Wednesday, 4 March 2020

The Cambridges Celebrate "Vital Importance" of Ireland/UK Relationship

For their final engagement in Dublin, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception hosted by Tánaiste Simon Coveney at the Museum of Literature Ireland.

Embed from Getty Images

Day two in Ireland saw William and Kate spend time with Ireland's national centre for youth mental health, Jigsaw, viewing street art on Temple Bar's Love Lane, before travelling to Kildare to see the work of leading social justice charity Extern and meeting locals whilst doing a spot of shopping for a cooking session with a group of teenagers. From there, they travelled to Meath to learn about sustainable farming efforts. Later, upon their return to Dublin, the couple enjoyed a scenic cliff walk at Howth.


Host for the event Simon Coveney is Tánaiste (deputy head of the government) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was joined by his wife Ruth for the evening.


It was revealed tonight their three daughters Jessica, Annalise and Beth wrote letters for George, Charlotte and Louis which Mr Coveney was pleased to hand William and Kate. I thought it a lovely touch and very much in keeping with the incredibly warm welcome the royals have received in Ireland. The Duke and Duchess have continued to focus on the theme of reconciliation and looking to the future, which we've seen many members of the family echo since the Queen's State Visit in 2011. A simple but thoughtful gesture like the children of the deputy leader of Ireland writing to the children of a future king of the UK represents how far relations have come. It struck me as a symbolic moment and perhaps something Prince George will remember decades from now when he visits in his capacity as monarch. It is moments like these I feel underscore the unique soft power of monarchy.


The Cambridges met an array of guests.


William and Kate met leaders from political parties including Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin and Brendan Howlin from the Labour Party.


The Museum of Literature opened to the public last September following years of conversations and proposals.


Architects Scott Tallon Walker and exhibition designers Ralph Appelbaum Associates were commissioned to transform Newman House’s Aula Maxima building into a 10,000ft exhibition space. The result is a historic partnership between the National Library of Ireland and University College Dublin, considered a cultural landmark.


Vogue recently described it as "a poetic ode to Ireland's literary past, present and future".


Inside the royals viewed a treasured first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses.


The Duke and Duchess were shown the book.


During a speech, Prince William recalled the difficult history between both countries and looked ahead to the future amid Brexit challenges.

"I am confident that friendship, understanding and a shared vision for a peaceful and prosperous future will ensure that the unique and precious bond between our peoples is not broken."


William continued: "My family is determined to continue to play our part in protecting, preserving and strengthening that bond...It is vital that people of my generation, and generations to come, never take advantage of the progress we have made together."


William's full speech:

'Tánaiste, a dhaoine uaisle,
Catherine and I are delighted to be here at the Museum of Literature Ireland, and are hugely grateful to the Tánaiste for the very generous welcome. It goes without saying that the relationship between the UK and Ireland is of vital importance, and that is why I am so pleased that Catherine and I are undertaking our first official visit here.
Growing up, I remember seeing the Troubles that took place, which affected so many people across the UK and Ireland. This explains why one of the truly profound moments for Catherine and me took place yesterday at the Garden of Remembrance.  It was a reminder of the complexity of our shared history, and that as my grandmother said during her visit in 2011, “Our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache and turbulence”.
But it was also a reminder about how far we have come.  It is right that we continue to remember those who suffered as a consequence of our troubled past.  And whilst many wrongs have been done, it is important that we are not bound by these.
Today, our relationship goes far beyond two countries that are simply neighbours. “We are firm friends and equal partners”, as my grandmother put it.  The links between our people, businesses and our culture are inextricable, and we should all be proud to see how strong those bonds are.
As we look ahead to some changes in our relationship, we must never forget how far we have come together in recent decades in transforming the relationships across our two islands.
Many people deserve our deepest gratitude for their hard work, imagination and, above all, courage in bringing about these profound changes.  It is vital that people of my generation, and generations to come, never take for granted the progress we have made together.  We must recommit ourselves to the path of friendship and understanding.
Of course, the changing relationship between the UK and the EU will require us to work together, to ensure that the relationship between Ireland and the UK remains just as strong.
Over the past two days, Catherine and I have seen for ourselves why Ireland is a country looked upon with such envy.  As we stood on the cliffs at Howth and looked across the Irish Sea – a mere 50 miles to the British coastline – it was easy to see why so many people find the lure of this beautiful country so difficult to resist.
And beyond the breath-taking landscapes, we have received such wonderful hospitality and friendship from all those we have met.  And this morning we were privileged to meet a group of remarkable people who are working to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate.  Their commitment and their desire to help is truly inspirational. And we’re looking forward to seeing the wonders that the West coast has to offer when we travel there tomorrow.
Ladies and gentlemen, legal treaties are vital in underpinning the relationships between states.  But relationships between people are equally, if not more, essential – especially between the people of our two countries, whose lives, histories and futures are so deeply intertwined.  I am confident that friendship, understanding and a shared vision for a peaceful and prosperous future will ensure that the unique and precious bond between our people is not broken.  My family is determined to continue playing our part in protecting, preserving and strengthening that bond.
So tonight, we celebrate our commitment to working together – a commitment that I firmly believe will support our relationship in going from strength to strength.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I offer a toast to the President of Ireland and to the people of this wonderful country in thanks for the warmth of your welcome on what I hope will be the first of many visits for us.
 Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.'

