Royal Ladies Who Open Their Closets…

Who doesn’t love a little thriftiness? This post is all about royals who’ve popped up wearing something that looks a little familiar or who’ve shared their clothes with friends or relatives.

Queen Silvia & Princess Madeleine

We’re going to start with this especially frothy example. As you probably recall, Princess Madeleine had a gorgeous custom Valentino wedding gown that she wore for her wedding ceremony in June of 2013. She also wore this gown for the  reception.

via Hello!
Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill via Hello!

What many royal watchers may not have realized is that after some dancing, Madeleine took out her updo, put her hair down, and changed  into this sparkly tulle gown.

Madeleine and Chris outside their wedding reception
Madeleine outside her wedding reception (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)

Thankfully kept her tiara in place.

So happy! (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)
So happy! (via Princess Madeleine of Sweden Blogspot)

Some eagle eyes noticed that this dress had been previously seen on Queen Silvia. She first wore it in December of 2001 to the Nobel Prize ceremony.

Queen Silvia in her fairytale gown in 2001 (via Hello!)
Queen Silvia in her fairytale gown in 2001 (via Hello!)

I’m thinking that Madeleine clocked that dress back then and filed it away as the perfect reception dress, and then  her mom pulled it out for her 12 years later. Cute, eh?

Queen Maxima & Princess Aimee

And now onto another Queen. In the spring of 2013 after the investiture of King Willem-Alexander and Queen  Maxima,  our friend AMD flagged that Maxima had loaned one of her gowns for her cousin-in-law Princess Aimee to wear to the big event.

Back when Maxima was expecting Princess Ariane, she wore this lovely flowy gown (far left) and she REALLY blinged it out, right? Gorgeous.

A few royal maternity gowns (via Hello!)
A few royal maternity gowns (via Hello!)

She then he pulled it out of her closet for Aimee, the wife of Prince Floris ( Willem-Alexander’s cousin) to wear to the investiture on April 30,2013. You’ve just got to love Queen Maxima for thinking to do this. Princess Aimee’s son Willem was born on July 1, 2013.

Princess Aimee (via Zimbio)
Princess Aimee (via Zimbio)

I like how Aimee incorporated a little patriotic orange into the outfit with her accessories, too.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Princess Victoria must have a HUGE closet of gowns, and she has been very generous over the years loaning them out to friends. The delightful blog Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour has a great post showing some fun examples which you can check out here.

These are my favourite examples. Check out how the pink and green dresses were given a new look:

Princess Victoria has a lot of dresses and isn't afraid to share 'em (via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour)
Princess Victoria has a lot of dresses and isn’t afraid to share ’em (via Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour)

Princess Diana’s Hand Me Downs

Diana was also very generous when it came to giving away her old clothes. One of my favourite examples is this green polka dotted number that Diana wore to the races in the late ’80’s. Diana never did meet a polka dot she didn’t like.


She later passed the suit and hat on to her sister Sarah, who is shown here wearing it to a wedding in 1990. That’s a whole lot of look!

Diana & Sarah & polkadots (via Pinterest)
Diana & Sarah & polkadots (via Pinterest)

Check out this fun Pinterest page for oodles of more examples of different outfits that Diana either loaned or gave out.

Perhaps Diana got this generous spirit from her mom Frances. In this group portrait taken at the reception of Lady Sarah’s wedding to Neil McCorquodale, Frances is wearing this floaty green frock.

Lady Sarah's wedding portrait
Lady Sarah’s wedding portrait

Sarah must have really liked it since she wore the same dress to Lady Diana’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. See?

What a group!
What a group!

As we mentioned in our post on Emily McCorquodale’s wedding, Sarah wasn’t always just being the recipient of loans. She generously lent her pearl choker to Diana to wear with her going away outfit after the reception, so Sarah had to head home from the reception without it. I wish there was a picture of Sarah handing it over. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Diana in Sarah's pearl choker after her wedding reception
Diana in Sarah’s pearl choker after her wedding reception

Kate, Pippa, and Carole

A little over two years ago (time flies!), we wrote a post on how Kate and Pippa have shown up wearing the same clothes over the years. We’ve unearthed some more occasions where this has happened.

