By Patricia Treble - Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 0 Comments
That everything Kate, duchess of Cambridge, wears is an instant retail hit has been such a long-proved commercial reality that it’s got its own moniker, the “Kate effect.”
Now the fairy dust that rubs off on everything Kate touches is doing more than just boost corporate profits. It’s benefitting charities as well.Organizations lucky to have her as a patron report big increases in interest.
By Patricia Treble - Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 3:25 PM - 0 Comments
So after weeks of being consigned to the bargain basement of possible royal baby names, Alexandra has surged in recent days from 10:1 odds to a 2:1 favourite. (Even “Barack” makes an appearance, at 200:1, mind you.)
Well, way back in December–when the pregnancy was initially announced–everyone was plumping for Elizabeth, or possibly Diana.
Here was the list from Ladbrokes, the betting agency:
Yet, within hours of the news that Kate was in hospital with acute morning sickness, I’d created a list of my favourite names for the future monarch—five for a girl and the same number for a boy, along with my reasonings. The first choice? Alexandra (Philip was my top pick for a boy).
While no one is going to know who’s right and who’s wrong until the baby is born—Kate recently said it’s due mid-July—it’s kinda nice to think the world is coming around to my way of thinking. At least in Britain’s gambling shops.
By Patricia Treble - Friday, March 8, 2013 at 5:04 PM - 0 Comments
Did Kate spill the beans that she’s expecting a daughter? For all those not following the kerfuffle, a recap. During a visit earlier this week to Grimsby earlier, Kate was handed a teddy and thanked the lady for the gift.
A woman who overheard the exchange told reporters that Kate said, “Thank you, I will take that for my d…” Speculation flew that Kate meant “daughter,” accidently revealing that she was carrying the future queen regnant. Then, as people examined video of the incident frame by frame, doubts set in. Did she mean “dog”—her young cocker spaniel Lupo—but stopped because it would be rude to say she was going to use the gift as a canine chew toy?
Now the Daily Mail claims to have have the definitive answer to the vexing question—and a video taken of the exchange that the London tabloid says backs up their claim. Here’s their money paragraph:
By Patricia Treble - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 8:16 AM - 0 Comments
“Her eyes are dead.” “She appears precision-made, machine made.” “Designed to breed in some manners.” Those are a few of the harsh comments directed at Kate, duchess of Cambridge by Hilary Mantel, who’s won two Booker prizes for instalments of her popular Thomas Cromwell series. They come from a biting lecture, “Royal Bodies,” delivered on Feb. 4 but just noticed by the press, at the British Museum for a London Review of Books series. While the lecture covers the baby-making qualities of everyone from Anne Boleyn to Marie Antoinette and Diana, princess of Wales, Mantel’s criticisms of Kate are its heart.
“Kate becoming a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung. In those days she was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore. These days she is a mother-to-be, and draped in another set of threadbare attributions…Kate seems to have been selected for her role of princess because she was irreproachable: as painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character. She appears precision-made, machine-made, so different from Diana whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture. Diana was capable of transforming herself from galumphing schoolgirl to ice queen, from wraith to Amazon. Kate seems capable of going from perfect bride to perfect mother, with no messy deviation.”
Even Prime Minister David Cameron stepped into the controversy, calling Mantel’s comments “completely misguided and completely wrong.” The tabloids, needless to say, have gone ballistic. And, for them, the timing couldn’t be better, for they could juxtapose Mantel’s biting works with new pictures of Kate. Tuesday, she appeared at her first engagement in two months. Showing off her baby bump in a close-fitting wrap dress, she visited one of her charities, Hope House, an addiction recovery centre foe women in London.
Though seemingly harsh for the sake gaining attention when it comes to Kate, Mantel’s lecture is also a rollickingly good read, especially when she highlights the regal gilded cage–”everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage”— in which the Windsors live:
“I used to think that the interesting issue was whether we should have a monarchy or not. But now I think that question is rather like, should we have pandas or not? Our current royal family doesn’t have the difficulties in breeding that pandas do, but pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. But aren’t they interesting? Aren’t they nice to look at? Some people find them endearing; some pity them for their precarious situation; everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage.”
By Patricia Treble - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM - 0 Comments
Oh boy, here we go again. Five months after Italian tabloid Chi and a bunch of other rags published topless photos of the duchess of Cambridge, while vacationing at a secluded villa with her husband in Provence, they’re at it again. This time Chi has photos of Kate on a vacation with her husband and family on the private island of Mustique in the Caribbean. She’s apparently visibly pregnant and wearing a bikini.
