Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kate Attends Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards in Custom Jenny Packham

This might have been the longest, nail-biting wait we have had to endure before seeing a picture of Kate's arrival anywhere other than the steps of the Lindo Wing. That's a lie. I thought as I sat at Reagan International glued to my live stream that I would die waiting to see her deplane in New Zealand. So, this comes in third place. After multiple written descriptions from reporters on the scene we finally got our first visual and it left me completely...surprised.

I kind of want to just talk about the clothes, but let's do a quick gallop around the surroundings to get our bearings before we dig in deep on the fashion analysis. Kate was attending the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards at the Natural History Museum in London. The Duchess is patron of the Natural History Museum, and as I noted on an earlier posts, pops in "often." Her previous visits have included a recycle of her popular lace Temperley:

The green Mulberry:

And, of course, Baby Georgie's 1st birthday photos:

As you also know, the Natural History Museum is an absolutely stunning building architecturally. Built between 1873-1880, it is striking in its interior detail.  Decorated for the night of the awards ceremony, with candles flickering along the vaulted ceilings, it must have been quite impressive in person.

Before the Party... @NHM_London

One guest tweeted a photo from his table, giving us a sense of the atmosphere once "lights, camera, action" had been applied.

Jetske van der Greef Twitter 

To the dress. First just the facts. Kate wore a bespoke Jenny Packham evening gown in baby blue. With 3/4 length sleeves, the dress was a wrap style that looked ordinary enough at rest...

...but in motion revealed a slit that ran to the waist exposing a shorter underskirt. Love it, or hate it, this had va. va. VOOM. 

With a dress that showcased her legs so thoroughly, Kate wore possibly her loudest evening shoes. These LK Bennett stilettos, with their prominent bows, could not be described as wall-flowers. She debuted them on her first formal evening after her marriage with another striking Jenny P, the ARK Gala dress.

She also showcased a new clutch--the second new clutch of the day--this time a McQueen that seems to have been customized.

McQueen Clutch via Splash News

Kate debuted some new bling, wearing Monica Vinader's Riva Diamond Cluster Drop Earrings (£745) and the matching Riva Diamond Cluster Bib (£2,000). While the company has now announced they will be selling the necklace on their website and it is available for pre-order, when Kate debuted the piece it was available exclusively at Harrods. So, perhaps we know where Kate got this...or maybe she received this lovely set as a gift from someone?

Monica Vinader 

This is not an ordinary Kate Middleton dress. I am thinking of times when she wore something that left me similarly "thrown for a loop" and I am not coming up with a lot of options. Maybe the silver, one-shouldered Packham... For its time, it was a little unusual.

I don't know. Don't (virtually) toss anything at me for saying this, and it isn't a necessarily negative reflection, but the underskirt and the shoes with the straps make me think '90s. I know that usually isn't good, but in my mind the '90s vibe is mixed with Princess Diana--more specifically this stunning Jacques Azagury. This is one of my favorite cocktail dresses on Diana... 

I was just thinking about Kate and slits this morning. She seems to really like the trend, probably because a slit "ups" the ante on the sexy factor, but in a subtle way. (yes, those two can go together!) Unless, you are Angelina Jolie and you pose with an outstretched limb, which is pretty straight-forward, but in other instances, it is relatively subtle. 

Tonight might have been a little less subtle, but no less stunning. I would say that in terms of evening apparel, this is the most unusual that Kate has worn to date. In the end, though, it actually isn't all that out of character for Kate. At first blush, the dress is extremely minimalistic and very reminiscent of the white Roland Mouret, especially noticeable from the back. The jersey like texture of the fabric and the folds around the waist where the wrap meets is also reminiscent of her earlier preference for Issa wraps. It's a lot like Kate: demure on the outside and super sexy on the inside.

If I could change one thing about her appearance this evening it would be to sweep her hair up. It fell into her face a little too much, despite its bouncy perfection, and up it would have really made this quite an eye-popping look. I am going to kind of amuse myself and call it a hit. It is not my favorite. I will not be pining for a recycle, nor will it hit the SuperStarLook category, but it was bold and fresh and it knocked the socks off of people, which is exactly what a princess who has been sick for over a month should do. I liked it because it surprised me and because she looked so darn good in it.

