Another Stunning Turn Out From Kate!

There were two Kate sightings today. SO fun.

The first was of Kate driving with William to Buckingham Palace for the annual Christmas brunch. Last year, Kate arrived at the brunch sandwiched between William and Harry in the car. Still on the hunt for that picture….

It looks like Kate was wearing a red jacket on the drive to the palace. It quite possibly is the red LK Bennet jacket she wore to Denmark on her and Wiliam’s trip in aid of UNICEF. It would be pretty smart and savvy of her if she did wear it as a repeat; the Queen and Anne are very frugal and would have appreciated it if they cottoned on.

Here’s a look at the jacket from the Denmark trip:

Tonight, William and Kate joined Prince Harry at the Night of Heroes Military Awards. The black tie event was held at the Imperial War Museum and the three royals all arrived together.

For this event, Kate brought out two stunning new pieces of jewelry; a diamond (and possibly ruby) necklace and matching bracelet. The earrings Kate wore were another wedding present that we have seen several times since the wedding. They were reportedly a wedding gift.  We don’t yet have a reliable source as to wear exactly it came from, but it seems like Kate chose the dress specifically to suit the jewels. After all, you can’t wear coloured stones like that with just anything. The black velvet McQueen dress Kate chose was just the ticket; the sweetheart neckline complements the necklace and the black doesn’t compete.

The other thing to keep in mind with jewelry like that is that Kate must have known she had to wear that necklace in a timely fashion out of respect for the giver. Leaving it much longer out of the public eye could have been seen as an insult, you know? And that necklace in particularly really wouldn’t work with any of the other ball gowns she has worn since the royal wedding. We point this out because the necklace isn’t our favourite. Coloured stones can be a bit tricky and the flowers are just kind of ‘meh’ and seem a tad young. Perhaps this necklace was given to her as a wedding present because she loves ‘the language of flowers.’ That theme was woven through their entire wedding from Kate’s dress to the blooms chosen in her bouquet, to the icing flowers that decorated the cake. Just a thought.

Before we end, we might as well throw in how Kate’s dress is like the modern version of the black strapless gown that Diana wore 30 years ago on her first engagement as a royal fiancee. Both dresses are long, black, and feature a sweatheart neckline with a ruffle. Kate must have known this similarity would be commented on. She’s no dummy…good thing it didn’t deter her from wearing it.

Well, the next time we see William and Kate might well be on their walk to church on Christmas Day. Who thinks she might pull out the coat from Denmark again, perhaps with a different belt? Or will it be a whole new look all together?

Christmas Day Walk to Church at Sandringham: Zara Part Two

We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post on Zara! Click here for a refresher. Today we are entering the new millennium, starting in 2000:

2000

This is the first year where Zara really started to look grown up and stylish.  This is also when Zara really started to get daring with her hats and wardrobe in general. That’s Lady Sarah Chatto, Princess Margaret’s daughter, to Zara’s left.

2001

Not sure quite what to say about the patchwork coat, scarf and hat. But she looks warm. We’ll give her that.

2003

Remember when Britney Spears wore hats like this all the time? Well, so did Zara. She looks very pretty and – by Sandringham standards – rather fashion forward. The winter white coat looks great with the black sweater underneath.

2004

These photos were taken on December 26 aka Boxing Day, when the royals attended the Sunday service.

It really is a shame that this picture is so small because it really needs to be studied. I mean, it’s all good up to the end of her coat. Then it’s like what happened here? Did Robin Hood lose his boots??

2005:

Another cute shot of the cousins. Zara is bringing another fashion forward look out, keeping things interesting with her Indiana Jones style hat and fur collar. Somehow she really pulls it off.

Do you think Zara and William are talking about how fuzzy the coat is here? “Oh, would you look at that. Just like Granny’s furs.”

2006:

We had to triple check that this picture was from Christmas Day and not Easter. Because floral prints generally say ‘Springtime!’ more than Christmas, no? Anyway, once again, Zara is shaking things up a bit and making the walk to church a little more interesting to watch.

2008:

Ok, now this chapeau is the most show stopping piece of all. We love that she’s not afraid of colour!