No reaction yet from palace officials, but given Prince William’s fury at the last invasion of his wife’s privacy, you’ve got to bet that they’re consulting lawyers again. Interestingly, while the London tabloids are covering the story, they are also blacking out the relevant photo when they reproduce the Chi cover.
Still, everyone was expecting the photos. Kate is the hottest commodity in the paparazzi world, and no one has yet caught images of her expanding tummy. And lest we forget, Diana was also snapped in a bikini on a Caribbean vacation while pregnant with William. (This pinterest page has links to the snaps, or see below.) Back then, the Queen and household officials roundly criticized the invasion of what was clearly a private vacation. It’s 30 years later, and nothing really has changed.
UPDATE: From the palace via the BBC
The palace said it was “a clear breach of the couple’s right to privacy”. A St James’s Palace spokesman said: “We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas.”
By Emily Senger - Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 10:31 AM - 0 Comments
Kate, duchess of Cambridge, has surfaced in public and the duchess, who is now…
Kate, duchess of Cambridge, has surfaced in public and the duchess, who is now approximately four months pregnant, hid what paparazzi could only imagine was a growing baby bump, under a tartan-print cape during an outing in London on Jan. 30.
She also sported a ponytail, black leggings and boots.
This recent outing has been one of just a handful of public appearances the duchess has made since taking time off from her royal duties to rest after acute morning sickness sent her to the hospital in the early stages of her pregnancy.
Kate did appear at the unveiling of her first official portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in London in January. Though, her flowing dress at that appearance didn’t show off much of her pregnancy. Continue…
By Colby Cosh, Ryan Mallough and Jamie Weinman - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 1:11 PM - 0 Comments
Rory McIlroy now with Nike, Obama’s brother enters politics and Zero Dark Thirty Oscar controversy
While Kate, duchess of Cambridge, gamely called her first formal portrait “amazing” and “brilliant,” critics compared Paul Emsley’s work, now hanging in London’s National Portrait Gallery, to North Korea’s mawkish propaganda portraits and even the soft-focus Twilight films.
Rebelle with a cause
It’s been a wild ride for Quebec filmmaker Kim Nguyen, 38. Last week, War Witch (Rebelle), his intimate drama about an African child soldier, received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. And this week War Witch, made for a modest budget of $3.8 million, topped the list of movies honoured by the newly created Canadian Screen Awards with 12 nominations, outstripping larger productions such as Midnight’s Children, Goon and Cosmopolis. Shot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nguyen’s film features a stunning performance from Rachel Mwanza, who was discovered as a homeless street kid in Kinshasa.
The worst kept secret in golf was unveiled this week when Nike announced it signed top PGA golfer Rory McIlroy to a reported $200-million contract. The deal makes McIlroy one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, and gives Nike the rights to golf’s two biggest and most marketable stars (including No. 2 ranked Tiger Woods). Woods was believed to be recruiting McIlroy for Nike while the two were paired together during the PGA playoffs last fall, and seen to be getting along well. The 23-year-old McIlroy will sport the swoosh for the first time at this weekend’s HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi. Continue…
By Patricia Treble - Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 5:21 PM - 0 Comments
When the birthday girl is already living a fairytale, figuring out how to mark her 31st birthday must be a nightmare.
But not for the Queen. She didn’t shop online for a nice cashmere scarf to hide Kate’s baby bump or a gift certificate for a new pair of platform shoes. No, that’s just too, well, ordinary. Her Majesty used her position–monarch, head of state, you get the drift–to declare that all of William and Kate’s children will be given two titles: the first is “prince” or “princess” before their Christian name and the second is the HRH honorific.
Here’s the rather spartan official announcement in the London Gazette:
By Patricia Treble - Monday, December 24, 2012 at 7:10 PM - 0 Comments
1. Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith: Okay, the title is just fun. And so was the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign. It started on Feb. 6—though that’s not “celebrated” as it’s the day her father, King George VI, died—and went right through into December. Canada got a nice stamp, an even nicer stained glass window for Parliament Hill, 60,000 Diamond Jubilee medals, with accompanying paper personally signed by Governor General David Johnston, and a visit by Prince Charles and Camilla, duchess of Cornwall. The world got a four-day extravaganza in London. Not even the pouring rain on the Thames River pageant could drown the enthusiasm of millions. Hundreds of thousands turned out for a huge concert in front of Buckingham Palace with millions more showing up the next day for the main event—a service of thanksgiving in St. Paul’s Cathedral followed by a carriage ride through London and the traditional balcony scene back home. Only the hospitalization of Prince Philip (see also below) put a damper on events.
