Showing posts with label duchess kate green jenny packham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label duchess kate green jenny packham. Show all posts

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Kate Carries out First Engagement of 2014 in Jenny Packham & The Queen's Diamonds!

The Duchess of Cambridge attended The Portrait Gala 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery in London tonight.

A large crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of the Duchess arriving.

The black-tie event marked Kate's first official appearance of 2014. We last saw the Duchess carry out an engagement on 11 December - two months ago - when she joined Prince William for the première of David Attenborough's Alive 3D at the Natural History Museum.

Since then, Her Royal Highness has been taking care of Prince George whilst William undertakes a ten-week bespoke course in agricultural management at Cambridge University. Kate and George also joined the Middleton family for a week-long holiday in Mustique, which was no doubt responsible for Kate's tanned glow tonight.

Royal reporter Victoria Murphy shared a photo of the glittering gold staircase ahead of Kate's arrival.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

Kate, who obtained a history of art degree at St. Andrews University, chose the National Portrait Gallery as one of her first patronages in January 2012 following several private visits beforehand. Since then she has supported the N.P.G. through a series of engagements, and of course to view her first official portrait by Paul Emsley which she described as "amazing".

Before the gala dinner, the Duchess attended a reception where she met a selection of guests including photographer David Bailey, artist Jonathan Yeo, actor Alan Rickman, Elizabeth Hurley, Bryan Adams and Olympic gold medallist Katherine Grainger. Actress Jane Asher and her cartoonist husband Gerald Sarfe were also there.

The guest who garnered the most media attention (aside from Kate) was Grayson Perry, a cross-dressing artist who wore a dress and feather brimmed hat to Buckingham Palace last month to receive his C.B.E. from Prince Charles. There was intense interest in Mr. Perry's sartorial choices for the engagement.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website

Kate chatting with the Gallery's Director Sandy Nairne.

National Portrait Gallery Facebook Page

During the evening guests viewed pen portraits and mystery portrait postcards created by a selection of well-known public figures including Esther Freud, Hilary Mantel, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Richard E. Smith and Gok Wan. The pen portraits were offered for £500 whilst postcards were priced at £250. They were sold on a first-come, first-served basis and will remain at the gallery for the next two days for visitors to buy.

National Portrait Gallery

Funds raised by the Gala will support the Gallery's daily work of delivering inspirational exhibitions and displays, offering unique learning opportunities and undertaking world-class research. Some proceeds will go towards the Gallery's Portrait Fund, which enables the acquisition of portraits of outstanding national importance for the collection.

For those of you within close proximity of London or those planning to visit the city, we would strongly suggest a visit to the gallery. It is a magnificent place steeped in history with an outstanding collection of portraits; there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.


If you cannot visit and wish to support the gallery, a browse through the Online Shop would no doubt prove enjoyable for royal fans. From a £6 mini print of Kate's portrait to a £3.50 Diana, Princess of Wales fridge magnet. Other items include Royal Postcard Sets and Monarchy Card Games.

National Portrait Gallery Online Shop

Rebecca English offered a glance at delicious desserts on display for guests.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

Kate made a short speech at the gallery:

'I just wanted to say how delighted I am to be here this evening to celebrate the fantastic work of The National Portrait Gallery. The Gallery's achievements are exceptional. They hold the most extensive collection of portraits in the world and their unique and brilliant exhibitions never fail to inspire us all.
 But, it is more than simply a world renowned visitor's attraction - the Gallery's outreach and research programmes makes it one of the leading centres for the important study of Portraiture. I simply could not be more proud to be its Patron. Thank you for being here tonight and showing your support. I hope that you all have a wonderful evening.'

According to The Mirror, Kate "endearingly stumbled at the end and put her hand on her chest".

National Portrait Gallery Facebook Page

The dress code for the night dictated "black tie with a touch of sparkle" and the Duchess certainly didn't disappoint in her ink-blue Jenny Packham gown. Of course, we are all familiar with the off-the-shoulder frock which Kate first wore for the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala at Kensington Palace last October.

The silk tulle gown is from the designer's Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 collection and features a deep v neck and black velvet belt. It originally retailed for €4,200 ( $5,700) and appears to be sold out at present.

Jenny Packham

It is a beautiful garment and Her Royal Highness looked effortlessly glamorous tonight.

There was a notable change to the look tonight (one many felt it lacked on its first outing) and that was the addition of a fabulous necklace. Tonight, the Queen loaned Kate a dazzling priceless necklace given to her Majesty as a wedding gift in 1947 from the Nizam of Hyderabad then King of a state in India. The Nizam was the owner of one of the most celebrated and largest private jewellery collections in the world.

Artemisia's Royal Jewels

'The necklace was purchased from Cartier. Actually, in a way it was acquired by Elizabeth herself; the Nizam wasn't in London at the time and left Cartier instructions that the Princess would personally choose her present. It consists of a long chain of 38 diamonds with a diamond-encrusted strap. The centre of the necklace is pave-set with detachable double-drop pendant 13 emerald-cut diamonds and a pear-shaped drop.'

Below we see The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) wearing it for a portrait by Dorothy Wilding in 1952.


A closer look at the necklace on Kate.

Below we see it in a different light.

National Portrait Gallery Facebook Page

Kate wore her art deco earrings - reportedly a wedding gift from Prince Charles.

Many also noted Kate was wearing a new white gold band, thought to be an eternity ring.

Kate completed the look with her trusty black suede Jimmy Choo Cosmic Pumps. They're available in black and nude for €539 at Nordstrom.

The Duchess wore her hair down in loose curls. I think an updo would have really made the look and allowed the fantastic jewels to be truly shown off. What do you think?

It certainly is excellent to see Kate conducting engagements again, isn't it? 

Do take a look at this excellent video from the event including footage from inside the reception and Kate's speech.

We'll see you on Friday (Valentine's Day) when the Duchess will officially open the ICAP Art Room at Northolt High School in London.


Finally, we congratulate the winner of the Séraphine Claret Dress giveaway - Debby Portillo - who commented: "I love the royal blue color. I'm 7 months along, and this would be perfect for my baby shower!" Congratulations, Debby, we hope you enjoy your dress and a huge thank you to Séraphine!

Kate's Favourites