Tánaise Simon Coveney said: "I very much welcome this visit by the Duke and Duchess, their first to Ireland, and hope this will be the first of many visits in the coming years."


The Duchess chose a vintage Oscar de la Renta polka-dot belted dress with a ruffled neckline and black trim.

Embed from Getty Images

For accessories, Kate carried her Jimmy Choo Celeste clutch in black velvet.


And her Jimmy Choo Romy pumps in black velvet.


The Duchess accessorised with hoop earrings. Replicate Royalty identified them as the £5 Accessorize Twisted Circle Drop earrings.


To read today's earlier post, please click here.


Tomorrow, William and Kate will travel to the west of Ireland for engagements in Galway before returning to London.

79 comments:

  1. Could it be a Jimmy Choo celeste clutch?

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  2. Oh no, not another flouncey neck frill! This neckline is severely aging her and making her clothes look dated. The pattern and cut of the dress (minus the neckline) is actually not bad.

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    1. Exactly. I understand the need for stability and comfort in a year of change and upheaval, but: Yuck.
      She’s a living coat-hanger in height and figure. I have no doubt she’s dedicated to her role in the 1000 year-old pageant Britain brings to the world. She seems like a lovely woman, she cares.
      This dress is ghastly.

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    2. ..don't like the frilly look either.

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  3. I love the way Duchess Catherine is there for support and Prince William takes the lead.

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  4. Caroline in Montana4 March 2020 at 21:40

    wow, I was not expecting this dress AT ALL! lol. reminds me of the one room school teacher from the little house on the prairie tv show. I don't like the fluffy neck look at all on her, some of the pussy bows are better than others. she only pulled that shirt off earlier because it was Under the jacket. still not overwhelmed by her choices on this tour at all. but that's just clothes! I love reading your posts (and the comments) and learning about other countries and the different causes. and I just love seeing the D&D of Cambridge no matter what they are wearing!! Thanks Charlotte.

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  5. Today, I live her choices- she looks sweet in the vintage dress. I personally like to change my hair. It’s fun to look a little different. She looks fresh!

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  6. Dumb questions, but what does it mean that it's "vintage"?

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    1. Older second hand piece. So produced in the 70's maybe, bought and worn by someone and sold to a second hand store. But high end second had store:):). Possibly an unworn piece that was in an overstock place somewhere.

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    2. From a past era. Something on loan from the designer's fashion house, that they have kept in their archives.

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    3. Not a dumb question azaluckyj! Here is a definition: '"Vintage" is a colloquialism commonly used to refer to all old styles of clothing. ... Retro, short for retrospective, or "vintage style," usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era.' Had to look it up because in my mind it meant someting worn before, like a wonderful old find in a vintage shop, which threw me because I can't imagine that Kate is wearing somebody's else's old vintage dress, unless perhaps her mothers! Maybe somebody who has better knowledge than me can explain, but I wondered what it meant too.

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    4. I wondered the same, does it mean 2nd hand?

