Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Duchess in White Lace McQueen & Queen's Earrings for Royal Ascot!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen for day one of Royal Ascot this afternoon.

The royals arrived in the carriage procession.

William and Kate travelled in the third royal carriage today with The Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh travelled in carriage 1 with The Duke of York and Lord Vestey.

Carriage 2 arrived with The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie while Peter and Autumn Phillips and Lord Fellowes and Lady Jane Fellowes travelled in Carriage 4. Of course Lady Jane is one of Diana's older sisters.

A video showing the carriage procession.

There was quite a funny moment when Sophie lost her balance as she stood up to exit the carriage and fell into Kate's arms. The two had a good giggle about it judging from the photo. More from The Telegraph "The Countess of Wessex was lucky she fell near a safe pair of hands at the Royal Ascot. The Royal fell into the arms of the Duchess of Cambridge, who looked shocked. However, shock soon turned into mirth as the pair were seen laughing as Prince William smiled in the background."

The Cambridges made their debut at the prestigious event last year in honour of Her Majesty's 90th birthday. Knowing how much the Queen loves Ascot, it seemed the perfect time to enjoy an afternoon at the racecourse, located just six miles from Windsor Castle. The couple's attendance today would seem to confirm suggestions it's an event we'll see on their calendar with some regularity moving forward.

A minute's silence was held before the start of racing following the recent terror attacks and Grenfell Tower fire.The racecourse says it will also make a £100,000 donation to charities helping those who have been affected. Racecourse chairman Johnny Weatherby said: "We have all been deeply saddened by recent tragic events around the country. At the beginning of this important week for racing, we wish to pay our respects to the victims and offer support to the families who have been so terribly affected."

A video of the sombre moment.

The Duchess warmly greets Zara Tindall.

Kate and Zara share a laugh as they chat before the races commence. Mike and Zara Tindall always come across as incredibly warm and down to earth, I think William and Kate greatly enjoy their company.

In The Queen's message to racegoers she wrote "I always look forward to my time at Royal Ascot. In 1711, Queen Anne declared Ascot to be "ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch". Ever since, the finest horses have raced here and that will certainly be the case again this week".

A very nice shot of William and Kate mingling with guests.

Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton were also there.

It looks like Carole wore the same Jane Corbett hat from the royal wedding with the pacific blue Devon Sweet-Heart Neckline Dress by Goat.

Below, we see Kate and Carole with Laura Meade. Laura's husband James is one of William's closest friends and one of Princess Charlotte's godparents. It's an exciting time for the couple who will be welcoming a new arrival to the family in the coming months.

Does Laura's ensemble look familiar? If so, it's because it's the same look she wore for Pippa's wedding last month. James and Laura Meade are pictured at the wedding with another of Charlotte's godparents - Sophie Carter.

The Duke and Duchess presented a trophy to the winner of the King's Stand Stakes.

The marching band performing near the Bandstand Lawn.

It looks like the Duke and Duchess very much enjoyed the afternoon.

Day One of Royal Ascot is widely acknowledged to be amongst the best racing days anywhere in the world with three Group One races and Ascot’s premier two-year-old race, the Group Two Coventry Stakes. Over 300,000 people make the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making this Europe’s best-attended race meeting. It is a major event in the British social calendar.

There are three enclosures attended by guests on Royal Ascot week. The Royal Enclosure is the most prestigious of the three, with recent visits by the Queen and Royal family members. Access to the Royal Enclosure is restricted, with high security on the day.

Not only is Royal Ascot a highlight on the racing calendar, it's also synonymous with sartorial elegance. Ascot shared on their website "This is upheld by our dress code, which invites guests to contribute to an occasion heralded as a major fashion event in its own right. We are delighted to bring you a selection of looks put together to guide and inspire you what to wear to the Royal Meeting." For the Royal Enclosure ladies are asked to note that formal daywear is a requirement. Dresses and skirts should be of modest length and jackets. For the first time this year, women will be able to wear jumpsuits in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot this summer following a change to the dress code. Organisers said the acceptance of the jumpsuit reflected Ascot's "awareness of seasonal trends".