2. Wedding of Prince Guillaume, hereditary grand duke of Luxembourg, and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy: Oooh, a royal wedding. Luxembourg might be tiny—population 520,000—but it more than made up for its geographic deficiencies by throwing a spectacular wedding. And that involved inviting tons of royalty who dressed up in spectacular gowns and tiaras for two days of events. (The fabulous Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor website has a complete rundown on all the fashion hits and misses.) Best of all, the bride wore a spectacular Elie Saab dress with her family tiara (to have a family tiara!)
By John Fraser - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM - 0 Comments
Royal baby’s sex won’t hinder rise to the throne
If Kate ever wondered after her storybook wedding what it would be like when the full force of royal expectations and demands descended upon her, she knows it now. The ordinary miracle of pregnancy shared by a happy couple anywhere is always a cause for celebration, but a first pregnancy in the direct line of succession to the Crown was always bound to bring on a media frenzy. This one also comes complete with a historic constitutional blizzard.
The news that she and Prince William, the duchess and duke of Cambridge, are expecting their first child in a little over seven months will be greeted with joy in many quarters, indifference in some and gnashing of teeth in still others. That’s normal in an egalitarian age when deference to royalty vanished a long time ago but residual and even renewed and growing affection for Queen Elizabeth II and her “heirs and successors” has surprised many observers.
But this particular pregnancy is also fraught with constitutional heavy traffic, the likes of which royal watchers have not seen in a long time. For starters, the current law of succession in all of Elizabeth II’s realms—and there are 16 of them, including the United Kingdom and Canada—says a first-born girl can be trumped by a younger brother. Continue…
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 8:20 AM - 0 Comments
Can Will and Kate give their child a semblance of a private life?
Prince William’s first public engagement came just 22 hours after his birth: a brief appearance on the steps of St. Mary’s Hospital in London, swaddled in a blanket and held in the awkward clutch of his father, Charles. As the crowd cheered, reporters bellowed and cameras strobed, the jug-eared heir to the British throne dutifully displayed his own, far more telegenic successor. Then he handed the infant off to a shyly smiling Diana, steered her gently by the various photographers’ positions and opened the rear door to their chauffeur-driven station wagon as the new family prepared to speed off home.
Thirty years on, the most striking thing about the footage is the absence of a car seat, or even seat belts for that matter. But the carefully choreographed unveiling was groundbreaking for its time. William Arthur Philip Louis was the first future sovereign to be born in a hospital. His father was actually there to witness his arrival. And, as with the couple’s fairy-tale wedding 11 months before, the public and press had been invited to share the joy almost every step of the way. The news of his birth may have been declared with a traditional 41-gun salute at the Tower of London, but there were modern touches mixed in as well. William would never be a commoner, but his parents, it seemed, were determined that he might find some common ground with them. Continue…
By Emily Senger - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM - 0 Comments
Nurse at King Edward VII Hospital gives private information
The hospital where Kate, duchess of Cambridge, is a patient has admitted to a security blunder after a prank call from two Australian radio show hosts was transferred to a nurse, who gave out private information about the duchess.
The hosts, from 2Day FM, pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles and their call to the the King Edward VII Hospital in London was immediately transferred to the ward where Kate has been a patient since she was admitted with a severe form of morning sickness on Monday. Her condition forced St. James’s Palace to confirm rumours that Kate and Prince William are expecting their first child.
At one point during the call, Mel Greiga, who was pretending to be the Queen, mistakenly called Kate “my granddaughter.” One of the hosts also barked, pretending to be one of Queen Elizabeth’s corgis.
By Patricia Treble - Monday, December 3, 2012 at 11:26 AM - 0 Comments
Today’s announcement from St. James’s Palace was terse:
Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news.
The Duchess was admitted this afternoon to King Edward VII Hospital in Central London with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter.
Fyi: Hyperemesis gravidarum is a fancy term for acute morning sickness.
The announcement ends speculation that started April 29, 2011—William and Kate’s wedding day. Last week she was wearing noticeably looser clothes. Well, looser for a woman known for form-fitting outfits. As I said last week— “Is Kate pregnant? Check out her belts.”
By Patricia Treble - Friday, November 30, 2012 at 11:39 AM - 0 Comments
“Is she pregnant?”