Like the time when Pippa showed up to a wedding in the Katherine Hooker jacket that Kate has worn numerous times over the years, most famously for her first official engagement when she christened a life boat in Angelesy:

Well it IS a nice coat (via )
Well it IS a nice coat (via Elements Boutique)

And then of course there’s the the time in March 2012 that Kate showed up to an engagement in the same circa 2008 blue Reiss dress that Carole had previously worn to Ascot:

Kate & Carole in Reiss (via
Kate & Carole in Reiss (via

Kate and Carole also both took a shine to this pretty red Colette Dinnigan dress that Kate wore to a wedding in September of 2011:

(via Fashion Spot)
(via Fashion Spot)


So, who are your faves here? I’ll stick with the Swedes – Victoria and Silvia tie for first place as Best Gown Lenders.

Thoughts on Prince George's Christening Day

It was so much fun to wake up to more great coverage of Prince George’s christening than expected. There had been talk that nothing would be released until tomorrow, after all. So let’s begin!

The Footage

We’ll start with the Royals arriving, captured on video!  Check it out here:


Even if you didn’t watch it, no worries! Because I did watch it. Many times. All so that we could have some detailed analysis, because that’s how we roll around here.

First of all, all the bowing and whatnot is so fascinating, right? This video doesn’t show how Camilla first greets the Queen with a curtsey and then she moves over to Prince Philip. She gives him a more informal greeting and no curtsey (maybe she forgot?) and  a casual “how are you?” and clap on the shoulder. Goes to show how far Camilla has come in the last ten years!

Camilla greeting the Queen (via Daily Mail)
Camilla greeting the Queen (via Daily Mail)

Meanwhile Harry ducks over to greet Granny with two kisses and a deep head bow, followed by Kate who greets the Queen with a tentative smile, kiss and a curtsey. William, who is carrying Prince George, gives the Queen a quick head bow and then we hear him having a few words with the Queen and the clergy.

“He’s just got quiet. He’s all ready…so far so good.” That sort of thing.

William, George, and Kate (via
William, George, and Kate (via

Then Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says “I have five children myself” and no one seems to really hear him, which is sad. Then another member of the clergy greets Kate with a “Your Royal Highness.” Kate responds with a “Good morning.”

Oh dear.

The service was scheduled for three pm, so Kate clearly still gets a but tongue tied around the Queen and video cameras. Can’t really blame her but the haters will have a field day. Shortly afterwards, Kate notices the Duke of Edinburgh and heads over for a curtsey. It’s quite sweet, actually. Everyone seems more warm around Prince Philip today! They then walk in with Prince Philip keeping up the rear and that’s the end of the video coverage.

The Invite List

While there was speculation that two of Kate’s midwives were invited, we didn’t see any evidence of that today. However, we do know that apart from the godparents the attendees were:

  • Kate, William, and George
  • The Queen and Prince Philip
  • Charles and Camilla
  • Harry
  • Mike and Carole Middleton
  • Pippa and James
The Queen arrives in regal blue with Philip (via Daily Mail)
The Queen arrives in regal blue with Philip (via Daily Mail)
Carole, the Queen, and Zara all chose blue
Carole, the Queen, and Zara all chose blue (via Daily Mail)
James, Earl Grosvenor, Pippa, and Carole (via Daily Mail)
James, Earl Grosvenor, Pippa, and Carole (via Daily Mail)

The fact that they wanted to keep it so small to the exclusion of Sophie and Edward, Andrew, and Anne seems a bit short sighted to me.  I mean, why not bring the family together for a happy event? Maybe they just didn’t want to then have to invite wayward Uncle Gary? Or Earl Spencer?