Peter and Autumn kept things more traditional. This was Autumn’s first royal christmas so no doubt she didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. Her hat is certainly casual in comparison to Zara’s. It’s as thought she didn’t know she had to wear a hat until the last minute and she happened to pack this little number for warmth. Or maybe she just didn’t want to look like she was trying too hard.

Check out this angle, below. Quite a contrast to Sophie’s prim Jackie O pillbox hat. We love them both!

2009:

Another fun hat from Zara. Love the swingy skirt on Zara’s jacket.

Gorgeous! We really get the feeling the Zara, William and Harry have a good laugh and are good buddies.
And, to end off, take a look at these shoes:
So, do tell! What is your favourite Zara look? We’re quite partial to 2008. That hat is just too much fun. Looking forward to seeing what she pulls out for Christmas 2011.

The Walk to Church at Sandringham on Christmas Day ~ Zara Phillips Part One

Zara, Princess Anne’s daughter, sure has come a long way over the years. We’ve got so much great footage of her over the years that once again we had to split the posts into two. Let’s start way back in 1985…

1985

Sorry that this picture isn’t any bigger. If you look closely, you can see little zara wearing a red, matching her aunt Diana. This shot is especially picturesque since there was snow on the ground that year!

Another look. That’s Princess Anne holding onto Zara’s hand:

1988

How cute are William and Zara here!? We had similar ‘party tights’ to the ones that Zara is wearing. William is looking like he really looks up to her as his slightly older cousin:

1990

Ok, so this first shot wasn’t taken on Christmas Day but we had to include it. It was taken two days before on December 23, 1990 at the church of St. Mary Magdelen, Sandringham after Princess Eugenie’s christening. This is the same church that holds the Christmas service.

The photograph below of the royal march to church was taken on the same day. We spy Zara behind Diana (in an often worn Moschino suit) and William.

1992

What a festive cape-ish coat! Anne is looking good too in her camel coat and black chapeau.

1994

Zara must have a but of a chuckle when she sees photographs of herself in this get up. Don’t we all have similar photos that are just funny now?

1996

Two years later and Zara looks so much older here. And check out William in the second picture – he’s really growing up, too!

1999

We love this shot of William, Harry and Zara. Zara has brought out yet another black hat for the occasion. She’s still not showing her fashion forward streak. Gotta love that Christmas-plaid coat on Anne in the second picture. They all look rather sombre.  Perhaps they were getting worried about the millenium…

Join us on Monday for Part Two!


The Walk to Church at Sandringham on Christmas Day ~ Diana

In the lead up to Christmas Day, we’ve had a fun, frivolous time reviewing the “walk to church” sartorial choices of various Royal Ladies. Our list certainly wouldn’t be complete without a discussion on Diana’s Christmas outfits!

Let’s start at the beginning.

1981:

Here’s a picture of Diana celebrating her first Christmas as a member of the royal family.  At this time, She had apready announced that she was pregnant. Very cute blue coat!

1982:

Christmas was celebrated at Windsor Castle this year. Here is Diana, resplendent in pink (we do love pink at Christmas, we have to say) with Prince Charles after the Christmas Day service at St George’s Chapel. If you happen to shed some light on why Christmas was celebrated at Windsor that year, we’d love to hear it!

1985:

It looks like it was a white Christmas at Sandringham this year! Diana looks very Princess-Christmas-Day-Perfect in her red coat and black fur muff. You really have to have a certain panache to pull off a fur muff. That’s a wee Zara in the red cap in the bottom picture.

1987:

And we’re back in Windsor for Christmas this year. Fergie’s red coat and white hat are very festive. Diana is in a coat by Escada and hat by Philip Somerville. She also wore this outfit on an official visit to Berlin that year.

Here’s a pic of Diana in the coat in November of 1987 in Berlin. Not looking particularly thrilled:

1988:

Diana and Fergie were in blue this year. I can imagine they would have had a lot of laughs together over Christmas. Must have been nice for Diana to have had a friend at these events.

And we just had to thrown in this picture of we William and Zara walking together. So cute!

1989:

Diana is in a lovely purple/blue suit and hat. Not exactly Christmassy (we think this would work better at Easter), but there you go.  We think this may be Bruce Oldfield but are not sure! If you know, please tell us in the comments.

1990:

A windy walk to church in 1990. Again in purple, and again not very Christmassy, but maybe she wasn’t on the festive spirit this year.

