Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Cambridges Visit Scotland, A Summer Outing with Prince George & More

Following a return to engagements for the Duchess of Cambridge last week, it's been a particularly quiet time on the royal front. Where are the Cambridges and how is Kate feeling? Just a couple of days ago there were several sightings of William, Kate and George on a plane from Heathrow to Aberdeen. Excited passengers quickly shared the news on social media.

Shannon Grace Dyer Twitter Feed

In all likelihood it would appear the trio are spending a relaxing week at Balmoral, The Queen's Scottish retreat. The Cambridges usually visit in September, thus having the opportunity to spend time with Her Majesty, the Duke of Edinburgh, Charles and Camilla, however, due to Kate's illness it was off the cards this year. William did spend a weekend there hunting, but now Kate is on the mend they obviously decided it would be a perfect time to visit.

The couple may be taking advantage of the inactivity on the estate, as other senior royals are taking on a heavy schedule of duties and tours at this time of the year. It's the perfect location to indulge in long country walks and the privacy it affords is perfect for boisterous George to explore just as his father did as a child.


The trip suggests Kate is continuing to feel better in her second trimester and enjoying a family break. Scotland is simply beautiful in the autumn, and it's the ideal time to wrap up in coats, scarves and comfy boots and enjoy the great outdoors and cosy evenings by the fire.

Balmoral Facebook Page

Regarding engagements, we'll continue to hear about them at very short notice for the time being. I don't anticipate there will be very many though, most likely two or three over a very short period every few weeks or so. November should prove relatively busy with appearances including Remembrance Sunday which takes place on 9 November this year.

We'll let you know immediately if any engagements are announced.


Many of you may recall there were sightings of Kate and George enjoying a day out at Bucklebury Farm Park over the summer. Now, over four months later, a photo and information on the day has emerged.

Elou71 Twitter Feed

The news comes courtesy of an article in The Telegraph which includes a funny story about a family who saw the royals at the popular park. En route to the park, Adam De Marco, his partner Claire and their daughter Mia broke down due to a flat tyre and quickly found themselves surrounded by officers. They soon realised they were outside the Middletons' Bucklebury home and once officers realised they were not a threat, put their guns away and helped to repair the tyre.

Unfortunately it was too late for the family to visit but they returned the next day and saw Kate, George and Carole Middleton there:

'We saw Kate, her mum and Prince George at the farm shop, where you can buy fresh meat and other food. When they got into their Range Rover to drive off, we took some photos - and there was no sign of the protection squad.'

Set in a stunning 74-acre site, Bucklebury Farm Park offers a host of attractions including swings, go-carts, ponds, play areas and plenty of farm animals.

Bucklebury Farm Park

If George's reaction to meeting a bilby in Sydney is any indication, we believe he thoroughly enjoyed meeting the animals and exploring the farm.

Friendly animals are all around the park - from the cute and cuddly to rare breeds with some very ancient ancestry; did you know wild boar can be seen roaming rural Berkshire? Llamas, donkeys, Shetland ponies, pigs, cows and goats all reside in the park.

Bucklebury Farm Park

After a long day of exploration, visitors can relax and enjoy home-baked treats and warm tea and coffee at Woody's Café. All food is freshly prepared to order from locally sourced ingredients.

Woody's Café

Kate looked casual in a grey sweater, her signature J Brand skinny jeans and Mint Velvet plimsolls. On closer inspection we can see Kate's protection officer Emma Probert accompanied the royals on their day out.

No doubt, the Cambridges will return to the farm in the future with the latest addition to the family.


In August, William, Kate and Harry viewed the Tower of London for the official unveiling of an installation of poppies in the tower's moat.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War the moat has gradually been transformed into a red sea thanks to a beautiful design by ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper. Upon completion next month, it will feature 888,246 ceramic poppies each representing a colonial military fatality during the war.

Historic Royal Palaces Twitter Feed

We've had considerable interest from readers requesting a look at the project's progress. Below we see an aerial shot taken yesterday.

Historic Royal Palaces Twitter Feed

The moving project has been visited by many wishing to pay their respects.

Historic Royal Palaces

You still have the chance to purchase a poppy for £25. 10% from each poppy, plus all net proceeds, will be shared equally amongst six service charities: Confederation of Service Charities, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association). They will be distributed once the exhibition closes in November. Please click here for more information.

Historic Royal Palaces

It is an outstanding effort, visually moving and a touching way to remember.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Kate Supports Action on Addiction's Autumn Gala in Temperley London Dress

The Duchess of Cambridge attended Action on Addiction's Autumn Gala evening dinner and reception in London this evening.

