Monday, 17 June 2019

A Very Regal Gathering For Garter Day!

It was a decidedly regal day at Windsor for this year's Order of the Garter ceremonies.


The Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex gathered in the Galilee Porch to watch their husbands participate in the procession. The trio were delighted to be joined by not one but two Queen's today. It was quite the royal reunion as Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Queen Letizia of Spain attended to support their husbands.


The Duchess arrived with Queen Maxima.


The video below has outstanding footage of guests arriving and the royal ladies enjoying each other's company.


Kate chatting with Letizia. Chris Ship reports the Cambridges will undertake a tour towards the end of the year; today Rebecca English suggested Spain might be on the cards.


King Felipe VI was appointed to the Order by Her Majesty during the State Visit in 2017 and King Willem-Alexander during the Dutch State Visit last year. They were installed in St. George’s Chapel as Supernumerary, or Stranger, Knights of the Garter today.


Supernumerary, or Stranger Knights, are overseas monarchs appointed to the Order, and are in addition to the twenty-four knights or ladies. Princess (formerly Queen) Beatrix of the Netherlands was made a member of the Order in 1989. The former King Juan Carlos of Spain was also given the Order in 1988.


The Duchess has previously met the Dutch and Spanish royals on several occasions.


Both couples' attended the Royal wedding in 2011. For Remembrance Sunday 2015, Maxima joined the Duchess and the Countess of Wessex on the balcony at Whitehall.  Kate visited King Willem-Alexander during her first solo visit overseas to the Netherlands in 2016. In 2017, William and Kate attended the Spanish State Banquet in honour of Felipe and Letizia.


It was a royal fashion extravaganza with the ladies attired in pastel shades and whites. Camilla wore a pale pink Anne Valentine coat and Philip Treacy hat. Sophie selected a Suzannah dress and Jane Taylor hat. It was a twill print Cherubina dress and hat for Letizia (with thanks to Queen Letizia Style) and a Claes Iversen creation for Queen Maxima.


Each June, the Knights of the Garter gather at Windsor Castle where new knights take the oath and are invested with the insignia. A lunch is given in the Waterloo Chamber, after which the Knights proceed to a service in St George's Chapel.


The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain, established by King Edward III nearly 700 years ago. The Order includes The Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, several senior Members of the Royal Family, and twenty-four knights or ladies chosen in recognition of their work. Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the Sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally.


Prince William was the 1000th Knight on the register when he joined the Order in 2008.


The Order's motto is 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' which translates to 'Shame on him who thinks evil of it'.


The patron saint of the Order is St George (patron saint of soldiers and also of England) and the spiritual home of the Order is St George's Chapel, Windsor.


The Order's members must wear vestments for ceremonial occasions. Members have worn the blue velvet robe since the 16th century. The heraldic shield of St George is sewn onto the left shoulder of the robe. The hat is a Tudor bonnet of black velvet with a plume of white ostrich and black heron feathers.


The insignia of a knight of the Order of the Garter.


An overview of the procession.


The royal ladies watch on.


King Felipe VI and King Willem-Alexander.


This year Lady Mary Peters and Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury were installed into the Order.


More from Buckingham Palace:

'Lady Mary Peters, CH, DBE (born 6 July 1939) served as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast between 2009 and 2014. In the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich, Lady Mary won the Gold Medal in the pentathlon. In 1975, she established The Mary Peters Trust to support talented young sportsmen and women across Northern Ireland.
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury, KCVO, PC, DL (born 30 September 1946) is a former Leader of the House of Lords. Lord Salisbury is a Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, and was Chairman of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, which organised the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames in 2012. Lord Salisbury is also Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.'

During a two-day visit to Northern Ireland in February, William and Kate met Mary Peters and during a speech William paid tribute to the sporting legend. "Mary Peters, is not only one of the United Kingdom's sporting legends, she's also inspired generation after generation to come together in times of trouble and work for the common good - a lesson I hope many of us can learn from. So it was fitting today that Her Majesty The Queen has appointed Mary to be a Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter - one of the UK's highest honours."


The Queen leads the royal party.


A curtsy for the Queen.


A great shot of Kate with Willem-Alexander and Maxima.


The Cambridges travelled with King Felipe and Queen Letizia in the carriage procession.


The foursome chatting.


Her Majesty and the Duchess of Cornwall.


The scene at Windsor.


A roundup from the afternoon.


It's Kate's sixth appearance at the event. She memorably made her debut in 2008 (the year William was installed as a knight) wearing her black pin dot suit and a Philip Treacy hat. At the time, the appearance sent the engagement rumour mill into overdrive. 


Since the wedding, Kate attended in 2011 wearing Katherine Hooker. In 2012 she repeated a favourite McQueen coatdress and in 2014 it was Christopher Kane.


For Kate's last appearance in 2016, she chose her red Catherine Walker coatdress with her wedding earrings and a matching Lock & Co hat. This remains one of my all time favourite Kate looks. 


Kate was elegant in Catherine Walker's Liza coatdress today.


The piece is described as "A contemporary take on a ’50’s look, this coatdress in ivory wool crepe has copped jacket ‘panels’ edged in fine black lace." The garment has a peter pan collar and falls just below the knee.


The piece bears similarities to Kate's grey and black Catherine Walker coatdress.


The Duchess chose one of her favourite Lock & Co hats for the occasion. Kate debuted the piece for Trooping The Colour in 2011.


The Duchess accessorised with Princess Diana's Collingwood pearl earrings.


