Monday, 1 November 2021

The Duchess of Cambridge Elegant in Blue for COP26 Receptions

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, styled as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, joined the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (their Scottish titles are the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay) in Glasgow for receptions marking the opening day of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

The Duke and Duchess arriving.

Following an afternoon of fun activities with scouts, William and Kate joined Charles and Camilla at a Clydeside Distillery reception for key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the winners and finalists of the first Earthshot Prize Awards.

The COP26 summit is bringing leaders from all over the world together to take action on sustainability goals, including countries fulfilling their promise to mobilise at least $100bn in climate finance per year. It's hoped steps will be taken (in fact you'll hear the apt phrase 'action not words' time and time again in the coming days) to protect and restore ecosystems, build defences, investing in renewables and curtailing deforestation. The conference has been described as the last chance to take control of climate change. It is hoped meetings will result in effective emission reduction targets.

Clydeside is Glasgow's first dedicated single malt whisky distillery in over a century. Located beside the River Clyde, the distillery celebrates the city's dockside heritage by opening its doors to visitors from at home and abroad for tours.

It has become an exclusive private venue -- making it the perfect choice for receptions during the summit. Guests arrive to the sounds of acoustic music or a piper playing, while flexible spaces offer panoramic views...

 And of course, whisky on the menu.

The royals enjoyed a tipple.

Prince Charles was served a whisky by someone who was supported by the Prince's Trust.

More from the Standard:

'Ryan Longmuir, who started Regis Banqueting 18 years ago after receiving a £5,000 load from Charles’ charity, said it was good to meet the future king as he and staff worked serving guests at the Clydeside Distillery venue in Glasgow.

“Aye, it’s great meeting him. I was a drug dealer and drug addict, but my faith helped me turn things around and make me be the best I can,” he said.

The business leader, who now employs 125 staff and has a thriving hospitality company, said: “I started with the idea ‘how can you help the poor if you’re poor’ and so started a business.”'

Camilla, wearing teal Bruce Oldfield, chatted with guests.

The reception comes a fortnight after Prince William's Earthshot Prize Awards. Created by William and the Royal Foundation, the Earthshot Prize led a global search for the most effective and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet. The Earthshot Prize was described as "a truly global event, anchored in London and connecting with finalists and winners all over the world".

During the awards, the Prince said, "I want to say something to all the young people watching tonight. For too long, we haven’t done enough to protect the planet for your future. But Earthshot is for you. In the next ten years we are going to act. We are going to find the solutions to repair our planet."

The Earthshot finalists and winners had the opportunity to meet members of Prince Charles' Sustainable Markets Initiative.

Over the past fifty years, Charles has been one of the most active and dedicated voices on climate change. The SMI is centred on gathering a global coalition of 'the willing' to drive progress and take steps to ensure a sustainable future. Flagship initiatives include Terra Carta, a charter providing a roadmap for businesses to harness the power of nature over the next decade; and the Terra Carta Design Lab, in collaboration with the Royal College of Art. The lab invites the world's talented young people to share their ideas and solutions for the future. Speaking about his vision for SMI, Charles said, "For me, sustainable markets offer a new systems-level framework which grounds markets in a higher-purpose mission." In September, the Prince teamed up with streaming giant Amazon Prime to launch a new channel, RE:TV, as part of SMI.

A series of royal events earlier in the day saw Charles and Camilla attending the opening ceremony with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Prince of Wales delivered a powerful opening address. Charles stressed the need to "put ourselves on what might be called war-footing", adding, "We need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector. With trillions at its disposal." Sharing his hopes for the summit: "My plea today is for countries to come together to create the environment that enables every sector of industry to take the action required. We know this will take trillions not millions of dollars."

During the address, Charles referenced SMI in outlining steps for lasting change:

'How do we do it? 

First: how do we get the private sector all pulling in the same direction?  After nearly two years now of consultation, C.E.O.s have told me that we need to bring together global industries to map out, in very practical terms, what it will take to make the transition.  We know from the pandemic that the private sector can speed up timelines dramatically when everyone agrees on the urgency and the direction.  So each sector needs a clear strategy to speed up the process of getting innovations to market.  

Second, who pays, and how? We need to align private investment behind these industry strategies to help finance the transition efforts, which means building the confidence of investors so that the financial risk is reduced.  Crucially, investment is needed to help transition from coal to clean energy.  If we can develop a pipeline of many more sustainable and ‘bankable’ projects, at a sufficient scale, it will attract greater investment.

