Monday, 5 February 2018

Duchess Kate Launches Campaign to Encourage Children to Celebrate What Makes Them Unique & Our First Tour Poll!

In support of Children's Mental Health Week 2018, the Duchess of Cambridge recorded a video message encouraging children "to be comfortable in their own skin" and encouraging parents, teachers and those in the wider community to help children become "the best version" of themselves.


The theme of this year’s campaign, which was created by Place2Be, is 'Being Ourselves' – encouraging children and young people to feel comfortable with who they are and celebrate what makes them unique. Low self-esteem affects more than 8 in 10 of the pupils who receive Place2Be’s one-to-one support, but when children are supported to have a positive view of themselves it can have a real impact on their confidence and can help them cope with life's challenges. Kate has been patron of the charity since 2013 and has carried out much of her work in support of children's mental health with the organisation. Last year, they become a Heads Together charity partner.


More from the Palace:

'In the message, Her Royal Highness highlights the importance of encouraging children to feel comfortable with who they are, saying: “Childhood is an incredibly important moment in our lives. It is the time when we explore our personalities, discover the potential that lies within us and learn how to be ourselves. Our experience of the world at this early stage helps to shape who we become as adults, how we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin.”
The Duchess also refers to the role that all adults play in helping children become the best versions of themselves: “Some children will be facing tougher challenges than others, but I firmly believe that while we cannot change their circumstances, we can ensure that every child is given the best possible support to ensure they fulfil their true potential. This is best achieved when we, the adults in their lives, work together to give children the emotional strength they need to face their futures and thrive.
“Whether we are school leaders, teachers, support staff or parents, we each have a role to play. When we are open and honest with each other about the challenges we face, we can work together to ensure the children in our care have the chance to become the best version of themselves.”

The message was recorded last month during Kate's visit to Reach Academy Feltham, a school working in partnership with Place2Be. The Duchess, wearing her Seraphine Florrie dress, spoke to two Year 11 pupils, Lauren and Sophia, Mum of two Mandy, and Principal Ed Vainker. The pupils in the video have benefited from Place2Be's 'whole school' approach to mental health, which aims to create a culture of openness and confidence in understanding their emotions and feelings.


Children's Mental Health Week 2018 runs from 5-11 February. Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be said: "We know from our work in schools that some children find it difficult to think of themselves positively, as it's all too easy nowadays to compare ourselves negatively to others, especially online. "This Children’s Mental Health Week we are encouraging everyone, and especially children and young people, to focus on what makes them who they are, and to celebrate their unique qualities and strengths. We'll all face difficult times in our lives, but helping children to have a positive view of themselves can help them find the inner strength and resilience to cope with those challenges."


You can find out more about the week or find out about donating by clicking here.


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Vote for Kate's Best Tour Evening Look

William and Kate's tour of Sweden and Norway was a fun one, wasn't it? It's time for the first of our post-tour polls asking you to select your favourite ensembles from the trip. We're starting with 'Evening Looks', and while there are only three options, it goes without saying they were certainly...divisive choices. Perhaps none more so than the Erdem Stephanie Gown the Duchess selected for her first evening event of the tour. The silk dress comes in opulent gold Winterbourne print satin. The dress features jewel-tone florals, an Edwardian high collar, button-down bodice, bell sleeves and a detachable belt. The comments came in thick and fast with a resounding thumbs down for the look. It's always good to see Kate trying something new, but I think there was simply too much going on with this gown. The combination of the print, dull yellow hue, bell sleeves, high neck and trimmed skirt with gathered hem made for one very busy dress. It was accessorised with Diana's Collingwood pearl earrings and triple strand pearl bracelet, Gianvito Rossi burgundy pumps and the Jimmy Choo Celeste clutch.


The following night in Stockholm, it was Erdem again. Kate wore the Christina Devore Velvet Midi Dress. The 'petrol blue' dress features a mock neckline, long sleeves with flared cuffs, banded waist, A-line silhouette, flounced hem and nude silk crepe de chine lining. The dress garnered a more positive reaction, albeit still on the mixed side. Kate teamed it with her Gianvito Rossi pumps and a statement pair of Robinson Pelham earrings.


Lastly, for the glittering dinner at the Royal Palace in Oslo, the Duchess choose a flowing blush Alexander McQueen gown with cape detailing and crystal flower embellishment around the neckline. It's a very regal gown and perfect for the occasion. Kate teamed it with jewels from the Queen, her Oscar de la Renta Cabrina pumps and Jimmy Choo Celeste clutch. I'm guessing it's not too much of a reach to predict we have our winner here... :)


Kate's Best Tour of Sweden & Norway 2018 Evening Look
 
pollcode.com free polls


We'll see Kate on Wednesday, when she officially opens a new Action on Addiction treatment centre in Wickford.

