Wednesday, 22 February 2017

UPDATED: "Proud" Kate Carries Out First Engagements as Patron of Action for Children in Wales

The Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Wales to visit two Action for Children projects supporting vulnerable families. Today marks her first engagements with the organisation since becoming its patron in December, following on from Her Majesty The Queen.


Kensington Palace said "The Duchess of Cambridge is incredibly proud to follow The Queen as Patron of Action for Children. The Duchess firmly believes that every child who needs it should be given the best support at the earliest opportunity. She is looking forward to getting to know the people that make Action for Children such a success and meeting the young people they work with."


Upon arrival at the Action for Children centre in Torfaen, the Duchess was introduced to Mayor of Torfaen, Veronica Crick.


Action For Children cares for disadvantaged children from across the UK, from before they are born until they are into their twenties. The organisation helps all types of families, supporting children and carers through fostering or adoption, and intervening early to stop neglect and abuse. The charity also makes life better for children with disabilities. It’s 7,000 staff and volunteers operate over 600 services, improving the lives of 390,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year.


More on the history of the organisation and its founder from the charity "Over 147 years ago, Methodist minister, Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson took the time to listen to homeless children living under the arches of Waterloo station. Stephenson couldn’t stand by and do nothing. Everything he did was 'In the service of the children'. He listened. And we’ve been listening and taking action ever since. From one family home in Waterloo, the charity quickly grew to become the National Children’s Home (NCH)."


Below we see Fred and George, the first children taken in from the streets, rather than having to face the workhouse in 1869.


There's a very brief but incredibly interesting video on the history of Action for Children available on YouTube.


The Duchess first heard more about MIST (Multi-disciplinary Intervention Service), a child and adolescent mental health project which works specifically with children who are living in care with foster families or birth families. The service works with both the young person and their carers or birth family to address complex mental health needs, intervening where it becomes clear the child is at risk of being placed in residential or institutional care, with the aim of keeping the child in their local area, and having as normal a life as possible. MIST has been running for 12 years.


Kate met service user Craig, 15, from Torfaen has been in care since the age of seven due to some difficult relationships within his birth family. Since being referred to Torfaen MIST 16 months ago, Craig has made great strides working with his young people practitioner, Jordan Jones, and is exploring a return to his birth family when he reaches his 16th birthday. You can read more about his story here.


Kate chatted with MIST Service Manager Jenny, about the stigma attached to mental health and the importance of relationships.


The Duchess met with birth families, foster carers and therapeutic foster carers who shared their experiences.


Kate enjoyed a quick game of pool with some of the service users.


You can view a video of Kate trying her hand at pool here.


More from the Mail Online "The royal also showed off her pool-playing skills during a light-hearted moment after a morning talking to children and young people with complex mental health needs. Kate was welcomed to MIST by service user 15-year-old Craig Davies, who also became her team-mate in the impromptu game of pool. Unfortunately for Craig, who was playing with the Duchess against fellow service user Connor Goodacre, also 15, she missed her shot. Craig said he was initially nervous about meeting Kate but lost his nerves, especially after chatting with her about Prince George and Princess Charlotte. He said they also discussed their pets including Kate's dog Lupo and hamster Marvin and his Jack Russell dog Wilf, adding: 'She was talking about how MIST helps us and stuff with life and school. She was really interested in what we were talking about.' Asked what he thought of Kate's pool skills he pulled a face and said: 'She was dreadful.'"


Cheering on the next participant..


Action for Children said "Staff and families from our Torfaen service loved meeting the Duchess today". There was a very sweet moment when a little girl hugged Kate.


BBC News Wales shared a video of the memorable moment.


Next, Kate visited the Caerphilly Family Intervention Team (FIT) to learn about their work with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, problems with family relationships and those who have or who are likely to self-harm.


Kate met a group of very excited children. I love photos like these - in many ways they epitomise just how special a royal visit can be. Seeing the smiles on the children's faces is priceless.


The Duchess viewed the team’s family therapy work that helps families understand the reasons behind certain behaviour. It supports them to manage feelings and behaviours using creative techniques that are tailored to meet individual needs.


The project is delivered by Family Support Practitioners who are trained and supervised by a Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Psychotherapist.


Kate brought back her chic burgundy Paule Ka suit today. The Duchess styled the look with her favourite black polo neck sweater.


Readers will no doubt remember The Duchess first wore it in 2012 for a visit to Middle Temple where the Cambridges launched a scholarship for disadvantaged students. It's interesting to note the choice of a French designer so soon after the announcement of the upcoming trip to Paris.


A look at the back of the suit.


It is thought Kate's suit comes from the designers 2011 collection. The double breasted jacket features modified peplum detailing at the waist. Below we see the design in a different colour.

Paule Ka

Paule Ka is a French ready-to-wear brand, created in 1987 by Serge Cajfinger. Born in Lille in 1955, Cajfinger spent his childhood in Brazil; he returned to France in 1968. In 1974, he opened a multi-brand store in Lille known as Paule Ka. Inspired by the grace and elegance of 50’s and 60’s style icons including Jackie Onassis Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and Princess Grace Kelly, he sought to bring a modern twist to their timeless elegance. The brand's style is geometric and sober, sophisticated yet urban. Today, the brand is a favourite of everyone from Amal Clooney to Jessica Chastain. More styles from the brand would prove an excellent fit for the Duchess should she elect to wear French brands during her trip to Paris.


Kate teamed the suit with her Stuart Weitzman Half N Half boots.


It looks like Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Eternal Citrine Cushion and Diamond Earrings.


The £1200 pair are described as "These teardrop earrings are crafted from the finest 18-karat gold, citrine, and diamonds that create a look you'll love for a lifetime."

Kiki McDonough

I'm definitely a fan of Kate's look today. The tailored suit teamed with the boots is very much reminiscent of her pre-wedding style. I thought the choice of earrings injected a nice pop of colour brightening up the look. What do you think?

************

27 February - Before we leave you, Kensington Palace announced two new additions to Kate's Calendar. On Monday, 27 February, The Queen accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the Royal Family, will host a reception to mark the launch of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017. This engagement is a natural one for William and Kate following their tour of India last year. A highlight of the evening will include a special Indian themed menu of canapés prepared by Royal Chefs working alongside chefs from Veeraswamy, the UK's oldest Indian Restaurant. There will also be a display from the Royal Collection including items from previous royal visits to India, and Indian gifts and manuscripts from the Royal Library.

13 May - The Duke & Duchess & Prince Harry will host a tea party at Buckingham Palace for children of those who have died serving in the Armed Forces. More from the Palace "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have arranged the event as a way to acknowledge and honour the fact that a number of young children have had to come to terms with the loss of someone very close to them at a young age, having lost a parent in Armed service to the country. Their Royal Highnesses hope the event will provide an opportunity for these children to broaden their support networks amongst other families with similar experiences." The party takes place exactly one week before Pippa's wedding.

317 comments:

  1. Nice to see her visit this charity as their patron. A perfect fit for her! It's so heartening to see these charities that support these children. Everyone needs a support system not matter their age, but especially when you are a child!

    I really like seeing this suit again! It's so... flippy and cute while still being very professional. The short skirt works really well with the opaque tights and I really like the pairing with the turtleneck! The thick fabric works well with the dark and covered "under clothes" (!!) in this weather! She really is on a suit roll nowdays!

    How different for her not to wear heels to a non-active event. Kind of refreshign

    Can't wait for the rest of the day and the full post :)

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  2. We have all been wanting more suits and/or separates and lately she has been delivering on that wish. Can't wait for the rest of the post!

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    1. I agree, Courtney. YAY for another suit! :-)

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  3. Julia from Leominster22 February 2017 at 12:20

    Glad to see Kate out for this first engagement. Liked the suit when she first wore it but not ideal for a walkabout with that short skirt. She looks like she's having to constantly think about what she's going to show when she bends.

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    1. I was not/ am not a fan of this suit,probably because of the skirt, which I used to wear when I was a teenager.... way too short around kids, at the age of 35, and being a royal.

      I think she does not even think about what she is gonna show when she bends. Otherwise, why risk anything?

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    2. Better that she did think about it rather than not thinking about it before bending over. ;-)

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    3. I think she does think about it, and like me, comes to another conclution than Anett and Julia. She has very thick tights and was in no way at risk of flashing anything.