Kate Joins William Welcoming Singapore President and Mrs. Tony Tan to London

Kate made her first public appearance today since she fell ill with hyperemesis gravidarum. It has been exactly 11 weeks since she placed her poppy at the Tower of London before her August holiday commenced, and it feels like an equal eternity since she was pictured returning to London at the end of August days before her pregnancy was announced. Although, there had been concern that Kate might not be able to make this event, after she was spotted smiling and well at an evening visit to her doctor, followed in a few days by a visit to a pub with William, it was clear that the princess was finally going to make an appearance in public. Suffice it to say, this morning held far more excitement than many other royal appearances.

Kate and William had a pretty strict timetable, to which they adhered with clocklike precision. The ducal couple arrived at the Royal Garden Hotel around 11:40am to greet Singapore President Tony Tan and his wife Mary. Kate commented on the markedly different London climate, saying it was much colder than the last time they had met. The heat had been a bit of a concern on Kate's visit to SouthEast Asia, and I remember being amazed at how she kept her cool while so many others around her seemed to be melting. When Mr. Tan remarked that he was glad Kate could make the morning, she had a heartfelt reply: "So am I. I've been looking forward to getting out of the house, that's for sure."

The troops had assembled at the Horse Guards and it was time to head to meet the Queen. 

William and Kate accompanied their guests by car to the Royal Horse Guards where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were waiting with a ceremonial welcome.

From the Horse Guards, the royals travelled by carriage up the Mall to Buckingham Palace. Kate and William travelled in the Scottish State Coach. This historic coach was built in 1830 for Prince Adolphus who was the tenth child of King George III. Prince Adolphus also happened to be the 1st Duke of Cambridge. The coach has made the rounds, leaving the royal family for a period before it was gifted back to Queen Mary. It has undergone renovations and Scottish symbolism was added in the 1960's, including the thistles along the top, and the crown of Scotland. The Queen rode in this carriage from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace at the Royal Wedding. From its original occupant, the 1st Duke of Cambridge, to its current association to the Order of the Thistle (in which William was invested) and its dedication to Scotland where William and Kate met and fell in love, it is certainly an appropriate carriage for the two.

William stayed for lunch, but Kate slipped away.  I imagine she would like some downtime to rest and prepare for her evening appearance tonight at the Natural History Museum, but it is also probable that given her pregnancy she would rather avoid situations where a host of sights and smells, appealing enough to the average individual, could make her feel unwell.

Of course, the big questions was...what would Kate wear? Naturally she was going to debut something new, since this is her first appearance in such a long while, the public attention is so heightened because of her pregnancy, and very importantly because of the formality of the occasion. Kate has never taken part in a diplomatic welcome of this nature, so it is certainly a royal milestone for her.

She wore a custom Alexander McQueen coat dress for her comeback to royal duties. Kate chose material used in McQueen's collections, but had the dress designed just for her.   It is very much in her preferred style and McQueen's specialty: fitted bodice, full a-line skirt, and folds to the coat. These are details that McQueen used in both Kate's wedding dress and the white Trooping coat that she subsequently wore to the Order of the Garter ceremony.

Most of all, however, this dress strikes me as the tartan McQueen 2.0. They have the same marks of a shared point of inspiration, which probably springs from the collaboration between Kate and McQueen.

I was thrilled to see that Jane Taylor's stunning hat designed for Kate's sunny Easter morning in Australia was getting a second wear. 

We were just discussing this hat recently and musing on possible recycles that would do it justice. Pairing it again with grey and black accessories was a smart move on Kate's part and I think the two worked together well. I had wondered if this hat, which is a bit of an attention grabber to begin with, would clash with anything beyond the simplest of coats, but it played quite nicely with Kate's plaid this morning. The Duchess completed the ensemble with black Prada pumps, an as yet unidentified clutch, and chose her Mappin & Webb Empress pendant and Annoushka Pearl Drops to add some sparkle. [Update: What Kate Wore readers have identified this clutch at a Jenny Packham piece-the Roxy style. I think this is the first time she has carried a clutch by Jenny P, but I could be overlooking something...]

Kate looked fantastic today. While she wasn't very visibly showing, (the construction of the dress was just suited to minimize without deliberately trying to hide, her status) it was still quite clear that she is pregnant. Frankly, she still looked a little unwell to me. While she seemed in high spirits, she has been sick for many, many weeks and I imagine it will take her a few more weeks of normal routine before she has fully kicked the lingering fatigue. But, all around, a fashion hit. Kate was able to successfully recycle a tricky hat with her new McQueen coat and I always love the soft greys and neutrals on Kate. By pulling her hair back into a low, elegant ponytail, she added just enough of the "exotic" to make the whole look really pop.

