Monday, 26 September 2016

It's Casual Kate for a Rainy Day in Bella Bella!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Bella Bella for a day of engagements, getting day three of their royal tour of British Columbia and Yukon underway.

Upon arrival in Bella Bella, the royals were welcomed by the Heiltsuk community in a traditional ceremony. They then made their way to the Wawiskas Community Hall to witness a cultural celebration.

The couple were set to experience views of the wilderness for themselves with an aerial tour of the rainforest in a float plane. Unfortunately, the weather put paid to the tour and all water activities scheduled for the day. CTV News reported: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be met with more than pristine wilderness when they tour B.C.'s rugged central coast: high winds and heavy rain is in the forecast. Up to 40 millimetres of rain will drench Bella Bella Monday, with winds gusting up to 50 kilometres an hour, according to Environment Canada."

Premier Christy Clark shared this photo of William and Kate's arrival and noted "the royals came prepared for the rain".

It's undoubtedly very disappointing to have to cancel some of the events as one of the key aims for the itinerary was very much planned to allow William and Kate to explore the rugged wilderness of Canada's West Coast and the rainforest tour would have given them great insight into the area. Despite the change of plans, the couple were eager to stick to the itinerary as closely as possible. Federal tour co-ordinator Dominique Colin said: "Bella Bella is an incredible place with a wonderful community. We will have a great day…whatever the weather."

Whilst meeting locals chiefs William said: "It wouldn't be the rainforest without the rain, it's authentic! We're very excited to be here. Stunning views."

The Duke and Duchess enjoyed the performances.

The Palace tweeted a photo with the caption: "Children are the real stars of today's welcome."

William and Kate looked quite taken with these adorable babies :)

The local community were excited to welcome the royals.

William and Kate were given blankets and 'dancing vests' by the Heiltsuk people for George and Charlotte.

Next, they walked to Elders Lodge where William marked the dedication of the Great Bear Rainforest as part of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy initiative.

During his speech Prince William said: "It gives me great pleasure to be here today as the Great Bear Rainforest is officially committed to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. By 2018, it is expected that all 53 countries of the Commonwealth will have joined the Queen's Canopy, creating a global network of forests that will benefit indigenous communities, wildlife and tourism now, and into the future. Her Majesty is immensely grateful to you, and the people of Canada, for the leadership you have shown in making this contribution."

The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy is a unique network of forest conservation initiatives, which involves all fifty-three countries of the Commonwealth. It presents a rare opportunity to unite the whole Commonwealth family and save one of the world’s most important natural habitats – forests. Creating a pan-Commonwealth network of forest conservation projects, the QCC will mark Her Majesty the Queen’s service to the Commonwealth while conserving indigenous forests for future generations.

The Great Bear Rainforest is known as the 'Amazon of the North' and stretches for more than 250 miles along the Pacific coast of British Columbia. It is home to the rare Kermode bear, which is deemed to be sacred by the T'simshian people. Also known as the Spirit Bear, it is a sub-species of black bear with white fur.

The temperate rain forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of unspoiled temperate rainforest left in the world. It was officially recognized by the Government of British Columbia in February 2016, when it announced an agreement to permanently protect 85% of the old-growth forested area from industrial logging.

The couple pictured leaving the lodge with smiles as the weather picked up...

...Enough for them to talk a walk down a boardwalk in Great Bear Rainforest.

William and Kate unveiled a plaque to mark their visit.

As expected the Duchess was casually attired for the day.

Kate wore a cream jacket by Holland and Holland. The eagle-eyed What Kate Wore quickly identified it as the brand's Ladies Lightweight Multipocket Safari Jacket. The jacket is made from lightweight Sahara cotton and features four patch pockets on the front, with a center back vent opening into a split at the bottom. Cinched in at the waist with a full top-stitched Sahara cotton belt, it originally retailed for $780.

More on the history of Royal Warrant holders Holland & Holland:

'Holland & Holland have been at the pinnacle of British gun making for over a century but the roots of the company are rather unconventional. The founder was not a gunmaker, but a London tobacconist, who happened to be a fine competition pigeon shot. His name was Harris Holland and he started having guns built to order in the 1840s.
By 1850, ‘H. Holland’ was a ‘gun-maker’ and Harris Holland’s successes in the pigeon ring continued to be reported in the press, no doubt aiding sales. With expansion, came a move from King Street to Bond Street, in the heart of fashionable Mayfair.
In 1860, Henry William Holland joined the company as an apprentice. He would become an inventive genius and gifted businessman, helping drive his uncle’s firm forward. He lodged the first of the company’s fifty one patents in 1861and became a partner in 1876, thereby creating ‘Holland & Holland’. During the rest of 19th century the company prospered; notably winning all classes in the 1883 rifle trials held by ‘The Field’ magazine and gaining Royal Warrants from the King of Italy and King George V, among others. In 1885 the name ‘Royal’ was adopted for the firm’s best guns.'