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    4. My first thought when I saw the ensemble--way too short. It's not appropriate on her anymore. I like Kate, but this length is getting old and just doesn't work for her now. The red was a nice nod to Wales--Diana did red and green on her first tour to Wales shortly after her wedding.

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    5. Caroline in Montana24 February 2017 at 17:00

      I also thought this skirt was way to short. it appears longer on the model?! even though she is wearing thick tights and not at risk of flashing anything, this is still just too short. this jacket would look great with a pair of pants, NOT skinny pants, just a nice slim pair of pants! -

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  4. Great patronage. Terrible look. Skirt is weird with tiers and too short. These books are not the correct look for a suit. If she wants to wear knee high boots with a skirt, they should be sleek leather ones, not pseudo sporty ones. And stop with the turtlenecks under butttoned up jackets. And he hair-again. Sigh. Sorry this is harsh. I am annoyed.

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    1. Why are you annoyed? I mean, sure.. you don't like the look. But getting worked up about it seems a bit unneccessary :P Not for her sake, but for yours!

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    2. I love engagements like this because she always seems to enjoy them so much. I think she thrives on interacting with children. Nice patronage for her.

      Fashion wise this isn't a win for me as I feel that it seems thrown together. I think I agree with you, Katie , that this style boot isn't working with this style suit. To me the pairing looks sloppy. Also agree about the hair which I think is contributing to the thrown together feel. I miss her half up/ half down styles of 2011-2012.

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    3. I also agree. This was a miss. The pieces are all fine individually - but not together. Get a stylist to assist you please. You are a senior Royal. The skirt is ridiculously girlie and short on her. The suede boots are great - but definitely not with the suit. Use a stylist for the France trip - those ladies know their fashion. Gorgeous hair, but juvenile style. Just saw an article on Queen Letzia hosting the First Lady of Argentina - both impeccably dressed. Frustrating...

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    4. Kate does so, so, so need a real stylist and a contemporary hairdresser who also knows how to properly sexy and pretty updos, not jumbled messes.

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  5. Love the style and color of the suit, wish the skirt was just a little bit longer though. Kate's hair looks very nice pinned back :)

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  6. Love this suit. Very pretty and youthful.February seems to be Red & Black month for Kate

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  7. There's something so refreshing about this look especially since she's wearing flat boots, it is still so elegant. I love it. And i must say that i am loving all the shades of red Kate has been wearing lately, the colour of confidence!

    Love from Avee in SA

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    1. I agree, Avee! I think the turtleneck somehow also makes quite a striking silhouette for the entire outfit this time around.

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  8. Not a fan of this outfit - a bit too old-fashioned for me.

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  9. oh charlotte your so fast I on my phone im camping can open my twitter is that the red coat I love the coat looking forward to those engagement

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  10. For a trip like this, does she fly in and out for the day? Or stay somewhere locally? I'm interested in the logistics of this. So interesting. She looks lovely here, and I like a shorter skirt. But I'm not 100% convinced about the boots.

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    1. Usually I think they are flewn in and out with the helicopter. Might be that they stay a night if there are very early or late events.

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    2. She probably took the helicopter in and out. This towns are by Cardiff. It's not super faraway from London. They sometimes fly ahead and stay overnight when they go to Scotland. Couple of years ago, they stayed at St Andrews overnight before a day of engagements in Scotland.

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  11. Also, it's incredibly windy today across all of the UK. I'm talking gale force winds - the remnants of Storm Doris. She is very brave to be wearing this type of skirt today!

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    1. What a name for a storm, "Doris"! I agree with you, she is brave to wear a skirt like that in those kind of winds. Luckily, the wind seemed to behave itself here.

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  12. Kate really needs to lose the turtlenecks!! This suit looked so much better the first time she wore it. IMO the turtleneck ruined this look just like the red blazer outfit.

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    1. She probably read all the comments from people wanting her to wear turtlenecks! Lol.

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    2. Hah, I really like the turtlenecks! It looks so cozy and still very sleek and elegant. And it reminds me of her pre-marriage looks.

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    3. I agree - I'm not a fan of the black turtleneck under a suit or coat, though that's a personal style preference. I feel like this makes the suit look heavier and liked it better with the cola t camisole she wore with it last time.

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    4. Sarah Maryland USA22 February 2017 at 16:07

      Agree with you on the turtlenecks

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    5. I much prefer it with the turtleneck. I did not like the lacy camisole at all. I find lace to be quite fussy in general.

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    6. The turtleneck made the suit quite functional and eliminated the need for a coat. It also balanced the tights and boots.

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  13. A wonderfully swift post! Thanks for being so prompt.. I have to say I'm not very impressed with her choice of outfit today. While I am all for her experimenting different styles and all, and maybe I didn't mind when she wore this Paule Ka skirt suit first, I find it highly inappropriate today for two reasons. First of all, the length! Even though she has paired it up with boots and tights, I think the length is a big no no. I think it's about time she switches to knee length or just above the knee pieces. Secondly, I think a better outfit for this occasion for her would have been a coat dress, or even a straight/pencil skirt.. I find this highly inappropriate for a children's charity visit which would involve tonnes of bending and sitting down. Not sure if others would agree, but somehow this look hasn't worked for me at all, and I was really looking forward to this :(

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  14. nice look on DOC today. looking forward to the day DOC puts on SW's lowland boots. she will def'look great in them.

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  15. I too love the outfit. She is still so young and can wear the shorter styles and look professional too. Of course not everyone will agree, but that's ok. With her long history of great fashion, I wouldn't dare second guess her. Thanks for this article.

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  16. Her first visit after taking over for the Queen must have been a very proud moment for Kate. This organization fits so well with Kate's interests in helping children. I really loved the photo of Fred and George, the agency's first rescued children! :)

    She looked cute today. I'm too matchy-matchy to have worn those earrings with that outfit but that's just me. :)

    Thanks Charlotte!

    PS - enjoyed the article about Diana's green velvet gown with (probably) William and Harry's tiny handprints on it. :)

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    1. I know it's a bit off-topic but I'd love to know whether J.K. Rowling found the names of the Weasley twins in this charity's history! :) Surely, that would be a nice way of making the two poor boys' names unforgettable...

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    2. Haha, I thought of the twins as well Zora! Probably no connection since they are such common names.

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    3. You're right, Rebecca, quite common names but still... out of all the common names, these two paired together...! Let's ask JKR, shall we? :)

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  17. This is how you kill off quality french design.

    How she manages to turn a playful design into something this .. dull and girlish, is beyond me.

    Heidi

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  18. I love this suit. It's fun and different and the color is great. I think it looks fine with the turtleneck but I definitely liked it better without. I'm not so sure about the boots, though. I think a pair of pumps would have been a better choice.

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  19. Oh, I guess I will never ever see eye to eye with the Duchess on the type of skirt she loves so much!! For me, this is a style that a young woman in her 20ies working in the fashion or art business can wear and it would look really cool and edgy. On the Duchess, it always looks as if she tried to look like a teenager... That skirt length, together with that shape is just not working for me. That jacket, together with a fitted skirt, ending above the knee... it would look perfect. Or a nice pair of trousers (NOT jeans or jeggings), if the fitted skirt was too uncomfortable to wear. But, taste is a personal thing, so that´s it.... ;-)))

    What is more important to me, anyway, is that she looks radiant and comfortable with what she´s doing these days. And her calendar is filling up, so loads of more interesting visits and things to learn while reading your great posts, dear Charlotte!! :-))))

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  20. She looks great, love this suit and accessories. I like the length, totally fine with tights and boots. It's a win from me.

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  21. I love turtlenecks in winter. Kate looks warm - she is even wearing gloves as well as high boots. I like the jacket and the color. I don't like the skirt. Too short and with odd tiers. Kate should have a different skirt made for the jacket. If Kate traveled from Anmer Hall to Wales this morning, she didn't have much time for her hair, and it looks slightly unkempt. The charity sounds incredibly important, and it is nice that Kate made it the occasion for a return to Wales.

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  22. Kate must discover the magic of use 3 colors in a single outfit. This simple tip makes all the difference. A light blouse would leverage the suit today.

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  23. Quite a different look for Kate. The skirt might be on the short side (and I don't mind short skirts) but it has a youthful look to it. I am just glad she combined it with flat boots. With heels it might have been too much.