There’s no need to even ID “her” as Kate, duchess of Cambridge, in the question I’m asked at least once a day. Every time she adopts the normal “Kate pose”—her hands (and often a purse) clutched defensively in front of her stomach, the questions would come fast and thick. Until this weekend my standard response was: “The world will know when William and Kate announces it. I’m not going to guess.”
Well, now I’m guessing. There are three reasons for my change of heart—a red belt, a green one and a beige one, plus a plaid outfit.
First the background: this is a woman who likes formfitting outfits. And who is fond of tight belts (also, here and here), and tightly belts her coats. That’s why I didn’t think anything was odd when I first noted she wore a red coat to a rugby match on Saturday. It was an L.K. Bennett creation that she’s worn before and there appeared to be a belt. Nothing new, I thought.
By Emily Senger - Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 9:22 AM - 0 Comments
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, has cut her hair, much to the chagrin of…
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, has cut her hair, much to the chagrin of many British tabloids who are crying foul over a hairdo that looks very much the same as it did before.
Kate revealed the new ‘do during her first official visit to Cambridge, and the U.K. version of Marie Claire reports the following dialogue between a royal fan and the Duchess: “She said: ‘I’m not sure about it. It’s a bit windy today.’ I said, ‘don’t worry, it looks lovely.’”
Not everyone thinks the princess looks “lovely,” however.
“In reality, all Kate’s done is wimp out and get Liz Hurley’s haircut,” writes the Mirror, which says the Duchess should have gone big with bangs, in a style closer to country singer Taylor Swift.
“Kate’s cut her hair. And it’s not good. In fact, the Duchess of Cambridge’s new hairstyle is something of a flop,” laments Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones.
Who gave Kate permission to cut her hair?, Jones asks, before employing the slippery slope argument: “Whatever next? Highlights? Extensions? A feather cut? A bubble perm?”
Also, Jones, points out, a Royal must consider all that the life of a Royal entails before making such a rash decision: “She’ll soon see that the new cut just isn’t right for royal life. If she wears a tiara, her fringe isn’t long enough to curl around it, but will instead be squashed, like a spider beneath a jam jar.”
By Patricia Treble - Monday, July 16, 2012 at 4:42 PM - 0 Comments
A troll through “Kate blogs” reveals lots of stories about possible fashion options from the latest Alexander MacQueen and Erdem collections, or tidbits like she’s celebrated her husband’s 30th birthday with a big group of friends at the Russian-themed restaurant Mari Vanna, or has volunteered again for her Welsh Scout troop—this time a barbeque on the beach—and has been spotted looking at home decor items. There just aren’t any new pictures from public events.
That’s because Kate has done a grand total of one official event in the last month. Since the Order of the Garter service on June 18, she’s only popped up on duty on July 5, when she watched her husband get the Order of the Thistle in Edinburgh. (Her last photographed outing was on July 8 when she and her sister Pippa watched Roger Federer win his seventh Wimbledon title by defeating Andy Murray. However that tennis event, and the one with William to Wimbledon four days before, was deemed “private.”)
And that puts her right back to where she was in late September, when rumour mills were swirling because she’d completed just two engagements in the previous two months, after finishing her Canadian and U.S. tour.
As I explained in my “disappearing duchess” story:While gossips postulate Kate’s seclusion is because she’s either pregnant with twins or depressed because she’s too thin to conceive, the reason is more prosaic: it’s a long-term strategy by the royal household to ease her into a life of duty and unceasing attention by a curious world. Earlier this year, Judy Wade, the royal editor ofHello!, said, “We were told she’s not going to do much in the way of official engagements at all in the first few years because they want the marriage to work and they want her to have a gentle introduction into royal life.
However, since the new year, she’d upped her pace, ever so gently, averaging a public engagement a week. Indeed, according to the Court Circular, the official account of royal duties, the duchess of Cambridge has done 27 this year. Sometimes, like during the central Diamond Jubilee weekend, she’d do several in a week. In the space of six days in the middle of June she went to Nottingham with the Queen, took in a theatrical production benefitting her Art Room charity, visited a sodden outdoor school camp for a princely charity and also got in two mandatory royal duties: going to Trooping the Colour and the Order of the Garter service.
There doesn’t seem to be an obvious explanation behind the precipitous drop off. After all, she’s the royal everyone is clambering to see. It’s too early for a family vacation—royals gather at Balmoral in August and September. Other members have been cranking out the engagements, including those well into old age. And while Prince William has been working—his fulltime gig is a RAF search-and-rescue pilot—Kate has done solo engagements in the past year. And certainly, after more than a year into her new role, she could handle cranking out at least one day of public work a week.