The Godparents

The rest of the gathering was made up of the chosen godparents and their spouses. Courtesy of the press release on William and Kate’s official website, the godparents are:

  • Mr Oliver Baker (Oliver Baker attended the University of St Andrews with The Duke and Duchess)
  • Mrs David Jardine-Paterson (Emilia Jardine-Paterson attended Marlborough College with The Duchess)
  • Earl Grosvenor (Hugh) (Earl Grosvenor is the son of The Duke of Westminster)
  • Mr Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton served as Private Secretary to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry from 2005-2012 and continues to serve part-time as Principal Private Secretary and Equerry)
  • The Hon Mrs Michael Samuel (Julia Samuel was a close friend of The Princess of Wales)
  • Mrs Michael Tindall (Zara Tindall is The Duke of Cambridge’s cousin)
  • Mr William van Cutsem (William van Cutsem is a childhood friend of The Duke of Cambridge)
Emilia, via Daily Mail
Emilia, via Daily Mail
William and Ollie Baker in 2007 (shortly before the William-Kate Break Up!)
William and Ollie Baker in 2007 (shortly before the William-Kate Break Up!)

I think it’s just perfect that Kate and William have their two good friends Emilia and Oliver there on the top of the list.  Ollie lived with Kate and William for a couple of years at St. Andews and apparently Emilia introduced Kate get into William’s circle before Kate decided to go to St. Andrews (more on that here). Both are also very discrete and protective so they definitely deserve a place.  Nice for Kate to have a pal on there, too (there’s so much ink spilled on her not having many friends, so this will help show ’em). Oh, and Emilia is married to the brother of Pippa’s ex boyfriend JJ Jardine-Paterson, so there’s that. No wonder Pippa wanted to show up looking GOOD!

The young Earl (left) celebrated his 21st birthday with great fanfare
The young Earl (left) celebrated his 21st birthday with great fanfare (via Chester Chronicles)

The young Earl of Grosvenor is another nice choice, he’s the closest in age to Prince George and will be a good ally. The Grosvenors own much more of London than the Queen, and no doubt he’ll be able to be a big help to George when it comes to estate planning and what not.

Kate and Jamie at a Polo Match c. 2006 (via Zimbio)
Kate and Jamie at a Polo Match c. 2006 (via Zimbio)

I have to say I was also a bit relieved to see Jamie Lowther- Pinkerton on the list. I’d wondered if perhaps there had been a slight rift, what with him leaving full-time service lately. More info on Jamie can be read in our post on William and Kate’s staff here.

The final three godparents also make a lot of sense.

Zara and Kate at Cheltenham just before the big break up
Zara and Kate at Cheltenham just before the big break up

And here’s Zara today, looking great in Navy. Why not have a cousin and Olympic champion on the roster? Also, her kid and Prince George will be very close in age.

Zara at Prince George's christening (via Daily Mail)
Zara at Prince George’s christening (via Daily Mail)

Julia Samuel was another thoughtful choice. She was a good friend of Princess Diana and is the founder of Child Bereavement, a charity that William is involved with.

Prince William with Julia (via Hello!)
Prince William with Julia (via Hello!)

Wlliam Van Cutsem is the final member of the godparents club. His family has long been close with the Wales’ and his inclusion had been speculated about.

I think it makes sense that Harry and Pippa weren’t included on the list. After all, they will already be closely involved in George’s upbringing.

The Service 

Pippa and Harry were honoured in that they were both asked to be readers at the service. A nice touch! Maybe James will get his turn next time round. It was also revealed that one of the hymns that was sung had been written for Prince William’s christening.

More details can be seen on the official press release here.

The Christening Gown

It’s no surprise to us that the gown itself has been a source of intrigue since our post on the British royal family’s Christening gowns has been one of our most popular posts ever since it was first published (it’s gotten well over 30,000 hits to date!).

From 1841 to 2004, members of the royal family have been christened in a gown that was commissioned by Queen Victoria for her eldest daughter’s christening. Here’s a photo of the future Queen Elizabeth II in the original gown on her christening day on May 29, 1926:


The Royal.Gov.UK website gives these details of the gown:

The Royal christening robe, of fine Honiton lace lined with white satin, was made in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal.
In 1894 the robe was given by Queen Victoria to the Duchess of York (later Queen Mary), all of whose children were christened in it. 
In the next generation it was worn by the children of King George VI, of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and of Prince George, Duke of Kent. 
The children of The Queen and of Princess Margaret were christened in it, and it has subsequently been used for the christenings of all The Queens grandchildren and other Royal babies, including the grand children of Princess Margaret.

