Monday, 28 November 2016

The Cambridges Join Memorial Service for the Duke of Westminster

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined several members of the Royal family to pay tribute to the sixth Duke of Westminster at a memorial service this afternoon.


Over 2,000 mourners were in attendance at Chester Cathedral including close friends, relatives, dignitaries and representatives from the numerous charities he supported.


The Duke, Gerald Grosvenor passed away due to a heart attack in August, aged 64. His wife Natalia is Prince William's godmother and he has served as something of a mentor to the future king. When it came to choosing Prince George's godparents, William and Kate chose his son Hugh Grosvenor. At just 25 he has now become the seventh Duke of Westminster. The Cambridges used the Duke's jet several times, most recently for their summer holiday with George and Charlotte in France.


Below, Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster with his sister Lady Viola Grosvenor.


And Hugh pictured with his mother Natalia (William's godmother).


More from the Telegraph's story:

'At the time of his death the landowner was worth around $10.8 billion (£8.65 billion) according to Forbes, making him the 68th richest person in the world, and third in the UK. He owned 190 acres in Belgravia, adjacent to Buckingham Palace and one of London's most expensive areas, as well as thousands of acres in Scotland and Spain. In 1973, when he was 22, he became trustee of the Grosvenor Estate and was forced to abandon his dream of a career as a professional soldier in his uncle's regiment, the 9th/12th Lancers. He instead signed up to the Territorial Army and in 1994 received an OBE for his work as a volunteer soldier. When his father Robert died in 1979, he became the sixth Duke of Westminster aged just 27.
He succeeded his father to become chairman of Grosvenor Holdings, the commercial arm of the Grosvenor Estate, and dedicated himself to using his wealth responsibly. The Westminster Foundation, which manages the estate's charitable giving, has donated to more than 1,500 charitable organisations since 1974, and the Duke was also president of the RNIB for 25 years and president of the St John Ambulance for 10 years.'

Below we see the the late Duke with his wife Natalia and daughter Viola at the requiem mass for Hugh van Cutsem in 2013.


The streets of the small cathedral city were lined with people wishing to pay tribute.


Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arriving for the memorial. The Duke of Westminster was a dear friend and a confidante of his.


Princess Eugenie was also in attendance.


More on the history of Chester Cathedral: "The cathedral is a Grade I listed building, and part of a heritage site that also includes the former monastic buildings to the north, which are also listed Grade I. The cathedral, typical of English cathedrals in having been modified many times, dates from between 1093 and the early 16th century, although the site itself may have been used for Christian worship since Roman times. All the major styles of English medieval architecture, from Norman to Perpendicular, are represented in the present building. The cathedral and former monastic buildings were extensively restored during the 19th century (amidst some controversy), and a free-standing bell-tower was added in the 20th century. The buildings are a major tourist attraction in Chester. In addition to holding services for Christian worship, the cathedral is used as a venue for concerts and exhibitions."


A look at the Shrine of St Werburgh inside.


The Mail Online reported: "Prince William, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge are all regular visitors to the Grosvenor properties. Lady Tamara is married to Prince William's best friends, Edward van Cutsem, and William and Harry were both ushers at their wedding in 2004."


More on the service from the Chester Chronicle:

'Prince William read the Garter Prayer, part of the annual service for Knights of the Order of the Garter, with which the late Duke had been honoured.
Lady Edwina, the late Duke’s second daughter and a campaigner for prisoner reform and rehabilitation, delivered an emotional reading titled ‘A letter to my father’.
Grosvenor Estate has revealed an excerpt from the letter, which read:
“You taught me so much.
"Fight for what you believe in.
"Don’t ever give up.
"If you are knocked down, dust yourself off... and get back on your feet.”
Distinguished tenor Ian Bostridge CBE accompanied by Andrew Wyatt, assistant director of music at Chester Cathedral, performed Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck. Readings were also given by the 7th Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, who read his father’s favourite poem, If, by Rudyard Kipling, and Richard Lyttleton, cousin of the late Duke, who read Revelation 21: 1-7.'

A portion of Rudyard Kipling's 'If' - a beautiful poem which was the late Duke's favourite as mentioned above - a very fitting choice for his son to read today.


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
    If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son


William and Kate leaving the service.


Kate was attired in black for the service.


Kate's choice of coat will be familiar to many. The Duchess wore the black Alexander McQueen coat she debuted at Remembrance Sunday in 2015. It's lovely to see the piece in its entirety - it's a very chic garment.


The coat is believe to be a bespoke piece based on the similar Velvet Trim Double-Breasted Wool Coat. Below we see it at Lane Crawford where it retailed for $2,045. The heavyweight piece is described as "an utterly irresistible concoction of virgin wool and velvet, creating a dramatic standout look".
Lane Crawford

Kate wore a black dress underneath. Below, a look at the neckline.


The Duchess wore her new black John Boyd hat (with thanks to Anna) and accessorised with the Queen's pearl and diamond earrings.