Katie notes it appears Kate carried her Stuart Weitzman Muse clutch in black.


And her black Prada cutout pumps.


***********

In other news, today marks the beginning of Children's Hospice Week, a national campaign raising awareness for children's palliative care services. This year's theme is 'Moments That Matter'. The Duchess shared a letter of support in her role as patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices. "It (Moments that Matter) aims to make the most of the very precious time that those using hospice services have. Throughout the week we will hear amazing stories from families facing the toughest of futures. I hope that they will inspire each and every one of us to similarly make the most of the time we have with our own families, by ensuring every moment matters and that we create memories that last forever."



Royal Ascot kicks off tomorrow. I expect we'll see William and Kate at some point during the week.

140 comments:

  1. I love the piping on the dress! Stunning. But another Peter Pan collar?

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    1. Jaime, I have to agree. I think this dress wold have looked great with out a collar at all or maybe a pointed one.

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  2. Stunning Kate Just perfect and elegant Love it x

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  3. I love a good piping on a coatdress - whether it's black and white or white and navy, the more simple, the better! Kate looks lovely as usual :)

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  4. Wow. It 's a pleasure to see group of royal ladies. They looks perfect, every in her own style.

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  5. My jaw actually dropped - love the fresh take on her coatdress uniform!! So chic!!

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    1. Agreed! As someone who is very tired of her typical cost dresses, this is lovely! Black and white always look chic together.

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  6. Ooh I like this. Very Kate with the buttons and Peter Pan collar but the black piping gives it a youthful look. This looks more like 2011-12 Kate. Best thing: no brown socks!

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    1. Please explain the brown socks reference

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    2. It's what I call her ubiquitous praline pumps.

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    3. Zora from Prague17 June 2019 at 22:05

      I thought of you, Ivy Lin, when I saw Queen Maxima's pumps! 🙂

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  7. Caroline in Montana17 June 2019 at 15:49

    Love the detail and so nice to see letezia and max with her!! cant wait for more pictures!! Thanks Charlotte

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  8. I think she looks fantastic—stunning. Classic and elegant as always.

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  9. While I enjoy seeing William and Kate, I have never been in awe of this ceremony and Order. It feels far too exclusive and it is concerning and disappointing that there is such a lack of diversity within its members.

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    1. I love it, it is living history. A little more than 1000 knights in 700 years, all of them of huge historic relevance. Exclusivity is the whole point of it!

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    2. I agree with you

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    3. But that's it's history--men of chivalry, thus a few select individuals who meet certain requirements. And now they include women, so it is diversifying.

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    4. I actually feel the same way about the Ascot event and the garden parties. To me the optics of these events in the 21st century is questionable. 100% white, aristocratic people. I don;t know what exactly they can do about this as the people who would be invited to these gatherings are rich, aristocratic, and white. But it does make the royals look out of touch and not reflective of the very diverse Commonwealth they serve.

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    5. Becca H in Colorado17 June 2019 at 19:43

      I rather agree, along with Ascot. Sadly, I don't really think enough people in Britain want to change. From what I hear, classism still rings true in England and until that changes, I don't know that these kinds of events will become more diversified. I could be wrong, however, as I'm not British. That's just the vibe I get from what I've heard and read.

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    6. Zora from Prague17 June 2019 at 20:14

      As a non-British observer, I can only wish we had something similar. It definitely brings a touch of history and tradition and the idea of knighthood - people observing the virtues of honour, service, bravery, truthfulness - is by no means outdated today.

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    7. it is exclusive and they mean it to be that way.

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    8. Nicole from france17 June 2019 at 20:22

      Ivy LIn and Becca, don’t you think nobody want any change right now by respect to the Queen ? This woman has lived through so many revolutions , yes I do think this work is correct , she certainly have evolved in many ways , she certainly has made such efforts to follow the evolution of the world , would it be fair to cut short the Garter ceremonies and Ascot ?
      Not that I feel these two points adapted to our world in 2019 , but the Garter order is a chivalry order , and most European countries do loath old chivalry up to now .... On the contrary , As ot is mainly a matter of white wealthy people , but the Queen loves horses and has done a great lot for them , either race horses or work horses . Possibly , Charles beeing’ on the throne , thinks will change ...they have already , mind you , a lot less gowns and blings and furs for a lot of events, for example .
      And all that is still important for simple people all around the Commonwealth ....

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    9. While I understand the history and tradition of the Order of the Garter, Ascot, royal and aristocratic titles, the monarchy itself, etc., I will never be able to agree with the exclusiveness and hierarchy they embody. I understand that many will disagree with me and that is okay.
      I would wish that these traditions would be open to more people. Yes, the Order of the Garter now includes women, but there are very few non-royal females, and there are no people of color. It would be nice if Ascot could be open to many more people from all walks of life, especially those communities that are often marginalized and ostracized.

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    10. Just to be technical, Ascot is open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket. But it is a very niche market. When I worked in London, I so wanted to attend Ascot, but none of my friends wanted to spend their hard earned money on a ticket and outfit for a day of horse racing - a sport which none of us understood or had any interest in.

      As for the Order of the Garter, with only 1000 knights over 700 years change will definitely be a slow process. Especially since it is lifelong positions.

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    11. The Garden Parties certainly aren't 100% white, aristocratic people. That's the point of them - to invite people from all walks of life who have given service to their communities in all sorts of ways.

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    12. There is a world of difference between garden parties, Royal Ascot and the Order of the Garter. The main thing they have in common is that the royal family attends and they all fall in May or June.