Here’s Lady Louise in the gown – little did she know she’d be the last one to wear it!

Via Days of Majesty
Via Days of Majesty

After Lady Louise’s 2004 christening, the gown was retired in order to preserve it and a replacement was comissioned by the Queen. Lady Louise’s brother James Viscount Severn wore the new gown for his 2006 christening. A press release for the occasion states:

The Christening Gown worn by Viscount Severn is a hand-made replica of Queen Victoria’s daughter’s Christening Gown, which was worn at subsequent Royal Christenings and has now been preserved. It is the first time this gown has been worn by a member of the Royal Family and was commissioned by The Queen.

Since then it’s believed that both of Peter Philips’ children have worn this new gown. That makes Prince George the 4th of the Queen’s grandchildren or great-grandchildren to wear it.

Kate’s Outfit

The other outfit that looked smashing today was Kate’s. She chooses McQueen for big events, and today’s outfit was no exception. The colour and ruffle details echoed the christening gown.

Kate with Prince George after the ceremony (via Daily Mail)
Kate with Prince George after the ceremony (via Daily Mail)

I also immediately thought of the white Reiss dress that Kate wore in her engagement photographs and in Ottawa for the Canada Day celebrations. She does like a good ruffle, doesn’t she?

Kate & William's engagement portrait by Mario Testino
Kate & William’s engagement portrait by Mario Testino

I also liked how Camilla and Pippa showed up in creamy whites – they just looked so fresh and calm. Zara, the Queen, and Carole also all looked great in blue.

Spencer Christenings

Before we end, I thought this would be as good a time as any to take a moment to look over at Princess Diana’s own christening. This photo shows the Hon. Diana Spencer with her parents on her christening day in 1961. Her father was not yet the Earl at this point.

Via Pinerest
Via Pinerest

(and psssst…SO MANY rarely seen photos of a young Diana can be seen here. I was blown away by how many I hadn’t seen)

And finally, A rarely seen photo from Diana’s older sister Sarah’s  1955 christening can be seen here.  As you can see in the picture, the Queen Mother attended – it’s worth click, I promise.

More Christening Fun

If you haven’t had enough yet, reading some of our past posts on royal christenings might tickle your fancy!

Swedish Royal Family Christening Traditions they have a few, and some of these pics are pretty darn cute

Princess Estelle of Sweden’s Christening, when the little Princess wore a wee Order of the Seraphim sash

The Royal Family of Denmark’s Christening Gowns (the oldest one has been in use since 1870!)

Princess Athena of Denmark’s Christening, when one of the chosen godmothers raised some eyebrows

So, thoughts? Please share!

Updated: The Middletons at Wimbledon

The Middletons like their tennis. Case in point: Kate made a trip to London with her brother James to pick up her racquet after her break up with William became public.  This was in the spring of 2007 and she was staying at her parent’s home in Bucklberry, which is one hour away from the Middleton’s London flat.

There’s her brother James at the wheel of the car and Kate putting on a brave face:

Kate has been a frequent visitor to Wimbledon over the years, and in recent years the rest of the family has also been photographed while attending.


In June of 2006, Kate attended the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s pre-Wimbledon party:

The blondie there that Kate is eyeing is is Maria Sharapova:

And here she is dancing with William and Harry’s friend Guy Pelly:

The party was hosted by Rirchard Branson and was held at The Roof Gardens in Kensington:


Kate also spent a day at Wimbledon in 2007:


Here she is in 2008:

Kate wore her white Issa “Lucky dress” which seems to have been a favourite for a spell (click here for our post on that):

She wrote a thank you letter to the All England , and it is now on display in the Wimbledon Museum. In it, she reveals that she had visited Wimbledon with a girlfriend. Anyone recognize the girl with the pink pashmina in the picture above?

The letter reads:

Dear Sir

Thank you for your kind hospitality at Wimbledon last week. My friend and I had such a fantastic time and it was great to be able to enjoy the day knowing that we could have a little peace and quite if things got a little too hectic. It was a wonderfully relaxed day and we even spent part of it on the “Henman/Murray Hill”, which was great fun.