The company now stocks womenswear, menswear and accessories collections.

Kate teamed the jacket with a blue sweater, checked shirt and Zara jeans.

Kate's Closet suggests Kate wore the navy blue Topshop Gingham Print Shirt. The A/W style comes in a lightweight chiffon. It's currently available in all sizes for $65 on the US Site and £34 on the UK site.


For those fond of gingham shirts, Topshop also stocks the 'Alexa' Gingham Shirt in blue and red. It's available at Nordstrom and Topshop.


The Duchess selected her trusty Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boots for the day. The £475 boots remain available and are described: "The original Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boot in Spanish vegetable-dyed leather. This handmade boot is cut close to the ankle for a more feminine fit, has a scalloped detail at the zip panel and a leather tassel on the zip pull. It is fully leather lined and has a Goodyear Welted Commando rubber sole."

The boots are becoming something of a tour favourite; the Duchess also wore them for the hike to Tiger's Nest during April's tour of India and Bhutan.

Kate's pretty new earrings are by Canadian designer Pippa Small.  Kate's earrings are the 'Kite' style. What Kate Wore shared news "they are the large size and available at Pippa Small boutiques in London and LA. They are £1,200". Below, the smaller version of the earrings (as you can see there are noticeable differences between these and Kate's) the Small Kite Earrings, 18K gold, available at Piednunola.

The designer "has established a cult following with her striking organic necklaces, rings and earrings. Each covetable piece is designed in London and crafted in Rajasthan, India, by a team of highly skilled goldsmiths and stonecutters". More on Pippa Small from Matches:

'Born in Canada but raised in the English countryside, Pippa Small was naturally drawn to jewellery-making, collecting gems and shells as a child. Later, to fund her anthropology degree, she resumed jewellery design, going on to collaborate with the likes of Gucci and Chloé, before launching her own eclectic, travel-inspired line. Her signatures? Uncut precious stones, talismanic pendants and 18kt Bolivian gold.'

Pippa Small is involved in a number of ethical projects. "I began working on my 'projects' about eight years ago, sure that there would be a way to bring benefit from working with traditional communities. I feel that jewellery has the potential to change lives by working with communities, creating jobs and opportunities, and using design to raise money and awareness. It has given the communities a re-found respect for traditional materials and a sense of self confidence and pride in their creations." You can read more here. I expect this may have been a key factor in attracting Kate to the brand; it's great to see the Duchess championing a Canadian designer!

**This post will be updated with info and photos as the day progresses**


  • Global News has an arrival video here.
  • Rebecca English posted a video from the welcoming ceremony on Twitter.

Tonight, William and Kate will attend an evening reception hosted by the province of British Columbia at Government House. It is set to be the most formal event on the itinerary and we expect to see Kate in evening/cocktail attire.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Kate in McQueen for Day of Engagements in Vancouver

Day two of Royal Tour Canada 2016 saw the Cambridges travel to Vancouver.

Following a hugely successful first day, William and Kate were all smiles as they arrived at Victoria Harbour to travel by float plane for their first visit to Vancouver. The bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities.

Kensington Palace shared this photo of the couple departing.

The Palace shared this photo taken on the plane with the caption: "You're looking amazing Vancouver!"

The couple landed at the harbour in the heart of the city to a loud welcome from several hundred royal fans.

The royals did a walkabout at Jack Poole Plaza, located by the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre where fans had been waiting since 5 am to meet the royals.

The dismal weather did not deter locals. The Vancouver Sun reported: "Many waved Canadian flags, and many more brandished iPhones and selfie sticks eager to get a glimpse of the glamorous young couple."

Kensington Palace said one of the key objectives of the public welcome was to allow the Duke and Duchess "to get an immediate sense of Vancouver's energy and dynamism". The couple are also eager to meet as many people as they can in British Columbia and Yukon during their visit.

A very dapper Prince William greeted the crowd.

The royals moved from Jack Poole Plaza to the Downtown Eastside where they visited Sheway - a charity helping vulnerable mothers overcoming addiction.

The focus of the program is to help the women have healthy pregnancies and positive early parenting experiences.  Where Sheway is located "has been identified as the poorest neighbourhood in Vancouver, if not in Canada. It is known for its sex and drug trade, violence and crime, alcohol and drug use, substandard housing and high rate of HIV-related illness". The Palace added: "The link between addiction and family breakdown is something that has been a major priority of the Duchess' charitable work."

