Our Favourite Five Kate Pre-Engagement Looks

Kate has certainly been coming more and more into her own lately, and that transformation began during the pre-engagement days. This post will focus on our favourite five looks from this era.

#5. Laughing at Blenheim Palace, 2004

The Telegraph

From what we can understand, Kate posed for these pictures but was somewhat ‘tricked’ into it, believing they were for a company she was helping at the event (if you have any more information on this, please tell us in the comments!). In any case, she looks happy, vibrant, and very ‘country aristocrat’ with Blenheim palace as a back drop. It reminds us of the pictures of Charles and Diana at Balmoral during their honeymoon decked out in tweed.

It’s also interesting to look at this pic knowing how thin Kate has become lately. She looks very nice and healthy here.

The Daily Mail

#4  Jane Troughton Brocade Coat at Nicholas van Cutsem’s and Alice Hadden-Paton wedding, August 2009

Kate’s appearance at this wedding was her first since a scandal broke out over her uncle Gary Goldsmith (he had undercover reporters to his home in Ibiza and bragged about his relationship with William and Kate as he cut lines of cocaine). It is also the first time we saw this brocade coat by Jane Troughton. She looks lovely, confident, and stylish here despite it all, though we’re not entirely sure about her choice of hat. We would love have a better view of the dress she is wearing underneath the coat, it looks lovely!

The Daily Mail

#3 DAY Birger et Mikkelson Coat at Laura Parker Bowles and Harry Lopes’ Wedding, 2006

We first saw this delightful coat at the wedding of Camilla Parker Bowles’ daughter Laura’s wedding back in 2006. In turn, Laura’s daughter would be a flower girl at Kate and Williams wedding but we’ll have to discuss that more in a later post.

We think Kate looks fantastic here – fresh and classy. She can also pull off this fun fascinator that might look a little kooky on anyone else. Kate has brought this coat out for Zara and Mike’s wedding, pairing it with a new hat. We believe she is wearing our favourite dress underneath it on both occasions (coming up as favourite #1 below!).

#2 Floaty Green Dress at Polo, 2010

via Zimbio

Kate wore this delightful dress on several occasions in the summer of 2010, at times within days of each other (perhaps a ploy to get the photographers off her trail?). It’s a flattering and pretty dress that could either be dressed up or down. Love how she’s paired it here with such oversized sunglasses, a more fashion forward look than we usually see from Kate. We haven’t been able to identify where this dress is from yet, do sound off in the comments if you know!

#1 Brave Face at a Book Launch Party, May 2007

The Daily Mail

This book launch, for The Young Stalin, took place on May 14, 2007 at Asprey in London. This was well in the thick of Kate and William’s break up. You can see in the picture how sad she looks, like she’s really trying to put on a good show but she’s heartbroken. I really feel for her. Despite the sad face, this dress is my favourite that she’s wore before the engagement and wedding. It is by Collette Dinnigan. She brought it out for other occasions, most recently under her Birger et Mikkelson coat at the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall in July 2011 and at the wedding of Laura Lopes (Camilla’s daughter) in May 2006 (#3 above). UPDATE – Kate wore another Collette Dinnegan in fall 2010 – click here for more.

Kate clearly loves lace and this dress foreshadowed her choice of wedding gown as well as the lace Erdem dresses she selected for the Canadian tour. I love that she wore it during the break up and then as William’s date in the future. Wish we could tell that sad girl in the picture, “Not to worry. This is ALL going to work out just fine…” Hope we keep seeing this dress along with other pretty lace frocks!

Tell us: did we miss any of your favourite pre-enagement looks? To read more about Kate’s fashion, click on ‘Kate’s Closet’ on the left.

What Kate Was Wearing When She FIRST Met the Queen

Daily TelegraphThis is it, folks. Kate wore this sheer Issa dress with pink buttoned jacket and black hat to Peter Philips and Autumn Kelley’s wedding at Windsor in May 2008. As she and William revealed in their official engagement interview, this was the first time that Kate met the Queen. No doubt William wanted to bring this up to diffuse the rumours that Kate had met the Queen either at their graduation from St. Andrew’s in June 2005 or at William’s passing out parade at Sandhurst in December 2006. As you may recall, there were some mean spirited comments that when Carole met the Queen she had said, “pleased to meet you” and was chewing gum. Clearly this wasn’t the case.

Of the meeting, Kate said “Well I first met her at Peter and Autumn’s wedding and again it was in amongst a lot of other guests and she was very friendly.” Interesting how she down plays it.

