We begin with announcements concerning Kate's private secretary Rebecca Deacon. As you may have seen, it was revealed over the weekend 34-year-old Rebecca will tie the knot with Adam Priestley later this month. It's been said the Duchess has been involved in planning the wedding and has "given the nod" for the marriage to take place at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace, which can only be used by those with a connection to the Royal family. Of course, Prince George was christened at the Chapel Royal in 2013.
After the ceremony at the chapel, the couple are set to celebrate with a champagne reception at St James's Palace followed by dinner and dancing for 120 guests at the Westminster Boating Base. More on the venue "Westminster Boating Base is an idyllic setting for your wedding reception. The main room is large and airy with floor to ceiling windows and a full length balcony extending over the river. This room has the capacity to seat up to 150 people for a silver service dinner. The Edgson room has a full length covered balcony to the river and is equipped with effects lights and speakers for music and dancing. Our riverside location includes pier and pontoon access making us ideally suited to parties of guests leaving or arriving by riverboat, or the bride and groom romantically cruising off into the night amid cheers from their guests." The Duke and Duchess are set to attend the affair which has been kept under wraps until recently. It promises to be a magical day for Rebecca. Sebastian Shakespeare writes: "My source tells me: 'Rebecca feels William and Kate have pulled out all the stops for them. Rebecca is down to earth, unpretentious and completely charming."
Not much is known about Adam Priestley but I understand he works in marketing and sponsorship for BUCS. You may recall Rebecca was previously in a relationship with William and Kate's deputy communications secretary Nick Loughran, which came to an abrupt end when it was revealed he was allegedly seeing an assistant of Prince Harry's before leaving his post at the Palace for a career in PR. I had wondered if the natural awkwardness of working with one's ex prompted the decision to leave.
Below, the engagement announcement as published in the Telegraph four months ago.
Rebecca has been by Kate's side from the very beginning. William had been impressed by the organisational skills and ability to work under pressure Ms Deacon displayed when she worked on the 2007 Concert for Diana as an assistant to the producers. Following this, she worked with Harry' charity Sentebale before transitioning into the princes' private office, where she quietly earned the respect of the royals through her hard work and dedication. William knew Kate would need someone she could rely on and trust to help her navigate her new life as a member of the Royal family and with input from his most trusted aide, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Rebecca was their first choice.
Fast forward to 2017 and William and Kate have been married almost six years. Over those years, Rebecca has been a constant, accompanying the Duchess on almost every event, from solo engagements to overseas tours, all the while proving a reassuring aide who has helped Kate make the transition into a future queen. Now, with Kate a mother of two with a major move to London on the cards for this autumn, it was thought Rebecca would be a major player in the expansion of 'Team Cambridge' later this year. It very much looks, however, like that will not be the case. In a statement the Palace confirmed Rebecca is "moving on in the summer". Undoubtedly Rebecca's pending nuptials and likely plans to start a family have contributed to this decision; her role and the time commitment required would only increase in the years ahead. The unpredictable and often demanding schedule, which can include being away for weeks on royal tours, may have proved a factor in her decision to move on.
The Palace statement read:
'The Duchess of Cambridge's private secretary, Rebecca Deacon, is moving on in the summer. Their Royal Highnesses are incredibly grateful for all the hard work and support Rebecca has provided over the past ten years and wish her well in the next phase of her career.'
It's certainly going to be very disappointing for Kate to lose her right-hand woman especially at a time when the family are making the move from their beloved Anmer Hall to what will eventually be a full-time royal role in London. I expect Kate wanted to help with wedding preparations in any way she could, not only because she wanted to help make it an unforgettable day, but also as a way of thanking Rebecca for her years of service. For royal watchers, it's going to be rather strange not seeing images like the one below of Rebecca and Kate, after all these years...
A huge congratulations to Rebecca Deacon and Adam Prisestly on their wedding and wishing her the very best of luck in her future endeavours. The question now is, who will fill Rebecca's shoes as Kate's private secretary?
With thanks to Royal Central for first reporting the story.
With thanks to Royal Central for first reporting the story.
I had very much hoped the itinerary for William and Kate's trip to Paris would have been released by now. Various articles have been sharing bits of information, and with embargoes in mind we'll wait until the Palace does officially release news to do our full write-up. While waiting I thought I would share ITV's story with some additional information:
'William and Kate are to attend the Six Nations Rugby match between Wales and France at the end of their short tour to Paris next week. The royal couple are embarking on a two day visit across the English Channel as the government deploys them as diplomatic "soft power" at about the same time as Theresa May triggers the UK’s divorce from the EU.
Kensington Palace has issued more details of the Duke and Duchess’ trip. The Cambridges also plan to meet those involved in the terrorist attacks at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris as well as the lorry attack in Nice on Bastille Day last year. They will also be the guests of honour at a reception at the British Embassy called "les Voisins" which celebrates the cultural ties between the UK and France. As William and Kate tour the French capital, they’re likely to be introduced to senior French politicians who will influence the EU-UK divorce settlement.'
For those asking, we'll also be doing a 'What Kate Might Wear' post looking at possible designers and looks (wouldn't it be a fantastic time to debut a classic Chanel skirt suit) as the trip approaches.
Moving on to news of several fashion favourites re-released and restocked, particularly in the dress department. The See by Chloe Pointelle Knit Cotton Blend Dress Kate wore for the unforgettably adorable children's party in Canada with Charlotte and George is now available in sizes XS - XL at Saks Fifth Avenue for $460. With thanks to Middleton Maven for the tip.
The Self-Portrait Gown Kate donned for A Street Cat Named Bob is available in several sizes at Matches.
Kate's gorgeous red Preen Finella Dress is back in stock at Net-A-Porter (with thanks to the lovely What Kate Wore for sharing the news on Twitter). The £995 midi dress is crafted from heavyweight satin and has a classic fit-and-flare silhouette that's elevated with a wide asymmetric hemline, front pleated wrap, and box pleats at the skirt.
A word of thanks to those who voted for Kate's Best February Look. It was an interesting month with a variety of looks suited to the events. It came as no surprise to see your winner though (I really loved it), the Erdem Rhona midi dress crafted from metallic lace in silver and the sparkling Oscar de la Renta pumps the Duchess wore to the UK-India Year of Culture Reception. It was a classic look completed with a pair of pearl Anita Dongre earrings. The McQueen gown Kate wore to the BAFTAs took second place and on the other end of the spectrum Kate's red Philiosophy blazer proved your least favourite.