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Norway/Sweden Tour Announced

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

We finally got our announcement this morning about the Cambridges' autumn travel plans, and the news is surprising! Kensington Palace announced that William will travel to Finland alone at the end of November, and that William and Kate together will tour Sweden and Norway in "early 2018." 

Richard Palmer reported that aides have said even if Kate is feeling better (which it looks like she is!), there is no possibility she can travel at that time. Since Kate traveled to New York City at approximately the same point when pregnant with Princess Charlotte, it is hard not to wonder what is different this time. I don't want to add too much fuel to the rumor fire, or to over indulge in complete speculation, but it does make me wonder again if Kate might possibly be pregnant with twins? There are plenty of other reasons not to travel, of course. She may have found New York far more taxing than she anticipated, or with George and Charlotte older and George in school, there may be family commitments she is unwilling to miss--school play or holiday events. Her doctors may just be playing it extra cautious this time around. Who knows, but that's the scoop for the moment. No autumn trip for Kate after all, but a visit to Norway & Sweden in the New Year! 

Kate's Surprise Stop at Paddington Station in Orla Kiely

Monday, October 16, 2017

The best way to start a new week is with a new engagement showcasing Kate! William and Harry were due at Paddington Station this morning for a Paddington-themed Charities Forum event and happily, they didn't come alone.  To the surprise and delight of everyone, the Duchess of Cambridge joined her husband and brother-in-law, and she was absolutely glowing in a pink Orla Kiely dress.

The What & The Why & The Where

The Charities Forum was founded by William and Harry in 2006 "as a way to bring their individual charitable interests together and to explore how they could best lend their support to them all in an effective and efficient way." Kate made the duo a trio after she married William, and now all three royals work with their charities in this umbrella collaboration. Today was a Paddington-themed event at Paddington Station in London where children, nominated by various charities, were set to embark on a train-trip with members of the Paddington 2 cast.  Here, Kate sits down to chat with families involved with the Anna Freud Centre, of which she is patron:

The Labels

Kate returned to Irish designer Orla Kiely, wearing the label's Flower Fitted dress in blush. The dress is sold out but features a raised floral design, a fitted bodice, and black velvet trim. I think this must be an old season, but very little is available online about it. Polyvore reports it retailed for around $185, which seems a little on the cheap side.  In any event, Kate hasn't worn Orla K in a long time, and I am really pleased to see a new dress from her make an appearance. 

Kate accessorized with her Kiki McDonough morganite drop earrings, her Mulberry Bayswater clutch, and what appear to be new, black, block-heels. MiddletonMaven has identified these shoes as Tod's Suede Block Heels:

Kate finished her look with her trusty Cartier Ballon Bleu watch. 

Fashion in Motion

Jane's Thoughts

I love Kate in blush. It is a shade that can wash some women out, but to me it works very well with her dark hair and eyebrows and her light tan and always pink cheeks. Kate also seems to like blush when pregnant. Her bump is definitely showing, which feels early to me, but makes this surprise appearance even more exciting!

I am thrilled that Kate made this engagement. It was not announced beforehand. She probably planned to come, but chose not to announce it in case she didn't feel up to it this morning. That's a smart move to avoid disappointing fans and sparking criticism from the more disaffected among us.

Anyone who thinks Kate isn't a good sport should watch this video. My personal comfort zone is relatively reserved, and Kate handled this energetic dance with perfect poise. I think William is wondering if she might be sick....I certainly was. 

The Verdict

Big win! As I say, I love blush on Kate, and I love the Orla Kiely pieces she chooses. They are always feminine and flattering with details that set them apart from the run-of-the-mill. This dress was streamlined in its fitted-bodice and straight skirt, but with just the right amount of embellishment to make it unusual and very fun. Plus, Orla Kiely's whimsy was the prefect vibe for a Paddington-themed children's event. The block heels kept it trendy, which I loved, too. A+ to HRH.