Third, which switches do we flick to enable these objectives?  More than three hundred of the world’s leading C.E.O.s and institutional investors have told me that, alongside the promises countries have made – their Nationally Determined Contributions – they need clear market signals, agreed globally, so that they have the confidence to invest, without the goalposts suddenly moving.

This is the framework I have offered in the Terra Carta roadmap, created by my Sustainable Markets Initiative, with nearly one hundred specific actions for acceleration.  Together, we are working to drive trillions of dollars in support of transition across ten of the most emitting and polluting industries.  They include energy, agriculture, transportation, health systems and fashion.  The reality of today’s global supply chains means that industry transition will affect every country and every producer in the world.  There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the private sector is ready to play its part and to work with governments to find a way forward.'

Separately, the Duchess of Cornwall visited Wallacewell Primary School to meet pupils learning about climate change. Charles also co-hosted the Great Green Wall (GGW) session alongside the President of France and the President of Mauritania.

Indeed, Charles has just returned from a weekend in Rome, where he was invited to address the G20 leaders in recognition of a lifetime of work on climate change. Sky News reported it was "incredibly rare" for a member of the Royal family to be asked to speak at the G20. During his speech, the future king described COP26 as "literally the last chance saloon", adding, "We must, now, translate fine words into still finer actions."

The UK's President for COP26, Alok Sharma, spoke to ITV News about the impact of royal participation:

'Asked if foreign leaders and ministers pay attention to warnings about the environment from the Royals, Alok Sharma said: "Absolutely... when members of the Royal Family speak, yes people do listen.

"So, I'm really pleased that the Royal family is with us in this fight in tackling climate change."

Speaking to ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana as the UN climate summit in Glasgow gets underway today, the MP said the Queen was "willing us on" despite her absence.

"When Prince Charles, Prince William and others speak - yes, people do notice," Alok Sharma tells ITV News.'

From there, the royals joined world leaders for an elegant reception to mark the bustling opening day.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving with the Prime Minister.

An elbow-bump with the PM :)

An arrival video.

The conference has been widely billed as the last chance to take substantive action to tackle climate change, and the reception celebrated a hopeful day of promises and pledges.

During his speech today, the Prime Minister said "It’s one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock and we need to act now. If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow."

Guests enjoyed sparkling wine and canapes. 

Kate pictured with PM Justin Trudeau. 

They've met several times over the years including the Cambridges' 2016 Canada tour when a very tired Prince George was a feeling shy when meeting Trudeau.

The Duchess with First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. 

With Prince Albert of Monaco.

The royals mingling with guests.

This evening's VVIP reception was held at Kelvingrove Art Museum & Gallery.

Kelvingrove was reopened in 2006 by the Queen after an extensive three-year renovation and has since become one of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions. Located in the West End of Glasgow on the banks of the River Kelvin, the museum features 22 themed state-of-the-art galleries displaying 800 objects, featuring significant pieces across natural history and art movements.

The Central Hall.

One of the museum's most notable pieces -- 'Christ of Saint John the Cross' by Salvador Dali -- which first went on display at Kelvingrove in 1952. It's based on a drawing by the 16th-century Spanish friar John of the Cross. In 1961, a visitor attempted to destroy the painting by tearing the canvas with his hands, but it was successfully restored following a painstaking effort. It has been voted Scotland's favourite painting.

An emotive painting, 'Little Brother', by Scottish artist Norah Neilson Gray.

The summit had been a staple in the Queen's diary, and she was said to be very disappointed to be unable to attend in person following an overnight hospital stay and advice from doctors to rest. Her Majesty has been advised to only undertake light duties for the next two weeks - though it is her firm intention (pending advice from her medical team) to attend Remembrance Sunday on 14 November. COP26 has been very much on her mind, with the BBC reporting the monarch hopes it results in "meaningful action". During a conversation at the Welsh Parliament last month, the Queen summed up the feelings of so many globally when she was overheard saying it was "really irritating" when people talk but fail to act on climate change. Her Majesty had the opportunity to address guests in a pre-recorded message. 

I was taken by the poignancy of Her Majesty's words as she reflected on Prince Philip's climate efforts, and her pride at Charles' and William's endeavours.

Her Majesty said, "It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit – written in history books yet to be printed – will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations. That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action. Of course, the benefits of such actions will not be there to enjoy for all of us here today. We, none of us, will live forever. But we are doing this not for ourselves, but for our children and our children’s children, and those who will follow in their footsteps."

You'll notice, by the Queen's side, a beautiful photo of Prince Philip surrounded by monarch butterflies. The image was shared widely when the Duke passed. Indeed, the Queen wore her Onslow Butterfly Brooch - a wedding gift to the then Princess Elizabeth.