108 comments:

  1. Courtney From NC5 February 2018 at 16:24

    Every time I see the Erdem Stephanie gown I like it more. Conversely every time I see the Erdem Christina Devore I like it less. Regardless the McQueen is the best by far. I think the only eh I have is the embellishments. I think if it had been a little less heavy or even pearls heavier at the shoulder and dispersing down on the cape in front it would have matched the ethereal floaty vibe of the dress.

    It's as if the first 2 looks were trying to camouflage the baby belly and weren't that great but as soon as she wore something that embraced her pregnancy belly it was stunning!

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    1. Though I didn't really like the "Stephanie" gown very much when I first saw it, I wasn't as "ante" as many were, but it is really growing on me.
      I think if they took off the frill and altered it to fit properly after the baby is born, it might be quite nice.

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    2. I was one of the few who liked the Erdem Stephanie, despite how poorly it photographed that night. I think Charlotte's original comment, that it would be a better dress if it fell straight to the floor instead of having a ruffle, is true. But I like the McQueen better still.

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    3. Agree with the three of you-I loved the Stephanie, but love the McQueen best!

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    4. The only qualm I had about the Erdem Stephanie Gown was the ruffle at the bottom. If not for the McQueen, which is the clear winner for me, the Erdem Stephanie would have had a serious chance at my vote. I think we should cut the ruffle off and make it knee length.

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    5. Courtney from NC, I feel the same way about the Stephanie dress. The more I see it, the more I like it. I voted for McQueen, but I think that the Erdem Stephanie gown will, with time, be the memorable dress of the tour. And I actually love the ruffle at the bottom!

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    6. Caroline in Montana6 February 2018 at 18:35

      I agree ladies about the Stephanie, get rid of the ruffle and possibly shorten the bell sleeves, to 3/4? and that could be a stunner on her after pregnancy! it really is growing on me though.

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  2. No offense, but in my opinion, the “gowns” weren’t even in the same universe as the word “best” or anything close to it, lol. So no vote at all from moi.

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    1. Same here.

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    2. Ditto. Wish McQueen would do a better job with her bustline, for all the money they charge. This gown and her dress at Pippa's wedding are both very unflattering around the bosom.

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    3. Alexandriagirl. Kate had that problem in India also with the mint green lace dress, remember? There were other outfits in the past that weren’t tailored properly in that area but I forget what outfits specifically although those have been mentioned here before.

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  3. Forgetting for the moment about those clothing things (lol), Kate’s video, on the other hand, was better than previous ones. The topic is of course crucial and timely what with social media and just everything in general. Her personality actually started to shine through briefly at the end of her message and that was awesome to see. Hopefully, that will be incorporated more and more in her future messages. :)

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  4. I think you can see a marked difference in Catherine's delivery of the video to previous ones - she's looking more comfortable and relaxed and the whole video conveys a warmth and confidence. Lovely to see. I don't know whether this is her general confidence or Ms Quinn's guidance/influence?

    The whole mental health strategy is all starting to evolve nicely into a great project now.

    I suspect it will be a landslide vote on this one Charlotte, and to be obtuse I actually voted for the dreaded Erdem - only because I loved it and yes it was a departure, a risk. I've never been a fan of Erdem, and would have never have been pointed in that direction until royal ladies started to wear it. I guess I've got accustomed to it and I think the 70's floral vibe has been around in the UK for a while now it's not so jarring to see. Many celebrities and royalty seem to wear it. It may be a case of "emperor's new clothes' and all that. So although the McQueen gown was spectacular, and I'm sure we will see again, I'm going to give the Erdem "stephanie" the vote, to applaud Catherine in daring to be a little different now and again, and in her words from today... 'explore our personalities, discover the potential that lies within us and learn how to be ourselves'.

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    1. I agree about Kate's delivery and poise in the video. Much improved!

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    2. Bravo, Mr D!!

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    3. Great post, Mr. D! You said everything I was going to say, but did a better job of it! LeahMaria - Nova Scotia

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    4. 🌸 No offense, but I don’t know how “daring” choosing the same silhouette numerous times is, lol. The “buttoned up” look is hardly anything “new” for Kate. Not exactly “stepping out of the box”. I am all for folks becoming “self-actualized in reaching their full potential” though. Don’t know that Kate’s recent clothing choices particularly illustrate that. :)

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  5. I voted for the Erdem Stephanie gown. I don’t know what it is but something about that gown is appealing to me. Maybe it’s the gold, or the flower pattern I don’t know. I know it’s not gonna win but it’s worth a vote.