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  24. love the look, much more youthful the shorter skirt and boots, much nicer than the tan tights and court shoes

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  25. I'm not a fan of this look either. The hair and makeup look great, but the skirt is too short and looks awkward with the very flat heeled boots.

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    1. I think what I dislike about the boots today is that with a skirt they look saggy and baggy. Worn with a pair of jeans, they look great.




















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  26. I love the beige version of the suit with that little decoration but the skirt still needs to go, a pecil skirt or any other would be fine.

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  27. Queen of the Turtleneck. I was surprised to see this suit again. I remember when she wore it the first time thinking "it's cute but I wonder if she was comfortable with that short skirt." I feel she styled it right by omitting high heels but wonder if pointy flats would have been better. Agreed that an open neck would have looked nicer but Kate must be cold - most of the time - which is why she's choosing a turtleneck and the gloves. I'd really like to see her add a broach to her lapel. It just adds a little something visually.

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    1. Yes, this skirt would look amazing with pointy flats!

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  28. Nobody thinks that the skirt is too short? However like the colour of the outfit.

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    1. Some do, some don't.

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    2. I think it's too short. :)

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  29. What a great charity doing such good work for children. I love her look to day. Casual and a bit sporty with the flat boots. Her Hair is so pretty. The color of the suit is flattering. I do agree that the skirt is a bit short.

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  30. I really like the suit. But I think she would have looked better in it without the turtleneck.

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  31. I'm on red and black overload. I hope March isn't filled with green outfits. :)

    No one over the age of 12 should wear a tiered, full skirt this short. The length on the model is much more appropriate. I agree with Katie, the boots are too casual for the suit, and I'm over turtlenecks paired with suits.

    Of course, more importantly is this wonderful organization. It's a perfect fit for Kate, as she's a natural with children. The photo of the little girl hugging her tugs at my heart.


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    1. Ooooh... Personal pet-peeve. I absolutley cannot stand when someone says "No-one x should/shouldn't do/wear y".... Makes me so uncomfortable and it makes me cringe. I know it's generally meant as a extension of an opinion but it sounds so judgemental to me. Cannot stand it. Nothing personal towards you.

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    2. Rebecca, I agree. But also, I think many of the old rules about what someone can or can't wear at a certain stage of life no longer apply. It's about what looks good, what makes you happy and what is appropriate to the activity.

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    3. I think this can/can't wear should apply, even more today. Just look at certain celebrities who are admired by many.

      One typical item of clothing is skinnies. I think with certain age and body type, one should not wear them. Make me cringe too.

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  32. The skirt is entirely too short especially for a full skirt...it makes the outfit look dated and not nearly as sophisticated as a wife, mother a certainly Duchess warrants. (I am the same age with 2 small children as well, so not an "elder's" opinion). The choice of boot makes it look like she knew the skirt was too short and wore these because she needed a lower heel. They are too casual for the suit. She needs a longer skirt and a high-heeled boot.

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    1. I wasn't aware that being a wife and mother dictates what one should wear.

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    2. I think it does in a way that you should leave a skirt that would be more fitting for a 12 year old for the teenagers. However, reading through the comment section it seems like there are quite some people who love this type of skirt on Kate and quite some who think this would fit a 12 year old better than a Duchess. I agree with Ladylike that this is not the length or the style that I would love to see on the Duchess because I think it makes her look like a teenager (especially with her hair style today).

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    3. Ladylike, I'm totally with you on this, and indeed with Kim in the post above (although I might increase Kim's age limit to about 17). I didn't like this skirt on her five years ago; it is even less appropriate now that she is five years older, has two kids and is transitioning to being a full-time working royal. Surely it is not beyond her team to make her look stylish, classy and drop-dead gorgeous without resorting to skirts that are way too short. If she wants to wear them in private in her downtime, that's up to her, but when she's on public engagements she needs to look professional. I honestly can't imagine any professional woman in her mid-thirties choosing to wear that to work - the jacket yes, but the skirt and boots, never in a million years!

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    4. Helen, I think people here and at other places has coomented that they and their collegues at normal office positions wears this skirt length regularly to work so I don't think it's "never in a million years".

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    5. What a coincidence: today at work a friend of mine who is 10 years older than Kate (but looks younger) was wearing a skirt of a similar length to Kate's . She is a translator and interpreter, has to go to court quite often and meets high-profile people on the daily basis. I think most people here would consider her "a professional woman". She looked very elegant. I really think if one has a good figure and a certain measure of taste, they should be entitled to wearing what they feel to be appropriate. Of course we've all seen people in their 60s trying to look as if they were 30, as well as people in their 20s looking dull and frumpy but I don't think Kate is blind to her age or position. She just doesn't seem to view clothes and fashion as so important and probably doesn't want (and sometimes can't) spend hours dealing with them.
      One more point about the hugging. Some people are comfortable touching others, some are not. It has a lot to do with being an extrovert/introvert and many other factors. Kate seems to be rather shy and sometimes reserved but that's just the way she is, not a character fault. She can't just say to herself: OK, from now on I'm going to imitate Harry! Harry is Harry while Kate is not Harry, she is different. At other times, she is far from reserved: lively, fun, natural. She doesn't hug lots of people but I've noticed she often makes another kind of physical contact - like touching someone's shoulder (also in the video with the pool). Plus, we've seen truly touching moments (especially when she was genuinely moved) when she did give someone a sincere hug. I really think she cares deeply about the people she meets and interacting with people is one of her strong points. Those who have met her face-to-face often say how she made their day brighter with her smile and with showing real interest in them.

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    6. I agree with every word Zora

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    7. I don't have a problem with the length of the skirt. It's not like she combined it with a blouse unbutton to her navel or paired it with leopard tights. ;-) She is young and fit enough to pull it off, especially with the opaque tights.

      For example...

      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/d8/c2/5c/d8c25c4874c94d46f2fc6570aa83150a.jpg

      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/8b/c5/13/8bc513192b11869db2e8aabe56f083ea.jpg

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    8. although, even though Kate is more reserved than some, I think she is still a very warm, affectionate and touchy person and has shown that in the past. :)

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  33. Sarah Maryland USA22 February 2017 at 16:06

    I personally like the outfit better with the heels but the boots aren't bad. I am a huge fan of the suit though! However, I did like how she styled her hair in 2012 better than the hairstyle today

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  34. I like today's look, but I'm stuck on the same color combination... Charlotte is there a theory behind her recent red/black combo at almost every outing?

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    1. My first thought when I saw this outfit, "Is Kate stuck in a red/black combo rut or something?", I do like seeing repeats...just miss seeing her in something other than these two shades!

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  35. I rarely comment on fashion but as someone who was critical of the Duchess regarding the Paris trip I feel the need to confess that I like this look - a lot. I appreciate and understand the criticisms...but just as I know I can't eat cake with impunity and hope to fit into my clothes I still love cake - alot. That's how I feel about this outfit - its a guilty pleasure. I love burgundy. I love peplum on her. I love the boots and the dark legging/turleneck like a onesie to pull it all together. Its fresh and fun. Is it professional? Perhaps not and I'm open to that...I'm just owning that I like it as it looks like it would make her feel sparkly and fresh. Her vibe certainly appears that way from the pictures - she was engaged and into it. (Clothes can make you feel different things...Confident, sporty, classic...)

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  36. Love the blazer, not the skirt. Love the gloves, not the turtleneck. Those boots are wayyyy too informal looking for this outfit. IMHO They are more for wearing with skinny jeans. Love the subtle caramel highlights in her hair.

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  37. I liked the outfit very much, except that it is a tad short for her. I wear suits like this - the skater style suits figures like mine. Like Kate I too am very thin and tend to disappear in too large bulky outfits, which is why I don't like large dresses on Kate, like the Cassasola, which everyone else seemed to love on her. That said, I am a couple of years older than Kate but I would not wear skirts this short to work. Usually mine are an inch above my knees.
    Regardless, it seemed like a fine engagement and Kate looked gorgeous as usual. I do hope she repeats many more outfits like this that we haven't seen in a while.

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  38. Loved this suit back in 2012 and love it now,, especially the wine color. Thank You Charlotte!!XOXO

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  39. There is something about her overall look that is not working for me. I like all the individual pieces but somehow her look is just a bit of a miss. It might be the style of the boot? I will be interested in others views as it might help me figure out what is not working. It might be that it is one of those outfits that needs to be seen in person for the texture and style of the suit,boot,sweater,tights etc to work well together.