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    5. Interesting. I think that's what throws me too. First that Kate is wearing second-hand clothing. Second that OdlR would be in a second-hand store!

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    6. According to British Vogue, this is Look 38 from the autumn/winter 1979 collection. Also commenters on other sites have pointed out that Kate's green coat on day 1, her cream coat on day 2, and the coral sweater today echo the colors of the Irish flag.

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    7. That's so interesting Becky! Does that mean its been worn before, or she got it from ODLR? Love the idea that her coats echo the colors of the Irish flag....vintage Kate!! :)

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  7. I really like the idea that she's wearing vintage as it's another way of showing she's sustainable about her fashion choices which is as important as re wearing other clothes. I love breathing new life into vintage finds.

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  8. I think,there is always a hidden meaning/purpose behind her dresses. She is probably trying to approach older generation as well. When she is with young people she doesn't hesitate to put on basic skinny Zara trousers. I actually really like how Kate can mix old fashioned pieces with modern ones. Well done to her and her team!

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    1. Thing is- the old generation loaths the fashion coices they made that time. That is why only very young people bring back fashion from the 80's/90's.
      Most older middle aged people (40-75) wear normal pants or skinnies (yes even 70 year olds rock them). The outfit is one big cringe moment and if any royal would think this is what is appropriate wear to show their appreciation to me I would definitely feel a tiny bit offended.
      C.

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  9. I do like the dress even though it does borderline matronly. It is an improvement for me over the last several fashion statements. Oscar is always very feminine in his details. The hair drooping onto her forehead is distracting after two days of lovely hair.

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  10. Love the vintage Oscar dress. Could have been tailored for a modern fit, but overall think it’s great. She wears what she like which I think is commendable and royal whatever that means!

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  11. Rita in Florida4 March 2020 at 23:27

    On a very positive note - fashion unrelated - in the pictures Charlotte posted today it struck me what a positive, mutually respectful, enthusiastic, and fun marriage William and Kate have developed. It is clear they thoroughly enjoy one another and I couldn't be happier for them or their little family.

    Otherwise on the fashion front - meh. I'm underwhelmed. I always love casual or "farm Kate". I'm struggling with the rest. Also I don't know why she went back to this side swept bang/fringe with her hair. She is so gorgeous and looks great with hair away from her face.

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    1. Rita, I couldn't aggree more! On both your points. Very well said!
      Ella

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    2. Rita, I love that you brought that up! How wonderful that the focus can be put on things like clothing & hair etc... because we take for granted that they are such a loving, caring & kind couple..... with each other & others. We are so used to it, that we hardly think to comment on it. When there is so much drama in the world, it truly is lovely to see a couple who love each other, their family & bring comfort & respect to their public roles & job. All done with what we have come to accept is genuine love & caring. Not dramatic but extremely important! :)

      Becca USA

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  12. Everything about Kate's style on this Ireland visit has been on point, imho. Especially the white coat, perfect recycle. And this dress. And I like her new haircut. Very fresh! Thanks for all the updates!

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    1. I think this trip has cemented what we have noted, as Catherine's complete growth in comfort in her role/roles. She just seems to roll with things in such a seemingly effortless way. She wears what she likes & does things with her hair that work for her & just seems to put others at ease with her inherent sense of ease. Loveliness emanates from her, both inside & out & kindness too. They are just lovely people & a lovely couple. I truly enjoy following what they do & find that when they care about something..... & I thus learn about it.... I care about it too, for it's intrinsic importance & worth. I never ever feel like I'm being beat over the head with the message at the moment.... to me that's the essence of "Soft Diplomacy" & "Soft Publicity". They are wonderful ambassadors! I feel they bring & leave a feeling of kindness & caring to all that they do & all whom they meet. Thank you Charlotte for the excellent educational coverage that you have provided over all these years. xoxo

      Becca USA

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  13. She is beautiful, love the dress. Good speech from the Duke of Cambridge.


    Silvia

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  14. I might be in the minority on this one, but I think the colour, the polka dots, and the pony-tail ensure this outfit is fresh whilst also being elegant. A good choice.

