Friday, 24 November 2017

Royal Variety Performance Goes Ahead Amid Security Alert

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


The event promised a night of glamour and entertainment...


...However, one would not have thought so a couple of hours before it began as scenes of panic covered the area when Oxford Circus (the tube station close to the Palladium) was locked down following an incident. Given the horrific terror attacks this year, it was incredibly worrying; it's such a busy area in the heart of London. The Police responded with immediacy and efficiency and thankfully have not found any trace of shots fired or casualties. Officers continue to investigate and remain at the scene as we speak. It was deemed safe to reopen the street and decided the Royal Variety Performance would go ahead.


More from the Met:


As they say, the show must go on and the performance began later than scheduled.


An arrival video.


The royal couple were greeted before they took their seats.


The Telegraph Reports:

'Up to 2,000 members of the audience struggled to get to the theatre, with the show being unavoidably delayed as police secured the surrounding streets. An edited show went ahead with a few technical difficulties, with Hart admitting it had been left in "utter chaos" after the curtain failed to rise on the first performers: dancers from musical 42nd Street.'

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. Held at London Coliseum, the show was staged as a 'celebration of peace' and, as the official announcement expressed it, "had been commanded by the King to show his appreciation of the generous manner in which artistes of the variety stage had helped the numerous funds connected with the War". Did you know the event once called for tiaras and jewels? Below, the late Queen Mother in her finery at the performance with the Beatles in 1963.


In recent times, the Queen has taken it in turns with the Prince of Wales to attend the show. In 2014, the baton was passed down to the younger generation with the Cambridges making their debut at the event followed by Prince Harry in 2015. The royal trio and Charles and Camilla are attending the event alternately.


The event is in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, formally, the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, of which the Queen is patron. The money raised from the show helps hundreds of entertainers throughout the UK, who need aid and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health or hard times. More from Wikipedia: "The charity is believed to be one of the few charities in the UK that has an unbroken line of patronage from the reigning monarch since George V in the early twentieth century. Queen Elizabeth II is the current sole life-patron of the charity."


The evening was hosted by Miranda Hart and included performances by the Killers, Paloma Faith, Louis Tomlinson and the Script.


Host Miranda Hart enjoyed a spot of joshing with the royals. More from The Telegraph:

'Hart kicked off the show with a reference to the Royal guests, singing "there's no Duchess like show Duchess" during her rendition of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun classic. She later asked whether the Duke and Duchess, who are expecting their third child, were suffering "throne envy" after she sat on a grand gold and red seat on stage.
The Duchess of Cambridge was left in fits of the giggles on Friday night as her husband was forced to join in the Royal Variety Performance audience participation. The Duke had gamely taken part in a comedy skit from host Miranda Hart, obligingly shouting her catch-phrase "such fun" on request. Hart, who said compelling Prince William to participate was on her to-do list for the Royal Variety duties, said she later hoped to see his galloping - another one of her trademarks - and "knighting me with a lightsaber". While the Duke performed his part enthusiastically, the Duchess was left in fits of laughter as the spotlight fell on them.'

The couple were invited on stage to congratulate Miranda Hart and performers.


Kate chatting with singer (best known as a member of One Direction) Louis Tomlinson. Dame Joan Collins is pictured in the background looking at the Duchess.


A smiling Kate leaving the performance with a bouquet of flowers.


Kate's wore a glittering new blue Jenny Packham gown tonight. It's a classic Packham piece designed with ornate embellishment and sequin detail in a beautiful blue hue.


A closer look at the details.


It appears the gown is a bespoke version of this Autumn//Winter 2017 design (with thanks to the UFO No More).


Several of you noted the gown is similar to the blue Packham Kate wore in Paris...and Elsa from Frozen (One can almost hear Princess Charlotte saying "Mummy you look like Elsa" as they went through the door :)).


Kate sported her glittering Oscar de la Renta Platinum Lamé Cabrina pumps.


The shimmering $690 pumps are described as "Our enduringly classic Cabrina pumps are reworked for the new season in glistening platinum lamé. This Italian-made pair has a sleek, architectural silhouette with a pointed toe, scalloped sides and raised back.".

Oscar de la Renta

Kate carried her Jenny Packham Casa clutch.

Jenny Packham

Kate completed the look with the Queen's Diamond Chandelier earrings.


I thought it a very dazzling look - perfect for the Royal Variety. Royal attendance has been a cornerstone of the performance since its inception. Guests and viewers (it will be broadcast on ITV in December) always enjoy seeing royal guests in attendance and it's become a bit of a tradition for the host to indulge in a spot of friendly banter, as Miranda Hart did tonight. Kate looked every inch a princess, and as you can see in the photo below, her dress quite simply sparkled. It is notably similar to other Packham designs in Kate's closet, but for me it's a far superior gown to the one worn in Paris in March, which I also liked. The shade of icy blue works particularly well for the wintry event. A special mention for Kate's make up tonight, which was very much on point. What do you think of Kate's look tonight?


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If you're just joining us today, click here if interested in Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals related to the Duchess and exclusive discounts including 30% off at BLACK (20% applied automatically, enter HRH10 at checkout for further 10%). Items in stock include Kate's Bow Gloves.


We'll see the Duchess on Tuesday for her visit to the Foundling Museum. Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

146 comments:

  1. Nice to see that the commotion earlier seems to have been overstated and that everyone is safe!

    Nice look today! Love all the sparkle and actually like being able to see the shoes at the bottom with the sheer fabric. I "knew" almost directly that it was a Packham! It's pretty and also pretty standard to both Kate and Packham so nothing groundbreaking but very pretty. Hardly surprising with a new gown since she probably doesn't fit in many nowdays. I like the blue with the glittery shoes. Very Cinderella!

    I wonder what earrings she has on. Guess I'll have to be patient!

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    1. Turns out they were her newer 'go to' favorite dressy earrings. I am glad to see those and not the Aquamarine Kiki ones. It would have been too match matchy for me.

