Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Kate in Green Lace Temperley London Gown for 2017 Portrait Gala

The Duchess of Cambridge attended the glamorous 2017 Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery in London this evening.


The Duchess has been patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012, and tonight marks the second Portrait Gala Kate has attended.


The NPG posted this lovely arrival photo - a beautiful evening in London.


The black-tie event raises funds which will directly support the National Portrait Gallery's work in delivering inspirational exhibitions and displays, offering unique learning opportunities and undertaking world-class research.


The 2017 Gala is fundraising for Coming Home, a project that will make it possible for portraits of iconic individuals to return to places that are special to them for a loan period of over three years. Coming Home will enable sitters such as Sir Walter Raleigh to return to Dorset, the Brontë sisters to Yorkshire and David Beckham to Essex.


The Duchess with the gallery's director Dr. Nicholas Cullinan.


The Duchess had the opportunity to view two exhibitions, beginning with Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends.


The Duchess discussed the pieces with Dr. Cullinan.


It marks the first exhibition of portraits by Howard Hodgkin who passed away earlier this month. Born in Hammersmith, Hodgkin served as an RAF officer rising to Wing Commander during the Second World War. Most frequently associated with abstraction, he enjoyed a successful career since his first London solo show in 1962. He was closely involved with the exhibition 'Absent Friends' at the NPG but sadly did not live to see it. A principle concern of his art has been to evoke a human presence. The exhibition explores Hodgkin’s development of a personal visual language of portraiture, which challenges traditional forms of representation.


Already receiving rave reviews, the exhibition has been hailed as "unmissable" and a "stunning farewell" to one of Britain's greatest artists. In their review The Financial Times wrote: "A first posthumous exhibition crystallises a reputation. Hodgkin was prolific in old age, and recent exhibitions have strongly exposed later work which, as often with older artists, tends to abstraction. But he was never a wholly abstract painter. With a terrific selection of Hodgkin’s most memorable images, the NPG from start to finish stretches the limits of what a portrait can be, and demonstrates how audaciously Hodgkin collapsed boundaries between figurative and non-figurative art."


Next, Kate viewed Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun: Behind the mask, another mask, where Kate was hosted by Gillian Wearing, who explained the significance of the works featured.


Gillian Wearing is a conceptual artist who won the Turner Prize in 1997 and in 2007 was elected as a lifetime  member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London.


More on the exhibition from the gallery: "This exhibition brings together for the first time the work of French artist Claude Cahun and British contemporary artist Gillian Wearing. Although they were born almost seventy years apart and came from different backgrounds, remarkable parallels can be drawn between the two artists. Both of them share a fascination with the self-portrait and use the self-image, through the medium of photography, to explore themes around identity and gender, which is often played out through masquerade and performance." Below a self-portrait of Cahun from the 1927 series 'I am in training don't kiss me' and a self-portrait by Wearing from 2003. If interested in discovering more about the work of Claude Cahun the gallery has a fascinating history here.


In the Balcony Gallery The Duchess viewed artwork commissioned for the Gala by artists such as Grayson Perry and Juergen Teller.


To mark the gala, and help raise funds during the evening, a range of artwork has been especially created, including 10 unique masks by the likes of Dame Vivienne Westwood and Philip Treacy, and 100 postcard-sized works of art for a Mystery Portrait Postcard Sale.


Kate was very much in her element and described the artwork she saw as "amazing".


Before dinner, Kate met a selection of guests at a reception, including those who have contributed to the event, friends of the gallery and artists.


Kate met Phillip Chung, father of television presenter and model Alexa Chung, who remarked on the collection of art he had built up thanks to his children. The Duchess told him that she too had begun gathering her own children's artistic efforts together.


Dr. Cullinan joked "It’s interesting to be talking to so many people, and know none of them are looking at me"


Kate chatted to a couple who have a child at Thomas's Battersea, the school George will be attending (more on that further down). More from the Mail Online:

'She was introduced to Richard Found, who runs an architecture and design practice, and his wife Jane Suitor, an art consultant and collector, who revealed that their child was also at Thomas's School in Battersea, where her son will be starting in September. They told the Duchess it was a 'great school' and she said she hoped to see them at the school gates. 'We were chatting about Thomas', the school George will be going to,' said Mr Found afterwards. We're parents there as well. She just said "I may see you at the school gates".'

Other guests included familiar faces to the Duchess such as James Middleton's girlfriend Donna Air.


Prince William's uncle Earl Spencer and his wife Karen.


One of Kate's favourite designers Erdem with Alexa Chung.


Gone Girl actress Rosamund Pike wearing a gown by Erdem.


The gallery shared this photo from the dinner.


Kate was accompanied by Sophie Agnew again tonight, she's an assistant to Rebecca Deacon.


You may recall when the Duchess attended the 2014 Portrait Gala she donned her much-loved sweeping, ink-blue Jenny Packham gown teamed with the Queen's dazzling Nizam of Hyderabad necklace.


The Duchess chose a dark green lace gown by Temperley London for the event. If the gown looks familiar to you it may be because it's likely the same one Kate wore for the Queen's 90th birthday dinner, only a car photo was taken, it can be viewed here. The long sleeve gown features sheer sleeves with a floral pattern, a bow belt to accentuate the waist and a scooped out back. It's a classic Temperley silhouette.


A closer look at the floral detail.


The gown is very much reminiscent of Kate's much loved Temperley London Amoret. The black lace gown was trimmed with scalloped eyelash edges and featured a curved seam. The floral pattern is incredibly similar to the gown Kate wore tonight.


Kate teamed the dress with a pair of statement Kiki McDonough earrings.


Kate's earrings are very similar to the £5,340 Candy Pink Tourmaline and Green Amethyst Drop Earrings are described as "Stunning pear drop green amethysts and pretty round pink tourmalines surrounded by delicate diamonds set in 18ct yellow gold make these truly beautiful earrings."

Kiki McDonough

Kate carried her Wilbur and Gussie Gold Glitter Clutch.

Wilbur & Gussie

Middleton Maven notes it very much appears Kate wore her Jimmy Choo Dart Sandals (memorably worn at the State Dinner in Malaysia in 2012). The sandals feature metallic leather and an asymmetric ankle-wrap. They originally retailed for $820.


Hannah Furness shared an arrival video which offers a good look at Kate's dress.


If interested in viewing the exhibitions discussed in the post, Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun's runs until 29 May; tickets are available here. Howard Hodgkin's 'Absent Friends' can be viewed until 18 June with tickets available here. We conclude this portion of the post with a quote from the uniquely talented artist.



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We also have several other updates to share with you beginning with announcements from Kensington Palace earlier today. On Tuesday, 4 April, Kate will attend the opening night of the musical '42nd Street' at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in aid of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH). '42nd Street' has been described as the "quintessential backstage musical comedy classic" and includes songs such as 'We're in the Money', 'Lullaby of Broadway', 'Dames', 'I Only Have Eyes For You' and '42nd Street'. The musical has played to great global acclaim for almost 40 years and its popularity serves as a legacy to Gower Champion, the legendary director and choreographer of the original Tony Award-winning production. It looks like it's going to a great night in support of a fantastic cause. Speaking of EACH, they are auctioning the Boden hat Kate tried on during the Holt charity shop opening. If you're interested in placing a bid please click here.


The Palace also confirmed the Duchess will visit Luxembourg on Thursday, 11 May. Kate will attend the commemoration of the 1867 Treaty of London, which confirmed Luxembourg’s independence and neutrality. This visit is at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Telegraph has described the visit and others planned for members of the Royal family around Europe as "the next stage of the Brexit tour". Further details are to be announced closer to the date; I expect aides are finalising other engagements for the day in addition to the commemoration. Perhaps we'll see the Duchess meeting members of Luxembourg's royal family? It's interesting to observe the role of the Royal family in deploying 'soft diplomacy'. Where we would normally be chatting about Commonwealth tours, the focus looks to remain on Europe throughout the year. It will mark Kate's second solo overseas trip following her visit to the Netherlands last year.

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As referenced earlier in the post, Prince George is to attend Thomas's School in Battersea, South London this September. Whilst it was widely reported he would follow in his father's footsteps at Wetherby, William and Kate have chosen the co-educational school. The school is described as a "busy, thriving, purposeful school educating 540 boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 13. Art, ballet, drama, ICT, French, music and physical education are all taught by specialist teachers from a child's first day in school. It's an interesting choice because Thomas's actually have a branch in Kensington, very close to the Palace, whereas the Battersea branch is the bones of a 30 minute drive. A factor in their decision may be the fact Battersea is not only a co-ed but has a kindergarten. I expect they are thinking ahead and plan to send Charlotte there too.