The Queen's speech in full:
'I am delighted to welcome you all to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference; and it is perhaps fitting that you have come together in Glasgow, once a heartland of the industrial revolution, but now a place to address climate change.
This is a duty I am especially happy to discharge, as the impact of the environment on human progress was a subject close to the heart of my dear late husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

 I remember well that in 1969, he told an academic gathering: “If the world pollution situation is not critical at the moment, it is as certain as anything can be, that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time … If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance.”

It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet, lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William.  I could not be more proud of them.
Indeed, I have drawn great comfort and inspiration from the relentless enthusiasm of people of all ages – especially the young – in calling for everyone to play their part.
In the coming days, the world has the chance to join in the shared objective of creating a safer, stabler future for our people and for the planet on which we depend.
None of us underestimates the challenges ahead: but history has shown that when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope. Working side by side, we have the ability to solve the most insurmountable problems and to triumph over the greatest of adversities.

For more than seventy years, I have been lucky to meet and to know many of the world’s great leaders. And I have perhaps come to understand a little about what made them special.

It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow — that is statesmanship.

I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship. 

It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit – written in history books yet to be printed – will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations. That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.

Of course, the benefits of such actions will not be there to enjoy for all of us here today: we none of us will live forever. But we are doing this not for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children, and those who will follow in their footsteps. 

And so, I wish you every good fortune in this significant endeavour.'
An overview as the Queen's speech played.

A memorable photo from the evening. 

It has been a day of significant speeches and conversations. If temperatures rise above the 1.5°C target set out during the Paris Climate Agreement, the results will be devastating for our planet and people all over the world, with climate disasters such as floods and fires increasing. A third of the world's population would be regularly exposed to severe heat and Arctic sea ice could completely melt with devastating consequences for wildlife.

Tom Clarke created this video laying out the critical need for countries to reduce emissions.

The BBC reports:

'At face value, things do not look promising, for a simple reason: the previous 25 of these giant conferences failed to turn off the tap of the greenhouse gases that are driving up global temperatures.

Despite three decades of talking, the planet is now at least 1.1C hotter than the pre-industrial level - and rising.

Even if everyone sticks to their current promises to reduce emissions, we'll still be on course for a dangerous increase of 2.7C by the end of the century.

For this conference, however, expectations for real progress are higher than usual.

That's partly because the risks are hitting home. This year floods killed 200 people in Germany, heatwaves struck chilly Canada and even the Siberian Arctic was burning.'

The UK's COP26 president, Alok Sharma, said: "The rapidly changing climate is sounding an alarm to the world, to step up on adaptation, to address loss and damage, and to act now to keep 1.5 alive. We know that this COP, COP26, is our last best hope to keep 1.5 in reach. And I know that we have an unprecedented negotiations agenda ahead of us. But I believe this international system can deliver. Astronauts speak of the intense emotion they feel when looking back at Earth from space. Seeing it gleaming through the darkness of the cosmos. Incredible, improbable and infinitely precious. And if we act now, and we act together, we can protect our precious planet. So let’s come together over these two weeks. And ensure that where Paris promised, Glasgow delivers."

Sir David Attenborough was chosen as COP26 People's Advocate. The naturalist and broadcaster has been praised for "already inspiring millions" through this work. Addressing leaders this morning, the national treasure said, "The people most affected by climate change are no longer some imagined future generation." Sir David urged people to "turn this tragedy into triumph".

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres also shared stirring words. More from BBC News:

"Either we stop it or it stops us. And it's time to say, enough. Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves."

President Joe Biden said, "This is the challenge of our collective lifetimes, the existential threat to human existence as we know it and every day we delay, the cost of inaction increases. So, let this be the moment when we answer history’s call here in Glasgow. Let this be the start of a decade of transformative action."

A short film shown to world leaders documents the truth about our home today.

The Duchess was regal in a blue double-breasted coat by Eponine London.

Laura identified the piece and discovered a photo of the garment in the background of an Instagram image by the brand. The tailored dress has pleat shoulder detail and comes in a midi length. 

I believe it's from the SS20 Collection (another word of thanks to Laura for the screenshot).

The Duchess accessorised with her Kiki McDonough blue topaz and diamond earrings. The £3,500 pair are described as "a wonderful pair of blue topaz oval and cushion cut stones surrounded by diamonds set in 18ct white gold to form the most stunning drop earrings". Kate's had them for several years.

Kate wore her Rupert Sanderson navy pumps and carried a matching clutch.

The Duchess also wore her codebreakers poppy brooch on her lapel.

