Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Styling Kate: Your Royal Ascot Choices (Part 1) & The Royals to Mark Diana's Anniversary at The White Garden!

Hello dear readers,

The young royals' summer break will draw to a close next Wednesday when they return to duties. This engagement is a particularly poignant one as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will visit The White Garden at Kensington Palace, dedicated to the late Princess of Wales. The Palace said "The engagement will allow the Princes to pay tribute to the life and work of their mother the day before the 20th anniversary of her death. At the start of the engagement Their Royal Highnesses, with the Duchess of Cambridge, will visit the Sunken Garden in the grounds of Kensington Palace, which this year has been transformed into a White Garden. Together they will be given a tour by the Head Gardener, along with a gardener who knew the Princess from her frequent visits there. The design and planning of this special garden will be explained, with some of the Princess's favourite plants pointed out."

Afterwards, William, Kate and Harry meet with a small number of representatives, both past and present, from some of the main charities the Princess supported in the final years of her life including the National Aids Trust, the Leprosy Mission and the Royal Marsden Hospital. Undoubtedly, it will be a very emotional day for William and Harry on the eve of the milestone anniversary.

For those following coverage ahead of the 20th anniversary, William and Harry recorded an interview for the BBC documentary 'Diana, 7 Days'. It focuses on the country's reaction to Diana's death. Diana's brother Earl Spencer and sister Sarah McCorquodale are interviewed. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and members of the Royal Household also speak about their memories. This emotional snippet of Harry talking about paparazzi taking photos of his mother as she lay in the car dying conjures dreadfully troubling imagery.

In this clip, William discusses how he hopes Diana would be proud of him and how he didn't let her death break him.

Quotes from the documentary:

  • Harry said “One of the hardest things for a parent to have to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died. How you deal with that, I don’t know. But, you know, he was there for us. He was the one out of two left and he tried to do his best to make sure that we were protected and looked after. But you know, he was going through the same grieving process as well.”
  • William describes how he felt “I remember just feeling completely numb, disorientated, dizzy, and you feel very, very confused. And you keep asking yourself, why me, all the time, why, why? What have I done? Why has this happened to us?”
  • Diana’s sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, said: “She was religious in putting on her seat belt. Why didn’t she put it on that night? I’ll never know.”
  • Speaking about the Queen, William added “At the time, you know, my grandmother wanted to protect her two grandsons and my father as well. Our grandmother deliberately removed the newspapers. There was nothing in the house at all. So we didn’t know what was going on. And thankfully at the time to be honest we had the privacy to mourn and to kind of collect our thoughts, and to try and just have that space away from everybody. We had no idea that the reaction to her death would be quite so, you know, huge.” He added: “I don’t think anyone, even my grandmother, had seen anything like this before. So I think all of us were in new territory. But for Harry and I, you know my grandmother and my father believed that we were better served and better off out in Balmoral, having the walks and the space and the peace to kind of be with the family and not be immersed or having to deal with serious decisions or worries straight away.”
  • Harry recalls feeling shocked by the public reaction when he returned to London “People were grabbing us and pulling you into their arms and stuff. I don’t blame anybody for that, of course I don’t, but it was those moments that were sort of, I don’t know, they were quite shocking.” William added “They were shouting, wailing, literally wailing at us. Throwing flowers and yelling, and sobbing, breaking down. People fainted, collapsed. I think it was so unusual for people to see individual young boys not crying when everyone else was crying,” he said.
  • On walking behind his mother's coffin, Harry said “Genuinely, I don’t have an opinion on whether that was right or wrong," Harry said. I am glad I was part of it.”

It airs on BBC One on Sunday at 7.30 p.m. It will also be broadcast on NBC on 1 September.


Styling Kate has very much turned into our incredibly fun August distraction, a word of thanks to all who took the time to participate and showcase their creative eye for fashion. Due to the incredible response and number of entries, I have decided to divide the submissions into several posts. I was so excited to see your choices for Royal Ascot, as you can see the first batch is full of sartorial delights!

Phyl - Phyl shared a creative Polyvore look for Royal Ascot choosing a vibrant green Long-sleeved cordonetto-lace dress by Dolce & Gabbana with matching Perfect Pumps by Italian brand Casadei. Phyl chose a contemporary sweeping hat in natural tones of sinamay with delicate white silk flower and gold cut feather spray detail by Juliette Botterell Millinery and completed the look with Kate's Monica Vinader Siren Wire earrings and the Dolce & Gabbana Saffiano Leather Chain Clutch.