      Garden parties are very egalitarian if you will - thousands of people who have contributed to life in some small way are invited. These replaced the older court presentations of debutantes and the queen herself initiated this change in the fifties. There were earlier garden parties of course, but the queen was the one who made them about those who had made some contribution, often at a very local level. Thousands of people of diverse talents and backgrounds attend.

      Ascot is a social event - anyone can attend who is willing to pay - at various levels, the lowest of which is within the range of many. It's no different from attending theatre or Covent Garden. Racing is becoming less popular overall - I don't personally care for it although my dad loved it, but I do imagine Ascot will continue even after the queen's time, although I suspect her stables will be wound up since neither Charles nor his sons seem to have the interest in breeding. There are dress codes at each level of Ascot with increasing formality and there is an effort to keep things a bit more 'classy' than what the Derby has recently become.

      The Garter is an elite and limited honour society for those who have contributed at a high level to the nation and the monarch. It is to be noted that a woman involved in sport as well as charitable endeavours was admitted as well as a member of the Cecil family - an extremely historic family whose service to the nation and the monarch goes back to William and Robert Cecil in Tudor times as well as a Victorian prime minister. Many, myself included, feel history should not be forgotten - it is the core of the nation. The current Lord Cecil organised the queen's last jubilee. Membership in the Garter remains in the hands of the monarchy and so those who have given service to the monarchy will be included in the membership - other orders are somewhat different. Members of the order outside of royalty tend to be older - wise as their time in public life, and the scandals that can come with that, are past - I would fully expect a more diverse membership as people from different backgrounds play an increasingly large role in public life and with the monarchy, but I would hate to see a 'token' membership - it should remain one based on merit and service as are the other orders.

      The monarchy itself by definition and unequal organisation that implies a level of deference based on birth and marriage to people of birth. Republicans who are increasing in numbers argue this is outdated - however it has the benefit of allowing for a representative organisation outside of partisan politics that can highlight various concerns of the nation as well as those who contribute to it. It should always remain far apart from celebrity - it is far more akin to diplomatic representation which is bound by protocol and rules - designed to make connections between nations fair.

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    13. Zora from Prague18 June 2019 at 14:34

      Thank you for the detailed explanation, Julia! I loved reading it and I really appreciate your insight.

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    14. Thank you Julia for this well written piece. We live in an age when change is common. We think things can easily be done away with. I appreciate that there are ways of life, cultures, countries, people who are perhaps not so keen to let all history go. The things we think are right and proper today, in 100 or 200 years may not seem right and proper to those generations. So something that has endured for 700 years is remarkable and not worth letting go quickly.
      NS

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    15. We have been missing this from you Julia! Your articulate explanations and ability to impart your knowledge and insight on these topics is greatly appreciated. I completely agree with everything you said. Garter is a time honored tradition and membership is reflected in merit and service and should remain that way, sometimes we need to keep standards and expectations high to inspire higher service. Your liking the monarchy as a diplomatic representation is a very good distinction for its difference from celebrity, and a very good reason for why it should remain so. Well stated Julia.

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    16. It's not about diversity. It's exclusive. All peoples have ceremonial rights which are exclusive.

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    17. Thank you for clarifying Julia. The order of the Garter is a chivalry order and has such has very strict rules on who can enter and about what it implies being a knight. It is not only a recognition, it is a life long commitment to the order and its values and it implies obligations.

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  10. Kate has been knocking it out of the park! Love her. Everyone looks great. Can’t wait to see more pictures!

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  11. Is this the same as that other coat dress, but just in white/black instead of gray/black?

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    1. Looks like it's the same.

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    2. KAte: not my cup of tea at all. best dressed: Maxima. Second best: Sophie.

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  12. Look at how perfect she is. Always smiling, always poised, always ready for the camera. Kate was born for this! Impeccable outfit again. A ten!

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  13. Maxima is such a QUEEN. Kate looks fabulous but I do wish she's retire the Peter Pan collars and do more straight skirts. The combination makes her look very queen in training, which I guess she is, but I'm ready for her to smoke.

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  14. Kate looks wonderful. All the ladies look great in their own ways.

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  15. I think Kate looks great. It’s the same gray coat dress it seems in white. It suits her! It’s very chic.
    But I am in love with Maxima’s and Letizia’s looks. I love that belted cape dress

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  16. SO IMPRESSIVE! Everybody looking FAB! XOXOXOX

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  17. Wow. Boring and matronly. A miss for me!
    Beth in SF

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  18. I love this look, but am tired of these 40’’s style up-do’s - would have loved a half up/half down look with this.

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    1. Her hair style was completely appropriate for the occasion. All of the other ladies had their hair up, including Letiza. The updo elevates the look in accordance with the elevated status of this very regal event and in the presence of other Queens. Her hair half up/half down would be better suited to another event, maybe one less formal. IMO

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    2. I too love her updo. I have enjoyed the variation we've been seeing in her updos lately! Gorgeous as usual! :) xx

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  19. I just saw a full-length photo and am in love with her shoes!

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  20. Reminds me of the white suit with navy trimming on VJ Day 50th Anniversary Celebration with the boys in 1995.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/07/princess-diana-documentary-hbo-prince-william-prince-harry for the photo.

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    1. Me, too, Denise! Both Diana and Catherine look fantastic in white. :o)

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  21. Sigh. She's wearing so many dresses and coatdresses with the same silhouette and general look. They've become rather tedious. There's nothing wrong with her outfits -- they are perfectly designed and tailored -- and I do realize that when she has to wear so many, some repetition of look is going to occur. Still, I wish she would make more of an effort to up her style game. On the other hand, I'm happy to see this hat again. I've always liked it.