Addressing parents in a letter, the £6,000-a-term school's headmaster Ben Thomas wrote:

'We are delighted to let you know that they have chosen Thomas's and that from September Prince George will be a pupil at Thomas's Battersea. This is clearly a significant moment for their family and most certainly for Thomas's. Like so many parents, the Duke and Duchess have put a great deal of thought into the choice of their eldest child's first "big school". 
We are honoured that the aims and values of Thomas's reflect those that Their Royal Highnesses would like for Prince George's education. We are deeply conscious of the trust that they, like all Thomas's parents, are placing in us and we hope very much to live up to their expectations. The Duke and Duchess have made it clear that they do not wish Prince George's attendance at Thomas's to change its aims, values or ethos in any way. They would like, as far as is possible, for him to enjoy the same education that all of our pupils receive and for them to join the school community as all of our new parents do.’

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 And last, but certainly not least, Kate's private secretary Rebecca Deacon and Adam Priestly were married at the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace on Saturday. Rebecca looked simply radiant in a classically elegant white gown and an updo. Very few photos have surfaced from the event and it is not known whether William and Kate attended. I would imagine it's very, very likely they were there for the ceremony, perhaps slipping out privately afterwards. There are a couple of photos of the happy couple leaving the ceremony on the Mail Online. A huge congratulations to Mr and Mrs Priestly, it looked like a beautiful wedding!

250 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting photos of the Gala so quickly Charlotte. She looks very lovely, I like the scallop detailing around the hips. And the earrings are gorgeous. Not as spectacular as that necklace she wore to the Gala a few years ago--would that she could have worn one of the Queen's amazing emerald necklaces with this dress--but still well chosen. The upcoming events sound very exciting.

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  2. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2017 at 20:32

    Nice to see her at this event again :) Not much to say about the engagement itself (yet. That might change as the night goes on!) so I'll jump straight to fashion.

    Kate looks very elegant. Yes, it's another lace dress, her hair down, Kiki earrings. It's a very "Kate typical" look and therefore not very exciting. But she DOES look good! (Although I'm a smidge disappointed in my magpie heart that there wasn't any vault jewels!)

    The dress is rather similar to her black temperly gown. Both are very nice. It's a good "working gown" (haha!!) that is well suited for a royal wardrobe and will be very easily pulled out for years to come! And I DO like the back of the dress very much. I hope to see it with an updo in the future. It's not a low back, but it's kind of... scooped out? Very feminine.

    Always fun to get good pictures of stuff we've only seen hints of. This time we got it doube with both the dress and earrings (Anna said she wore the earrings with the red preen dress!). This is kind of a perfect way to "debut" stuff. She get's the "repeat"-cred but we get the "oh, we get to see new stuff"-feeling. :P

    Great to see more upcoming engagements and Kate doing another solo overseas trip :) I wonder if she will meet some of the royals. I hope so! I always love when royals meet up.

    Guess the lenght of my comment is too long again, let's split it!

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    1. Zora from Prague28 March 2017 at 21:18

      Your magpie heart made me laugh, Rebecca! :)

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    2. "Magpie heart" - so funny! I've heard historians refer to either Queen Mary or Queen Alexandra as a magpie because she had a knack for purposefully admiring specific jewels in other countries that caught her eye knowing they'd likely gift it to her. :)

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    3. Queen Mary also apparently had a knack for taking things she liked. I remember reading something that said people would hide things they didn't want her to see when she visited in case she said she liked it -- which was royal code for give it to me! I think it was Mary; now I'm not so sure, but I think so!

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    4. I'm thinking it was Queen Mary also.

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    5. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 17:50

      You are correct, it was Queen Mary and apparently, is not a myth.

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  3. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2017 at 20:33

    And here is the comment on the misc. topics:

    Nice to see where George is going to school! I looked at their website and I love how their focus seems to straight away be on "being kind". They say that while they are proud of their successrates in how the kids move on to good schools later, they have a bigger focus on how they interact. Seems very in line with how the Cambridges seem to focus as well.

    I like that it seems to be a more "normal" school. Co-ed for a start! I can absolutley see them wanting the kids at the same school so it makes sense. And I like there seems to be alot of focus on how you treat other people and also arts. Probably the kind of school Charles would have thrived in.

    It's still a very fancy school, "fit for a prince", which makes very much sense for many reasons. But it doesn't seem to be the stiffest version!

    I also like that it's a bit unexpected. Choosing the school were you yourself went and liked it is fine enough. But this choice means they have really sat down and checked the schools and choosen one they think will fit the kids. It's not the closest one to their house, it's not one they went to, it's not the "easy choice". That gives me hope that they have really looked into the choice.

    I read that the one running the school has worked in Lesotho??

    Last but not least: big congratulations to Rebecca! She looks so beautiful! And most importantly of all, incredibly happy!

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    1. I have researched the Battersea school and I think it is a great choice for George (and Charlotte). I think Will and Kate will want both children at the same school, and I think going to a co-ed school can only help. I agree that Charles probably would have benefited greatly from a school like this one. He was a very sensitive child and I think George is quite sensitive as well. The exposure to the arts, sports, outdoor learning, and a spectrum of learning styles is most appropriate. I also noticed that their kindergarten is based on a similar model as George's nursery school ("learning through play and experience"). While the commute is a little long, maybe the distance will help with security concerns. I know I may be in a minority when I say this, but my wish for George's school experience is for it to be press/paparazzi free. The same goes for both children. They deserve as close to a normal school experience as they can get. I think Kate and William have made a great choice in Battersea. They made a very thoughtful decision, with the welfare of their children foremost in their minds. I actually think this will serve George and Charlotte well, because they will learn in an environment and curriculum that breaks from the standard royal model.

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  4. Great Post and thanks for the many updates!! Kate looks very Radiant! I love her whole look!

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  5. I love love loooooove this dress! Kate looks radiant in this dark green and the new earrings are beautiful! My favorite look of the year, for sure!!

    Thank you, Charlotte! Great post, as always!

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    1. I agree Rachel, you are right on with your comments. Definitely the best look in 2017!

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  6. I love the dress!! Beautiful shade, and a favourite silhouette of hers. The earrings are really pretty too. She looks fresh. Excited to see more pictures. Thanks Charlotte!! You are so quick!

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  7. Oh this is lovely! Safe, perhaps, and very typical of her style, but lovely all the same. Glad to see open toed shoes, and absolutely LOVE the new earrings.

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  8. Courtney from NC28 March 2017 at 20:42

    Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this look. Just hmmm. I don't know. Don't love it, don't hate it. It looks more interesting from behind.

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    1. The back is eye catching, Courtney. Maybe this particular lace pattern in the dark color is a bit Dowager Duchess? I see Lize's point that the front is somewhat prim and proper. It's not a showstopper but I think it is an elegant and pretty dress. Very Kate as Rebecca states.

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    2. She looks beautiful of course, but I have a "ho-hum" reaction to this as well I must say. I think it's for the points Rebecca made above.

      Also, because she wears so many shorter versions of these dresses for "day" events it makes a longer evening one look odd and underwhelming - to me anyway! At first glance when I just saw bust up my instant thought was "isn't this an evening event?" because I'm so used to her wearing day length lace dresses. I hope some of that makes sense :)

      Hate to harp on, but as usual if the hair had been swept up I think it would have changed the overall look and impression as well.

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    3. Initially I thought it to be a D&G, Claudia.

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    4. Claudia and Erika, me too. I thought it was yet another lace Dolce and Gabbana knee length dress. Now that I've seen it though, I love it. Great shade of green for Kate's coloring and an unexpected flash of back skin. Normally I would prefer an updo for evening but her hair is so exceptionally glossy tonight that rather than complain, I will just be envious. Well done, Kate. You look smashing.
      I don't think that Countess Spencer is going to be happy with her picture. She is a stunning woman but that dress is way too tight at the top.

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    5. Courtney from NC29 March 2017 at 03:44

      Claudia - I agree that because she uses lace so often in day time looks that to use it at night, for a gala event, it needs to be attention grabbing. I also agree that with her hair up it would have completely changed the look. The lace comes up so high that with her hair down it makes it look cluttered to me. If she had swept her hair up, in a soft style, and worn the emerald and diamond drop earrings that she wore in NYC the look would have gone from serviceable to WOW!

      Erika - She does look good, it is very hard for her to look less than beautiful and this is a very Kate look. It just doesn't excite me. I also thought is was a D&G dress. All their lace dresses blend together for me.

      BethNY - I still would prefer an updo with the neckline of this dress but her hair does look lovely. So full and healthy. I also agree about Countess Spencer. It is an odd bodice anyway but doesn't quite fit perfectly and that makes it worse.

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    6. Courtney I quite like these Kiki earrings but you are absolutely right! They're not strong enough for such a deep green, but emeralds and diamonds! As I like to say, "straight out of the royal vault" jewels :) And she must have a fairly impressive personal collection when you think of wedding gifts and such that we never know about.

