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Kate Returns for St. Patrick's Day 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

This is an unusual year, because St. Patrick's Day has collided with the Cambridges' first official visit to Paris, and the excitement for that trip comes as close as imaginable to stealing the 17th's show. Nevertheless, today is one of the most anticipated royal events of the year, and Kate didn't let Paris entirely steal the thunder by arriving this morning at Cavalry Barracks wearing one of her most striking St. Patrick's Day ensembles yet!

Via @BritishArmy
Prince William has been Colonel of the Irish Guards since his appointment in 2011, shortly before his marriage. According to the Telegraph at the time, he is the first royal colonel, although Her Majesty the Queen is, of course, the Colonel-in-Chief. William had a number of uniforms he could have chosen from for his wedding, and he picked the red Irish Guards. A good choice to complement Kate's white dress that happy morning, and it gives the Irish Guards an extra boost of royal connection.

via Kensington Palace

To catch you up on the Irish Guards controversy, (because you need more drama this week, right?) the Duchess debuted at the Irish Guards in 2012. A royal for less than a year, she flew solo on that morning because Prince William was serving in the Falklands. When I wonder what gives St. Patrick's Day its special excitement for royal watchers, I am torn between the worldwide enthusiasm for St. Patrick's Day in general and the fact that on her first engagement with the Irish Guards, Kate was so picture perfect and darlingly flirtatious. Maybe both! It is still one of my favorite events:


Whatever makes it such a popular event, Kate has accompanied William every year of her marriage, except for last year. The princess didn't appear last St. Patrick's Day, and it caused a real stir among fans and royal watchers. When the couple announced they would spend the 17th and 18th in Paris this year, I was disappointed with the conflict to St. Patrick's Day, but delighted when it emerged they wouldn't attend before flying to Paris!



A real fan favorite today is the Irish Wolfhound and Irish Guards mascot, Domhnall. Kate always pins a little sprig on Domhnall who is generally impeccably behaved. According to People, Domhnall's prep for the morning began with "three (boneless) chicken thighs for breakfast and a five mile walk." No wonder he is well behaved, that would leave me looking just like this, too:

via Kensington Palace

The morning always concludes with a toast in the officers' mess and lunch. In year's past, Kate has been pictured sipping on creme sherry, but today the beverage of choice looks to be Guiness or some similarly dark beer. It is a rare sighting of the Duchess of Cambridge indulging in a pint:



Don't forget the snap with the soldiers, with the Cambridges posing circa 1818. I jest, there is only so much you can do with a formal shot like this, but today when I looked at everyone lined up I could suddenly see it in sepia in a history book.

via Kensington Palace


Let's talk fashion.  Kate chose to go bespoke, which is always exciting and almost invariable, as it should, produces a really stunning ensemble. This coat is by Catherine Walker and looks like it is partially patterned after one of Kate's most successful coats to-date, the red military Catherine Walker she wore to deplane in Wellington, New Zealand.


Perths Fashion has also tracked down a product photo of another Catherine Walker jacket which features a similarly double-breasted closure and the sumptuous velvet trim on the collar, cuffs, and pockets that I love so much. 

via Perth Fashion

Overall, this coat draws on chief elements that made (for me) her velvet McQueen such a big success. The coat is very snugly fitted in the bodice and then it gracefully flares in an a-line silhouette. Kate has a really beautiful figure, but some of her coats, even the ones I love, can obscure it a little. These lighter "coat-dresses" really do her full justice.



Kate recycled her hat from Christmas 2015, which I call the Green Poinsettia Hat. I thought at first this was new, because all of my pictures today are taken from Kate's right side, but when she wore this at Sandringham in 2015 almost all my photos are from her left side.  



The different perspective really makes a difference! I thought this was a cute topper when she first wore it, and it is another success today. The Duchess is wearing her Monica Vinader Siren earrings and  sporting her signature chignon, which appears to be secured by one of Kate's subtle and discreet hair nets. 

via Kensington Palace

Kate is also carrying a new clutch. It appears she has broken from her usual suede clutches and chosen a glossy fold-over in a crocodile print:



The verdict is a grand slam. I love the forest green contrasted with the black velvet detailing. As mentioned, these impeccably tailored coat-dresses are so elegant and polished. Kate looked very regal and statuesque standing at attention next to William. This event has nothing to do with the Paris trip, but it does get me very excited for whatever Kate has neatly packed in her trunks for the next two days. 


According to Rebecca English, Sky correspondent Rhiannon Mills asked a Palace spokesman if there was a comment on William's time in Verbier, and was "genially" told that William is looking forward to visiting Paris.  No matter where you fell on the opinion scale regarding Verbier, I think we can all agree that William would have preferred his enthusiastic club dancing to stay private, so today had to be a little awkward. Providentially for the Paris trip, I think this morning cleared the air. It was impossible that there not be a small element of embarrassment this morning, but now William has his first public appearance post-Verbier out of the way, Paris won't have to absorb that impact. A better time for everyone!

via KP

Rebecca English reported that William and Kate are flying to Paris by private plane. The couple's first stop is the Élysée Place to meet with François Hollande and then a black-tie (I think black-tie) reception and dinner at the British Embassy. I stayed up way too late last night reading through your fantastic responses to the survey, and will continue today. Thanks for taking the time to weigh in! See you this afternoon!

My soundtrack today. Happy St. Patrick's Day!




29 comments:

  1. Love the outfit. I was never a fan of the large Catherine Walker large flat buttons but the outfit is still gorgeous and festive. I'm very glad they had this outing prior to Paris to get the first public outing over with. I very much hope everything blows over soon.