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    2. I'm also glad to see those. They are quite modern in their look but still regal.

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    3. I love the Queen's chandelier earrings. They do have a modern look to them. I much prefer them to the other pair Kate has on loan from HM.

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    4. Me too Kiwi, although I appreciate the other ones because there is no mistaking they are royal older jewels while these could possibly be rather newly bought, for good or bad.

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  2. http://www.jennypackham.com/index.php/bridal/bridal-collections/2018/jpb709.html

    looks like the Hope with longer sleeves

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  3. Sparkling Kate ✨

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  4. Glad to see it could go underway.

    As for Kate's outfits...... meh. I honestly feel everything since her pregnancy was announced has been a miss or a 'bleh'. This one looks like when you're staring at a fountain at night and the light reflects on you - not a pretty look.

    Wish she had gone with an Empire waist to highlight the bump.

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    1. Oh I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels that all her looks have been bleh/a miss since the announcement!

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    2. Not at all! It's just too... whatever. But I do must say I prefer the boring GOAT looks over this... interesting choice. Charlotte, you compared it to Elsa, but I feel it would be Elsa had Frozen had a cut of budget.

      The shoes showing on the hem, the lining being shorter than the overlay, all the glitter, the hair down, the excessive embroidery... it looks cheap, and ageing. Look at Elie Saab for how a great embroidery (and true haute couture) looks like lol.

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    3. You speak my mind...

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  5. It is worthy to wait.Amazing and stunning.She looks as fairytale.

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  6. Kate looks wonderful!! I am happy the Cambridges were able to attend. It saddens me that this is no longer a tiara event. Does anyone know why?

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    Replies
    1. The performance was a white tie event for royalty for many years. Performers were mostly in black tie, but the Beatles were in street attire. Now the royal men dress in black tie, and performers are extremely casual. A tiara would only be worn if Prince William wore white tie.

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    2. Oh, the old white tie rule, lol. Never heard of it. :)
      thanks, Patricia. :)

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  7. Reminds me of another princess...Elsa 😊

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    Replies
    1. I can see it, I can see it! Niiice!

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    2. Yes, though I think the Paris gown was more like Elsa. :-)

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  8. Very similar to the gown she wore on her visit to Paris. Would have preferred her hair up and out of her face, we could have had a peep at the earings she was wearing :-)

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  9. This has to be my least favourite Jenny Packham she's ever worn; it hangs on her, the high neckline isn't flattering, and the sleeves are way too big for her arms. I do love those shoes though!

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  10. Her hair really bothers me, it's just sitting there...doing absolutely nothing for her :/ The dress is pretty though!

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    1. What do you want the hair to Do?

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    2. I lover her hair shorter now. And her makeup has got better lately too. I think she has looked great this year.
      Jane

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  11. Beautiful gown, and I like the pink shade of Kate's lipstick, particularly in the picture where they are singing. Looks like a more vibrant color. Love the shoes too.
    Grateful that the disturbance on Oxford Street was not terrorism.

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  12. Replies
    1. (not fond at all of the part though. she's still sparkling though for sure.)

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  13. Sarah Maryland USA24 November 2017 at 20:16

    I love the dress but why get it in an ice blue when she has a sparkly ice blue dress? Her color choices make no sense to me sometimes

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    1. Because she's pregnant and can't fit in it but still like sparkly ice blue dresses and is in short supply of evening gown pregnancy wear?

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    2. I hear you @Sarah Maryland USA. Same reaction from me too. Would have loved to see the dress in the photo posted from the design.

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    3. I agree with you varada kamat, this dress would have looked much more stunning in a nude hue or maybe even with a white/silver satin underneath all of the embelishments.

      I'm not really fond of celebrities in nude colours, I think it's been exhausted as a colour but there's an element of glamour about it, with all the sparkling accessories, when you see it on a royal like Kate.

      But can we all just have a moment to appreciate those shoes? Somewhere, Cinderella must be saying to herself "Man, I should have worn these shoes instead!" :)

      Love Avee in SA

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    4. Maggie - Minneapolis25 November 2017 at 12:43

      I agree Sarah Maryland. I don't get it. Rebecca is right, of course, that she can't wear the Paris dress now, but my issue is just that she can always try to wear that Paris dress again when not pregnant, and even if not, why not try something different? At least save such a similar dress for later, and not relatively soon since the Paris dress, especially given that she hasn't had many full length gown occasions this year in between. I suppose this is one of the nice things about being a Duchess with a huge clothing budget - for most of us, we do not have the occasion or financial ability to buy gowns often, so we probably try to make sure they are all unique and different more so than Kate feels the need to.

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  14. Can't see a BIG difference to this one:
    http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Duke+Duchess+Cambridge+Visit+Paris+Day+One+nT3u913o3V-x.jpg
    so why buy a new one at alle?

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    1. She looks pretty although a nice updo could have made a real difference. And since she has a very similar gown though that probably does not fit anymore I would have chosen that cream or beige gown that the model wore.

      Good to hear it was a false alarm!

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    2. I also would have loved an updo! But I'm thinking that it might have a bit to do with her being pregnant. Her hair out seems to be her "go-to" safety look that makes her feel pretty. Mine is big earrings. Most of us have one of those things. She has started to branch out with her hair to do different things but now that her body is changeing and you probably feel less comfortable in how you look over all (she looks stunning ofc but it's hard to dress a body that looks different than you're used to) it's hardly surprising that you stick to some of the "go-to" things you have that still work :)

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    3. Because she's 4 months+ months pregnant and can't possibly fit into the Paris dress.

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    4. Nice observation, Rebecca @21:22.

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  15. Beautiful! I was just wondering: have we heard about the announcement yet, from the 5PM meeting at Buckingham Palace?

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    1. Hello Kate,

      No announcement at all. Although "the big one" is said to be imminent :)

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    2. Oy! I'm not sure I'm going to survive this relationship! 😉🤣😍 Thanks for keeping on top of it all for us!

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    3. "...the big one?"

