Thursday, 26 May 2016

It's Alberta Ferretti for the Cambridges' New Official Portrait

We're back with a brief post covering a proper look at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's new official portraits

Photographer Paul Ratcliffe kindly shared photos of a 'thank you' card he received from the Palace in response to a letter he sent congratulating William and Kate on their fifth anniversary. Mr Ratcliffe has been photographing members of the Royal family for many years, and you can see his work on his website, Royal Family Photography.

The card Mr Ratcliffe received read:

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were so touched that you took the trouble to write as you did on the occasion of their 5th Wedding Anniversary. It really was most thoughtful of you and Their Royal Highnesses send you their warmest thanks and best wishes.”

It's great to get a good look at the joint portrait of the Cambridges. We already saw the solo portrait of Kate taken from the shoot, as it was used at the International Children's Palliative Care Network's conference with a message of support she sent. Below we see an enlarged version of the photo.

The photographs were taken by Chris Jelf earlier this year. Readers will recall Wiltshire born Mr Jelf took the Cambridges' family Christmas card photo on an autumnal day at Kensington Palace last year. I expect the new official portraits were also taken outside KP - providing a beautiful backdrop.

We've been hoping to see a new set of official portraits of the couple for some time now. Since 2011, photos from a set taken by Chris Jackson in the grounds of Clarence House - ahead of William and Kate's first joint royal tour in Canada that same year - have generally been used for official purposes and correspondence. The Duchess wore her navy Amanda Wakeley suit.

The Duchess looked stylish in a crisp white jacket and skirt for the new portraits.

Kate's ivory jacket comes from Alberta Ferretti's diffusion line, Philosophy (with many thanks to Melissa J, who shared the ID on What Kate Wore's Facebook Page).


The $695 cotton blend jacket features a rounded collar, embroidered detailing along the front and rear, a concealed snap button fastening, two pouch pockets to the front, three-quarter length sleeves, and a slim fit.


As far as we know, this is the first time the Duchess has worn a piece from Italian brand Alberta Ferretti. A firm favourite of celebrities and royals alike, everyone from Princess Madeleine of Sweden to Princess Eugenie and Chelsy Davy have sported their designs. The label is known for its romantic, whimsical, elegant collections covering a wide spectrum from print dresses to bridal looks.

Alberta Ferretti

The diffusion line Philosophy is a more affordable collection targeted at younger customers. There's an abundance of options for Kate in the collection which would complement her style, especially for daytime engagements. Below, the Pleated Chiffon Dress, the Chiffon and Poplin Sheath Dress and the Mixed Pattern Jacquard Dress.


It is very much thought Kate's skirt could be her Whistles Lina Dobby Skirt, first worn in Los Angeles in 2011.

Perth Fashion suggests it could also be a previously unseen piece such as the white cotton pleated skirt by Joseph. Both options are likely possibilities, but it's difficult to be certain without a full-length photo.


As demonstrated at yesterday's garden party, white, beige and cream looks very much suit Kate's skin tone and hair colour. The Alberta Ferretti jacket and pleated skirt were an excellent choice for the portrait, and hopefully we'll see the pieces again for future engagements.

What do you think of the portraits?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Kate Brings Back McQueen from George's Christening for Garden Party, Kate's ICPCN Letter & Outings with the Children!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Queen's last garden party of the season at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.

Today's party marked a milestone for Prince William - the first one at Buckingham Palace he has attended.

 Also present were Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the Gloucesters, and the Duke of Kent.

The royals stepped out at 4 pm to the national anthem playing before dispersing into the crowd, each taking a separate route, known as 'lanes', to ensure as many guests as possible have the opportunity to chat with a member of the Royal family.

The parties are a staple on the royal calendar with Her Majesty hosting at least three annually at Buckingham Palace, and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. The garden parties were instituted by Queen Victoria in the 1860s when they were known as 'breakfasts', despite taking place in the afternoon.

Kate chats with a guest.

The Duchess is pictured with her hair stylist Amanda Cook-Tucker and her PA Natasha Archer. The man talking to Kate is Getty Images royal photographer Chris Jackson, who is also Natasha's boyfriend.

William mingling with the crowd.

Her Majesty looked regal in a striking blue Stewart Parvin ensemble and a hat by milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan.

The Duchess of Gloucester also wore blue.

Kate shares a laugh with guests.

An overview of the party.

With an 8,000-strong crowd, enormous quantities of refreshments are served. More from the official website:

'Over the course of each year, the Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to spend a relaxed summer afternoon in the beautiful gardens of Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyroodhouse. At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed! Garden Parties are an important way for the Queen to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have made a positive impact in their community.'

A selection of the cakes served.

The Palace has been sharing a behind-the-scenes look at garden parties. In and around the rose garden regular work includes dead-heading, weeding and clipping to ensure everything is as beautiful as possible. And in the final days and hours before guests arrive, final touches to the lawns and grounds are made. Guests can also explore the history of the Queen's life in the Palace Gardens, which includes this magnolia gifted to Her Majesty on her 55th Birthday.

It's always interesting to see what the royals wear at the garden parties. As for the dress code, the Palace notes the following: "For a Garden Party, gentlemen wear morning dress or lounge suits, while women wear day dress, usually with hats or fascinators. National dress and uniform are also often worn."