I am sorry this was so slow in getting up. Oddly, I found myself very slow out of the starting box this morning: seeing Kate, processing her outfit, and transitioning back to a real-time post. August 5th was the last time we had an actual appearance--that seems so long ago and also just like yesterday. It's good to be back in the swing of things... Don't forget we will be seeing Kate very soon as she attends the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards this evening at the Natural History Museum. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Palace Announces Kate's Due Month, AND A Royal Engagement at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards

Happy Monday! The day dawned beautifully with the much anticipated press release from the Palace officially confirming what has been suspected for some time: Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child in April of 2015. As is always the case, they did not (and will not) release an actual due date. The second little Cambridge could be due any day of April, although we suspect given Kate's evening rendezvous at 148 Harley Street, that she is due mid to late April.

Still, this will leave us in a bit of a tough spot. Just like the Lindo Wing Watch started on the very 1st of July, April could prove to be quite the long stake-out. No one wants to bet the wrong way and miss out, plus the likelihood that Kate will deliver earlier than her due date only increases with subsequent pregnancies. All I ask is that the baby not be born on the 29th of April, because I do not like to mix my royal holidays. Let us spread the fun around. 

Kate will most definitely not be at the State banquet on Tuesday night, since the Palace caught two birds with one stone and announced in the same press release that Kate has a conflicting engagement that evening:
The Duchess of Cambridge will also attend the Wildlife Photographer of The Year 2014 Awards Ceremony at the Natural History Museum on Tuesday 21st October. Further details will be released in due course.

Kate often bundles her engagements when she feels well, either doubling up on the day of, or performing multiple engagements on consecutive or nearly consecutive days. It is a smart strategy to utilize that interrupted time and maximize the effort she has to put into hair, etc. On this occasion, however, it even further suggests that she is quite on the mend. Planning an evening event after her busy morning welcoming the Singapore State Visit contingent suggests that she is not worried about feeling overly fatigued come evening.

Kate Arrives at the Natural History Museum 

To make matters even more exciting, while no tiara will be needed at the awards event, it is entirely possible that Kate will be wearing an evening gown. If she is, it will be the first time the Duchess has worn a floor length while pregnant. Of course there is the possibility she would wear a shorter skirt, as she has done to evening events in the past, but I am hoping the venue, so majestic and imposing, will push her to choose the more formal route.

Lastly, as you may or may not have seen reported last night on my Twitter feed, several enthusiastic fans spotted William and Kate at a pub just a few nights ago. 

A young man had also tweeted about the sighting, but has since deleted his tweet. Probably, he found himself overwhelmed by the outpouring of fan-joy he received from starved Kate watchers. Poor guy...

Tomorrow is stacked up to be a very fantastic day. I know everyone here is just as excited as I am to finally get a proper Kate appearance. Immensely looking forward to it... try to keep calm and carry on for the remainder of today. ;) 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Special Report: Are The Doctor's Appointment Photos Old?

There has been much speculation about the photos of William and Kate at their supposed 12-week scan on Wednesday night. The primary questions seem to be... who took the photos, professional or wandering iPhone addict? And, are these actually recent shots, or were they taken when Kate was pregnant with Georgie? 

We will start with the most important question. Are these recent? Counsel for the opposition argues that the photos appear to have been taken on a very cold night, with some pointing to the appearance of slush on the ground and arguably frost or ice on the windshield of parked cars.

New York Daily News

All relevant observations, but I ask why? We have seen old photos of Kate surface before, still when a paper is presumably paying a significant amount of money for exclusives, I generally assume they check to be sure they aren't being fleeced by the photographer. So...I wonder why, if these were taken when Kate was pregnant with George, did they not surface while Kate was pregnant with George? Although UK papers won't run photos of this nature, any number of those dastardly Americans will. 

Dr. Setchell (middle), Dr. Farthing (right)

My partial blind faith in newspaper editors aside, Kate's primary doctor when pregnant with George was Marcus Setchell, but her primary doctor for this pregnancy is Dr. Alan Farthing. Why, then, were these photos very clearly taken on a visit to Alan Farthing at his office in Harley Street, instead of Dr. Setchell? While Alan Farthing was part of the team for George's birth, and so she could have visited his office, it seems more likely she would have been at Setchell's office.