It was a hugely important opening day. I know we all hope to see pledges fulfilled, and continue to take steps in our lives to play our part. Thus far, there's no word on tomorrow's schedule, possibly for security reasons.

I'm leaving you with a profoundly moving speech from today's opening ceremony by climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti from Kenya. The founder of the Green Generation Initiative spoke beautifully on the human cost of inaction, of the devastating reality Kenyans are struggling with today. "Over two million of my fellow Kenyans are facing climate-related starvation. Children cannot live on words and empty promises. They are waiting for you to act. Please open your hearts."


  1. They both look amazing and I love when they attend big events such as this one!


  2. Valerie in Arizona1 November 2021 at 21:48

    A beautifully crafted post on such an important subject. It comes as I heard today that Arizona has approved a new mine after years of environmental protesting. I am sad about that but hopeful that eventually enough changes can be made that the future generations will be able to survive and thrive.

  3. I really dislike the way this dress fits on Kate. It looks incredibly baggy. Usually Kate's clothes are very well-tailored so this dress surprises me.

  4. Today would have been the day to wear repeats. This is about climate change and the resources we have and she wore very expensive clothing (mostly new) to both events today. What a big miss.

    1. Yes I agree. Repeat wears would have been very powerful

    2. I agree as well. Please Kate - consider repeating many of your other amazing well tailored, beautiful, elegant bespoke dresses. Hopefully we see something before the conference ends.

  5. Dress is a no for me. Electric blue & shoulder pads scream 1980s—something that could be on Dynasty or Dallas.

    Beth in SF

    1. Well, the styles that were cutting edge in the 1980s are coming back, for certain. I'm not a shoulder pad fan either, but we're going to be seeing quite a lot of them this winter.

  6. Dear Charlotte,
    Long time reader, first comment.
    Thank you for this incredibly informative post including The Prince of Wales' impressive speech!
    If we don't act know, our future and those of our children might not be worth living.
    I applaud the Royal Family's support of the fight against the climate crises.
    Let us hope that the world leaders finally get a grip and act.
    The Duchess looks beautiful and elegant.
    Katharina, Vienna

  7. Thank you for all of this information on the summit! I feel like I learned so much. I think this dress color is beautiful and they look very nice together as a couple with coordination. I personally would’ve preferred her repeating a blue dress, especially for this event. I love that the Earthshot winners are here, such a wonderful addition!

    1. I forgot to comment on Her Majesty’s wonderful speech, and I forgot to add my name. She absolutely nails these speeches, similar to last year when we were heavy in COVID. It was a beautiful tribute to Prince Philip’s work, and thoughtful that she mentioned the continuing legacy within the family. I know some will feel like she snubbed family members not mentioned, but I would imagine she singled out Charles and William because they are in attendance. Sue

  8. Zora from Prague1 November 2021 at 22:14

    Thank you for a great post, Charlotte!!
    The Queen's speech was fantastic and I'm sure she is just as proud of Kate as of William!

  9. Ugh I wish this hemline length would just GO. It is not flattering on anyone and is a total mystery to me why Kate has doubled down on it recent years. She’s young and fit yet always looks like she’s dressing two generations older and 3 decades ago. I see nothing noteworthy about this outfit other than boredom.

    1. Yes - I do like the dress, though wish she had recycled, but it's far too long

  10. Thank you for the excellent coverage of this event and especially for the young women's poignant and important words at the end.

  11. I learned much from your important post on this hugely critical topic, Charlotte! Thank you! I love the dress on the DOC. I love her current, elegant style and choice of vibrant colors. I like the length and fit.

  12. This was fascinating coverage; thanks! I loved learning about the distillery and the museum. The museum is beautiful, as are the two paintings you featured. Re Kate's outfit, if anyone could wear this well, she can. I actually loved it from top to about 1 foot from the hem. I like the fit; I am SO tired of everyone wearing clothes as tight as possible. Her hair is lovely -- I think she looks best when her hair is up or half pulled back. The benefit of having a RF is that they can maintain a focus while the governing rulers come and go. I am thinking of the US -- we should be leading but we disengaged for 4 years and now a huge agenda is being held up by one senator from a state that traditionally is supported by coal mining. And who knows what 2024 will bring. I must add that I don't think the RF has any influence in the US; neither does any country apparently. I say this just as matter of fact; I wish we did follow Charles as far as the environment is concerned. So that's why I say that if the RF continues to champion the environment, hopefully the sentiment will snowball in the UK regardless of who is elected.

    Regarding who the Queen is proud of, mentioning Charles and William is just part of the "job." I'm sure she is equally proud of her other children and all of her grandchildren, plus their spouses.