1993:

Diana and Charles had officially separated in 1992. However, Diana was still invited to Christmas. Here she is in a very festive red and black number. It looks like a foggy day. Here’s a video of Diana and the rest of the gang arriving at church on Youtube.

1994: 

This was Diana’s last Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham. She looks very cozy in this hat and coat. Nice to see William and Harry as well. William still does this hand clasping gesture! And here’s another video of the family arriving at church on Christmas Day in 1994.

The Walk to Church at Sandringham on Christmas Day ~ The Countess of Wessex Part Two

Yesterday we looked at Sophie’s Christmas Day outfits from 1999-2003. Today, we’re getting a good look at the most recent years.

2004

Sophie showed up at church in a festive red jacket and white scarf on Christmas Day in 2004. She and the Queen look very friendly here. She is in a typical Sophie-shaped hat – she loves brims and height! And it does suit her.

2005

We’d forgotten that Sophie had long hair back in 2005 (she has recently grown it out again). This hat, as above, is classic Sophie. We love the pink, but the cut of the jacket is a touch too Star Trek…(oh, and gotta love the glimpse of Beatrice’s Magical Purple Hat in the foreground).

2006

This is rather-fallish, don’t you think? It doesn’t scream Christmas to me….although the coat looks quite nice and we do love winter white.

2007

We don’t have any pictures of Sophie in 2007 since her son James, Viscount Severn was born on December 17 of that year. Seems like a good reason to pass on the church service! The baby was due on Christmas Day but came a bit early.

2008

Sophie went with skin coloured tights in 2008 – looks chilly but the little hat is looking good! Very Jackie O, especially with the square leather bag (what is in there?!). Overall, it’s quite a classic look. Love how delighted the Queen looks in the second picture.

2009

Buddies with Beatrice on the walk to church in 2009. Cute that they were having a little chummy moment.

2010

As we mentioned, Sophie has grown out her hair and she’s been impressing us with her sartorial choices lately. Her wardrobe has really been on the up and up in the last year with great showings at The Royal Wedding and other events. Christmas 2010 was a good indicator of things to come, with a smart hat and jacket. We especially love the buttons on the coat.

We’re looking forward to seeing what she brings out this year! She has Kate to measure up to, after all! I’ll bet we’ll see the ladies all stepping up their game. Time will tell..

The Walk to Church at Sandringham on Christmas Day ~ The Countess of Wessex Part One

HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex (formerly Sophie Rhys-Jones) hasn’t gotten a whole lot of discussion on our blog yet. So far, we’ve really only discussed her engagement ring,  so we figured it was high time we gave her some more attention. She has turned out to be the Queen’s most loyal daughter in law and a fully integrated member of the family. She always turns out for family events and seems ready to enjoy herself.

1999

Sophie’s first royal christmas was in 1999, and she showed up in a white coat and pretty out there hat. It’s an ok look. The jacket is a bit boxy and the hat doesn’t do a whole lot for her, but she clearly out some thought into it and was making an effort. She definitely showed up ready to have a good time.

2000

Sophie decided to have a more matchy-matchy ensemble for 2000 and in our opinion this outfit definitely does more for her than the previous year.

We can’t help but think her legs must have gotten cold!

En Famille

2001

So far things have been getting steadily better year after year. This checkered coat number and hat look good. Sophie really looks best when her hat has  a brim.

2002

Back to a brimless hat for 2002, but it looks classy and elegant and we like how we see just the right amount of hair fringe.

And psst…check out Beatrice’s snowflake jacket below.

2003

And then we get to 2003. In the top picture you can see Sophie in a very Sophie-esque hat with a brim and feathers, and brown coat. And then you see in the bottom picture…burnt orange/red trousers! Wide-leg burnt orange/red trousers! We think that this was the first time a lady of the royal family wore pants/trousers to church, so you’ve got to give props to Sophie for that for at least mixing things up. However, she has not repeated the trouser look since on Christmas Day. We think we can say with certainty that Kate won’t be wearing pants this year!

Click here for Part Two!

Kate’s London ~ Afternoon Tea at The Goring Hotel

We’ve already talked about some of the restaurants Kate has visited in London in Kate’s London ~ Restaurants Part One and Part Two.