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    1. IMHO,the big gap between the boots and the hem of her skirt is not nice . The line is not fluid anymore.

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    2. Boots have got to go. Too casual for a dress suit.

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  40. Julia from Leominster22 February 2017 at 16:35

    Prepared to take heat with this comment - I've never run from it.

    First of all - a fine charity - a wonderful engagement and very glad to see Kate take this charity on. But I just watched that Wales video. The little girls are adorable but Kate looks so uncomfortable with their hugs. She's no Diana in that video. But I've seen her much more relaxed with children. There have been charming photos in the past - one my absolute favourite.

    I'm wondering if that short skirt wasn't constantly on her mind, making her self-conscious. Because if you look at her expression after she leaves the girls, she looks nervous and very self-conscious and gives that fluttery wave which seems to be a sign of nerves with her. Her expression for a moment is almost one of distress as if it all too much for her.

    I like Paule Ke clothes. There's the sort of clothes I'm generally comfortable with, and at their moderate prices, would be a good choice for Paris for Kate. They do lots of sharp little dresses and suits. I like the colour on this one but it's too short. When Kate bent over to hit the ball - well, her knickers were almost in view for those behind.

    Part of being royal is choosing correctly for the engagement. This worked the first time for what was a formal, not too active engagement but this was not the correct choice for an engagement with young children. I do think it's time for Kate to retire the minis.

    I did like the flat heeled boots with the suit. Nice not to have the towering heels with children. But since I'm grumbling, a haircut still seems in order - the way she has it pulled back reminds me of my school days.

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    1. Completely agree with you!

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    2. I don't think she looked uncomfortable with the hugs. Well, momentarily. but that to me looked because she was trying to get her arms out/change the flowers to give hugs back.

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    3. Julia, that is very observant of you--she did look more self-conscious when the two girls were hugging her than she has on many other lovely, relaxed occasions with kids. As you say, it looks as thought it was partly the length of the skir, because usually she bends down to the kids' level when they hug or talk to her, and she did not with the second little girl who ended up hugging her legs. I remain hopeful that it did not significantly diminish the experience of the two little girls. Engagement outfits that are elegant, appropriate, and functional all at the same time are definitely a challenge. In that sense, a smart strategy on the part of the Queen to have one set style of coat dress with variation in design, color, and accessories. But the Queen did not cement that style until she was older. Do you think Kate might try taking outfits that were "hits," so to speak, and having additional bespoke versions made with slight color, style, fabric variations? That would probably be quite expensive... Does that idea so sensible at all to anyone? Sort of like having the Preen dresses in red and black...

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    4. Don't think she was uncomfortable with the hugs. I think she rather enjoyed it. Thank goodness she is her own person and not another Diana.Sunday Post had a good article by Lorraine Kelly about Kate's natural charm and grace and making a quiet difference. That is who I think she is. She remains true to herself and gets on with it. Comparisons are pointless really.

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    5. I second your thoughts, Rebecca. She didn't seem to me uncomfortable or nervous in the video, rather the opposite. But I think it happens rather often that different people see or interpret things (photos, videos, words...) in different ways.

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    6. Thanks for mentioning the Lorraine Kelly article, JN. It was a thoughtful and grounded article, I thought, and ended with this overall nice sentence "Kate might not be as flamboyant as the former Duchess of York or as have as much sheer star power as the late Princess Diana, but she has her own quiet beauty and grace." I think Kate's quiet beauty and grace will have an influence that will continue to gain in power over time, and it is wonderful, as you say, to see her remaining true to herself.

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    7. To me, she looked relaxed and happy hugging the girls but the minute she turned around, her smile was gone in an instant. It made me a bit sad actually because I can only interpret that as that her smile had been false and she was relieved to get away from the girls. It was an odd and unusual moment from her and one that I don't understand.

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    8. I also think that there was something very strange about that moment. It seemed like she was glad to get away from the engagement but perhaps Julia is right and she was feeling insecure and self-conscious. It might have really had to do with the fact that her skirt was so short and perhaps she was afraid that it would rise up accidentally while the girls were hugging her.
      Personally, I very much liked her outfit. I always love her suits and I liked that she wore flat shoes, she doesn't always have to wear such high heels in my opinion. I also like her hair this way. Yes, it's girlish but she's not thaat old ;)

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    9. I think that explains it perfectly, Rebecca.

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    10. Actually, I didn't see anything at all amiss with Kate's expressions during the hugs or after. Nada.

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    11. I did not observe any strangeness but one thing I thought of with the girls. She was at a spot serving mental health needs and involving foster parents etc. For what it is worth Kate may have been a bit concerned about stirring up issues among the kids in terms of who got to be closest with her or touch her etc, not just with those two but with other kids there and there might be kids served that have some attachment issues and hugging etc can be part of that. Just some food for thought as to why someone at this type of event might go quickly from smiles to other thoughts.

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    12. I kind of see your point Erika. She had lots of things on her face when that smile was gone. But her bitching resting face can also contribute to that. What I realised is she usually smiles a lot when the camera is on.

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    13. I agree and it's interesting because a number of people have commented on Twitter about how uncomfortable she looked. She always seems to hold back from physical contact. I get that there's the old protocol about never making physical contact with the queen unless she initiates it - the proper handshake or the familial yet still formal shoulder grip and air cheek kiss. But Kate isn't the queen and we were led to believe the younger generation is more modern and not attached to all the antiquated stuffy, rigid protocol that made the older Windsors so disconnected from normal people.
      Camilla, who hold a higher rank and who will be queen or queen consort (I'm betting on queen, actually), long before Kate will be, is more at ease and more comfortable physically touching and being touched by people at events. I don't understand it at all. Kate seemed better at her job when she was first married than she does now, more interested, more enthusiastic and far less stuffy and remote.

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    14. Julia from Leominster23 February 2017 at 09:07

      I do think Kate has considerable charm, but it also seemed to me she wasn't comfortable right at the end. I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the girls - she spoke quite at length to them - but didn't seem to know what quite to do when they hugged her - quite possibly due to that skirt. She seemed more at ease with the pool table where there was something to watch and do.

      Both Kate and Diana have/had their virtues and faults as we all do - but I always felt that if Diana had not been born as she was, she might have become a nurse. Very early on, she visited care homes, long before she was engaged to Charles - and I've known several girls like her, a bit scattered when they were teenagers but with a very caring way, who when they settled as they became older went into nursing.

      Kate never showed any interest in this type of charity work before her marriage - the arts and sports were her most identifiable interests. There's no question she loves children but for a second there, she did look stricken. It could have been worrying about the skirt or wondering what to do next - but I do notice a lack of ease at moments I hope will come in time because, like Erika, a made me a bit sad too.

      This isn't meant as a criticism - the queen is quite reserved, Anne often seems to treat engagements as work and yet their commitment is admirable. It was just an odd moment in that video. However I don't think it was just star power as such with Diana - she did have a gift of expressing warmth which is why she was so loved - and it always seemed she enjoyed this sort of engagement. It's easy to say she had star power without considering why that was. Many people have charisma and star power but no sense of empathy at all.

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    15. I didn't interpret it as her being uncomfortable in that moment but that her emotions were starting to get the best or her and she was becoming overwhelmed and after the hug she was trying to compose herself so that she didn't break down in front of them or the cameras.

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    16. Julia, I agree with you that it seemed Kate felt a bit awkward in the video. And that the skirt is too short! I liked the beige version that the model is wearing much better...the skirt falls lower on the model.

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    17. I don't see hesitation in these photos... Kate looks happy and confident.

      http://www.gettyimages.com/photos/duchess-of-cambridge-february-22-2017?excludenudity=false&family=editorial&specificpeople=542588&page=1&phrase=duchess%20of%20cambridge%20february%2022,%202017&sort=newest

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    18. Julia from Leominster24 February 2017 at 15:40

      You could be right, Julie.

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  41. Tammy from California22 February 2017 at 16:45

    Well Charlotte, I think the Duchess looked great today! And I am one who is a fan of turtlenecks and Peter Pan collars, so I thought the whole thing was great! I really like the jacket and skirt. Wouldn't mind having the color of the suit you showed from the collection advertisement!