    Aside from the human devastation, we have no right to destroy the earth and all of its nonhuman inhabitants. I feel for Greta, hoping to see real changes.

  13. Blue is Kate's color. It really suits her but this outfit is a no for me. I don't like this hemline and there's something off about the fit. The dress is wearing her down. She has so many beautiful coat dresses and this is not one of them.

  14. I didn't like anything about this look. The dress is boring, the hemline too long, the hairstyle fit for the 80s. She looks dowdy. I don't understand why Kate is sticking to this hemline recently. She looks so lovely in "just below the knee" dresses.

  15. Thanks for the information packed post. HMTQ’s speech was extremely poignant and her reminiscence on her experience with politics is a fantastic reminder what benefits the UK’s way of things around a HoS are.
    Re Kate: love the hairstyle, but what is her dress? Coat? I really dislike this particular shade of blue on her, but at least she stood out visibly I guess? I think I am double disappointed because I was sure we would see another fantastic repeat.

  16. LOVE the dress. Like a suit dress but more unique. I wish her hair wasn't scraped back quite so tight but only someone like Kate could pull this off. Great cause. May they be VERY SUCCESSFUL.

  17. I love this - it looks very much late 1930s inspired and that's a silhouette that looks great on Kate.

  18. oh i love the duke and duchess hmm i love her dress

  19. I really wish Kate had gone with a repeat outfit. If there was ever an occasion to do so, I think this was it. I’m not a huge fan of this dress, but that’s not really the point. I just wanted to see her promoting the idea of shopping your wardrobe (which she normally does so well, so I’m surprised by her not doing so this time even more).

    1. It isn't a new dress if it is from the 2020 collection. She definitely shopped her wardrobe here. Perhaps she should have worn a dress she had already worn in public and been photographed, the rewear would have been easier to spot for those who follow her fashion.

    2. Alicia I feel the same! I was really hoping for a nice, preferably green repeat. At least the shoes are recycled :)

      I don't mind the dress per se but I am really on the edge about the accessories here. This is a return to Kate's previous method of choosing accessories - which was tone in tone, style aside. I mean - the dress has vintage vibe in electric blue with black accents. Kate adds elegant, muted navy velvet shoes and clutch. Then she adds very elegant turquoise earrings. Apart from the color palette, these components have nothing in common. If you only look at the color when picking accessories, the result tends to be quite fussy as far as I can tell. Several styles and hues of the given color used together used to be Kate's weak spot but lately I have seen such improvement! E.g. her red C. Kane skirt with camel accessories was perfectly coordinated.

      Well, as much as I love Kate's poise and vibe lately, this look is a miss for me.

      P.s. great to see HM. My heart breaks for her, sitting with such dignity next to the photo of Philip.


  20. I tend to agree, Kate is very slim and the dress seems just too heavy or long and her hair just too tight. She is lovely and I think she is trying to find the formal look suitable to the bigger important role they are playing, but its not my favorite.

  21. Earthshot not only giving money but also offering connections and partnerships to the finalists is simply impressive.

  22. First comment although I have long been reading this blog. Thank you for the quick and clear information on anything and everything William and Kate do.
    As to Kate's outfit: i see Kate as always elegant, but not always on the mark. I would have loved to see a repeat of one of those amazing hits. IMO in this case, the colour is striking and suits her, even the cut and fit are OK but no more. I do protest at the length. That skirt just goes on forever, and throws the proportions off unflatteringly. Her legs and feet are there - and not there at the same time. I agree: too old, too 80s. Fast forward 20 years, cut off about a foot and it will be fine with striking accessories - if it still fits her. Oops - that sound a bit more negative than I intended, but I'll leave it anyway.

  23. I love the dress and she looks wonderful. Beautiful color and I don't see anything baggy about it? And the length is perfect IMO.
    Very important occasion of course. I liked how the Queen spoke about statesmanship. We truly need more politicians that are statesmen/women.

  24. Thanks Charlotte for your great coverage of the event. I always appreciate the way you describe events like this, and selection of highlights of the activities. I hardly ever comment on anything other than Kate’s outfits and style, but do want you to know hat your efforts to make your posts more meaningful have not gone unnoticed.

    I loved the Queen’s speech. So beautifully written and delivered. I’m sure she had help with the text, but you can tell how heartfelt the words were. How remarkable that a 96 year old woman with some level of health problems can speak so clearly and impactfully. She is truly a national treasure.