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    7. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 17:58

      I agree with you Courtney - the long hair with the high neckline does make for a cluttered look - I thought at once the dress needed an updo, for the back to start with, but you have defined why so well.

      And yes, to the emeralds too - the earrings are lovely but the shade of green does wash them out - at first, I couldn't even see the colour of the bottom stones. If the emeralds had made for too much green, diamonds would have worked as well.

      Agree on Countess Spencer as well.

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  9. Ha! New Kiki's! Well, there's William's apology right there. They are stunning. He should misbehave more often:)

    Kate does love lace, doesn't she. It is a beautiful dress and I love her in dark green as it brings out her eyes and contrasts in a lovely way with her deep brown tresses. Perhaps a bateau neckline for the lace overlay would have been more flattering and look less constricting on her neck. Very pretty all in all however.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2017 at 21:09

      Not new earrings. She wore them with her red preen dress for a Royal Foundation evening event without photographers.

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    2. Lol Erika, I thought the same when first saw the statement earrings ;)

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    3. Oh too bad! I like my story better:) Rebecca, how is it known what she wore if there weren't any photographs?

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2017 at 10:14

      There were some grainy pictures on one of the attendants instagram. So it was photographs, just not photographers :P

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    5. Pam from Boston29 March 2017 at 16:30

      I don't think William has anything to apologize to Kate for. Maybe his grandmother, but not his wife. He did absolutely nothing wrong as a husband, in my opinion. Are husbands not allowed to get drunk, have fun, talk to other women? I know my husband does all those things in the course of his normal, average life. And a prince is going to attract the attention of women other than just his wife even more than the average man....so he is supposed to ignore them all? Is he not allowed to enjoy the company of an attractive woman? I'm sorry, all men, happily married or not, would enjoy the company of an attractive woman. I enjoy the company (what little of it I have) of attractive men.

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    6. I agree, Pam. I'm taking these "apology jewelry" comments with a grain of salt because surely most mean it to be sort of just a funny thought. There's no way to know but I think there is a very good chance he has nothing to apologize for in Kate's eyes but, like you rightfully said, his GRANDMOTHER may be another story! :)

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    7. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 18:25

      We can agree to disagree Pam. I wouldn't mind Leo flirting a bit when I was along and knew quite well whose bed he was going to be in that night!

      When Leo travelled on business in the past, I expected he would dine with women co-workers, as I would with men colleagues when I travelled with nothing more than that. It's not a case of not speaking to the opposite sex.

      But dancing, groping and encouraging young women to sit with his group on a lad's holiday - I would expect an apology and a b...good one! I have holidayed with girlfriends but you won't find us encouraging blokes, even though we've had some interest shown in the past.

      But most of all William is a prince, and like all people in public life, appearances count. One would like to think he could resist temptation since sound judgment and resistance to temptation is expected of a ruler. The main thing was missing the Commonwealth Service for a boyish lark - in such an important year and with so much at stake for the future. And being so very public about his conduct! Odd!

      With so much excessive drinking amongst the young - I would truly like to see William put paid to his partying. He's had ample time for such frolics in the past. It does seem time to grow up. This laddishness is worrying and, to me, most unbecoming.

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    8. Rebecca, were they the photos where people thought she might be wearing the baroque pearls but they weren't photographing quite right to be them?

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    9. Not to get into this subject again, Pam and FG, but if it were my husband he'd have some apologizing to do. Anyway, purely beside that point, getting drunk in public is never a dignified state of being for any married with kids thirty something, let alone an heir to a throne.

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    10. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2017 at 19:52

      Exactly those Erika :)


      And also, apologizing or not, I'm allergic at people encouraging buying as a way of apologizing. It just doesn't hit me the right way. It's a cliché "buy her something nice" thing that minimizes impact of actions. Yes, you could buy your wife something pretty, but it should not be used or seen as a way of "buying your way into her good graces". IMO ofcourse.

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    11. Pam from Boston29 March 2017 at 20:35

      Erika, I was quite busy during the week that followed Williams' ski weekend, so didn't really comment much at that time, but, however late to the party, I had to say my opinion when I saw your comment about an apology. I do agree with you that William's drunkenness was undignified and that he embarrassed himself, I just don't think he has to answer to his wife for it. And shouldn't he be allowed to just forget about being heir to the throne once in awhile? And Julia, if William truly did grope or encourage the young women, that's not right, I agree. But I didn't see photos or video of William dancing with, groping or encouraging anyone. I saw a video of him dancing by himself. I saw a video of him place his hand very briefly on a woman's waist, which to me is not a big deal. Maybe there were more photos and videos that I missed.

      I don't have much an opinion on his missing the Commonwealth Services, not being British and not having an understanding of what that means, regarding how important or unimportant his attendance there was. But I do understand from all the hoopla that it was not a good thing that he missed it to go partying instead, so if that be the case, he owes the Queen an apology. Just not his wife.

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    12. I agree, Rebecca. But "get out the doghouse bling" has apparently done the trick for eons. Me personally? No way that would work. Him going to therapy until the issue is resolved is more like it, lol. If it took marriage counseling for both of us I would gladly put forth the effort. But bribery bling. Unh uh. I don't know if it was bribery or not or how it was presented or by whom, but Kate did wear the Hyberadad necklace directly after Spain. Not a usual thing for Kate. Very coincidental. She probably didn't even realize the necklace and the event were related, depending upon how it was offered. Maybe offered as a distraction and it may have worked at that time. Just a guess.

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    13. Julia, I could not agree with you more on every point. I have mentioned this in detail in another post and agree with you that we can easily socialize without the goal being a raucous, drunken, "slut dropping", seemingly on-the-prowl scenario. And, so can men.

      Your reference to the alcohol/drug problems inherent in their "let's have better lives and better mental health" initiatives are diametrically opposite of his blatantly displayed behaviors. He is held to a much higher standard whether he likes it or not. And in front of the whole world. I would so hope that William is seeking effective counseling to overcome his propensity to act out like that. It should stop. And it should stop now.
      In my opinion. I felt so sorry for Kate, but even more so for the children. Not a good role model, William. They love and respect Kate, and so should you.

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    14. Florida girl, I would certainly hope so. We all saw Her Majesty's sternness with William when they were on the balcony and she told him in no uncertain terms to stand up and honor the fly-by.
      I hope she addressed Verbier with him in the same no uncertain terms. It may be something that he needs professional help for. Hopefully, if so, she sees that and will direct him accordingly.
      It would be well worth it.

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    15. Ok, I remember that photo, Rebecca, and can see that they photographed the same. The flash causes the green stone to disappear in a way.

      Totally agree with you about present buying as a way of apology btw:) My comment was somewhat tongue in check. However, if I had a repeat offender on my hands I might not say no to acquiring quite a nice little collection if I had to put up with such nonsense on a regular basis. (Still kind of kidding- kind of:) )

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    16. Ha! Well put, Rebecca - Sweden, it IS sort of antiquated and a bit degrading. If my husband had done something he knew I would be upset about in the catagory of boozing and flirting with women and try to "buy me off" he'd likely end up with the gift down his throat! :)

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    17. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2017 at 00:43

      Oh, I understood that you were kind of kidding Erika (although, every time Kate wears new jewels someone comments that they might be from William! Which kind of makes me laugh but also kind of seems odd. Like a woman can't buy some nice bling for herself just because she likes them!)

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  10. Wow! This is more like it Kate! The colour of this dress is simply gorgeous! And the style of it just exudes elegance. I was secretly praying that we wouldn't see another floral gown or one with pleats.

    I am also loving the stunning new earrings. Such a lovely and appropriate look. On another note, I'm a little curious as to why Kate hardly has any engagements scheduled for April, except for the one announced today, but engagements as far as May have already been announced. I would love to see William and Kate perform more state duties as they are such wonderful ambassadors.

    Love Avee

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2017 at 21:11

      Events are generally announced 1-2 weeks before they happen, unless they "need to" be announced beforehand. Like for example, Luxembourg, her name will be on invitations etc and would leak out either way by now. And the Party at the Palace event was announced the same day the invitations landed in peoples mailboxes. So those are generally a way to come out with the news of the event yourself without having it leak.

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  11. Dont like the top part of this dress...somehow too busy too almost prim and proper. But Kate looks healthy beautiful and young...in some photos her face reminds me of Kate when still only the girlfriend.

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  12. love the dress and the pair of earring.