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    4. I hope it's about Harry and not about a Regency.

      Note to self: Stop letting the tabloids scare you....

      ;)

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    5. lol, lol, lol, Kate. hold on, hold on. It's just a few more days..... :)

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    6. Haha! I was starting to wonder if it was about Eugenie rather than Harry. Late Friday doesn't seem like a good time for the grand Harry and Meghan announcement. As West Wing(an American Tv show) pointed out, give the press something at 5 pm on Friday, so it's forgotten about by Monday. I can't imagine that the palace would announce THE announcement people have been waiting weeks for at the end of the work week. But, I could totally be wrong too.

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  16. I'm not very taken with this gown sadly. Love her make-up. Its nice to see a bit of a change now. Thought maybe having her hair up would have been less fussy, specially seeing that there is more sparkling from the dress at the top. Overall, a bit of a let down.

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    1. I think this is the best her makeup has ever looked

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    2. KiwiNic & Anon, I agree! Her makeup was flawless, although I didn't like the dress.

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  17. Not liking this one very much. The one from Paris was much better and so similar, I wonder why she got another. Love the accessories, though! :)

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  18. Anonymous in Colorado24 November 2017 at 20:47

    What a scare, I'm relieved there were no casualties.
    She looks beautiful but gosh this icy blue is not my favorite color on her...obviously it's a favorite of hers! I think the dress looks better in white. She's gorgeous nonetheless

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  19. Kate is an amazingly strong and beautiful woman. I hope that one day William decides that he's had enough of people bullying his wife and children and just walks away. That is my hope for them. Good luck Ms. Markle you are going to need it.

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    1. Julia from Leominster24 November 2017 at 21:43

      To do what, live on what? His lifestyle vastly exceeds his private income. And should he resign from his destiny, he would lose royal protection and become like Edward VIII - drawing as much negative attention as ever, but a celebrity not a royal. Respectfully, it's a sad thing to wish for them - to deny them a positive place in history and the opportunity to do much good and experience unique things.

      Meghan is going to need a great deal of luck if there is a quickie engagement - had the pace been slower and she took time to learn about the country which she apparently aspires to represent, she would have an easier time.

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    2. Perhaps, Julia, Meghan will not need that much luck. Fortunately, she is a savvy woman, has a great deal of talent as well as a previously established (in her own right) international presence to carry her through.

      Just as she has been protected by security ahead of an actual engagement, I'm certain she has already been coached (as Catherine was) and is studying for her next role as a Princess of the Realm. Yes, there will be much for her to learn; however, she is both a brilliant and enterprising woman as well as an actress.

      As a well educated person, please consider that she may know much more about the UK than we might think. Also, I'm not sure that she "aspires" to represent any country. She happened (like many other queens and princesses in Europe over the past few years) to fall in love with a prince. Then she had some difficult choices to make.

      That she may be willing to take on a larger role which will require very real sacrifice on her part, stands to her credit. She can (and I imagine she will) act the part until such a time as she fully integrates it into who she is.

      SMH

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    3. I think that being an actress will help Meghan greatly in her role as a member of the British Royal family. I can't imagine a person being able to carry out that role without being able to act.

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    4. Maggie - Minneapolis25 November 2017 at 00:59

      Julia - I would agree except a slower path to engagement didn't seem to help Kate given that her team has said the slow transition to full time royal life is so she could adjust after marriage. I think it has more to do with desire and ability to adjust based on other life experiences more than anything else. Or maybe time is necessary, but not necessarily sufficient.

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    5. I am will Julia from Leominster on this one. Lots of star struck US Meghan fans write like its a cake walk. It isnt. Princess Royal has said that when she looks at her early engagements she is so embarassed at how BAD she was; Diana was not always good at the job; Sophie Wessex got it really wrong to start with and she worked in PR. So many outside of the UK have no idea just how hard it is being successful at this job.

      And when there is issues ( there always is) it wont be because she is American or any other reason EXCEPT it is very hard.

      This isnt a celebrity life - it is 24/7 representing yr country funded in part, if not entirely by public money.

      Definitely no cake walk.

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    6. Agreed, Anon 23:19; Meghan has a degree in Theater and International Relations, if memory serves; that sounds practically perfect for a future princess! I have no doubt that she'll be exemplary...and if she decides to call it quits, that she'll pass Harry on to me. ;-)

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    7. Julia from Leominster25 November 2017 at 02:25

      Sadly or laughingly - this speaks for itself. http://us.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/2017060239462/meghan-markle-british-knowledge-quiz-dave/

      We're speaking of very basic knowledge here of a woman who might be speaking to people at state dinners. Whilst this is from last year, supposedly she had already met Harry. Really, you have to be quite dim not to know about the lion and the unicorn, especially if you've been living in the Commonwealth. It would be funny if one didn't think she might do that at diplomatic receptions.

      The thing that concerned me is Meghan's willingness to do this quiz in the first place - rather then just saying - let's talk about Suits if she was in fact dating Harry at the time. The later Vanity Fair article well after she was linked to Harry likewise didn't sound like someone who knows how to speak 'princess'.

      This isn't the right side of the blog for this - I'll just say I really, really, really, hope someone is advising her that it's pavement not path for her really romantic-sounding walk and tells her to banish 'really' from her speech along with her sunglasses in autumn. But people will forgive her for not having the correct words and if she's wise, she won't try to assume a British accent.

      It's more spending time in a country she wouldn't be just marrying into but representing, so she understands the difference in values and the way people think and what the issues are - that lack of that understanding is why people think she's pushy. It can't 'really' can't be taught - it comes from time and experience and at least a few months might help a little before plunging into an engagement.

      I agree with Anon 1:00 to paraphrase the song about California 'it doesn't matter at all where you've played before, the royal family is a brand new game..."

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    8. Julia from Leominster25 November 2017 at 03:46

      Maggie I would say Meghan has more life experience which is a plus but almost no national experience - which is a bit more than knowing what a motorway is. It means getting the feel of a nation by living in it. Mary of Denmark has faced criticism for not being Danish, but at least she lived in the country for three years before marriage and I believe that's why her transition has been quite smooth. I believe Maxima likewise lived in the Netherlands first.

