Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Kate Mixes High Street & Designer for Place2Be Awards

The Duchess of Cambridge attended the Place2Be 'Wellbeing in School' Awards at the Kensington Palace state apartments this evening.

Tonight marks the inaugural awards, and holding the event at the Palace made it even more special for all involved. Of course, William and Kate's London residence is Apartment 1A, Kensington Palace; before they moved in it was envisaged they would use the state apartments to hold functions such as this in aid of their charities.

The Duchess met the finalist in each award category at a reception before the awards.

Kate has been patron of the organisation since April 2013, reflecting her interest in child mental health and the importance of early intervention to provide children with in-school mental health services at the earliest stage possible, to tackle problems before they can escalate.

Royal reporter Victoria Murphy shared a photo from the Queen's Gallery.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

The Duchess met with nominee Georgia Alvery, 11, who described Kate as "beautiful" and praised her understanding of mental health issues.

Place2Be provides emotional and therapeutic support services in primary and secondary schools, building children's resilience through talking, creative work and play. They currently reach 90,000 children, helping them to cope with wide-ranging and often complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma.


A beautiful piece of artwork by a child who availed of the services provided. Before receiving support she wrote, "Dear Place2Be, I am sad because my parents have split up and I am not feeling very good and every time I wake up my belly hurts and sometimes I cry in my sleep".


The awards celebrate those often unsung heroes who make a real difference to the life of their school community through their commitment to children's emotional wellbeing. Parents, grandparents, teachers and others who have seen the life-changing work of Place2Be for themselves were asked to nominate their school leaders, parent and children champions and volunteers.

Kate wrote a foreword for the awards in which she said, "It is wonderful that this important area of children's emotional health is being recognised with these inaugural awards".

Ryan Hooper Twitter Feed

The organisation shared their excitement via their Facebook page earlier today.

Place2Be Facebook Page

In a statement the charity's chief executive said:

'We are greatly honoured HRH Duchess of Cambridge will be attending the first-ever Place2Be Wellbeing in School Awards.
 The Duchess is committed to improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children in the UK. Her support for Place2Be has helped to shine a spotlight on the need to tackle children's mental health at the earliest possible stage.'

Kate presented the Child/Young Person Award to eleven-year-old Bailey Dunne.

If you wish to support the incredibly important work carried out by the charity, there's a number of ways to get involved. From donating to fundraising, one can also attend an event or take on a challenge and get their company involved. All the relevant details are available on the website.


The Duchess mixed high street and designer for tonight's look - something fashion fans praised her for since the royal wedding. We haven't seen too much of it lately, and instead Kate has been opting for designer dresses and bespoke coatdresses.

Kate's black top is by Hobbs London.

Hobbs London

The Invitation Emilia Top is an elegant  textured crepe garment in a form-flattering shape with eye-catching embroidered polka dot design making it perfect for a special occasion. It originally retailed for $155 before going on sale for $120, unfortunately is completely sold out everywhere at present.

Hobbs London

For those who love the design of the top, Hobbs suggested their £149 Marigold Dress as an alternative. It's a classic little black dress and a fabulous addition to any wardrobe especially with the party season almost upon us.

Hobbs London

The Duchess teamed the top with her £450 Alexander McQueen Glossed-Leather belt.

Alexander McQueen

I personally felt the belt didn't work well with the peplum top and would have looked better without it.

Kate's gorgeous peacock blue skirt is a Jenny Packham design from the Fall 2013 collection. We would have loved to see Her Royal Highness wearing the look on the left, it's effortlessly chic.

Jenny Packham

Kate chose her black suede Jimmy Choo Vikki Pumps for the event.

Jimmy Choo

An injection of sparkle was added to the look with her Cassandra Goad Temple of Heaven earrings. The 9ct yellow good pieces retail for £1,365.

Cassandra Goad

Kate carried her black suede clutch.

Kate's hair was lovely tonight - pulled back with braid detail.

What do you think of Kate's look tonight?

Friday, 14 November 2014

New York, New York: The Cambridges Are Going to America!

We have exciting news to share with our readers (especially for those in New York and Washington DC): the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting America from 7-9 December. Originally planned as a solo trip for Prince William, it was decided Kate would accompany her husband now she is feeling better and support causes close to her heart, too.

No doubt both William and Kate are very much looking forward to visiting the Big Apple - it will mark the first time either of them has visited the city. New York is a fabulous place, particularly so at this time of year, I've heard, as the festive season approaches.

The couple last visited the USA in 2011 when they spent a couple of days in California following their first overseas joint tour in Canada.