Coffee & Kate: New Tour on the Horizon

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Well, it is Saturday and I have my coffee and am ready to chat about Kate! Snag your a.m. addiction and let's get started.  This morning there are a few fun stories and rumors that are of interest to us all. Yesterday, Emily Andrews shared more details on the rumor that (so long as Kate recovers sufficiently), the couple will undertake a fall tour/trip!

According to Emily, who has a very strong track record reading the royal tea leaves or ferreting out the inside scoop, William and Kate will "visit Norway and Sweden next month after Prince Harry visits Denmark." As I pointed out when Kate's pregnancy was announced, there is plenty of time in November, when Kate will almost surely be well again, for the couple to travel. We saw it when Kate was pregnant with Charlotte and I am very confident we will see them off on a visit again despite this pregnancy. That's the best news! On the other side of the spectrum of life...

Kate Returns to the Spotlight at Buckingham Palace Mental Health Reception

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kate is back and I don't know which of us looks more excited about it right now! The Princess made her come-back this evening wearing a Temperley dress in the blue and black colors of her mental health initiative Heads Together.

The What & The Why

When Did Kate Middleton Get Security?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On Saturday night, Meghan Markle attended the Opening Ceremony of Prince Harry's Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, (and she was at tennis yesterday with Harry!). Royal correspondents reported that it appeared the Hollywood star had been given a PPO. Rebecca English pointed out that one of Harry's Scotland Yard detail stood in the stairwell by Meghan's seat and accompanied her out of the VIP section when she was ready to leave. This has sparked a lot of questions about whether Meghan and Harry are already secretly engaged, because traditionally, you don't get a PPO until the ring is on the finger. It also has raised questions about when Kate got her PPO, so let's look back quickly to find out. 

Many speculate Harry and Meghan are already secretly engaged, but Kate Middleton had a secret engagement of her own. The princess-to-be was on holiday with William in Kenya in October of 2010 when the Prince, who had been carrying the ring around the entire trip in his rucksack, popped the question. Although the death of Kate's grandfather prevented the couple from announcing their engagement as soon as they had initially planned, the couple did wait until November 16, 2010, to announce their very exciting news to the world.

Meghan Markle and Harry Hold Hands at Tennis

Monday, September 25, 2017

Well, we thought we'd see these two together, and here they are! Prince Harry and his beautiful girlfriend Meghan Markle were hand-in-hand today to watch the wheelchair tennis competition at the Invictus Games:

Meghan is looking chic and relaxed in skinny jeans, a crisp white blouse and matching leather flats and bag. According to What Meghan Wore, the bag is from Everlane.

Meghan Markle Supports Harry at Invictus Games Opening Ceremony

Saturday, September 23, 2017

We've been waiting all day to see if Meghan Markle would attend the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games tonight. California-girl Meghan has been living in Toronto for years now, since she has been filming her popular television series Suits. Given how serious Harry and Meghan are, it was hard to imagine that she would not show up to support her boyfriend's successful initiative. And we were not disappointed. 

Meghan was close to where Harry was seated with the dignitaries. This picture from Patricia Treble shows the Prince's section illuminated:

Could Kate Be Returning October 10th?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Based on previous patterns, I have been projecting that Kate will return to the spotlight in late October, but it turns out she might be back in action a little earlier than I had thought!

A gentleman on Twitter today shared the invitation he has received to a reception at Buckingham Palace on October 10th. The invitation lists Kate as a royal attendee along with Prince Harry and Prince William.

New Video Features Princess Kate on Behalf of Anna Freud Centre

Monday, September 18, 2017

There are two things I always want on my birthday, and one of them is an appearance from the Duchess of Cambridge. That almost never happens, although it did in 2015! This year I completely discounted any possibility, for obvious reasons, but birthdays are full of surprises! 

The Anna Freud Centre, of which Kate is patron, released a new video promoting wellbeing and mental health, and the introduction features Kate! It is short and sweet, as is pretty par for the course with Kate, but she presents so well.