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    1. I agree with you, I loved the gold gown! I immediately was joyed to see the beautiful colors and bold print. She looked absolutely glowing and the gown had a regal look of its own.

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  6. I didn't vote for the evening look. I usually don't comment if I don't like something Kate has worn, but I'll break my rule this time and say that I didn't like any of them at all so I can't vote. I know most readers really liked the McQueen gown but I didn't care for it. For me, it was yet another matronly look.

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    1. I think that the bar has been set so low (and not just because of the Erdem dresses) that even if a dress is matronly, if it’s otherwise pretty, it’s lauded as a “hit”

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    2. I voted for the McQueen mostly because it wasn't an Erdem! But I think you may have been right not to vote. The McQueen was only "best" because the others were so bad. Quite shocking to have her style choices fail repeatedly and in such quick succession.

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  7. Sorry, I would need a “none of the above” option. And I have NEVER felt that way; usually have a hard time deciding which outfit gets my vote. She looks great, but the dresses just weren’t for me this time.
    -StuckInTexas

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  8. I am so glad that Kate recorded this video for Children's Mental Health Week. I thought she would because this topic is one she cares deeply about. I have been a long time reader of the blog. I appreciate that Charlotte provides focus on Kate's passions and work, because I must admit that fashion is not important to me. Even if Kate wore a brown dress or potato sack to every engagement, I would still follow her, because I am so grateful for her work in mental health and addiction. It is personal for me because mental health is my life's work as a counselor/therapist. I have been so impressed with the efforts of William, Kate, Harry, and now Meghan, that I wrote a letter to Heads Together, asking if they would consider joining forces with the US to create a mental health initiative. I haven't heard back, but I don't regret writing anyway. While the US has tried some smaller mental health initiatives over the years, none of them have had the impact that Heads Together is having in the UK. For those who may not be aware of current US mental health stats: every year 44,965 people die by suicide (123 people per day). For every suicide, 25 people attempt. It is the 10th leading cause of death, but it is the 3rd leading cause of death among youth, ages 10-24. One in five adults have a mental health condition. One in five children, ages 13-18, have a serious mental illness. The vast majority of children and adults with mental illness do not receive treatment because of limited access to care (especially from a financial standpoint) and stigma. Youth mental health is worsening too. Rates of children and youth with severe depression rose from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. And 76% of these children and youth are left with no or insufficient treatment.
    There is still so much work to do in mental health!

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    1. Wow, thank you for your input Virginia. I did not know those stats.

      I think it really is such a good idea, what Kate, William and Harry are doing with Heads Together. I especially like how it transcends beyond their individual “focuses” and the cross-collaboration that is being done because of it. When they were first launching it, I thought that it seemed kind of vague as “mental health” is such a broad topic. But now, as their campaign continues I can really see and get behind what they are doing.

      It would be amazing to have something like that here in the US. I hope they write back to you, Virginia!

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    2. Virginia, thank you so much for providing those statistics about the wretched picture of mental health problems rising in the United States. I hope with you that we can get something started to combat these serious problems. Kudos to the royal trio for setting up Heads Together for to Kate especially for the initial idea.

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    3. Virginia, this is such a good point. I watched Prince Harry at the Obama foundation conference talking about this. He said that their foundation doesn't have much money (believe it or not) and so they brought together all the non-profits working in this area and asked them what they could do to help. The non-profits all agreed that they should use their platform to remove the stigma attached to mental health. It was a great insight into their approach. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzuyQFu14vk

      We need someone at that level in the US who can bring everyone together to help remove the stigma.

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    4. I too watched Harry's conversation at the Obama Foundation Summit, and I certainly value and appreciate their approach. The challenge here in the US is that we do not have anyone in a high profile position who is committed to shattering the stigma of mental health for the long haul. There are some individuals (celebrities, politicians, etc) who are willing to speak about these concerns for a brief period of time, but no one in those echelons is willing to go the distance. There are many ordinary people (myself included) who would be more than willing to work with these issues for however long it takes, but we lack the financial resources and clout to get traction and support. It is ashame that progress in this area requires both of those elements in order to be achieved. For those of us who live with mental illness, have a loved one with mental illness, or counsel people who live with mental health challenges, this desire to change the way society views mental health and illness is deeply important. I cannot emphasize this enough. 44,965 people should not be dying by suicide every year in this country and there is a lot we could do to prevent those deaths, especially since 90% of those individuals had a mental illness or substance use disorder at the time of their death.
      To make a point about how effective the Royal Foundation and Heads Together has worked in the UK, I was struck by something this weekend when they had their marathon training. They didn't need William, Kate, and Harry there to build momentum for the upcoming marathon. Because of the work the royals, the foundation, and Heads Together did last year, there exists a groundswell that is motivated and passionate about maintain vigilance on Mental health issues. That is the biggest sign yet about their success....that the public is just as passionate about tackling these challenges as William, Kate, and Harry are and both parties support each other's endeavors, even when they cannot be physically present.