      Kate's almost the opposite - the national experience comes to her instinctively of course - and there are important things she learnt about the royal family during her time as a girlfriend if she didn't know it before - such as the link of royals and the country (that again, but it's important.) But Kate lacked work experience and having to manage on her own. And that does show in what sometimes seems a lack of confidence.

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    9. I think the quiz was a "Suits" thing? Some of the other cast members took quizzes then on other topics, I think. Meghan apparently just happened to get the British one.

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    10. Julia, I don't know about "princess talk". Do you think that William and Harry do the "prince talk" well ? They are as inarticulate and unintelligent in their speech as can be. They would not last days in any real diplomatic position had they actually been competing for one. As for Kate - can she do "princess talk" ? With her "sort of" and "umm"s.. it's difficult to listen to. She uses a myriad of speech fillers that I am constantly trying to get my kids to stop using in their speech. None of these people are intellectual powers or sophisticated speakers or thinkers.
      I am not sure it is fair to pick on Meghan for not being princess like enough. She is a smart articulate person who has actually had to work her way up, unlike anyone else in the royal family. She is worth ten of W, K &H put together in terms of eloquence and elegance of speech.
      Surely you are joking when you nitpick on her this way ? I am beginning to suspect that you don't like her. And that the UK snobbery towards Americans is real, even though I myself have never experienced it.

      As for learning about the UK. I have spent substantial amounts of time at Oxford as a graduate student on a scholarship and I didn't know a bunch of these answers. Just because Meghan doesn't know these doesn't mean she can't learn. I do agree with you that she needs to spend time in the UK but I think that she will be a quick study. Unlike some other members of the royal family for whom years don't seem enough.

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    11. People - the Dave quiz was done before she met Harry. And considering how outraged some get when you compare Kate to Mary or Maxima, but we're now comparing them to someone who has the entire Cambridge family and Charles ahead of her husband for the throne? Please. They're not even engaged yet, take the negativity down, it's pathetic. And take this conversation to the Meghan blog as Charlotte has asked previously.

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    12. Julia

      Please, take this the most polite way, but I used to enjoy reading you very much, I used to search for your name, Bluhare, Claudia, Maggie etc. You are all a kind of a mother type to me, I could be your daughter, hope none of you offended by me saying this. I am saying this not because of your age but what I got from your posts, you are all matured, experienced, professional women.So I can't really put into words what is happening here, it started with Camilla and Kate now Meghan.I can't believe what I am reading from the same person I described above.

      After the latest urban debacle do you really think it is wise what you are doing. I am asking honestly without hoping to get a real answer.

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    13. Julia from Leominster25 November 2017 at 20:26

      I replied on mad about Meghan.

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    14. definitely not a cake walk. I think that's why William said he was going to ask Michael Middleton for Kate's hand in marriage first but didn't because he thought there was a chance Michael might say no. Royal life, definitely not a cake walk.

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    15. Jessica in Los Angeles25 November 2017 at 21:58

      What’s wrong with sunglasses in autumn? I wear them year round. If the sun is out, I wear them!

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    16. Let me take of my sunglasses, Anett, and tell you how terribly offended I am. Why, I am eternally youthful; in fact, soon I will be younger than you. Ha!

      xoxoxox

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    17. Julia from Leominster26 November 2017 at 01:16

      I'm sure in Los Angeles it's fine all year and the sunlight is strong.

      Google Kate Middleton Autumn-Winter 2005 - mostly no sunglasses, even though the sun's clearly out some of the time. Kate Middleton Autumn-Winter 2006 - when it really looked like an engagement was coming and she was very conscious of her look, almost no sunglasses except one worn with sports clothes - though the press was hounding her. Kate Middleton Autumn 2009 - the same.

      Then Google Pippa in autumn-winter. Far more sunglasses. She's dressing more like a celebrity. It doesn't matter for her.

      It's seen as a celebrity look very much linked to Victoria Beckham and her ilk rather than royals. For an ordinary person, no matter. For someone who's going to marry into the royal family - not looking like a celebrity like Coleen Rooney and Victoria Beckham is more important. Different places, different styles.

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    18. Julia from Leominster26 November 2017 at 01:28

      Here's a fun Guardian article offering a bit of history and a very qualified rebuttal. However, if I were thinking/hoping of marrying in the royal family, I still wouldn't do it. Rather a fun article though - I don't think I want to quote was wearing sunglasses in winter is/was a massive red flag of...


      The royal family still considers itself an arbiter of social graces - and presumably no grape scissors! (Julia has fish knives so she's a bit non-u - but they were a gift and come out when the giver does.)

      https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015/nov/30/sunglasses-winter-luxury-fashionable

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    19. lol, bluhare. :) you mature woman you. :)

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    20. That article was illuminating to me Julia. I see where you are coming from to a certain extent. There are so many nuances to culture and etiquette that it is hard to explain in words. I think that there was definitely a disconnect between you and the rest of us on why you felt that Meghan was such a misfit. I still don't agree with you but I can see where you are coming from.
      My personal view is that the royals are more celebrity than anything else anyway. What kind of gravitas do any of the younger royals actually have -really ? The UK will have an increasingly educated and intelligent population as the years go by - they will see through the royals right off the bat. Who will think they actually stand for something other than celebrity? I mean, there seems to be consensus here that short skirts are okay because they are celebrities. I think they view themselves as such and Meghan will fit right in, for that reason.

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    21. These days, sunglasses are more important for protecting our vision than as a fashion statement. Failure to wear them can contribute to the development of both cataracts and macular degeneration.

      In the U.S., the National Eye Institute recommends wearing glasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation, and the American Optometric Association states: "Even on an overcast day, harmful UV rays can damage both the skin and the surface of the eye. Over time unprotected sun exposure can increase the risk of certain types of cataracts and cancers of the eyelids."