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  22. I like the different look on the Duchess of Cambridge and look forward to the full post.

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  23. Kate looks beautiful, as always. But standing next to these very chic women only enhances her complete lack of style. I've (very sadly) hopped on the Debbie Downer train with Kate because I wish she would hire a stylist to help her develop a look that is interesting, appropriate, comfortable. A coat dress here and there is great, but for every single event? It's become a uniform and, in my very humble opinion, is an outward expression of her insecurities. Feeling good in the clothes you wear can be huge confidence builder, and I think that's what she needs.

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    1. Although the Queen wears the same thing over and over and I assume she has long put to rest any insecurities she may have had when she was younger. One plus to wearing the same basic style is a new outfit can be made up fairly easily and quickly as the designer has all the measurements and patterns right at hand. Cuts down on Kate's needing to meet as often with designers.

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    2. Insecurities seriously? I think it actually shows confidence to wear something you are more comfortable with than clothes you wear just to please others. Her look is appropriate and comfortable. Does that mean for you The Queen is insecure because she wears the same type of coat dresses and hats in every single event? I'll gladly take your psychology opinion about Kate if you all applied to the other royals.

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    3. insecurities ? I think you don't understand this philosophy on Catherine's style. It's actually the opposite. She is confident, impeccable, comfortable and CHIC. In UK, coat dresses are classic, basic style and appropriate for formal occasion. Catherine is eclectic in her style, that is, she wears many different styles as and when the event calls for.

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    4. It's her working uniform, Like a suits For businessman. And chapeau For her choice not to follow common fashion style.

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    5. I totally agree with unknown 19:31, Sarah & Lella! She is not our personal barbie doll & does not exist to suit our fashion pleasure. I agree that wearing what she likes is completely a show of confidence! Bonus, she always looks lovely! :) xx

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    6. I believe Kate does have a stylist. Doing these events is her job and a lot of people do have a work wardrobe that they consider a uniform. It’s also her job to be appropriately dressed, which she is. I don’t believe her wardrobe is a reflection of insecurity. In fact I think Kate probably chooses these types of styles because it is simply what she likes and she is comfortable in them. If anything I think Kate’s confidence in her role has grown and is very clear to see recently. I really don’t see the connection between appropriate attire, all be it a little predictable, and insecurity. Don’t many people have a signature look?

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    7. Just another angle on the reasons behind Kate’s uniform. I think Kate understands (and has experienced) that a public role like hers comes with a lot of criticism. You can literally go from hero to zero between the morning and afternoon papers. But I think she also understands that in this little section of her life she doesn’t need to invite criticism. You might like today’s outfit or not, but it is perfectly appropriate and unsurprising.
      Take Queen Maxima as the other end of the spectrum. Half her outfits I love (like today’s) but the other half I hate with a passion. You can just as easily put together a collage of Max’s worst dress moments as her best dress moments.
      It is just different ways of dealing with the same problem.

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    8. I think that Kate's "uniform" is fine but sometimes I wish she'd do something slightly unpredictable at these sorts of events. For instance I think red shoes would have looked great with this outfit. Sophie's pop of peach color in her dress makes her stand out, even though she's also following the dress code. Same for Queen Letizia's veiled hat. Just little small details that can make an outfit more chic.

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    9. I see the argument that she has developed a look that she feels comfortable in. I don’t disagree. But my point was that she has a magnificent platform to exhibit really a really fashion forward wardrobe that is interesting, thoughtful, AND comfortable. My opinion, which of course you ladies can disagree with, is that she shoots for comfortable and ordinary. I have no idea if this is with intention or because she just doesn’t have a clue. I just think she could do ore with her resources. That said, I will always be a big supporter of Kate and her causes. Her style, not so much.

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    10. I only partially agree with the insecure comments...
      I think she is very confident in the clothes, or uniform, she usually wears! But at the same time, quite insecure when she is outside her (probably rather narrow) comfort zone.
      That is not surprising though, I would not be much different, knowing that thousends of people judge my choices.
      Tidefi

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  24. I have always loved the history of the Order of the Garter and love that the traditions of it have been carried down to today. Great photo of Kate and Letizia in the carriage together. They both look so elegant and beautiful! Great post as usual, thanks for all your hard work.

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  25. Group of Queens (I know Camila and Catherine aren’t queens-yet) absolutely killing it.

    Queen Maxima just has THE best style. I love her looks!

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    1. I like her style also but she must have the tiniest rib cage. I love wide belts but the very wide ones I find so uncomfortable going across my rib cage. If is is big enough to be comfortable over my ribs it is huge at my waist.

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  26. Annika - Boston17 June 2019 at 17:34

    Ok I’m just gonna say it. I don’t like this coat dress. It looks so matronly!! Letizia, Maxima and Sophie look much younger and fresher than Kate despite being older!! The fake cropped jacket panels on the side just kill it for me. It looks like this belongs in Camilla’s closet and not Kate’s. But I do love the hat and the shoes! And even though I hate the dress she does look lovely 🤷🏻‍♀️

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    1. I actually think this is not Letizia's best look and that it's not particularly "fresh". However, Letizia does play around with style and fashion rather more than Kate Cambridge does, and Maxima and Sophie Wessex certainly do, too. Letizia is helped by the fact that she is a natural beauty. Kate Cambridge is attractive, certainly and makes the most of her looks, but she is not the genuine beauty the Queen of Spain is.