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  13. Zora from Prague28 March 2017 at 21:09

    Thank you for the post, Charlotte! It was very interesting to read about Howard Hodgkin and his mixing the figurative and non-figurative style. What a pity he didn't live to see the exhibition.
    I love Kate in lace dresses and gowns so I'm happy about her choice today. For me, lace is very gentle, classical and at the same time sophisticated. The earrings, clutch and shoes all go with it very well, too. And they also match one another as can be seen in the photo of the earrings above the clutch (just look at the edges of the drop-shaped earrings and the clutch with its decoration). Such attention to detail is especially appropriate at this kind of engagement where art is involved.
    Great to hear about another engagement at the beginning of April, as well as about the Luxembourg trip!
    As we celebrate Teacher's Day in my country today I would like to wish all teachers and educators here on the blog all the best, a lot of strength, patience and good nerves :)

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  14. Thank you, Charlotte, for the wonderful post. The Howard Hodgkin exhibit looks fascinating. What a great patronage for Kate to have.

    I agree with others above that this is a classic "Kate look," but that said I absolutely love it, and think it is so elegant, appropriate, and charming for an event like this. The forest green color is unusual for a lace dress like this (I feel like often such lace dresses are black, cream, or red), which I find very nice. And I think the gold accents in clutch and shoes and the statement earrings make the whole outfit very special.

    Three cheers to Kate and William for choosing a different school for George, a school that seems to emphasize (at least from what is said in the press and quotes from the website) values like kindness and respect as much as it does academic excellence. It seems to me like they are really making an effort to help George to be as grounded as possible, rooted in good values and in learning to relate to a broad range of kids/people. And I think that approach is admirable.

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  15. Sarah Maryland USA28 March 2017 at 21:49

    The dress is nice but doesn't she have enough lace dresses? I guess when you have tons of money you can waste it on getting basically the same thing five different times lol
    I mean if she didn't have several other dresses like this or in a shorter version I would be more in love with it
    And I'm not sure I like the hair down. It is much much much better than when she was here in 2014 though
    Still don't understand why William and Kate didn't pick a school closer to KP unless George gets like a police escort to school everyday because that commute looks like it will stink

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    Replies
    1. I think Charlotte said that they have a school closer to Kensington Palace than the one at Battersea. So they will have a short commute after all.

      Delete
    2. Sarah Maryland USA29 March 2017 at 00:13

      But he is going to the one in battersea

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    3. oops. You are right, Sarah. Wishful thinking on my part I guess.

      Delete
    4. Surfer Girl, George will be attending the Battersea school. It is a 30-40 minute commute from KP so there must have been a very good reason for the decision. They also have a kindergarten, so it is possible that the decision was made with the thought of Charlotte attending, too.

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    5. Yes, a 30 minute commute twice a day for somebody.

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    6. I read that 1) the Battersea location has preschool and Kindergarten for Charlotte at age 2 1/2-3 and 2) the Battersea location can be secured more easily. The Kensington location is spread over a number of buildings over several blocks.

      Delete
    7. Courtney from NC29 March 2017 at 03:49

      Eh the commute isn't that bad when you don't have to rush to work, or rush home to do all the chores, or run a million errands. I know Kate does some errands and housework but she has enough free time to make it work and since William won't have the air ambulance job he will have time as well.

      Delete
    8. Thanks Anglophile. I commented below that I thought they were almost identical except for the exit age. If the Battersea one has an age 2 1/2 to 4 school then it would allow both kids to be in the same spot sooner and also allow them to exit at an older age, 13 for Battersea, 11 for KP. The ability to more easily secure the Battersea Campus is an important consideration.

      Delete
    9. Courtney, I agree that a 30 minute commute isn't a big deal. Consider the amount of time some children may spend on a school bus while it makes the rounds.

      Delete
  16. On some of the other notes Charlotte made, I hope as they move forward to September, with the Verbier story now dying down and Paris done and dusted, someone can sit them down for a frank, candid talk.

    I would tell them this: You need to come to terms with your public lives, plain and simple. You need to develop a better relationship with the media (I know this will go straight out the window) and most of all, you MUST find a better balance between "official" and "off duty" news and images of yourselves and your children.

    Think about it. Why was Verbier such a feeding frenzy? In my opinion, Kate and William are partly to blame for that, because it was such a breach in their normal protocol and everyone knew it. William has a near maniacal reaction to even the most harmless off duty photographs of his family. The children on police motorbikes, at a farm, Kate out shopping, all are forbidden in UK papers. I could give endless examples but you all know them by now.

    So in their paranoia and control, they have successfully created an incredible market for casual images. An image other than the carefully choreographed and even colour coordinated ones they allow.

    Now comes Verbier, and you have William not just off duty, but behaving completely out of the character he's allowed us to see, and doing so in full view of members of the public, not in a private home somewhere. He let his guard down quite publicly and a large audience devoured it. If people were more used to seeing them "off duty" I'm not sure it would have landed the same way. If he had more friends in the media I'm not sure so many would have pounced. If he relaxed his tight grip on so many things I think it would have played quite differently.

    I don't envy anyone in the public eye trying to navigate the world of round the clock news, the internet, iphones and social media. But there are skilled, experienced people who could help.

    Of course, as a sidenote, I would tell them, if there's a major royal event, JUST GO!!! Don't open yourself up to "Where are William & Kate" stories.

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    Replies
    1. Nicole from France29 March 2017 at 08:18

      Claudia , I quite agree with you and have always thought that releasing a few "private" (I mean, photos taken purposely, not stolen by paparazzi ) photos regularly would certainly make a great difference . I assume that, besides protecting their private life, K & W do not like seeing paparazzi making a lot of money on them by disturbing their private life, which I do understand ! so releasing the photos free would solve that point .
      Back to Kate, I am so happy to see her back to elegance ! yes she has already have a lot of lace dresses and gowns, yes this is a classical "Kate's look", but it is her real look ! she is a very classical woman in terms of clothes, I think, although she, as a youg woman, likes to try things , but when doing so she lacks the touch of fun/foulishness in accesorizing which makes those '60 inspired clothes worth wearing. This dark green gown is really elegant which such a nice "flow" when she walks, and the back makes a surprise ! I would definitely have liked an up-do , or al least a half chignon (I suppose Kate does like the feeling of her hair on her soulders, she is so used to it , so the half chignon would be good !) . well, quite hapy to see her so beautiful !

      Delete
    2. Sharyn from AUS29 March 2017 at 13:07

      after reading your comment, I wonder about Harry and Megan. Yes, there can be excitement at photos of them because it is new and there is a grace kelly element to the story. But the reality is their photos are mundane: seeing a play, buying a xmas tree, out to dinner. They arent thrilled with the images but they dont seem to get irate the way william does or hide away at Amner. Maybe William and Kate need to try some mindfulness I'm sure they have heard about when talking with schools, and open up to the world. We're not all bad

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    3. You're both right, Nicole and Sharyn, it's a hard balance and they have to do better going forward or else another Verbier is waiting in the wings.

      Not trying to rehash the story it's all been discussed to death, but rather discuss what they both need to learn from it, especially moving to London and KP. It was a very, very telling moment for me, and illustrated how William is still so A. unaware or B. arrogant regarding public perception. Quite unsettling really for a man in his position.

      That every other family member was at the Commonwealth Service in a very important year (just watched May's letter being delivered) and he didn't have the sense to go or to sit home in Norfolk, and instead went on an expensive holiday is unbelievable.

      But they both must have wondered, why has this story taken on a life of its own? And while the tabloids broke it, EVERY major paper and news outlet and some story or commentary on it. In my opinion it's because of William's rules on "off duty" life and his carefully controlled image went flying out the window.

      Come September, it's likely the children will be snapped more watching the royal helicopter (a very public place!) so don't lose your head over it and have your staff make warning calls to all the papers! Honestly, what's the harm in that image? And if Kate, a grown woman, is snapped shopping in London, same rule applies. The media are never going away for them, smile in their direction, say hello, even if it's off duty. It should not be a surprise at this point that someone wants to take your photograph. If one or two paps are crossing the line, deal with THEM. Don't judge all press or make blanket rules because of a couple of bad apples.

      As I said I don't envy them. But we live in a facebook world, a reality tv world, where people want to see you in your "natural habitat" ;) the audience doesn't buy the perfectly produced image anymore. They want *some* behind the scenes, a very tough thing for a royal, I know.

      What was most ironic to me about all this, William and Kate (and Harry for that matter) court the Twitter social media crowd over traditional media. And yet that's EXACTLY where a Verbier story explodes and grows! Boggles the mind. They're really just getting terrible press advice all round in my opinion.

      I hope someone new comes on board in time for September if it is going to be full time royal life at that point. They certainly need it.

      Delete
    4. Claudia, I agree. Their charity/royal efforts should not be diminished or countered by volumes of bad press, when a few key advisements would circumvent the bulk of that. Some introspective overview and attitude adjustments are necessary. It could yield windfall amounts of positive effect on a consistent basis. Why they haven't realized yet that the adjustments are necessary is a real question. Attitude?

      Delete
    5. surfer girl I think you're right, attitude has a lot to do with it, because I personally think William's attitude is preventing him from *understanding* the situation and what he *needs* to do, whether he wants to or not.