      Bottom line: As a health measure, wearing good sunglasses whenever outside, whatever the weather, is a good thing.

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    22. Julia from Leominster26 November 2017 at 15:27

      I don't disagree on the public seeing them more and more as celebrities - but I also don't underestimate the danger of that. I think that's why other fragile monarchies - I'm thinking Spain and Belgium especially, are really trying to demonstrate a non-celebrity extremely serious unifying purpose to a monarchy.

      But should the monarchy fall in Britain due to becoming too celebrity-driven and the rising republican movement, then I think there could be a general fall like a house of cards all over Europe.

      For the moment, I do think the majority of people want a monarchy in theory- even if they're not happy with individuals but I also see disinterest and republicanism and an increased emphasis on the cost and privilege and lack of equality that the monarchy represents, growing amongst the young.

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    23. I wear sunglasses year around, and I live in Sweden. If the sun is out, the glasses are on or I get headaches.

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    24. I wear contact lenses, and have always been told to protect my eyes with sunglasses that block UVA and UVB. For convenience, I use darkening lenses in my reading glasses, so that I don't have to switch between various pairs. The climate around me is very snowy in winter, requiring as much eye protection as in summer. This is definitely not a fashion statement. But I have noticed people staring at me in Europe as though I am hiding or something. Seems weird to me, since medically sunglasses are as much needed there as here.

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  20. "Mummy you look like Elsa". I laughed out loud at that and the three photos together. cute. :)

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    1. Julia from Leominster26 November 2017 at 01:29

      https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015/nov/30/sunglasses-winter-luxury-fashionable. Not sure that link above went through.

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  21. Dear Charlotte, how do you do it? Two posts in one day... You really spoil us!
    Kate looks pretty as usual; my favourite part of her look are the shoes and the Queen's earrings. As for the dress, it's "too much" for me, I like her better in simpler ones which I think are more elegant and let her natural beauty shine more; but that's just my personal preference.
    Thank you for including the photo of Queen Mum with the Beatles! Honestly, I was not sure at first whether it wasn't the Queen - then I realised HM was much younger in the photos with them. The likeness is striking though!

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  22. I am so glad this dress has color! I can not even tell she is pregnant. Kate looks beautiful. At first glance I wondered if the hemline was higher in front, but on second look it is just the lining that is a little shorter all the way around. As mentioned by someone earlier that gives us a great look at those beautiful shoes! I am glad there was no terrorist activity and the show was able to continue as planned to help a good cause.

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    1. I love how differently we all see the same pictures...I saw the photos and thought "Oh, lovely, she's really beginning to show!" Haha...she really does look beautiful. I can't wait to get pictures of Meghan Markle at similar occasions. Maybe she and Harry will be at the RVS next year!

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    2. Wouldn't that be fantastic to see Harry and Meghan there next year! Fingers crossed!!

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  23. Queen of the South24 November 2017 at 21:28

    I was not a big fan of the ice blue gown in Paris, this is much better. She looked sparkly and lovely tonight. But I would have loved to see a different hairstyle, ssomething to mix it up.

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  24. I've actually liked both blue gowns very much although the first didn't quite have Paris sophistication. This is lovely and I like how the shoes show under the skirt. I hope it can be adjusted to be used after pregnancy as well. Pale blue is surely Kate's colour. It's a nice gown to choose for this event as the diamante makes it easy for the audience to see her and appreciate the beauty of the gown.

    Her hair looks nice and I don't mind it down as this gown doesn't have a low back.

    I wonder if they will attend the annual diplomatic dinner - this gown would be lovely with a tiara.

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    1. I was actually also thinking how this dress could work well in a more White Tie situation! Possible reason for the buy as well :)

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    2. Since it is bespoke, I also wondered if it was assembled in a way that could be easily fitted to post pregnancy life.

      P.S. when is the Diplomatic Dinner? I feel like it was cold out but I could be making that up. Because Rebecca's right, this would be a great choice. And it would fit with her color scheme. Didn't she wear that light blue lace dress several times?

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    3. Julia from Leominster25 November 2017 at 03:54

      It's in early December as I recall, so should be coming up. Kate wore that rather girlish blue dress twice, I believe it was by Macqueen - but with different tiaras and last year wore the red "Chinese Banquet' Packham. It would be nice if there were a formal portrait again.

      I doubt Kate would have a new gown for that and it needs to be conservative, so this might be the choice if she does attend. I don't believe black would be worn for that event. Of course, we don't know if she will attend. There is also always the possibility a royal order might be debuted - although pale blue wouldn't be the best colour - royal ladies don't always consider that.

      I like this gown but there has been a certain similarity in the Packham gowns - although I have seen more original designs Kate could have chosen. Diana used Catherine Walker very frequently for gowns but there was much more variation in style - as there was for the queen as well when she was Kate's age.

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    4. Queen of the South25 November 2017 at 08:25

      The Diplo dinner is early in December, so probably in about 2 weeks. It must be tricky to manage gala events when pregnant. You have now way of knowing ahead of time what you will still fit in. While I agree this dress might be adapted for post pregnancy use, it also looks like it can accommodate a bit more of a baby bump.
      If she is planning to reuse it at the Diplo Dinner her hair also makes sense. Since it is a tiara event she will probably have a updo. So hair down now makes two different looks.

      Delete
  25. I don't care for this dress, particularly. It's just "off" somehow. Doesn't seem to fit properly. I like the Paris dress much better, and her hairdo there, also. Either pulled back or in updo for formal events is much more sophisticated and classy, imo.

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    Replies
    1. The Duchess looks well-rested and healthy this evening. Her makeup was well suited for an evening event.
      I wanted to like the blue color of her gown; but this deeper blue made the embellishments really stand out, and made me think of a flowery, bubble plastic bath mat, especially on the sleeves. I do not know how the Duchess tolerates the fabric on the sleeves and neck of the gown. It, like many of her lace dresses, look rather “itchy”, for lack of a better term and appears constricting.