      I have probably been too passionate here, but it is only because these same issues and challenges matter greatly to me, and I wish I had the resources and clout to make a difference.

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    5. Virginia, Thank you for your passion! Thank you for explaining & sharing all that you did! If I had only one purpose I could support, it would be mental health. I have used the catch phrase from Heads Together, "you can't have prime physical health if you don't have prime mental health"! It seems to be the only way I can get some people to understand in conversations. So many people over here focus on their physical fitness or look. However, even just from a competitive stand point (which I've tried to tap into, just to see if the lightbulb can go on?) they don't understand that they will never be the strongest, fastest or most beautiful if they don't bring their mental health into the equation. I understand everything you said & the lack of accessibility, help, leadership & of course $, I find deeply discouraging over here in the USA. :( It would be wonderful if you received a letter back & Thank you for taking that action! xo

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    6. Thank you, Virginia and all the comments posted here regarding the need for a mental health initiative in the US like the one in the UK, championed with such energy and commitment. Absolutely needed!

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    7. Thank you, Virginia and others who posted their thoughts on the need for a similiar mental health initiative in the US. Absolutely needed!

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    8. I completely agree Virginia and have often thought the same thing about wanting to get a similar initiative to take hold here in the States! I’m a mental health therapist as well and am very passionate about erasing the stigma of mental health. If you ever decide to start some kind of initiative or hear back from our letter please count me in! Annadowneryoungs@gmail.com :)

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  9. Every time I look at the McQueen gown I see Endora from the old “Bewitched” television series. So 1965. Too much floaty material and batwing arms for our young Duchess. The colour, style, and material of the gown are for a woman much older. Just can’t get behind this choice no matter how bad the the Erdem choices are.

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    1. Tammy from California5 February 2018 at 19:50

      OMG ANONYMOUS! YOU NAILED IT ON THE HEAD! That is exactly IT!

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    2. Endora indeed 17:57! To me the McQueen vibes a 90-year-old grandmother or great-grandmother of the bride. Yes, it better reveals the bump (yawn...). That's an on-trend fascination I fail to understand.

      I ought to have refrained from voting, but voted for the one I disliked least--the blue Erdem. None of the above would have been a brilliant option. That would give some idea of the extent of the division on these evening looks.

      SMH

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    3. Totally agree...it's Bewitched or Elizabeth Taylor, circa late 60's!!!!

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    4. I agree that the McQueen not right for a young woman. For me it has Dowager Duchess written all over it.

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    5. Anonymous, what a perfect description! When you said Endora, you did nail it.

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    6. LOL! I can't unsee it now.

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    7. That's funny, yesterday when I saw your comment, Anonymous, about Endora, I was about to reply ...."you nailed it on the head!" but then because I was at work I got distracted by actual work I'm supposed to do, so didn't comment. Now I see Tammy from California had the exact same sentiments! Yes, this was just too 60's in a negative way.

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    8. Agree with it being Endora. Had not made that association, but that fits it to a T.

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    9. Endora! Yes, exactly. None of these dresses is appealing. They are expensive and their designers are famous, but these dresses do not do the duchess justice. ALL of them are frumpy, but Kate’s warmth and beauty shine through anyway!

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    10. LOLOL. Well, I voted for the McQueen gown despite the Endora-factor because I really like the movement of the material. But I can appreciate the comments on this particular design. I'm imagining the gown without the cape :-) and with softer beading and/or pearls all over the bodice.

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  10. I copied my comment over from the previous blog entry: I just watched the video--I thought it was very well done and as always, I wish we had something as visible as this here in the U.S. Especially after the past month with school shootings and suicide in our own town.

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  11. Although I absolutely loved her McQueen gown, I have to say that I also liked her other two Erdem dresses, especially the gold one. (I know, I know—I’m in the minority here.)

    I would by no means consider myself a fashion expert but I do love and appreciate art and design. There is so much to consider and wonder about when looking at art or listening to music that “Do I personally like it?” is often an afterthought. While I personally might not wear one of the gowns Kate chose, I can still appreciate it. (Although, let’s be honest here—I think Kate can do no wrong and I definitely am a fashion follower when it comes to her!)

    Who knows what went into the decision of what gown to wear and when? I’m sure it was a combination of a lot of things. Maybe she needed to majorly stand out during this tour. Maybe she has a hard time finding things to fit her changing body. Wouldn’t it be so cool to be a fly on the wall during the meetings to decide what outfits to take on tour?