I really was not expecting to be looked after with such hospitality and I certainly wasn’t expecting to see any of the Centre Court games. I do hope the end of the tournament runs smoothly and this fantastic weather lasts ’till the end of the week.

Thank you again for making it such a fun and easy visit.


In 2010, we just have these shots of Kate arriving in a lovely green sundress:
I hope she brings this one out again:
She also visited with William in 2011, their first time together. They were seated in the front row of the Royal Box this time, natch:
The rest of the Middleton family also enjoy visits to Wimbledon.
In 2011, Pippa, Carole, Michael and Pippa’s then boyfriend Alex Loudon all joined in the fun:
 Pippa showed up on another day in 2011, as well:
This year, Carole sat in the general stands
Looks like she wore her post wedding outfit, eh? Here she is leaving The Goring with Michael, Pippa, and James the morning after Kate and William’s wedding:
The day after Carole’s visit, Pippa and James showed up and sat in the Royal Box:
And on July 3, 2012, Carole and Michael Middleton had their turn in the Royal Box:
No sign of Kate and William yet. We still have a few more days to go, so fingers crossed.
Updated: Kate and William made it to Wimbledon on Wednesday, the day before the Order the Thistle Ceremony in Scotland. As has been widely reported, Kate wore the Alexander McQueen knit dress she first wore publicly on Prince Edward Island last summer – one year ago to the day, to be precise.
Here they are at Wimbledon:
and on Prince Edward Island last year:
Love it. I wonder if Kate bought this dress with Wimbledon in mind. I wouldn’t be surprised!
It has just been announced that Kate will be making a second visit to Wimbledon. She will be there on Sunday, July 8th to cheer on Scottish Andy Murray in his match against Roger Federer. It’ll be a nail biter!
Updated Again:
Kate and Pippa were front and centre for the Men’s Final Match yesterday, where Roger Federer beat out Andy Murray for the title. Kate once again wore white – and all repeats. Her white Joseph coat first came out for the Epsom Derby last summer, and her Joseph dress first came out during her tour of Canada.
She also carried the leopard print Diane Von Furstenberg clutch that first came out on her first night in Los Angeles. LOVE that Kate accessorized with two long necklaces. Hope she starts to do that more often.
Interestingly, the delightful blog What Kate Wore has figured out that the gold necklace is actually an acorn and comes from designer Kristin Magnusen.
As we know, the Middleton’s new family crest includes acorns so I’m thinking this piece might have been chosen as a nod to the crest.  Thoughts?
See Also:

Let’s Reminisce: Favourite Kate & William Wedding Moments Part Two

In Part One of this Three Part Series, we delved into the days right before The Royal Wedding – the trees being brought into the Abbey, William and Harry’s impromptu walk about, Sarah Burton’s not so discrete dash into the Goring Hotel…it still makes us all happy to think about it…

And then it was morning in London and announcements from the palace began to be relseased.  One of the first announcements was that William and Kate would be Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Earl and Countess of Strathearn, and Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus. For the actual statement as issued by the Press Secretary to the Queen, click here. It was about midnight where I was at this point, glued to the TV screen with friends. Life sized cut out figures of William and Kate might have been there, too. Meanwhile this is what some of London was looking like:

The statements were all timed out to perfection and rolled out one after the other. They detailed the clothing that the Queen, Duchess of Cornwall, and Mrs. Middleton were wearing…and then it was all about the groom (The Irish Guards uniform!), the bride (Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and the Cartier Halo Tiara!) and the attendants (Sarah Burton for Pippa and Nicki Macfarlane for the girls!).

Of course, all morning long the crowds continued to gather. This picture shows the thousands that came together in Hyde Park to watch the wedding on huge screens:

It was a bit of a hoot watching all of the guests arrive and wait in the Abbey, particularly the Beckhams, Elton John, and Chelsy Davy:

Nothing like checking your blackberry as you wait for the Royal Wedding of the Century to start. Elton looks tickled pink to be there:

Chelsy Davy showed up for her seat in the section reserved for close friends:

Then all eyes were on The Goring. Pippa and the flower girls headed out first and we loved their dresses. Side Note: If you’re really into the spirit of things, you might want to check out our post from when we had hight tea at The Goring last winter. We discretely took lots of pictures of the lobby and such because, you know. Click here to see.

