Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Kate's Weekend at the Houghton Hall Horse Trials

We had hoped we would see Kate make a surprise appearance at the polo over the weekend, but instead the Duchess enjoyed the weekend at the Houghton Hall horse trials, located around the corner from the Cambridges' country home Anmer Hall in Norfolk. It was very much a family affair as Kate took the children, accompanied by Nanny Maria Teresa and friends James and Laura Meade, along to cheer on competitors. Below we see Kate holding George's hand and Laura Meade pushing the pram.

The folks at Lou Grey Cashmere were showcasing some of their fabulous pieces on Sunday when they spotted HRH walking past:

Lou Grey Cashmere Facebook Page

As mentioned earlier, William and Harry played at the Audi International Polo Challenge Saturday and Sunday at Coworth Park in Berkshire, in support of their charities The Royal Marsden, Sentebale, Tusk and WellChild. If I'm not mistaken, it's the bones of a three-hour drive from Norfolk to Berkshire, so William must have made the journey to Coworth Park on both days. Below, we see the Prince doing a spot of warming up before the polo commenced.

William and Kate also attended the horse trials on Saturday, there's a photo spread available at the Mail Online showing Kate with George and Charlotte. You can view it here. The photos were taken by Helen Mathias from EyeContact Photography.

 Lynn News shared this information in their article:

'William and Kate are friends of Marquees Cholmondeley, who owns Houghton. "They looked very relaxed and were obviously enjoying themselves," said an onlooker.
The four-­day event attracted hundreds of horses and riders, including top overseas competitors, and featured the only British leg of the FEI Nations Cup.'

Readers are of course familiar with the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley; Rose made quite the impression at the state banquet last October in her Temperley London gown. It's also been reported Kate will host a glittering gala in aid of East Anglia's Children's Hospices on 22 June. I expect it very likely Kate and Rose have forged a friendship, as they are of a similar age and both have young children.

Indeed, the weekend was rife with social connections. We saw the Duchess photographed with James and Laura Meade. James and William have been close friends since they attended Eton together. He is the son of Olympic gold medallist equestrian Richard Meade. He has become a close friend of Kate's too, and accompanied her to the Badminton Horse Trials after her brief split from William in 2007 (as pictured below).  He is also one of Princess Charlotte's godparents.

James's brother Harry Meade, also a friend of William and Harry's, was actually taking part in the trials, and undoubtedly they were all there to cheer him on. William and Kate attended Harry's wedding in October 2010, shortly before they announced their engagement.

It's been a hub of activity at Houghton Hall in recent days according to Lynn News: "As well as the main horse trials, with its cross country course set out across Houghton’s rolling parkland, other equestrian events included show jumping, dressage and Pony Club classes, with competitors from all over the country and a large number of more local riders."

A number of the riders showed off their skills on the cricket pitch during a match in aid of a favourite charity of Prince Harry's, Walking with the Wounded, on Saturday. I expect Kate may have been watching the cricket match in the photo above with George and James Meade.

Houghton Hall provides quite the backdrop for a summery drinks reception? Is anyone thinking Downton Abbey? :)

This year marked the event's tenth anniversary and organisers wanted to make it special for all the family. There were over seventy trade stands for onlookers to browse.

A look at Vintage Deli's stand.

The Duchess opted for casual looks for the horse trials. On Sunday, Kate wore a Barbour jacket she's had for years with skinny jeans and her hair in a bun.

On Saturday, Kate wore a breton stripe top. It was initially suggested it was one of her  Me + Em pieces. Upon closer inspection Susan from What Kate Wore noted the stripes on Kate's shirt are different and suggested Kate may have worn her Ralph Lauren 'Tori' top; below we see Kate wearing it in 2013.

The Duchess teamed the top with a navy sweater tied around her shoulders, with grey skinny jeans and what appears to be a leopard/animal print hairband. Kate's exact hairband hasn't been identified yet, but if you'd like to Repli-Kate it, Claire's Accessories has a a very similar piece for £2 and are currently running a Buy 1 Get 1 Free promotion.

Claire's Accessories

On both days, Kate wore her Le Chameau Vierzonord Wellington Boots.


With thanks to The Royals and I and What Would Kate Do for sharing their finds on Twitter.

The eagle-eyed What Kate's Kids Wore quickly noted Prince George wore his Joules Baby Milford Quilted Jacket and Converse Kids Chuck Taylors. The shoes are available at Zappos for $30.


In other news, Kate will attend SportsAid's 40th anniversary dinner at Kensington Palace on Thursday, 9 June. The Duchess, who has been patron of the organisation since 2013, will meet many of the charity's ambassadors and young athletes, including those hoping to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games later this summer.

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?