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  27. This look on Kate is stunning. All the royal ladies looks amazing, but Kate far outshines all of them. Those shoes are one of my favorites pairs that Kate owns.

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  28. Kate looks so stunning today! She certainly holds her own with the cream of European royalty! Love the shoes and anything by Catherine Walker! She is a wonderful ambassador and fills her role to perfection!

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  29. Stunning!!!!!! Such a fresh look in a silhouette that suits her to a T. The hat and shoes are perfect too, and the hair. She looks absolutely fantastic in every way!

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  30. Thank you for reporting! Two things— 1. I thought Kate was being instated in the order? 2. The dress name Liza puts me in the mind of Eliza Doolittle’s ascot dress from the movie!

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    1. No, Kate's not being installed in the Order. She was made a member of the Royal Victorian Order last month - maybe you're thinking of that?

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  31. I love this event and I love Kate’s look, but all I’m thinking is this: What is happening with Queen maxima’s hat? WOW. (I guess if you’re a queen you can get away with such a.... statement piece. But wow. That’s quite a large hat.) she looks great. But imagine it on anyone else’s head.

    Annie
    NY, USA

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    1. You ain’t see nothing yet. Compared to some of the other hats in her collection this hat is perfectly conservative. Maxima loves a big hat and she can definitely pull it off.

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  32. Love the picture of William and Charles in the foreground and Maxima and Kate giggling in the background. Makes me wonder if they were intentionally trying to make their husbands crack a smile. So cute!

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  33. I honestly think it is one of Kate's worst look for a big ceremony. The catherine walker coat looks fresh and nice on the model so I wouldn't blame the designer but the whole look on Kate is desastrous. Mixing a peter pan collar with a very big and conservative up-do and a huge hat is a recipe for disaster. I would not say that peter pan collars are for children but I do think they look better on young women or women wearing their hair down and trying to break the look of a schoolgirl and making it cool and sexy. This is evidently not what Kate is looking for and it shows. A different collar and/or her hair down would have totally changed the outfit. If kate feels that she should now always have big up-dos when wearing hats, she should forego peter pan collars in my opinion.

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    1. It does look better on the model, doesn't it? One difference is that it's slightly longer on her and so more elegant in effect. Another is that the model is wearing her hair down and is not wearing a hat. I think just letting her hair hang loose would have helped the Duchess look less staid in this coatdress.

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    2. Rita in Florida18 June 2019 at 01:22

      Ding ding ding Anon 1852. I agree 100%. I do think Kate has her style and generally I like it on her, but the collar and updo and white created a severe unflattering combo.

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  34. Why did Kate not attend the last 2 years?

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    1. There wasn’t a Garter service in 2017 because it clashed with the opening of parlement. Last year she was on maternity leave. She doesn’t really have a role at this event, she is just William’s +1, so she never attended when on maternity leave.

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  35. I think white sometimes washes Kate out would have preferred pink with white lace. Also the fit isn’t great see a few buttons pulling especially when seated. Somehow I feel this piece isn’t as good with her coloring she looks pale

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  36. I love the way Maxima matches her leather gloves to what she is wearing, so chic.

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  37. Becca H in Colorado17 June 2019 at 19:41

    I actually think Sophie takes the cake for best dressed today. She looks fantastic! That color is gorgeous. Letizia is always chic af and I love Maxima. Kate looks classic Kate, nothing outstanding for me.

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    1. Nicole from france17 June 2019 at 20:10

      Becca , I do,like Sophie too !!! She makes’ me think of paintings by a French painter called Watteau , maybe because of the hat and the pink skirt .....

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  38. Zora from Prague17 June 2019 at 19:49

    One thing struck me - how Kate looks so much better now than 11 years ago! Much more elegant and "noble". It's just my opinion but perhaps I'm not the only one. Some ladies do look better at 40 than they did at 25 and I suspect Kate might be one of them!

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    1. Nicole from france17 June 2019 at 20:09

      Elegant is not the word I would’use ....conventional, matronly , I am always surprised that , having studied and graduated in art history , she does show more artistic spirit .... she could certainly, without overpassing the dignity of her rank ! Besides she wears jewels except ear rings , I used to be very interested in her sartorial choices , I am not anymore ... thinking she wears Erdem stuff , and also Peter Pan collars .....

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    2. Zora from Prague17 June 2019 at 21:01

      Nicole, we can surely differ in our style preferences (to me Kate does not look matronly at all but it's a matter of personal taste); what I meant was the contrast between the photo from 2008 and today, not clothes, but her face. Another royal lady who lMO looks better now than when she was younger is Sophie Wessex.

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    3. Personally I love Kate's look, that she has established. I also feel she made it clear from the start that she was not going to be a fashion plate. She wears what she likes & is always lovely! I believe wanting anything more from her is us projecting onto her the status of a dress up doll. Just my 2 cents. I like that she knows her own mind & is always lovely! (whether I would have chosen a given outfit for a certain occasion or not... but I'm usually always a fan of her choices!)

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    4. Spirited, whimsical, and artsy are not words that a royal of senior ranking like Duchess Catherine would want used to describe her wardrobe choices; elegant, chic, charming, and classic are the words to describe this regal duchess!

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    5. Perfectly expressed, Becca USA. I think many of the criticisms are projections. Nothing wrong with that as long as we recognized it for what it is. I think they should be expressed as "I'd like to see..." rather than "She should..."
      Your comment regarding "dress up doll" is so perfectly on point. I think you've really put it in perspective!