FL Lady - FL Lady chose the Avalon Dress in Floral Print by The Fold London. The piece is described as "A star of the season, cut from luxurious ivory crepe in a blue-black print that energises yet grounds the design. Styled with a concealed button front and trimmed with navy satin to streamline and elongate your frame, the long-sleeve dress has cut-out details at the shoulder line, and is finished with a waist-defining tie belt."

Sofy - Soft selected a sleeveless dress with a sweeping skirt by George Hobeika styled with the striking pink natural upturn hat by milliner Philip Treacy. The look is completed with blue Gianvito Rossi pumps and Graff Pearl and Diamond Earrings.

Helen in Indiana - Inspired by Phyl, Helen created a Polyvore Look for Ascot featuring the soft pink Altuzarra pleated ruffle midi dress, the Philip Treacy Buntal-embellished sinamay hat, block heel low sandals from Samsoe and the Valentino Garavani Mini Rockstud Leather Wallet On A Chain.

Anon 15 - Anon 15 echoed Kate's penchant for white lace at Ascot choosing the Valentino Corded cotton-blend guipure lace midi dress. When it came to selecting the remainder of Kate's look, Anon 15 searched Kate's wardrobe and selected her pink Philip Treacy hat worn for Trooping The Colour in 2016, L.K. Bennett Sledge Pumps and the ruby and diamond jewellery the Duchess recently debuted in Poland. The look is completed with the L.K. Bennett Laura Natural Patent Clutch.

Kate - Kate's Ascot Polyvore Look sees the Silk Armour Connie Lurex Jacquard Dress take centre stage. The graphic design dress is made with Satin to create a smooth finish and comfort. The dress is teamed with the Carrie Jenkinson Evita Lace Trim Saucer hat, midnight blue Gianvito Rossi pumps, the Dune Blanka Long Suede Clutch Bag, blue topaz Kiki McDonough Classic 18k Gold Detachable Drop Earrings and a Diamonds by the Yard bracelet.

Sonja from Bavaria - Sonja wrote "Kate never wore 'real big hats' to Ascot, only fascinators/headpieces that were bigger, so I followed this tradition here. I tried to create a very summery look, the light floral dress that still followed the dress code seemed perfect." We have Ted Baker's Porcelain Rose Bow Dress featuring the brands rose porcelain print. The floral dress is styled with a Small Disk Saucer Hat with knot detail and feather by Suzannah, Kiki McDonough White Gold Pearl and Diamond Drops. The look is completed with the gorgeous Ralph and Russo Eden Heels with a chic stiletto heel, adorned with ornate leaf filigree.

April Girl - April Girl opted for an eye-catching red Carolina Herrera dress with a statement swishy skirt from the Pre-Fall 2017 Collection worn with an unidentified red hat Kate has had for a number of years, Rupert Sanderson Malory pumps and Kate's red bow Miu Miu Clutch. When it came to jewellery April glanced through the royal vaults choosing The Duchess of Teck earrings and Diana's triple strand pearl bracelet. The look would be completed with a chignon.

Julia from Leominster - Julie originally suggested the concept of the 'Styling Kate' series as an August distraction two years ago "My first brief to myself was to keep to Kate's love of white lace and beige accessories but to find a smart little dress so she didn't look like she was on her way to the registry office, then to get rid of the fussy little hats and courts". We have the Oscar de la Renta Macramé-lace embroidered wool-blend crepe dress styled with the Panama Jane Hat, Diamond and Yellow Gold Basket Hanging Earrings by Ortwin Thyssen and RAYE Barton Brown Suede Sandals. Julia continued "But I fell in love with a pair of courts for Kate and they didn't work with the above dress so I found myself looking for a dress that did suit them." The pumps in question are the Loewe Floral-Embroidered Leather Pumps and they are teamed with Roland Mouret's infamous Galaxy Dress, Keneth Hopkins wide brim straw sunhat, circa 1940s. Completing the ensemble is Acorn inspired jewellery by Ortwin Thyssen and Robert Feather.