I am relatively unmoved by the remarks that Kate is dressed too warmly for London weather. Kate always bundles up when the temperature gets nippy, and even more so when pregnant. For a brief moment, William's purple jumper gave me pause. It seems the same one he wore to the hospital when Kate was first hospitalized for HG with George. Only a brief moment, though, given that man's proclivity to hang onto the same pair of trainers for years upon years, this is hardly the ace in the hole.

The crucial question seems to be...did it rain on the night of October 15th? Glare and the grainy nature of the photos could make wet cars look icy and shiny pavement look like slush. So, did it rain?

It rained. 

As I write, it is the lovely morning of October 18th. Three days ago it was the 15th. 3 days ago, @ashpod84 was getting tired of the rain and posted a video on Instagram to express her frustration:

The same night, @bronyawebb enjoyed the precipitation in London's Shoreditch neighborhood. Notice the slick pavement and the glare from the street lamps.

I was not there, I cannot say with absolute certainty that these photos were taken on the 15th, but none of the arguments against them are holding water for me--pun entirely and obnoxiously intended.  Certainly, there is no evidence that positively contradicts the proffered date of October 15th. Until more information surfaces to prove these photos are old, there is no positive argument against them.

The second consideration, were these photos professionally taken or did someone randomly walking by get very lucky. I think they are professional and I think someone was waiting for the Cambridges, not chancing upon them. 

The time between Kate's car stopping and her popping out and into the office would not have been long. A passing tourist or local yokel, minding his or her own business, and navigating the rainy sidewalk, probably would not have been alert enough to surroundings to recognize the famous lady, whip out a camera phone and take the relatively good shot of Kate smiling as she entered the office.  

The quality does not preclude a professional. Frankly, for a rainy night, and what appears to be a relative distance, these are not terrible shots. We have seen similar quality before from professional paps. Cast your mind back to a balmy night in July of 2009. William and Kate left a quiet dinner at a cozy pub, and in the car park William decided the time was ripe for a quick kiss. In the video, you can hear the camera snapping, and both the video and still shots share a similar low-res nature to the October 15th shots. This is to be expected, after all, it's dark and popping flashes might not be the most subtle approach for a lurking pap. (warning: video not for the faint-of-stalking-heart)

Lastly, did William and Kate tip-off the photographer to garner good press? I don't quibble before saying, I reject the theory entirely. Everyone and their brother had a pretty good sense of how far along Kate was, so we all knew the 12-week mark was any day. Everyone also knows Dr. Farthing is the lead on this pregnancy, and his office location is a matter of public record. This would have been an easy stake-out, if the spirit moved one to add to his vacation fund.

Ok, kids. Sherlock needs more coffee and some breakfast. This was a Saturday Special Report. I welcome alternate theories and suggestions, and details I have overlooked, but as always, keep the conversation classy and polite, s'il vous plaît.

Have a lovely weekend! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kate and William Snapped Attending Her 12-Week Scan Appointment with Dr. Farthing

Wow, this has been quite a wait. Long, long weeks have slowly passed since we last saw Kate, so I think the entire Kate community was over the moon to see the New York Daily News' three photos of the Cambridges at an evening appointment on October 15th. The two were visiting Dr. Alan Farthing in London.

Perhaps the best part was Kate's big smile. She looks so happy and healthy--these photos skyrocket the likelihood that we will see her next week for the Singapore visit. This was almost assuredly her 12-week scan, and William was pictured as he left holding an envelope that probably contained the snaps of the future little HRH. I noticed that Kate once again had her hair dressed very casually and pulled back in a super relaxed half-do, as she did on her date-night with William six weeks ago.


The photos were dark and grainy, but Kate was wearing jeans, what appeared to be a turtle-neck topped poncho/cape top, and mid-height, comfy boots. Could those be Uggs? Kate has worn Uggs before... It is also possible she was wearing her Aquatalia ankle boots. I feel about the furry Aquatalia ankle booties much the way I feel about the tartan Moloh coat. But, Kate is sick and pregnant, she can do whatever she wants. Sit down before you read this, but: today, I would sign off on the Dreaded Moloh, that's how pleased I am to see Kate up and smiling and happy.

I don't know what the top is yet, although she is a Temperley fan, so it could be their Honeycomb Poncho in Wildebeest--yes, Wildebeest. I have heard other guesses, @livelovelaughlvr suggested to me it could be Libélula. The fluted sleeves seem to suggest it is not Temperley's piece, while I am not convinced the the high turtleneck in the photos would match the Libélula. Unfortunately, due to the grainy nature of these long lens shots, we may not be able to come to a definitive conclusion.  This will be updated if we do.

