes so much more sense with the purple clutch. I quite like it. A light neutral color with pops of color as the accents. And I do adore the earrings, always have. They tie into the gold clasp well. I also do like the curls and have always been jealous of dark globs of curls. Alas, my hair just gets poofy.

    I haven't watched the video but really like what I read. I am excited(and hopeful) that if Kate wants to venture into a topic of conservation, that she goes with the sea. She can tie her own personal experiences to it, it ties in with her love of sailing/nautical activities and it's her own-not Africa/William & Harry( and maybe Meghan).

    ReplyDelete
  50. I have a question that's not directed at any specific comment. Ever since Wimbledon, I've been wondering about the question of Kate having a pedicure. When I first read complaints/observations that she hadn't had a pedicure, I was expecting to see gnarly feet. But they looked just fine to me--simply no nail polish. I know lots of people how have pedicures without having nail polish applied. So is the issue polish or no polish, or is the issue pedicure or no pedicure? If it's the latter, time to get my eyes checked. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharyn from AUS14 July 2017 at 15:19

      I cant speak for others, but for me it is about the colour of the polish. On the tour or India and Bhutan it looked like Kate had clear polish, and I couldn't figure out why do that and not have colour. I wonder if the resistance to a strong colour like this red is because it is very obvious when it chips. However, I would assume Kate's outfits are planned far enough in advance that time could be made for nails to be painted.

      Delete
  51. I'm always happy to see her give a speech, and she was better again tonight, she is clearly improving, every time will make a difference. Which is why she should make *some* remarks at almost every suitable engagement, even something "off the cuff". I'll trot out the NY gem... how do you get to Carnegie Hall? ;)

    I wish she had skipped the scuba line however, she could have mentioned how much she values marine life without adding that. Before you all groan - whether fans like it or not there is a firm narrative growing around the question "What does Kate do?" And unfortunately, more and more, she herself fills out that answer by noting very leisurely activities. And it's one of the few times she seems most natural and lights up - when she talks about her lovely hobbies. I wish she had even a bit of that passion for public service, not everyone has that calling I know, but I wish she had a little more. I often wonder how she will handle her role and the weight of expectations that will only intensify after the Queen's death. Often I think she still doesn't understand what her life will be like when Charles is King and William is Prince of Wales.

    On another note I'm always troubled when there are several significant royal events and not one makes the front pages. I always check Neil Henderson before bed and nothing, mainly Trump and Macron, or May. That should keep the households up at night frankly...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't know that one Claudia. (how did they get to Carnegie Hall?) :)

      Delete
    2. Practice, practice, practice.

      :)

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  52. She should keep on chopping her hair! I can't wait for her to have a nice bob of a hair cut! I would have paired this outfit with an amethyst broach to tied in the purple shoes and bag a tish better.

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  53. I love this entire look. I almost did a happy dance when I saw the shoes. I really love her shorter hair, and I am usually long hair person. Also, does anyone know why Kate has only been to Wimbledon once? I assumed that since she was taking over as patron that she would attend more than just the first day.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden14 July 2017 at 13:45

      There is more time left on Wimbledon and she's more likely to show up around the finals.

      Delete
    2. On the money, Rebecca. She and William will be attending Sunday, hours away from their departure for Poland.
      I do hope those who think SCUBA diving is a frivolous occupation never have their car go off a bridge into a river or get caught in a flash flood. It was her means of studying marine life. The reference was very appropriate. She is classified instructor level. Not a hobby such as collecting tea cups, by any means. It is also an interest she shares with her husband.

      Delete
  54. Lovely posts as always Charlotte, what a high standard you set.

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  55. I may be in the minority, but I love this look. I especially love those shoes! It seems like she has been taking more fashion risks lately, which I love! I was getting bored of all the similar lace dresses.

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  56. Julia from Leominster14 July 2017 at 02:37

    Risked divorce or at least grumbles from Leo and spaniels on turning on the sound but it was worth it. Kate's speaking is so much improved. The pacing is better and whilst she could still use a bit more character in her voice, her speaking was smooth and her manner easy.

