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This Week in Royal Fashion: Investiture Anniversary, Kate in Blackpool & Meghan Celebrates International Women’s Day



This was a busy fashion week as we saw the royal family out to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Prince Charles’s investiture as the Prince of Wales on Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Blackpool Wednesday, and Meghan honouring International Women’s Day today.

Let’s take a look at some style favourites:

Investiture Anniversary Reception

Prince Charles was honoured Monday as the family came together to recognize the 50th anniversary of him being invested as Prince of Wales. Sadly, there were no tiara moments as this was a daytime reception, but we saw some new fashion at the event.

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The Duchess of Sussex wore a gorgeous brocade dress with a subtle metallic sheen in tones of cream, champagne, and gold. The dress is thought to be a bespoke piece but as of today, remains unidentified.

She paired the dress with her cream-coloured Amanda Wakely “Crombie” coat, which she’s worn on two other occasions. Meghan sported the coat at the March 2018 Commonwealth Service, as well as the gala performance of The Wider Earth last month, proving it to be a versatile piece both before and during pregnancy.

As for accessories, Meghan chose her frequently-worn Birks bar earrings in yellow gold, and the Wilbur and Gussie Oyster Clutch. She finished off the look with her Paul Andrew “Pump-It-Up” heels.

I spoke with Susan Courter and Susan Kelley of the popular fashion site What Meghan Wore about their thoughts on the outfit.

“There have been a few mentions that the Duchess, like sister-in-law Kate, also wore something created by a private seamstress, but we haven’t seen that information confirmed.

We thought Meghan looked terrific at the reception; her floral brocade dress was well-tailored and very flattering. Repeating the Amanda Wakeley coat atop the dress was a smart choice; it is an elegant piece that kept the metallic fibers in the dress from being too prominent for a daytime function and it made perfect sense from a practical perspective.”

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The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a pale mint green dress for the occasion. Although it’s quite similar to a Beulah dress she wore back in 2012, the brand confirmed it was not their design and the palace said it was made by a “private dressmaker.”

What Meghan Wore has a sister site, What Kate Wore, and Courter and Kelley said it was “only the fifth or sixth time we remember a dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge being attributed to a private dressmaker.”

“It was done in a color we see Kate wear with some regularity and it also had a familiar silhouette: a fitted bodice, full skirt, high neck and full sleeves,” they continued. It was also very similar to a contemporary piece by Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko. A reader pointed out to us how many design elements the two garments shared; it’s possible the inspiration for Kate’s dress came from the Sergeenko frock.  “

Catherine paired the dress with one of her favourites, a glittering pair of diamond and aquamarine drop earrings. Although she’s worn these on many occasions over the years, including 2015’s Trooping the Colour, the maker has never been identified.

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Another notable look at the reception was The Queen, who looked stunning in a regal purple ensemble from Stuart Parvin. The smart blazer and purple-and-ivory silk polka dot dress is a cheerful look for the impending spring – and even better, the print matched her son’s tie.

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The Queen paired her classic triple strand of pearls and coordinating earrings with a sparkling amethyst and diamond floral brooch.

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Finally, the Duchess of Cornwall wore an elegant green dress and matching jacket by Bruce Oldfield. Like The Queen, she accessorised with pearls, and like her daughter-in-law the Duchess of Sussex, Camilla carried the DeMellier London Mini Venice bag. Both Camilla and Meghan have carried the forest green bag on official engagements.

But the highlight of her outfit was the diamond and emerald Prince of Wales feathers brooch. The brooch was given to Princess Alexandra when she married the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII. It was frequently worn by Diana, Princess of Wales as a necklace pendant, although Camilla has been photographed wearing it as a lapel pin.

Blackpool engagements

Wednesday saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travel to Blackpool for a packed schedule of events. Although the weather was grim, Catherine was all smiles arriving in a green Sportmax coat, black scarf and boots, and a trusty umbrella.

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The coat, which she has worn three other times in 2015, 2016, and 2017, is the “long belted coat” style. Catherine often recycles a coat but changes up the accessories, and today she added the (currently unidentified) oversized black scarf and opted to wear the coat without a belt, giving it a slightly different look than on previous engagements.

Underneath, the duchess wore a new midi-length dress. The now sold-out £225 frock is the Michael Kors peacock pattern style, with a button-up front, collar, sash belt, and sheer bell sleeves. The whimsical pattern was ideal for such a gloomy day and a departure from her usual printed dress wardrobe of polka dots and florals.

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She accessorised the outfit with an older pair of cushion-cut green amethyst and diamond Kiki McDonough drop earrings, an unidentified pair of black boots, and the green Manu Atelier ‘Micro Bold’ bag she wore on a recent engagement in Scotland.

According to Vogue, the handbag brand “was founded by sisters Beste and Merve Manastir in 2014, and has also caught the eye of Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton and actor Sarah Jessica Parker.”

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International Women’s Day Panel

Our last fashion moment of the week is from this afternoon’s panel discussion convened by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to celebrate International Women’s Day.

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The Duchess of Sussex, who was just announced as vice president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, brought her expertise on women’s empowerment as well as a new-to-her designer for the event.

Meghan wore a bold black-and-white geometric print dress from high street brand Reiss. The £185 Azzura Swirl dress, as identified by Laura of fashion site UFO No More, includes a retro print that almost resembles teacups. According to the brand’s website, it features “pleated detailing at the cuff while the high neckline adds to its graphic aesthetic.”

This is the first time we’ve seen Meghan step out in Reiss, a brand which the Duchess of Cambridge has favoured over the years. Meghan’s Mirror confirmed their extensive archive of the Duchess of Sussex’s fashion does not including any items from the retailer.

She teamed the 1960s-style dress with a previously-worn black blazer by Alexander McQueen, along with some repeat accessories: the Stella McCartney Shaggy Deer faux leather crossbody, and black Manolo Blahnik BB pumps in black suede.

Finally, in a nod to her new role, she added a brooch with the logo of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

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We’ll see you next week with the fashion details from Monday’s Commonwealth Day events and the Duchess of Cambridge’s night at the Portrait Gala.



About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. She blogs about royal fashion and travel at royallybroke.com. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.