Monday, 18 November 2019

The Duchess in Black Lace McQueen For Royal Variety Performance

It was an evening of entertainment and glamorous guests for the annual Royal Variety Performance at London's Palladium Theatre.


The Duke and Duchess arriving.


The Royal Variety Performance takes place every year and is held in aid of the Royal Variety Charity. The money raised from the show helps hundreds of entertainers throughout the UK, who are in need of help and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health, or hard times. In particular, the charity assists former members of the entertainment industry living in Brinsworth House, a residential home in Twickenham, which is owned and run by the charity.


Plans to improve Brinsworth House are currently underway with a fundraising campaign. The Chairman of the Royal Variety Charity, Giles Cooper, recently said that "the need for care is evolving & requirements & standards have rightly improved, so our plan is to upgrade and regenerate Brinsworth House. With your support, we can achieve just that!" In the background, one can see an image of the Queen and Prince Philip attending the performance in 1955.


Kate received a beautiful posy featuring flowers and foliage from the 'Frosty Winter Garden' at Brinsworth House.


Kate receiving the posy.


An overview before guests began to arrive.


The Duchess told the cast of Mary Poppins, including Petula Clark, Charlie Stemp and Zizi Strallen, that George and Charlotte wanted to go with them to the show, but she told them "not on a school night".


The Duke and Duchess take their seats.


It dates back all the way to 1912 when the inaugural performance was watched by King George V and Queen Mary. In July 1919, a second royal show was performed. Held at London Coliseum, the show was staged as a 'celebration of peace' and, as the official announcement expressed it, "had been commanded by the King to show his appreciation of the generous manner in which artistes of the variety stage had helped the numerous funds connected with the War".


It is believed to be one of the few charities in the UK that has an unbroken line of patronage from the reigning monarch since George V in the early twentieth century. Queen Elizabeth II is the current sole life-patron of the charity. Below, the poster for the 1930 performance.


In more recent years, we've seen Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Cambridges and the Sussexes alternate attending the event. It's William and Kate's third time at the Royal Variety. They first attended in 2014, Kate repeated her black lace DVF gown. In 2017, the Duchess debuted a sparkling blue Jenny Packham design.


Hosted by Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan, the evening included performances from the cast of Mary Poppins, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel, Robbie Williams, the cast of Come From Away, and a special collaboration by Emeli SandΓ© and Manchester’s Bee Vocal choir. Below, a great shot shared by Kensington Palace.


They received a very comedic introduction by the hosts. The Mail reports:

'The comic pair introduced the royal couple and joked that they were on a 'date night' as the camera focused on them laughing and giggling in the Royal Box - William nodding with mock seriousness.
The comedians asked whether they had paid the babysitter to stay 'until 12 or 1' - joking: 'It's always worth £20 for the extra hour.'

Whilst meeting six-year-old Aurelia from an acrobatic group, Kate said George and Charlotte love doing cartwheels at home.


More from the Mail Online:

'William was left in stitches was he was jokingly handed a ‘commemorative’ tea towel by the show’s hosts, comedians Rob Beckett and Ramesh Ranganthan, which had their faces on instead of his and Kate’s. The prince roared with laughter and said he would try to find something to do with it.
Beckett said: ‘Maybe you know someone who might want it. ‘ ‘Yeah, the dog will love it,’ joked William, who told the the two men that hopefully they could relax now, When Kate was given a bouquet of flowers by two youngsters who star in the new Mary Poppins musical, Nuala Peberby, 14, and Fred Wilcox, nine, the prince told them: ‘How come I get a dodgy tea towel and she gets some flowers?’
Nuala revealed afterwards that Kate had told her that George and Charlotte - particularly her daughter - love performing and putting on little shows at home. ‘She said that her children love performing at home, particularly Charlotte,’ she said. ‘She told us how lucky we were to be on stage in the West End and asked how we managed to do it with all our school work. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to meet them. ‘ 

Another posy for the Duchess as she departed.


A video from the event with footage of William and Kate meeting performers.