Libélula & Temperley 

This sighting...and the sweet promise of public engagements to come in the near future...softens the blow of the evening's 100 Women in Hedge Funds annual evening of glitz and glam. Kate has attended the mid-autumn event two out of the three years of her marriage, as The Royal Trio are patrons. On October 16, 2011, William and Kate attended the 100 Women in Hedge Funds' evening in support of Child Bereavement Charity, of which William is a patron. This is assuredly a charity close to the Prince's heart, as he personally experienced the loss of a loved one as a child when his mother was tragically killed in Paris. Kate left a lot of jaws hitting the floor in this stunning Beulah evening gown:

If you cast back to this month last year, our radiant princess was the guest of honor at a Kensington Palace event where she debuted the ink blue Jenny Packham and wowed us all with her post-baby glow. That night, 100 Women in Hedge Funds was raising money that evening for Action of Addiction, one of Kate's charities.

Last night, Harry was on hand as the women raised money for his charity Well Child. With Harry on the scene, humor reigned supreme. The cheeky prince remarked:
I'm not entirely sure who made the seating plan, but I am sitting between two men. I thought it would just be 100 women and myself.
Oh, Harry. You never cease to charm me. You thought you really had it in the bag when you accepted this invite. C'est la vie, kiddo. Next time...

The Palace will not release a due date...ever. They didn't release one for George and you should not expect one on this pregnancy. They do announce the due-month once the first trimester has been completed, so I think we can safely assume we will be hearing very soon that the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is due in April of 2015. Since Kate should be over the worst of her hyperemesis gravidarum by her 13th week, I think we have well and truly made it through and that Kate will be rejoining us all and back in her regular swing very soon.

It has been a good day, a very good day. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pippa Middleton and Middleton Family Outing

Well, as we wait for Kate, a little Middleton sighting now and again is never an unwelcome occurrence. In this gallery from Just Jared, we don't just get Pippa, but the whole family along with an assortment of friends. James and girlfriend Donna, Mike, Carole, were all present at a cozy pub for  a meal with some light entertainment by the bubbly Pip. The outing also included what appeared to be a group bicycle ride. The only way Nico and Pippa could be cuter is if they had a bicycle built for two... 

Not related at all, but, the Prince of Wales is participating in The Campaign for Wool.
The Campaign for Wool is a global promotion initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales...By encouraging mutually rewarding collaboration between an international community of wool growers, manufacturers, retailers, the international design community of both interiors and fashion, as well as embracing the commercial craft sector and artisan community; it is unique in the way it has united a diverse network to promote real wool.

Brintons Instagram

I am a wool fan with the best of them, but my attention was particularly caught by this wool carpet by Brintons on display at the Southwark Cathedral. Does this pattern ring a bell? The carpet was made by Brintons by designed by one of Kate the Great's favorite labels: Erdem!

Should we have a countdown to the 21st? Le sigh... 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kate Takes On Royal Patronage of The 1851 Trust, Mulberry's Kensington Bag Makes Waves, Singapore Visit Set, Etc...

Good morning!  If you are in the United States, a very happy Columbus Day to you. Kate should have been with Sir Ben Ainslie today in Portsmouth for an event promoting the America's Cup. Had she, she would have been on hand for Sir Ben's launching of The 1851 Trust, of which it was announced Kate is Royal Patron. The 1851 Trust is the charitable branch of the effort to bring the America's Cup back to Britain; it is her 8th patronage.

The America's Cup left Britain in 1851 and has not been back. Sir Ben Ainslie is putting together a formidable effort to recapture the trophy, which should appeal to Kate's love of sport, patriotism, children, and...competition. In the press release, Kate said:
I am delighted to be Royal Patron of The 1851 Trust. I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age and I know it is a great way of providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence.

"It is a hugely exciting time for sailing as the British challenger bids to bring the America's Cup back to Britain. I am looking forward to being part of this journey and I hope that through the 1851 Trust we can engage and inspire a new generation into sailing along the way.
Again, the Duchess has shown significant reflection in taking on a charity that is so closely aligned with her personal interests and hobbies. We have discussed in the past what a keen sailor Kate is, in addition to her interest in finding ways to help young people grow. It really is a shame that Kate was not able to make this event, but having accepted being the Royal Patron, we will be seeing her at 1851 Trust events in the future.