      He hates the press and (maybe rightfully) thinks what does it matter what he says or does, they will build him up one day then tear him down the next. He believes their goal is to sell papers, ads, whatever, and they will manufacture any story about him to do it. What I would say to him is, yes William, all that may be true, but you still have to *deal* with them, ignore them at your own peril. You have to find a better balance. (Who said "never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel?" Mark Twain?)

      When you think of it, Trump and William should get along famously when they meet ;) They both despise the press, they both believe the press is out to get them, that they make up stories or put a negative spin on them to sell papers. They both believe the press can't be trusted and try to circumvent the press by going straight to social media.

      Big difference? Trump likes how a story explodes on social media, doubt William would say the same, so daft strategy on KP's part. Also, maybe more importantly, Trump still plays the press like a fiddle. I recently watched an interview with a NY Times reporter who's been writing about him for years, and she said that while he bashes her in speeches all the time, she's never had so much access to a politician as she does with him, and he will pick up the phone and call her directly to challenge her on something. So he still keeps an active relationship with them! (that comes under the keep your friends close but enemies closer category!)

      Now Trump only has a 4-8 year political career riding on this so may be able to get away with playing it both ways. And Americans distrust the media as well.

      But William has a lifetime, and perhaps an institution on the line. So I would say it is imperative for William to find a happier balance with them. I'm hoping if they are adopting a full time role (yet to be seen) the staff will expand and some better voices will enter KP. And surfer girl maybe then if William softens his attitude and listens he will get some good advice :)

      (Sorry if I'm going on, the way the royals handle PR has amused and astounded me for years! It's why Diana could run circles around them. Whoever handled the public rehabilitation of Camilla should be put in charge (Bolland?) that was masterful PR)

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    6. You should move to the US. I would gladly trade places with you, as relates to dealing with William's fall-out compared to Trump's. ;<[

      Delete
    7. Helen of Troy, NY30 March 2017 at 01:52

      Present at this year's CW service-( immediate royal family, HM's children and grandchildren) which by no means has a stable yearly attendance:HM, Camilla, HM's three sons. NOT present: Anne; any of the grandchildren-William, Beatrice, Eugenie, Andrew, Zara, and Edward's two children (who walked the Christmas walk)-I think Harry was there? Also absent- Sophie. It doesn't really matter where Anne and Sophie were. They had a year to make their visits another time other than the day of the CW Service. It is simply not true that..."Every other family member was at the Commonwealth Service." If William is to be chastised, so are Anne, Sophie, and the rest of the grandchildren. This ballyhoo about missing this annual, very sporadically
      -attended service that Charles the heir has missed is simply an excuse to make the press look defensible for their obnoxious treatment of William. I do certainly agree it was unfortunate image-wise that he was photographed enjoying himself. He should carouse behind closed doors as the rest of the royal males have when young(except Harry, who was also caught out) and thus manage to maintain their squeaky-clean images, hypocritical though they may be. Those Eton chums do not make William look good, at least as portrayed in the press, which is the only way most people know of them. I really don't understand why this subject was dredged up again for a post about a successful Catherine solo engagement. By the way, if paragraphs of praise of Donald Trump is allowed on a supposedly apolitical British Kate blog, one hopes this defense of the blog-subject's beloved husband would be allowed.

      Delete
    8. We did see photos of W&K from their engagement days. I'm not sure how their current situation/preferences can be compared to shots of Harry and Meghan snapped while dating. Unless I misunderstood...

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  17. This is a very safe and "typical Kate" look, but I can't exactly fault her for that! The color is beautiful on her, the cut is nice, and it fits the occasion. The dress might be a little underwhelming, when taking into consideration the amount of knee-length lace dresses we see from Kate on a regular basis, but it's a great go-to for engagements like these.

    I certainly like this dress better than the black version she wore previously, and the tiny scoop at the back of the neck adds a nice little touch. I would like to see her experiment more with gowns for evening events, but that's the extreme gown-lover in me being picky.

    It's good to see more events being added to her calendar. I'm enjoying getting to see her more often (and getting to talk about the events and fashion here!)

    They seem to be keeping with their trend of "breaking with tradition" as far as schools go. I wonder why they chose one further away? Good for them for finding one both kids can attend. It sounds like an excellent school.

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    1. Becca,

      Charlotte said they have a school in Kensington.

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    2. Oh cool! I must have misread that.

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    3. No, I did, Becca. sorry. :)

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    4. Thomas's HAS a school near KP but he is not going to that one. PG is reported to be going to Thomas's Battersea - a 30 min commute from KP.

      Delete
    5. I bet their decision on which school was based on safety and security. That seems to be a major priority for them. I'm sure it can feel like living in prison at time for them not having freedoms like we regular folks do. I imagine the school has freedom for George to run outside and play without photographers hounding them.

      I think there is an extreme amount of criticism about how they want privacy and don't like private pictures taken of them. Seems quite out of touch and selfish to criticize like that. Remember that William has endured extreme invasions of privacy in his family. William's mother was hounded literally to death because of those trying to get photos of her. Even when she was alive, she was tormented by those who chased her and published unkind photos of her. I think they are handling themselves with grace and elegance in a world of smart phones and instant spreading of them.

      They are an example to many of us and our children of dressing with values, kindness and caring.

      Delete
  18. I think it is a gorgeous dress, that deserves a nice updo. Even though Kate has beautiful healthy hear, I think gowns just look better with her hair up, especially a gown that has a lot of lace up till her neckline.
    It is so busy around her face now.
    I love her earrings and the shoes are very pretty too.

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  19. Gosh, she looks wonderful, and somehow her face looks more like she did in her younger days. A green eyed brunette in a green dress, the whole look is great. Thanks for the post and pictures.

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  20. I loved when the Duchess attended the 2014 Portrait Gala in her Jenny Packham gown and (my favorite part) the Queen's Nizam of Hyderabad necklace. Given that look back in 2014, I was disappointed with Kate's sartorial choices tonight. This dress is so similar to Kate's other Temperly lace gown and I much prefer the elegance of black. The earrings are nice, but I was hoping for some major jewels tonight (To clarify, these earrings would be major bling for me, but are not when you look at the royal collection).

    Beyond the fashion, I am very glad the Duchess attended the Portrait Gala tonight. I hope I can look forward to this engagement becoming a permanent addition to Kate's calendar. It's a wonderful way to support her patronage and encourage public engagement with the arts.

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    Replies
    1. I don't like the earrings that much. The bottom part kind of disappears and certainly the color doesn't show up in the photos. Again, as mentioned here, she has a whole vault of Royal bling that is just begging to be seen and would photograph better. She looked beautiful as usual though and Kate's gracious sparkle was present. Her hair did look exceptionally shiny and glossy. And, the two PPO's did look very handsome.

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  21. I love the color on her, that shade of green is spectacular. She looks gorgeous, she always looks beautiful. Put her in a ruck sack, and she would still be lovely. I love her hair down and full.
    As for the school, I am sure they have their reasons for choosing this one. I am an American, so it really is none of my business where they send their children to school.
    Congratulations to Rebecca Deacon!

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    Replies
    1. Ditto Tedi! The only thing I would add is that the close up picture of Kate really does show how truly lovely she is!!! As for the school for their children, it really is their decision and they must have their reasons. cc

      Very happy for Rebecca Deacon! cc

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  22. Kate looks gorgeous as usual although like everyone says same old same old but is no one going to mention the shoes! Now that is a change!

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  23. Thanks, Charlotte, for the quick post! Kate always looks gorgeous in green. So glad we got to a chance to see this dress in all its glory, the glimpse of her wearing it in the car on the way to the Queen's birthday dinner was tantalising. I love the back of the dress...but the front is a little disappointing to me. The top part of the underdress should be different, it's too plain, & I agree with others that a different neckline would've been more interesting. Her hair & earrings are superb! She does look a lot younger here, she is glowing :) Love those Jimmy Choo Dart sandals, it's been awhile since we've seen them, the gold & green complement each other nicely. Lovely to see some familiar faces in attendance such as the Earl Spencer & Donna, everyone looked great tonight.
    Congrats to Rebecca & Adam! The bride & groom looked so happy :) I hope William & Kate were there to join in the celebrations.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Words cannot describe how incredibly disappointed I am with this dress. Ms. Air and Ms. Spencer look a hundred times better.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think Mrs. Spencer's dress had slipped down a bit.
      Not very flattering, although the color and the sheen of the fabric looked good on her. I didn't like Donna Airs' dress at all. (sorry)

      Delete
    2. Gee, I very quickly, and in fun, tried on a hat once.
      Now they are going to auction it off for an important fundraiser. Yeh, right. lol Glad they thought to do that. But how much revenue will "Kate's" hat generate do you think?