Recently, both of us Royal Posters were lucky to visit The Goring hotel for Afternoon Tea.  The Goring, of course, was the hotel the Middleton family booked out for three days for the wedding of William and Kate.

Here’s The Goring, all decked out for Christmas:

The Goring is located near Buckingham Palace and has been open since 1910. When it was opened, it the world’s first hotel with en suite facilities and central heating to all 69 bedrooms. How about that! Anyway, the Queen Mother loved to visit the hotel for lunch, so there’s that.

When in London, afternoon tea at any of the fine hotels is a must do. How exciting to be able to have tea at the same hotel that Kate, Pippa and the gang enjoyed! ‘Traditional Afternoon Tea’ at The Goring is 35GPB per person (about $55). This is pretty standard for afternoon Tea at London’s fine hotels; the cost tends to range from 30GBP to 45GBP.

We enjoyed our tea and visit to the hotel immensely. The hotel itself is gorgeous, the staff is lovely and the atmosphere at tea is elegant but relaxed.

Here are a few pics:

Mr Goring?

We took a few pics of the entrance hall as well…why not?

The doors Kate exited on April 29th...
Off the Foyer
Entrance hall
And...the washroom. Really giving you the full picture here!

We’re sorry that we don’t have proper pictures of the tea room itself. While the staff did get a picture of our wee group enjoying ourselves (they really are very accommodating), we didn’t think it was quite done to get up and start taking pictures while others were enjoying their day out….you know? Oh, and we noticed several other groups with children, and The Goring supplied them with large toy sheep, which we though was quite nice.

Just for fun, here are some pic from the wedding on April 29th…

The canopy outside the hotel to prevent early sightings of The Dress
Kate, Pippa, and Carole arrive back at the Goring on April 28th after the final rehearsal and manicures at Clarence House with Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall
The Middleton family (Carole, Pippa, James and Michael) leaving The Goring on April 30th, looking fresh and alert after the previous evenings festivities
Pippa leaving an invite-only function at The Goring, Summer 2011

UPDATED The Walk to Church at Sandringham on Christmas Day ~ The York Girls Part Two

Yesterday we had fun looking at Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s Christmas Day outfits from 2002 – 2005. Today, let’s look at the rest of their festive appearances!

2006:

Very cute coats on Bea and Eug this year. They look great and blue, and I love Bea’s navy number. The hats seem to get lost though, don’t they? It would be fun to see some fuller, more wintery hats, but overall a good show.

2007:

Beatrice’s hat is fantastic. Love the royal blue and velvet texture…and feathers!! But, I keep thinking I would to push it up higher on her head. How is it staying on? And the brown coat is a bit blah. This would look great with last year’s navy stunner!

And…my favourite all time Eugenie Christmas appearance. Love the winter white coat and beret. She looks cozy, and seasonal and very Christmas-Day-Princess-Perfect. Nice black gloves and belt, too.

2008:

UPDATED: This is an amazing year for Beatrice and Eugenie – again both in blue, again both lovely. Really enjoying the season appropriate hats! A vast improvement over 2006. They really do have a lot of coats don’t they? There have been no coat repeats on Christmas day to date.

 

2009:

 

Beatrice looks terrific here – love the hat with this coat. She really does look great in blue. Also – fun fact – this is the same hat in a different colour as the hat that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wore in January 2011 to the wedding of friends Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Louise Stourton. I believe it’s by Whiteley.

And check out the pink trilby on Eugenie! Nothing like some hot pink to brighten up a winter day. Very fun and winter appropriate, we think.

2010:

Eugenie’s in a lovely royal blue coat with the black version of last year’s pink number (almost). Beatrice’s coat is quite cute, but we think the fascinator seems to be more summer wedding than Christmas Day…you? HM looks lovely in white!

Which year was your favourite appearance?

The Walk to Church at Sandringham on Christmas Day ~ The York Girls Part One

One of our favourite royal events of the year is the annual Christmas Day appearance of the royal family at Sandringham. The family gathers together at this royal retreat and walk to the 11am church service each December 25th. They’ve had their Christmas Eve festivities, where they exchange presents (laid out on trestle tables with name tags on each) and have a formal Christmas dinner. After breakfast on Christmas Day the get on their coats and hats and head out to church….