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    1. Another vote for turtlenecks and Peter Pan collars! :-)

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    2. I am a fan of turtleneck sweaters also, RF. One of my "go to's" is black cigarette pants, black turtleneck, black ballet flats or black heels, with the earrings and hairstyle being the pop of interest, usually diamond studs or simple gold drop earrings with a chignon if my hair is longer or my favorite blunt cut if it is shorter. My red, turquoise or pink turtlenecks with my brown or Ivory skinny pants (not leggings), although I wear leggings with other stuff a lot. There. My humble defense of turtlenecks, lol. (Ralph Lauren makes some excellent all-cotton skinny rubbed ones that really go the distance, btw.).

      I also love Peter Pan collars but only if they are done the right way with the right style of garment.
      Usually in a 1960's type of iconic style is my favorite.

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  42. The short clip of the two little girls hugging her says it all for me. They will remember that moment for life and will not give a second thought to what she is wearing.
    I like the outfit and think the turtleneck is ideal for the cold conditions in Wales.

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  43. Yet another patronage and event right up her alley! I'm glad we are seeing more of Kate this year than in all the years past. I hope she and William keep it up.

    I like the color and skirt of this suit (the skirt, particularly, is playful and youthful). Interesting she paired it with boots instead of heels, as Rebecca said earlier! I like slim boots with a skirt -- it is very youthful, but I think she still looks well put-together. I'd be interested to see a full suede boot with this look or an ankle bootie.

    The turtleneck and hair are a miss for me today. I wish Kate would retire turtlenecks altogether, as well as these half-hearted pinned back hairdos. There are times where it seems she really could use a fresh cut and subtle color update.

    As to the Paris trip, I imagine she'll definitely continue her pattern of sartorial nods to the country she's visiting and display some French designers. Since it's such a short trip, I'm guessing she'll have some repeats and maybe debut a look or two (depending on how many outfit changes she'll have).

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  44. I think she looks so chic!This style really suits her.. and a fresh look to repeating an outfit!
    The only thing that has really struck me recently is how few engagements The Duchess has undertook. With so many issues needing to be tackled I honestly feel that she should be doing an engagement twice a week. I completely understand that shes concentrating on motherhood but she has all the help you need to "work" twice a week..a real disappointment for a young royal

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    1. Caroline in Montana24 February 2017 at 17:32

      opinions are funny arent they? i am actually fine with her focusing on being a mother and raising her own children, even though "she has all the help you need". in fact i applaud her for not working more, her whole life will be in service to the crown. I think she is an asset to the royal family and a wonderful role model to young girls as well. im not disappointed at all.

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  45. Victoria from North Carolina22 February 2017 at 17:29

    I loved this outfit till I saw the boots. IMO her boots aren't matching the rest of it. I just admire how she can keep her clothes so refreshed after having them so long. I wonder what is her secret.

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  46. Nicole from France22 February 2017 at 17:40

    it really must be a terrible pressure to follow on the Queen's steps ! it certainly shows how the Queen considers Kate as a really trustable person !
    regarding the look ..... I definitely not like those "ballet-dancer" skirts so short on her bony legs and knees , very bad proportions,if she wants to keep wearing short skirt she definitely needs them to be pencil-skirts ! and (but it possibly is because of the photos ...) it seems skirt and jacket are not of the same shade .... a very tiny difference, yes . and too much black ! why not have, instead of the turtleneck , one of those lovely brightly coloured scarfs she owns ? that would brighten the look wich is rather dull-looking, despite the red colour of the suit .

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  47. Lovely! I'm very proud re: the boots (finally! No court shoe with black tights) and not carrying a clutch!
    Though I am not a fan of the black turtle neck and black tights, particularly with the gloves. Makes me think of a full black body suit with a red suit over the top.

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    1. I did notice her not carrying a clutch :) I wonder if there was a reason.

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    2. Perhaps she suspected she would need both her hands, with and around children :)

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  48. I like how young and refreshing today's look is. Even her face looks younger.

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  49. Thank goodness for services like these. What a great organisation to become patron of! It's a prefect fit for Kate.

    Great suit. Not sure if those were the best boots to wear with it, but over all, a suitable look for the occasion.

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  50. Great engagements today for Kate and glad that she mentioned becoming patron after the queen. I am sure she is happy to be back in Wales and has found memories of her time there after marriage.

    Action for Children seems like a very interesting cause and charity. It struck me as to how many and the different types of services they provide and for such a long time too, up until 20s. That is really wonderful and can be a stabilizing force in the life of children. Really powerful how it was started by someone seeing a need and doing something about it.

    As to Kate's look today. Really like her hair like this. I like that she is wearing it straighter and not so many curls, pulled back like this is nice because it keeps it out of our face but also keeps your neck and back warm. So glad to see these earrings again. I really love them but may be a bit biased since it's my birthstone. But I feel like we haven't seen them in a long time and it was nice to have a look at them again.

    The suit was nice and I do agree that the skirt was a bit short. Great color on Kate as well. That's probably one reason why she picked tights and flat boots, to keep warm and to offset the shortness of the skirt. If she had worn heels the skirt would have been really short! Liked the turtle neck underneath as well. But overall, this isn't one of my favorite suits for Kate. Something about it is just off to me but I can't quite put my finger on it.

    But the continuation of business suits with jackets and skirts has been a welcome change and I always love it when she pulls something out from the past and we have a better look at it.

    Great engagement, great look, and as always a great Kate. A win for the day and for Action on Children.

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    1. I think this jacket would have looked great with a pair of nice, black trousers and her J Crew burgundy, block heels.

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    2. Loved your comment, Julie :) I, too, was impressed by the range of services they offer to children and the support they give them well into young adulthood.

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    3. Thanks Kiwi girl

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  51. I really dislike this outfit. The black under the top draws your eye and makes it look disproportionate. The skirt is too short on her, her legs are wonderfully long but it is worryingly short in my opinion as bending over with small children raises it even more. I taught first grade and that skirt would be a no-no around children.

    That said, everyone looks very happy. It seems a wonderful engagement.

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  52. I love that she is embracing suits, but this one looks a little dated. What is the material? It almost looks like suede from pictures, but I know it isn't. Love the boots as opposed to high heels.

    I think it is time for her to purchase some new suits/separates since the ones she has been wearing are older and not so fashionable. (with the exception of the beautiful Catherine Walker suit she wore to the Netherlands)

    Also, just a thought about the calendar. I have always thought that all the DoC needed to do was have 1-2 events per week (or so). This seems to be what is happening here, and I definitely think it is the right way to go. For the most part, she has had an event every week since mid-January, which feels much better than seeing her once every 3 weeks for 2-3 jam packed events that are sometimes scheduled in the same day. She still has time to be a mum and to show her face in public with regular frequency.

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    1. I completely agree about her schedule. It is a welcome change in the amount and frequency of the engagements. It's what was being asked for some time. Thanks for pointing it out.

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  53. Oh also! Just noticed...no clutch! Someone has been reading the blogs.....

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  54. What an amazing charity with a long history of helping vulnerable children, such a suitable patronage for Kate. That old photo of the two boys was both heartbreaking & uplifting, thank goodness for people like the Reverend, who took the time to listen & offer these children a better life.

    Kate looks very pretty today with her hair half up & those earrings. I liked this suit the first outing & the addition of the turtleneck & boots this time is interesting. Those boots look super comfortable & seem like good "working" boots. I agree with others that the skirt is just a tad short, but the tiers are nice & Kate looks young and fresh in this look. It is very reminiscent of her pre-wedding style, Charlotte. I hope to see more repeats like this in the future.

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  55. Lovely engagement! Despite 15 yo Craig's adorably cheeky adolescent comment about the Duchess's "dreadful" pool skills, I was thinking the opposite before I read his comment: that Kate is so adept and good-natured about performing in the moment when it comes to sports and games, from archery in Bhutan to cricket to sailing to walking up a wall sideways in a harness (that trust game thing she did with William as part of an engagement I forget the details of) to simulating flying last week to pool today (plus lots of other things in between). She makes it all so much fun for everyone involved, in such a natural, low-key way.

    Loved the flat boots for a change and her hair pulled back for this engegament. The suit is beautiful, too. The skirt would be nice just a couple inches longer, but that is a small quibble with a great look and a great day.

