Friday, 23 January 2015

The Cambridges Jet to Mustique, Vote for Kate's Best Hat & More!

Hello, dear readers,

William, Kate and George woke up on the Caribbean island of Mustique today, kicking off their annual holiday to the paradise location with the Middleton family.

The royals were spotted arriving in St. Lucia en route from London. There's speculation photos were taken at the airport, but it remains to be seen if/when these will be published. However, it's possible Hello! will have an exclusive once again this year. Below we see Kate and Prince George arriving for last year's vacation...

Hello! Magazine

According to one passenger Prince George was very well behaved on the flight and occupied by a toy giraffe. It's been suggested by the informative Prince George Pieces, he may have been carrying one his grandfather Prince Charles received as a gift during an engagement.

It's a particularly special year in Mustique as Carole Middleton's 60th birthday will be celebrated on the island. No doubt Pippa will have very exciting party plans in the offing to mark the milestone birthday. It's a great opportunity for William and Kate to enjoy time in the sun with Prince George and the Middletons before their second child arrives in April.

More from royal reporter Victoria Murphy:

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

Early reports suggested they are once again staying at Aurora Villa.

Mustique Island
The stunning property boasts three bedroom suites, a pool, sun deck and sun lounges and staff including a butler, chef, maid and gardener.

Mustique Island

Not a bad place to spend a week or two!

Mustique Island

However the Mail Online claims they chose Villa Rocina.

Mustique Rocina

More from the Mail Online:

'It is understood that the family – accompanied by a team of Scotland Yard bodyguards – have taken over Villa Rocina.
Designed and built in 1971 in the style of a Caribbean plantation, it boasts its own 30ft pool as well as stunning views. 
Guests have only to walk a few feet from their garden to snorkel in the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea in front of the house.
Each bedroom has its own en-suite bath and dressing room, and the property has an air-conditioned gym for guests who can tear themselves away from the sun and sand. 
Four members of staff – a chef, a butler, a housekeeper and a gardener – will be on hand throughout the family’s stay to tend to their every whim. '

It looks like the perfect spot for relaxing family dinners with a spectacular view.

Mustique Rocina

We hope they all have a wonderful time!


For our second topic tonight, we're asking you to vote for 'Kate's Best Hat of 2014' (once again, tour hats are excluded as we held a poll for tour pieces last May).

Our first option is the appropriately green Gina Foster hat Kate wore on St. Patrick's Day. The talented milliner described the hat as "a hard shell beret with a large bow".

The Duchess wore her popular Lock & Co. 'Fairy Tale' hat for a wedding in March.

In Normandy, Kate teamed her cornflower-blue Alexander McQueen coat with her £295 black Sylvia Fletcher 'Salsa' fascinator.

Kate chose a pretty new hat for the Queen's Garden Party by Jane Corbett. It was specifically designed to match her bespoke McQueen lace dress.

At Trooping the Colour, HRH sported an icy-blue Jane Taylor hat.

The Duchess chose the 100% woven straw 'Sweet Delight' hat by Lock & Co. at the annual Order of the Garter ceremonies. It remains available for £875.

In August William, Kate and Harry travelled to Belgium to commemorate WWI. Kate chose the understated, elegant Fleur-Ruffle beret by Jane Taylor.

For her first official state role, the Duchess chose her dove-grey Jane Taylor hat.

It was a repeated black Jane Corbett hat for Remembrance Sunday.

And for Christmas Day Kate brought back her popular £245 'Betty Boop' beret by Lock & Co.

Vote for Kate's Best Hat of 2014 free polls

Finally, an update on Kate's popular L.K. Bennett 'Darwin' jacket. The brand has updated the jacket with a new season piece called the 'Casper' shearling jacket.

L.K. Bennett

More from the product description: 

'A shearling coat is a key investment for AW14 and Casper is exemplary. An update on last season's Darwin jacket, Casper has been made from the finest sheepskin and lining with sumptuously soft shearling, perfect for staying snug and stylish on cooler days.'