    I honestly believe the new hair helps and that's the most important thing. She didn't push it back once. I might personally prefer it less styled like her earlier cut which I thought was a bit more youthful but this was neat, well managed and looked excellent. I think it worked very well on her and is a great improvement over the fourth runner up look of late.

    The dress is pretty and suits her and the occasion - I would love to see a bit of jewellery - a necklace or even - dare I say it - a brooch. (I know the young are groaning but I do love brooches - they can say so much.) But the shoes are wonderful and polish lovers should be blissful. The shoes added glamour to the look and I like the new less-matched look.

    I've never believed Kate reads a blog like this - I certainly wouldn't if I were her. But I believe her advisers do and should because blogs like this and related ones give insights no serious paper will offer - and even if we are a small group of people, we are a pro-monarchy group whose imput is productive.

    But no matter where the ideas for a more polished professional cut, more glamourous accessories and a pedicure came from - the great thing is they happened - and most of all, her public speaking is vastly improved. It was a well-written, well-presented speech - on an important occasion - and Kate should be proud of herself.

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    Replies
    1. I am young and I agree Julia. If I wore a broach in my life, it would look odd. BUT if Kate did an amethyst broach(as Beachgal mentioned) and smaller earrings, she would have really polished her look.

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    2. Caroline in Montana14 July 2017 at 17:13

      Poor Mr. Leo, giggle giggle:) loved your comments Julia! I still need to watch her speech (at work:) but im glad that it sounds like she is getting better. I agree that a brooch would have worked really well with this outfit! and i will admit to a feeling of bliss, yes, bliss about her painted toes:) lol

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    3. A big YES to the brooch, Julia. :)

      So happy that you found encouragement in Kate's speech giving. So did I. :) And, with the changes she has made recently and in the past, and the timeliness of our comments to those changes,
      the laws of probability are in our favor that someone in her camp does read this blog. And rightly so. We are a diverse and thoughtfully articulate group of people whose thoughts and attitudes are a viable litmus of public opinion, particularly pro-monarchy (ah-hum, for the most part, lol) as you said. People pay money for public opinion profiles that aren't nearly as excellent as ours. :)

      And even though I question the comfort of those shoes, and the middle part of her hair, I agree Kate should be proud of herself. :)

      Delete
    4. "Risked divorce or grumbles", funny, Julia.
      What we won't do for this blog. :)

      Delete
  57. I like the overall look of Catherine's outfit....it's the shoes to me that makes it. My eye went right to those shoes! I'm not sure I would have teamed purple with a pale blue dress, but it seems to work. I would have liked to see a small amethyst drop earring instead of the gold. But I get that the gold compliments the purse. The dress is very simple, but to me it's the shoes that make it stand out. I'd like to see her hair parted on the side and blown out instead of the curls. Great job Charlotte as always. Looking forward to the tour on Monday!

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  58. Love seeing Kate support this museum, love seeing the pictures/video of the blue whale skeleton (especially since I live in the US and am not likely to see it in person anytime soon).....but those shoes!!! They make my feet hurt just looking at the pictures of them! That can't be healthy for Kate's feet. :(

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  59. I wouldn't blame the duchess if she never wore open-toe shoes if she knew her feet, toes and nails were scrutinized. It creeps me out for her, lol.


    Anyway,I like her looks better today than in Wimbledon. Her hair match the dress in giving a chic 1950s look. I find the color of the purse too deep for the dress.

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  60. I too love the toenails! I love her new hairstyle! The sandals are TDF! even though not a huge fan of such 4.5 heels. Kate is already tall so she should've opted for a 3.5 high heels. IT really looks uncomfortable.

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  61. I'm having royal patron envy. I want a job where I just look at exhibits (Natural History Museum, National Portrait Gallery) and watch sports (Wimbledon, Sailing) and everyone congratulates me and thanks me for showing up. Don't get me wrong, I have a sweet life. I'm just trying to get my head around the fact that someone shops for fancy/expensive clothes to look at exhibits and is applauded for it. I'm half tempted to but on an $800 dollar dress with $800 dollar shoes and look at some natural history exhibits just to see what would happen!