    On to Catherine’s appearance last night and yesterday. She always seems to be having the time of her life, no matter what she’s engaged in. I, like other posters, am tiring of the very long hemlines she’s lately been favoring. I also think the color of the accessories she wore to the reception are not great with the shade of blue in the dress. I’m a little picky about using navy as a neutral, and I just don’t think it works here. Just generally, Kate’s pairing of different shades of the same base color is my biggest nit with her sense of style. I’m glad she did something different with her hair - I’m itching to see her go bold and chop about a foot of the length - but this updo seems a little severe somehow. Mostly, I agree with Alice that this would have been a great night for her to pull something out of her closet.

    1. But she did pull something out of her closet, a dress from last season. Just because WE haven't seen it doesn't mean that she hasn't worn it before. With as little as we know about William and Kate's private social life, how do we know this hasn't been worn to school, to church, to Middleton family functions, lunch with Pippa, meetings with her staff, the Queen? We all know Kate is the Queen of repeats, and its not unlike her to do so. Her morning attire was all repeats, this evening event was a world function with world leaders, and like to think she choose appropriately for the occasion.

    2. Well the obvious play in this context would be to make that known instead of leaving people guessing in internet comments. If you’re at an event touting environmentalism it’s the easiest PR in the world to comment on travel arrangements and reused clothes etc. They didn’t. But easy PR goodwill has never exactly been Royal Family’s strength…

    3. While I appreciate your effort to defend Kate’s choice, Kate has very distinct personal and professional styles and this coatdress very much fall in the professional section of her wardrobe. I obviously have no prove but I highly doubt she would have worn it to a Middleton family event.
      But you are right just because we haven’t seen it before doesn’t necessarily mean it is new.

    4. Considering it’s not from this season maybe it was bought and never worn due to cancellation of engagements because of covid. Anyway, she should have known it would be controversial as well and just go for an obvious repeat.

    5. Kate is many great things, but she has never been the Queen of repeats. Wearing the same item twice, might be technically a repeat but it’s still a very low outcome. There are not even 50 of pieces she has worn twice and I think only a handful that have seen three outings. (@Charlotte- that might be an interesting statistic/post actually.) She has tons of clothes that look almost exactly the same, but instead of repeating she buys more of the same. She has almost three complete maternity wardrobes. She has is in at least her fourth complete wardrobe overhaul.
      There are some few pieces she brings out again and again, but 80% is new. She also has always debuted a couple of pieces from past seasons, I don't think it is because of cancellation but rather she liked it and hopes the right occasion comes up. I do think there are engagements that call for new stuff and some might even call for one-time-wear only. So, I think she could repeat more, and still pay big bucks for those highlights.

      I don’t doubt she repeats tons of her private clothes, but those we see only very rarely and this particular dress does style wise not fit with any of one of those pieces. Her private wardrobe is refreshingly normal looking.
      In that case an obvious repeat was called for, or at least knocking us out of the park if you go for a debut.

    6. RachelZA, you are right, Kate wearing this dress at a Middleton family function, or even lunch with Pippa was made somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it doesn't really fit style-wise. But the point was just because we follow Kate, we don't know every piece of clothing she wears and at what time. Did she maybe miss an opportunity, perhaps, but the dress fit the occasion. A couple of posts back when she wore the repeat to the Earthshot Awards, somebody suggested that maybe Kate should make a year of more repeats, and that's something I could get on board with, as long as if she does, she isn't criticized for doing so. It's a fine balancing act at times and by in large I think Kate does a pretty good job, even if we think she could have done it differently.

  25. I think Kate looks beautiful in this dress. It’s not new—it’s from a past season, so she’s had it in her closet for some time and perhaps has worn it before, just not in public. (Or maybe she even purchased it from a re-sale shop, which would be a great ecological choice.) As far as the cut, shoulder pads and length, these are all very current runway trends (much like the controversial taupe shoes with the red outfit recently—which I loved—reflected a big runway trend this fall). I think it was an excellent choice.

  26. As with a few others, was truly expecting a repeat or three-peat of her dress, given the reason for the gathering. Length of dress and hairstyle do not favor the duchess, with the caveat that my opinions are jaded by seeing a new frock.

  27. This dress is… not good. The proportions are all off. It’s a coat? It’s a dress? That length is so unappealing. I’m sorry to say it but… she looks like a rectangle. Just bizarre proportions. This was a cocktail party yes? Kate never seems to wear cocktail length dresses. Which is fine maybe they aren’t her style. But they have been a women’s style staple for decades and hard to go wrong with. This midi length I believe it’s called is a far more transient style note, like peplum skirts etc.