    I’ve had one child and I’m currently early on in my second pregnancy so I know from experience that it can be really hard to find clothes you feel good in. I know everyone’s different though and some women feel great, but I am not one of them. I can imagine how weird or stressed I would feel having to find clothes to wear to formal events where the entire world is watching me! Although Kate might just be a natural at this—she usually looks like she’s really enjoying herself.

    Anyway, I had a great time reading about the tour and reading everyone’s opinions on the gowns! Very fun and I always learn so much about the background to events etc (Thanks Charlotte!) and fashion/protocol from Charlotte and everyone that comments.

    Enjoy your week everyone and see you on Wednesday!

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    1. Caroline in Montana6 February 2018 at 18:47

      I just wanted to say that was a wonderful comment! thank you, I hope we hear more from you!

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    2. Thanks for a beautiful comment, Natalie, and I wish you a lot of joy in your second pregnancy!

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    1. I loved the blue velvet dress, but I voted for the McQueen because I found the McQueen simply divine. Thank You Charlotte for this lightning fast post!XOXO

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  13. Despite the McQueen being my favourite gown, I really loved the coat she wore with the velvet dress. The fur addition was elegant and the trim at the bottom was feminine. I hope we see it again. Remembrance day perhaps?
    Thank you so much for your dedication to the blog-although I don't comment often, I'm always amazed at the speed of the new post and the quality of writing, info etc (especially during a tour) Keep it up!
    Erin from NZ :)

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  14. Tammy from California5 February 2018 at 19:49

    I.JUST.LOVE.HER. Bravo Kate.

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  15. I agree with the other comments above that this really isn't a fair vote. I didn't particularly like any of the gowns. I actually voted for the the Christina Devore gown by Erdem. It's the most flattering to the Duchess. The fabric is luscious and the color is beautiful even if the silhouette isn't my favor. The McQueen gown was an absolute not from me from the first moment that I saw it.

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  16. Louise, London, UK5 February 2018 at 20:49

    The McQueen might have been ok without the cape but that was a retro step too far for me. I loved the fabric of both Erdems and voted for the blue because I much prefer that design. Good on Kate for stepping away from all those lace dresses.

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    1. I agree; I was getting lace fatigue!

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  17. I think that’s the best video Kate has done; she came across really well. You can see that her confidence & speaking voice has greatly improved. I voted for the Alexander McQueen gown, but I also loved both of the Erdem dresses. I felt they were all very different & a bit “out of the box” for her. The gold Stephanie dress was striking & the floral print was beautiful. The velvet texture of the second Erdem was lovely & the blue colour suited Kate really well. The McQueen was a gorgeous blush shade & the floaty fabric looked ethereal, but I could’ve taken or left the cape. The crystal embellishment was very pretty, I just wish the dress had sleeves instead of a cape.

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  18. I watched the previous two videos for this event and agree that she seems more confident each year.
    Forgot that Kate’s layered cut in 2016 was so flattering. She really wears that darker shade of blue beautifully, too.

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  19. Best Tour Evening Look? That's a none of the above from me. Sorry.

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  20. I have a philosophy about some of the attire that Kate wears in the beginning of the year. Given that here are numerous clothing changes at Sandringham during the holiday visit, I almost wonder if one or two of the Erdem dresses she wore on tour were worn then?

    Maybe they worked slightly better because she was a little smaller? Who knows - just my 2-cents.

    I thought the Stephanie Erdem was actually the best - given that I'll bet in photos it looked even better.

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  21. I actually like the blue velvet dress quite a lot actually. It’s different yet still a bit on the conservative side and I absolutely loves be the length and her accessories/shoes! I don’t care for the other Erdem due to the neckline not the hem. This may have been a more fitting style for the India trip or a trip to The orient maybe? And the McQueen was a big miss for me. I like the color and the floaty skirt but the rest is....no. She can do better.

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  22. I was so looking forward to this tour and then, one by one, my family came down with a flu ( not the dreaded The Flu, thankfully), so I'm just catching up now.

    I'm sure no one is surprised that I voted for the Stephanie. I won't expunge on why because I did that enough already besides, I think Mr. D and Natalie have summed up its charm quite well.

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    1. Expound not expunge. I want to sat that was auto correct but it may be flu fog.

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  23. I much prefer the Erdem Christina Devore...love everything about it except the wide flounce at the bottom which should be smaller IMO. Also, I much preferred the length as shown on the model (longer) which made the side flounce look better to me. The McQueen looked like something Princess Grace would have worn in her (sadly abbreviated) dotage back in the day.
    On a side note....look at that drawing the kids did...I know the adults there must be their teachers, but I swear one of them is the spitting image of Catherine Quinn!

