Thursday, 24 April 2014

Elegant Kate in Lela Rose for Government House Reception

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception hosted by the Governor-General and his wife Lady Cosgrove at Government House in Canberra this evening.

William and Kate spent the day carrying out engagements in Canberra, which included a tree-planting ceremony, a reception at Parliament House and a visit to the National Portrait Gallery. Afterwards, the couple undoubtedly spent time with Prince George before changing for this evening's reception. The family are staying at Government House and have been using it as one of three bases during their tour.

Approximately one hundred guests were in attendance comprising a diverse mix of representatives from various aspects of Australian society, including agriculture, the arts, business, charitable groups, conservation, defence, sport and youth. Many of the organisations have affiliations with William and Kate's patronages.

William gazes at Kate. He's made some funny comments about his wife's style choices over the tour. I think he very much approved of this dress.

Kate mingled with guests.

The couple appeared to thoroughly enjoy the evening - their last in Australia.

The black-tie event is the first formal evening event the couple have attended in Australia; they also attended an evening reception at Government House in Wellington, New Zealand during the first leg of the tour. The Duchess selected a black bespoke Jenny Packham dress for that evening. It is thought the couple chose to do it that way to ensure they could maximise their free time with Prince George.

It's been a magnificent tour but I'm sure the royals are looking forward to returning home. Earlier today Kate spoke to a lady in the crowd who gave her a gift for Lupo "Everyone gives presents for George but nobody knows how much I'm missing my own dog. This is the first present I've received for my dog and I'm really happy because I do miss him. He'll be really happy to have this to play with". Kate also revealed George has loved seeing boats on Sydney Harbour.

The Duchess wore a cocktail by American designer Lela Rose.

The Circle Lace Trim Dress from the 2012 RTW Collection features circular lace which adds a graphic effect to the sleeves and peplum waist of the beautifully fitted sheath dress. It's a beautiful dress and an interesting choice for Kate. It originally sold for $1,295 but is now sold out. Many thought we would see Her Royal Highness in an Australian designer tonight.

Lela Rose

A closer look at the detail from Farfetch.

Lela Rose

Tonight marks the first time Kate has worn Lela Rose, however the designer has long been suggested as a possible contender for Her Royal Highness. Lela hails from Texas and her aesthetic of adding whimsy to elegance through brilliant colour and handcrafted elegance has brought a fresh point of view to modern fashion. Lela has established herself as a renowned designer in bridal wear and ready-to-wear collections. Her clients include everyone from Cheryl Cole to Jenna and Barbara Bush.

Lela Rose

Looking through Lela Rose's collections, one is simply spoilt for choice when it comes to imagining possibilities for the Duchess. The designer is really a superb fit for her. Below we look at several styles which would work well for Kate. The colourful Draped Bodice Dress, the Belted Lace Dress (very similar to Kate's Erdem), the Circle Embroidery Dress, the Sleeveless Beaded Sheath and the Side-Seamed Peplum Dress.

Lela Rose

Other eye-catching pieces include the lace-appliqu├ęd Cotton-Blend Trench Coat, the Chantilly Lace Dress, the striking blue Ruched Dress, the Draped Off-Shoulder Dress and the very pretty black Embroidered Dress. What do you all think of the label?

Lela Rose

Kate teamed the dress with her black suede Jimmy Choo Cosmic Pumps.

Jimmy Choo

Kate accessorised with her art-deco diamond bracelet and matching earrings, her Cartier watch and Mulberry Bayswater Clutch. I thought it would have been very fitting to wear the Australian Wattle Brooch tonight but it looks like it didn't make the trip.The Duchess wore her hair in a very elegant updo. It was splendid look for Kate, she looked beautiful.

The royal tour wraps up tomorrow (Can you believe it's almost over?)

  • The Duke and Duchess will attend the ANZAC Day March and Commemorative Service at the Australian War Memorial. 
  • The couple will plant a tree in the Memorial Garden.
  • After farewells, the royal party depart Defence Establishment Fairbairn in Canberra for London.

Before we finish today. Many readers have expressed comments suggesting the Duke and Duchess do not appear quite themselves today. Unfortunately, as you may have heard there has been some tragic news in the family. The Duchess of Cornwall's brother Mark Shand, a tireless campaigner and conservationist, sadly passed away following a fall outside a charitable event in New York which resulted in serious head injuries. The family is devastated. The Palace said "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were saddened to learn this morning of the tragic death of Mark Shand. Their Thoughts are with The Duchess of Cornwall and her family at this time".

Kate in Catherine Walker for Canberra Engagements

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began a day of engagements in Canberra with a visit to the National Arboretum. Initially, the couple were scheduled to visit the National Portrait Gallery first but it was announced earlier the two were switched.

The Arboretum has only been open for a year, so its plans for 100 forests in the area are in the very early stages. To help them on their way just a little, the Duke and Duchess planted an English oak tree.

The couple were assisted by twin brothers Oliver and Sebastian Lye. Sebastian has Down Syndrome and also has a visual impairment and is hearing impaired. He recently received a little legend award for achievement whilst dealing with adversity. Their mother is going through an ongoing battle with cancer, so this morning provided an opportunity for the family to relax and enjoy meeting the royals.

William and Kate were quite taken with the twins.

Kate chatted with the boys.

A look at the plaque.

Damien Smith Twitter Feed

Afterwards, the couple met with local groups of children and their parents.

Kate joined children in the Pod Playground.

The Duke and Duchess then moved to Parliament House, where Prime Minister Abbott hosted a reception in the Great Hall. Prince William changed his tie for this event. Perhaps it was down to a coffee spill or he felt it more fitting to wear a more formal tie.

Six hundred guests were in attendance.

In his speech Prince William said:

'Reluctantly Catherine, George and I leave Australia tomorrow. Thank you for the warmth and generosity that has been shown to us throughout our visit. We go away with wonderful memories, and George goes away with his cuddly wombat which he has taken to chewing so lovingly.'

William also revealed he, Kate and Harry will take part in next years Gallipoli centenary celebrations. At the moment nothing is confirmed, however it seems likely the trio will travel to Turkey next April.

A look inside the Great Hall before the reception began.

Gordon Rayner Twitter Feed

Prince William with Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Kate chatted with the Prime Minister's wife Maggie.

William and Kate signed the visitors book.

Afterwards, the couple visited the National Portrait Gallery, where they viewed an exhibition of artworks and met some of the subjects of portraits, all of whom - naturally - are well-known Australians who are highly accomplished in their respective fields.

The couple viewed a beautiful of portrait of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Mary is Australian and was born in Tasmania. The portrait is by Jiawei Shen and depicts the princess posing in Copenhagen Cathedral in 2004. Shen often juxtaposes contradictory elements in his paintings to indicate his sitter's history or situation. He based the princess alongside a column based on the architecture of Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. In the background lies the Sydney Opera House. I absolutely adore this portrait of Mary. The formality of it, magnificent teal gown, statement earrings and the insignia of the Knight of the Order of the Elephant.

National Portrait Gallery

As many of you know, the Duchess is patron of the National Portrait Gallery in London and has carried out a number of public and private visits there, so this visit was a particularly special one for her.

One of our readers Elkie was outside the gallery today and shared this terrific photo she took. Elkie said there was "definitely a buzz in the air. They're such a lovely couple".

Photo: Elkie

Kate chose a vivid green coat dress by Catherine Walker. It is the second time Her Royal Highness has selected the British label during the tour - the first being a red military coat for the arrival in Wellington, New Zealand. I have to say, I've looked at it several times and it's certainly not my favourite look from the tour. The high neck, the buckled belt, the fabric, the colour... somehow it doesn't quite work for me. Kate herself admitted it left her sweltering. What do you think?

