Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Kate in Red Philosophy Blazer for Valentine's Day with RAF Cadets & A Trip to Paris!

The Duchess of Cambridge visited RAF Wittering near Peterborough to meet with local air cadets today.

Of course, today is Valentine's Day, a fact Kate didn't forget when choosing her ensemble for the engagement. I imagine it's very likely William and Kate have plans for a romantic dinner at Kensington Palace this evening.

From arrival, Kate appeared to be having a wonderful time. Those expressions are priceless :)

Before returning to KP to spend the evening with her pilot, Kate met another pilot who showed her a tutor aircraft. 

Kate was shown the controls. 

The Duchess became Royal Patron and Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation in December 2015. The Duke of Edinburgh passed on his Patronage, after 63 years as Air Commodore-in-Chief. Today marks Kate's third visit since.

The RAF Air Cadets, which is made up of the Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force promotes a practical interest in aviation among young men and women, providing training while encouraging the development of life skills including leadership and teamwork. The organisation currently comprises 42,000 air cadets aged 12-19, and 15,000 adult volunteers across the UK and abroad. It was first established in 1941 during the Second World War, with the aim to train young men in aviation skills before they joined the RAF.

The Duchess met air cadets from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing Air Training Corps, who are taking part in a half-term skills development camp. The week acts as an initial “camp experience” for cadets who are in their first six months of membership.

Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore McCafferty said: “It was a delight to see the Duchess again and to witness her engaging with our young cadets and adult volunteers in such a relaxed manner. “Her personal support of the RAF Air Cadets is very much appreciated and I am sure those lucky enough to meet her today will keep those memories for a lifetime.”

Kate joined join the cadets as they participated in a personal development training session.

The Duchess quickly got into the spirit of the session. The young cadet beside her will have quite a story to tell about how he spent Valentine's Day!

Kate chatting with the air cadets.

The cadets were learning safe weapon handling.

The Duchess took to the skies for an air cadets flight training simulator session.

Kensington Palace shared a video.

More from the Express:

"But then the Duchess had a go in a training simulator. During her ‘flight’, Kate reached a speed of 60 knots at an altitude of 4000ft as she took the controls of a flight simulator. The simulator mimics the performance of a Vigilant motor glider that the air cadets use - vibrating like the real thing and showing a screen of terrain ahead. 
After about five minutes of gingerly trying the controls, she gradually took over after instruction from Fl Lt Michael Salter. He revealed: “She was gentle on the controls. Very often people are too rough but she had it exactly right. “The controls are extremely sensitive and she was extremely sensitive.” Kate told him she had not flown before “but she wanted to understand what the feeling was like in the air. He said: “She now realises how the controls alter the sensation in the air. She was a natural.” Kate told Flt Lt Salter that she felt the movement in her feet on the pedals. “It flies exactly like the real aeroplane. She said ‘sometimes it sways’."

Kate signed the visitors book before leaving.

The Duchess opted for a 'smart casual' look with a sartorial nod to Valentine's Day. I thought it a very nice touch to select a red military inspired blazer.

The talented Kate's Closet swiftly identified the piece as the PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI Double-breasted twill blazer. The £760 claret blazer is part of the Resort '17 collection, inspired by the work of French designer Jean Bouquin who is famed for dressing the St Tropez jetset in the '60s and style icon Brigitte Bardot.

Woven with touches of wool, this twill piece has a double-breasted front, peak lapels and embossed gold buttons. The garment was made in Italy. It's currently available at Net-A-PorterBarneys and FarFetch.


A closer look at the garment.


The blazer also comes in blue. It's available at Browns Fashion and Farfetch (Take 10% off your first order with code v10cff)

Browns Fashion

Renowned Italian designer Alberta Ferretti founded Philosophy in 1984 with a focus on soft, feminine dressing for day and evening. In 2014, Lorenzo Serafini assumed the role of creative director, adding a touch of glamour to the label’s romantic roots. We first saw Kate wear the label last year when she sported a chic ivory jacket for a new official portrait.

Kate teamed the jacket with a black polo neck sweater, black jeans and her Stuart Weitzman boots from Russell and Bromley. Middleton Maven notes the US version of flat black suede boots are available in very limited sizing at Farfetch.

Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings. Again, the heart shaped earrings were a nice reference to the day.

Kiki McDonough

And Kate completed the look with a pair of black bow gloves.

I think the blazer is very chic and a great choice for today. The choice of earrings, sleek ponytail and boots are all win for me, however I'm not sure the skinny jeans work particularly well with it. The blazer is quite weighty and with the skinny jeans the proportions seem off. What do you think? Do you like it?


We have all been awaiting news of a tour or overseas trip for the Cambridges in 2017. Yesterday, Kensington Palace confirmed the Duke and Duchess will undertake a two-day trip to Paris on 17 & 18 March. 

The Palace released the following statement "Their Royal Highness' visit is at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Full details of the visit will be announced in due course, but the itinerary will include a reception for young French leaders from a variety of fields, a formal dinner at the residence of Her Majesty's Ambassador and attendance at the Wales v France Six Nations test at the Stade de France". The Mail Online reports the couple will carry out around eight engagements over the two days. It will be somewhat similar to the Cambridges 2014 trip to New York.