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    Replies
    1. Moxie you gave me such a good laugh there, that I will happily show up, smile and applaud wherever you go! Let me know time and place ;)

      Delete
    2. Moxie. That's what patrons do. It isn't peculiar to your favorite person, Kate. That's what patronages are about. Guess we would have to do a patronage by patronage unbiased fiscal study to determine the financial benefits of a patronage. Advertising wise and morale wise those benefits might be a little harder to put a fiscal number to.
      Perhaps the Queen, Phillip, Anne and Sophie could give us some inkling as to how to determine such things. Obviously they must think it beneficial to those institutions and charities to whom they have faithfully and diligently given their support over the decades.
      Those in the business sector who give of their time and energy to be patrons might also give us some insight into the benefit of patronages. Business people generally don't like to waste time, so they must think patronages are worthwhile in some way.
      I'm sure they would be happy to help us feel better about patrons (even Kate) and patronages with the information they could provide.

      As for the attire necessary for appearances for the patronages, there again, the Queen, et al and business people who are patrons might address the benefits of proper attire as they have experienced them, cost wise etc.

      surfer girl

      Delete
    3. Caroline in Montana14 July 2017 at 17:17

      Oh FL Moxie, you crack me up! if you need an assistant while trying your experiment i can stand slightly behind you in a bit cheaper clothes with flats on!!

      Delete
    4. For sporting events I think you might get more attention if you wear your $800 dress to roller derby, Moxie. Women's roller derby needs more exposure and you could probably really make a difference there.

      Delete
  62. Agree, Bluefire. What I love about Catherine's style is it's often so cunningly simple. Case in point, the en vogue pastel of this dress. She never lets the clothes wear her - they are merely adornments that highlight her beautiful face and figure, glossy, abundant hair. Love the sandals but too high for me unless it were to totter from the car to the restaurant and then sit down, LOL.

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  63. I liked the 'look' from the Duchess of Cambridge. This event was not a formal affair; therefore, I think the Duchess of Cambridge was dressed appropriately. The Prada sandals, oh my, oh my, oh my YES! A smile today on the face of the Duchess of Cambridge was a welcomed change from the State Dinner pictures on yesterday evening. (I know, she smiled upon arrival)😊.

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  64. I agree Bluefire. The Duchess of Cambridge has greatly improved in public speaking. I enjoyed the phrasing; I always enjoy a little humor in a serious speech, and her delivery was poised. Very good job. Thanks again, Charlotte for the wonderful info.

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  65. I love love her outfit! It makes her look so young...however her hair, which I usuall love..dates her. I am not in love with it. Maybe if it was parted on the side? However, I love her dress and shoes! xo

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    Replies
    1. I feel the same. What did you think of her hair at Wimbledon last week? It was parted on the side then and I thought it looked really nice that day. I don't think the middle part suits her as well.

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  66. Love the sandals! Not fan of the dress...on the first photos it looked simply white, later I saw lavender, now it is pale blue...if it was lavender the accessories would fit perfectly

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  67. Love the shoes. Strappy sandals! But these shoes need to be with a dress that has more pop. This looks like a business-casual day-dress, especially the baby-blue color. I do like how she finally got a pedicure.

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  68. The museum looks very interesting. A 126 years old skeleton of The Blue Whale looks solid, intact and almost metal like. May be it is maintained, painted also? The skeleton of the giraffe and the other animals also look intact. They all seem stronger than human bones. The museum is precious / looking forward to watch the video including Kate's speech.

    This is one of Kate's favorable personas which recall her youth. Her shoes agree her. If a woman suffers in tall high heels, they might as well work out beautifully, it is the case here. Those commenters who insist on nail polish, happy should they be. Where is Elizabeth now?/ sporadic commenter on this blog. She is serious about toes nail polish. Most of all, Kate looks happy / it looks like one of those agreeably favorable days for her / whatever the case. We all have days like that, and probably means something good is in store / a lucky day/ good news day/ or a destined day arriving.