    On a separate note, what a joy it would be for this bibliophile to visit the Museum of Literature! Just a little envious.

    I thought William's speech hit all the right notes. It's a complex time to be navigating relationship's with some of the UK's previous EU partners. Nicely done.

    And finally, thank you Charlotte, for including that photograph of the two of William and Kate on the hillside taking in the view. I always hope there are some personal moments for them during these tours. Of course, they will never be entirely private, but it feels right that they have those shared, personal experiences.

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    1. I like this look too,, it came as a total surprise to me,, I Was not expecting this look,,
      Its amazing how she can put together a style of garment with accessories and it looks so perfect,,,,XOXO Siddhii

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    2. I'll join you in that minority Judy, I agree with you on all points. Kate is her own person when it comes to her sense of style, from her steady stand-bys to her surprises, its something that I admire about her. Have always thought William's speeches are excellent. And well the last picture doesn't need any words and it says it all....what a lovely moment. cc

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    3. Agree with all of your comments, Judy & Siddhii :) This dress was totally unexpected & I love it!

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    4. Zora from Prague5 March 2020 at 08:51

      Judy, you said it all for me, thank you! 😁 I also wanted to comment on the Museum of Literature (what a great quote from Seamus Heaney!), it must be a fantastic place. And the hillside photo is beautiful.

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    5. Thank you Judy for starting this off. I agree with all the wonderful things you ladies (Judy, Siddhi, CeCeUSA, KiwiGal & Zora) have said! :) xoxo

      Becca USA

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    6. Thank you, ladies. I love it when 'conversations' happen in the comments section of a blogpost!

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  15. She looks lovely. The dress is not my cup of tea at all but it is very Kate. Her hair with the shorter side pieces works better than I have ever seen it with that front layering. I appreciate that she wants some softness abound her face. When her hair is not pulled back the front layers seem to blend in nicely and I do not even notice the layering. She and William are looking very polished and working well together.

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    1. Agreed & they do make a wonderful team! :) xoxo

      Becca USA

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  16. Hate the collar, love the rest of it! :)

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  17. Usually I’m not a fan of frills and ruffles, but this time I feel like the neckline works with the dress. And the color is beautiful.

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  18. Sandra from Canada

    William and Catherine seem to really enjoy working together. It seems to me that this year they have really grown into their roles. Catherine seems much more confidant and relaxed.
    They are both great with people, and really work as a team together. The Duchess supports William and understands her position which she carries out with grace. It must be so comforting for William to have someone he can count on and trust.


    They are a class act and the Queen can rest assured in the future of the Crown.

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    1. I completely agree Sandra. Thank you for putting it into words so beautifully! :)

      Becca USA

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  19. not a fan of this purple piece i hate the neckline her hair looks so chic though

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  20. Beautiful, and I love her hair. They are a great team.

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  21. You know what I've realized? That I've totally gotten used to seeing Kate in what seems to be her "normal" work uniform nowadays of boots/skirt or boots/pants or block heels/dress that it's sort of a surprise to see her in her "old" work uniform of designer dress/stilettos. This dress is sort of a throwback look for Kate, with the high starchy collar and the discreetly placed high belt and the black court shoes. I happen to like the collar and the polka dots. But it is weird seeing the Duchess back to wearing such formal clothes in engagements. What she wore today during the daytime is how mentally I'm "used" to seeing Kate nowadays.

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    1. I love it Ivy! It's true. It seems funny to think back to the days when we'd sometimes wait months for an appearance etc... "Working Kate" has just organically grown on us, without fanfare, to the point that unless we stop & pause to think about it..... we forget how much growth has crept up on us. I just love that! :) xoxo

      Becca USA

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  22. I love the visit, building, book, meaning! And I have just loved Meghan's vintage outfits, so this one was a nice choice. Not too thrilled about the ruffly neckline, but her hair was just perfect for it. Her hair style is very very flattering -- she looked so cute and looked as young as she is, which was good because the dress seemed a bit matronly. Very nice visit!