Her Royal Highness has been making a comeback to royal engagements this week - this is her third in three days - with a state visit role and two evening events. It would seem after over two months of illness, Kate is very much on the mend and once again tonight she looked well and very happy.

The Duchess walked the pink carpet upon arrival, a lovely touch for the event considering pink is the colour of the charity's logo.

The Duchess, became patron of Action on Addiction in January 2012. It was one of her very first choices, and since then has visited a number of the charity's services including Clouds House residential treatment centre in Wiltshire, Hope House and supported the family programme M-PACT. In a statement the charity said, "Her Royal Highness has brought much needed attention to a problem that affects a great many lives and in so doing helps to challenge stigma."

The purpose of the black-tie dinner is to thank supporters who have helped fund much-needed service, and to encourage further support.

Guests enjoyed a pre-dinner reception with a pianist before hearing a speech by the Charity's Chair John Lloyd. Well known comedian and impersonator Rory Bremner also performed (one wonders if he omitted his popular Prince Charles impersonation given Kate's presence :)).

 Clarence House shared this photo of Kate mingling with guests.

Clarence House Twitter Feed

Kate said she was glad to be getting out of the house and fielded questions about whether she is expecting a boy or a girl.

More from the Express story:

'Christopher said afterwards "She's a fabulous woman, she does so much for charity. We're obviously all aware, there was a bit of nervousness that this may not happen with her being here. But we're so pleased that she's recovered and she's here. She said she's loving being here.
 I think there was talk of her heels and there was talk about the baby and I think someone asked the question 'What is it going to be?' but she didn't answer'.

Kate chatted with millionaire Hans Rausing. The 51-year-old was convicted of preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife Eva's body by keeping it in the house for two months after she died from an overdose. The heir to the Tetra Pak fortunate is a major supporter of the charity.

The event was hosted at the award-winning Italian restaurant L'Anima. Translated as Italian for soul, this essence has been incorporated in the every detail of the trendy, sophisticated restaurant and bar.


From delicious contemporary Italian cuisine, to a superb wine list, friendly staff and inviting interiors, L'Anima has become incredibly popular in London  and it's always nice to see successful businesses giving back by providing the venue for a night such as this.


A look at one of the restaurant's popular desserts, Rosa Alpina Ice Cream with pumpkin seed oil and caramelised pumpkin seeds.


The Duchess appeared to be having a great time.

Kate's attendance at the gala has been very important for the organisation in terms of media awareness. Having such a high-profile figure support such a worthy cause and bring awareness is exactly what they need in order to keep providing vital services and support. For the Duchess, it's excellent to see her showing her support tonight for her patronage.

In a foreword for the programme tonight, Kate wrote "During the time I have spent with clients and staff I have been privileged to see phenomenal work which the charity undertakes to improve the lives of those affected by addiction".

As many of our readers know, Action on Addiction is the only UK charity working across the addiction field in research, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, professional education and development, and support for families. Addiction is incredibly prevalent in our society with one in three people suffering from it. If you wish to donate or find out more please click here.

Action on Addiction

You can also read the charity's clients' stories on the website. Henry reveals in his story he weighed little over five and half stones and could not walk up a flight of stairs when he entered the medical centre. Henry eloquently writes, "without the 'magic' of Clouds House I would have died, there is no doubt. I owe my life to all the people who worked and helped Clouds House function in the early days."

Action on Addiction

Chief executive, Nick Barton said:

'The Duchess of Cambridge has shown unwavering support of the charity and we are delighted that our patron is able to attend the Autumn Gala evening. We are enormously grateful that Her Royal Highness helped us to keep addiction very much in the spotlight by her involvement to help reduce the stigma surrounding the condition.
 The charity's mission is to free people from addiction and we hope this evening will help us to make further progress in achieving that aim.'

Moving on to what Kate wore this evening.

We had been hoping we would see Kate in another formal gown for the gala, however, the nature of event saw guests dressed in cocktail dresses. The Duchess did not disappoint in a pretty black dress by Temperley London.

Temperley London

The Emblem Flare Dress from Temperley London's Pre-Fall Collection is a long-sleeved dress inspired by stained glass ironwork and woven from a light-weight cotton-blend yarn. Delicate panels expose the nude slip and the design is finished with a slashed neckline and a scooped neck. It's currently available for £595 on the website and at Shoptiques.

Temperley London

For those who like the design of the dress, other items in the Emblem range include the Stretch Cotton-Blend Dress and the Emblem Top.

Temperley London

Kate's dress includes a bow belt, the Duchess may have added it herself.