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    1. I can’t help wondering what age you are yourself, to see their early 50’s as anyone’s “dotage.” My goodness. Princess Grace was barely older than Sophie Wessex is now.

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    2. I am 73 years old. My reference to dotage was my attempt to reference HSH's choice not to maintain her "movie star" body but to happily (or so it seems) adapt to her changed proportions. No body shaming in any way BTW...as I said she seemed to embrace it. That, at least IMO, meant a change to somewhat more matronly fashion. Grace always looked lovely IMO, as does Catherine...just not my personal choice for an evening look.

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  24. This is the easiest poll for me; I voted for AMQ evening gown with cape before viewing the vote, and while it had about 110 votes this morning.

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  25. Endora! Yes!!! Too matronly, and just as ugly as the other two evening dresses.

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    1. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/328340629068971842/

      Would any one label the images in the link, as matronly? She is almost seven months pregnant, a guest and amongst different age groups including the senior royal hosts.

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    2. Anon15 - those are sexy wedding dresses....a far cry from the McQueen. Maybe I'm being obtuse, but I'm missing your point. For me it was the cape with the gaudy embellishments across the top that made it matronly. She could have still dressed appropriately for the occasion and forgone the cape. The dress underneath with perhaps short or long sleeves, a modest but yet not too high neckline and without the embellishment would have been much more attractive.

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    3. I appreciate your explanation, and at least you redesigned it to your specification. That is an alternative option. Other people have modified it to their taste too. It is good you mentioned, you lost my point in comparing it to the wedding dresses. For some few comments which dismissed it as matronly, I assumed it is the bulk and size of the dress. The wedding gowns are also designed with the abundance of material, and obviously for wedding elegance. I used them as an example for the overflow of the material in the skirt which Kate’s gown used without corseted skirt. The see-through cape enclosed the upper part with another complementary flow which formed the whole image. The silver embellishment on the shoulder crowned (for lack of a better term) her shoulder gracefully and also complemented the precious accessories of what looks like white gold, and diamonds. If I remember her wedding dress, I remember this one for her third pregnancy, the ink blue evening gown ( by Jannie Puckham?) for her first and second.

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  26. Hmm i love the cape alexander mcqueen gown i do love the erdems dress she looks good on 3 outfits she looks great and confident in her recording speech i love she fully hearted helping the mental health issue

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  27. What a wonderful theme - being ourselves and celebrating what makes us unique. I applaud Kate for taking on the patronage of Place2Be. My biggest applause this week, however, goes to the two students, Lauren and Sophia, who were brave enough to participate in this video message. I feel if we are going to break the stigma surrounding mental health for students we need positive messages about students reaching out and getting the help they need from students themselves. Major kudos to Lauren and Sophia!

    Turning to the poll, I was unable to properly follow the tour - just a quick skim every night. I am sincerely looking forward to catching up on all the posts this weekend, but am excited to vote on the best gown. I voted for the McQueen. I agree with your original post, Charlotte, that it would look stunning with the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara (maybe the dress could be altered for a future diplomatic reception?)

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  28. The result of this poll is a foregone conclusion; though the gold Erdem will probably get fewer votes than it deserves, the McQueen will obviously win. It is beautiful, if a bit beyond what the Norwegian royal ladies wore in terms of sweeping formality. But my question, every evening, was where is Jenny Packham? It seems very strange that, given the beautiful gowns she has designed for Kate, she was left out of this tour. That is probably, I think, the reason for everyone's dissatisfaction with Kate's evening looks in Scandinavia.

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  29. I loved watching the video, thanks for posting. Kate does seem to be more relaxed and at ease with herself while speaking publicly. Her stamina is increasing, and that's wonderful to see. She looks lovely. The dresses were all such a mess, no need to vote. One thing was overwhelmingly obvious for me on this trip - Kate needs a stylist. I love following her and watching her grow into her role as future queen, but her choice of clothes is just....puzzling. I understand she is limited in her choices because of her position, but she could dress more her age and still be on trend, youthful, and stylish. As things stand now, she's dressing as if she's in her 60's. Thanks for another excellent post!

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    1. Kate has a stylist and PA, Natasha Archer. I realize that many on here would like for her to change stylists so that her wardrobe choices will change to what they would prefer to see her wear. I strongly disagree with this. Kate has every right to wear the kinds of clothes she believes work best for her. If she prefers coats, dresses instead of trousers, and conservative options, there is nothing wrong with that. She is not a slave to fashion trends and knows what she feels comfortable wearing. It is obvious that she has a strong and trusted relationship with Natasha, and that is most important. There is no reason to change personnel or your own instincts because the public wants you to be more fashionable or dress to suit their tastes. Nor should the public ask that of her. She always dresses appropriately and professionally, in a way that fits her role and work. The theme for Children's Mental Health Week is focusing on how to be ourselves. Kate deserves the space to be herself. She is comfortable in her own skin and confident.