    Jane, can you remind us when she wore those earrings last? I don't remember them!

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  2. Agree Jane, absolute home run. I do however think that the velvet seems to be a very dark green, rather than black. Maybe I'm wrong. Nevertheless beautiful cost, perfect fit.

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    1. I agree. Photos from other sources appear to show a very dark green velvet.

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  3. absolutely agree, great look! I do think the details in velvet are dark green rather than black though? Looking forward to Paris :)

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  4. I agree with everyone. I thought it was a perfect outfit for the event. Onward to Paris!

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  5. I agree with everyone. I thought it was a perfect outfit for the event. Onward to Paris!

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  6. I adore this look! Snazzy! Classy! Love the velvet & the cut off this. Great rewear of the hat! All the exclamation points:)
    Happy St. Patrick's Day to Jane & all here!

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  7. Kate looks gorgeous, so elegant and a true princess. Bravo to her, she exudes class.

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  8. Absolute perfection. Wouldn't change a thing. This says royalty from head to toe!! Even love how the light earrings pick up the green of the shamrocks. I also agree with previous posters that the velvet appears to me to be a dark green! Awesome start to the weekend.

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  9. I love how perfectly Catherine fits in with all the military coats but still was very eye catching! Absolutely love the outfit. You are defiantly right, can't wait for updates on their day!

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  10. Lovely outfit.
    On my monitor her shoes look green.
    She obviously didn't have time to change before arriving in Paris---just took off the hat and let her hair down.
    It was quarter to one on the video of the toast and they were due to meet President Hollande at 3:30 (British Time), so it would be a bit of a rush

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  11. Well, it is bespoke, which I was hoping for. But I was not a fan of the red dress with bottoms and this isn't any better.

    DM said Kate's smile is a "force of nature" - how very true!!

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  12. Meh, outfit was fine but sometimes I really wish Queen Maxima would Freaky Friday into her body for an event! Her smile seemed a bit TOO big and forced at times. Stiff upper lipping it I suppose!

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd read that the Queen was the one who picked his outfit for the Royal Wedding. William had wanted a different one but she'd strongly disagreed.

    Anyone see the video from KP on Instagram of them arriving in Paris? Wills pulled a Trump and was shaking hands before she'd caught up to him. Must've been eager to get in and away from cameras, ormaybe the car ride was frosty.

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    1. Totally right on William's outfit, there are a few interviews where Harry reveals William wanted to wear something else and the Queen insisted in this.

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    2. You have to take into account that the President was already waiting for them, so you can't leave him hanging. As much as people want to witness tension between the couple, there has been no evidence of that. Time to move on and let them get on with the task at hand.

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    3. I wasn't aware of the wedding suit tiff. Are we 100% sure this is what Harry meant? And why did she want him to wear it and what did he want to wear? I do remember W saying the queen let them rip up the guest from her staff and do the wedding like they wanted.

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  13. Love the whole look. The coat is gorgeous! Her hair and accessories were perfect. Like you said, Jane, a grand slam!

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  14. I loved this whole ensemble, it looked great. As ever, seeing the outfit Kate chose for her first appearance contrasted with her latest one gives such a good sense of how her style has evolved. I think this, along with the brown Catherine Walker, are my favourite Irish Guards outfits.

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  15. Not a wow for me. Nothing wrong with today's outfit but I can't get excited about it either. I'm not a fan of A- line coats, so that could be the issue. I was one of the very few who did not appreciate the red CW from the NZ tour. Also, the earrings look cheap, unfortunately. Sorry. I want to love this just because of the week she has had but just can't. Oh well:(

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    1. I was somewhat surprised she went for those instead of emeralds or even her green amethysts.

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  16. Dear Jane,
    A superb ensemble. I think the velvet collar and cuffs are of a dark green... I was only utterly disappointed as a French that she did not change outfit when arriving to the Elizée Palace... I know Catherine Walker used to be French but...sigh...
    Take care
    Sophie xxx

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  17. 3 things I love: the colour green, Kate's fashion, and dogs. So, the visit to the Irish Guards is always a thrill for me.
    I loved this outfit with the darker tone and matching shoes. It made the gold (or ar they brass like on a military uniform?) buttons pop in photos. When I saw the first images that were released I immediately thought the updo would be taken out for the arrival. Aside from Canada last year, doesn't Kate usually wear her hair down when arriving in countries?

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  18. I thought Kate looked fine but she's worn several C. Walker designs I like much better. While it's bespoke and obviously quite expensive, I think the buttons look kind of cheap in some photos and the hem doesn't hang evenly. (It's higher in front. I'd expect that for off-the-rack clothes that aren't individually fitted but not here.) 

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    1. I se that too but wondered if it was on purpose. A lower hem in the back allows for bending and sitting without the back gen riding too high while still allowing a little knee to show in the front. Maybe that's why she's such a fan of the midi length for off the rack but can get the front look/back function she is looking for with a bespoke piece.

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    2. Maybe you are right. It just looks odd to me when she standing up.

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  19. Grand slam! Love it all!!

    The dog is adorable!

    I know this wasn't easy for either of them. While I think William looked tense at times, Kate was a professional. I think she came out happy and adoring William, like always. I will also say that maybe he needed to be embarrassed to learn a lesson - I hope.

    ~ A

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  20. The clutch she is carrying today seems to be the same pattern as the belt she wore at Christmas, when she first debuted the poinsettia hat.

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  21. Great post! The coat is so pretty! :D
    It does have movement

    Love your comments overall

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