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  56. I loved this suit the first time and still liked today but I felt it was a wee bit flat. I have no problem with her wearing black polo necks with suits but I'd like her to wear a necklace or brooch or something! Just to lift the outfit. But overall i think she looked lovely and i love her boots the suede makes for a seamless transition from opaque tights to boots.

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    1. ...or Queen Letizia of Spain or Charlene of Monaco. So many women from various royal families seem to get their styling and sizing correct, whereas Kate always seem to have something wrong or missing in most of her ensembles. That said, she is lovely with children and an all round warm and engaging person.

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    2. I have noticed that too Laura, I think she could really benefit from some professional advice. I think part of the problem is that Kate never had to "dress" for a job before and isn't quite sure what's involved with that. Sometimes her day looks, like the outfit she wore to the Netherlands can come off as kind of costumey, like she's wearing what she thinks a professional woman would wear. But like you said, she was great with the kids and as long as they enjoyed it...

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    3. I do have to agree on the styling. I am really mystified as to why she won't hire a professional stylist to guide her. She is willing to spend up to 7000 GBP on one single dress, so clearly money is not the issue. Just having someone who does this day in and day out look at the overall look would improve them vastly. She has all the elements usually but there is a lack of finish that does not work. I hope that at some point she drops the Natasha Archer person and hires a real stylist.
      As for her outfits appearing to be costumes - that is so right on the head. If Kate had had a few years of experience in a corporate environment or any office or even an art gallery she would have had a better idea of what women wear and what constitutes a professional look. She seems to think that anything that is not very casual is fine to wear to a work engagement. To me, it seems as though she has two kinds of outfits "Dress up" and "Dress down" and when she is not pulling an outfit from the latter group then she just grabs something from the "dress up" category, regardless of the venue or occasion. She does distinguish between weddings and work engagements but that is about it.
      Again, a stylist would help her so much with all of this.

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    5. Her "dresser" is, by all accounts, Natasha Archer, who has been referred to as a stylist but, clearly, isn't.
      Kate needs to get with a professional stylist, from Vogue or Harper's Bazaar or one of her favorite fashion houses, McQueen or Packham, and have them totally update and revamp her look and LISTEN to what they tell her and heed what they say (all accounts say Will and Kate surround themselves with yes-people who only ever agree with them). She's dressing like she's still back dating William.
      She did well before the wedding and in the months after. I can't figure out why her style has faltered so badly. If she wants rather dull, fine, but at least do up-to-date dull, not dressing for a date night with Will at St. Andrew's.

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    6. I think the problem with how Kate dresses sometimes is that, as much as we want her - with her height, slimness and looks - to be a fashion plate, but that's just not who she is. She grew up in the country, very involved in sports, a good student...just not that much into clothes. I think that's who she is at heart, comfortable in jeans and sweaters and I have to think that's part of why William was attracted to her. So now she has to dress the part of a Princess, and finds it difficult sometimes.

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    7. Charlene, Mary and Letizia have all worn things that make me wonder "what was she thinking" so I disagree that they always look great. Unless you want Kate to show up to engagements in leather culottes, plastic shoes or jumpsuits. I hate comparisons between royal women.

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    8. If she is not that much into clothes, why are there such a huge amount of bespoke pieces in her wardrobe, and wears new to each engagement lately? Mainly, she spoils the clothes by redesigning them.

      She loves shopping, she proved that many times.

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    9. Court I agree with you. Whenever I hear the comments that Charlene, Mary and Letizia ALWAYS look good, I google them and am either pleased, surprised or disappointed because they do not ALWAYS look good. I don't like comparisons either and think each have their own unique style, just like Kate does, and you can appreciate the differences between all of them. I do believe that Kate's style is still evolving just like her role is.....not too worried though because I think she does "near perfect" pretty well now. cc

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    10. She has a huge amount of bespoke pieces in her wardrobe and wears new things often because she's a Royal! She has to wear a lot of different clothes, including bespoke pieces because they sometimes need to be made more appropriate for her position, because of who she is and how she needs to present herself. She shops, yes, we all do. How do we know she loves doing it? I think if she were more into clothes, she would get it right a lot more often.

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  58. Anonymous in Colorado22 February 2017 at 20:47

    I love how the Duchess just lights up around children. What amazing resources these organizations are!

    Thoughts on her outfit:
    Color is lovely.
    Skirt length is a bit short but nothing I'm clutching my pearls over.
    The boots were a great choice to balance the shorter skirt length but I think the two-toned look of the boots is throwing off the look a little.
    Her hair looks fine & appropriate.
    Turtleneck adds a business-like air to the ensemble, also appropriate.

    Love seeing her take on this patronage!

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  59. Thanks, Charlotte, for the lovely post. I liked Kate's look today: the colour combination is elegant, I like turtlenecks and I prefer the boots with today's clothes to her usual high-heeled pumps. They seem to compensate for the shortness of the skirt in a way. (I agree with those who said the skirt could have been longer although I don't think it was inappropriate.)
    The engagement was very touching and important. It's a great responsibility to take over as a patron after HM. Last week it was former Prince Philip's charity, this time the Queen's ... it seems to be eloquent in itself - they both trust her and like her. It must make William very happy and proud, I believe.

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  60. I constantly feel as if dressing her age is an issue when it comes to daytime engagement wear. For the longest time, I felt she was raiding her mother's closet. Now I fear she might be dipping into Lady Louise's.

    I don't mean to be harsh. I do like the jacket component & colour, and the turtleneck. But meh. MEH. Maybe a pair of trousers might have worked better?

    Also, it's time for a haircut. Her hair is starting to get to the distracting in photo's again. I know she'll likely never cut her hair shorter than an inch from what it is now, but oh how I yearn for...something...anything.

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  61. This was a wonderful event for Kate. She is always so warm and loving with children, and she certainly didn't disappoint today. There wasn't any awkwardness at all. I loved the suit jacket and turtle neck. Not a big fan of the skirt though. Still a very worthwhile day with the children, who adore her.

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  62. Oh I wish she'd wear the other Paule Ka you pictured, the patterned dress with the tweed plaid coat.

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    1. Yes, I love that outfit too! I wish she would wear it on her trip to Paris, maybe?

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  63. I commented earlier about her look being a bit off. Along with watching the videos, seeing more photos have improved the look for me while the comments have helped clarify my issues.The boots still seem a bit off and as some have said it might be that they need to be all leather or a bit higher. The skirt length itself is fine but the skirt length relative to the jacket seems a bit off, I think it is looks longer on the model and improves the overall look. The look also might have been helped with a necklace to break up all the darkness at the top, not sure about that. I love the earrings. She looks great and interacts so beautifully with everyone at the event.

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    1. It is definitely longer on the model. One can see almost 4 tiers of skirt, not 3. And although the model isn't standing up straight and is photographed at a bit of a slant, the hem on both of the model's legs is closer to the knee than on Kate. This can't be only because of Kate's height- models are usually tall too.

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    2. Didn't Kate have the same issue with the magenta Oscar de la Renta suit? The skirt length on the model looks how it should be, but too short on Kate. I think it may have something to do with her long torso.

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    3. Kiwi Gal, think you might be right about her long torso. There are four tiers on her skirt and the model, its just that Kate's must sit up higher on her waist. cc

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    4. I take back my long torso comment, on What Kate Wore & another site, there is a shorter version of the skirt than the one pictured on the model here.

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    5. CeCe, I thought that's why it looked different, until I saw a pic of the skirt on WKW. That version has 3 tiers with a band at the top.

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  64. Theresa, from Paris22 February 2017 at 22:49

    Oh dear ! I'm sorry, but I found this outfit absolutely dreadful on the Duchess. The length, the styling... Even the hairdo was off in my opinion. A bad teenager look. Sometimes she gets it wonderfully right, and sometimes so terribly wrong. But it is only fashion and everyone has different taste, of course.
    But a wonderful cause. Although I can't help wishing she would somehow step up her work and be heard as can be heard other Royals like Princess Mary, Queen Maxima or Queen Letizia. I'm sure she would be up to it and I can't really understand why she seems to be holding back.

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    1. I don't agree. Maxima and Letizia are Queens and have full schedules. Mary is one step removed. Catherine does not have to match their calendars.