While the Duchess continues to convalesce, one report claims she has returned to London after spending time with her family. This has not been widely confirmed. I read in some article that Kate's health has been "up and down." I do not know enough about hyperemesis gravidarum to know if it is possible that she could have good days and bad days. I hope that since it is triggered by hormones, that they fluctuate, and some days she is indeed feeling better, despite her obvious continued illness. Since she is probably around 12 weeks, the real hope is that she will pass the worst entirely within the next week. 

Heading to Canada: Kate carrying a Mulberry bag at Heathrow 

Onto tangential news...Kate has been a Mulberry fan for some years, both carrying their bags and wearing their clothes. Fashionista reported on a Mulberry ad campaign that got a little too close to the royals for their comfort. Mulberry were working on promoting their new Kensington bag:
 ...a chic bucket bag named for the neighborhood in which the brand's headquarters are located. It's also the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their progeny, Prince George.
Mulberry Facebook

After they hung some of the bags on the iconic gates of Kensington Palace and tweeted the shots, the brand got a call from officials, Fashionista reported:
"The image was taken without our permission and we requested that it be removed," a spokesperson for the Palace told the paper. Mulberry responded that the photo had been taken "in error."
While you may think this was a pretty small infraction for the palace to take issue with, aides to the Duke and Duchess have been taking measures for some time to ensure William and Kate are not used for commercial purposes.  When Kate got pregnant with George, the Cambridges and Harry all formed corporations whose purposes, among other things, are to protect intellectual property rights and the use of their names. Some details on the formation of these corporation, and the names they chose here

Precautions have been taken for more than just the Cambridges. In February of this year, the Telegraph reported that Buckingham Palace had gone on a web-domain buying spree, buying up domains for other members of the royal family, such as the Duke of York and Countess of Wessex. Whether they will use them in the future, or just hold them, is not clear. 
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: “We have purchased a number of URLs as a precautionary measure to stop others using them and in case we want to use them in the future.” 

As was quickly reported late last week, the schedule for the Singapore State visit was released and William and Kate were included. They will help to welcome the President and his wife to London. Richard Palmer of the Daily Express reported more details:
The second in line to the throne and his wife will be expected to greet the visiting couple at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington and then travel with them by car to Horse Guards Parade to make their first appearance at a ceremonial welcome for a visiting head of state...If she takes part in the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards, she would normally be expected to travel there by car but return to Buckingham Palace in a carriage procession along The Mall before attending a palace lunch for the visitors.
William and Kate turn into the Horse Guards 

Palmer reports that a decision about how much, if at all, the Duchess partakes in this welcome will be determined closer to the date, obviously taking her health into account. While we have been very much hoping that Kate and William might also attend the State banquet, Buckingham Palace has quietly told two royal reporters that the Duke and Duchess will not be at the State banquet in the evening. This means we will not see Kate in a formal gown and no tiaras will be sparkling. 

I am disappointed, but on reflection, not entirely shocked. William and Kate will have already taken a very prominent role in welcoming the President and his wife. This duty was diplomatically chosen, since they have already met and socialized with the two and so are the perfect choices to welcome the visitors. Still, I believe there is an ongoing and appropriate effort to maintain the hierarchy in the royal family. To keep the larger spotlight on the Queen and on the heir to the throne, while at the same time allowing William and Kate to stay more private while they are not the pivotal senior royals. They will play their part, but not dominate the headlines. 

Also making the news last week, as we kick about waiting to see Kate, was that the royal duo were elected lifelong members of the Marylebone cricket club. To be entirely candid, I think the only reason this caught my eye is because William and Kate played a little of the game while on tour. Kate cut quite a figure in her reworked Luisa Spagnoli and heels. Her expressive faces all came out to play, too, and pictures made the papers accompanied by all number of funny tag-lines. 

Secretly, though, anytime cricket is mentioned I think of my other favorite couple of all time and their little idyllic cricket moment before Julian Fellowes broke all our hearts. 

Back to royalty... The Queen made Angelina Jolie an honorary Dame Commander. I mention this only because Angelina wore the most beautiful suit to accept the honor at Buckingham Palace. Kate would look innn-credible in this stunning ensemble. Angelina is also spot on with this year's longer hemline trend. Love it:

And just for fun to close the post, @theduchesslife shared this photo on Twitter that made me laugh out loud. We haven't seen Kate out and about, but my gosh it is good to see that someone else loves William's trainers.

Have a wonderful Monday...