It would appear these earrings are at Kate's disposal at the moment. The Duchess first wore them during the Canada tour. The amazing Anna noted: "The Countess of Wessex wore 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." Below, we see Kate wearing them in the Netherlands last month.


Kate carried her Pretty Ballerinas /Mascaro black velvet clutch.


And completed the look with her black Gianvito Rossi pumps.

Gianvito Rossi

It seemed very appropriate for William and Kate to attend the service today. The Duke of Westminster was a great friend to the Royal family over the years and the huge turnout for his memorial is testament to the high esteem in which he was held. The Duchess looked very appropriate for the nature of the occasion too. For those asking, there is nothing announced for Kate's diary at present. Prince William has a few on his calendar, so I would be surprised if something isn't announced shortly. We'll update our 'Kate's Calendar' section on the sidebar the moment we hear of anything.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Black Friday: Exclusive Discount Codes & Kate Favourites on Sale!

We're back with our annual bumper Black Friday round up post, including exclusive discount codes from several brands, where to get the best bargains on pieces worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, and brands she favours.


First up, the lovely folks at Black.co.uk have had a busy year. The luxury accessories brand successfully launched a fantastic new website and added an abundance of classic pieces to their collections. To mark Black Friday they are offering 20% off sitewide + an additional 10% off with exclusive code HRH10 They are also offering Free UK Delivery and Free International Delivery on orders over £100.



One of their newest items in stock will undoubtedly be familiar to fans of the Duchess: the very chic Bow Gloves now available to purchase in navy. Made in Italy, they are described as: "Short navy blue cocktail gloves with an elegant and pristine side bow at the wrist. Made from satin lycra the gloves are stretchy ensuring a snug flattering fit."

Black.co.uk

Below we see the Duchess wearing her navy bow gloves at the Place2Be forum and carrying them at the service of commemoration at St Paul's Cathedral in 2015.


The short satin lycra gloves also come in black and ivory. They are very elegant and comfortable to wear; there's something quite Downton Abbey about the ivory pair.

Black.co.uk

The Duchess also owns the gloves in black, electing to wear them on a number of occasions including a visit to New York, an engagement with Child Bereavement UK and Remembrance Sunday.


A silk scarf makes for an excellent stocking filler or an incredibly wearable addition to one's own wardrobe, especially when teamed with a little black dress for the Christmas party season. Let's take a look at the Brown Leopard Print Silk and Merino Wool Scarf, a warm and ultra soft piece in tones of chocolate, coffee and copper. We also see the striking Black to Ivory Cashmere and Silk Wrap and the vibrant Fuchsia Rose Cashmere and Silk Wrap.

Black.co.uk

The Black Swarovski Crystal Scattered Wrap is a beautiful evening scarf embellished with fine Swarovski crystals. A more colourful evening option is the very autumnal-looking Caramel, Sand and Orange Gossamer Cashere Shawl. Both pieces are quite large and drape in cascading folds when worn over the shoulders.

Black.co.uk

The cape is absolutely everywhere this season, offering a warm yet stylish finish to any outfit. They work particularly well worn with chunky knits, jeans and boots. Below, the Latte Cashmere Cape, the Camel and Black Double Sided Cape and the Silver Grey Cashmere Swagger Cape.

Black.co.uk

I'm loving the colours of the Geometric Cashmere and Wool Poncho and Burgundy Knitted Cashmere Poncho. Made in Italy, the craftsmanship and quality is excellent.

Black.co.uk

The Black Cashmere Sleeved Poncho Sweater with Snood is an incredibly versatile piece. The black poncho, designed for a loose fit, has a round neck and fitted rib knit sleeves. The separate matching rib knit snood or collar can be worn to create a roll neck look or to feature as a collar revealing part of the neck. The snood can also be worn with other tops. It also comes in navy and grey.

Black.co.uk
Cosy hats and gloves include the Navy Blue Cashmere and Pom Pom Beret, the Nutmeg Brown Beanie Hat, the Black and Ivory Houndstooth Beanie, the Black Cashmere Gloves, Light Grey Cashmere Mittens and Long Navy Wrist Warmers.

Black.co.uk

The Jewellery Collection offers artisan chainmail pieces inspired by armour of old to skillfully-crafted mesh jewellery from Indonesia. I particularly like the Sophia Sterling Silver and Pearl Choker, the Gabriella Triple Strand Sterling Silver Necklace and the Miranda Tahitian Black Pearl Drop Earrings.

Black.co.uk

If searching for gifting options, there's a very nice range of bags and purses as well as luxurious home fragrances, including candles, room diffusers and lotions.

Black.co.uk

Not forgetting our male readers, there's an array of accessories and gifting options on the men's section of the website. Below, the Black and Tan Leather Driving Gloves, the Navy and Red Polka Dot Cashmere Pocket Square, the Como Italian Silk Tie, and the Black Crocodile Print Leather Belt.

Black.co.uk
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I know quite a few of our readers are fans of Azuni Jewellery. Founder and designer Ashley Marshall continues to design unique and varied pieces at incredibly affordable prices. To mark Black Friday weekend they are offering 25% off sitewide.