The Duchess chose a stunning black lace Alexander McQueen gown for the night. The bespoke piece features puffed sleeves, lace overlay, a fitted silhouette, velvet detail on the neckline and waist. and an intricate floral pattern. Kate has a penchant for this style of gown, I expect we'll see it again on at least a couple of occasions. The tailoring is beautifully done as always by McQueen and the touch of velvet against the lace has a very luxurious, seasonal feel to it.


A look at the back of the dress.

Embed from Getty Images

Kate teamed it with her Jimmy Choo Romy 100 pumps.





Kate accessorised with her statement Erdem Floral earrings. They are described: "Elegant, refined, and feminine, these Floral earrings by Erdem illustrate the designer’s attraction to romanticism. This accessory is defined by the layering of numerous mother-of-pearl beads with orange, black, and gray crystals." Below the earrings with a different centre stone to Kate's.


It's another evening event for William and Kate on Thursday for the Tusk awards.

88 comments:

  1. Always such a class act - so genuine and beautiful!

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  2. Fabulous dress, earing, shoes! Happy and beautiful people makes me smile! Love, XOXOXOXO

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  3. I think it's pretty sexy and yay for her! I particularly love the sleeves and skirt -- it is something I would love to wear.

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  4. Now THIS is my favourite of all her black lace dresses. It’s like an updated version of her much loved Temperley she used to wear - I love it! The lace is an interesting pattern and isn’t overwhelming. Wish her hair had been styled differently, but a fantastic look overall. The earrings are great ❤️

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  5. Love it! Kate in her favorite gown colour <3

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  6. I'm not usually a McQueen fan, but I love this dress and Kate's hair looks absolutely gorgeous. This is one of my favorite evening looks of hers ever.

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  7. Very downtown abbey dress and very (2011-2014) Kate.

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  8. Love it! Kate in her favourite gown colour <3

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  9. Stunning is a perfect description. Can't wait to see a close up of the earrings.

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  10. Maria from Austria18 November 2019 at 19:42

    Stellar!

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  11. Kate looks really lovely, as always, and I like the overlay on the dress. However, something about the dress- maybe the pattern? Color?- makes it a nice dress, just not one of my favorites. It reminds me a lot of the Temperley 'Amoret' dress she wore in 2012-2013, first at the War Horse premiere.

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    1. Yes, for a second I thought this was an altered version of that dress! It’s fine, but nothing extraordinary.

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    2. I think she’s looks beautiful in this dress, but the pattern on the top part of the bodice has an ill-placed design that looks not so modest. I wish the designer had taken a closer look at the way the design is placed over Kate's bustline.

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    3. Zipzipzippy, I thought I was the only one who saw that. I really expect somebody from McQueen to have looked at the lace placement. But except for thay, this is a very Kate dress, I expect she feels gorgeous in it.

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    4. Agree. She looks beautiful but looking at the place it looks like it is giving the illusion of nudity. If you dont focus on the location of the pattern, it is a gorgeous dress. Once I saw it, I cant not see it now.

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    5. I have looked and looked and can't see what you're talking about...

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  12. Sarah from Calif.18 November 2019 at 19:57

    Gorgeous!!!

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  13. Wow she looks stunning. I'm usually not a fan of her lace dresses but this is an exception. I think the brocade pattern is beautiful and the lower neckline avoids a starchy look. My only quibble is that I wish she wore a necklace -- that kind of really open neckline begs for a beautiful necklace. But stunning dress and look overall.

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    1. Totally agree about the necklace!

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    2. I don't disagree about the necklace but I have no idea what necklace would work with this dress!

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    3. One of Diana's chokers. Something high on her neck. I mean, if you don't break out the bling for an evening gown event, what's the use in having it??

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    4. Agreed! It’s such a nice neckline, it offered the perfect opportunity for a necklace

      Liv

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    5. I agree about lace dresses. They're not usually my favorite at all. This one has such an Edwardian feel to it, and not so busy as usual lace patterns are. This dress is far better than the black lace from 2014 and the over-glittery one from 2017.

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    6. Agree!!! More blings please!


      Silvia

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    7. My first thought was the want of a stunning necklace as well. A multi-strand choker in jet and crystals to take it deeper into goth-like edginess maybe? But then she'd have to swap out the earrings.

      As for the placement of the pattern across the bust others have mentioned, I can't think that it was anything but intentional on the part of the designer. It fits the bustier/corset vibe of the bodice and is McQueen-light compared to other creations from that house.

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  14. Beautiful dress and fits her perfectly. Loved the earrings already from the previous outing, but maybe not the best with this dress...

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  15. Wow another stunning look Kate looks fabulous Live the detail and low cut back

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  16. Wow she did it!! I often feel she over accessorizes the evening looks. NOT TONIGHT!! She nailed the 3 point accessory system......

    dress - assign 1 point for ornate nature
    earrings - 1 point
    handbag - 1 point

    A necklace would have been way too much and I'm thrilled she didn't do it. She looks gorgeous, well put together, and very fashionable. I love her in lace.

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    1. Rita, I agree that jewels would be too much. Kate has never been one to show off jewels, and especially at an event that acts as a benevolent fund for sick, retired or down on their luck performers.

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    2. Though Rita’s three point system is cute and in favour if the Duchess, it really seems self-contrived and not based in anything more than tongue-and-cheek personal opinion. The Duchess looks beautiful, flawless, and as ever, appropriate and charming for the occasion.

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  17. Wow! Just when I think she can't be any more sophisticated and beautiful, she kicks it up a notch. Gorgeous, Catherine!

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  18. All I can say is WOW!!

    Sharyn—USA

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  19. Stunning is the word!

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  20. Gorgeous. Love the dress and her hair. I like the dress without a necklace. Love the lower front and back neckline of the dress. The larger earrings help balance the dress without distracting from it. Can not see the earrings well enough in the photos to know if I like them or not. Can not see what shoes she is wearing. Excited to see more photos.

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  21. This is one of the best evening dresses the Duchess has worn, so sophisticated and elegant.
    Love her hair and she is wearing the best accessory a gorgeous smile. Only one glitch for me, please wear real jewels with such a knock out dress, so many beautiful diamond earrings or the beautiful emeralds worn before in New York. The future of the British Royal Family William and Catherine , The Queen can rest easy!!!

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    1. I tend to not be a fan of costume jewelry with an expensive gown or outfit. Doesn't need to be over the top jewels but I prefer that to costume jewels and non precious metals. For historical reasons I like it if she can wear existing pieces that have history to them even if they are remade into a more modern look. She may not be able to do that yet with many of the items but she has some pieces in her own collection that would work.

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    2. I love complicated earrings but with such an all-consuming dress, I would have liked a simple pair of large diamonds in gold. :

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  22. The black velvet strips along the shoulders gives the dress a very princessy look. Beautiful.

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  23. She looks beautiful, and I love the lace pattern! Even so, I prefer when she wears brightly or richly colored evening gowns. I compare everything to the red gown she wore to the Chinese state banquet :)

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  24. This dress is gorgeous, but a different pair of earrings and maybe a cocktail ring would have really finished it!

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  25. OMG!! I repeat OMG!!!! She looks absolutely stunning!! That dress! Her hair! Her smile! Flawless!!❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  26. Stunning!! Her hair is very light these days. Those earrings πŸ’œ.

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    1. Love the way her hair is styled. A bit retro and really gorgeous.

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  27. Not one of my favorites. Maybe with a different backing color? The pattern of the lace with that nude colored background just looks unfinished. Love the earrings and her hair, though!

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  28. I love the back of the dress. Very sexy. I think she looks fantastic.

    Hope from USA

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  29. Kate’s version of the naked dress :-)

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  30. Beautiful dress and the Duchess looks lovely. Thanks Charlotte for the additional research.

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  31. the ducheas is really a stunning indeed plus the duke is always charming

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  32. she looks completely gorgeous
    thanks Charlotte

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  33. While I typically love a good lace dress, especially in black, when I first saw pics, all I could think of was when Kate modeled the see through dress in college. That’s what this dress reminds me of, though the fit is perfect and stunning.

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  34. Dead Sexy! she looks fantastic. the pattern is super flattering and accentuates her figure very well.
    (I do agree about the earrings though- not my favorite. they don't match the style, i think.) but DAMN. she looks good.

    Annie
    NY, USA

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  35. Aww she is so gorgeous! And the dress is nice!

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  36. Is it too late to add a photo of the back of her dress? I've seen photos of it on-line, and, honestly, THAT is the true show-stopper of the dress. In fact, I wish the front neckline mirrored the back with its deep scoop. The sweetheart neckline looks a little too prim and out of sync with the rest of the dress's vibe.

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    1. Thank you for adding a photo of the back of her dress, Charlotte! As I mentioned above, I think it's the best part of this dress. Carla

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  37. Kate looks lovely. I have to say I preferred the all-black lace dress from 2014 but that's just a personal preference, and I like this one a 100% better than the Jenny Packham one. I love lace and she wears it so well! Her hair and makeup are perfect. The video made me want to see Mary Poppins! πŸ™‚
    Thank you for the post, Charlotte!

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    1. I very much agree with your opinion about the last two dresses. The 2014 outing hit the mark the most.
      C.

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  38. I am on edge about the look. The dress is a sweet reminder of her Tenpely dress and I think I would like it more, if the colour of the underdress had a different shade or if the lace would have a slightly different pattern.
    The neckline screams for an updo and I really think she should consider bringing more of the Queen's jewellery. There are some very pretty large earrings in the vault that would have looked smashing. Or just tiny studs and a necklace. I think it's time to get comfortable with the big guns and the public loves to get a glimpse of them. Camilla isn#t and won't because the public still isn't completely sold on her, so Kate is our only option.
    C.

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    1. I agree with what you wrote C. about the dress. I wish the underlay had been slightly darker or if she had just worn the other dress she has like it. I really liked that one. But I am no fashion person at all so personal opinion expressed here ;) I liked her hair just fine tonight. I think the neckline would have looked a bit bare if she'd had an updo unless she'd worn a Queen/Princess Margaret type necklace. Which brings me to the jewel thing. If you look at what KP posted before they went--the contrast between how the Queen was dressed when she went to the performance years ago and what Kate wore this year, what Meghan wore last year--I truly believe there is a strong wind change about how modern royals dress. Princess Anne puts on the old-style glamour when she absolutely has to (state dinners), so does Sophie. But otherwise, they don't drip diamonds. And I don't think it's because they aren't in line to the throne. Because I would argue that Camilla has OCCASIONALLY worn some seriously glam pieces and will wear more when Charles is King. But mostly she is low key with her jewelry too; she wore pearl chokers quite a bit but I think even that has dropped off. Personally speaking, I think a woman has to be of a certain age to carry off some of those really heavy pieces. It ages. Kate has worn the rubies and that pearl drop pendant necklace for a state dinner, looked suitably regal and will probably wear them again but probably not outside of a state dinner. I think, and this is purely my spur-of-the-month, off-the-cuff comment about royal jewels, going forward that Royal women after the Queen just won't wear that stuff. What will happen to it, though, I don't know. Maybe some will be re-made into simpler pieces? It would be nice if some were donated. I think that the public may not be so enamored of them in the future either. I contrast what I wear as jewelry to what my mom wore (don't know if you remember how every woman used to wear brooches and now they are seldom seen) and think that it's a trend that instead of big guns, one statement piece or else a truly glamorous gown is the modern ticket.

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  39. Kate is glowing. They seem to be in a great place with William and one just must feel happy for them! I love the tidbits they have shared about the kids.
    I don´t love the dress.. aside from the fact that I was hoping for a solid repeat, the dress just seems too "bare" for me, too "naked". I would prefer the lace pattern more dense, a little less see-through. But thanks to her glow and natural beauty, Kate can still pull it off.
    Ella

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  40. I really like the structure of the dress, it looks beautiful from the side but I do not like the nude color underneath, it does not flatter her complexion in my opinion... also as mentioned by someone before, the lace in the bust section draws the eye too much. Yet they seem to enjoy themselves and supporting this great charity cause was more important than her outfit! :)

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  41. She looks absolutely stunning. What a lovely dress, definitely one of my favourites so far!