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  69. I sometimes will get on here and give a few critiques...however some people tonight are complaining about her toes....are you kidding me? I say thank god she is wearing open toed shoes because I was (and I'm sure many others) getting bored of the same boring heels she always wears!! She is finally stepping out and up and doing things differently....and people are complaining about her toes. Geesh.

    Her toes look fabulous to me.

    Thank you Charlotte for the great updates these last two days :)

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  70. Eve from Germany14 July 2017 at 06:41

    I like the dress, very fresh and summery, although I´m not so much a fan of the "visible hemline" details on the skirt and the arms. It seems to be part of the design, but it doesn´t "do the trick" for me....
    I like her hairstyle today, it suits her in my opinion...
    As far as the shoes are concerned, I was so relieved to read that they match the clutch! First I thought they are black, and I went: "Oh, no, blue dress, purple clutch and b l a c k shoes? Come on!" Thankfully, it turned out not to be true, haha! I must admit, though, I sometimes wonder: The Duchess is very tall - so why does she choose such super-high high heels? It makes her towering over everybody else which is kind of intimidating to others and isn´t making them feel very comfortable in your presence. I know some women just adore such shoes which is ok, but is it worth it if it makes other people uncomfortable - especially at an occasion where you are supposed to do walk-abouts and make short contacts with many people in a short amout of time?

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    Replies
    1. Conjecture on my part, but Kate despite her tall, willowy figure has a few proportional idiosyncrasies. One is that she's very long-waisted (hence her love for dresses that hike up the waist), and the other is that she has long thighs and short calves and big feet. So wearing high high heels like the ones she favors (especially the dozen or so nude or beige-colored pumps she owns) elongates the calves and hides the big feet.

      With that being said, I think that while the beige stiletto pumps did elongate her legs, it was an incredibly tired look and I'm glad she's stepping out of that comfort zone with strappy sandals or chunky heels.

      Delete
  71. A nice change! Lovely, Kate well done.

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  72. After her glorious appearance last night, this is a disappointment for me. Kate is such a beautiful woman, but this new hair cut and style is not to my liking. She should go back to the longer look, which suits her so well.
    This dress is ok, but those shoes are ruining her feet. I do like the red nail polish though. She is so gorgeous, I just want her to shine, and this look doesn't in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Careful Tedi I'm about to hit the floor again ;)

      I do agree with you, something is off.

      Delete
    2. Julia from Leominster14 July 2017 at 18:41

      Oh no! not longer again! Windswept, unkempt, hands constantly in her hair pushing it back even during speeches! This was such a polished appearance -not Miss Middleton of the tabloids but a royal princess with a statement to make.

      Yes, those shoes probably are hard on her feet - don't I know it for I'm paying the price for my Imelda days (which Leo still likes to mention) now. But she has time to wear sensible shoes when she reaches the queen's age.

      Delete
  73. I LOVE this look. It's all very different for Kate and I like it. I like the open neckline, the fittes waist and full skirt, those shoes are amazing. Unlike the short hair, especially for summer.

    I disagree that otnwasnt an appropriate dress for an evening event. Everyone else in the photos was dressed tons similar formality, suits and summer church type dresses.
    Love

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  74. I loved the dress and the vintage vibe it has, and she looks awesome in it too. I actually thought the shoes were black until I saw the close up photographs. I'm a fan of the blue and purple combo but I suppose that puts me in the minority here. It sure does make me laugh on how she is stepping out of her safe zone with the new garments these last couple of weeks and she still gets dragged over the coals for minute nit picks.

    Highlighting the plight of the natural world is so important right now and I am so happy the opening of this exhibit was publicized. Living in the US and having the current administrations backwards view of environment being shoved down our throat, it makes me want to weep. So much of our environment (plants, animals, marine life, birds) is being affected by decisions we make or efforts that we do or do not take as loss of habitat, poaching and pollution are reducing the livability of our planet on an ever speeding train to disaster. And once something is extinct, it is gone forever. We need these reminders of the awesomeness and beauty of nature and how humans and nature are intertwined.