The visit is set to be a poignant one marking William's first official visit to Paris since his mother died there in 1997. This year marks the 20th anniversary of her passing. More from The Times:

'The Duke of Cambridge is to make his first official visit to Paris next month, 20 years after his mother was killed there in a car crash. Accompanied by the duchess, he will travel to the French capital for a two-day trip on March 17 at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Although William has not been to Paris publicly since 1997, he has made more than one private trip there, according to Kensington Palace. It is not known whether those trips included a visit to the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, where the accident took place on August 31, 1997. The couple are not expected to visit the tunnel next month.'

Richard Palmer notes the couple were initially invited by the Welsh Rugby Union and the Foreign Office asked Kensington Palace to build a visit around it:

"The royal couple, who have enjoyed several holidays in France, were initially invited to Paris by the Welsh Rugby Union - William has just taken over from the Queen as the WRU's patron - but the Foreign Office then asked Kensington Palace to build an official visit around the match.
They are expected to meet senior French politicians but sources insisted the trip would not be overtly political and was part of a wider remit to use the Royal Family to maintain close ties with Britain's European neighbours. The visit on March 17 and 18 comes in the month that Prime Minister Theresa May hopes to be able to trigger Article 50, beginning Brexit negotiations. A senior royal aide said: "We have a very strong relationship with France and the French people and this visit will celebrate those close ties."

It has been reported they will stay at Hotel de Charost, the official residence of the British Ambassador to France, Edward Llewellyn.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing the full itinerary. With Brexit, it has been suggested we'll see an increase in European royal visits. There will also be significant interest in Kate's wardrobe during the trip. Will we see French designers? I imagine at least one. We'll keep you up to date as further details become available :)


William, Kate and Harry joined presenter Nick Knowles at St. Mary's University yesterday for filming of a new BBC show 'Mind Over Marathon' that will air in April. The show will see Mr. Knowles work with those with mental health issues who are participating in the marathon. From what we can see from the photos, it looks like he chatted with the royals about Heads Together before they took part in a warm up routine. I initially thought it was filmed the same day as the London Marathon Training Day as Kate wore the exact same ensemble. Kate once again sported her Perfect Moment Jacket, Zara Jeans and Sweaty Betty / New Balance trainersClick here to visit the Mail Online's article which includes a selection of photos.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed/Mail Online

And finally, Kensington Palace announced The Duchess of Cambridge will visit Ronald McDonald House Evelina London on Tuesday 28th February, officially marking the opening of their purpose-built 'home away from home’ accommodation for the families of children being treated at Evelina London Children's Hospital. On arrival the Duchess will hear more about Ronald McDonald House Charities, and what the new House will mean to the families and children being treated at Evelina London. Kate will then be taken on a tour of the House, meeting families who are currently benefitting from its new facilities and services. Before departing, The Duchess will attend a short reception in the Day Room, and unveil a plaque to mark the House's official opening.

A very Happy Valentine's Day to you all :)

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Duchess Dazzles in Off-the-Shoulder McQueen Gown & Jewels for BAFTAs

It's the night we've all been waiting for - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their debut at one of the most glamorous nights of the awards season, the British Academy of Film and Television Awards.

The Duchess cut an impeccably stylish figure as she arrived to a sea of camera flashes as the Cambridges walked the red carpet at the Royal Albert Hall.

Prince William has been President of the Academy since 2010, and both he and the Duchess have supported BAFTA’s charitable activities by attending events across the charity’s learning programme, including Young Game Designers and BAFTA Kids events, as well as others related to building cross-cultural collaborations with the creative industries in China. As it is the awards' 70th year - it seems very fitting for the couple to be there.

Ahead of the event, Kensington Palace noted: "While BAFTA is well known for celebrating excellence and championing creativity through its awards, it is a charity committed to identifying talented individuals, and making sure they receive the encouragement, professional support and advice that will enable them to succeed, regardless of their background or other circumstances. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round learning and new talent programme, including a campaign to support young people from all backgrounds entering the film, television and games industries, which the Duke of Cambridge helped relaunch in 2013, and a scholarships programme, which features the 'Prince William Scholarships in Film, Television and Games'.

The glittering BAFTA Awards is a star-studded celebration of achievements in film, commending the finest performances and movies of the year. One of the biggest nights on the entertainment calendar, the stars came out to see who would take home the coveted awards. Winning a BAFTA (as with the Golden Globes) is often seen as a precursor to the Academy Awards. Leading films include musical La La Land with eleven nominations, whilst Arrival and Nocturnal Animals, both starring Amy Adams, have nine each.

The couple were greeted by BAFTA CEO Amanda Barry.

William and Kate met BAFTA representatives before watching the ceremony.

William and Kate take their seats inside.

The couple sat in the audience near the nominees and Amanda Berry. Their private secretaries Rebecca Deacon and Miguel Head sat behind them.