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  42. Am I the only one not to like this dress?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I think it difficult to stand along at times when one does not agree with the vast majority. I find the entire look not to my taste. Individually, the pieces have merit. It is all to much for me, the busy lace, busy costume jewels and over the top curls at her age. I find it interesting the amount of expensive designer faux earrings Kate buys unnecessarily. She has at her option some of the greatest pieces in the world.

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    3. I agree. The dress and earrings are too busy and her hair just adds to the overall busy look. I don't like all the patterns on the lace. Too much happening.

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  43. So glad that he Duchess is not over accessorize for this occasion. The gown in itself was a glitzy triumph, and any jewels other than the earrings would have been too showy and over-the-top!

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  44. Royal πŸ‘‘ Watcher19 November 2019 at 10:34

    Gosh Kate is even more beautiful when she engages with people. She takes her commitment and duty as senior royal seriously, it is obvious to see. Both William and Kate are so professional and genuine, it’s heartfelt. I loved the ice blue sparkly dress πŸ‘—, but this lace dress is also light and beautiful.

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  45. Practically Perfect In Every Way!! Simply stunning and gorgeous. :)

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    1. I like that you pulled a line from Mary Poppins to express your thoughts about this look. 😊

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  46. Caroline in Montana19 November 2019 at 16:14

    I like the dress. At first I thought the neckline was a bit much but then comparing to the previous gowns she wore they look a little too "buttoned up" and I ended up liking this better. Not sold on the earing's, aren't there some gorgeous diamond chandelier earing's floating about somewhere? would have really been smashing. and I agree with whomever said cocktail ring, that would be a great look on her. I sometimes feel as though she is stuck with the sapphire and it does not go with just anything, the DoS got lucky with the diamonds IMO:) (Diamonds go with Anything!) think I like this better with out a necklace.

    wish she would bring back the only seen one time (I think?) ruby red and diamond necklace and earing parue she wore with the black velvet dress, I don't know what they are called, I think it was a wedding present?? but the necklace seems like it could be converted to a tiara??

    In looking at the photo from 1955 I love how QE2 is wearing a tiara, wish we could see more of that on all the Royal ladies!

    I must say the showstopper was the back of the dress shot, suddenly Pippa and her bridesmaids dress is all I can think of and I think this dress does that for Kate! WOW :)

    wonderful to see them out and looking so well and having such a good time. cant wait to hopefully see the kids on the Christmas card, Louis has probably changed so much.

    Thanks Charlotte:)

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    1. Funny, Caroline, I also thought about the necklace and earrings worn with the black velvet dress! I loved that ensemble! I seem to remember Charlotte writing that the jewelry set was a gift from Prince Charles and for their wedding. However, they would not go with this dress.
      I love the sapphire engagement ring, but you're right, it's hard to pair it up with other rings. I have that same issue with my ring. I love the combo of diamonds/sapphires and my favorite color is dark blue, so I designed my ring to take that into account, but often struggle to figure out what rings to wear on other fingers.
      I agree completely about the "Pippa" dress flashback and your opinion about how the back of this dress does that for Kate!

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  47. Maria from Austria19 November 2019 at 17:12

    The first one of the couple is just so hillarious. I so love it.

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  48. Love the dress on Kate! She always nails the fit of her garments. Exquisite, precise tailoring. I adore black clothing in general so I love this. It also would have worked well in navy or burgundy with a lighter shade of the same color for the lining.

    I can see this being reworn multiple times, like the green blue Packham and black lace Temperley. I'd love to see it with an updo and some glittering jewels next time.

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  49. One of my favorite dresses she’s ever worn! The right way to do lace. Love everything about it, and excited to see a rewear someday, maybe with an up-do! Swoon!