Azuni.co.uk

Kate's much-loved £25 Athena Small Stone Drop Earrings remain available in a number of gemstone colours. The drop stud earrings come with a 24kt gold finish. A larger version of the Athena earrings is available in Kate's Aqua Chalcedony here.

Azuni.co.uk

Kate's earrings come from the Athena Collection which is described as "a journey of reinventing an ancient past. This timeless collection of elegant pieces are hand-textured with a soft matte finish in 24kt gold, empowered with vibrant semi-precious gemstones".  The 'Nailah' Gemstone Drop Earrings have traded in the Hammered Coin for a brushed faceted geometric stud, with the gemstone itself set within a 24kt gold finish.

Azuni

A selection of string pieces sure to add a vibrant finish to any look include the Athena Drop Stone Necklace in silver turquoise, the Athena Two Strand Bracelet with Teardrop Gemstone in lolite with Silver, the Athena Gold Plated Tassel Bracelet, Athena Fuchsia and Silver Brushed Drop Earrings, the Alaya Gemstone Earrings and the Athena Alexia Square Gemstone Bangle.

Azuni

Below, pieces from the Stellar Collection. The sparkling collection is being discontinued soon, so it's a last chance to get a piece. Below the Pave Coin Gold Plated Silver Necklace, the Textured Sunrise Ring and the Teardrop Hoop Pave Earrings.

Azuni


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StyleRocks are offering readers a complimentary second chain for all sterling silver russian ring necklaces. Simply enter HRHDUCHESSKATE at checkout, and note which length you would like for your complimentary chain. Below, the very popular Russian Rings Charlotte Necklace as worn by Cate Blanchett. The rings can be engraved with personal messages or names, making a fantastic gift.

The brand recently launched their new Luxe Collection: "A fusion of elegance and versatility, innovation and sophistication. Designed to be worn night and day, work and play." Several of the standout pieces in the collection include the Diamond Raindrops Ring, the beautiful Diamond Woven Earrings in 9 Carat White Gold, the Rainbow Gemstone Glass Pendant and the Rainbow Gemstone Glass Ring.

StyleRocks

FYI: if you wish to place a Christmas order with StyleRocks the 2nd of December is the last date for guaranteed Christmas delivery.

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Moving on to savings and bargains available throughout the weekend at Kate's favourite retailers and how to snag items she's worn at a discounted price. Net-A-Porter are offering up to 50% off across a range of their lines. Items worn by the Duchess include the Roland Mouret Ella Gown (reduced by 30%) and the Saloni Mary Flocked Chiffon Gown (reduced by 50%).


John Lewis are offering 20% off a number of Kate favourites most notably Kate's new L. K. Bennett Cersei Dress (reduced from £375 to £300). The very popular Sledge Pumps, Fern Court Shoes, Floret Pumps and Nina Clutch are all 20% off too. Similarly L.K. Bennett are offering 20% off everything with code Black20 at checkout. As with John Lewis, items in stock include the Cersei Dress and the L.K. Bennett Addison Dress Kate wore when the royals hosted the Obamas. L. K. Bennett's US website is discounting orders over $250 by 30% with code SAVE30.


Kate's black Preen Finella Dress is reduced from $1,209 to $604 at Farfetch.

Farfetch

The Dune London Toulon Boots Kate wore in Vogue are reduced from £140 to £98 and their Karley Wedges (the updated imperia) are discounted from £60 to £48 in several colours and £18 in cream.

Dune London

Neiman Marcus are offering up to 40% off across a number of lines and $50 off any $200 purchase with code Thankful. The code is applicable to a number of Kate's Kiki McDonough earrings. Below, Kate's Kiki Grace Earrings and Citrine Pear-Drop Earrings.

Neiman Marcus

Nordstrom are offering significant savings, including a sizeable discount off Kate's Kate Spade Encore Rose Tie Neck Pleat Chiffon Dress. It is reduced from $498 to $239.


Really Wild Clothing are discounting their tweed clothing by 25%. There are a number of gorgeous heritage-inspired coats including the Portman Coat, Downton Coat and the Aston Coat.

Really Wild Clothing



The Kate Quartz Necklace Kate co-designer with Claudia Bradby is reduced by 40%.

Claudia Bradby

Kate's Me+Em Breton Tops are reduced from £48 to £33.


Beulah London are offering 20% off selected items (the discount will be automatically applied at the checkout). Kate's Juliet gown remains in stock in very limited sizes. For those interested it's a good opportunity to get the gown at a reduced price.

Beulah London

ShopBop's Buy More Save More sale includes an array of brands favoured by the Duchess. Use the code GOBIG16 to avail.


Bobbi Brown are giving a free holiday gift set with all orders over $50. (UPDATE: they are now offering 20% off any order).


Other sales opportunities which may be of interest:


We'll update the list should any more deals at Kate brands crop up. Please feel free to share any bargains you see in the comments section. With a special thank you to Black.co.uk, Azuni and StyleRocks for sharing exclusive discount codes. Hope all our readers across the pond had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday.