Will and Kate visited the Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot, South Wales on Tuesday, February 4th, and looking at her looking fabulous in a hard hat got your friendly neighborhood hofdames to thinking: What is it about Royal Ladies that makes them look so good in hard hats? Maybe you can tell us.
Since Kate is the one that kicked this whole question off, let’s take a look at her first. The other day in Wales, in Sunderland in 2018, and her first Royal Lady hard hat experience in Denmark, right after her wedding in 2011.
The appointment of the Knights and Ladies of the Garter is in The Queen’s gift, without Prime Ministerial advice. Queen Elizabeth has appointed Felipe VI, King of Spain, a Stranger Knight in 2017 and Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands as a Stranger Knight in 2018. As we all know, both Kings attended this year’s Garter Service.
Another fun fact is that our very generous contributor Gert-Jan de Wit was in attendance at Windsor and has graciously allowed us to share some of his photos! (You can see more of his work by taking a look back at the Corps Diplomatique Dinner posts) and by clicking on his name to see his website. A huge thank you to Gert-Jan for always being so supportive of the Handbag–we can’t thank you enough! Let’s get started!
Elizabeth II has also created other Stranger Knights in the past. Time for you to show us your research skills and show us your favorite photos of Garter Days past including Stranger Knights in the comments!
Here’s a hint: start with relatives of those Kings we see here in Gert-Jan’s amazing photos!
Welcome back to In Defense of the Dress, where we take another look at dresses that brought on the divisiveness the first – or second, or third – time around. This entry, as you will see, has very definitively split the hofdame family. You weigh in and tell us what you see because we can’t reach a consensus to save our sartorial souls.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wore this one-shoulder, slinky coral gown to the Paralympic Ball in September 2012. I have very few facts on the dress, so we have to work with what we see here: it’s very definitely one shoulder, and that shoulder strap is gathered into a decorative clip. The dress is fitted through the bodice and falls smoothly to the floor. Sophie accessorized the dress with pearl drop earrings, a small clutch, and a great tan.
OC: I think she looks foxy and I wish we’d see more of this gorgeous, healthy woman.
LG: Love this! Yes, there is a lot of Mary action going on here, but this dress is perfection in every other way. The fit is amazing and the color is smashing.
The Case Against the Dress
The Handbag: I have one word for this dress: BOSOM. It’s all I see. I try to cast my eye over the rest of the dress to evaluate it objectively and I just come back to BOSOM. There is nothing wrong with Sophie’s fine figure at all – I should be so lucky myself – but when a dress draws the eye to one part of the body I feel it’s letting the wearer down.
LiL: Where to begin. I don’t like this AT ALL. The color is all wrong for her, and does very little if anything for her figure. Except to draw the eye to her chestal region as Sudsy stated above. She can do so much better.
We haven’t checked in with my favorite British whirling dervish in eons, so let’s just see what she has been doing the last month or so.
Because I can, I am going to do a roll call of her looks from my favorite to least favorite, and we’ll wrap up with the royal tour to India, which I consider a class of its own.
The Countess of Wessex joined the blindness prevention charity, Orbis UK at the launch of their See My Future appeal. I know I go on and on about her typical dress length, but this Peter Pilotto “cloque” dress has a lovely fit and just enough swing in the skirt to make the longer length palatable to me – plus, it’s not quite as long as she is wont to go. Let’s forge ahead and see those longer lengths.
Windsor Horse Show
Sophie, Ed and Andrew will be the magnificent trio of Veeps at the Windsor Horse Show. I have no idea how to ID what Sophie is wearing here, but once again her casual style is the most flattering of all to me. She just looks extremely at home in these togs.
Today it has been announced that The Duke of York will join The Earl and Countess of Wessex as new Vice Presidents of @WindsorHorse Show.
TRH are photographed with two of The Queen’s Highland ponies, Lomond & Jubilee, who will both take part in this year's #RWHS Pageant. pic.twitter.com/06soIjp2cm
Sophie is the Honorary Air Commodore of the Royal Air Force Witterling. She recently visited a new centenary play park in the RAF Wittering village. I think many people will like this longer Max Mara dress better than I do – since of course I find it a bit too long for my taste. She did have two additional events after, which may account for the rather formal outfit at a play park.
Sophie is also a patron of the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association. She attended a fundraising dinner wearing an Alaia midi dress. The combination of the length, high round neck and sleeve length is giving rather matronly vibes, but the lovely Sophie is radiant from the neck up, as always.
The dervish landed in India and commenced a schedule that makes me pull up a fainting couch – she visited three hospitals in a day, for heavens sake. This trip is focused on child and maternal health. She is pictured here wearing a repeated ARossGirl wrap dress for a reception honoring trained midwives.
Good egg that she is, she cuddled this wee one during a visit to a preemie ward. On a shallow note, she looked sharp and cool in her cobalt blue trousers and shirt, right? I think fitted but flowing, in bold colors plus pattern interest, is the way to go for her.