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    6. Zora, I agree. I think Kate is just getting better and better. I love this look on her...absolutely gorgeous! Classy and beautiful.

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  39. I thought all the royal women looked well-dressed and elegant. Special shout-out to Sophie for most stylish. The trim details on Kate's coat-dress remind me a bit of Camilla's green dress at TTC. I think Peter Pan collars and peplums are a part of Kate's signature style now. I thought Maxima looked the most stately. Camilla always looks great- she has a style and sticks to it. Letizia looks beautiful, although her dress makes her a tad less formal, IMO. A lovely group of beautifully dressed women! And I loved the HM's earrings-a nice change from her pearls.

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    1. Maxima did look the best of them all,,even better than Kate, imo. Letizia's dress print looked a little weird to me from a distance, but upclose in the pictures, it does look very nice,, hopefully we should see them at the Ascots this week!!XOXO Siddhii

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  40. I dislike peter pan collars for women. This coat-dress would look wonderful on Charlotte.

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  41. The Duchess looks wonderful and totally holds her own with the other royal ladies. I notice Queen Letiza is wearing a stunning broach, I would love if Kate started to wear broaches, she could certainly borrow form the amazing collection of HM The Queen. Hope to see them all at Royal Ascot tomorrow or in the nest few days.

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    1. Absolutely Agree!! Such a treat to see her in this group! We've been sensing it for a while now, but it's clear that she has truly come into her own & is 100% comfortable in her role! :)xx

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  42. LOVE this outfit. I disagree with many. I think it looks young and fresh. With her lean tall frame this style looks awesome.

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  43. Wow! To look at that photo of Kate from 2008 & to look at her now..... sometimes I find it hard to see that young Kate Middleton in her now, during such Royal Events! She's Every Inch The Queen To Be!! For me it's in the times when we see "Casual Kate" out in nature & especially with little children that I see hints of that young Kate Middleton peak out! She's gone through an impressive evolution & has done it authentically & on W&K's own terms... & without putting a foot wrong! Bravo & Lucky BRF & Lucky UK!! :) xx

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  44. Oh & I almost forgot the most important parts... I Loved her look, gorgeous outfit & I Looooved seeing her with Queen Letizia & Queen Maxima!! Wow! Such Fun!! Royal Watching at it's best!!

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  45. Tammy from California17 June 2019 at 21:38

    LOVE this coat!! The black detail and peter pan collar (MY FAVORITE!) are just beautiful. Love the hat she paired with it too. Shoes too.

    It looks like Queen Maxima has an outgoing personality because there seems to be a lot of laughter coming from Kate and her. How wonderful.

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  46. I just watched the video. I got a kick out of seeing Alistair Bruce standing on the stairs in his garb (the version that reminded me of the Tudor era) just to the left behind the Queen as she sat in her carriage waiting for C&C to be loaded up. He's so wonderful with his insights on & for Downton Abbey & whenever he's part of the Royal news coverage. Also, I thought Sophie was & is such a delight! She just seems like such a sunny person! I loved her ensemble today! :) Lastly...... I was wondering if the railing, that HM used as she walked down the stairs, is removable!? I don't recall seeing it when Harry & Meghan came out at the end of their Wedding & stood at the top of the stairs, or when Meghan walked up them with her long train? I also was just there myself in May & I just recall seeing a beautiful open set of stairs up to the entrance!? So either they are removable or I've really lost my marbles! lol :) xx

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  47. With all the extra royals there we also got a good lesson in the lost art of carriage seating etiquette. It is interesting that gender plays a bigger role in where you sit than precedence or position.
    As facing backwards is less comfortable and more likely to make you sick, the forward facing seats are prime position and are taken up by the ladies.

    With 2 couples in the carriage the women will face forward and the men backwards even though Willem-Alexander is a king and Kate only a Duchess.
    The same happened with the Queen, Charles and Camilla. Camilla sat next to the Queen - facing forward - rather than next to Charles, even though the seat next to Charles was open. However if it was two men and a woman in the carriage the woman’s husband will sit next to her facing forward and the single man will face backwards.

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    1. Interesting! Never noticed that before.

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    2. Thanks so much for this information! I never really thought about how they sit in carriages before, but this is really interesting and makes perfect sense.

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    3. Kate and William were in the carriage with Letizia and Felipe.

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  48. It was lovely to see so many Royal ladies today. They all looked so elegant. Not crazy about Kate’s outfit.
    I get the uniform coat dress look but I do think this coat dress is very girly and more suitable for someone like Sophie’s daughter Louise. I think Kate is now very regal and confident in her role so I would love to see her move on to a more sophisticated style. Sinead

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  49. Queen letiza and maxima looks so good i love their outfits hmm i love the duchess camilla dress i love the duchess kate wearing i think these working uniform

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  50. The 2016 red look is her best. This one is inoffensive and attractive. Sophie and the foreign queens steal the day. Kate has at least one photo lately in which she looks hysterically vivacious. Clenched teeth, neck ligaments hard as rock, eyebrows in the sky. Alarming. I hope she has time to de-stress over the summer.

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  51. All the ladies looked lovely, but Maxima takes my top vote. Just stunning!

    Elisa

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  52. Terrific coverage. Thanks so much. Regarding the Order, is there any inkling that Prince Harry might one day be installed as a Knight?