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    2. Thanks Anon for your thoughts! I agree whole heartedly. If we are going to learn anything from all the Mental Health Initiative's Progress, it should be to not knock Kate for being who she is! Of course not everyone will like what she choses to wear, but when those opinions lead to attacks or put downs of her as a person or how she's doing her job? It really makes me sad. It's possible to disagree with someone without putting them down. I have great respect for how Kate has grown into her role & job, while remaining herself & raising such a lovely loving family & tending to her marriage. All of which make her a better success in her role as future Queen Consort. I respect her priorities, as well as fashion choices. Some may tickle my fancy & some may not. However, she's not dressing for me! :)

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    3. Thank you Becca USA for your kind response to my statement above. I often feel like a lone voice on this blog, because I am so weary of the continuous criticism leveled at Kate. It is one thing to say that you don't personally like something she's wearing, but to say "Kate should wear this or Kate needs this.." is crossing a line for me. All of us need to remember that if the tables were turned, we would not want others criticizing us for our clothing choices. It would feel hurtful and demeaning. Often we women are our own worst enemy. We get frustrated and angry when society objectifies us or believes we must look a certain way. We get angry when men objectify us or believe we must look a certain way. And yet, look how much we objectify each other and criticize each other for not looking a certain way or wearing the right clothes. This has got to stop! We have to set an example for ourselves, for our partners and spouses, for our children, grandchildren, and for everyone. It is no wonder that so many more girls and women live with anxiety and depression than men do. Combine society's expectations with the expectations we place on each other and ourselves, and it is a recipe for anxiety, low self-esteem, low confidence, and even depression. We all deserve to be our deepest and our truest selves.

      - SVC

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  30. The result of ghis poll cant be anythign else. The first two were hidous, one has no other choice :D I love Kate but that was such a fail..

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  31. Anonymous in Colorado6 February 2018 at 17:03

    Ok......initially the Erdem 'Stephanie' made me cringe & the McQueen made me gasp in awe buuuuuut the more I see each, hmmmm. I'm starting to appreciate the Stephanie more & the McQueen less. Did that happen to anyone else?!

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    1. Yes... But I think I like the Stephanie more BECAUSE I dislike the McQuenen more and more...
      Something more form-fitting (which is what she noremally prefers), even if it would accentuate the belly more, would have looked much better and her look would be more confident.

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    2. Not me, and I’ve really been putting some effort trying to like the Stephanie. It moves well, and that’s pretty much all I’ve got. I felt the McQueen could have been truly great, but just missed. In the end, though, for me the wearer usually sells the dress - or doesn’t - and Catherine was clearly much more confident in the McQueen. Her smile and poise can take an outfit a long way.

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    3. Anonymous in Colorado9 February 2018 at 05:14

      You both make really valid points, Anon 18:46 & Juniper! Thank you for articulating what I couldn't quite pinpoint :-)

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  32. I voted for AM, though I must say the more I am looking at it, the less I like:)

    Kudos for Kate, her video messages and her speeches are getting better and better and it seems like she found her initiative/goal for the future.

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  33. What a lovely message from Kate for Children's Mental Health Week. I agree that her speeches have improved a lot. More power to her.

    I vote for the McQueen. I thought that look was perfection!

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  34. Caroline in Montana6 February 2018 at 18:30

    I had to go for the Erdem, here are my reasons why. (maybe I'm just needing to explain it to myself, LOL!)

    The blue velvet dress was pretty and I like the idea of it, It just did not seem to fit her right at any point, there was something off in the length from back to front, probably due to pregnancy, it just did not flow with the sleeves, neckline and the bottom hem, and also I just could not get over the bust, it looked like it was straining and pulling and like someone did a quick sew together! very distracting. I just could not vote for it. would love to see her another patterned colored velvet gown after pregnancy.