      Perhaps an updo would add balance to her overall look and help the proportions of the gown and beautiful, albeit sky high pumps. Her hair, in my opinion, is too casual and heavy. A refreshing updo would have been lovely.

      As with some of her other grand entrances, the Duchess’s penchant for towering heels makes me a little nervous! From carrying her adorable children down plane steps to tonight’s climb up the stairs while lifting her gown and holding a clutch-I don’t know how she carries off this balancing act. If I was an expectant Mum, I would not be pleased with my husband if he offered me little assistance during these moments, especially with all the crowds and lights. I realize my husband isn’t a Duke or potential future King, but I do wish, Protocol aside, that William would paid greater attention to the Duchess. I noticed this in the video; I may be wrong but the Duchess appeared tentative on her arrival as she followed the Duke into the venue to meet the receiving line of people.

      Thank you Charlotte for the prompt and always engaging entry!

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    2. Some people have an easier or harder time in heels. Kate seems to have an easy time. I wouldn't blame William much either. When he offered his hand to her in New York going down the steps she didn't take it. It can kind of throw of the balance to hold on to someone so she might prefer to walk on her own and if he knows that it would almost be more rude if he kept insisting on helping her if she doesnt need/want help, if that makes sense.

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    3. Kate is a gorgeous lady, but this dress does not showcase her beauty as well as it should. I much prefer the lighter ice blue from Paris, why not branch out to othe colors, like mauve, seafoam green, or lilac- those colors would look great with the overlay crystals. Love the shoes. Love an updo but only with a hat, so perhaps a side pony would have worked? Thank you for the updates.

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    4. Maggie - Minneapolis25 November 2017 at 00:57

      Ever since I saw Kate walking down those airplane stairs in towering heels carrying Charlotte in one arm while holding George's hand with the other, I've pretty much realized that Kate is quite capable in shoes that I can't possibly manage even if not pregnant or carrying children and such. I worry about her heels because of certain future back issues and current existing posture issues, although even that obviously is all a personal choice. But I think she's shown that there is no reason to worry about her ability in any shoes in almost all situations.

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    5. Actually the fit is fine, it is Kate's body that has changed because of her pregnancy, It is quite obvious in the side by side pictures of this dress and the Paris dress.

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  26. A pity that the performers had to miss the usual line up.

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    1. I’ve seen pix of Catherine back stage talking to the performers

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    2. But not the usual line up beforehand, which was cancelled because of the late start.

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  27. Wow....Kate’s eye makeup looks great tonight!

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    1. Yes, her makeup does look great!

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  28. I am sure that Princess Charlotte enjoyed seeing Mummy all dressed up. They look appropriately attired for the evening and happy and relaxed. The show must go on, am glad for all the folk who worked so hard on this that it did.
    Thank you for the post Charlotte!

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  29. I shuddered seeing the height of those heels on a pregnant woman going up stairs (and, I assume, down them later) with no assistance and an overlay on the dress that was at least floor length. The shoes are fashionable but are they the best choice with stairs??

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    1. She seems to have no issue with heels. If she felt unsafe I'm sure she would have choosen a lower or wider heel.

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  30. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge looked appropriately dapper and lovely, respectively. I am glad the show was not cancelled and I hope everyone had a good time and lots of money raised for good causes. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  31. I think Kate look wonderful and I like that she had on a bit of lipstick.

    There's no Duchess like SHOW Duchess!

    Loved that. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Loved her look today!! Simply gorgeous and flawless!XOXO

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  32. I love the duchess looks. It seem good toin her jenny packham gown its remindedc. Me watching frozen queen elsa im sure princess charlotte singing let it go from thr soundtrack hm. I little bit worried about those heels are higher but the duchess had no problem with those high heels what i show

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  33. Thank you Charlotte as always for the great post. I liked the unbroken history of the event through several Kings and Queens and was relieved that the event proceeded and that no one hurt as earlier feared. Twitter has been very interesting and amusing to follow in the last 48 hours. Perhaps some noses have been pulled. It is after all Black Friday. If there were indeed meetings at the Palace why on earth do we believe it has to do with a mere engagement? My concern would be that there are serious health concerns for the Queen or Prince Phillip or Prince Charles if of course there was a meeting at all. And on a final note I was disappointed that Meghan could not give the time to spend this last Thanksgiving with her mother and leave America a couple of days later. There is no real urgency for her to rush to London,two or three days later would not have mattered. It seems thoughtless and cruel to me but perhaps the press is wrong about how good her relationship is with her Mum. Certainly I would not have done that to my mother.

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    1. Maggie - Minneapolis25 November 2017 at 03:28

      Perhaps Thanksgiving is not a huge deal in their family. Or maybe her mom has been visiting in Toronto the past few weeks. Or maybe neither are true but I can say that having been in a long distance relationship before, it changes things from most normal relationships - I never liked sacrificing family time during holidays for boyfriends, but the long distance relationship was very different bc we saw each other maybe as much as I saw my parents. And I can only imagine that a long distance relationship that is overseas and not just national makes it seem even more like you want to take as many opportunities as possible to spend time with the significant other since those opportunities are not plentiful. And even more so when getting older and probably looking to settle down sooner rather than later. I'm sure Meghan's mom understands that this is a critical time in a relationship for two people dating long distance when already at the age where they realistically have to be thinking about having kids and stuff soon if they want that in their future.

      Delete
    2. Thanksgiving may not be a very important holiday to them, or perhaps they've taken to celebrating the Canadian Thanksgiving since Meghan's been living in Toronto. She's obviously very close with her mother and I doubt she'd have done anything unkind - she's well known for being extremely thoughtful!

      Delete
    3. Alimai. again, we do not know that Doria wasn't in London.
      🐶 There was a report that the dogs, Guy and Bogart were in Los Angeles with Doria. I don't believe it. There was also a report that said that Meghan was in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. Not. She was in London.