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    1. As much as anything is certain, Harry will one day be a Garter Knight. But it might still be a while. Andrew and Edward was only made knights in their late 40’s. If you look at the group photo William is actually the exception being younger than the other knights by a good couple of decades.
      My guess (not based on any facts or rumours) is that when Charles becomes king the first knights he would install will be Camilla and Harry. It just seems fitting.
      If we want to play speculation the interesting question is whether Meghan might one day be a Garter knight? There is no precedent for it as none of HM in-law’s are Garter Knights. But if the working royal family is smaller the in-laws will definitely play a bigger role, so why not.

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    2. I believe the number of Knights from the royal family is restricted to 8 . So Harry has to wait till one of his uncles/aunts/cousins dies. As for Camilla, I don't think she ever will, neither Kate nor Meghan. Philip is a knight but he is of royal blood himself.

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  53. Valerie in Arizona18 June 2019 at 00:42

    I love how Kate and Maxima are laughing and truly enjoying themselves. And then Willem joins in. He has such a jolly face to begin with. Letizia looked rather reserved and formal but then I find she usually does look rather reserved. Gorgeous woman but she seems to always be holding herself together. Felipe has grown so much older. He, too, is still so very handsome but he looks a lot older.

    Kate looks, as always, perfectly appropriate for the occasion. I giggled to myself when a few people said she looked matronly. My vision of matronly is someone who is about 30 pounds overweight, wears low-heeled shoes and carries a purse like the Queen does. Not at all like Kate but maybe kind of like Hyacinth Bucket. But chacun a son gout and to each her own visions ;)

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    1. I agree with you Valerie!! I was struck by how much Maxima and Kate were talking, laughing and generally interacting, like old friends. Love the picture of the King, Maxima and Kate laughing together. Would also agree about Letizia, she is beautiful and lovely but somewhat emotionless. Maxima has such a vivaciousness to her that seems infectious if you are near her.

      Loved your visual image of matronly, made me smile because I too would envision Hyacinth Bucket, not Kate! Kate was perfect for the occasion! All of the royal ladies had their own sense of style and didn't compete with each other, it was a beautiful display of royal elegance. cc

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    2. Valerie in Arizona18 June 2019 at 17:55

      The funny thing CeCe is that I would have thought Letizia would be bubbly and laughing but then I think I am confusing the Spanish with the Italian. I have been to Spain several times, and to Italy, and it always seems to me that the Spanish are more formal--which I actually enjoy, love, love, LOVE Spain--than the Italian or the French. And of course Maxima is actually Argentinian. No wonder that Willem insisted on marrying her! She has such a fantastic personality.

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    3. I thought the same about Letizia as well, but she does tend to be a more formal!! As for Maxima, well the Argentinians are known for their beauty (including the men) and their charming personalities. A culture that shares a beautiful blend of ancestry with Germans, Italians, and Spaniards. I think Maxima is a wonderful compliment to Wilheim and is great example to Kate, she knows how to be her own person and stand by her King's side, but not a Queen in her own right (if you understand what I mean). I think Kate will be same type of asset to William when he is King. I hope that these two couples build their relationship and remain friends for a very long time. It was heart warming to watch. cc

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  54. They are all très élégante. Beautiful ladies exquisitely dressed.

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  55. The Duchess looks nice, but its the same style and matronly. Her updo and earrings I love. Queen Maxima looked superb, she really looks a class act. The cape effect on her dress was stunning, she oozes elegance. The colour of her outfit and accessories spot on. She is a beautiful woman and has such an engaging personality. I love the added touch of gloves it just finishes the outfit. Queen of Spain looked lovely. The Duchess of Cornwell, just loved her choker.

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  56. I love Kate’s outfits! In years to come when we look back at her choices she will not look dated, but classic. Her style will transcend time.

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  57. Love these photos. The queens and duchesses seem to really get along. I love the shots of them all chatting.

    Is it common for the royalty of other countries to join the order? Or even people from other countries, in general?

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  58. she looks lovely thanks Charlotte for your hard work and for yet another great post

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  59. Royal 👑 Watcher18 June 2019 at 05:27

    I love this exclusive event, it’s royal history at its very best. It would be nice to see Prince Harry invested, he has done much work for the Queen and keep doing so. It would be nice to see the two brothers and their dad together in this. I love the fashion too, all rye royal ladies look fabulous.

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  60. Even though I'm bored with Kate dressed in coat dresses this is the perfect occasion to wear one and I think she looks fabulous for the Garter ceremony. Letizia wins for me though I love her total look. Is it the light in the pictures but it looks like both Kate and Leti are not wearing pantyhose?? I can't imagine it for such a formal occasion but could it be possible?? ; )

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    1. I wondered the same thing Anon about Kate and Letizia not wearing hosiery. But then there are times when I can't tell Kate is wearing them. She wears a particular style that are wonderful, they are very light. Letizia does however, look like she isn't wearing them.

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  61. It seems like William did not only miss the group photo, but he and Kate did not attend the investiture or the lunch. Now I am sure there was a perfectly good reason why they were not there, but I am struggling to think of something that is so important that it would warrant missing the Garter Lunch.

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  62. I liked Kate's outfit very much - the collar doesn't bother me as it seems to be very much part of the design with the trim. I personally would like a little more length but the Walker coats seem cut this way. I do like the consistency of Kate's look - royals aren't meant to be fashionistas.

    I normally love Letizia's looks - she has amazing style whilst still managing to look very regal. This dress appealed to me less, it just didn't have quite her usual flair, but I do like that it was reasonably priced and a Spanish brand.