Here’s a look at Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York (the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York) over the years…

2002: A very festive showing from the lovely Princess Eugenie…love the red, the enthusiastic hat, and the matching long coat with boots. Very Christmas-Day-Princess-Perfect. Beatrice made a good effort, but something about her coat and hat reminds me of Mary Poppins here…

With Prince Andrew
A better look at Eugenie's coat and hat

2003: Eugenie in Winter White and Beatrice in Christmas Red…and…some serious snakeskin boots?? Not so sure about the boots, but Beatrice seems to always work the ‘fashion forward’ angle, rather than classic style. So, whatever floats your boat. Again, Eugenie looks Christmas-Day-Princess-Perfect. You just can’t go wrong in Winter White in our opinion.

Eugenie (L), Beatrice (R)

2004: Well, we’re not really sure what’s going on with Eugenie here in a blanket-green-plaid number and red velvet skirt. Beatrice has pulled out  an unusually classic look with a grey skirt and jacket suit. The black accessories are nice. Overall, not terribly festive, but it’s a win in our books.

Beatrice in grey, Eugenie in red and green

2005: And The Year of the Magical Purple Hat. As anyone who witnessed the Royal Wedding this year knows, Beatrice loves her crazy hats. This is not a new thing, as evidenced by her choice for Christmas 2005. It is truly something to behold. The height, the colour, the shape, the volume of it…well, it’s very…Dr. Seuss. Or Willy Wonka. She definitely keeps things interesting! We wonder if she has pulled this one out since? Eugenie’s maroon beret and cream coat combo is lovely and festive.

Beatrice (L), Eugenie (R)

Join us tomorrow for the York Girls Christmas Hat Review Part Two!

Queen Victoria’s Bridesmaids & Thoughts of her Wedding

So far on this blog, we’ve talked about Queen Victoria’s Wedding Jewelry and her wedding dress. Today, we’re going to talk about her bridesmaids. Turns out Queen Victoria was something of a designer. For her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, she panted a watercolour painting of the gown she envisioned for her twelve bridesmaids.  This sketch is now kept in the Royal Collection and shows a bridesmaid decked out in a white off the shoulder gown with sprays of roses in the hair, on the bodice, and on the skirt.

When the Queen completed the sketch, it was given to the Mistress of the Robes, the Duchess of Sutherland, who ensured that it was faithfully copied by the dressmakers.

We’re curious to know more about who these bridesmaids were. They were all the eldest daughters of peers and nine of the Queen’s bridesmaids are shown in this rendering, which we found here.

The nine bridesmaids shown here are: Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope, mother of Lord Rosebery; Lady Caroline Lennox (died 1849); Lady Elizabeth Howard (died 1891); Lady Mary Fitzalan Howard (died 1897); Lady Sarah Villiers (died 1853); Lady Jane Bouverie; Lady Mary Grimston (died 1879); Lady Frances Cowper (died 1880); Lady Elizabeth Sackville West (died 1897).

Queen Victoria also drew a small picture of herself on her wedding day in her diary. The diary below is held in the archives at Windsor. After Queen Victoria’s death, her daughter Princess beatrice went through the late Queen’s diaries and destroyed them after editing and copying them. The handwriting below is consequently that of Princess Beatrice. The small sketch looks like it was cut out and pasted so would be the original drawing.

This excerpt reads as follows:

“February 10, Windsor Castle

Slept well & breakfasted at 1⁄2p. 9, before which Mama came, bringing me a nosegay of orange flowers, & good Lehzen gave me a dear little ring. Wrote my Journal & saw Lord Melbourne. Had my hair dressed & the wreath of orange flowers put on my head. My wreath & veil were worn, according to the rough sketch. Saw my precious Albert alone, for the last time as my Bridegroom, & he fetched in Uncle & Ernest for a moment. At 1⁄2p. 12 I set off, dearest Albert having gone before, & Mama & the Duchess of Sutherland went with me in the carriage. I wore a white satin dress, with a deep flounce of Honiton lace, an imitation of an old design. My jewels were my Turkish diamond necklace & earrings & dear Albert’s beautiful sapphire brooch. I never saw such crowds as there were in the Park, & they cheered most enthusiastically.”

Wish we could take a look at Kate’s diary entry from her April 29, 2011 wedding!