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    3. Countess Spencer not Mrs. Spencer. And Kate was lovely.

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    4. Well, I do like Karen Spencer's gown. Not the best angle in this photo, but the color and fabric is rich, and the overall look is flattering. I'm not in love with Donna Air's dress either, SG. It's more daytime dressy (maybe!) than evening gown.

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    5. Courtney from NC29 March 2017 at 03:53

      I agree about the dress Donna wore. I don't love the design but the worst part, for me, is the color. It just doesn't work on her. At least to me it does not.

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    6. Oops! After further review, I still like Ms. Spencer's gown itself, but at first glance I didn't notice that's it literally cutting off circulation to "the girls" ha

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    7. Oops! After further review, I still like Ms. Spencer's gown itself, but at first glance I didn't notice that's it literally cutting off circulation to "the girls" ha

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    8. I think her title is "the latest Countess Spencer" - let's see when dear Charles tires of her.

      Sorry but I don't think I could have a lower opinion of that man!

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    9. Hahaha! The Latest Countess Spencer!! At least it's not The Late Countess Spencer!

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    10. Thank you for the correction, Anglophile. Us Yankees, hmmph. :)

      Delete
    11. Courtney from NC30 March 2017 at 01:53

      Claudia and Bluhare - Oh my! That made me really laugh out loud.

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  25. If I might add, that PPO in the tux is quite dishy ;)

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2017 at 10:19

      Haha, I noticed that as well. And also, has anyone watched the show "Person of Interest"? He kind of looks like John!

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    2. Courtney from NC30 March 2017 at 01:55

      If I had a PPO that attractive I would do a lot of engagements. Just saying.

      Delete
  26. Julia from Leominster28 March 2017 at 23:06

    I shall draw a tactful veil over my opinions on the art. Always nice to earn funds for the Gallery. I'm not sure how I feel about the loaning out - an interesting idea. Wonder what else they plan to send out.

    Kate's dress is very pretty, the green suits her and I never suffer from too much lace. It's interesting Camilla also wore green lace this week - a coincidence, one supposes.

    I know the curls have their supporters but to me it always looks like the fifth runner up in a beauty contest. Since the dress has an interesting back, I would prefer an updo. To continue quibbling, for that is all this is, I love the earrings but there are so many other interesting young British jewellery designers. I wish she would spread her custom about a bit, if she is to wear semi-precious. But she does look very pretty and the gown is lovely.

    Donna Air looks very pretty. Alexa Chung is very pretty (and has been linked to my favourite Alexander Skarsgard) - she has wonderful eyes but I don't care so much for her gown. The Countess Spencer's gown is a lovely colour on her but I don't care for the plunging bodice.

    As for the school - there could be several reasons for the choice. They may want Charlotte to go to the same school (Kate did not care for her girls school). They may be mindful so many parents have to travel some distance for the school run when they don't get a placement in their catchment area and are doing this to defuse criticism. Or they may not plan to send George out as a boarder until he is 12 or 13 and ready for a senior school. I believe Weatherby is only pre-prep whilst this school goes up to 13. Or they may like how the grounds are set for privacy. So many possible reasons.

    Rather difficult days here, so I may come and go as to comments, but looking forward to the coming engagements. I do wish they had attended the Commonwealth Service as that's where the future may lie after today and they are not to visit any Commonwealth nation this year.

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    Replies
    1. Courtney from NC29 March 2017 at 03:57

      I knew I liked you! I think Alexander Skarsgard is such a beautiful man. Lol. Just gorgeous.

      I agree about her hair. Updo would have worked better for me, especially so we had a better view of the back of the dress. I am not a huge Kiki fan so these don't dazzle me. Her emerald earrings would have made this so much better, with an updo of course.

      I hope that your days start getting less difficult and know that I, and many others, appreciate your comments and input in the discussions here so I hope you pop in when you have the time and inclination. Sending virtual hugs your way.

      Delete
    2. I don't dislike this lace dress as much as I dislike lace usually. It's really delicate. I agree about the back of the dress and and updo, and she also puzzles me with her blanket hair which covers her blings all the time.

      Delete
    3. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2017 at 10:27

      Someone at a forum said that the Battersea school is probably better for security. It is just one building, or at least one ground they have to cover, while the Kensington spot has alot of different buildings, some of them a few streets away. So that might be a point in why they choose the one further away.

      Delete
    4. Skarsgard had me when he posed for a photo sitting on the toilet at the South Pole. :)

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    5. Our thoughts are with you, Julia. May your difficult days ease.

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    6. Sending good thoughts your way Julia. I hope this difficult period eases soon. X

      Delete
    7. Yes, Julia. Prayers to you and your family for wisdom and strength. 💐

      Delete
    8. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 18:31

      Thank you, Charlotte, Courtney and Patricia, it was an unexpected death of someone close to us. I very much appreciate your thoughts.

      That was quite a photo bluhare!

      Delete
    9. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2017 at 19:53

      I am so sorry to hear that Julia. Know that we are here for "hugs" and distractions if you need it <3

      Delete
    10. Just wanted to cheer you up, Julia!

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    11. Very sorry to hear that Julia, sudden deaths are so traumatic for the loved ones left behind. Thinking of you and your family X

      Delete
    12. Our thoughts are with you Julia.

      Delete
    13. Courtney from NC30 March 2017 at 01:57

      Bluhare - That was quite a photo. Love that he doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. I have been a fan since Generation Kill and he wasn't too shabby on True Blood either.

      Delete
  27. Too similar to the black Temperley gown, and the neckline is less flattering with the straight, or slightly scooped material underlay across the front of the dress.

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  28. This dress is so boring I don't even have the words...it looks exactly like the black one she has worn previously and the black lace DVF gown that she has. I get that she doesn't want to buy a new gown, but at least wear one of her better gowns - I would love to see the McQueen she wore to the BAFTA's when they were in LA. This gown looks like a lace table cloth. Thank god she's not wearing green shoes and a green bag. Come on Kate - you're young and gorgeous - spice it up a bit!!!!

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  29. Wow, I think Catherine looks glowing and gorgeous. She looked very happy to be there, enjoying herself. The dress is a meh for me. She wears it beautifully, but green is not a favorite color so that is probably a baked-in bias against the dress. It fits her well and her overall look is radiant. Thanks for a wonderful, informative post.

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  30. Have looked at the photos on other websites of the other attendees and I am puzzling over something. Did anyone see the photo of Rosamunde Pike? Is she only wearing one earring? The earring is so beautiful that if she lost it (as I am wont to do) I really hope someone finds it for her!

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    1. I think it's the desired look. One earring has become a bit of a thing. And given her very stylized look, I'm thinking it's intentional.

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    2. Jo, I think you can see her other earring. It is to it's side so you just see a very thin portion of it.

      Delete
    3. Actually Jo, I took a second look and what I was looking at was a wisp of hair. You are right. It does seem that her other earring is missing. Hopefully those aren't real diamonds.

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    4. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 18:35

      I confess I find this trend for one earring or mismatched earrings most odd. It seems as if it is a way for the jewellers to make more money - selling multiple expensive earrings. A sign of my age, I suppose.

      Delete
    5. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2017 at 20:44

      I can kind of like the one earring look if it's like a feather with a bohemian look, or if you have a classic wavy hairstyle on the side with just one huge earring showing. But this time it doesn't work at all. Just looks like she lost one.

      Delete
  31. Nice lace but it's so much like other lace dresses we have seen so many times on Kate - I would prefer to see her step out of the box more with something different than a long sleeve lace dress. Not sure - are these a new set of earrings for Kate or on loan or what?

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2017 at 10:29

      They are new-ish. They have been seen on grainy instagram pictures but it's the first time we've gotten good pictures of them.

      Delete
  32. Gorgeous dress, gorgeous earrings!

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  33. Julia, I will "draw a tactful veil over my opinions of the art" also, as you so artfully said. :)

    And, I agree, politically this is a very delicate time (William), a watermark moment in history. Time to get serious and finely hone every diplomatic skill to be had. I think Kate was wise in going "standard Kate". She has some serious business ahead of her this year, with Brexit, etc., and not being known as a "fashionista" is probably going to work more in her favor. She does "standard" Kate" very nicely. She could use some finishing tweaks here and there but she'll get there.

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    1. surfer girl, you make an interesting observation about "standard Kate". She does do "standard Kate" very nicely and while I for one am very happy with her style and choices, perhaps it is time for the focus to shift somewhat to the task at hand. cc

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    2. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 18:41

      I would have loved to have seen something more outre in Paris, just because well...Paris is Paris. (I loved the gown and think it will look wonderful with a tiara but it just didn't seem ideal for that event, although the soft colour worked well with the room.) But otherwise, I agree - I don't mind a conservative approach for the reasons you state Surfer Girl, but with a bit more polish (no creasing) and tweaking. (More accessories.) I know we don't like to compare royals but Mary of Denmark comes to mind. Her look is quite conservative much of the time but she always looks so put together.