A rather excellent itinerary has been organised encompassing charities supported by the royals and events to honour their host country. More from the official press release:

'Their Royal Highnesses will travel to New York for a programme of engagements which will also see the Duke visit Washington DC for a day, while the Duchess remains in New York.
 The Duke and Duchess will attend events on behalf of the Royal Foundation and other charities with which Their Royal Highnesses are closely associated, and also on behalf of HM Government.
 The charitable themes will including promoting sustainable conservation issues with a particular focus on collaborative working to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, and also supporting organisations which reflect Their Royal Highnesses' interest in young people's mental health and the importance of supporting disadvantaged young people from an early age.'

The Duke and Duchess will arrive in New York on Sunday, 7th December and will attend a private engagement on behalf of the American Friends of the Royal Foundation that evening.

Monday, 8 December

William will travel to Washington DC, while Kate remains in New York. The Prince will attend an anti corruption conference at the World Bank to discuss a zero tolerance approach to the transportation across borders of illegal wildlife parts. This is a key area of work for the United for Widlife consortium, of which William is president.

United for Widlife

Upon his return William will attend a reception organised by the Royal Foundation, in recognition of the conservation work carried out by Tusk Trust and United for Wildlife partners, Widllife Conservation Society, Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy.

Meanwhile, Kate will carry out two solo engagements. The Duchess will be accompanied by the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, on a visit to a local child development centre. They will learn about how this organisation fosters the healthy development of children and families by providing high-quality mental health and organisational services.

Afterwards, the Duchess will attend a lunch hosted by the British Consul General in New York to celebrate the achievement of the successful British community in New York from the culture, arts, hospitality and business sectors.

In the evening, Their Royal Highnesses will attend an NBA Basketball game to help launch a new collaboration between United for Widlife, the Royal Foundation and the National Basketball Association (NBA). The couple will have the opportunity to see the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets play. (Do we have many supporters of these teams reading?)

Eric Cleves Kristensen - Creative Commons

Tuesday, 9 December

On Tuesday, 9th December, the Duke and Duchess will visit a youth organisation to see the work they carry out in partnership with an inner city youth development foundation. During the visit, William and Kate will learn about the wide-ranging services on offer to young people to help them reach their potential, particularly through the arts-in-education model that supports the artistic and intellectual development of the participants.

Next, the couple will attend an event celebrating the wealth of British talent in the creative industries based in New York. The reception will be in association with the UK Government's GREAT Campaign. Readers may recall Kate attended a GREAT event during the London 2012 games.

The final engagement of the visit will be the University of St. Andrews 600th Anniversary Dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The evening will support scholarships and bursaries for students from under-privileged communities, new student sports facilities in St. Andrews and investment in the university.


Of course, William is patron of the campaign and the couple have participated in events supporting it in the UK. William and Kate met at St. Andrews, obtained their degrees, forged friendships and enjoyed very happy years there - it's very fitting to see their continued support of the university.

One important engagement not listed on the itinerary is a visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. One assumes this will be a private opportunity for the royals to pay their respects. More from the press release:

'The Duke and Duchess will also visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center to pay their respects to the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks of the 26th February 1993 and 11 September 2001.'

I could not imagine a trip to New York not including such a visit. I don't think any of us will ever forget where we were when we heard of the attacks of 9/11. It's very important to remember and pay respects to those who so sadly lost their lives on that tragic day.

Martin from The Courtier Blog calculated there will be ten engagements in total.

Courtier UK Twitter Feed

The itinerary looks very interesting, and it's such a treat for royal watchers to see the couple undertake another trip this year. In terms of fashion, New York is very much the place to be. Perhaps the Duchess will take a couple of hours to browse around Madison Avenue or Fifth Avenue for a spot of Christmas shopping?


Speaking of fashion, what will Kate wear? We expect to see the Duchess give a nod to her host country by choosing a US designer at least once. During the recent royal tour in April, we saw Kate in Tory Burch, DVF, Lela Rose and Michael Kors - all possibilities for the trip. Kate will need a selection of coats and dresses for engagements and perhaps a gown for the St. Andrews gala.

For our readers in New York, are you excited about the royal visit? Do you hope to catch a glimpse of William and Kate while they are there?


Which events are you most looking forward to?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Elegant Kate in Lace DVF for Royal Variety Performance

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the annual Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium in Westminster this evening.

Their Royal Highnesses were all smiles upon arrival and were greeted by a large media presence as they walked the red carpet for the star-studded event.

The royals were greeted by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife.

It's been a busy couple of days for the Cambridges who both carried out separate engagements yesterday. Kate attended an athlete workshop for her patronage SpotsAid in West London, and later in the evening Prince William was the guest of honour at a gala for SkillForce. During the gala he was handed a bag of Christmas bells and joked, "I'll put them in George's pocket, we'll know where he is then." (It sounds like George is as boisterous as ever.)