Nominees in attendance included Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Amy Adams, Andrew Garfield, Casey Affleck, Damien Chazelle, David Hare, Dev Patel, Emily Blunt, Emma Stone, Hayley Squires, Hugh Grant, J.K. Rowling, Ken Loach, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Nicole Kidman, Pedro Almodóvar, Ron Howard, Ryan Gosling, Tom Ford, Tom Holland, Viggo Mortensen and Viola Davis.

Presenters and other attendees at the ceremony were Andrea Riseborough, Bryce Dallas Howard, Carmen Ejogo, Daisy Ridley, Eddie Redmayne, Ella Purnell, Ewen Bremner, Felicity Jones, George MacKay, Holliday Grainger, Isabelle Huppert, Jamie Dornan, Julia Stiles, Lin Manuel Miranda, Luke Evans, Sir Mark Rylance, Noomi Rapace, Penelope Cruz, Sophie Turner, Stanley Tucci and Thandie Newton.

Daily Mail royal reporter Rebecca English shared this video of William and Kate entering the auditorium.

The ceremony was hosted by Stephen Fry who started the show with a humorous opening..

..William and Kate laughed when Stephen Fry welcomed the couple "especially the Duchess who will be such a support to her husband who after watching an episode of 'Who Do You Think You Are' is still recovering from the devastating news that he is related to actor Danny Dyer' :)

Prince William presented the Fellowship, which is presented annually at the awards, and is the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy to an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games. This year American actor, filmmaker and comedian Mel Brooks was the recipient.

More on the BAFTAs' royal connections:

'Prince William's appointment as president follows a long tradition of royal involvement with the academy. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was the first President of the Society of Film and Television Arts (SFTA) in 1959 to 1965, followed by Earl Mountbatten of Burma and the Princess Royal, who was its President from 1972 to 2001. It was the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's generous donation of their share of profits from the film Royal Family that enabled the academy to move to its headquarters at 195 Piccadilly. The Duke of Cambridge succeeded Lord (Richard) Attenborough to become the academy's fifth president in its history.'

Indeed, just last night the stars gathered at Kensington Palace for the pre-awards nominees party (how elegant is Amy Adams' Chanel dress?).

The BAFTA award trophy is a mask designed by American sculptor, Mitzi Cunliffe. When the Guild merged with the British Film Academy to become the Society of Film and Television Arts, later the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the first 'BAFTA award' was presented to Sir Charles Chaplin on his Academy Fellowship that year.

The big winner of the night was La La Land. You can view the full list of winners here.

Now, time to chat about Kate's look for the night! Since KP announced the Duke and Duchess would be attending we had very much hoped to see a new gown and sparkling jewels - and our wish was granted. Kate looked stunning in a gorgeous off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen black gown with floral print and tiered skirt. The gown had a very couture feel to it; fresh, modern yet understated. I suspect Kate and Sarah Burton collaborated closely on this one incorporating the original design with HRH's newly favoured off-the-shoulder cut. The original Long Tier Violet Jacquard Gown retailed for $7000 and can be viewed here.

A closer look at the floral print.

More on McQueen's Resort 2016 Collection from Vogue:

'If Alexander McQueen's fall collection had an elegantly dying autumn in mind for Sarah Burton, she was thinking of Resort as "romance, beauty, positivity, flowers blooming." Sweet pea, hollyhocks, violets, butterflies flying around a garden in springtime…all of that was stitched onto extraordinary tulle evening dresses, sheaths of fragility.'

Kate sparkled in a dazzling pair of large statement pink (diamond?) earrings.

The amazing Anna quickly noticed Kate has had the pair for a number of years, first wearing them to the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala in 2011. As for their provenance, Rebecca English spoke to the Palace and was told they are not on loan from the Queen; they didn't reveal any further information. Perhaps a wedding gift? Kate certainly saved these for a special occasion for their first proper public debut!

It appears Kate also wore the Queen's wedding gift bracelet, which Prince Philip gave to the Queen. It is encrusted with diamonds from a tiara which belonged to Philip's mother. Kate was first loaned the piece for the Chinese state banquet in 2015.

With thanks to Patricia and Packham Gown on Twitter, it looks like Kate may have worn her Prada Wavy-Cut Suede Nero Pumps. The chic shoes feature a pointed toe, wavy cutouts and a smooth outsole.


Food Fash Fit suggests Kate carried the $2,075 Alexander McQueen Heart-Clasp Satin Box Clutch. It's described: "Alexander McQueen's black satin clutch is a sure-fire way to polish an event look. It's crafted to a box shape that's set around a gold-tone metal frame and features a two-tone, heart-shaped metal clasp that glimmers with sparkling red crystals and faux-pearls."

A look at Kate's updo.

A wonderful look for the Duchess; I love the gown, and with the jewels, updo, shoes and clutch it was perfectly accessorised. Another observation from tonight: Kate looked incredibly happy and was beaming in almost every photo - and her smile of course is her best accessory! What do you think of tonight's look? I imagine the gown could prove a divisive one as it's a departure for the Duchess in some ways.

We'll see you on Tuesday when Kate will visit an RAF base in Cambridgeshire to meet with local air cadets.