Kate Shines (Literally) at Buckingham Palace Garden Party

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Surprise! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made an appearance yesterday at the first Buckingham Palace garden party of the season hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Members of the Royal Family present made a formal entrance and then dispersed to mingle with guests, making what I can only imagine were several rounds of excruciating small talk with dozens of strangers who know all sorts of details about their personal lives, all while onlookers took photos on their phones.

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For example, Kate was asked about her sister’s wedding this weekend where her children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are expected to participate in the wedding party. She said that while she was looking forward to the big day, she was slightly nervous about how her children were going to behave. Which is fair given that Charlotte just turned two and her husband, when he was about four, famously misbehaved during the wedding of his uncle, the Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson.

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The garden parties are annual events for the Queen’s calendar. Every summer she typically hosts three at Buckingham Palace and additional events at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh once she’s decamped to Scotland. There are usually about 8,000 guests for each party, with about 400 members of Palace staff to attend to them and serve tea, finger sandwiches and cakes. And I assume the fare is decent because, according to the Daily Mail: “At a typical garden party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed.” Which means people are going back for seconds and thirds – let them eat cake, indeed.

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Video taken by royal reporter Rebecca English of Kate chatting with guests:

And another of the Queen, also from English:

Anyway, the fashion: Kate recycled a light blue Christopher Kane coat with a metallic sheen to it. She first debuted it back in 2012 for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics and then wore it again for the Order of the Garter ceremony in 2014. Unfortunately, I’m sorry to say, I really can’t stand this coat. The material is just too shiny for a coat this long and it feels wildly out of place at a daytime garden party. She re-wore her new Kiki McDonough earrings, which paired with it well, leading me to suspect she was looking for something with which she could match them. But then again, God knows she owns other baby blue items.

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Moving on: Royal news has been dominated by Pippa Middleton’s upcoming wedding as hairdressers, fitters and florists have been snapped coming and going from her London residence and the Middleton home in Berkshire. Apparently a huge glass tent has been flown in from Belgium for the occasion, which looks awesome. And rumor has it guests have been instructed to bring a change of clothes for the reception – which is actually fairly standard and not at all strange given that what you might want at midnight on the dance floor might be slightly different than what you chose for church that morning.

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We’ll see the Cambridges on Saturday for the wedding, though I’m unclear on what the photo regimen will be for the day and to what extent images will be immediately available. Stay tuned!

And Kensington Palace has confirmed that Kate will attend the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday, May 22.

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