    As for the McQueen, I thought it totally overpowered her, looked so huge and way to much fabric and was a bit of an old look for her, I wasn't to keen on the color either, just nothing popped about it at all. now if she would have been wearing a tiara....

    that left me with the erdem, it actually fit her really well (though a tad too long) and in the videos it actually is a better color, not so flash bulb bright and it moved really well with her, very nice fabric. I would never have thought I would vote for it but there was just no other way for me, especially after staring at the photos for a while! I also knew id be in the minority, but I usually am:) lol

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  35. Caroline in Montana6 February 2018 at 19:02

    a bit off topic, but for the last event of the tour, when they were outside, and she is wearing those Fabulous boots from SOREL, can anyone tell if they are the lace up or the pull on's? I am seriously looking at getting a pair, they look really nice and like they would go with jeans, not to clunky and heavy! they have great reviews as well. I guess winter snow boots is as close as i'll come to a Copy Kate:)

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    1. https://www.net-a-porter.com/us/en/product/899512?cm_mmc=LinkshareUS-_-QFGLnEolOWg-_-Custom-_-LinkBuilder&siteID=QFGLnEolOWg-FWqhfKhz8KrujUPTnV9J_g&rewardStyle=rewardStyle

      The lace up...

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    2. What Kate Wore (blog) had info about the boots; they even were on sale at the SOREL website last week. Maybe still are?

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    3. I believe the lace up. Get them you will Not be disappointed! :)

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    4. Caroline in Montana7 February 2018 at 19:59

      Thanks Ladies! I ordered the lace up and they were still on sale:) cant wait to get them. finally have a repliKate - LOL

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  36. Initially when I saw the Erdem Serafina, I didn't know what to think. Then I watched the dress in videos, it moved beautifully. Ultimately in the context of the event and the entire trip, I felt it was dramatic and spot on. It totally grew on me. I voted for it. As for the pink AMQ, I know so many liked it. I just can't stop seeing Endora from Bewitched, Elizabeth Taylor and other stars of the 1960's. And I agree with many that it just added so much visual volume that all I could do was wonder why this dress? So unflattering.

    Another interesting lesson is to see how few actually comment on this blog vs how many participate in the voting. Wow!

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    1. Interesting point about the voting vs commenting! I never noticed that!?

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    2. Exactly, Suzanne! Isn't it something, to see how many people follow the blog... I mean, there must be even more as not everybody will use the opportunity of voting.

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  37. Isn't it interesting, the comments on the McQ gown. I voted for the Stephanie.. I thought the cut, shape and style far more to her usual taste. The McQ gown is too flowy, too staid. Perhaps without the cape, and a little more structured, but it looks like a nightie.

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  38. I voted for the McQueen dress. I liked the other two also, but in my opinion, they didn't look as evening or formal.

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  39. I was rather disappointed in the outfits on this tour---I just loved the Canada and Australia tour choices! However, I was noticing that when all of the royalty lined up for a photo, they all looked a bit awful (I should talk!), but in the more relaxed photos, they looked pretty good. I think Kate probably looked terrific in person even in the Erdem. :)

    Actually, I thought she looked just incredible in her snow outfits.

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    1. 🌸 I agree, Allison, about the group photos, in both countries. We all know that there is a lot more to life that clothes choices, but for a political, world stage tour, I feel that the PR team responsible for image was lacking, even in the sportswear as the Norwegian outfits could have complimented what Kate and William wore a lot more than it did. It’s basic Photo Op 101 and they missed it. Is it important? Just study the television debates between Nixon and his opponents. They learned the hard way and that is where Photo Op 101 was birthed. Yes. It is important. :)

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  40. I needed a "none of the above" too! However, I am thrilled to see Kate's video about mental health and as much as I love seeing Kate look beautiful thanks to Charlotte and this blog I have learned it isn't JUST about fashion and hair styles.

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  41. It might be an idea to include a "none of the above" section on a poll to allow the poll to note that you could not vote for any of the garments listed because you liked none of them.

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    1. 🌸 Yes, I agree. I, and others, have politely and respectfully suggested before including a “none of the above” option in the polls.

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    2. Caroline in Montana7 February 2018 at 20:02

      Im not sure this is needed. If you don't want to vote, don't. Its the best choice of what is provided not to complain about what she wore.

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    3. Caroline, I'm with you on that approach to voting.

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    4. +1, Caroline and royalfan.

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  42. I like Kate's message for Mental Health Week & I like her new "cat eye". I haven't seen her eye liner done that way before, to my knowledge (or haven't noticed:). I really enjoy hearing her speak & seeing how much more natural she is giving speeches! :) She seems like she's more "comfortable in her own skin" too!

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  43. Really liked the Duchess of Cambridge’s message for Place2Be video; powerful and sends a message of hope and inspiration to every child in any kind of situation. The Duchess of Cambridge’s public speaking has gotten soooo much better; less nerves and more confidence. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  44. Hey, I’ve followed this page since it started but never particularly commented, I very much enjoy feeling part of this shared community with a shared interest in the royals and particularly HRH DoC. So we think she will be doing her usual St Patrick’s day appearance? Or attending the Commonwealth Day ceremony?

    Well done to the admin for this page, you work so hard and are always up to date!

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