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    2. I totally agree with you Theresa from Paris. There is more The Duchess can do and she definitely comes across as work shy. The impact royals all over the world can do is massive and I feel she isn't pulling her weight. She has such a strong influence and is so liked by the world that she can make a huge difference with her engagements and choices. I would love to see her in full royal form. Being heard is important and I feel like her fashion choices and who she is married to gets more attention than her causes. She really has the beautiful potential of positive influence and she should definitely use it :)

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    3. Just a hunch here, but perhaps her father-in-law is quite happy that she isn't out there trailblazing and leaving dust on his face.

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    4. There is a pecking order and Kate is not at the top of the order for the U.K. All the other European Royals are the consort or the crown princess. Kate is neither one of these. William is still doing his shifts in Norfolk until the fall so the family is going back and forth between Norfolk and London. Other than Victoria, Charlene the other European Royals that Kate is been compared to don't have young kids and a husband who isn't a full time royal. The workload of the Cambridges is only going to increase as time goes by and they get closer to & on the throne.

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    5. Me thinketh you are right, RF @ 03:45.

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  65. Having never heard of Paule La, I looked them up online. There are many beautiful pieces which I would love to have if I had the budget.

    I think Kate looks good today. I happen to like the turtleneck with the suit.

    These type of visits must be draining emotionally. So many youth in difficult circumstances. I'm glad they are receiving support.

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  66. So interesting to see everybody's perspective on this outfit...the opinions are all over the place! I do like this look with maybe the exception of the skirt and her hair. I love the color of the suit, the turtleneck and think the boots are completely appropriate given the length of the skirt. I think I would have preferred the skirt a little longer like what is pictured on the model, or a little more a-line, but she looks professional and warm on what appears to be a very chilly day. She is appropriately dressed in relation to the event and others in the group picture. I wouldn't have chosen those particular earrings, but think that they do give a pop of color. I am not a fan of her hair like this, but love the full length picture of her smiling holding the bouquet of pink flowers. I think picture angles make a big difference in how her outfits are perceived!! I don't pick up on awkwardness, but if it was perceived, think that she more than made up for it with her expressions while playing pool with the kids and the picture of her kneeling next to that adorable little girl with pink shoes. The genuineness of her interaction is her own trademark. Think she will be a wonderful Patron and will make the Queen proud, it is certainly a very worthwhile and honorable organization.

    P.S. I too would like to see her wear the Paule Ka that Charlotte pictured at some point, with maybe a modified jacket...very chic. cc

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  67. I'm sorry, I just don't like this outfit, for one reason. I think it is much too short to be appropriate when Catherine is crouching to talk to children, or bending over to shoot pool. I truly feel like she needs to be more mindful of her position and the example she sets for young women around the world.

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  68. I think Kate doesn't understand business casual, and part of it might have to do with the fact that she's never really worked a day job before. "Business casual" isn't "whatever looks more casual in my wardrobe." It's a specific style especially for women in the workforce -- practical shoes, knee-length skirts, nice trousers that don't go with a specific suit, often topped off by a more "casual" sweater. It's a way to look more professional but not be overburdened with the pressure of wearing business suits to work every day.

    Kate whenever she does "business casual" tends to both look too dressy and too casual. Today is a perfect example -- the somewhat severe turtleneck, the costume jewelry, the heavy blazer/jacket with the very short skirt and casual boots are all a combo of too dressy with too casual. If she's working with children's charities she could look at what the other women in the picture are wearing as cues for "business casual." Because right now she looks a bit out of touch whenever she does these appearances, like a princess who has no idea what women in the workforce actually wear.

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    1. Exactly! That's why I suggested to Charlotte that we do a "choose your dream 'work' look" for Kate, because she seems to struggle with choosing the right clothes for these engagements. I know it's not as glamorous as choosing gowns and jewelry, but I think we could help her out!

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    2. I would love to see Kate wear more nice, colorful sweaters on these types of occasions. Sweaters are comforting and approachable to children. They can be dressed up or dressed down, worn with skirt or pants. As it is, Kate prefers heavy blazers with thick materials and/or the ubiquitous coat-dress. Both of these items of wear are stylish in that they show off Kate's trim figure but to kids might give the impression that she's really eager to leave because she's in outerwear.

      I also think Kate needs lessons in how to react when very young girls approach her. The very high stiletto heels she favors make her seem even taller, and her body language is rather stiff. If Kate's going to focus more time on these charities and appearances these are all things that could use work.

      Not everyone is a "natural" like Diana or (today) Prince Harry. But Kate seems like a warm person, she just needs some coaching IMO about the best way to maximize her appearances at these charities.

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    3. Ivy Lin, I don't know the work environment you work in, but your definition of business casual is more formal than mine. I work in a high level white collar professional environment. We wear khakis and nice jeans with a fine grade t-shirt and jacket on casual days, capris in summer

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    4. Pam - I was going to post the same suggestion. I'd like to see what "slacks" everyone would like to see on Kate. Charlotte you could propose three events on the more casual side, and see what everyone comes up with. It's easy to find pretty dresses or appropriate suits but when Kate attends a RAF event with activities, or a children's art event, or a sporting event - what does everyone think Kate should be wearing?

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    5. Costume jewelry?? When Kate is wearing a "£1200 pair. . .[of] earrings . . crafted from the finest 18-karat gold, citrine, and diamonds"? Very strange description of costume jewelry!

      Also, I don't think Kate's wardrobe needs can really be described as business casual. She is not a clerk dressed down on a Friday in an office. She is a duchess visiting children served by a charity of which she is patron. On a cold day, and involving travel. Quite different. I agree, as I have said elsewhere, that the skirt is too short, but Kate is not a member of the 'workforce.' That comparison has always bothered me.

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  69. What wonderful outings for Kate today, and what great new patronages that fall nicely in line with her work on children's mental health! Everyone seemed to appreciate her visiting, and the children will remember it forever. :)

    As for her outfit - I actually don't remember this from the first time around so for me it felt brand new. Overall I like the fact that it's a new silhouette from what we usually see Kate in, but if I were to change anything it would be to remove the suit jacket and replace it with a tailored coat in a complementary color or a textured fabric like tweed/boucle. Just to shake things up a bit!

    I'd also love to see Kate remove her coats when she's indoors. I think it would lend itself to an atmosphere of "sitting down, staying awhile, and being fully engaged" compared to not removing her coat and always looking like she's ready to up and leave at a moment's notice. That isn't to say that's the case by any means, but sometimes it can come across like that in photos. (I hope that ramble made sense!)

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  70. What an incredible organization for Kate to shine light on.

    My first thought was how incredible Kate's skin looked! When G&C were babies I noticed her skin (understandably) looked like she was quite tired most of the time. (Please no comments about how she has a nanny-- we all know she's a princess and has help). But the last few engagements she has looked so refreshed.

    I find it so hard to relate to/critique Kate's clothing because she does not live a normal person life. I don't know anyone who has to dress nearly this formal all the time, or who is constantly photographed. It must be daunting. I work in a casual field so when I see this suit, I would either wear the skirt with a blouse and flats or the jacket with jeans. And that's just if I had a presentation or a work event. I'd wear the boots with anything though!

    I would love to know what kind of outfits she wears around the house or for dinner with friends!

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  71. Poor Kate, everyone made a lot of noise just as she was trying to make a pool shot, and then her effort was called dreadful! I can't get the 'hug' video to play. It sounds as though Kate turned away in distress, perhaps because of the needs of these beautiful children?

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    1. She was being directed to go somewhere by her entourage who were in the periphery, I think. Her every moment and every movement is essentially dictated by her entourage and visit schedule.

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    2. Tonight it did play. I saw no distress, just a transition to another part of the visit, with a quick look around, perhaps to find her attendant or make sure of where she was going next.

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  72. Not loving this look at all. The skirt is awkwardly cut and too short given how much she has to bend down. It doesn't look age appropriate and also doesn't pair well with the boots they are too sporty for this look. A good try but overall a miss.

    What I want to know is why she won't wear trousers!? Not skinny jeans, nice trousers. This would be the perfect engagement for something like that. Crown Princess Mary pulls off those looks so beautifully and they aren't boring! It would add some variety and make her life easier with wind and having to stoop down!