    I am so looking forward to the upcoming tour of Poland and Germany and reading your blog with the history behind the sites that will be visited.

    -- btchili

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden14 July 2017 at 18:19

      My dad has a fun and wise saying about the enviroment and how we should leave the earth for future generations. He calls it the "Bathroom principle" in that you should leave it the same way you would want to recive it. As in, leave the bathroom/earth in a state that you would be OK with going in to/inheriting.

      Delete
  75. Sharyn from AUS14 July 2017 at 14:05

    Kate's wearing nail polish on her toes! She read our comments!!! Havent read the post yet (sorry Charlotte) but wanted to share my excitement lol. It has been a LONG 48 hours and im going to enjoy getting home soon and reading about Kate, the blue whale, and all the comments posted already
    πŸ˜€

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  76. I love the combo of light blue and dark purple and think she looks absolutely lovely. It's a perfectly appropriate outfit for a summer event at a museum. And her hair is darling too!

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  77. Wow, she looks beautiful! I am in the "long hair" camp and think the pale blue Jenny Packham (above) is one of her most amazing looks ever. Not crazy about the shorter hair. BUT....it is wonderful to see her branching out with new hair, pretty dress and amazing shoes. I happen to love the pale blue/plum accessories. Well done. And most of all, she looks very happy! LOVE!!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Kate looks beautiful as always. I think that the purple shoe/clutch work with the dress as it is really very pale blue . . . I thought it was white. I like the whole look -- hair, dress, and those shoes!!! I only wish she had added a necklace and a bracelet. Can't wait for the tour!

    Hope from US

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  79. I like the dress, although I wish it was jewel-toned for the evening event. The pale blue has a more daytime look to me. The dress is beautifully structured and simple and would have looked even better paired with a necklace, brooch, or even a bracelet. Dig into Grandma's jewel vault!

    The shoes are fun and if Kate can comfortably wear them, carry on. In the future, she'll look longingly at the stilettos in her closet and remember the good old days.

    I think the shorter hair is a nice change. I'd love to see Kate style it with a side part and a sleek blow out.



    ReplyDelete
  80. Sharyn from AUS14 July 2017 at 15:56

    before I talk about Kate, let me take a minute to be amazed by that blue whale! As a child I went on a class excursion to a museum that had a whale skeleton in tue front window. That was over 2 decades ago and I can still remember how amazed I was buy it. I remember thinking it was a blue whale, because it was so big compared to little old me. As an adult, I now know that it was too small to be a blue whale, but that does not tarnish my memory.
    In relation to Kate's homage marine ecology, the pastel blue dress fit the phrpose of the night, and is on trend. However, I'm not 100% sold on combining it with the vivid purple of the clutch. Had Kate worn a stunning amethyst necklace, it may have tied the accessories together. There are some photos where the dress looks more lilac than pale blue - maybe Kate thought this was the case and felt the whole ensemble worked well.
    The retro look to the dress and the shorter hair with curls made me think of Jackie Kennedy. Could Kate be emulating a woman who supported a man in an intense role period?
    finally - the shoes. they were insane! i wish could walk in them. but the difference in the shades of the shoe and clutch change the look

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    Replies
    1. I think she wore the blue on porpoise, Sharyn.

      Delete
    2. lol, 19:04. I agree.

      (Also, Blue whale, blue water, blue lighting.)

      Delete
  81. The dress is nice, but the sandals are awkward instruments of torture! Sooner or later I'll have time to listen to the speech. I am happy about its approval here.