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  50. She loves her black lace. This is a glamorous choice and beautifully fitted. The sparkly blue Packham remains a favorite though. This one is a bit racy and fun, so perfect for her. Very glad she resisted a necklace, the statement earrings are exactly right. It appears she and William did have something of a date night, good for them. I am not surprised that Charlotte likes to put on a show.

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  51. The photo of the Queen reminds me that people get all shook up when Kate or Meghan (mostly Meghan) wear something that shows some skin, but the Queen used to wear quite sexy evening gowns and had a stellar figure.

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    1. I don’t think most people are shocked when they show a bit more cleavage/skin. Many would love if they brought back more going all out dresses- those dresses often have quite revealing cuts at the top to showcase the jewels. CP Victoria’s red dress to the Nobel Prize ceremony is a great example. There have been discussions if a skirt is too short but that’s pretty subjective.
      I think I would have loved to see a repeat with a vintage vibe. The red or black Preen dresses by Bregazzi for example. The white Self-Portrait or the white or the blue Roland Mouret, the velvet black McQueen or the Aspen Teal or the Pale Gold Sequin Jenny Packham would also have been great (and sexy) alternatives which deserve a repeat.
      C.

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    2. It is something I have wondered about a lot over the years. Somewhere between Diana and Kate our collective expectations for a princess became a lot more conservative. While this dress has some Va-Va-Voom, it is still very conservative.
      Both HM and Diana was happy to show quite a lot of skin (within reason of course) when the event warranted it.
      I wonder if Kate is such a conservative dresser because that is what is expected or if our expectations changed BECAUSE Kate (the image of a princess over the last 10 years) is such a conservative dresser by nature.

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    3. RachelZA, there was a very early event where Kate went instead of Charles and she wore a Grecian sort of gown. It was VERY skimpy! I think her gowns have shown less through the years rather than more post wedding, and perhaps she is now feeling free to show more. Of course, neither she nor Meghan has tons of cleavage, so whatever they wear is always fine to me and the "more" is never too much!

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    4. I forgot about that dress, I will have to amend my comment to from Kate is a conservative dresser, to Kate’s idea of what a princess should wear is fairly conservative since I have always thought that Grecian dress was from her personal pre-wedding wardrobe.
      Anyway it is an interesting chicken-egg question.

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  52. kate looks wonderful. Love those earrings, and the gown is brilliant design for lady-like sexy which is what Kate does beautifully.

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  53. I have the feeling that Kate and Meghan tell us something in their choice of colour scheme or accessories in their recent appearances. For the festival of remembrance Kate was in dark blue with black shoes and Meghan in black with navy blue shoes and for remembrance sunday Kate wore a hat with netting like Meghan wore for remembrance visit. I like to think that shows a nice friendship between them.

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  54. Love this gown, Catherine looks beautiful. I am so glad you showed the earrings, Charlotte, I love them! They are spectacular and the best thing is that they are probably somewhat light in weight so not heavy on her ear lobes (a plus, plus in my book)!

    Border Terrier lover :-)

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  55. I was a bit disappointed with this choice, since I don’t like black lace. However, since after a looong drought we have a second gown appearance this week I’m hoping she will repeat one of my favorites.
    My top three picks for tomorrow:
    https://ca.hellomagazine.com/images/stories/0/2016/06/10/000/356/585/gallery_3_5.jpg
    https://www.dhresource.com/600x600/f2/albu/g4/M01/ED/F5/rBVaEVdJPi6AW-ScAANteIVwmOs867.jpg
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e7/df/8c/e7df8c936fda5f5a5141d11ebed6dd50.jpg

    Hair up + some real jewelry

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  56. Thank you for the history of this patronage, Charlotte! The Duchess looks amazing. There are many well dressed , famous women who paired costume jewelry with designer clothes. I don’t mind the earrings. I might have reworked something from Queen Mary’s collection, but did she own anything small enough to make into earrings?

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  57. I see William just arrived at Tusk Awards. Did Kate not go with him?

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