Readers correctly noted similarities to the belt Kate wore with her much loved Temperley London Amoret Gown. From looking at photos it appears they are different, as you can see the belt is velvet which the one worn tonight does not appear to be.

Kate teamed the dress with her gorgeous black suede Jimmy Choo Cosmic Pumps.

Jimmy Choo

Kate's worn these diamond earrings several times, they were reportedly a wedding gift from Prince Charles.

A closer look.

Kate carried a black beaded clutch tonight, it is similar to one she was photographed carrying several years ago. We'll update when we know for certain.

What do you think of Kate's look tonight? The dress wasn't a favourite of mine, however it looked great  on Kate. I don't think it photographed as well as previous dresses due to the nude lining.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Kate in Stunning Blue Jenny Packham Gown for Widlife Photographer of the Year Awards

The Duchess of Cambridge attended the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards at the Natural History Museum in London tonight.

It's been quite a day for the Duchess who participated in a state visit for the first time earlier today, welcoming President Tony Tan of Singapore and his wife. Kate's health has obviously been improving and she felt well enough to undertake two engagements today.

The Duchess was all smiles upon arrival and greeted by staff from the Natural History Museum and a sizeable media presence.

As patron of the museum and a keen photographer herself, the event was a perfect choice for Kate.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is one of the world's most prestigious photography competitions. An international panel of judges select one hundred photographs to be showcased in the exhibition, opening at the museum on Friday. The acclaimed show celebrates the rich diversity of life on our planet while highlighting the fragility of nature.

Natural History Museum

When Herfried Marek woke one October morning and looked out the window of his home in Worschach, Austria, he was taken by surprise at the transformation. Everything was covered in a thin blanket of white.

Natural History Museum

The under-18's category offers incredible talent too. Take a look at this photo taken by 17-year-old Edwin Sahlin in northern Sweden.

Natural History Museum

10-year-old Leon Pertinos took this photo of a cheetah lying down on his first safari in the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

Natural History Museum

It is a striking exhibition showcasing immense talent, and offering a glimpse into our natural world many of us may never see. After its première in London, the exhibition embarks on an international tour across six continents, giving millions of people across the world the chance to view some of the world's most memorable wildlife photography. If you're interested in visiting click here for more information.

The museum shared photos of preparations before the awards began via their Twitter Feed.

Natural History Museum Twitter Feed

Her Royal Highness met finalists and viewed the exhibition.

Kate teamed up with world famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough to present the awards.

We had hoped (very much hoped) Kate would take the formal route and choose a full-length wrap dress for tonight and she certainly didn't disappoint in a stunning powder blue Jenny Packham gown. The three-quarter-sleeve gown features a split to the waist with a skirt underneath, which shows off Kate's legs to perfection.

Jenny Packham's brother Chris is a popular British naturalist who presents BBC's Springwatch and Autumnwatch. Kate often takes many factors into consideration when selecting a designer for a specific event and I thought it worth noting.

There are similar Jenny Packham gowns encompassing many of the elements in Kate's dress currently available. Below we look at the Wrap Front Beaded Gown - a decadent design with all-over bead embellishment - and the Three-Quarter-Sleeve Beaded Tulle Gown with the same gathered-into waist. The gown retails for £3,783.

Jenny Packham

I love this dress and think it's so refreshing to see Kate in a youthful yet elegant garment. Kate has made her return to engagements in style and this look is a splendid choice for the glamorous evening. A memorable look for the Duchess without question. What do you think of it?

Kate teamed the gown with her L.K. Bennett 'Agata' sandals.

L.K. Bennett

Readers may recall the Duchess wore them to the ARK Gala in 2011 with another gorgeous Jenny Packham gown.

Kate's striking necklace and matching earrings are new.

The eagle-eyed Anna from HRH Countess of Wessex Blog quickly identified them as Monica Vinader pieces. The Riva Diamond Cluster Drop Earrings retail for £745 and are described as "18ct rose gold vermeil on sterling silver in diamond". The Riva Diamond Cluster Bib Necklace is now available on the website for £2000.

Monica Vinader

Kate debuted her second new clutch of the day - a bespoke cream bag by Alexander McQueen. Ashley Marie shared a photo of this similar style.


 Interestingly, Kate chose a McQueen coatdress with a Jenny Packham bag for today's first engagement and a Packham dress and McQueen clutch for the second.

You can watch a video from the event at youtube.

Natural History Museum Twitter Feed

It was an excellent day for royal watchers and lovely to see Kate supporting her patronage in style tonight. We will see the Duchess on 23 October when she'll attend a gala in aid of her patronage Action on Addiction!