Kicking Off Three Pregnancies: Kate's Final Engagements Before She Announces

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Almost two weeks ago I got a message from a reader telling me she had heard that Kate had paid a visit to hospital and that the Duchess might be expecting again. Indeed, Woman's Day, a very popular magazine out of Australia (that publishes many of the pictures of G&C) had reported that Kate checked into the Edward VII hospital for a one night visit, and that Carole had watched the kids while Kate was gone. There was not a hint of this in the British media, or anywhere else for that matter, but the rumor hung on the margins of the royal-watching community until Wednesday when Kate stepped out at Kensington Palace with her husband and brother-in-law.

The smiling and slim Duchess was glowing on August 30th, and nothing about her fitted crepe-silk Prada dress suggested the Woman's Day rumor was true.

[Update] Kate Absent for Prince George's 1st Day of School

Thursday, September 7, 2017

This is without a doubt, one of the most disappointing days of royal-watching to-date. Prince George arrived for his first day of school at Thomas' Battersea this morning with his daddy, but Kate was absent. Yesterday royal reporter Rebecca English said her sources were whispering that Kate would be much too sick to venture out, and it appears they were correct.

William was at a function earlier this week where he said that these early days are always very anxious and that there "wasn't much sleep happening" at Kensington Palace.  Kate is battling hyperemesis gravidarum which can leave women sick round the clock and has required Kate be placed on an IV drip in past pregnancies to keep hydrated and nourished.

Meghan Markle Suggests She Will Marry Harry in Vanity Fair Cover Story

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Yesterday we got the exciting news that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her third. Today, it sounds like the royal family will be expanding even more in the not so distant future. Meghan Markle is headline news this morning as the American beauty is revealed to Vanity Fair's October cover girl. The magazines presents a spread of glamorous shots of the royal girlfriend, but it is the interview she gave that has tongues wagging...and royal fans' hearts hoping that an announcement is imminent.

The piece is relatively lengthy, and you can read it in full here. (Meghan wore an Erdem dress for her meet with the journalist, and said she'd been wearing the label for years. Something she can bond with Kate over. :)) Meghan confirmed that she met Prince Harry in London in 2016 when they introduced by friends, and addressed the trolls and naysayers who have critizsed her relationship:

What To Expect Now Kate is Expecting: FAQs

Monday, September 4, 2017

This morning we got the thrilling news that the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton to the majority of the fan world) is expecting her third child. After the first burst of excitement, this news is raising a lot of different questions about the next few months. Below, I have tried to answer the questions that come up all the time when Kate announces she is going to have a baby! 

How Far Along Is Kate?  According to Rebecca English, she was told the Duchess is less than 12 weeks along, and that she only announced because she was not well enough to attend today's engagement. Kate fell ill with Prince George in the first few days of December and was hospitalized on the 4th of that month. The little prince was born on July 22nd. Kate announced her pregnancy with Princess Charlotte on September 8th and Charlotte was born on May 2nd. You can assume an April/May baby!

Duchess Kate Is Expecting Her Third Baby

William and Kate have been keeping a special surprise! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced this morning that Her Royal Highness is pregnant with the couple's third child! Baby Cambridge #3 is coming! [See second post today, What to Expect Now Kate is Expecting: FAQs here.]

The press release announced that Kate is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum as she has with her previous pregnancies and is currently being cared for at Kensington Palace. With George, the hg was unexpected, as it would be, and the Duchess was hospitalized, but with Charlotte, Kate knew what was coming and her doctors were able to care for her at Kensington Palace and in Bucklebury.

Kate's Casual Ensemble for Scilly Isles Marked Turning Point

Saturday, September 2, 2017

It is a rainy Saturday morning where I am, and a year ago today it was a rainy morning in Cornwall, too, where the elements were conspiring to stop William and Kate from traveling to the Scilly Isles on the second day of their two-day visit to Cornwall. Happily, after the couple postponed their morning events, the weather lifted and the royals were able to make the trip and the majority of their planned stops.

This public engagement stands out because it marked a turning point in Kate's casual wear. She wore these patterned ankle-trousers from Gap, and paired them with a fitted top from H&M and her favorite Smythe blazer. Throughout the day she switched between her wedges and flats depending on the terrain:

William, Harry, and Kate Remember Princess Diana at Kensington Palace

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Twenty years ago today Diana was staying at the Ritz in the Place Vendôme. She dined with Dodi al-Fayed and was scheduled to fly back to London the the next morning. Shortly after the bells struck midnight, however, she was in a chauffeured Mercedes racing along the dark Seine. Diana was just across from the Eiffel Tower, which had been sparkling a mere twenty-three minutes before, as it does every night at midnight, when her driver lost control and slammed into a pillar in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel. Because Diana survived the crash and did not expire until 4am, both days are caught up in the horror and tragedy of her death. It is interesting that William and Harry chose today, the last full day she lived, the day that set in motion a continuum that ended in her death, and the last day they went to bed with their world intact, as the day they paid public tribute to her memory. 

Duchess Kate at Crathie Kirk During Scottish Holiday

Sunday, August 20, 2017

We were just talking about Kate's hats on Wednesday (Hats Off to Jane Corbett) and several commenters mentioned they hoped Kate would trend toward larger hats. Those of you who agreed will be pleased to see that the Duchess of Cambridge has recycled her Tiffany hat on her way to a Sunday service this morning at Crathie Kirk, Balmoral.

Hats Off To Jane Corbett & Her Designs for Kate

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Yesterday morning I was surprised and saddened to see one of my favorite milliners announce she is hanging up her hat after 21 years in the business. Kate has a number of milliners to whom she turns for her many beautiful toppers, but Jane Corbett has always been one of my absolute favorites. The Princess has been wearing her hats since before her marriage, and as we say goodbye to Jane Corbett, let's look back at Kate's best hats from this remarkably talented artist.

We all know the pressure we feel dressing to meet the family for the first time, and I can only imagine how Kate felt as, in 2008, she chose her ensemble for Peter and Autumn's wedding. Although Kate had been dating William for some years, it was at that wedding that the royal girlfriend was finally introduced to Her Majesty. Kate picked a tasteful, dark hat from Jane Corbett featuring a birdcage veil. The style is a little unusual for Kate, but was the perfect blend of glamor and demure for a pretty red letter day for Kate Middleton.  

In August of 2009, Kate wore one of her most famous ensembles to the wedding of Nicholas van Cutsem. I think most everyone knows the Troughton coat, but it isn't as widely known that the hat was a Jane Corbett piece. You can see the foreshadowing of several of Kate's subsequent hats in this design.

Shortly after her marriage, the Duchess attended a service at St. Georges Chapel, Windsor, to celebrate Prince Philip's 90th birthday. She recycled her Zara pleated dress and the gorgeous Jane  Troughton paisley coat, and added a new percher from Corbett. This is not my favorite Jane Corbett hat. She created a number of hats in this general style (we will be seeing them shortly) and I feel the flat and simple style sell her creativity short.  Nevertheless, it was fun to see Kate turn to Jane Corbett to find a second hat for this coat. 

In September of 2011, Kate attended the wedding of friends wearing a red ensemble and a red hat by Jane Corbett that looked like it was a variation on the topper she wore to Peter and Autumn's big day. She ditched the birdcage on this one, which was a good choice given how busy the lace dress was, but the structure is still the same. 

Two months later, Kate debuted three absolute smash hits. In my opinion, these three hats are among her absolute best and they eptomize Jane Corbett's incredible eye for detail and her ability to create fresh and bold designs. The first of this smash hit trio made its debut on Remembrance Sunday in 2011.  This dressed up trilby was unexpected and a smash hit. 

The next month, Kate joined the Royal Family at Sandringham for her first public walk to St. Mary Magdalene on Christmas morning. I am sure that the excitement of seeing Kate on her first Christmas morning as a royal contributed to the memorability of the hat, but this aubergine topper (in a similar vein to the Remembrance Sunday hat) was another unusual piece and an almost equally huge success.

Like the Remembrance Sunday hat, it had a panache and a vintage quality that we have since observed Kate develop quite a bit throughout the rest of her fashion. To me, both these hats have an 18th century vibe, almost like a toned down version of some of the hats that the Duchess of Devonshire wears in the Keira Knightley historical drama "The Duchess." 

The third and final hat in this iconic trio debuted the next summer, May of 2012. Kate ricocheted from the embellished trilby to a classically feminine style, that nevertheless incorporated unusual and striking style elements. It was the lacey pink piece Kate wore to her first summer garden party at Buckingham Palace.

I loved every element from the barely-there pink to the unusual structure and busy lace overlay--this was a hat fit for a princess, and a design that showcased Jane Corbett's beautiful scope of talent. 

Kate's next three Jane Corbett's worked off of that flatter design first worn at Philip's birthday service. Kate wore an ice-blue disc percher with looping embellishments to Trooping in 2012. This hat really balanced the disc style well by adding the bows both to the top that tilted down Kate's forehead, but also an the back. It was well balanced and flattering on Kate.

Jane Corbett actually created two hats for this beautiful embroidered Erdem dress. Kate wore the first (above) to Trooping, but she wore a second hat, also by Corbett, to a September wedding the same year. 


Jane Corbett shared a picture of both the hats "under construction" sitting by a sample of the fabric.

At the time, she shared that the hat Kate wore to the wedding is one of her favorites! She wrote on her blog: 
So lovely to see HRH The Duchess of Cambridge wearing on of my creations at a wedding on Saturday. A soft grey straw trimmed with organdie that I embroidered to match the embroidery on the dress……I so enjoyed creating this piece, one of my favourite hats!
Kate must have liked the Trooping hat quite a bit, because she followed it up with an almost identical creation at her 2013 garden party appearance while pregnant with George. 

Although these hats are almost the same, I didn't love it the way I loved the icy blue at Trooping in 2012. I think these heavily angled hats are very sensitive. You really have to get the tilt just right, and I am not sure she did on this outing. 

Kate's final Jane Corbett hat debuted in 2014. It was a bespoke piece that blended the disc hats and her wildly popular pink lace hat. Life just isn't always fair, and although the marriage of these two designs should have resulted in something wonderful, it left me feeling a little flat. 

I never thought this would be the last Jane Corbett Kate debuted, and for myself, I don't feel it did her justice, but I guess those are the breaks. It wasn't a terrible hat, but Jane Corbett's talents should never have been spent on these very simple disc hats. I guess no one asked me. ;)

I do not flatter or overstate how exceptional those earlier three hats were and remain in Kate's closet. Although she currently favors the straight-forward Jane Taylor percher (no detriment to this style, or JT, it's beautiful and flattering)...

Jane Taylor fashion heart does beat a little faster when she switches it up, whether it is with a John Boyd picture hat (a milliner I consider Jane Corbett's style counterpart)...

John Boyd

...or a Philip Treacy (that was a big and welcome surprise!) angled disc hat...

...or a Jane Taylor piece that steps out of the usual mold:

Jane Corbett was genius at breaking the mold. Hats shouldn't be crazy, but they should make enough of a statement to warrant their presence. In that department, Jane Corbett at her best just couldn't be beat. When I think of the many happy years royal watching and blogging about Kate, Jane Corbett stands out as one of the designers that made those early times so special. I will truly miss her one of kind influence on Kate's closet. I know so many of my readers join me in wishing Ms. Corbett the very best as she ends such a hugely successful run. From one Jane to another, God bless you on your way.

Kate's Wimbledon Tribute in Red Armani

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Last month Kate was a one of a number of guests featured on BBC's documentary Our Wimbledon. The Duchess of Cambridge's interview is very close to the end, likely by design, and is another fun insight into the "real" Kate. Although pretty short, inn many ways, this is probably her most relaxed and most personal interview to-date, because she truly is deeply passionate about tennis and always has been. To hear her discuss the sport and reminisce on her pre-princess experiences with the game is really a fun insight for fans. 

Among other things, Kate remarked that Wimbledon inspires young people, and inspired her to get involved in tennis. Although I don't play really well, I do play tennis and really enjoy it. I took it up initially when I was in high-school because Kate played...and everyone knows what a dedicated Kate fan I am. :) I remember how excited I was to see photos of Kate playing tennis while on Christmas holiday with her family. She sued the paparazzi photographer who took the shots, but gosh they were so fun to see, and pushed me even more to take lessons and to play the game. And I bought a grey repliKate sweater, natch. So, Kate was has been promoting tennis for years, even when she didn't realize she was doing it! 

Catherine of England FB

I sped through the program, watching the highlights, although if you have time, it looks well worth watching in its entirety. I was interested to learn that the Members' Lounge is transformed every year into the Royal Box where the royals host their guests and, of course, sit at Centre Court. The seats are added specifically for the tournament. I know my die-hard Wimbledon fans will be nodding "duh" but it was news to me!

Sue Barker, the host, interviewed Roger Federer who commented on the Cambridges. He said, "It adds even more prestige to the tournament, seeing Princess Catherine there, seeing Prince William. Who knows, in the future, maybe we will see somebody of those people giving the Wimbledon trophy as well. That would be beautiful I think."

Link below with Thanks to Cara W. for sharing it with me on Facebook!

Kate kicked her bit off by revealing an obviously badly kept secret--that Roger Federer is her mother Carole's heartthrob. She quickly followed that comment by remarking that Roger knows that, too.   The familiarly with which Kate made these reflections highlighted her Cinderella story. Because Carole is socially acquainted with the tennis great, of course, who attended Pippa's celebrity stuffed wedding in July. I just love this whole Middleton family story. 

Growing up, Kate said her family watched Wimbledon and it feels "a quintessential part of an English summer." I like that she then pointed out nothing has changed at Wimbledon, "everyone is still there in their whites. Wimbledon still looks as amazing as I remember it." It is good to hear her pay tribute to continuity and tradition, since her family is in the business of continuity and tradition. Some things should always stay the same--the British Monarchy's traditions and Wimbledon. 

Kate described the first time she went to the championships. She said she queued up on People's Sunday or Monday. She got in quite late, but happily "play went on quite late, and I managed to get to see some."

The princess still sounds disappointed to have missed Andy Murray's big win in 2013 when she was prohibited from attending by her doctors. She delivered George a mere fifteen days later. I remember wondering if she'd make a surprise appearance and was disappointed when she did not.

Kate recycled a red suit by prestigious Italian label Armani. She first wore this in April at the Global Academy, and because I never did a full post for that event (thank you, law school) I will take this opportunity to review that event and those photos now.

This event came in the run-up to the London Marathon when William, Harry, and Kate were making their final push to promote their mental health campaign. The Global Academy trains young people for careers in broadcast and media, and the trio toured the facilities where various shows were broadcasting, as well as visiting classrooms and meeting some of the students.


Kate's red Armani was by the label's diffusion line, although when Armani creates a "cheaper" collection it's only *so* reduced. When I first got a peak at this suit, I thought Kate had chosen a jacket with ruched jacket.

Global Academy

I don't love ruching, because although it is supposed to flatter, I have rarely found it accomplish that goal. On closer inspection, however, it was readily apparent that this jacket featured that most loved feature of Kate's clothes, exterior tailoring. I love these sharp, exposed pleats.

Heads Together

This suit has so much va va voom because it has quite a bit of stretch. It's not too tight--it hangs nicely at rest--but in motion, it cures at all the right places. Red is a sexy color, but the stretch in this suit is doing the yeoman's work to produce the wow factor.

I wonder if this suit will, like the blue Rebecca Taylor, become a workhorse of the media events. It is a good bold color for television and a professional look that doesn't age her. On verrra.  I will try to get that post up on the tour soon, and a little note about the Meghan post, too. It seems like there is always a delay. Today I was stuck at work an extra hour because there was an active shooter scare at a building close to my office. They secured the other building, but it wasn't clear if there was a shooter wandering the street. I decided to stay right where I was and keep working until the sirens died away. 2017, kids, what can I say. A world where "potential active shooter" is literally an excuse for being behind. Le sigh. Talk soon! JCB