In the foyer of the palladium the royal couple were greeted by pop royalty One Direction.

ITV News Twitter Feed

The Duchess shook hands with Harry Styles (the envy of many young women no doubt). Afterwards Harry told a reporter "I said congratulations on the bump even though she didn't look bumpy". Fellow band member Liam Payne was a little overwhelmed and said "It's the most nervous I think I've ever been in my life".

Clarence House Twitter Feed

Kate received a posy of flowers from six-year-old Charlotte Tomlinson.

William and Kate watched an array of performers including Bette Middler, Ed Sheeran, Dame Shirley Bassey, Demi Lovato and Mick Hucknall at this evening's gala hosted by Michael McIntyre.

Kate chatted with Simon Cowell and Harry Styles again after the show.

Acts the couple are particularly familiar with are also in the line up, including Ellie Goulding, who sang at William and Kate's Buckingham Palace wedding reception and performed Elton John's 'Your Song' for their first dance, and comic Jack Whitehall who went to school with the Duchess. It's very much a family event, with talent from across the entertainment industry. From singing, dancing and comedy to magic and other speciality acts, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

William greeted Ellie with a kiss.

It has long been tradition for members of the Royal family to make an appearance at the Royal Variety Performance - it dates back all the way to 1912 when the inaugural performance was watched by King George V and Queen Mary. In July 1919, a second royal show was performed and billed as a post-war celebration of peace.

It is usually attended by the monarch and below we see the Royal family arriving for the 1947 show. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, King George VI, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and behind Elizabeth we can see a very young Prince Philip.

Indeed, the glamorous event once called for wearing a tiara. Below we see the Queen at the 1981 performance.

The Prince and Princess of Wales arriving for the event in 1984. Diana chose a chiffon dress by Bellville Sassoon.

In recent years, the Queen has taken it in turns with the Prince of Wales to attend the show, and it had been expected Her Majesty would be seated in the royal box this year, but instead she decided to pass the baton down to her grandson and his wife, demonstrating her confidence in the couple. It's the beginning of a tradition for the Cambridges, and one we will see them continue (alternating with the Prince of Wales for the near future) for a very long time to come.

The event is held in aid of the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund, of which the Queen is patron. The charity is dedicated to helping provide support for elderly, infirm or distressed members and former members of the entertainment industry.


Kate's parents Mike and Carole Middleton also attended the show. Carole chose a black lace dress, quite similar to Kate's. Perhaps they chose their gowns together?

The evening's entertainment was recorded tonight and will be broadcast on ITV in December. It's something of a tradition to watch it during the festive season, and what a treat it will be to see the Cambridges in the royal box this year.

The Duchess looked beautiful in the incredibly elegant Diane von Furstenburg Zarita Gown. The black dress is fitted through the bodice, waist and thigh, and the piece opens to a sweeping fluted hem. The delicate gown, crafted from sheer lace features a v-back and is fitted with a slim band around the waist that flatters the silhouette, making it a perfect choice for the early months of pregnancy.


It is a gorgeous choice for event, harking back to the glamour we saw members of the Royal family displaying in previous years. The gown is available for £785 at Net-A-Porter, on the DVF website and in navy at Matches.


Black lace dresses proved very popular at the event. The eagle-eyed Ashley noticed a woman in the background was wearing the same dress as Kate.

The Zarita is very much a core piece in DVF's collection. Below we see the knee-length version of the dress in red and pink.


A shorter version of the Zarita dress is widely available in a selection of colourways. Nordstrom is selling the dress reduced from €296 to €236, and it's also in stock at DVF, Saks Fifth AvenueNet-A-Porter and ShopBop.


The Duchess selected her black suede Jimmy Choo Cosmic pumps for the evening.

Jimmy Choo

Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Lola blue topaz hoop earrings and carried her sequin black clutch.

The dazzling earrings retail for £3,200. The blue topaz and diamond hoops in 18ct white gold added a splash of colour to the look.

Kiki McDonough

The Duchess wore her hair in an elegant updo tonight and it added a very polished finish to the glamorous look. We rarely see Kate wearing her hair up - I'm so glad she did tonight and it allowed her to show off the details of her stunning gown.

You can watch a video on YouTube.

Do you like Kate's look tonight?


We have one other brief updated to share tonight. The Palace announced Kate, patron, will attend the East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) Norfolk Capital Appeal Launch at the Norfolk Showground in Norwich on 25 November. The Duchess will meet families, volunteers and supporters of the hospice before joining the local community in watching the launch of the appeal.

No official news on William and Kate's trip to New York next month, however, we expect to hear very soon!