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Coffee & Kate: Upcoming Events + A Regency?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Good morning all! It has been in the low 40s here, and sometimes even hitting 50 during the day, yet I still run round all bundled up with chattering teeth. But, I love this cold weather on a morning I get to stay inside with a steaming cup of coffee and watch the gusty wind blow the leaves all over...from the the cozy side of the window pane. I thought I'd briefly share Kate's calendar updates with you to get us started. 

Kate's Calendar 


KP announced yesterday that on the 22nd, William and Kate will pay a visit to Birmingham for a Coach Core appearance. Then on the 24th, the couple will attend the Royal Variety Performance, and finally on the 28th, Kate will visit the Foundling Museum in London. It's a great line-up! I am, of course, massively excited for the Royal Variety Show, at which these two made their debut in 2014 while Kate was pregnant with Charlotte. They were representing the Queen, and it was a big event for them, since generally only Charles stands in for his mother. More passing the baton, me thinks, which, brings us to the next chit chat.


Is Elizabeth Preparing for a Regency?

I know there has been quite a bit of conversation in the comments this week about whether the Queen is slowly moving toward a regency or abdication, and I wanted to add my two cents, or two pence depending on your side of the pond. ;) 



The Queen is 91 years old. When her time comes, she might die quietly in her sleep. She could drop dead on a brisk walk with the corgis. She could catch a cold that takes her quickly... My point is not to muse darkly about death, but to highlight that some people are hearty and hale until one day they just go. My grandmother was fit and seemed set for some years, and one day she suddenly declined, and was dead within two weeks. But, other people decline more slowly. They move from walking without assistance to needing a walker, to a wheelchair etc. Perhaps they begin to slip a little mentally... You see my point. Aging can culminate in an abrupt end, or a slow descent. 



We seem to assume, I think, that the Queen will be as she is until the day she dies. The narrative that her life, be it long or short, will be devoted to the service of the crown, has created this idea that she will be able to serve to the bitter end. I saw a comment on Twitter that essentially asserted that it is all in the attitude, "you can will it." Well, no you can't. Unless you are hiding the fact you are God, which would be very interesting, none of us can will reality into existence. Positive thoughts can only take you so far. I think that Philip is declining, just in the general aging process, and the Queen knows that if she is lucky in years, it is inevitable that she too will grow frail. She will not be able to carry the full load her whole life. So, she can either still undertake every single duty, or she can start to lighten her load, which is the same thing as beginning to pass the baton. It does not mean that she will ever complete the transfer. I do not believe she will ever abdicate. She will die the Queen. 



From a PR perspective this is a good move. She still looks healthy, but she is (of her own volition) choosing to begin to transfer some of the burden. That way, she can also keep her health private. She can minimize the possibility she will have to publicly alter her pattern due to health, because she will already have set a precedent for a slow transfer. The Cenotaph is a prime example. Royal reporter Richard Palmer (and I confirmed this with him) asked the Palace reps if the Queen would lay the wreath in the future, they said no, she would never lay it again. That duty has passed to Charles. 



What about a regency? Depending on how long she lives (the Queen Mother lived past 100), Elizabeth may very well need a regency of some kind. That's just the reality. Or, she may just reduce her duties more and more and prioritize big State events. Only time will tell that, but I think we can certainly see a plan in motion here, and that's not a bad thing. 


Roger Federer & Family Visit the Cambridges

Federer and his family are in London for the ATF Finals, and they were pictured leaving their hotel with two wrapped gifts and then arriving at the Kensington Palace gates! The family spent about two hours visiting with William and Kate, according to the Daily Mail's report. You can see pictures of the family leaving the hotel and arriving at KP here. As you know, Kate loves tennis and has admired Federer for years. Since becoming a princess, it appears she has developed a social relationship with Federer and his wife. 



The connection has extended to Kate's family, and you all know that Roger and his wife Mirka were guests at Pippa's wedding in May.  A month or so ago I did a post on Kate and tennis, if you missed it you can read it here. It would be so fun to see Kate do some kind of joint engagement with Roger! 


Ok, I better leave this post here, because the day and other duties, beckon. If you are feeling nostalgic for school days and the joys of intellectual (over) stimulation, I have posted a Kate fashion quiz on my Instagram stories (Stories are only available on the mobile app, and only available to those who have updated their phones within the last year, *cough* Mom!). Don't miss it! It will expire around 9pm EST today. Lots have already taken it, and I hear it is hard. I thought it was hard, too, but I hope you still enjoy it!  Good luck! 

