Thursday, 17 April 2014

Kate in DVF for Blue Mountains Visit

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent the second day of their royal tour of Australia in the Blue Mountains.

The couple travelled in an Australian Military Helicopter.


The Blue Mountains are famed for their natural beauty - a popular destination for Rock Climbers, Mountain Bikers and Hikers as well as canyoning and other adventure sports.

The couple received a warm welcome upon arrival.

Blue Mountains Australia Twitter Feed

Unfortunately the mountainous region is also known for the terrible bushfires the area has endured. In October 2013, fires in the Greater Blue Mountains Area had burnt over 65,000 hectares, much of the area lying within the Blue Mountains and Wollemi national parks. The 2013 New South Wales fires claimed two lives, and destroyed at least 248 dwellings and other buildings, with 193 properties destroyed and 109 damaged in the lower Blue Mountains area. The damage was devastating for those living in region. Following the fire Her Majesty The Queen sent her sympathies to those affected and praised the emergency services for their speedy response.


William and Kate met privately with some of the families affected by last year's bushfires. Locals requested that no live cameras be on the ground given they are still healing from the fires. Their Royal Highnesses spent ten minutes with one family who discussed their experience.

Their Royal Highnesses enjoyed luncheon with the girl guides.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

The (very cute) girl guides were delighted to meet Kate.

William and Kate posed for a photo with the girl guides. Instead of saying cheese they enthusiastically said "Princess".

William and Kate participated in a tree planting ceremony: a red eucalyptus to signify all the trees that burnt down in Blue Mountains.

The Cambridges stopped at Echo Point Lookout. Perched on the edge of the escarpment of Echo Point, it provides panoramic views of the southern Blue Mountains, Kanangra-Boyd wilderness and The Three Sisters rock formation.

The Three Sisters sandstone rock formation is one of the region's best-known tourist attractions.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

Well wishers had the opportunity to see Their Royal Highnesses at the site. Details of the visit had been kept under wraps until yesterday with palace officials only offering vague details about the itinerary for the day, so those in the area were delighted to have the chance to meet the royal couple. The exact route the couple would take, however, was not disclosed. Most likely for security reasons.

Blue Mountains Lithgow and Oberon Tourism chairman Daniel Myers shared his excitement:

'The Blue Mountains is one of the most recognisable, not to mention magnificent locations on the planet. It is fitting that one of the most recognisable couples on the planet visit it.'

The Blue Mountains has been a favourite royal tour destination for almost a century. The Queen and The Duke of Ednbirgh visited the Blue Mountains and Lithgow in 1954; before that The Queen's parents, then The Duke and Duchess of York visited in March 1927, and also visited Echo Point. The Duchess (later the Queen Mother) was overheard to say, "Look at those clouds! Isn't it wonderful."

As we mentioned earlier in the post, details about today's visit were kept under wraps, thought to be for security reasons. There was in fact a security alert today. More from the Mail Online's story:

'Police have stopped and searched two suspects who were "acting suspiciously" and "causing a disturbance" just metres from where the Duke and Duchess were travelling during their visit to Australia's Blue Mountains. Two men were detained, one of whom was wearing a vest made of mesh, with pro-Israel stickers attached.  
 A witness said they were searched completely and had to take all their clothes off. A NSW police spokeswoman said, "They were stopped and searched and moved on from the area".'

Certainly it was a very minor incident, but excellent to see such a diligent and thorough response from local law enforcement.

Kate selected the Diane von Furstenberg Patrice Cotton Wrap Dress for today's visit. The $325 is a true wrap style in the ikat print of the season. With 3/5 length sleeves and a subtle flare skirt, it's a feminine and sophisticated piece. The dress is currently available at DVFMatches and Harvey Nichols.


Below we see a closer look at the print.


The wrap dress works very well and nobody does it better than Diane von Furstenberg - It is very much a staple piece - perfect for daytime engagements without compromising on style. Diane created the wrap dress in 1974 - forty years ago. By 1976 she had sold over a million of them. The concept behind them was to take women from the office to a night out using fabric that was clingy but not cumbersome, it celebrated a woman's silhouette. The dress embraces diversity like no other and is favoured by women aged 20 to 70 and sizes 0 to 20. Are many of you DVF customers? I always thought the designs were a perfect fit for the professional but stylish woman.

Below we look at popular examples of the wrap dress currently available; the versatile black and white Tallulah Dress, the Julian 2 Knit Wrap Dress (currently reduced from $285 to $213), the Amelia Woven Wrap Dress, the floral Jeanne Dress and the pleated Kaley Dress. All dresses shown are available in a number of colourways at Nordstrom.


The Duchess previously wore the gorgeous green silk  DVF Maja dress during a trip to Los Angeles following the Canada tour in 2011.

Kate teamed the dress with her trusty Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon Wedges.