More on the history of the organisation from their website:

'Sheway was established in 1993 in response to a growing understanding of the needs of pregnant and parenting women living in the DTES. A report entitled Targeting High Risk Families (Lock et al., 1993) revealed that approximately 40% of infants born over a two year period to mothers living in this area of Vancouver were exposed to alcohol or other drugs in utero. The rate of low birth weight was 33% in the exposed infants, all of whom were apprehended by child protection authorities. In this same period, hospital health care providers were identifying an increasing number of socially high-risk pregnant, substance-using women arriving at emergency departments ready to deliver and with no history of prenatal care. The health outcome, for these mothers and infants was poor.
In response to these concerns, a group of health and social service providers (including representatives of BC Children’s Hospital, the Vancouver Health Department, and the YWCA’s Crabtree Corner program) prepared a proposal for the development of a community-based integrated service that would meet the complex health and social needs of this population of women and children. In July 1992, funding for the project was approved and the service began operation in March 1993.'

William and Kate met with mothers who discussed their experiences of overcoming addiction.

Two teddy bears for George and Charlotte. Kate said "Thank you so much, Charlotte will love this, she loves her teddies".

More from The Mirror:

'Of course, the one thing that Kate and William always get asked about are their children. Three-year-old George and Charlotte, 16 months, have remained at Government House with their nanny today, while their mum and dad visit Vancouver. When asked about her little ones, Kate said: “I just can’t believe how quickly they’re growing, it’s amazing how time goes”

William and Kate met a baby as she was being weighed and Kate remarked "I can't believe how good she is. Whenever we used to put George or Charlotte on the scales they would never sit still".

Prince William was moved when he heard how Princess Diana opened a maternity centre in Glasgow, which Sheway has modelled itself on. More from The Mirror;

'Physician Ron Abrahams told William how Princess Diana had opened the Women’s Reproductive Maternity Service in Glasgow in 1990, which Sheway has modelled itself on. "Oh, I didn’t know, that’s good to hear," said William. "It’s probably in my briefing notes somewhere, I’ve got this huge file of notes I haven’t managed to get through yet but I’ll get there," he joked.
Mr Abrahams added: "It’s wonderful to have you here after all the work your mother did in this field. It’s like full circle for us with your family." William smiled and looked visibly moved as he listened to Mr Abrahams talk about Diana. “He was really quite chuffed.”
The royals were shown round the centre by Patti Zettel, Sheway’s manager and the clinical co-ordinator, Dana Clifford. “Thanks so much for having us here, sorry about all the chaos we’ve brought with us,” laughed William.'

William and Kate were joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie for the next portion of the day.

They visited the Immigration Services Society of British Columbia where they met staff and volunteers who support over 25,000 recent migrants to Canada each year, including some of the 30,000 who have arrived in Canada over the last year from UNHCR camps that are supporting those who have fled the war in Syria.

The organisation's settlement services director Chris Friesen talked about the society's programme for welcoming young refugees and helping them adjust to life in Canada.

These little ones and their families have benefited from the services offered by the ISSBC.

The Duchess received a bouquet from a little girl in the playground.

The Duke and Duchess then attended an event celebrating young leaders in Canadian arts, music, sport, charity, business, and film at Telus Gardens.

Prince William and PM Trudeau chatting with young Canadians who are making a difference in their local communities.

The final engagement of the day saw the Duke and Duchess learn more about the first responders who work together to keep Vancouverites safe as they enjoy life in their city.

They visited the Kitsilano Coastguard Station in Vanier park and learned about the round the clock operation to support people who get into trouble in the waters that surrounds this coastal city.

Meeting with first responders and staff.

Kate and Sophie enjoy a chat before engagements wrap up for the day.

Kate's dress is by Alexander McQueen. It appears to be a bespoke version of the Resort 2017 Collection style shown below. I imagine Kate and Sarah Burton may have collaborated on this with the Duchess undoubtedly choosing the red and white as a nod to her host country. It features long sleeves and a fitted top whilst the skirt is tiered. What do you think of this look? I'm a fan; I think it looks beautiful on the Duchess. Early reviews are mixed, and I expect it may prove one of the more polarizing tour selections.

A closer look at the pattern.

The Duchess carried a new red clutch bag - the Miu Miu Bow-Embellished Suede Shoulder Bag (with many thanks to Food Fash Fit). The £640 bag is described: "Crafted in Italy from plush crimson suede. This ladylike style has a gilded silver chain strap and opens to three spacious compartments - including a secure zipped section. Use the internal mirror to refresh your lip color on the go."


It's available in red and black at Net-A-Porter.


The Duchess wore a gorgeous new pair of red suede heels.

Russell & Bromley confirmed Kate wore their £165 Pinpoint Pointed Toe Court Shoes. The red suede shoes are described as "Every woman's wardrobe has a space for a pointed toe court and Pinpoint is a chic solution. Beautifully crafted in soft red suede they are elegant yet understated."

Russell & Bromley

And accessorised with her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.


And new earrings.

Jewellery expert Anna believes they *might* be on loan from the Queen. In her blog post Anna wrote "I believe they are on loan from HM The Queen. The Countess of Wessex worn these only one time to a royal wedding in 2012 (while wearing other jewels on loan from The Queen). HM wore these back in 1977 during her silver jubilee."

We'll see you tomorrow for events in Bella Bella!