Today marks Kate's fourth appearance at one of HM's garden parties. In 2012 and 2013 she selected designs by Emilia Wickstead. In 2014 she wore her very popular nude lace Alexander McQueen sheath dress. The yellow Wickstead coat was a new piece, while the other two looks were 'repeats'.

It came as no surprise to see the Duchess 'repeating' today. I expect it's done in an effort to minimize the attention drawn by her sartorial choices, ensuring the focus of the day remains on the event itself. It's something we often see Kate doing when she's attending an event with Her Majesty, such as last night's garden party.

A look at the back.

It was a treat to see Kate wearing the ivory Alexander McQueen dress she wore to Prince George's christening. It's a fantastic look on her; it proved a stellar choice for the christening and worked very well again in today's setting. The bespoke piece was described as: "From Spring Summer 2012 Collection, the leaf crepe garment with wave ruffle panel, rounded padded shoulders and silk lining."

Kate once again teamed it with the Georgie hat by Jane Taylor. The sophisticated sinamay beret with delicate silk/organza rose and classic veiling trim retailed for £755.

Jane Taylor

Kate accessorised with her pearls earrings.

Kate carried her new L.K. Bennett Nina Clutch.

L.K. Bennett

The Duchess also wore a new pair of suede pumps. We'll update when they are identified.

You can watch a video here.


In other news, the Duchess was spotted on an outing with George and Charlotte earlier today. Tweeter Political Pictures shared this snap of Kate smiling and looking on as George plays on a police motorcycle.

More from the Mail Online:

'As a young royal, he is used to having an armed escort, however today Prince George got his taste of what life is like for an officer - with a ride on an official Met Police motorbike.
The two-year-old was watched carefully by his mother the Duchess of Cambridge, who smiled as she held Princess Charlotte in a pushchair, while four officers helped the prince on to the vehicle and place his hands on the handle bars - which his little arms could just about reach. The scene, which took place today around Kensington Palace as the royal family waved off Princess Anne in a helicopter.'

The onlooker who took the photos said:

'I was walking to Notting Hill from Kensington to go to the gym when I saw a helicopter taking off at the back of Kensington Palace. I noticed George and his mother watching Princess Anne take off. The Princess was wearing a Navy uniform. After the helicopter took off, the prince had a go on a policeman's motorbike for quite a while. Kate was really smiley. There were about three or four hundred people watching. It was so lovely.'  

Kate looked very chic in the Great Plains Cezanne dress in its latest colourway; we wrote about the new print in a recent post.

The £75 ebony/navy combo is described: "Precision pleating features from the waist to the hemline of our best-selling Cezanne Pleated Dress for a feminine style that is as alluring in design as it is in print. Cinch in the waistband a little further when transitioning this chic dress into the evening." It's a very versatile and wearable piece - a great wardrobe staple.

Great Plains

Kate is known for purchasing pieces in a number of colourways, and she's previously worn the dress in two other prints.


The Duchess was also seen enjoying a stroll at Kensington Gardens with the children yesterday by Ashley Guitrau. As Kate pushed Charlotte with one hand, she held onto George with the other. Kate wore a long blue skirt with a matching blouse and a sweater around her shoulders. It looks like a lovely summery look for an outing with the children.


Our lovely reader Linda kindly emailed me a photo of Kate's latest portrait along with her letter in support of ICPCN. The Duchess wore a white jacket for the photo which was taken outside - perhaps at Kensington Palace? It's a lovely portrait.

Courtesy of Linda

In the letter of support for the International Children's Palliative Care Network's conference, Kate wrote:

'When families are confronted with the shattering news that their child has a life-limiting condition, their world can fall apart. For those facing this awful reality, access to hospice and palliative care services can transform their quality of life and help families to make the most of the time they have together.
I have had the privilege to see this transformational work for myself, both in the UK and through visiting inspirational hospices in Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. With each of these visits, what has consistently been clear to me is that while circumstances and environments can differ around the world - those involved in providing palliative support to families are united in their aim to provide the best and most loving care possible.
I have also been struck by their willingness to work together, and have seen the impact this can have. When healthcare workers share resources and expertise across borders, it can transform care services for organisations, and the families in their care.
I would like to thank the International Children's Palliative Care Network membership for being the global advocate for children receiving palliative care, and working to ensure that children and families across the world have a chance of accessing the vital lifeline. I wish all the delegates a successful conference and a special time together - to learn, share and plan together for the benefit of children everywhere.'

I was very impressed with this letter. I thought it informative and encouraging, drawing attention to the important work being done in palliative care, with Kate noting her own experiences and observations at hospices she has visited. A very nice message of support for those attending the conference.


Also today, news the Duchess held a meeting with representatives working in support of services for women in prisons yesterday (with thanks to Cepe). I imagine the meeting is a follow-up to Kate's visit to HMP Send last September.

Cepe Smith

And finally there's still time to enter our StyleRocks giveaway. If you'd like to win $500 worth of jewellery simply subscribe to the newsletter and let us know how you would spend your prize. All details can be found in this post.

Style Rocks

And we end today's bumper post with a shot of William and Kate boarding a helicopter this evening.

Catie Giebner Instagram

The Duchess appears to be wearing black.