Still, the drought will be over soon. She’s expected to take a prominent role as an Olympic ambassador during the London Games, which start on July 27. Maybe she’s storing up her strength. Because a more negative take on her public inactivity would be, “Hey, I did five gigs in six days. That gets me out of work for the next month!” And for a member of the workaholic Windsor clan, that’s not something you want people thinking.
By Mika Rekai - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM - 0 Comments
She may be the crown jewel of the Windsor clan, but Kate still has to curtsy to William’s cousins
Last week, the house of Windsor updated its official protocol; Kate, it stipulates, must now curtsy to “blood princesses” when Prince William, her husband, is not present (when they are together, she retains his status). While she may be a future queen consort, she was still born of common blood.
It all boils down to the so-called “order of precedence”—the royal ranking. There are in fact two rankings: one used when William and Kate are together, another when Kate is alone. The latter “places princesses who were born royal above those who were not,” explains Rafal Heydel-Mankoo, co-editor of Burke’s Peerage & Gentry.
According to the document, a William-less Kate is required to curtsy to Beatrice and Eugenie—the party-hardy twentysomething daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson—as well as Anne, Alexandra, a little-known royal, and even Camilla, Charles’s former mistress, who, as wife of the heir to the throne is ahead of Kate on the female pecking order.
While Windsor enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic may be surprised to learn that the duchess is afforded less status than the girls best known outside the royal family for wearing outlandish hats to her wedding, Heydel-Mankoo says that precedence is rarely followed by the younger royals, who interact much more casually than previous generations. “In private, the duchess of Cambridge, and all the family, would curtsy to the Queen, of course, and the duke of Edinburgh because he is the patriarch of the family, but you certainly won’t find younger royals curtsying to each other.”
Though precedence is still maintained at public events, there was a time when it was rigidly enforced even behind palace doors. In the ’50s, he says, the Queen’s cousin-in-law, the duchess of Kent, regularly curtsied to the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret—“but Princess Margaret was a formidable woman,” he explains, “and very particular about these things.” Since then, the rules have become more flexible. Nowadays, you won’t see Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin, curtsying to Beatrice or Eugenie, he says—“that’s just not going to happen.”
Nor will Kate be relegated to a commoner’s place in the royal family. On the contrary, her high profile throughout the Diamond Jubilee is a testament to how serious the Queen is about the new royal’s place within the Windsor family. It’s clear, says Heydel-Mankoo, “that the duchess of Cambridge is about as close to the heart of the monarchy as it is possible to be.”
By Patricia Treble - Friday, June 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM - 0 Comments
The world is so obsessed with the clothes worn by Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, that word her father-in-law Prince Charles was releasing his annual financial report this week sent everyone into a guessing game called How Much Did Kate Blow on Clothes?
On June 25 the Telegraph and other papers reported that the grand total for 2011was 35,000 pounds ($56,000). The next day, the Daily Mail tripled the amount to 105,000 pounds ($168,000) and had a extensive price list to back up its claim. Two days after that, Hello dropped that amount to 70,000 pounds ($112,000). It’s not surprising that these totals sparked so much interest, especially considering she only undertook 34 engagements in 2011 and is on track to only slightly improve that total this year.
But since her engagement in November 2010, Kate has had to create a wardrobe from scratch and, until the last few weeks, never repeated an outfit from one official engagement to another official function. Though she seems to always wear the same pair of beige L.K. Bennett platform pumps, a scan through her wardrobe on the authoritative Cambridge Chic site shows that she was wearing increasingly high-end, high-cost couture outfits rather than the more plebeian offerings that her sister wears. Kate is to Alexander MacQueen what Pippa is to Zara.
Though the annual report, released Friday, didn’t have a category called “Catherine’s clothes,” it is clear is that the vast majority of bills go to her father-in-law, who is, by all accounts, happy to pay. Cost for work-related clothes are allocated through his official expenses while bills for off-duty outfits funnel through his private accounts. (According to Hello, only clothes purchased specifically for overseas trips get paid for by the government, in this case the Foreign Office.) Charles’s private funds come from the Duchy of Cornwall, which is the historical estate belonging to the heir to the throne on which he pays a 50-per cent tax rate. As the annual report states:
The Prince of Wales’s private income comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate comprising agricultural, commercial and residential property mostly in the South West of England. The Duchy also has a financial investment portfolio. His Royal Highness chooses to use the majority of his income from the Duchy to meet the cost of his, The Duchess of Cornwall’s, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s and Prince Harry’s public and charitable work.