Stuart Weitzman

The Duchess carried her black suede clutch and accessorised with her Cartier Ballon Bleu Watch. The $6000 piece is available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Once again, Kate wore her Mappin and Webb pendant.

And her sapphire and diamond drop earrings.

The Duchess wore her hair in a loose side ponytail on the helicopter but took it down before arriving. It's a very pretty on Kate.


We'll have many more updates and photos as the day progresses.

A busy day planned for Their Royal Highnesses in Sydney tomorrow:

  • The Duke and Duchess will visit The Royal Easter Show, which takes place at the Sydney Olympic Park.
  • Their Royal Highnesses will visit Bear Cottage Children's Hospice; it is the only children's hospice in New South Wales.
  • The couple will travel the short distance to Manly Beach, where they will watch a display of life-saving skills and celebrate the work of surf life-saving volunteers.

Are you enjoying the Australian leg of the tour thus far?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

William, Kate and George Arrive in Australia!

They've arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George touched down at Sydney Airport this afternoon to begin their tour of Australia.

Following a successful tour of New Zealand, the royals will be looking forward to meeting locals, supporting organisations and seeing the sights. If the response they received in New Zealand is anything to go by, their tour of Australia is set to be a memorable one.

Kate held George as they disembarked from the plane.

The royals were greeted by officials. The Governor-General's wife Lynne shared a light moment with George shaking the eight-month-old's hand. 

Prince George looked wide awake and waved his arms around as William held him while Kate accepted flowers.

The Duke and Duchess headed straight to the Sydney Opera House for a reception.

Crowds waiting outside the Opera House for the royals.

Tim Ewart Twitter Feed

The reception was hosted by the Governor-General. The event was scheduled to be co-hosted by the Premier of  New South Wales, however, it's been quite a day. Premier Barry O' Farrell resigned from his position, claiming a "massive memory fail", after misleading an anti-corruption inquiry over a $3,000 bottle of wine. It was unclear until the last minute whether or not he would meet the royal couple.

Prince William gave a short speech to mark the start of Their Royal Highnesses' visit to Australia:

'Australia's contribution to the ongoing search for MH370 has earned respect in every corner of the globe. Australia's determined and leading role in the search is at the very edge of technological ability and human endurance.'

William also referenced his mother and Prince George:

'My mother's deep affection for Australia - which you were so kind to reciprocate - needs no reminder.
I don't think I could finish without mentioning one other family member, George, who is now busy forging his own link with Australia. Catherine and I were very grateful for the many kind messages and gifts we received from across the world when George was born.  I suspect George's first word might be bilby - only because koala is harder to say. We really look forward to our time together here as a family.'

William and Kate on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the facility is adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, it was formally opened in October 1973 after a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition. The government's decision to use Utzon's design has often been overshadowed by cost and the architect's ultimate resignation. It is a stunning piece of architecture.


The interior of the concert hall.


The couple met with locals.

From the Opera House, the royal party travelled by boat across to Admirality House.

The royals will stay there for the first half of their visit, at the invitation of the Governor-General.

Admirality House shared this photo of the trio with Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove. George looked very pleased with his gift.

Kate was a ray of sunshine in a vivid yellow dress by London based Serbian designer Roksanda Ilincic.

The colour was very much an appropriate choice - one of Australia's colours. The dress is thought to be a bespoke version of the brand's Ryedale Wool-Crepe Dress with the colours reversed. The €1,093 dress is currently available at Matches.


From the product description:

'Paintings from Brazilian artists such as Héllio Oiticia informed Roksanda Ilincic's SS14 runway show. The Ryedale Wool-Crepe Dress shows just how beautifully such influences were interpreted. It features a bell-sleeved silhouette.'

This screenshot offers a look at the back of the dress (and a tender moment between the couple).

Roksanda Ilincic is very much known for incorporating colour blocking into her versatile and effortlessly elegant pieces. We see this demonstrated in the Laser-Cut Neoprene DressColour-Block DressOriel Dress and the Bronte Paneled Dupion Dress.

Roksanda Ilincic

Kate wore the designer 'peridot' dress for her arrival in Los Angeles in 2011.

Kate's much-loved L.K. Bennett Sledge Pumps made their tour debut today (despite Daily Mail claims to the contrary).

The £195 patent leather platform shoes have been a staple in Kate's wardrobe since the royal wedding and a great choice with the yellow dress. They're available on the L.K. Bennett website in a number of colours and Nordstrom with Free Shipping.

L.K. Bennett

The Duchess carried her L.K. Bennett Natalie Clutch and wore her Cartier watch.

Kate accessorised with her Annoushka pearls and her Mappin and Webb pendant.

Spalsh/Annoushka/Mappin and Webb

The Duchess wore her hair half up - half down, a style she is becoming very fond of during this tour.

It was a stellar look for the Duchess and how lovely to see some sunshine after the rain in New Zealand. I expect Kate's wardrobe will be quite different in Australia and I do hope we see more looks like this one.