Fans of the brand may be interested to know there's still an ongoing sale on the US/Canada website with 40% off with the code '40SALE'.

L.K. Bennett
Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Kate in Beulah London for Weekend in Bucklebury!

Hello again, dear readers,

We're back with a brief post as the Duchess of Cambridge features on the cover of German newspaper Bild today.


Kate was photographed leaving local spar store Peach's in Bucklebury, Berkshire. The Duchess spent the weekend at the Middletons' Georgian mansion Bucklebury Manor. As we know Kate is incredibly close to her family and enjoys spending as much time as possible with them and they are obviously a very central part of George's upbringing.


The owners of Peach's were invited to the royal wedding in 2011. Shopkeeper Hasmukh Shingadia revealed before the wedding Kate regularly pops in for her favourite Haribo sweets and William is partial to mint Vienetta ice cream: "We've really got to know Kate. She is caring and she is not like a celebrity".

One excited onlooker spotted Kate, Pippa and Prince George in a traffic jam on the M4. She said Kate spotted her and waved: "She's stunning in real life". Below we see a very blurry pic taken by the royal fan (with many thanks to Ashley Marie). She also noted Prince William was travelling behind them in another vehicle. 

JB_85 via @LiveLoveLaughr

The Duchess looked stylish in Beulah London's 'Delaney' sweater.

Beulah London

The cosy knit is adorned with the brand's signature white love hearts. It is described as a "front panel jacquard crew neck jumper". It was on sale in grey reduced from £250 to £125 before selling out.

Beulah London

Beulah shared this snap on their instagram account several months ago. A perfect choice for a growing bump.

Beulah London Instagram

James Middleton's girlfriend Donna Air also wore the popular garment.

Beulah London Tumlbr

There are several other similar items on sale at Beulah London at the moment including the 'Twilight' sweater and 'Amala' scarf.

Beulah London

It's nice to see Kate spending time with her family and enjoying normality. We'll be back with our polls post next :)

Monday, 19 January 2015

UPDATED: Kate in Seraphine for Day of Engagements in Kensington!

It was a busy day for the Duchess of Cambridge who carried out three engagements in Kensington.

Following a relaxing weekend in Bucklebury with Prince George and the Middletons, Kate, who is about six months pregnant, looked refreshed and was all smiles as she arrived for the first engagement of the day - a coffee morning at Family Friends, a voluntary organisation providing befriending and mentoring services to families in deprived areas of the borough.

Kate received a warm welcome from "excited" members of the organisation.

The Duchess was given an overview of the organisation's work before meeting some of the network of trained volunteers and families.

Those from the Kensington area will more than likely be somewhat familiar with the work of Family Friends. Established as a charity in 1993 to support families-in-need living in disadvantaged areas of Kensington & Chelsea, and now also Hammersmith & Fulham. Through a network of trained volunteers, the organisation offers two services – Child Befriending and Mentoring and Parent Befriending.

Family Friends

Its aim is to ‘help families to help themselves’ through building confidence in parenting and parent/child relationships, improving access to health and community services, reducing isolation, planning for economic improvements, introducing greater stability into children’s lives, giving academic support to children and building aspirations. Volunteers are crucial to the success and longevity of the services and they do a splendid job with tireless commitment and dedication.

Family Friends have assisted over 700 families to date, with over 95% reporting improvements as a result of using the service. In 2013, Family Friends won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. If you wish to donate or find out more please click here.

Family Friends

A spokesperson for the charity said: "As a small, nice charity providing a vital service in deprived areas of West London, a Royal visit is a huge visit". It is hoped today's visit will increase awareness and encourage more people to volunteer.

Family Friends

There was a particularly adorable moment when Kate met a shy toddler.

More from The Telegraph's story which includes a great video:

'He had spent all weekend practising for his big moment presenting a bouquet to the Duchess of Cambridge, but when two-year-old Ryan Dixon came face to face with the Royal guest, he had a sudden attack of shyness.
The normally boisterous toddler took one look at the Duchess, said “no no, Mummy, no Mummy,” and did his best to run away.
The Duchess laughed off the rare snub, telling Ryan: “I would be shy as well.”

