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!

Kate Returns to Engagements with State Visit Role

It was a windy day in London as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed President Tony Tan Keng Yam of Singapore and his wife Mary Chee Bee Kiang at the start of a four-day state visit to Britain.

The appearance marks Kate's first engagement in eleven weeks. The Duchess has been suffering from Hyperemesis gravidarum and spent much of the last two months with her family in Bucklebury. Yesterday Kensington Palace revealed the couple are due their second child in April and Kate's condition is "steadily improving".

The second-in-line to the throne and his wife greeted Mr. Tan and his wife at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington.

It is Kate's first formal role in a state visit, and perhaps a sign of Her Majesty's growing confidence in the younger generation of royals playing a more significant part in important events (the couple's role is normally performed by Charles and Camilla). William, Kate and Harry travelled to Belgium and France earlier this year for World War One centenary commemorations, representing the Queen. While the Duke and Duchess will definitely not be attending the state banquet this evening, one could safely assume that will be the next step for them. Perhaps next year.

Kate told the president over tea "I've been looking forward to getting out of the house, that's for sure". It is wonderful to see her looking so happy today, hopefully it will be smooth sailing for her for the remainder of her pregnancy. It's been a very difficult time for Kate and as expected she looks quite tired.

More from The Mirror's live blog:

'Kate made the president laugh by telling him 'It's a bit colder than our last meeting', and he replied: 'The weather is lovely'.
The room at the Royal Garden Hotel where they met had a panoramic view of Kensington Gardens . The President commented on the beautiful view of Kensington Palace from the hotel and William joked: 'You can probably see into our bedroom window which is a bit worrying - I wouldn't look too closely.'

The couple took part in the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards, to which they travelled by car with the presidential couple.

Reporters noted how happy and radiant Kate looked.

What were you doing at 03.30 this morning? The Household Division was wide awake, busy making its final preparations for the state visit. While London slept, the horses and men of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment carried out an early morning rehearsal for their role as Sovereign's Escort.

The Army in London Facebook Page

The level of attention to detail and meticulous planning is admirable, ensuring the event goes off seamlessly.

The Army in London Facebook Page

As we mentioned previously, William and Kate had the opportunity to meet the couple in Singapore during their 2012 tour of South-East Asia. It seemed fitting for the Duke and Duchess to welcome them to London, just as they had been so warmly welcomed during their visit.

The Queen and Prince Philip greeted President Tan.

British Army Facebook Page

A great shot from the day.

The Cambridges joined Her Majesty and Prince Philip for the carriage procession back to Buckingham Palace.

William and Kate travelled in the Scottish State Coach with Singaporean government minister Grace Fu, while the Queen took the Diamond Jubilee Coach with Mr Tan, and Prince Philip took the Australia State Coach with Mrs Tan.

The couple chatted and exchanged smiles.

British Army Facebook Page

The procession travelled along the Mall before the royals - with the exception of Kate - returned to the palace, where lunch was held for the visitors. The Palace announced this morning the Duchess would not be attending the lunch; one imagines with tonight's engagement Kate did not want to feel overly fatigued.

The Duchess selected a new grey coatdress by her go-to brand Alexander McQueen.

The bespoke plaid piece features a fitted bodice and full skirt. It was a stylish choice for the nature of the event and the weather conditions. A coatdress is very much a typical piece for Kate, particularly for important engagements.

What Kate Wore correctly noted the material is used in several pieces from McQueen's Resort 2015 collection. Designs from the collection included collages of classic patterns including houndstooth and Prince of Wales check.

Alexander McQueen
Kate wore a black dress underneath.

Kate repeated the grey Jane Taylor hat she wore for an Easter Sunday service in Sydney during the royal tour in April.

It appears Kate wore her Prada Suede Round-Toe Pumps (the gold logo is missing but otherwise the shoes is identical). Made in Italy, the shoes feature leather insole and lining, leather outsole and 4 1/4 inch covered high heel. For those fond of the pumps, Nordstrom currently has round toe Prada pumps in black and nude.


Kate accessorised with her Annoushka pearls.


Kate wore her Mappin and Webb Empress white gold and diamond pendant. The sparkling piece is set in 18 carat white gold and retails for £,1850.

Mappin and Webb

And completed the look with a new Jenny Packham clutch.

The Duchess wore her hair in a simple ponytail

A quick reminder, we'll be back with another post this evening when the Duchess attends the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards at the Natural History Museum.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Palace Confirms Royal Baby Due in April & Kate to Attend Photography Awards Tomorrow!

Good evening to you all,

We have a brief post with a couple of important news updates to share. Kensington Palace confirmed today the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child in April. The news comes after the couple were photographed visiting Dr. Alan Farthing's office last Wednesday for their twelve week scan. William left clutching an envelope containing images of the scan.

The announcement means all is well with mother and baby. The Palace also mentioned Kate's medical condition, stating she is still suffering from Hyperemesis gravidarum but her condition is "steadily improving".

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website

There were sightings of William and Kate in a pub over the weekend, quite likely with the Middleton family in Bucklebury, where the family regularly frequent locals pubs for relaxed family meals. It marks the first time Kate has been seen out casually in two months and is another indicator her health is improving.

Carlamae Twitter Feed

Baby Cambridge #2 (as the baby has already become affectionately known among royal watchers) is reportedly due in late April meaning the birth coincides with other important royal dates on the calendar. More from The Telegraph's story:

'The date could coincide with the Queen's birthday, on April 21, or the Duke and Duchess's wedding anniversary on April 29. Elizabeth is already the bookmakers' favourite for the new baby's name if it is a girl.'

Speaking of the baby's gender, the Duke and Duchess elected not to find out George's until the birth and it will be very much the same this time too. When the little prince or princess arrives in April one expects it will be just as much a surprise to the parents as everyone else. Next April, the world's media will once again gather outside the Lindo Wing to catch the first glimpse of the newest addition to the Cambridge family.

The Telegraph

I don't know about you, but I cannot wait to see the first family portrait featuring William, Kate, George and his brother or sister, and of course Lupo :)

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website


Our second update concerns news of an additional engagement for the Duchess tomorrow. As you all know, William and Kate will greet President of Singapore Tony Tan and his wife at the Royal Garden Hotel tomorrow.

It was confirmed today that tomorrow evening the Duchess, in her role as patron of the Natural History Museum, will attend the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 awards ceremony at the museum.

The Duchess will meet finalists, view the exhibition and join Sir David Attenborough to present awards to the winners of the adult and under-18 competitions. Below we see Kate with Sir David at an advance screening of Alive 3D at the Natural History Museum last December.


We'll look at the exhibition in closer detail tomorrow, but below here's a taste of the extraordinary photographic talent on display. 

Natural History Museum

It has been quite a while since we've seen Kate in an evening gown and tomorrow night may provide such an opportunity. The Duchess may opt for a knee-length dress but the former seems a more likely choice for the prestigious event.

National Portrait Gallery Facebook Page

Scheduling two events on the same day further suggests Kate is on the mend and organising engagements within close spaces of time is very much the norm for the Duchess at all times. We'll have two posts tomorrow, one in the morning covering the state visit greeting and another in the evening. We look forward to seeing you all then :)