Kate Dusts Off the Goat Coat for Hornsey Road Children's Centre

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I told you that GOAT is Kate's maternity label! Ok all, it's time to talk about the Duchess's visit to the Hornsey Road Children's Centre yesterday. If this event sounds familiar, Kate was scheduled to visit the centre on September 4, but instead she announced her third pregnancy and stayed in bed, poor girl. Yesterday she made it up to the charity by going through with the planned visit, but blooming with health thanks to the delay. 


Hornsey Road Children's Centre provides a variety of support for parents, including mental health support, which is a subject Kate has been very focused on of late. Kate chatted with support staff and parents and children who benefit from the centre's services. 

KP

According to Richard Palmer, Kate told one single dad, who initially struggled with raising his daughter, that William found fatherhood a tough transition, as well. Kate connected with the kids, too, telling one sweet little girl that her own daughter Charlotte's favorite color is, of course, pink! I don't think that Kate makes up all the events she has to cancel while pregnant and sick, so this was a special event and highlights her commitment to this cause.

KP

Although Kate has certainly been down on the ground before for various events, particularly sports, this video of her on the floor with other parents struck me. Coat and all...

Family Action runs the centre, and the Queen is patron. I suspect that Kate will take this over when HM decides to hand over the reins. 


Kate likes to recycle, but for some reason I was astounded to see her wear the GOAT Redgrave coat again. Talk about a blast from the past! Perhaps because Kate has recycled very few (read almost no) maternity ensembles, or maybe because she doesn't wear all that much GOAT to begin with and we just saw her in what I thought would be the single GOAT sighting of the maternity line-up. Maybe because I never felt this was her best look, I don't know, but I was very, very surprised. [Look who was on the look-out! The one and only Mr. Security was on duty.]


If you need a refresher, and I suspect all but the die-hards among us do, Kate debuted the Redgrave at the Child Bereavement UK headquarters on March 19, 2013. This was back in the good old days when the "Redgrave" was affectionately referred to as The Goat Coat, because it was the only GOAT London piece in her closet! 


Underneath the coat on that occasion (and yesterday, too), she wore the Topshop "Contrast Collar" dress that features her favorite kind of collar--a Peter Pan!


Yesterday, Kate did a complete recycle (but for the Bayswater clutch), wearing both the dress and the coat, and the Annoushka pearl drop earrings with which she accessorized on the first wear. As I mentioned, I didn't love this ensemble when she first wore it. The collar contrasts with the coat just enough to be noticeable, but not enough to look planned, so I felt it lacked a certain polish. And as mentioned very recently, I also don't love the bell shape silhouette Kate has championed in her maternity wear, although I am acclimating quickly.


However, I am warning to the Goat Coat (I am going to go back to calling it that). We didn't get to see that much of this coat on its first wear, because the Duchess removed it for the majority of the visit. We got more angles and shots on this most recent event, and I admit it is a lovely coat.


This is a win for the novelty. It is a win because it was fun to see a complete ensemble recycled four years later, and it was very interesting to hear how many people really loved it the first time around! I might have come around to finding a win in the style stakes, too, had she worn this with heels, or even better, with her Aquatalia Rumbas. But, I am very picky about heels on boots, and I find these Half n Half boots too heavy for this look. I am not warming to the boots. So, although it was super fun to see this ensemble again, when we thought it was out to pasture permanently, I don't think this was her best fashion moment. But, more of those to come, certainly, in the weeks ahead! 

A Momentous Remembrance Sunday 2017

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Of all the annual events on the royal calendar, Remembrance Sunday is without a doubt the most somber. Every year, the senior royals gather at Whitehall for a ceremony paying tribute to the fallen who have, throughout Britain's history, protected and defended their homeland.


As reported earlier in the autumn, this year saw a seismic shift as the Queen announced she would no longer lay the wreath on Remembrance Sunday. Instead, Charles would take her place and she would watch from the balcony with her spouse Prince Philip. The announcement caused considerable shock to the public when the decision was released, but today it seemed to be particularly difficult for the Queen. Her Majesty, generally quite stoic, was pictured with tears on her face as she played the spectator in an event she has almost invariably been the lead for over fifty years.


Prince Philip has been enjoying retirement at Windsor Castle and Wood Farm at Sandringham, but he returned to the City for this very important weekend of remembrance. He too, showed signs of fatigue as he leaned against the wall of the balcony for support.


With Philip and he Queen on the balcony, our usual cast of characters was shuffled. Camilla, who usually stands with Kate and Sophie, took her place with the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh. Kate and Sophie were joined by Princess Alexandra.


The Duchess of Cambridge is always immaculately turned out for Remembrance Sunday and today was no exception. She chose a black wool coat from Dolce & Gabbana with a neat and slim double-breasted closure that featured the large buttons she has been preferring recently. 



Kate carried a clutch that hasn't been positively IDed yet, and wore the Oscar de la Renta Pearl Sun earrings she debuted in Germany. She recycled the Philip Treacy hat she first wore to William's passing out Parade at Sandhurst, and recycled for Remembrance Sunday in 2012. 


Perhaps most interesting was Kate's hair, which she had styled by curling in the ends to create the illusion of an elegant bob. This was very unusual and I really liked it. Getting her hair off her shoulders and keeping it more controlled was a good idea with this hat, but this mix of chignon and bob made it a really striking look. 


As I said at the start, Kate doesn't really go wrong with Remembrance Sunday, and she looked picture perfect today. This is probably the most momentous Remembrance Sunday in a long time. Pictures and video from today will feature in historical accounts in the future as a turning point in the Queen's reign and, of course, a beginning for Charles. As the Queen steps back and Charles slowly moves forward, Kate and William draw closer to their future, as well.   As the inevitable complete transfer has been invisibly drawing closer, today certainly made it all very visible, both for the royals and those watching. I think it must have been a day of significant introspection for all of the royals as they contemplated the past, faced the future, all while paying tribute to generations of fellow Brits who also did their duty, played their parts, and passed the torch of responsibility to a new generation.





Kate Wears Gorgeous Velvet Coat to Festival of Remembrance

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tonight the Duchess of Cambridge joined members of the Royal Family at the Festival of Remembrance that takes place annually at the Royal Albert Hall. William is in the dog house for skipping tonight's event, but he committed to the Wales v. Australia rugby match instead. He is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, so I am giving him a pass. 


I love the Festival of Remembrance because I love anything that is annual, takes place at the sumptuously velvety red Royal Albert Hall, and includes oodles of royals dressed to impress. But, this event is far more than that. It is one of those tricky events that straddles celebration and mourning. It's a "festival," which denotes society's celebration and thanks for those who have served, but it is heavily imbued with solemnity and sadness for the lives lost and the commitment many have given at crushing personal sacrifice. 

British Legion

"Beautiful" is a word that captures both emotions, and it is good to see the Royal Family out in force for these sorts of events. 

British Legion

Kate made her first appearance at this event in 2015, four years after she joined the royal family. It was after Charlotte's birth and part of William and Kate's first clear steps toward more active senior status. They came last year, too, and I expect they will attend most years from here on out. From a quick fashion perspective, Kate was on a major lace D&G streak in the autumn of 2015 and she wore a black lace that I thought was gorgeous, even if it was very similar to the aubergine D&G she had just worn for the Chinese State Visit. 



Just last year, Kate sparked pregnancy rumors by wearing this boxy, heavy coat, which she never removed! It ended up suffocating all of us, if not her. People wondered if she was hiding a bump, or unnaturally cold...because she was pregnant? I don't know how the second part worked, but people wondered, as we do. :) It was Temperley's Callas coat, and gorgeous in the stock images. It just didn't work on her. Anyway, water under the bridge. 



This year, she's back and this time she is pregnant and far more appropriately dressed. Perhaps Kate took inspiration from the floor to ceiling velvet at the venue to order up this bespoke Catherine Walker coat. (Carly at Kate Middleton Style was quick to ID this one!)  The full coat is based upon this velvet jacket from one of Kate's favorite royal labels. 



I am looking at the skirt peeking out from beneath the coat, and what appears to be an asymmetric hemline. It reminded me of this dress, which we have only ever seen from under a coat and has never been IDed. Kate wore it on a night out with William and friends at LouLou's.


The obvious problem is that Kate wore this mystery dress in October of 2012--before she was even pregnant with George--and tonight she is some months into a third pregnancy and showing. But, depending on the material of that dress it could work underneath the coat. I'm open to other options! 


The Duchess accessorized with her Collingwood pearl earrings, which are (to use an overused word) divine, and she carried her Magid clutch which happens to look nothing like the majority of the product shots floating about, but that is a story for another time.  Also making an appearance tonight was the absolute biggest poppy any of us have ever seen. I am confident it won the flower show at Downton Abbey and doubtless beat out Mrs. Miniver's most voluptuous rose.  I liked it. It has oomph. 


Tonight was a huge win in my book. Do you know what it reminded me of? One of Kate's SuperStar looks, the Libélula that she wore to the Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Sarah Louise Stourton's wedding the day before her 29th birthday in 2011. Both these coats have structure, but lots of movement, and the velvet is so elegant.



Kate was charming and lovely tonight. The black of her ensemble, slimming color it is, entirely obscured her bump, and the coat over her dress provided a polished look that didn't look like she was dressed for the Arctic. Big win. :) 

Royal British Legion




Kate Pictured on a School Run With George

Friday, November 10, 2017

We heard a couple of days ago that with the return of her health, Kate has been doing the school-run with George. Many have wondered what the Duchess might wear to drop-off or pick-up duty at the school gates. Although we don't know what she wears every day, on Halloween she wore her Monreal track pants and Playbrave jacket.  I assume this photo was taken the on Halloween, because her ensemble is absolutely the same all the way down to her pony--I speak no German.  Thanks to Zara who drew my attention to this image, and to Marina who tracked down a clear image of Kate! Gala ran this photo this week and to my understanding it is still on the stands! 



Kate has George's Thomas's Battersea backpack slung over her shoulder, and the little prince looks more enthused than he did on his first day as he strides confidently forward wearing what appear to be gym clothes. Based on Google translation, it isn't clear to me if this is Kate before or after her event. My thought is it is afterward, because don't most kids have gym toward the end of their day rather than the beginning?  [Below, Kate at the LTA either before or after the school run...] Plus, Kate's ponytail looks like it is getting a little tired. 


It is just a little picture, but still so fun to see Kate enjoying her favorite role: mom. Ok, remember we have the Festival of Remembrance tomorrow night and Cenotaph on Sunday. Because it is a busy weekend of Kate, there won't be a "Coffee & Kate" this weekend. See you soon!


* [The Instagram operator has refused to divulge the name of the magazine that published this photo. If you know which German magazine printed this photo please get in touch with me!] Thank you, Marina! 

Kate Wore GOAT for Place2Be Forum

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Today, Kate was up and out early with a morning engagement at the Place2Be's School Leaders Forum. The Princess pulled out a new GOAT dress in an autumnal burgundy and paired it with some previously seen accessories for a very classic Kate Middleton Maternity ensemble. 


Place2Be is a patronage with which we are all very familiar. The Duchess has been promoting the charity's work for four years now. You probably remember her appearance in April of 2013 while pregnant with George, so it is fun to see her back today and pregnant again! 


Today, George is a happy four year old, has a rambunctious sister, and Kate has a third on the way. Time is moving along fast, but, these past four years as a mother have provided Kate a bit of background to address her charity's focus.  The Duchess to advocate for support and early detection of mental health issues in young children (see video at bottom of post).

KP

I happened to wear this same wine color today, and when I popped on the elevator to get coffee, an attorney in the elevator mentioned that a number of women in our building were wearing the same color, too. I secretly believe that we all checked our phones this morning, saw Kate, and reached for our burgundy outfits. Sadly, I couldn't take a poll, but I am sure that is what it was. 



As mentioned, this is another GOAT London dress. GOAT is such an unusual label in Kate's closet. Obviously it isn't Tier I, but I wouldn't have labeled it Tier II. I think that is because it is predominantly a maternity label for Kate now. It didn't start that way, and she has several non-maternity pieces, but she has worn a GOAT piece for both her first and second pregnancies. Because it doesn't crop up all that often, seeing it in both pregnancies, and now with this third, makes it a maternity label in my mind.


The GOAT style suits Kate's maternity preferences, surely. Kate likes higher hemlines and generally loose silhouettes when she is expecting. Today's dress is the Eloise and it checks all those boxes. Super, super simple with just a row of shiny buttons and a sixties style neckline to give it flare, this is right in the typical GOAT profile, and right in Kate's maternity wheelhouse.


The Duchess accessorized with her black Mulberry Bayswater clutch, her Empress earrings from Mappin & Webb, and wore her new Tod's block heels with her pre-marriage signature black stockings. This was a super, super Kate Middleton look.


To me, this is Kate's first real event back on her game. She had those first few events where she was out earlier than she probably preferred, but getting into the swing of things, and then a few where she seemed back to normal, but still accompanied by William, and then last night's gala dinner was a special event, but today we are back to business. Also, seeing Kate pregnant and in that fashion mode is taking me back to 2014/2015 and even 2013. That is always fun. 


This is a win. It isn't a home run. For me, GOAT is generally a little too unstructured. I don't think I have loved any one of the maternity pieces she has worn from GOAT, but this is certainly the best of the three. Kate's coloring is incredible in this merlot and I always like to see the opaque stockings and suede heels in winter. It wasn't too short and the collar scored big points with me, so it wins, it just isn't a walk-off.



We need to get back to the tour recap, right? This weekend! 

Kate Wears DVF's Zarita for Third Time at Orangery Anna Freud Gala

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Kate attended the Anna Freud Centre's gala dinner this evening at the Orangery at Kensington Palace. I was hoping she would wear something new, but there was really only one option in my mind if she was going to recycle and ta-da, she wore it. Ladies and gentlemen, the DVF Zarita got a three-peat tonight. 



I exaggerate by saying it was the only choice, because Kate could have worn her ink-blue Jenny Packham, but I think that dress has had its time in the sun. It is hard to imagine a more triumphant wear than the glamorous December night on the steps of the Met in New York. Best to go out on a high-note--that's my philosophy. A reporter the other day asked me about Kate's most iconic ensembles, and this should have been one of my responses. 


The Zarita debuted just before Kate's trip to New York and its first wear challenged the Jenny P in glamor and wow-factor. Kate wore this lace dress to the Royal Variety Performance in 2014, and styled it with a sophisticated up-do, jaw-dropping earrings from Kiki McDonough, and her special pregnancy glow. The young couple were standing in for the Queen, which was a real honor and a symbol they were shifting gears toward more active senior status. 


She wore it again shortly afterward to a private wedding near her old apartment in Chelsea.


The Zarita was the perfect choice for tonight, because the elegant gown has plenty of stretch. Kate was pregnant with Charlotte when she wore it to the Royal Variety and she was showing even more  tonight, but the dress accommodated her figure flawlessly. 


Kate's hair was perfectly coiffed and she was wearing darker lipstick than usual, which added the perfect polish to her ensemble. 


The Duchess carried her black Prada clutch, and wore her Diamond Frame earrings on loan from the Queen. Perhaps of greatest interest to fashionistas, she debuted a new bracelet from the Queen's jewel vault.  The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor has a jewelry blog on which she covers all the bling of our favorite royal ladies, and she reports that this is Her Majesty's Diamond Quatrefoil Bracelet, which has almost never been seen! She describes it thus:
The wide diamond bracelet features multiple diamond quatrefoil motifs, the four-lobed design popular in architecture, art, heraldry, and elsewhere. Each quatrefoil outline is filled with five individual diamonds.
I don't want to ruffle any feathers by saying this, but I almost always wonder if KP deliberately shares the worst angles and the most unhelpful social media posts. This clip is super short and with her back to the camera, Kate is barely identifiable. Any millennial worth his or her salt knows to delete this and get a better angle. You think I am joking, but I am not. I genuinely wonder (more often than you'd think) if the Palace has some plot to produce sub-par social media. 



Anyway, the royal reporters showed up for duty and Victoria Murphy shared this video. It's dark, too, but it is from the side. We can see her profile, even hear her voice. Taking tips, KP?


Anna Freud Centre
The verdict is a win. This dress is so elegant, and as I mentioned when she wore it while pregnant with Charlotte, I love how it doesn't try to mask Kate's pregnancy. Instead, it celebrates and flatters her, which is the right strategy. This is not terribly important, but I haven't loved Kate's new cut, but  tonight her hair was the best it has looked since she trimmed it. I hope she grows it out more, but tonight was a win. 


P.S. A side note on the venue...sort of. Orangeries are basically greenhouses--or for BritLit fans, conservatories--and they are where various flora winter away from all the frostbite. KP's orangery is now used for other purposes, but the tall windows and stone floors make it a romantic venue. But...pop over the Channel to Paris and the Versailles L'Orangerie is still in business. I think a lot of guests miss it, even though they are standing directly above it, because it is tucked directly under the primary terrace. 

Versailles FB

It crossed my mind, because just yesterday Chateau de Versailles shared pictures of the first frost...



...and announced the trees were being moved inside to keep cozy until spring. Another year tucked away... 



Ok kids, that's the skinny on Kate, a little extra on Orangeries for free, and my best wishes for sweet dreams. See you tomorrow for Kate's Place2Be appearance!