If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. At least, that could have been the Duchess of Cambridge’s thought process given the negative reaction that last night’s gold silk Erdem gown received from royal watchers. (Personally, though, I was on board, albeit hesitantly). Regardless, the bags were already packed and the next gown on the docket was yet another floral Erdem, this one boasting blue velvet, bell sleeves and a high neckline.
Before we get into that, let’s set the scene. William and Kate arrived for this evening’s event via boat, which allowed them to take in Stockholm’s glittering nighttime vista. Their destination was the Fotografiska Gallery to enjoy a showcasing of the best that Swedish culture has to offer and a reception during which William made a speech. The couple were met once more by their hosts, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel – reporters on hand captured video of Kate and Victoria greeting one other with Kate noting, “That was a quick change!” in reference to them only having recently parted from this afternoon’s tea.
We only have a handful of photos from the evening and information from inside the room is sparse, though you can read William’s speech here. The below tweet from Kensington Palace also helps capture some of the ambiance enjoyed by guests:
So, now let’s turn to the matter at hand: what Kate is wearing. First, I’d like to give props to her fur-trimmed coat by Swedish designer Ida Sjöstedt. I should note that Victoria’s dress yesterday afternoon was also by this brand, which reminds me of yet another point that I forgot to mention earlier: the earrings Kate was wearing were Swedish in yet another nod to her host country. Anyway, love the coat, so great.
Now, let’s move on to the dress – it’s another Erdem. Unlike last night where at first glance I was slightly flummoxed by the gold Erdem and then grew to appreciate it, tonight I started off with an optimism that slowly faded as I took this look in. I’m a fan of velvet, blue, dramatic sleeves and Kate taking risks, so in theory this should be a win for me…but no. Pulled all together this just doesn’t work in my book. The high neckline looks restrictive, the cut and tailoring of the bodice is doing the Duchess no favors and the length appears off, which brings us to the crux of the matter: Kate is pregnant and this is not a fail safe pregnancy look. At first blush it should be with its empire waist, but again, no.
Nevertheless, I should and I do give Kate props for taking a fashion risk. I find it notable, however, that she seems to be more comfortable doing so when she’s on tour as opposed to her more standard engagements in the UK. There’s something about being abroad, I think, that gives her the freedom – even if only mentally – to step outside her comfort zone. It’s part of what makes these tours fun, and it’s part of the reason why we only occasionally see entire tour looks recycled when she’s home.
In short, this was quite the note for the Swedish royal visit to end on, but the real purpose of this trip – to reinforce the UK’s relationship with Sweden and forge relationships – was absolutely a smashing success. I saw more genuine warmth between William and Kate with Victoria and Daniel than I’ve ever encountered during one of these visits, so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if some form of a lasting friendship came out of it. These two couples have quite a bit in common, and shared experiences which are only going to grow as the years unfold.
Tomorrow we see the next leg of this journey as the Cambridges touch down in Oslo. You can catch upon their itinerary here and see a rundown of the Norwegian Royal Family here. One last note, but there will be three posts tomorrow (God help us all) because Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be attending an evening event back in London. See you then!