    On a related note: I’ve never liked the royal family women’s fondness for coat dresses (If that’s what this even is,) as i think it gives the impression they are counting down the minutes to go from an engagement. There are such beautiful women’s outerwear options. You could easily wear a skirt/trousers and a blouse or a dress and just match to a beautiful coat that goes on and off. Sometimes Kate does this style, but still a fondness for coat dresses it seems. I once read the Queen doesn’t approve of shedding your outerwear in public so maybe that’s why. But is incredibly dated and I think does contribute to a sense of aloofness.

    1. Yes to everything you said about coat dresses. I thought she was finally moving away from them or removing the coat indoors. Is this primarily a BRF thing?

    2. My guess is it is not so much a BRF thing, but a practical thing. Every time you take your coat off or put it back on, you have to check that things are not skew or pulling. Not it big issue for us normal people but if your every move if photograhed it can become a pain. So I can understand their preferences for coatdresses where there is no need or expectation to take the outer layer off.

    3. I for once love the coat dressed, but more for traditional engagements in the royal sphere. This occasion was more a “business” event.
      Kate has worn some beautiful cocktail length dresses but I think they might have looked a bit out of place at this event.

  28. Susan in Florida2 November 2021 at 15:42

    This post covered so much information! Thank you Charlotte for making me want to travel to Glasgow someday. The museum is beautiful. HMTQ made the best speech so far. The photo of Prince Phillip and HM’s butterfly pin really touched my heart. It’s about time Prince Charles received recognition for his decades of work. Unlike some politicians, his interest in a sustainable environment has been life-long, not just taken up for an election campaign, I agree with other people that DoC should have worn a three-peat dress that was seen in public before for this event. The length of the dress didn’t flatter her. I was thinking that the Duchesses chose blue knowing HMTQ was going to wear green.

  29. This is a most important event, thanks for the excellent coverage of it. I love seeing the RF working together at these events. I'm glad the spotlight is on the serious threat to our planet and survival. Catherine's dress is spot-on for this occasion. It was a nighttime reception, the longer length is appropriate and elegant. It's a beautiful dress and she wears it perfectly. Sartorial choices seem to be the least important of her concerns. She is all about work, family, and service to country. Love the color too!

  30. She is one of the few women who can carry off this style, and make it look good. Gorgeous color.
    I love the Queen's speech so much.

  31. Appears several had stated a "re-wear" would have been wonderful to see. Here's the one I'd love to see again - and it would have complimented Camilla - Catherine Walker teal coat on Anzac Day:

  32. Loved seeing William and Catherine at this event with Charles and Camilla. I thought Catherine looked gorgeous. I like the dress and color on her. Re is it a repeat, it is from several seasons ago so guessing she has it in her closet and has worn before just not in public.

  33. I wish to begin by saying that I totally agree with the majority of comments in relation to Kate's style statement for this evenings event. I would sum up the entire look as "frumpy".
    In an effort to look ultra conservative her look was a total miss. I dare to say, that we will not see this dress repeated. On a personal note, I found it interesting that it was generally accepted in regard to writers personal opinions. When I last commented about my dislike for Kate's skirt length and her particular hair style for an event I was completely lambasted by more then a few readers. One in particular insinuated that I was berating another women. I sat back and on that particular day understood why several friends have over time decided to stop participating in sharing there thoughts. I was also accused of writing about Kate's fashion rather then the importance of her speech. My opinions have never been written to hurt anyone. I offer by thought unapologetically and there will
    never be a Mea culpa!

    1. I really don’t know how much is to say about her work- of course it’s great she supports the issues. That’s the basis of her job with charities. I don’t need to put the fifteenth praise comment just paraphrasing what Charlotte wrote in her post already.
      I love to read the post and then I love to see the many different comments about her style. That is where the real discussion happens, because no one criticises her work with charities (why would you).
      So please, comment on her style. We don’t always see eye to eye (iirc) but it’s always nice to read another perspective.

  34. Had she worn her hair down, maybe this look would be less severe. As it is, with the long coat and the tightly pulled back hair, I am reminded of Mary Poppins.

    1. OMG Jay, I had that thought with the picture of her from the back watching the Queen's speech..hehe. I am not bothered by that though, actually with her height, she can carry off this look very well and she is so pulled together, although in a literal sense, her hair is pulled a wee bit tight. It's a conservative look, wouldn't call it frumpy, and the tailoring of the dress through the shoulders, the soft pleat and the waist is very well done. If this is reworn, I imagine we will see it with some length chopped off and who knows this next year may be when we see Kate mixing up more with repeats, and by that I mean even the ones we haven't seen.

  35. I must say, after watching the video, the dress grew on me. It falls softly around her legs and moves beautifully when she walks, not heavy at all.