What do you think? Kate told a lady in the crowd William thought she "looked like a banana". (Oh William :)).

Prince George's nanny Maria was photographed holding his Kangaroo Backpack. It's still available for $14.95.

You can watch videos from the arrival and reception at 7 News.

Tomorrow's schedule:

  • The Duke and Duchess will visit the Blue Mountains, to the west of Sydney. 
  • The royals will meet some of the families affected by the bushfires which swept through the area in October last year. Afterwards, they will attend an event with residents and community groups.
  • William and Kate plan to see the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains for themselves.

A quick reminder, we've updated our Royal Tour Clock to reflect Sydney local time. As we enter the second phase of the tour, we want to thank everyone for reading and commenting and welcome our new visitors to the site, we do hope you enjoy your visit :)

William, Kate and George Bid Farewell to New Zealand

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George spent their last day in Wellington, New Zealand today.

Following a private family day with Prince George, William and Kate visited the Royal New Zealand Police College on the outskirts of Wellington.

The facility was opened by Prince William's father - Prince Charles - over thirty years ago. Amongst those attending were serving members of the No.25 HRH Prince of Wales Cadet Wing, who participated at the opening ceremony of the College on 1st April 1981.

New Zealand Police

There were several elements to the visit, but it began, most importantly, with the Duke and Duchess acknowledging the sacrifice of 29 officers in New Zealand who have been killed during the course of their duties. This element was accompanied by a Mihi and Karakia, a traditional Maori greeting and prayer, with music from the police Kapa Haka group. William and Kate also laid a wreath.

The Cambridges had the opportunity to see a modern style of policing, with staff and recruits showcasing their capabilities. Commissioner Mike Bush said, "The college deeply values it association with the Royal Family and it is a great privilege and honour to host the Duke and Duchess".

William meeting a little girl.

Governor-General of New Zealand

The royals toured the facility and watched police recruits in training from close up before moving on to the parade ground for a policing and dog handling demonstration.

William and Kate met two of the youngest recruits :)

Kate enjoyed meeting the police dogs.

The weather was dismal and once again the rain followed the royals.

Police ready themselves for the guard of honour as the royals prepare to depart the police college.

Renee Graham Twitter Feed

After the visit, the couple made a final drive back to Wellington, where they stopped in the city centre to sign the City of Wellington's Visitors Book.

William and Kate conducted a walkabout, offering a final chance for them to meet locals. The Duchess was gifted a toy dog for Prince George and said, "He'll love it".

Prince William looks at friendship bands they were given.

Big Blue, the Plunket bear was waiting to see the royals.


Prince William mentioned earlier this week that plenty of eager parents had been suggesting their daughters would be potential partners for George when he grew up. Below we see Ruby-Cate with her father. :)

Kate spoke to a member of the crowd about George.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

Next, The Royal party will travelled to Wellington Airport at lunchtime for the three-hour-flight to Sydney.

It was splendid to see William carrying his son (oh those cheeks!).

George looked very sleepy.

The New Zealand leg of the Cambridges tour was a tremendous success. It saw the royals taking in Blenheim, Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Dunedin, Queenstown, Christchurch and Wellington. With a varied mixture of mostly informal engagements, William and Kate had a wonderful time during their visit whilst having time to give George his breakfast and put him to bed at night. It was a nice balance for the doting parents.

The Duchess chose her navy 'Sparkle and Tweed' Rebecca Taylor suit from the designer's Pre-Fall 2012/2013 Collection today. The designer is actually from Wellington, New Zealand, although she moved to New York over twenty years ago. Kate first wore the jacket and skirt in April 2012 for the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race to the South Pole.

Both pieces are crafted in heavily textured melange weft. The jacket features frayed trim and sequin floral embellishment at the neck. Back in 2012, Rebecca Taylor revealed the palace asked her to send some pieces, Kate loved them and paid for them.

Rebecca Taylor

It was great to see Kate championing a New Zealand designer, although I must admit I had expected to see someone like Trelise Cooper or Karen Walker in there at some point (Ms. Taylor is very much established in the US). We know Kate was sent a coat from Trelise Cooper and returned it, so wearing the designer was definitely on the cards at some point. Perhaps Kate didn't love the pieces she was sent and decided to wear two New Zealand born designers she already knows - Emilia Wickstead and Rebecca Taylor. The choice of a blue outfit was a nice nod to the police force.

Kate accessorised with her prada pumps, black suede clutch diamond and sapphire earrings and Cartier watch.


The Duchess wore her hair in a very pretty half up - half down style.

You can watch a video at TVNZ.

Now on to Australia. The Royal party will arrive at 2.30 p.m. local time (our Royal Tour Clock on the sidebar has been changed to reflect Australian time) and head straight to a reception at the Sydney Opera House. We'll be back with another post in just a few hours. Are you all looking forward to the Australian tour? :)