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    1. Allison, I too thought she looked so youthful! Even down to the way her smile lit up her face! :)

      Becca USA

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  23. Thumbs down to William for trying to be funny about COVId-19. Yes, it is very similar to flu -- they are both coronaviruses. Because we don't have a vaccine yet, some people might die from it. Obviously the risk is very small -- 10 people in the US, of maybe 360 million, have died. But in poor countries, it can harm economies. I have a friend whose mother is a physician at Wuhan Hospital, and he was very worried and angry. Maybe better to emphasize the very small risk rather than talk about people claiming they are dying from it. I thought it was an unusual poor step for william.

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    1. Again, he was not talking about coronavirus but about the hysteria around it with people who suffer that hysteria daily, that is, health care personnel. You may dislike the comment but don’t need to twist it and say it was a joke about it and about people dying when it was not.

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    2. Hello Allison,
      I do agree with you that this is not a funny matter, and we should be aware of the risks and act accordingly by being cautious but not panicking. Yet it is not "some people might" but "more than 2 thousands" in the world who "have died from it" (sometimes because of pre-existing pathologies but still). There is a 2% of mortality related to this virus worldwide and I am sure you will agree that China is not considered as a poor country and yet it has harmed its economy and its exportations greatly.
      Considering I am from France where we are seeing an emergence of cases, I wanted to add some clarification to the facts in your comment ; the risks are small because of the low level of mortality but we are encouraged to take measures (washing hands very often, sneezing in a tissue...) in order to reduce the propagation, it is greatly contagious which is why everyone is worried but with hygienic measures, the risk is lowered.

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    3. Over the years William has been “caught” with off the script comments that did not translate well to the press. Personally I think it is because context is impossible to translate. I am a teacher and at last half of what I say in class will be ghastly when made into a soundbite and taken out of the classroom context. So I try not to judge.

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    4. Best example of William’s comments being taken out of context is his “bored of racism” all the haters repeat and repeat. Anyone who actually saw-there’s a video-what he said knows what he meant. The same here. We’ve read a quote that can or cannot be 100% accurate. And it was added that people talking with him were laughing too. But hey who cares.

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    5. Camilla was trying out a one-person bomb shelter and quipped that she was self-isolating. She was thought amusing and clever, not inappropriate. She was actually making a joke about the current outbreak. William was making a point about the drain on health care providers. We see what we want to see.

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  24. William’s comments brought tears to my eyes. Their visit so far has mirrored to me what Ireland is about—it’s resilient and charming people, its legacy of land and loss, its magic (and, yes, its craic—love of good times and laughs.) Galway is even more magical, can’t wait for tomorrow!! Well done W & K for showcasing this wonderful land. And for being loving and lovable people.

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    1. Your Ireland is indeed magical Valerie! Cannot wait to come to visit one day, but happy for now to share these little glimpses!! William and Kate have done well on this tour! cc

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  25. Oh i love the dress too i love peince wiliam to the speech was good and well everyone... i love hillside pictures

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  26. Oh my. Kate has been on such a high with a new sense of fashion full of youthfulness. This is so matronly it hurts to look at despite the colour looking gorgeous on her.

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  27. Theresa New York5 March 2020 at 03:46

    I haven't liked anything that the duchess wore on this trip except her years old boots and the white coat. I don't like ruffles and those Martha Washington like sleeves. Catherine has beautiful hair and in my opinion her fringe experiments are always a fail for me. I really feel bad about criticizing her but ....

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  28. I like that it was a risk. Matronly? I get the critique but this is also a bright pink polka dotted number with a shorter cut. It is not my favorite, and in fact if she never wears another pussy bow I'll be thrilled, but it was cool in it's own way.

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  29. I really like her hair at the moment. She looks lovely in vintage OdlR not many people could carry it off like Kate can. Very similar to styles we all wore in the 80’s and I for one won’t return to those fashions but probably fun for someone Kate’s age to wear. Reminds me of Diana’s clothes and we all wanted to dress like Diana in the 80’s!

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  30. I really like this look. At first glance the dress appears matronly but with her hair pulled back the look is quite young and fun. I love it when the Duchess breaks the mold and gives us a little wink with her fashion.

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  31. Seems the duchess is embracing the new movement to be mindful of the environmental degradation caused by our fashion industry by wearing vintage and older pieces. But maybe I’m reading too much into it. I think she is very regal. William has really grown into his roll as second in line for the throne.