      Meghan has had a trusted doggy sitter in Toronto when she visited Harry in London all those times before or gone on goodwill journeys to other continents. SO, Doria, in my opinion, IS NOT doggy sitting Guy and Bogart but the same sitters who have done that all along are. Meghan would utilize the same Toronto services rather than fly her doggies to Los Angeles. Keeping them with their usual Toronto sitters would be far less stressful on them.

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    4. Having moved Mitzi dog to Ireland and then back in the last year, I can say that the less that doggies have to travel, the better. We used a US pet shipper who was very familiar with shipping dogs—had done it for the military many times—and it took less than 3 weeks for it all to be arranged to Ireland’s satisfaction. No quarantine, no waiting at the airport for her. Going back to the US was way easier and half the price. The US is less picky about dog vaccinations and of course coming from Ireland with no history of rabies....

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    5. Good points, Maggie.

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  34. Oh I do like this dress! I thought at first it was the one from Paris and could not understand how she fit into it! I like the slightly deeper color of this one. I would not be surprised if it showed up again at Christmas for a formal meal...not that we would know!

    I think this is a fun night to add to their regular annual engagements. Since it's long been a rotating schedule, they have some flexibility but also seem to have fun with it.

    I am so glad the scare was a false alarm. I am sure I was not the only one here refreshing my twitter feed at 4:59 to catch the first news of the 'announcement' and instead saw the news reports of a possible attack. So glad it ended up being, well, either nothing or something quickly downplayed.

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  35. Sparkle, Sparkle - good for the start of the holiday season. From the photos, looks like her face is once again starting to fill out some.

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  36. PS, I like the dress but not the weird lace edging that appears to be at the bottom of the underlying. Not sure what that is about.

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    1. My guess is that it's meant to look like the lace edging on a nice slip. I like it. It's a good compromise -- I'd even say improvement -- between the original design and concerns for modesty.

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    2. I think that is called eyelash lace.

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    3. I can see what you mean about the lace edging on a slip. I just think it's weird under a sparkly overlay. The two items complete in my opinion. But Kate does love her lace!

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  37. Kate looks great, so pleased with this outfit. I do have a question though- in previous years (quite a ways back, but maybe in Diana’s time?), they used to wear tiaras to this event.

    Does anyone know when and why they stopped wearing tiaras to this event or do you think it’s just the overall more casual dress for the royals as it is with society in general (although obviously royals are much more formal than normal society - I just mean by not wearing a tiara, they are more casual than if they did wear a tiara)?

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    1. I think it was just a sociological thing like you mentioned, Lynn. An outcome of changing social more' and fashion.

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  38. Tammy from California25 November 2017 at 03:23

    Dazzling! Loved it and I really loved the shoes!! Sparkle, glitter, dazzle. Love!

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    1. I thought so too. :-)

      So often her eveningwear is criticized for being boring in comparison to what she has access to and i honestly thought this would not disappoint.

      I am quite fond of the sheer fabric and glitter, and the earrings are a perfect match. My only wishlist item is an updo to add sophistication and highlight the best quality of the dress.

      Overall, it's a stunning look .

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  39. I’ll start by saying that she looks gorgeous. Always does! You can’t even tell she’s pregnant!

    However, I don’t like this dress at all. I didn’t like the Paris version either (too Disney princessy and reminiscent of a 2002 prom dress) This one is so similar, but I like it even less! I totally get that it’s a style and color she’s comfortable with, and that she probably doesn’t fit in many of her gowns. But why get essentially the same dress? A different color would make a world of difference- black or navy could have been beautiful, or a blush pink!. My biggest gripe are those huge sparkle things on it. It’s just toooo much! Her hair up would be an improvement. Don’t you want to bet her hair kept snagging on those big pailettes??

    But- even with all of these gripes she still looks beautiful. That’s why we all follow her style so closely, isn’t it!?

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  40. I much prefer the Paris Packham; this one just doesn't do anything for Kate, in my opinion.

    I was surprised and happy to see Miranda Hart hosting. I'm a big fan of Call the Midwife and, thus, Miranda Hart.

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  41. a great event.. I am a huge Miranda Hart Fan. I just love Kate's makeup tonight. Gorgeous eyes. I also love her shorter hair. I like the silhouette of the dress but as I have said.. and someone else also said I like her better in Jewel tones and i not a fan of her in ice blue. The beading(?) looks very itchy and flashy like a stage costume. Perhaps it is appropriate for attending a stage performance but not my favorite.

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  42. Maggie - Minneapolis25 November 2017 at 12:36

    So happy, of course, that the security alert ended up just being caution, and not a real attack or anything.
    I must say, this is perhaps one of my favorite makeup jobs by Kate or whomever did her makeup. She looks fantastic...love the lip color, and adore the eye makeup. She looks gorgeous.
    The outfit? The very first picture I saw of her was the third picture of her on here. I loved the dress from that close up at very first glance. When "zooming out", I'm not quite as much of a fan, although I'm in the minority in that I actually like it better than the Paris dress. I'm not a huge fan of ice-ish blue on Kate bc imo pastels wash her out while jewel tones make her glow, and I'm honestly tired of seeing her in sooo many clothes of that color, but I do like this shade on her more than the Paris dress. I do definitely agree with everyone who thinks that the embellishments on the arm are not flattering. When a dress design makes Kate of all people look like she has big arms, even when pregnant, it seems like poor design for a dress. Although of course there is nothing wrong with actually being bigger.
    I also think that the design element of the lining being shorter than the netting over it is interesting, but not flattering on a pregnant body which could use visual lengthening, rather than the shortening seemingly being achieved here. So overall, this dress for me does seem to achieve the impossible of appearing matronly while also like a gown that a 6 year old girl might envision as a "princess dress". And I don't think I've ever thought that the shoes have matched whatever outfit they've been worn with, and that feeling continues with this one.
    That all being said - Kate is glowing and looks wonderful. And while I was disappointed at how similar this dress is to the Paris one (nothing wrong with having some favorite styles but I do wish she would spread out similar outfits a little more), the gown still does mostly feel different from Kate's usual formal style in the long-run, and I will always be happy about that :)

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    1. She looks like a goddess. Just gorgeous.
      Agree on the jewel tones. I still really like this dress and the whole look though.
      And as for big arms - when you are used to lifting weights and stop all of a sudden, the muscle starts getting loser and slowly starts looking bigger. One of the reasons I stopped lifting heavy weights and am only lifting lighter ones. I think that Kate is going through the same thing. I don't think this is a dress problem.