Last year, Kate selected her white lace Dolce & Gabbana dress teamed with a Jane Taylor hat, Gianvito Rossi 'Praline' Pumps and the L.K. Bennett Natalie Clutch.

Kate opted for a white lace dress again this year - this time by her favourite brand Alexander McQueen. The white cotton blend and silk lace dress features delicate pleats, a high neck, three-quarter sleeves and a flared skirt.

Kate's Closet correctly notes Kate's is based on the off-the-rack dress seen below. It is available at FarFetch in limited sizes for $1,853. It's also available at Harrods.


A closer look at the floral detail.


The Duchess wore a new bespoke hat. 

A closer look at Kate's updo.

Kate accessorised with the Queen's Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings.

In 1947 the then Princess Elizabeth received seven larger pearls from the ruler of Bahrain, and two of the pearls were used to create the beautiful pair of earrings.

From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault

From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault reports: "The earrings each contain one large round diamond and four smaller ones, three baguette diamonds, and a Bahrain pearl dangling below. The Queen seems to have worn them mainly in the early years of her reign; they were later unearthed for the Buckingham Palace summer exhibit marking her 60th wedding anniversary." More recently they were loaned to the Countess of Wessex and now the Duchess of Cambridge.

From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault /i-images

Kate carried a new clutch today by Loeffler Randall (with thanks to the talented ladies over at What Kate Wore FB).

The $275 bag is described as "Loeffler Randall's 'Tab' clutch is handcrafted from lizard-effect leather in a soft blush hue. Perfect for day or night, this design opens to a surprisingly spacious twill-lined interior complete with a zipped pocket for smaller items." The piece is sold out in blush but remains available in ivory (reduced to $144) at Saks Fifth Avenue and in a texture-rich melon and ivory (reduced by 40%) at ShopBop.


Kate wore her Gianvito Rossi 'praline' pumps again this year. They remain available at My Theresa.

My Theresa

And a look at Kate's name badge.

I loved Kate's dress today; though she opted for white lace again, the structure and elements of the dress were quite different and, I felt, superior to the Dolce & Gabbana worn last year. The high neck, peplum detail and full skirt made the garment a perfect choice for Ascot. Are we seeing the beginning of a tradition of Kate wearing white to the prestigious races? What do you think of the look?


Before closing, we have a couple of brief updates to share. Kensington Palace announced today, the Duchess will visit the Victoria & Albert Museum on Thursday, 29 June to open the new V&A Exhibition Road Quarter.

And our lovely reader Natalia emailed to share news the red and navy Petit Bateau top Kate wore in Vogue has been updated and re-released. The updated version is identical to Kate's except the navy stripes are thicker. The top is available at Petit Bateau for £39 and Zalando (discounted by 40%) for £23.

What are the odds of seeing William and Kate at Ascot again this week? Should they choose to attend again, the Duke of Cambridge stakes runs tomorrow.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

It's Pink McQueen & the Queen's Earrings for Trooping the Colour

It was a sunny morning in London as the Royal family assembled for a magnificent display of pomp, pageantry and tradition for the Queen's birthday parade - Trooping the Colour.

The Duchess of Cambridge travelled in a horse-drawn carriage with Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cornwall.

A wave from the Duchess.

Crowds at the Palace enjoying the sunshine.

Recent tragic events and the current mood in parts of Britain were clearly very much on everyone's mind. In a thoughtful message, Her Majesty wrote:

Today is traditionally a day of celebration. This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies. As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all who have been directly affected by these events. During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.
Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity. United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.

Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh observed a minute's silence at the King's Door before the first of the Birthday Parade carriage processions left Buckingham Palace. For the first time, the Duke opted for morning dress instead of military uniform.

Although the Queen's birthday is 21 April, it has long been tradition to celebrate the sovereign's birthday publicly on a day in June, when good weather is more likely. Her Majesty has attended Trooping the Colour every year since 1947 except in 1955 when a national rail strike cancelled the event.

The background of the prestigious annual event? Trooping the Colour actually originated in traditional preparations for battle. Colours, or flags, were trooped down the rank so they could be seen by the soldiers. In 1748, it was announced the parade would also mark the sovereign's official birthday.

The event is steeped in royal history and tradition. The Royal Collection Trust shared this photo of the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret & 3-year-old Prince Charles travelling back from Trooping the Colour in 1951.

An enormous amount of planning and preparation goes into ensuring the annual event runs as smoothly as possibly. Over 1,400 officers and military personnel are on parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and corps of drums march and play as one. Some 113 words of command are given by the Officer in Command of the Parade. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along the Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.

The Army in London

On horseback were Prince William, Colonel of the Irish Guards; Prince Charles, Colonel of the Welsh Guards; and the Princess Royal, Colonel of the Blues and Royals.

At precisely 12.52 pm, gun salutes were fired across the capital: the Honourable Artillery Company fired from the Tower of London and the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired from Green Park.

As always, it was a magnificent display.

I spy a little Prince and Princess taking a peek before their official appearance :)

A highlight of Trooping is always seeing so many members of the family gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. It has become even more interesting with the addition of George and Charlotte.

I love this photo; there's quite a bit going on with Kate fixing George's hair with one hand and holding Charlotte with the other. William is keeping a close eye on George while Charlotte looks like she could do with a nap :)

It's always lovely to see those little family moments.

Below, a lovely shot of the Cambridge family.

William and Kate lifted George and Charlotte onto a step to ensure they had a good view of the flypast.

An overview of the balcony.

The complete royal turnout.

Isla and Savannah Philips made their debut.

Kate and Prince Philip share a laugh.

A beautiful mother-daughter photo.

A big smile from Princess Charlotte.

Those expressions :)

Another sweet shot.

A dramatic sight as the flypast approaches.

A great video from the flypast.

The royals headed back inside afterwards.

The Queen's birthday honours list was released last night. More from the Telegraph:

'The honourees this year include the policeman killed after confronting the Westminster attacker outside Parliament and the heroic passer-by stabbed trying to protect MP Jo Cox. Billy Connolly was given a knighthood and actress Julie Walters was made a dame. Oscar-winner Olivia de Havilland, who turns 101 next month, is the oldest woman to become a dame in this centenary year of the modern-day honours system.
Those also honoured from the world of entertainment include chart-topper Ed Sheeran and comedian David Walliams. Twenty years after he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Paul McCartney is being upgraded with a Companion of Honor award for services to music, alongside J.K. Rowling for her services to literature and philanthropy, in the queen's Birthday Honors list. Britain's last surviving Dambuster, who has been awarded an MBE, said he is very grateful to the thousands of people who signed a petition calling for his wartime service to be recognised.'

Kate's private secretary Rebecca Priestley has been made MVO (Member of the Royal Victorian Order) by the Queen. It's an award Her Majesty gives independently of government and recognises distinguished personal service to the Royal family. Rebecca is moving on from her role later this summer, so it's a very nice thank you from the Royal family for her service.

Peter Hunt Twitter Feed

The Duchess was pretty in pink today, opting for what we believe is an Alexander McQueen creation.

The garment appears to be a bespoke version of the brand's Paperbag Waist Dress (with many thanks to Perth Fashion). The original sleeveless design was described: "Pink silk-cotton-wool blend pleated skirt skater dress from Alexander McQueen featuring a round neck, a concealed rear zip fastening and a short length."


A closer look at the distinctive paperbag waist.

Kate's elegant pink hat is by milliner Jane Taylor (with thanks to Anna).

The Duchess added the Queen's sparkling diamond pendant earrings to the look. Her Majesty's Jewel Vault reports: "This pair of diamond pendant earrings includes a pendant of separate stones hanging within a diamond frame. These appeared at the 2012 State Opening of Parliament, but have no publicly known provenance as of yet."

Below, the Duchess wearing them at the 2015 Place2Be Awards and the 2016 Diplomatic Reception. I think they are a fabulous addition to her jewellery box!

And Kate carried her Etui Bags clutch.

You can watch a video below.

Hope you're all enjoying the weekend!