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    1. I would love it if Kate showed more awareness of the waste in the fashion industry, but two swallows doesn’t make a summer, or in this case two repeats.
      She has actually debuted more new coats and dresses in the first two months of the year than probably the whole of last year.

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    2. Kelly I love the points that you made. It also made me realize that whilst we comment on how much Kate has grown into her role, we forget to comment about the same in William. They are just such a lovely example of how a couple can grow individually, yet in compliment to one another. The growing together a couple thing, is such a treasured & mindful aspect of relationships.... I'm so glad they are a living example of how this is possible to achieve in a marriage. What a wonderful example for everyone, but especially for today's young people. It doesn't happen without a solid foundation of love & friendship & of just plain old liking & appreciating each other! :)

      Becca USA

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  32. Andrea in London5 March 2020 at 06:30

    This dress reminds me of something Princess Diana would have worn.

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    1. Andrea, agree It does have that look.

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    2. I agree, Andrea--Diana in the early days. It's a bit twee for Kate at 38, I think, but the color is beautiful on Kate. William's speech was wonderful, I thought. They are, indeed, wonderful ambassadors for Britain. You are fortunate to have them!

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    3. Bingo! I actually (for a split second) wondered if it could have been from Diana's wardrobe.... but then I realized that the experts would have been all over that. But, yes.. I too immediately thought of Diana & that I do remember her wearing dresses with this same neckline detail. :)

      Becca USA

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  33. Love the shoes. Not a fan of the overall look. It sort of ages her. And can I just say, I would love her to to grow her hair out longer again. I hope we see that long luscious hair again 🙏🏻❣️

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    1. As a woman who is almost forty, her shorter hair is classy an appropriate; after thirty, long bed head hair really ages a woman.

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    2. Caroline in Montana5 March 2020 at 17:22

      I agree with you Florida girl, love Kate's long hair! if ladies in their 50's, 60's and 70's + can "rock" the skinny jeans I see no reason why other women think that when a woman reaches a certain age they suddenly have to cut all their hair off?? not everyone looks good with short hair.

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  34. This was such an important visit, especially in the light of Brexit and I think W & K’s visit will have gone a long way to strengthening relations between the ROI and the UK. What wonderful ambassadors they are and the Queen must be very proud of them. Fashion-wise, I can’t say last night’s dress was to my taste but Kate is beautiful and if anyone can carry off a granny dress, it’s her. Thanks for the great tour coverage again Charlotte.

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    1. I really sensed that W&K really enjoyed being in Ireland. I felt a twinge when I read the comment about wanting to bring George, Charlotte & Louis over. I felt bad that they can't just pop over for a quick visit with the family...... or maybe they can? I was thinking of all the effort that has gone into the Security aspects of this trip...

      Becca USA

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  35. I’m enjoying the tour. Thanks, Charlotte. The Cambridges represent really well.

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  36. Love the look. And who wouldn't want to wear a vintage OdlR? Would like to point out, for this to be a true 80's look she needs a few more shoulder pads.

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  37. Ookayyy...what happened here? Her style is so...so different. The dress seems to be from the 80s?!
    Sorry but that's not my taste...

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  38. At least it’s vintage. Not another 2,000 new frock for a one-time wear. That’s about all I can find positive, maybe the colour (not the dress) isn’t bad either (supposed to have come out as the colour to wear for evening outfits after all the Fashion shows, so many that can be a reason to choose this particular dress). And I certainly believe she looks much better with shorter hair, even if this particular hairdo isn’t the most flattering nor the best execution (possibly she used a different, local hairdresser). I liked the morning outfits (sans skinny jeans, but even so). This one I cannot get behind. Since she constantly ignores so many beautiful dresses in her wardrobe, I hope she secretly donates them to charities or auctioning them for the same purpose. CH

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    1. So disagree - she is the most put together of any of the royals. Your comment was not incisive or helpful - just nasty and without merit.

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  39. Always genuine, always put together, always appropriate. Catherine shines as always.

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  40. My first thought seeing this dress is 'dowdy'. She is way too young and beautiful for this dress,

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