    I'm not a great fan of Maxima's style although her visits here seem to bring out the best in her - I thought this outfit quite wonderful as was her hat. So my views are a bit topsy-turvey as to these queens.

    Camilla looked as usual and Sophie very nice - like Kate, and like Diana earlier, using a few core designers, mixed occasionally with others, makes her formal looks consistent.

    People speak a lot about Diana's fashion, but she actually during her marriage used a very consistent style of British designers - often wearing the same shape done up in different fabrics - suits and coat dresses. So Kate is very much following in her tradition but with her own preferences in shapes.

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    1. I agree with you Julia on the styles of the royal ladies. In comparison to the other ladies, Kate's dress is a little shorter, and it looks longer on the model. I would have liked it a tad bit longer for Kate, but loved the design and trim of the dress (but then I am a fan of Catherine Walker). Letizia does have a certain flair to her dressing, but this dress didn't strike me as a stand-out, especially for the event, but loved her hat. I am with you on Maxima, I can't always decide if I like her style consistently, she has some over the top moments, but this look was very regal. Loved Sophie's look, it suited her. I am not quite sure why Kate gets criticized so much for her consistent dressing, because you are right Sophie, Diana and even Camilla and the Queen, all follow their own style tradition and preferences. While I love the fashion, I have come around to the royals aren't fashionistas but must always be royal, elegant, and well turned out. cc

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  63. Thank you Charlotte for an interesting post A tradition that dates back 700 years is awe inspiring, what an historical timeline it covers. Just a thought perhaps sometimes we should research just a tad before commenting. For the people who commented that this was only for aristocrats and very exclusive, perhaps you should research Lady Mary Perters. She is not an aristocrat coming from an ordinary family but she has an impressive CV, especially for a woman of her age. She is an Olympic gold medalist - pentathion 1972 and spent her life trying to forward sport for men and women from less advantageous backgrounds and trying to heal differences and divide in Northern Ireland. She was given her title in recognition for her work and today is further honoured. In my opinion well deserved and very much in the spirit of how the world is moving in the 21st century. It is after all similar to the thrust of some of William and Harry's charities.

    I liked all the fashion. What stood out for me was how the fashion was such a strong reflection of the individual women's personalities and the countries they represent. When one looks back at the young Kate, what an elegant, chic woman she has become. I have really enjoyed following her journey.

    And finally what an amazing woman our Queen is. Not many 93 year olds could walk down all those stairs unassisted never mind making the journey encumbered by the weight of those robes and then at the end of it have to clamber into the carriage as well.

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    1. Zora from Prague18 June 2019 at 19:11

      I agree with everything you say, Libby! The Queen is just incredible.

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  64. Kate.always looks so elegant at this event, and at Trooping as well. Personally I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of her classic style at the Royal functions, I particularly liked how the pattern in her hat worked with the cutout design in her shoes.

    Fun seeing her with the Dutch and Spanish queens. Maximilia looked so regal, and the capelike sleeves on her dress were a very interesting feature. I wasn’t so wowed with Letizia’s look. For some reason, I felt like it was very aging on her. Maybe it was the mid calf length of the dress? I did notice her hat was titled to the left, so I’ll file that away in my Hat Tilt Observation Project files. :)

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  65. As always, lovely informative post. Thank you so much, Charlotte! I appreciate the integrity and hard work you bring to your blogs.

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  66. Kate looks fabulous. I love everything about this look. She's really growing into her role nicely. Confidence & joy on full display.

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  67. Does anybody know who is the young lady dark hair blue/yellow dress that has been introduced to Queen Letizia in the first video at 14'? Thanks

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    1. I'm not sure of her name, but I think she is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess Gloucester. The woman that introduced her was her mother, the Duchess.

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    2. Zora from Prague19 June 2019 at 17:47

      I'd like to know too. She doesn't look like either of the Gloucester daughters (Davina and Rose). They are both blond and also older (41 and 38). She is probably family though as she Sophie greets her very warmly.

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    3. It is Zenouska Mowatt - granddaughter of Princess Alexandra who is a member of the Garter. Zenouska's mother Marina is something of a black sheep - there were a number of scandals in the past from a dodgy marriage to outspokenness about how her parents wanted her to have a termination, to living on benefits. She's divorced from Zenouska's father.

      Zenouska was at the Trooping too - not certain why she is appearing so much - perhaps her grandmother likes it. She's identified further by the Court Jeweller who suggests she's accompanying Princess Alexandra. Zenouska has a younger brother as well.

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    4. Annette New Zealand20 June 2019 at 05:18

      I'm pretty sure it is Princess Alexandra's granddaughter, the child of her only daughter Marina Mowatt and her photographer husband. From memory the granddaughter's name is Anushka or something similar. It is only in recent years that Princess Alexandra's family have started to turn up at royal events.

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    5. Annette New Zealand20 June 2019 at 05:30

      It is Zenouska Mowatt not Anushka and she is definitely Princess Alexandra's grand daughter.

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    6. Zora from Prague20 June 2019 at 17:00

      Thank you, Julia and Annette!! How lucky we are here - there is always a royal expert who knows the answer! 😃 I'll have to do some research about the relatives of Princess Alexandra for my homework 🤓

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  68. Catherine's outfit was appropriate and coordinated from head to toe with the beautiful Lion Tamer’ hat, that I Love and was happy to see her wear it again. Queen Letizia headband was the nicest style with the peonies flower of all the ladies that have wore headbands. Queen Maxima whole outfit was the most regal and beautiful out all the woman today, she won the fashion show ❤️.

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