And we loved watching William and Harry driving to the Abbey. Here they are walking in looking especially dapper:

Then the attendants arrived. Here’s Tom Pettifer, aka Little Blonde Dude, being just as delightful as he was the whole day. He’s the son of Tiggy Legge-Bourke, who looked after Wiliam and Harry when they were young. Prince William is reportedly his godfather. The little brunette dude is Billy Lowther-Pinkerton, the son of William’s private secretary.

Kate Leaves The Goring!!!

And then we finally got a glimpse of The Dress. I do wonder why they didn’t have the car in a little porte-cocher type tent so we wouldn’t see anything at all until she stepped out at Westminster Abbey, but no matter. It was a lovely sneak peak:

Arriving at the Abbey:

A peak under the dress and the derriere that ignited conversations the world over:

What a great overhead shot of the attendants. There’s the little blonde dude lapping it up again. He was just the best:

Prince Harry and his “wait to you see her” comment to William is right up there in our best ever royal moments. It’s at about the 9 second mark of this video:


Then William was all cute when Kate and Michael Middleton arrived. He joked, “it was just meant to be a small family affair.”

Another view, just because. You can tell Harry is doing his best to be appropriately solemn for the occasion:

And then up went the veil…this wasn’t show on TV so getting a hold of this picture was a treat:

And how cool was this shot. So dramatic:

There was a chance to sit down and pretend to sing:

And then…it was official! Miss Middleton no more; now she’s HRH! Time to curtsey to Her Majesty:

Heading off to Buckingham Palace. Check out the Queen in yellow in the background:

And Harry was like the fun babysitter in this carriage:

Once all of the guests had left Wesminster Abbey, a relieved verger did a couple of celebratory cartwheels which were thankfully captured by the cameras. Check out the video below to see and to hear the bells peeling in the background. Seriously. It’s soooo worth checking out:


And with that, we’ll pause until tomorrow. In part three, we’ll dive into the two receptions and some more of the delightful shenanigans that went on. Thank you for joining us for this nostalgic blog party!

Kate’s London ~ Restaurants Part One

A few of you have emailed asking about places Kate has frequented in London. If you’re planning a trip to London, or if you live here and would like to try some new restaurants, here are some that she has been to.

Tom Aiken’s Restaurant
Kate went to Tom Aikens with her family on her 26th birthday back in January 2008.  The restaurant is in Chelsea, on 943 Elystan Street,  just off the King’s Road where Kate and Pippa are often seen. (We haven’t been to this restaurant yet, but it’s on the list! We’ll let you know what we think.) Here’s a pic of Kate and Pippa leaving the restaurant (Kate is in her famous Reiss coat):

Tom’s Kitchen

Tom’s Kitchen (another restaurant by Tom Aikens) is a few steps away from Tom Aikens, and is on 27 Cale Street. (Cale Street is also home to the London Collette Dinnegan store – where Kate’s champagne coloured lace dress and red lace dress are from). William and Kate had lunch at Tom’s Kitchen in March 2009.
We’ve been to Tom’s Kitchen for dinner and brunch (highly recommend the french toast). It’s a loud, busy, casual type of place and the food is good and straightforward. We’re impressed that Will and Kate ventured there knowing that they’d be recognized.
Kate has been known to frequent Bluebird Restaurant several times over the last few years. Located on 350 Kings Road, this place is right in the Kate and Pippa neighbourhood! Here are Kate, Pippa and Carole having lunch on the patio, circa 2008 (we think!). Kate’s wearing the see-through Issa ‘Lucky’ dress (for more on the Issa Lucky dresses that Kate and Pippa have click here):
We went to Bluebird for dinner back in 2008, with high expectations. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a letdown. We didn’t have great service (it seemed we were forgotten about for about an hour) and the food wasn’t memorable. However, it’s definitely a ‘scene’ and we might try it again! Maybe it was just an ‘off’ night.
Anyway, Kate also attended the opening of the Bluebird store (underneath the restaurant), in June 2006. The Bluebird store is owned by Belle Robinson, who also owns Jigsaw where Kate worked part-time starting in December 2006. For more on Kate and Jigsaw check out our post here. Kate’s business relationship with Belle Robinson began in around 2005/2006.
As Robinson said in an interview in 2008:

Some people asked us if we were happy for Kate and William to go and stay in our holiday house in Mustique with some friends. They’re not allowed to pay for it but in return they would make a donation to the local hospital. And I said: ‘Yeah, fine.’ Through that, as a thank-you to us, Kate supported a couple of Jigsaw events we did.’ Then she rang me up one day and said: ‘Could I come and talk to you about work?’  (For the full interview click here.)

It’s interesting that Kate, as a private citizen, was already using her ‘star power’ to help friends and acquaintances. It’s a fine line to walk. Here is one such event that Kate supported – the opening of Belle’ Bluebird store. We’re guessing she’s also wearing a Jigsaw dress from the summer 2006 collection. This a rare picture of her in bangs! She grew those out pretty quickly.
In November 2007 Kate supported another event at the Bluebird store, called Time to Reflect. It was an exhibition of celebrity photographs by Alistair Morrison to raise money for Unicef. At the time, it was reported that it was Kate’s idea to put on the exhibition for Unicef. William attended, along with the Middleton family.

Photographer Alistair Morrison and Kate Middleton
Click here for Kate’s London ~ Restaurants Part Two!

UPDATED: Kate Attends Third Wedding as HRH

Ikon Via The Daily Mail

Happy Sunday! By now you probably would have seen the news that there was a Kate Wedding Appearance yesterday. Both she and Pippa attended the wedding of Harriet Colthurst and Thomas Sutton. Prince William was there as well in his capacity as a member of the groom’s party. Ahhh…we do love to see a new Kate wedding outfit…

It looks like here she is wearing a head-to-toe-new-outfit: new shoes, new hat, new dress. We can’t quite make out the clutch enough to see if it’s an old standby or new.

All right, let’s work our way through this ensemble. Let’s start with the shoes. If you look closely, the underside of the pump she is wearing shows the Prada logo in gold so there’s that mystery solved.

Ikon Via The Daily Mail

Onto the hat. Straight away we wondered if the hat could be a modified version of the ‘Maple Leaf Hat’ Kate wore on Canada Day during her and William’s tour of the country.

Here’s a look at that very patriotic topper:

Drat. Clearly not the same one. Back to the drawing board for us! We don’t recognize seeing Kate wear this publicly before, so it very well could be a new one.

Here’s Kate in red for another wedding (that of friends David Jardine-Paterson and Emilia D’Erlanger) on April 17, 2010. We think this red fascinator may have gone a little better with the lace dress, or do you think it’s slightly too orange? Quite a collection of red head pieces Kate has already!

 And onto the dress! We think that if you can answer the question “Would Grace Kelly wear this?” and the answer is ‘Yes’ you can safely say that the ensemble in question will still look stylish in the decades to come. In our opinion, this dress makes the grade. We love the scalloped edge of the lace, sweet waist, and how you can see the undress underneath at the back.

So far, the dress designer has not been confirmed and the Palace has made a point of not announcing what the Duchess chooses to wear for private events (as well as public events, apart from the Royal Tour). The Daily Mail first reported that it is Erdem, but the excellent  sleuths at have now confirmed that this is Collette Dinnigan.  After all, the Daily MAil reported that Kate’s shoes were LK Bennet and clearly they aren’t. How quickly do you think it will take for the dress and shoes to sell out?

Kate’s choice of lace is certainly a trend of late, and one that started in her pre engagement days with that gorgeous cream lace dress she wore to a book launch in April 2007. Then of course there was The Wedding Dress which featured gorgeous lace.

Here she is in in the navy lace Erdem dress she chose to wear when she and William arrived in Ottawa, the capital of Canada at the very start of their North American tour. Very  lady like and pretty, and especially appropriate since Erdem is a Canadian designer. We talk more about this dress here.

Kate wore this second blue lace Erdem dress in Quebec. Because of the color and the lace, it is quite similar to the first one. She has opted for the same LK Bennet sledge pumps and color of clutch as well. Clearly when Kate sees something she likes, she sticks with it:

But back to the wedding. As we mentioned, Kate’s sister Pippa also attended the wedding  and the Daily Mail is claiming that she wore McQueen. UPDATE – there are reports that Pippa’s dress is actually ProjectD.

While we’re on the topic, let’s take a quick look at the first two weddings Kate attended as HRH.

First, Kate attended the wedding of Sam Waley-Cohen and Bella Balin in June hours after her first Trooping the Colour event. (see below)

Via The Daily Mail

Kate wore the same hat she wore to the Trooping the Colour event that morning, along with a ZARA dress she was seen in as far back as 2006. She added a skinny black belt to the dress for this outing.

This wedding was also another Pippa sighting. We do enjoy Pippa, but oh dear – this ill fitting jacket was a miss. However, let’s move on, shall we…..

At the Wedding of Zara Philips and Mike Tindall, July 2011

Kate’s second wedding appearance as HRH was at the wedding of Zara Philips and Mike Tindall. We will discuss this appearance further in a post later this week.

In anticipation of Kate’s next official royal engagement we have a line up of posts focusing on Kate’s fashion choices since the engagement was announced in November.

Join us tomorrow to review her choices for official events as a royal fiance, and we will discuss the questions, ‘Had Kate been readying her Princess Wardrobe?” See you then!

How Much Things Change and Stay the Same: The Middleton Family

Via the Daily Mail

This has been quite a year for the Middleton family and, in addition to how things have changed for Kate, we find ourselves wondering how life has changed for her hardworking parents, Michael and Carole.

We all know Kate and her family had a very different introduction into this life that Diana had. Diana had grown up around the Royal Family so it wasn’t as much of a shock. Diana told Andrew Morton when collaborating with him for Diana Her True Story, “You see, I had a very good lifestyle myself. I had my own money and lived in a big house. So it wasn’t as though I was going into anything different.”

For the Middletons, it’s a different kettle of fish. I mean they probably would have liked to have visited Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle as tourists when Kate was young.  No doubt Carole also read a Diana biography or two way back when and occasionally picked up an issue of Hello. All this to say that prior to Kate heading to St. Andrews, they had no concept or thought that on day they’d be up there on the Buckingham Palace balcony waving to their daughter’s future subjects. No way.

It must still seem totally surreal that their daughter has become ‘Her Royal Highness’ and perhaps the most celebrated women of the year. They have had several years to start getting used to the idea, but they didn’t know how this would all play out. Carole reportedly spoke to a Telegraph reporter in November of 2008 while at the Hennessy Gold Cup. She said,

“I feel very vulnerable about everything. I’m not a celebrity and don’t want to be one…I haven’t asked for all this.”

Fair enough. It must have been tough to have been criticized in the press for things she didn’t do or say, like the rumour that she said “pleased to meet you” to the Queen while chewing gum at Wiliam’s Passing Out Parade at Sandhurst in December 2006. That one was 100% false we now know. Carole and Mike didn’t even meet the Queen until after the engagement, when they were invited to lunch with the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor.

via Hello

Anyhow, on Michael’s part, he first spoke to the press in May of 2003 when he said,

“We are very amused at the thought of being in laws to Prince William, but I don’t think that is going to happen.”

First of all, if we were Kate back then we would have been absolutely cringing that he said that and we can only imagine that they had a few words. But, as we all know, it did happen and boy did they ever look tickled pink while speaking to assembled reporters outside their home the day the engagement was announced. And who can blame them? Even after so many years of getting to know William as just plain William, for this to actually happen must have still been TOTALLY SURREAL.

Via The Mirror

So the engagement happens and the Middletons get geared up for the wedding, showing lots of class along the way. In many ways, they seem like real quality people who could really teach a thing or two to the Royals. Then the hoopla of the wedding is over and it’s back to a new normal involving occasional Royal invitations, watching their daughter get a hero’s welcome all over Canada, and photographers trying to get your picture as you spend time in your garden. That must be so odd. I’ve got to say, this photo  of Michael Middleton working in the garden was taken just two days after the wedding is one of my favourites. He really seems like a very kind, grounded man:

Via The Telegraph