William does, too when he added, “She was very welcoming. She knew it was a big day and everything was going on with Peter and Autumn, she had wanted to meet Kate for awhile, so it was very nice for her to come over and say hello…had a little chat and got on very well.” Very nice of the Queen to come over and meet his grandson’s girlfriend of seven or so years! It really is a different world.

William wasn’t there for what must have been a rather nerve wracking meeting for Kate. William he had already committed to the wedding of close friend Batian Craig in Kenya (brother of rumoured flame Jecca) so was unable to attend his cousin’s wedding. So, Kate had to handle this all of herself and by all accounts did a fantastic job, though I feel that the sheer dress she was wearing was jut not appropriate for a meeting with the Queen. I just can’t imagine ever having chosen it for an occasion where that could happen. Let’s hope she hadn’t taken her jacket off by the time the Queen came by.

Here are some more pictures from Hello magazine which give us a better idea of the outfit. Looks like Kate has taken her hat off…do you think it’s just sitting on her chair? Hmmm….

Kate must have felt quite comfortable with this dress as she pulled it out again this past January for the wedding of friends Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Louise Stourton (picture below). She wore it under the Libelula Dulwich coat that time. UPDATED: We found the jacket in a London boutique and tried it on. The construction and velvet fabric didn’t actually seem to be the best quality for the price (310 pounds) which was a bit of a surprise. It did have a beautiful silhouette, though.

In any case, Kate really does seem to like the dress so we’ll probably see it again!

The Daily Mail

If you’d like to read more about Kate’s closet, click on our “Kate’s Closet’ link on the left:)

Balmoral Style…Part One

There are unconfirmed reports that for the last few days William and Kate, along with Carole and Michael Middleton, have been with the Queen and Prince Philip  at Balmoral. I would love to be a fly on the wall, to see what they talk about, but also to see what they wear, considering that there are usually around four changes of dress a day at Balmoral.

Since it is unlikely that we will be seeing any photos from this recent trip to Balmoral, let’s reflect on Diana’s sporty Balmoral style in the early days. We will discuss evening wear in another post. I loved Diana’s day wear at Balmoral and will take any excuse to wear wellies and tweed to trek across the moors!

Here she is in 1981 shortly after The Wedding of the Century at Balmoral with Charles at an official photocall.

And my absolute favourite is below of Lady Diana and Prince Charles pre-wedding at Balmoral in May 1981. They are both decked out in the quintessential wellies with tucked in cords and sweater combo.

Looking forward to seeing pictures of a windswept William and Kate at Balmoral, hopefully soon!

Camilla IS the Princess of Wales

No matter how you cut it, that’s how it is. Prince Charles has several titles, and as his wife Camilla has the ‘matching’ titles, just like when Jane Doe marries Michael Smith she becomes Mrs. Michael Smith even if she prefers to go by “Ms. Doe.” Technically, both are accurate.

That being said, let’s take a look at Charle’s royal titles, shall we?

When the Queen ascended the throne in 1952, a three year old Prince Charles became the heir apparent and as such took on the following traditional titles:

  • Duke of Cornwall
  • Duke of Rothesay
  • Earl of Carrick
  • Baron Renfrew
  • Lord of the Isles
  • Prince and Great Steward of Scotland

That is quite a mouthful. At the age of nine (!) the Queen created Prince Charles:

  • Prince of Wales
  • Earl of Chester

So that’s eight significant titles for a nine year old. Not too shabby. Charles was officially invested as the Princes of Wales in a ceremony on July 1, 1969 when he was twenty years old. In 1981 when Diana married Charles, she held all of the titles as well and became:

  • Duchess of Cornwall
  • Duchess of Rothesay
  • Countess of Carrick
  • Baroness Renfrew
  • Lady of the Isles
  • Princess and Great Stewardess of Scotland
  • Princess of Waless
  • Countess of Chester

As we know, Diana  was officially known as the highest rank, which of course was Princess of Wales.

So when Charles and Camilla married in 2005, Camilla automatically held all of these titles as well. It was decided that she would not to officially be known as Princess of Wales out of courtesy and respect for Diana’s memory. This was also of course to avoid the likely public outcry that would have ensued if she had.

The Prince of Wales’ official website says: “It is intended that The Duchess of Cornwall should use the title HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales accedes to The Throne.”

Interesting wording. The statement only says “intended” not “it has been decided” or something equally strong and definitive. I am sure that Charles would actually like Camilla to be Queen and this sort of messaging is part of the carefully planned strategy surrounding Camilla. They are carefully testing the waters of public opinion and I’m certain that as time goes on, sentiment towards Camilla will continue to that and it is very likely that Camilla will be Queen after all.

Recently, when asked by a reporter if Camilla could be crowned Queen, Charles was quite flustered and replied, “That’s…that’s…we’ll see, won’t we? That could be.”

And there you have it. Not much of a denial there at all, is there? I have to say I can’t find fault with Charles’ answer. After all, when he becomes King, Camilla will atleast be Queen in all but name as she supports him in his royal duties. I feel that the public should take their queue from Princes William and Harry.  On the occasion of an official interview to mark his 21st birthday, Harry said, “William and I love her to bits. To be honest with you, she’s always been very close to me and William…she’s not the wicked stepmother. I’ll say that right now.”

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts and predictions in the comments!

Vivienne Westwood: Royal Pot Stirrer

Vivienne Westwood strikes a poseAs you may have heard, famed British designer Vivienne Westwood has spoken out against the Duchess of Cambridge’s style. She told the Sunday Times Magazine, “It seems to me that her image is “ordinary woman” therefore, High Street shopper. And I just think she should be “extraordinary woman”, wherever she gets her clothes from.”

Back in February of 2011 when Westwood was asked if she was designing Kate’s wedding dress. Her response was especially icy: “I would have loved to have dressed Kate Middleton, but I have to wait until she catches up a bit somewhere with style.”

Ok, so is she just making these comments off the cuff or does she know that saying such things will get her lots of press? My guess is she has an “I don’t give a damn what people think” attitude (displayed to perfection in the picture above) and this isn’t a calculated move on her part. After all, she’s a bit of a kook and made similar comments about Diana when she was alive, and like Kate Diana wasn’t running to her for clothing afterwards. This is something that no reporters seem to have cottoned on to yet.

Westwood told Woman and Home magazine, “The princess isn’t a trendsetter. She’s someone ruled by the trends, which is sad because she’s a stunning woman. I hate her shoes – those horrible little pumps that are neither one thing or the other. It’s as though her clothes are supposed to tell you she’s both a feminist and sexy at the same time. It’s a compromise and it’s doesn’t work.”

Having said that, though, she still said of Diana: “Oh, I’d love to dress her. Perhaps one day she’ll come to me. It would be great for her if she did. You’d see some results. I could maker her the most stylish woman in the world.”

To date, Kate hasn’t been seen wearing Westwood and as far as I can tell Diana never wore Westwood either, at least not publicly. So as I said, these comments clearly didn’t help out Westwood’s cause.

Westwood does have Princess Eugenie in her corner, though, which is quite remarkable after the debacle of the Westwood frock she wore to Kate and William’s wedding in April.

She’s turned things around since then with great Westwood dresses that really flatter her figure. For example, the black gown she wore to the pre-wedding dinner at the Mandarin Oriental on April 18th was gorgeous, as was the black corseted dress she wore to Petra Ecclestone’s wedding. She aslo wore a stunning red gown to Elton JOhn’s red tie and tiara ball.

I think Princess Eugenie may just be the sole British royal that Westwood gets her hands on.

I just can’t see Kate going to her anytime soon, especially after her rather rude comments and also since Westwood is now Eugenie’s go to designer.

What do you think?

This is a Girl Who Doesn’t Often Wear Pants (or ‘Trousers’ for our British Friends)

Kate showing William what he's missing, Spring 2007

Have we ever seen Kate in khakis or clam diggers? No. Stretchy exercise pants while out on a boat, perhaps, and many pairs of jeans at polo matches and out and about, but that’s really the extent of it. We haven’t ever seen Kate in a pantsuit – even to board the plane to Canada she was wearing a dress and blazer. It’s all about the skirts and dresses for Kate.

I do love Kate’s lady like style of dressing, but if she chooses to wear a smart, well cut pair of trousers with some killer shoes to an official engagement any time soon, I must say I’d find it quite refreshing. Stella McCartney makes an extremely flattering pant after all and she’s British! I think Kate would just look so nice and comfortable but still sophisticated. And she also wouldn’t have to worry about the wind factor. That yellow dress in Calgary was delightful but she was clearly worried about the skirt up a little too high…and it almost did.

Arriving in Calgary, July 2011

Seeing that picture makes me nervous for the poor girl. I feel her pain.

I understand that in Kate’s mind she must be thinking that she’s got a job to do and that comes with a certain uniform. Fair enough. After all, she wasn’t about to wear a nice pair of slacks to pay a visit to her wedding dress with the Queen now, was she?

Off with the Queen to see The Dress