It was left to Ryan's mother, Tracy Samuels, to present Kate with the bouquet :)

Another interesting quote from Kate from the Express:

'It's moving all the time. I can feel it kicking now," she told Martina McDonagh, 17,'

For the second engagement of the day, Kate formally opened Kensington Aldridge Academy.

Her Royal Highness met governors, staff and students, toured the new building and watched part of a lesson.

The Duchess then watched a dance performance in the school's theatre, and unveiled a plaque.

 Kate also visited the school's Creates Hub for young entrepreneurs, and met students who are designing items for sale at Portobello Road Market.

Interestingly, William and Kate opened another Aldridge Academy in Darwen back in 2011. It was their final joint engagement before the royal wedding. Readers will recall Kate wore a navy Amanda Wakeley suit.

The Academy is a new school for pupils aged 11 to 18, situated in the heart of North Kensington. The new academy is a local school serving the North Kensington community, with all of its students living less than a mile away. Before the academy opened many students from North Kensington had to travel outside the Royal Borough to complete their secondary education. A first-class cirriculum will be delivered with a specialism in creative and performing arts.

Kensington Aldridge Academy

Finally, the Duchess walked across the site from the academy to formally open Kensington Leisure Centre, a new development which replaces the former building where Princes William and Harry had swimming lessons at school.

Kate toured the facilities, including the swimming pool, gym and sauna and watch groups of children from nearby primary schools in the Main Sports Hall playing various sports.

The Duchess also attended a reception in the dance studio and heard speeches before unveiling a plaque.

RBKC Twitter Feed

It was an ideal engagement for keen sportswoman Kate.

Among the many facilities available at the leisure centre are a 25-metre, eight-lane swimming pool for teaching and swimming at all levels; 250-seat spectator gallery; 20-metre teaching pool with mobile floor; 120-station gym; eight-court multi-use hall; two fitness studios and sauna/steam facilities with treatment rooms.

The Duchess was presented with an inflatable duck for Prince George along with an embroidered kit bag.

RKBC Twitter Feed

Kate appeared to have a wonderful time interacting with everyone she met.

RKBC Twitter Feed
The Duchess debuted a gorgeous new blue coat by her go-to maternity brand Seraphine. It's amazing how distinctive the brand's designs are (or perhaps how one can instantly recognise a maternity wear garment) the moment I saw it I thought it must be a Seraphine piece.

Kate wore the brand's £195 Natasha Cashmere Blend Coat (with thanks to Monique) The soft mist-blue garment features mother of pearl buttons, an understated collarless style, a sleek straight cut and stylish faux pockets. It is described as "an elegant addition to your wardrobe for before, during and after pregnancy".


Underneath, Kate wore Seraphine's 'Florrie' Floral Printed Dress. The £99 dress comes in "stunning marine ocean shades" and is made in soft woven fabric. Both the coat and dress are part of the brand's Spring/Summer 2015 Collection. They will be available for pre-ordering soon.

The Duchess teamed the outfit with her Alexander McQueen pumps.

Kate carried her Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley Muse clutch. The bag is known as the 'Raz' in the US and is available in a number of colours at 6 p.m. Zappos and Nordstrom.

HRH accessorised with her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.


And completed the look with her green amethyst cushion cut Kiki McDonough earrings.

Kiki McDonough

It is arguably Kate's best look from the past week with her previous choices proving a little hit and miss. One imagines it can be difficult to select comfortable and stylish clothing for a changing figure, which is why maternity wear is an excellent option for the Duchess. Thus far, her Seraphine choices have all been popular ones.

You can view videos at ITN Source and YouTube.

There are currently no future engagements announced for Kate's diary, however, that is very much subject to change. It is thought Kate and Prince George will join the Middleton family for their annual holiday in Mustique, where Carole Middleton's 60th birthday will be celebrated. It is not yet known if Prince William - who is studying and undertaking exams - will accompany them. Two reliable reporters have suggested he will not.