  36. While we may not have seen this dress in public before, we need to remember that many scheduled engagements from last year were cancelled because of the pandemic. In many cases, the clothes for those appearances would have already been chosen and purchased. So I think it's likely we will see many of those clothes in public appearances this year and next.

    As for the dress itself, fashion repeats itself endlessly both with design and color palette. About the only true innovations are the textiles and other materials as technology creates new products. I'm not a fan of of the midi length--unless someone is tall, it's not the most flattering length. But just because I'm not a fan doesn't mean the look is matronly. It's actually quite current--a recycling of fashions from the 30s, late 50s, and 80s. Sometimes I think we feel a design is dated because we remember women older than ourselves wearing that look. I have the same reaction to pencil skirts because I remember my mother and her friends wearing them.

    1. As a reference to Kate's closet, many years ago on this blog I read information from a shop keeper in relation to clothing purchased on Kate's behalf. It was stated that all clothing purchased other then custom couture if not worn would be returned for a full refund. There appeared to be no time limit as many choices were purchased for upcoming events that may or may not be chosen. If memory serves me the insight came prior to a big tour several years ago.

    2. Exactly Becky. I have the same reaction to trouser suits.
      And I am getting quite used to longer skirts, I actually think they are fresh and youthful!

  37. Thank you very much for the kind comments on the post. I learned quite a bit, and join you all in hoping this conference brings action.

    Now, there's been some confusion regarding the schedule for COP26. The initial palace press release appeared to suggest Charles, Camilla, William and Kate would be in Glasgow until Friday, though specifics were not shared. Kate was actually spotted taking a flight back to London last night by other passengers. William has just shared a tweet, following a day of engagements, suggesting he's heading home tonight/tomorrow. So it's looking unlikely we'll see more from Scotland.

  38. Tammy from California2 November 2021 at 21:09

    I always crack up at how disheveled the prime minister looks. Maybe he feels it's a "signature look" or something, but it really looks unprofessional for a man in his position. EVERYONE has time to comb their hair.

    1. I feel the same way about the prime minister Tammy. He always looks disorganized but I'm sure he knows he's job. Kate looks lovely in this color & I think everyone would have liked this dress if it had been knee length. A little dowdy that length. Love the knotty chignon. Can't beat that smile. Great attention for all of mankind to a very serious cause.

    2. The day BJ turns up with his hair neatly combed and a meticulous suit, people will start panicking we are at war or similar….

  39. This comes up frequently at home :)

    1. I'm very surprised his wife hasn't dealt with the problem.😂.. S. ☺

  40. Lynn, hugging trees in SC3 November 2021 at 02:37

    Because I’m such a tree hugger I love EVERY thing about this meeting - including the dress, but yeah somebody needs to comb his hair. ;-)

  41. Hopefully some good will come from this conference. Great to see the Queen driving around her estate. Her way of letting people know she's OK, I would think. The Duchess always looks beautiful in blue. Overall I love the dress and style on her, her hair always looks good up. Sapphire or the diamond earrings Diana borrowed from the Queen would of looked much better with this outfit. Most importantly, The Duke and Duchess are doing a great job. Supporting the Queen during the hardest of times.

  42. Dear Charlotte thank you for this lovely post. I admire the work William and Charles are doing for Climate Change. I loved seeing Her Majesty looking well and loved her speech. I think Kate's hair looks beautiful and I like the dress colour but the cut is too wide at the bottom and I think the dress is far too long on her. She still looks beautiful though.

  43. Wonderful post on such a hugely important topic. Thank you. Poignant to see HM with that amazing photo of Prince Phillip at her side. Don’t wish to trivialise the reason for the dress but I thought she looked beautiful. What wasn’t quite right was where the two side tabs sat. They should have bee higher up to sit where her waist is. Not sure about length.

  44. I saw that Eugenie went to the meeting to support her cause on 2 days. She looks fantastic and is such a positive force!

  45. I'm loving the way Kate has dialed back the heavier black eye make up for the less formal events over the last few years; she's a natural beauty, and her elegance just shines through with this evolved, more natural look. It's stunning.


Comments are most welcome! Constructive discussion is always encouraged but off topic or hateful remarks will not be published.

We ask you use a name when posting (a pseudonym such as the name of a royal you like or anything you wish). If you do not wish to use the sign in options, simply select the "Name/URL" option on the drop down menu and insert your name, and if you wish the country/state you're from. You can leave the URL blank.

If there are a large number of comments, it is necessary to click the 'Load More' button at the end of the comments section to see the latest additions.

Kate's Favourites