Kate's garment appears to be a bespoke version of two Catherine Walkers. First, the Evelyn Coatdress. It is described as: "The sharp and precisely cut shoulders of this grass green Venetian wool coatdress are softened by the sinuous neckline and full A-line skirt with hand pick stitching". As you can see the neckline on Kate's had been altered.

Catherine Walker

One of our readers correctly noted similarities between Kate's garment and the Lara Coatdress. As you can see it features the same zipper and high neck.

Catherine Walker

The Duchess wore the same vivid green in Cambridge, New Zealand. On that occasion it worked very well - readers will recall the piece was by Canadian designer Erdem.

Kate wore her favourite L.K. Bennett Sledge Pumps.

Kate accessorised with her emerald and diamond earrings.

And her Cartier Watch.


You can watch Prince William's full speech here.

We'll be back with another post later, when the Duke and Duchess attend a reception at Government House at 6 p.m. local time. We can expect to see the Duchess in a formal dress; I'm hoping for a full-length gown but we'll have to wait and see :)

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Kate Deejays in Pink McQueen for Adelaide Visit

Following a relaxing night in Uluru, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge flew to Adelaide in South Australia.

The couple were greeted upon arrival.

The day's events were based in the suburb of Elizabeth, which was named after the present Queen on its formation in 1955. Her Majesty actually visited the city in 1963, so it's quite fitting for her grandson and his wife to stop by during their visit, over fifty years later.

There was great excitement surrounding the visit.

Samantha Vadas Twitter Feed

The couple's first stop in Elizabeth was the Northern Sound Studio, which is a music workshop and studio for young people. It is an inspirational place, giving youngsters the chance to rehearse, record and perform their own music.

Kate had a great time trying out deejaying and gave it the thumbs up.

In fact, she liked it so much, she persuaded her husband to give it a try.

Kate chatted with young people about the studio.

The studio is also something of a hub for young people. William and Kate watched a skate-boarding display in the skate park just outside the studios.

The couple look pleased to receive a skateboard for George.

William and Kate unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of Prince George plaza.

Prince William greeted 100 year old Monica Swarbrick.

The royals carried out a walkabout much to the delight of locals.

Next, the couple visited Playford Civic Centre for a reception hosted by the Governor and Premier of South Australia.

Afterwards, the couple will return to Prince George at Government House in Canberra.

Kate chose her favourite label - Alexander McQueen - once again today. The Duchess wore a soft pink, long-sleeve top with a v-neck and peplum detail (with thanks to Perth Fashion and What Kate Wore). The top is paired with a matching pleated A-line skirt.

Below we see the separates in closer detail. The Peplum Jersey Top has structured shoulders and the Silk Blend Pleated Skirt features a high waist and a rear zip fastening. It's currently available in several sizes at Farfetch. They're very sharp, strong piece and very McQueen, in a toned down wearable way.

Alexander McQueen

The soft pink colour is one of the brand's most popular this spring with a selection of their ready-to-wear pieces featuring the feminine hue. Below we see the Peplum Wool CardiganLace Print DressCrepe BlazerBelted Crepe Pencil Dress and the Ruffled Crepe Top.

Alexander McQueen

Kate wore her much loved L.K. Bennett Sledge Pumps.

L.K. Bennett

The Duchess carried her L.K. Bennett Natalie Clutch.

L.K. Bennett

Kate accessorised with her Annoushka pearls, a gold chain with Asprey charms and her Cartier watch.

The Duchess wore her hair in a very pretty half up - half down style.

You can watch a video featuring the royal DJ's at YouTube.

William and Kate are in Canberra tomorrow:

  • The couple will head to the National Arboretum and plant a tree.
  • From the gallery, the Duke and Duchess will move to Parliament House, where Prime Minister Abbott will host a reception in the Great Hall and Prince William will deliver a speech.
  • The day begins at the National Portrait Gallery where the couple will view an exhibition and meet some of the subjects of the portraits.
  • Finally, they will attend a reception at Government House.

Share your thoughts on William and Kate's day in Adelaide in the comments section below! :)