      Delete
    2. I looked at the shoulders photos quite closely and I think the problem is that the sequins are clumped together, almost like padding. I contrasted that with the Paris dress and in the latter she looks much less like Princesses Charlene who has a typical swimmer’s build.

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    3. That new baby and toddler Charlotte should help get her arms back into shape soon enough! I would assume her workout routine took a major backseat while she was sick.

      Delete
  43. Oh wow, Kate looks absolutely stunning. A real fairy princess look. I agree, those heels are sky high. But, she can pull it off, and she did not slip down or up any stairs, so go Kate I say!! Lovely evening, well done to keep the show going despite threats in the city. The British do that better than anyone. Very impressive.

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  44. I loved this dress and thought she looked gorgeous, but am perplexed as to why she would have this dress made in ice blue as the dress she wore in Paris is similar and almost the same color. I also like this dress much better than the Paris one...just my opinion.

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  45. Hello everyone! Hope all my fellow Americans had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have house guests so haven't read the comnent section yet and need to be brief. My first impression of this dress was " oh I love it". It's sparkly and glittering with shades of Cinderella and, yes, Elsa. Then I looked again. I think its a miss, for me. Up close the sequins and beadwork are rather too much tipping the dress into garish territory. Also, Kate is not a burly woman but she looks huge up top in this. Why I dont know but there it is. Perhaps too much ornamentation when pregnant doesnt work. So not her best look imo. I will say that it is nice to see her experiment and not wear another dark lace gown.

    I said it during her pregnancy with Charlotte but I'll say it again. I think Kate needs to embrace maternity wear. Buying bigger sizes of non maternity clothes just doesn't work when one is pregnant. It ends up making one look big, doesn't fall right and is unflattering.

    On a positive note, the shoes are killer and I like that they can be seen through the tulle overlay. Kate looks gorgeous no matter what she wears anyway.

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  46. I'd like the dress with a bit less sparkle and a different colour. Her shoes are beautiful, they look like the ones she wore at the UK-India Year of Culture celebration at the beginning of the year??? Her hair is gorgeous as you can see in the delightful close up photo but if it was in a different style, nothing fancy, then we could see those earrings better.

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  47. Jessica in Los Angeles25 November 2017 at 22:01

    Is it possible to think something is beautiful and boring at the same time?
    At first I thought it was so pretty, but I quickly realized this is a miss for me. The hair is wrong somehow, the jewels add bulk to her arms when photographed, and the difference in the hemlines looks weird. And honestly, even though it’s new, I feel like I’ve seen this a hundred times. I do wish she’d stick to jewel tones instead of this blue. I LOVE these shoes though!

    I do wish people would stop criticizing her for wearing heels when pregnant. I’m sure she’s more than capable of walking in them.

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  48. Catherine looks spectacular. I knew she had it in her. Well done!!!!

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  49. Carmen from Texas26 November 2017 at 05:13

    Stunning! I really loved her makeup. She looks happy, healthy and just beautiful! And it sounds like a really fun event, too!

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    1. Kate so what is the plan?
      William I'll start over there with the tumblers, you start with Anne and we'll be out of here in 10 minutes

      Conversation between William and Kate after the show

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    2. bluhare. Pretty similar to the many conversations between the Queen and Prince Phillip in those situations no doubt. :)

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  50. In the photograph of the royal box in dim light, with everyone singing, Kate's gown turns a more intense blue. Combined with the men's white shirts and the red roses, the effect is patriotic. Kate probably realized that, and she knew that the sparkles on the dress would make it more visible from a distance. Kate is an artist and photographer. She understands visual effects.

    I am so glad to see Kate's beautiful pumps, rather than open-toed sandals. The double hemline, devised when the unfortunate short lining was lowered for this bespoke version, is slightly odd, but it does show off those shoes. :-)

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  51. Patrica I. That sounds a whole lot like a "Kate thing". :)

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    1. It does, doesn't it?

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  52. I'm in the minority, but this dress is a miss for me. In my opinion, the number of crystals is over the top. I think a more judicious application of those embellishments would have made for a lovelier gown. I'd also like to have seen the dress on the Duchess in a jewel tone. I know she favors this ice blue color but there are a number of other colors that I think suit her even better. Regardless, she looked happy and healthy, by far the most important things.

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  53. This is just what The Duchess should be doing. It is sophisticated and beautiful. The size of the sequins make it look "bulky" but her slender frame can accommodate it. So well done, so sophisticated. The length of the underskirt is perfection, the earrings are perfection, the shoes are perfection. This is haute couture.

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  54. Wow this gown is certainly a disco ball! Kate looks so happy and healthy! I Love Kate's shoes and purse. I do not like her hair ~ a low sleek bun to one side and she would have looked simply chic. I bet her hair was getting stuck to all the embellishment. I personally wouldn't have chosen this dress. Over the top dress and and underwhelming hair doesn't strike a balance. With a checklist in hand I would have chosen a gown from the British label Needle & Thread with these accessories. Just enough sparkle but not too much!

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  55. While I don’t really admire the dress, Catherine is still a beautiful woman, and I have to say that I admire their courage.

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  56. I am writing to thank you sincerely for your wonderful coverage of the Duchess. I read this blog first thing every day so I can always start the day on a happy note. I've just added your blog about Meghan to my morning list as well.

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  57. Pretty dress and I like the silver shoes. But I don't like the lace at the bottom of the inner 'slip', really does make it look like a petticoat. Excited at today's engagement announcement; heard the 'breaking news' story at 10am!

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