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  82. I really love that she's embracing the sandals and no tights look this summer! Her nude tights are just so old fashioned. I also love the shorter hair, but like some other readers have said, the big waves don't really work with that length. Would love to see her in a sleeker doo...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her nude tights really deteriorated in quality over the years. When she first debuted them everyone marveled at how sheer, thin, and elegant they looked. They even had this slight shimmery gloss. After the birth of Charlotte it seems like she decided to go for a thicker, tanner type of hose that also clumped up more. Don't know why the change was made except I suspect those super-sheer hose she wore tore and ran easily?

      Anyway it's good to see that for the summers she's just going for strappy sandals now.

      Delete
  83. Allegraflora, I think her team or most likely her mom (either or or both) follow this blog.
    And, I also wonder if they have yet "moved" to Kensington Palace in a full time capacity.

    Charlotte, do you know?

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  84. I love this dress! She looks amazing and as much as I loved her long hair, I think the shorter hair makes her look more youthful. Love the surprise of the plum shoes. Though I can't imagine how anyone could walk in those. I guess that's the downside of being a fashion icon...the shoes your feet have to endure.

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  85. I feel that we had a little more insight into the real Kate from this engagement. It was a very good speech the content was excellent and enlightening as to her interest in the environment and particularly oceans she also seemed far more relaxed when speaking and delivered the speech very well. She appeared to be extremely interested in the whole project. It is nice to know that G & C have visited the museum a number of times although it is a long time since I last went it is a fascinating museum and very educational in an interesting way for young people and families.
    For me this event was not one where fashion came first and I felt her choice of dress was very appropriate for the occasion and I also very much prefer her shorter hair you see more of Kate rather than masses of hair I hope she keeps her hair that length.
    I am delighted that William will be accompanying Kate to Wimbledon on Sunday I had wondered that now Kate is patron whether W would go any more as after George was born he stated that both would no longer support events where one was a patron glad he is making Wimbledon an exception he has supported her a few times at her events but she is rarely allowed at any of his though has done so a few times this year . Maybe he is changing his mind it would be good if he has. It will be interesting to see what she wears.
    Looking forward to the tour

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  86. Hello everyone!

    I have been dying over the toenails!!! It's always blown my mind she didn't paint her toes (I get why not) but... to see this shocked me in the best way possible. I hope she'll continue!

    LOVE the shoes.. the clutch is so-so for me. I don't hate the dress, but I think I don't think it's the most flattering or best choice for the occasion. I do love her hair, though I liked how it looked at the tennis match better than the curl. However, as someone noted, she didn't push it out of her face at all during the speech. I agree she has improved, but I long for the day when she won't be checking her notes every 2 seconds. That takes time and SO much pressure!

    LOVED the look at the state dinner. Elegant, romantic, a bit of sex appeal and class! I am wondering though when she'll receive the family order -- any thoughts Charlotte?

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    Replies
    1. C'Anna, regarding the order question. Julia addressed that nicely on the previous page up near the top if I remember correctly. You might find that helpful pertaining to your question. It seems that the question of family orders might be becoming a moot point.

      Delete
  87. To honor our tireless and dedicated Tour Guide Supreme, :), I propose a traditional "Pre-Tour DKB Toast" to Charlotte the day/evening prior to the start of the tour. πŸŽ‰πŸ₯‚πŸΈ☕️πŸ₯›
    We can toast and post our acknowledgment of that with a brief (or not so brief) text to Charlotte. :)
    I will remind, the day before the start of the tour, any of us who want to partake in the toast. A way of saying,
    "Thank you ahead of time Charlotte for all the hard work we know you are going to be putting in for this tour." ❤️

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    Replies
    1. 😍😍😍

      Delete
  88. fashion-wise in the figure assessment department you got it right, Ivy Lin. Are you a stylist?

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  89. I love this look, the fresh and classic silhouette and the funky and sexy shoes. She seems really comfortable and her hair looks luscious. I also prefer this colour combination to the always matching. What a thrilling two days sartorially.

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  90. Hi, Patricia :-)

    "Is everyone aware of the Load More button below the comments? You need to keep clicking it until it disappears, in order to see all of the messages. It appears when there are 200 comments, and continues in 50 message increments until the current number is reached."

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