Kate in a fan favorite for Rugby Portobello count on visit

Kate returned to a favorite maternity brand for today’s engagement at the Rugby Portobello count on in North Kensington.

More about the organization from The Express:

It is part of a network of centres that run programmes for children and parents such as homework clubs, sporting activities, social groups and tuition.

Additional info comes through Siofra Brennan’s daily Mail article:

The count on and the centre staff in Kensington have also been pivotal in supporting people affected by the Grenfell inferno which claimed 71 lives, including that of a stillborn baby, and left hundreds homeless.

Below, the building as it burned June 14th; on the right, the remains two days later on June 16th.

The Centre is not far from the site of the fire. In his people story Simon Perry reports on one of the things Harry, Kate & William are doing to help those affected by the fire:

….through their Royal Foundation, William, Kate and Harry have also established a support center to help victims cope with the mental health difficulties that have followed the catastrophic fire.

Thursday the Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry will join Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Grenfell Tower national Memorial Service. (See our Calendar update section below for much more info.)

While at the Centre the Duchess took part in a Christmas party put on by the Magic Mums.

The group helps mothers and their young children.

She also spent private time with some of the mothers. much more from The daily Echo:

The Duchess of Cambridge has heard the stories of mothers caught up in the Grenfell Tower blaze when she visited a centre supporting the local community.

Kate had a private informal meeting with a group of young women who have been helped by the Rugby Portobello count on at its community centre in North Kensington.

Kate spoke with staff.

And heard about their work at the Centre.

The Duchess had helpers when she was assisting with setup for the afternoon Christmas party.

More from Victoria Murphy’s daily Mirror story:

As the Duchess then helped set the table for the Christmas party which will take place later today, she asked a little boy: “Are you looking forward to Christmas time?”

The youngster, putting paper plates down, replied: “I like Christmas.”

Kate, laying Christmas crackers on the table, then asked him: “What are you going to do?”

The adorable young boy told her he didn’t have a Christmas tree “or chimneys”.

I think the young boy Victoria is referencing *might* be Yahya Hussein Ali, age 7, seen in this picture with Kate.

Victoria also posted a video on Twitter of Kate helping with preps for the party.

Kate with much more of the Centre’s staff and management.

The Duchess made a brief speech thanking everyone at the Centre for their work and congratulating them on an award they recently received.

Kate receiving flowers as she was about to depart.

Now for our look at what Kate wore for today’s engagement. Many of you recognized the Séraphine Marina coat ($495) immediately. It rapidly became a favorite with quite a few Kate fashion followers after they first saw the Duchess wearing it. 

That happened in December 2014 when Kate wore it at the start of a brief trip to new York City.

The style was initially created just for Kate; this is from a 2014 Séraphine news release. 

The coat was then made available to the mass market. The wool blend bouclé has a bit of a sheen, attributable to a touch of metallic thread in the fabric. The design features an empire waist, front patch pockets, round neckline, frayed trim and velvet ribbon detailing. The product page notes that the piece is “…designed to wear before, during and after pregnancy; however, for customers not requiring a maternity fit, we recommend ordering one size down to give a much more tailored look.”     

Responding to questions about the coat being a bespoke piece, that is how it was described by Séraphine when Kate first wore the style. I believe it was then available as a customized order for a period of time before it was mass-produced and added to the company’s regular inventory as part of the Luxe Collection.

Beneath the coat, I thought Kate could be wearing the Topshop contrast Collar dress again. Below, two close-ups of the dress fabric peeking out the front of the coat.

But, as Laura pointed out on Twitter, we probably would have seen the white collar of the dress as well. So at this point, I am on the fence, and would lean toward putting it in the UFO (Unidentified fashion Object) category.

We saw Kate’s go-to Bayswater Wallet Clutch by Mulberry. And her Tod’s suede pumps.

The Duchess wore her 167 button earrings by Asprey ($4800).

The earrings are covered in pavé diamonds with an amethyst in the center.

She wore her hair down.

A final look.

A quick Séraphine shopping note from our Retail Roundup page. The entire Diana award Collection is 30% off with promo code BABY30. This is the line with pieces made in the official Princess Diana tartan with a portion of sales going to support the Diana Award.


Earlier today Kensington Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess are recipients of Gold Blue Peter badges. The badge is awarded by the BBC children’s program of the same name. much more from The Telegraph:

They received their badges at the Blue Peter studios in Salford for their campaign work around mental health and mental health issues affecting children.

The presentation was made last week when Kate and William were at BBC Studios near Manchester. The BBC reports “Viewers can see William and Kate being presented with their badges in Thursday’s live Blue Peter Christmas special at 5.30pm on CBBC.” Here is a video of the presentation.


As mentioned, we have updates to Kate’s Calendar. The first has specifics on Thursday’s service and the second provides dates for the trip of Sweden and Norway. : 

Thursday, December 14: The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend the Grenfell Tower national Memorial Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The service begins at 11am GMT (6am EST, 3am PST). It will be carried live on BBC1.


Tuesday, January 30: At the request of the foreign Office, Kate & William start their trip of Sweden and Norway. Today the couple will be in Stockholm, Sweden.

Wednesday,  January 31: The Duke and Duchess have a second day in Stockholm.

Thursday, February 1: Kate and William start their trip of Oslo, Norway.

Friday, February 2: The Duke and Duchess wrap up their tour in Oslo.


Also today, news on the white gown worn by the Duchess to the diplomatic reception on the 5th. (Better photo here.)

Heaven, an ace clothing identifier without whom we would all know less about Kate’s fashion, got in touch with Jenny Packham about the piece and received confirmation the Duchess’s dress was one of their designs. 

I have have been chatting with MF fashion & Styling Perth about the design. We both think it’s possible the material used in the dress is a stretch silk. We also noted similarities in the neckline to two styles in the designer’s resort 2017 collection, as well as the blue gown made for the Duchess to wear in India last year.


We’ll leave you with a new portrait of Prince Philip that was released this weekend.

The portrait setting is the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle.  much more from The Telegraph:

Painted by artist Ralph Heimans, Philip is shown in the imposing setting of Windsor Castle wearing the sash of the Order of the Elephant, Denmark’s highest-ranking honour.

The painting will form part of a retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work which is being staged at the museum of national history at Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark next year.

We’ll see you Thursday for the service at St. Paul’s.


Learn much more about the count on at its website here; you can also follow their work on Facebook here; the organization’s Twitter feed is here.

The daily express story is here; The daily Mail coverage is here; The Mirror’s story is here; The Telegraph piece is here (with a good video off the top)

PopSugar’s photo gallery is here; People’s story is here; just Jared’s gallery is here; the Hello! piece is here


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