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  34. All I've got is that Spencer needs to lay off the booze and his wife needs to pull up her dress. And Rosamund Pike is gorgeous but she looks like a lollipop she's so thin, and her dress may be fashion forward, but ummm . . . no. I did like Gone Girl (the book); is the movie worth seeing if anyone saw it?

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    1. Spencer looks like he always has to me. Does look like he has had his baseball cap on with sunglasses though and the rest of his face got sun. I agree about the dresses.

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    2. Yes, I saw it and liked it very much. The author of the book (can't remember her name) also wrote the screen play so it closely follows.
      Totally agree with you about pulling up the dress. A wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.

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    3. That's it bluhare? No more opinions?

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    4. bluehare, the book is by far much better than the movie. The characters don't quite come across on screen like they do in the book IMO. Rosamund Pike is beautiful but she has that same look pretty much throughout the movie (like you don't want to get on the wrong side of her)!! But it is worth a watch. :) cc

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    5. Nicole from France29 March 2017 at 08:26

      Bluehare, your comments about the Spencers made me laugh so much ! a few words and all is said , quite an art ! the countess is really a beautifull lady and she probably did not completely consider the "dangers" of such a dress .... I shall not comment the earl .....

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    6. I read the book when it was published and just recently saw the movie. As always, the book is better, but I enjoyed the movie version more than I expected. Rosamund and her co-star Ben affleck acted wonderfully, in my opinion. It made me want to pick up the book a second time.

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    7. Hmmm...that red flush around the Earl Spencer's face almost matches the shade of his wife's gown!

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    8. Hahaha, Moxie. I think Spencer is a dead ringer for his sister, but he's ruined his face with booze. The red veins, the bloat. He looks like a serious drinker to me.

      But now you mention it Alexa Chung looks like she's ready to go to the avant garde hootenanny.

      And thanks for the Gone Girl reviews! I'll keep a look out for it. If I were to write the sequel to that, he will wait until after the baby's born, take the baby and try to figure out how to off Amy. :)

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    9. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 18:44

      You've said all this with beautiful pungency bluhare (as I expect!) so I will add nothing more except to say I agree and avant garde hootenanny sums it up as do your comments on Miss Pike!

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    10. Earl Spencer is looking a lot like his late father.

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    11. By the way, I think this is what Countess Spencer's dress is supposed to look like.

      http://www.alexandermcqueen.com/us/alexandermcqueen/long-dress_cod34578638ak.html?tp=52068&utm_content=10&utm_medium=LinkShare&utm_source=Affiliate&utm_term=UKNetwork

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  35. The Kensington and Battersea locations of this school are almost identical, co-ed, both start at age 4, however Kensington stops at 11 and the Battersea goes till age 13. They may have wanted the older age option despite the longer drive.

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    1. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 18:48

      That could well be an issue. I think that William and Kate may not mean to send George out as a boarder until he reaches senior school - or at least want to keep their options open. Any time they switch schools there will be speculation and questions. so it's wise to choose one that won't require a switch. George so far seems like a shy lad (nothing wrong with that - it sorts itself out, and school should help) who may do better without too much change.

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  36. I wonder what the menu at the Gala was this evening?

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    1. I looked for the menu, being the "foodie" that I am, but couldn't find it. The National Portrait Gallery does have a nice menu for their cafe though.

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  37. The dress itself is nice, but we have seen it all before, it is so familiar. So similar to all the other lace dresses. Way too much of the same thing,long and short, they all look the same just a different color, nothing exciting or different here.
    Queen Maxima has such style and flair and carries it all off beautifully.
    The Duchess really needs to get out of her comfort zone.

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  38. A nice dress but not really anything special. I love those earrings, though!

    PS - Just a note. April 4th is Tuesday, not Saturday :)

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  39. She looks lovely. I like her makeup and the dress, her hair is pretty, the earrings are cute. Gorgeous shoes! I especially like the lace at her wrists and neck and the feet. It is very elegant scalloped. I think overall it is a very pretty look.

    As a nitpick--it does remind me of a lot of the dresses that mother-of-the-brides wear. She looks so elegant and slim and the dress is certainly more expensive, but the style is very similar to ones my mom looked at when I was married.

    Second nitpick--hair up would have showed off that beautiful back of the dress.

    Overall though she looks happy and pretty and very elegant in the dress! Looks like a fun engagement.

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    1. I agree, Katie, that hair, dress, earrings. Makeup is superior. Love the new makeup and the eyebrows these days. Her beautiful eyes emerge! One nitpick--wish Kate would resume the manicures. I noticed the lack of attention in Paris and again here, especially since she bites her nails. Kate talks with her hands, and her nails take center stage. I realize Kate's had some "nail-biting pressure" recently, but without a manicure, it makes her elegance look incomplete. I agree that she looks happy and pretty and very elegant, as Katie above says. Katherine USA

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  40. Very pretty dress. Fits her wonderfully. I am not a fan of the earrings, shoes or bag but she looks great.I assume it is a repeat as suggested. The green is great on her. Her hair and make up are looking good.

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  41. Okay. I changed my mind. I will make a comment the art. The masks are creepy. Just my opinion.

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  42. I think the dress is beautiful, the style is very Kate. It is very flattering in shape and color, I personlly love green. The gold bag and shoes coordinate well. I would have preferred different earrings.

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  43. Okay... the color is lovely on Kate and I prefer it to the black lace gown, but it is begging for an updo. There's too much going on with the lace, and her hair is hiding the neckline and shoulders.

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    1. This seems to be a consistent pet peeve with most of us, royal fan. Her not showcasing outfit design by wearing updos is frustrating. Although, her standard tight or just-oddly-thrown-up-there chignons wouldn't have done much to enhance this dress. A rightly done updo would have. If she just had to wear her hair down tonight, her hair is so glossy and bouncy that she picked a good night to do it.

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    2. SG, I definitely had a rightly done updo in mind. Still do! Lol.

      Delete
  44. Sarah Maryland USA29 March 2017 at 03:19

    I wonder why she doesn't attend this gala every year? She is a patron after all and it's one of their biggest nights of the year!

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    Replies
    1. I think Charlotte said that the gala is held only every three to five years. (I hope I read that right this time.)

      Delete
  45. Canadian Friend29 March 2017 at 03:23

    Don't you think it's like the long green gown she wore to the Sports Gala (with David Beckham) and the black lace Temperley gown had a baby and it was this dress?

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    Replies
    1. Courtney from NC30 March 2017 at 02:02

      Now that you mention it that is a distinct possibility. Lol. Good call.

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  46. Very Kate! Lace - check!, Temperley - check! Kiki earrings - check! Hair down (and looking voluminous) - check!

    Does she look spectacular - absolutely. I think the gold accessories - evening purse and Jimmy Choo Sandals - are perfect for this dress. I was expecting her to wear a "repeat" (which is was but not for us) so I wasn't disappointed as we got to see something new. I thought she'd wear the green (same color or close) McQueen.

    If I could have put my 2-cents in regarding that dress, I would have dropped the back all the way to the waistline. Adding a little something-something.

    Nice post Charlotte! Thank so much.

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  47. I like the dress, a lot. I do think it would haven been enhanced with her hair up. I think the neckline would have been better overall as you would have been able to see the dip in the back, upgrading the overall look. I think the earrings are a good match. There is a lot going on with the lace, so I think a lot of bling would have just ended up in competition and both the dress and any jewelry would have been overwhelmed.

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  48. I dint even know Rebecca was slated to marry so soon after the news came out! They make a lovely couple.Kate's dress and earrings were a 10/10 I wish she could've made a chignon, in order to get a better view of the earrings and the shoulder lacework. I like Sophie Agnew's velvet dress as well, she looked understated chic,,without being too flamboyant, Thank You Charlotte!XOXO

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  49. Sonja from Bavaria29 March 2017 at 06:16

    Wait, is it mandatory that everyone at Thomas Battersea takes ballet classes?
    I don't want to sound cliché, but boys and ballet... I danced ballet for 10 years and there was one boy in the group who was forced to dance ballet by his mother. He was always in a bad mood and hated every second of it. Eventually, he quit because the other boys from his School and stuff were mocking him for doing ballet.
    As I said, of course boys can do ballet, it is just often not accepted by society and friends and I don't want poor george to get bullied by friends because he has to dance ballet at school :(

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2017 at 14:27

      Then better teach those other kids not to bully instead of teaching them not to do things that might get you bullied.

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    2. If its mandatory and all the boys must take it at this age, there won't be any problems.