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    1. Maybe she doesn't like it. I don't understaand why people has such a hard time grasping that. I almost never wear trousers of any kind. And if i do, it's sweatpants. I just like wearing dresses and feel more comfortable in it. Maybe Kate is the same. Maybe the only pants she generally like is the more leisurelike jeans and such. No big deal.

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    2. I think when we promote other types of trousers, we would like to see her embrace her role better. She is not a country girl in her twenties who married well. Being a royal I suppose means that you have to wear, do things you don't like, love, want. Look at William and his breeches.

      Being reasonable, age appropriate seems to be too much to ask.

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    3. Sure, she has to wear and do stuff she doesn't like. But wearing pants is not a requirement in any of that. It's just a personal preference.

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    4. Have you seen the trousers that the women of the Japanese royal wear? Beautifully fitted and tailored. They look lovely, modern, and appropriate.

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    5. Rebecca, I agree with you! I'm a size 4, but you won't catch me wearing trousers. I just don't find them flattering on me. Skinny jeans, on the other hand........ :-)

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  73. Oh I love this look! It reminds me of that time just after her and William got married.

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  74. I loathe this suit. The lines are - just bad. The skirt is teenybopper short and not flattering to Kate at all. The suit looks like two separate pieces that happen to go together, not a whole ensemble.
    It just looks thrown together.
    Even if she's to maintain her rather bland, unexciting style, she still needs a stylist to make sure it's current and age-appropriate.
    She looked so much better and healthier in 2012, a little more weight to her face, a little bit of a tan and just - happier.
    Kate yet seems awkward or uncomfortable about touching people at engagements and being touched by people. She seemed almost not to know what to do when the little girl hugged her around the waist. By now, she should be comfortable with people to engage with them.
    I know the old fuddy duddies at the Palace have a stricture on not touching the queen etc. etc. but we were told this is a new generation, eager to do things differently and eager to be seen as more in touch, literally and figuratively, with people. Harry is definitely a people person with his mother's human touch. Kate could use some lessons from him.

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  75. Teresa from Paris, you cannot compare Kate to Maxima or Letizia, their equivalent is Elizabeth II. The equivalent of Mary is Camilla. Kate is doing what is right for her position.

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  76. India India India!! ❤❤

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    1. You must be very excited, Nam! :) It will be lovely for many people to recall last year's beautiful and colourful tour, no doubt!

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  77. Annette South Carolina USA23 February 2017 at 15:10

    A great Charity and what a honour for the Duchess to carry on one of Queen Elizabeth's traditions. Catherine is always so gracious and funny during her visits. The children always seem to enjoy her visits so much. Very proud of these 3 Royals for putting mental awareness out there to be recognized.
    I love Catherine and usually she dressed without question. This outfit needs to be retired or lengthen the skirt. The above the knee length looks so awesome on her.
    As always love your column. Looking forward to her next walkabout.

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  78. I love the color of the suit and the style is nice. However, when paired with the black turtleneck and black tights, it loses it's style and instead looks rather frumpy. I also think the length of the skirt decreases the elegance that she has become known for and looks rather juvenile. Not her best look, in my book.

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  79. I can't wait for the U.K.-India reception on Monday. I can't wait to see what Kate And the Queen, wear for this.

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  80. The skirt on the model appears to have a longer top tier. It almost looks like the burgundy skirt has only three tiers (although I think the top one is hidden). I wonder if it was altered from the design in some way? Thr lengths are quite different.

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  81. Rebecca, I am the same. Sweatpants and jeans, rarely a dressier trouser. Agree Kate just prefers dresses or skirts/suits for her non casual looks. She may wear pants more often at some point in her life, I went through a brief 1 year stage of wearing more pants and then I went back to the occasional black dress pant and now never wear ants except for jeans. Sometimes my jeans are pretty elegant though.

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    1. Jeans are my worst hate. So uncomfortable. I never wear any kind of "leave the house" pants. If you see me, odds are I'm in a skirt or a dress.

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  82. I second the comments above that perhaps Kate could find a stylist more helpful than Natasha Archer. Of course we cannot know what goes on behind close doors, but I do feel as though I liked Kate's style more consistently BEFORE the advent of Natasha Archer. And in the public photographs of Natasha Archer (eg I think one in Bhutan or India), I rememebr thinking to myself, Wow, I don't like her style at all. I remember thinking it did not seem elegant or chic for anyone, much less a stylist. Of course I am writing here based on very little information about Natasha Archer, so perhaps not quite fair on my part.

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  83. Thank you Charlotte for such an informative post. I was so interested in the history of the organisation and their current work. How heartbreaking must it be as a loving Mum to visit places such as this and see children who don't have what most of us take for granted and how hard it must be not to allow the sadness to show. Fantastic such places exist. Perhaps it will be embedded in our memories because of the skirt etc!

    On the fashion. Firstly it looks cold and lots of the photos were outside. Secondly how clothes look depends toa great extent on the photographs. The model photograph is taken under the best studio conditions to make the clothes look outstanding. The photographs of Kate are taken under uncontrolled conditions from whatever position the photographer happens to be in and the photos are being taken to highlight Kate and the situation not the clothes. There is a big difference. Kate's skirt looks shorter because in the photo that best defines the clothes her knee is jutting out at an inelegant angle and defines the skirt length. The models knees are not defined. However if one looks at where the side tables are her skirt is as short. I personally think a heel improves the look however that would not have been at all suitable for the event. I don't mind the look and like the black red combination. It is a light hearted fun look and really suitable for the day. I also think we might have vastly different opinions if she had been photographed under studio conditions to show off the clothes. So perhaps we could go gently into the dark night of critique considering the circumstances.

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  84. If Kate isn't a warm, approachable, touchy person then why is she so warmly encouraging the young pool player in the photo above and why is she standing close to him? Why did she hug the people in Canada and others, and the person who moved her to tears when they shared of their parenting struggles? Where she initiated the hug? I don't perceive Kate as being cold or remote at this visit either. She was being given instructions by someone on the periphery right after the hug, and was in the process of readjusting to where they were telling her to go and what to do next, in my opinion. Why people interpret and expound such negative judgments on Kate from a very short video and photos that don't show the whole picture or scope of the moment is beyond me. Hopefully people don't judge us so quickly and in the same way.

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    1. I agree. And from this occation she is seen jogging over to the public waiting outside and crouching to talk to them. But people see what they want to see and most things can be interpreted in differnt ways.

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  85. I swore I wasn't going to wade in on either topics about Kaye 8n the video and her expression or what has happened to her style pretty and just post marriage but here I am.

    I'd imagine that Kate getsz feedback post engagement, whether after each or just a recap of things with tips or suggestions for future engagements. An AAR, after action review, if you will.

    With the strictures and rules of being BRF there has to be a lot of things to remember. I don't like being the center of attention but in high school was student body president and valedictorian, so speeches were required. I remember having things constantly looping in my mind. Smile, speak slowly, don't fidget, etc. Sometimes there were brief moments where I imagine I had a deer in the headlights look. To me that is what Kate looks like sometimes. Like she's trying to be perfectly royal and is so worried about committing a faux pas she freezes. She can't win for losing so she comes off as cold or uncomfortable wh I left she tries to find the right advice to fit the situation. I could be wrong but I think for both her expression and fashion boil down to that reason.

    Who knows what little birdies are whispering to her regarding wardrobe, behavior and not courting press attention on purpose. I also think number and type of engagements goes back to attention. Will and Kate are in a very unique position. They aren't up to bat or even on deck. They are standing at the edge of the dugout, bat in hand waiting for their turn.

    Does this mean I always agree with the way they handle things or themselves? No. Does this mean I love every outfit or hairstyle? No. It just reminds me that there is no perfect answer or path at this point.

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  86. It isn't often I dislike what the Duchess wears, but this outfit was a miss for me. She's 35 and this doesn't look like something a 35 year old would wear. It's weirdly frumpy (the jacket with the turtleneck in particular) and the skirt is too short. It's an odd mix. I think she has the figure (of course) to pull it off, but I don't think it's appropriate for this visit, her age and her title. I also don't like those earrings with this outfit. Citrine and red? Umm no. I, however, do not mind in the slightest that she does not wear trousers or pants a lot. I love her dresses and skirts. Just not this one in particular.

    Thank you, as always, for such a wonderful and timely post Charlotte!! I look forward to every one!

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