For the fiscal year ending March 31, the Duchy of Cornwall income amounted to $29 million. Even after paying for staff, there’s a lot left over for shoes in a colours other than beige.
By Patricia Treble - Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 11:37 AM - 0 Comments
The royal family unleashed the big fashion guns for the final, and most important, day of the Diamond Jubilee weekend (find all of our coverage here.) It was a day that started with a solemn service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral and ended with a traditional balcony scene at Buckingham Palace in front of millions of screaming Brits. So who was a stylish hit, and who swung and missed?
By Patricia Treble - Monday, June 4, 2012 at 11:08 AM - 0 Comments
Well, we all knew the press honeymoon concerning Kate’s clothes wasn’t going to last. But to have it come to a screeching halt in the middle of the Diamond Jubilee weekend seems a bit too convenient–more of a cynical marketing strategy than genuine outrage.
Today, the Daily Mail savaged the duchess of Cambridge for wearing a dramatic red outfit for the Thames flotilla. “Did Kate really have to steal the show in her scarlet dress? The rest of the Royal party opted for a muted palette… but she stood out,” screamed the headline. She wore a “bright red Alexander McQueen dress, topped off with a flamboyant red hat by Sylvia Fletcher from royal milliner James Lock & Co.”
It’s hard to tell what caused more horror—the colour, or the fact that Kim Kardashian had worn a sleeveless version of the same outfit.
Apparently the tabloid deemed the ensemble so inappropriate that it should have been relegated to being worn next to Coleen Rooney at Aintree. (Canadian translation: the wife of soccer star Wayne Rooney is infamous for her outlandish, tacky clothes)
You got a sense that the Daily Mail was gearing up for a change in its pro-Kate attitude. They’ve been quite deliberate lately in mentioning how frugal the Queen is, especially when it comes to recycling her outfits. And while they praised Kate for finally recycling an outfit last week, it was also quite snarky: “Clever Kate demonstrated her thrifty side by giving a second outing to the £1,200 Emilia Wickstead dress she wore for the royal sovereign’s lunch in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee at Windsor Castle two weeks ago. Then, eyebrows were raised after so-called ‘High Street Kate’, notorious for her love of affordable clothing, chose a current season designer item costing more than the average monthly salary.”
The Daily Mail‘s new BFFs appear to be Prince Andrew’s daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie. A year ago they were ridiculed for wearing outrageous outfits, hats and makeup to William and Kate’s wedding. Now they can do no wrong, even though Eugenie’s makeup is still a mess, and Eugenie’s clothes, so age-appropriate at Epsom, degenerated noticeably 24 hours later when she wore a sequenned hat to the Thames to accompany a tight dress so unflattering that even Kim Kardashian would have refused to wear it.
And so the Daily Mail has very cleverly set itself up as arbiter, judge and jury of the clothes worn on the final, biggest day of the Diamond Jubilee—tomorrow’s service of thanksgiving and parade.
By Leah McLaren - Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
When it comes to fashion, the duchess is already a kingmaker in her own right: whatever she wears turns to gold
When Prince William and Kate step off the Canadian Forces jet in Ottawa this week, the global fashion industry will be watching. Their laser-like scrutiny will not stem from any interest in relations between the royal family and its Commonwealth subjects, but from a far more practical concern: what is she wearing? And how can we capitalize on it?
Welcome to the incredible brand power of Kate: a young woman who can set a global trend on a whim, and a future queen who, in the world of fashion, is already an established kingmaker in her own right.
The industry-bending nature of Kate’s appeal has grown exponentially since plans for the royal nuptials were announced last fall. Back then, all eyes were on the ring, a priceless diamond-encircled sapphire, which once belonged to the late Princess Di. But while Kate flashed her new rock for the cameras, designers and retailers were rushing to knock off her outfit—a royal blue wrap dress by the then-little-known label Issa. The discount fashion retailer Peacocks produced a $22 copy, as did the grocery chain Tesco, which were reported to have sold out of their version in a matter of hours. The ring itself was replicated in every form, from gumball-machine plastic to a $50 “Princess” cocktail ring by Martine Wester.
By macleans.ca - Monday, July 4, 2011 at 5:54 PM - 4 Comments
The Duchess of Cambridge looks as if she’s ready to do a back-flip at any moment
Canada may have been “too boring for the Queen” (thank you, Gawker), but Kate Middleton appears exceptionally thrilled to be here. She’s practically euphoric. Click on a thumbnail to see for yourself.