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    3. All I've got for boys and ballet is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-tW0CkvdDI

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    4. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 19:00

      Ballet does seem to be hard on lads - several friends started their sons early, hoping that would stop the dreaded male ballet reaction but I have to say the boys hated it and quit quite soon - without any bullying in the decision that I know of.

      I loved ballet myself but was simply hopeless, although I did stick through for some years. I still drag Leo to the ballet when we can - he likes to count how many fouettes the black swan does in Swan Lake! Remember Darcey Bussell did more than 32!

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    5. I very much agree, Rebecca.
      It's not mandatory but if George or other boys wish to participate, they should!

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    6. Ballet is wonderful for teaching grace. Think of all the great male dancers, Baryshnikov, Nureyev, Edward Villella, Nijinsky. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, both studied ballet. Remember Billy Elliot? What a wonderful movie.

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    7. My nephew did ballet all the way through school (in California), along with taking piano lessons, participating in cross country running, playing soccer, and many other school activities. He went on to Stanford University & is now at Georgetown University in Washington DC. He quite enjoyed ballet for the art aspects, but especially when he arrived in high school because he was one of the few young men in ballet and was surrounded by many lovely young women.He was never bullied, likely because his parents raised him to be quite a confident young man. Dance might not be for everyone, but "times are a changin" and boys and girls can participate (and enjoy) all kinds of activities in school.

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    8. Courtney from NC30 March 2017 at 02:04

      Rebecca - Bingo! If parents would, well, parent their children and teach them not to mock, make fun or bully then it wouldn't be an issue. I understand that some level of this is part of growing up but it has become an epidemic. I try to teach my children that people are different, if we were all the same life would be boring, and we should celebrate those difference, let others be who they are, even if they don't understand the differences. I hope that makes sense.

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  50. She looks Absolutely Exquisite! Green is Stunning on her & this dress really shows off that she is so tiny! Just a wisp of a thing! :) Love her Smile, Her Hair & Her air of Comfortable Confidence! Those earrings I have drooled over on Kiki's website. Nice to see them in life! I found it a striking reminder of the times we are in, seeing her flanked by so much security, as in Paris! I feel The BRF sends such a strong signal being out attending their scheduled engagements! It always reminds me of how sturdy The UK & The Royal Family was during WWII! An example for us all around The World! Great Post Charlotte!:)

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  51. Cara, Australia29 March 2017 at 12:14

    Many have commented, positively or less so, on Catherine's outfit and styling to be 'typical Kate' and I agree. And I think she looks stunning. That silhouette is elegant and feminine on her. She knows what she likes and sticks to it. Playing safe? Yes! But,gee, she rocks this look.

    What strikes me most about this engagement is not the dress or accessories but the expression on Kate's face while she is examining the art work. She is thoughtful and completely engaged. She is responding to art in a way I can relate to... where the outside world retreats for a moment while you contemplate the work in front of you. The power of art to transport you (even for a moment) is wondrous.

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    Replies
    1. Zora from Prague29 March 2017 at 19:34

      Cara, I agree, it's fascinating to see Kate relating to art!

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  52. Cara, Australia29 March 2017 at 12:17

    PS; I had to giggle at the photo that the NGA posted of the table setting. The knives weren't parallel, they were crooked. My fingers were itching to reach into the screen and straighten them!!! That table placement would not have passed the BP test. (disclaimer: I also straighten crooked pictures if I happen to walk past them).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a twin far away! I am also a straightener, and I wondered why a photo with knives awry was released!

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    2. Cara and Patricia: I too am a straightener. And I find myself plucking yellow leaves off plants when visiting a business - or for instance my sister's house.

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    3. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 19:01

      Oh! Oh!

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    4. comforted to know I am not the only one. I will triumphly let my family know. lol

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    5. Tammy from California29 March 2017 at 23:17

      Me too :/ I even straighten pictures in OTHER people's houses. It's a sickness with me.

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  53. Mr D, United Kingdom29 March 2017 at 13:11

    Thanks Charlotte for this update - really interesting post and a great event for Kate to attend personally, I imagine, given her specific interest.

    On the fashion - There's understated glamour, and then there's just becoming a little predictable. And while I applaud her for keeping it real, looking elegant and being true to her modest self, there's times when we could all do with her shining a little brighter. Especially in this "creative" night.

    Although pretty, I'm a little underwhelmed, as others have commented. I guess I'm more fustrated too as the event usually allows for some stunning photos - the lighting/ sweeping staircase /clear entrance shots which we don't normal see. Some extra "magpie" bling - (emeralds?) would maybe have lifted it more?

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  54. Gorgeous look! I agree with some of the other comments that the gown isn't really anything special, but I adore lace dresses, this color is lovely, and it fits the Duchess like a glove. There is something to be said for taking risks (and I do wish she would a bit more), but she favors looks like this for a reason and she looks stunning.

    My only quibble is with the earrings - I like them, but I don't love them with the gown. It is just screaming out for some luscious emeralds!

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  55. Hello,

    Thank you so much for your comments. It's a lovely event with a star-studded guest list. Erdem was there and I noticed Rosamund Pike wore one of his designs.

    A couple of readers got in touch hoping to find photos of guests attending the event during previous years. It actually turns out the gala is only held every 3 to 5 years. The last one was 2014.

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  56. Sandrine (France)29 March 2017 at 14:56

    Thank you Charlotte for this article on this beautiful evening !!! What a beautiful dress, I love the color... Kate looks so stunning !!! And earrings whaouh... I have no word !!!

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  57. Just in: Following the attack in Westminster, William, Kate and Harry will attend a Service of Hope at Westminster Abbey next Wednesday. Families of those killed in the attack, together with other victims, witnesses and first responders from the police, fire, ambulance and NHS hospital services will also be in the congregation. It will be broadcast live on BBC.

    Today, Prince William laid a wreath in memory of PC Keith Palmer in the Police Memorial Garden at the National Memorial Arboretum. The handwritten note read ""For Pc Keith Palmer and all those who have served our community so valiantly; your legacy is our way of life. William."

    There's more info and photos on the engagement here: http://www.itv.com/news/2017-03-29/prince-williams-handwritten-note-to-pc-keith-palmer/

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    Replies
    1. I saw that wreath and thought it was lovely, and am so happy all 3 will be at the Service.

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    2. Thank you Charlotte for posting the link. Very much like the handwritten note...very nice. Britain's remembrances of their fallen has always resonated with me. cc

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    3. Julia from Leominster29 March 2017 at 19:02

      Very happy to have them attend too. And that Charles visited those in hospital.

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    4. Thank you, Charlotte. Very sweet. Very special.

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    5. Tammy from California29 March 2017 at 23:15

      I really loved that message from William. Very true.

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    6. Important that all three are there. That message from William was moving.

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  58. I agree with those who have said the dress is slightly boring, and yet the green color does wonders for Kate's eyes and skin, and I love the way it fits. Her hair is glorious, and she looks radiant. Bare toes with formal gowns are a pet peeve of mine, though I like the glimmer of the gold sandal through the lace. I also like the large green emeralds in the earrings, but I don't like the tourmalines with this gown.

    This must have been a very nice evening for Kate. She appeared to really enjoy the exhibits.

    Prince William's event in memory of the fallen police officer and others was very poignant and special. I am glad the three will attend the service. That will no doubt be an event requiring immense security. May everyone stay safe!

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  59. I would have liked to see a different pair of earrings on her. Emeralds are a great fit for such a formal event, and those showstopping emerald and diamond earrings we saw in NYC would have looked amazing with an updo.

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    1. Tammy from California29 March 2017 at 23:14

      I agree! I liked the Kiki earrings but the emeralds would have really made her dress a WOW instead of a -meh for me. She of course, is always beautiful, this one just didn't nail it for me.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden30 March 2017 at 00:46

      I'm actually not sure those particular emeralds would work well with this dress. They are a very bright and light version. I think stones like the darker kind in the Durbar set would work better :) Or just diamonds. Or imagine some deep red rubys! Lot's of possibilities. And considering the dress is likely to be seen again, maybe the next time will be more bling? :)

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  60. Pam from Boston29 March 2017 at 16:17

    I like the dress, don't love it. I did love the black version Kate wore previously. However, she did look absolutely gorgeous and radiant!

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  61. KTSS, Kenzie Bryant, Vanity Fair, has noticed some "Kate things" also and wrote an article on it, although not nearly as detailed and astutely as you. But she did notice. :)

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  62. I liked the Erdem dress worn by R. Pike. It was interesting and different

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  63. She looks stunning I love that green gown

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  64. btchili, are the puppies here yet? Mommy and puppies doing well? 🐾

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  65. oh my thoughts snd prayers are with you Julia of Leoninster the duchess is lovely in her gown a pretty much inlove with the color and she great in the duchess looks good

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  66. Just a message for Dee from South Australia. You have been in my thoughts a lot in this very difficult time for you. With love Alimai

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