Melissa UK - Melissa turned to one of Kate's favourite designers Temperley London for her Ascot choice, selecting the aqua Berry Lace Neck Tie Dress, with graphic lace detailing. Melissa styled the dress with Rachel Trevor Morgan's Ivory mesh disc with feather flowers, quills and bow, the Wilbur and Gussie Edith Clutch and Kiki McDonough Blue Topaz and Diamond Oval Drop Earrings. Like Sonja, Melissa was taken by the Ralph and Russo Eden pumps, choosing them in white.

Molly Claire  - Molly Claire chose Roksanda's crepe de chine 'Margot' dress, blended with silk to give the ivory fabric added fluidity and subtle luster, the Jane Taylor Orchroma hat with hand painted feather and distressed crin, the Anthropologie Jules Kae Jen Pouch, the Jimmy Choo Sage pump in rose kid leather and Kate's sapphire and diamond earrings.

Hannah - Hannah would style the Duchess for Ascot in the Erdem Delphine Floral Print Keyhole Dress in Khaki. For her choice of hat, Hannah chose Kate's Gina Foster Launceston Place Hat and completed the look with the Christian Louboutin Crisscross Platform Red Sole Sandals in nude.

Maria in Germany - Maria opted for the L.K. Bennett Wardour Lace Overlay Dress in a summery pink over a steel grey base. We also see the Apricot side sweep hat with straw pansies, crystals and quills by Rachel Trevor Morgan. Kate's L.K. Bennett Fern Pumps and a Thomas Sabo bracelet finish the ensemble.

Marci in Utah - The Jenny Packham Beaded Lace Half Sleeve Ivory Cocktail Dress. Marci added "This continues the Duchess’ penchant for channeling the white lace of Eliza Doolittle but glams it up several notches. To continue the Eliza Doolittle channeling, I would go for black or black-and-white accessories," The look is completed with the Audrey Hepburn 'Miss Audrey' hat, Kate's Annoushka pearls and Kate's Office Nina Block Heels.

Sunny - For Ascot, Sunny selected the Lela Rose Wild Flower Fil Coupe Elbow Sleeve Tucked Shirt Dress with the Rachel Trevor Morgan Burnt orange mesh disc with bow, quills and arrow feathers, the L.K. Bennett Laura Marshmallow Pink Lace Clutch and the Jimmy Choo Romy Pumps.

Joanne in CA -  Joanne chose the Suzannah Rose Gold Doris Dress with the Gina Foster Trapani Medium Coulis Hat with Rose Trim, Jimmy Choo Abel Snake-Effect Leather Pumps, the L.K. Bennett Natalie Straw Clutch and Annoushka Pearls.

Couch Potato - The green Chi Chi London Premium Lace Midi Dress with an embroidered mesh skirt, styled with the Jane Taylor Blue Dawn Jackie O style hat, the L.K. Bennett Floret Navy Courts and Kate's Kiki Grace earrings.

Samantha - Samantha shared her colourful look via Polyvore featuring a colour-block dress by Hugo Boss, a Jane Taylor Hand-Painted Rose Cocktail Hat in ivory, tan and burgundy suede Gianvito Rossi Ankle Strap Platform Sandals, a red Chain Suede Mango Bag and Rose and Thistle jewellery.

Miol Mor - "The outfit proposal leans on the Duchess’ penchant for wearing white on the occasion, but with a little twist, stile-wise. Aaaand … here we go". Miol Mor chose an off-the-shoulder Ralph & Russo dress with a full skirt and a nipped in waistline with the Jane Taylor Faith hat "with some tiny alterations: The white ribbon that twirls around the feather and the center needs to be either have a burgundy center line or burgundy borders (just a dash …) because - for jewelry the outfit is paired with Victorian (inspired) garnets. The look is completed with grey Nine West pumps and a burgundy clutch.

Inqrious2 - For Ascot, a 1950s style white dress with a striking floral print, a jaunty navy and red cocktail hat by Juliette Millinery, the Prada Slant Heel Pumps, a Balmain x H&M clutch, an Edwardian/Art Deco Diamond and Sapphire Bracelet and Diana's sapphire earrings from the Saudi Arabia suite.

We'll be back with your remaining Royal Ascot entries next, you're in for another treasure trove of covetable looks :)

Sunday, 20 August 2017

William and Kate Photographed Arriving at Crathie Kirk

As hoped for, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were photographed arriving at Crathie Kirk for Sunday service with Her Majesty, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Edward and Mike and Zara Tindall. As you can see in the photos on the Mail Online, William and Kate travelled with Prince Andrew who was driving. Unfortunately, photos are scarce with only a handful of car images taken.

The annual sojourn to Balmoral offers the perfect opportunity for members of the royal family to catch up and relax at the Scottish retreat before returning to London to begin an Autumn schedule of duties. No doubt Prince George and Princess Charlotte are having a ball exploring the outdoors with Mia Tindall and their other cousins. William and Kate adore the outdoors, and are likely soaking up the scenic surroundings on the estate.

I imagine the Cambridges have been there for almost a week as Prince William joined his father on Wednesday for the Edinburgh Tattoo and a special performance at the Palace of Holyrood.

Crathie Kirk is a small Church of Scotland parish church in the village of Crathie. The walls are built of local granite and the roof made of Scots Pine. Building materials were donated by the surrounding estates, and £5000 raised by the local population to fund construction. It is known as a regular place of worship for the British Royal family when they are staying in nearby Balmoral. The Princess Royal married her second husband, Timothy Laurence, at the church because she was divorced and, at the time, not permitted to marry in the Church of England.

Is Kate's Hobbs London Celeste coat her favourite? Judging by the multiple times the Duchess has chosen it, I think we can safely assume it's right up there. It's a very wearable and versatile coat perfect for everything from church with the royals to a day of engagements. The chestnut brown double crepe wool coat subtly flares from the hips.

Hobbs London

Kate also wore the coat for service at Crathie Kirk in 2015.

Below we see Kate wearing it on Christmas Day in 2012 and 2016.

For fans of the brand, Hobbs London are offering 30% off selected lines for UK customers and 20% off everything with discount code ALL20 for US shoppers.

The Duchess wore her Lock & Co Tiffany drop-brim hat. The £325 hat is described as "Crafted from 100% rabbit fur felt, this 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' hat is a style saviour. The stunning, lipped drop-brim and wide Petersham band make this hat a real classic which is perfect for dressier social engagements."

Lock & Co

You may recall Kate first wore it in March for for a service of dedication unveiling the new Iraq Afghanistan Memorial on Victoria Embankment Gardens.

We can also see Kate wore her L.K. Bennett Addison dress. The Duchess debuted the dress when the young royals hosted the Obamas at Kensington Palace in April 2016.

The £325 dress features a jewel-toned print, transparent sleeves and ankle-grazing length. It's described as: "Ideal for events both formal and casual, timeless in its style and fashion forward in its execution." It's available in very limited sizing.

L.K. Bennett

Speaking of L.K. Bennett, I was browsing their website last week and was very impressed with the Autumn 2017 Collection. They have done a tremendous job of encompassing the staples of a versatile professional wardrobe whilst incorporating trends, colour, prints and statement pieces. Kate could stroll into her nearest store and easily leave with a wardrobe which would carry her through the majority of events on the agenda for the remainder of the year.

The camapign  was shot against the prestigious backdrop of London’s imposing Old Royal Naval College. Entitled ‘A Modern Portrait’, the campaign is inspired by the authentic style and sophisticated elegance of the ‘L.K.Bennett Woman’. Capturing empowered, modern women’s lives and style in motion.

Shot by Spanish photographer Daniel Riera and styled by Tank Fashion Director Caroline Issa, the campaign’s "creative handwriting abounds with confident femininity, showcasing the season in a series of vibrant, layered portraits".

The Charl Cream Jacket and matching cream tweed skirt are very Chanel.

L.K. Bennett

The Elva Blue Check Silk Dress is cut with a flowing skirt, high neckline and elegant bracelet sleeves. Its nipped-in waist complemented by a D-ring belt. It also comes in black check.

L.K. Bennett

The Ria Blush Leather Coat would be another great addition to Kate's coats. We also see my favourite piece from the collection - the Shippa Pink Tweed Dress. I love the fifties silhouette and full skirt. You can view the full collection here. I certainly hope we'll see the Duchess in at least a couple of pieces in the coming months.

L.K. Bennett

It's always nice to catch a glimpse of the royals enjoying their summer break at Balmoral. I expect we'll hear engagement announcements shortly for September. In the meantime, I've been very much enjoying putting your dream looks for the Duchess together. Prepare yourself for an array of stylish splendour and sparkle. We'll be back with that post in a couple of days :)

Kate's Favourites