Kate Turns Up in Orla Kiely for NPG Exhibit

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Following up on the success of today’s Royal Foundation forum, the Duchess of Cambridge was out and about for a snowy evening in London at the National Portrait Gallery. Of all of Kate’s patronages, the NPG is probably my favorite. There are few things I enjoy more than starting with the Plantagenets in their historical exhibit and working my way towards the Georgians. Thus, I always get a kick out of seeing Kate turn up on their behalf and tonight was no exception.

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This evening, HRH was highlighting a new exhibit called, “Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography,” for which Kate wrote a forward for the catalogue:

Kate was asked to select her favorite images from the collection and offer captions making up a “Patron’s Trail” for visitors to follow along when visiting. I actually love this idea – it’s such a fun way to humanize both the exhibition and the Royal Family that I think they should keep doing it.

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As Kate noted in her letter, her art history major at university gave her solid preparation for an engagement (and patronage, for that matter) like this:

“This period in the history has long interested me. As a student at the University of St. Andrews, I chose it as the subject of my undergraduate thesis and photographs of children in particular, which feature predominantly in the exhibition, are of real interest to me. These photographs allow us to reflect on the importance of preserving and appreciating childhood while it lasts. Children held a special place int he Victorian imagination and were celebrated for their seemingly boundless potential. This notion still rings true for us today and it underpins much of my official work and the charities I have chosen to support and, indeed my role as the mother of a young family.”

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Tonight Kate chose a new floral dress by Orla Kiely, a brand that she showcased earlier in her pregnancy when she visited Paddington Station in October. This one featured ruffles, a high neckline and pastel flowers over a black background. Its cut, frankly, reminded me of the gold Erdem from Stockholm, though I doubt this will be quite as polarizing.

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Anyway, it’s certainly not to my taste, but as I’ve been saying, at this point in Kate’s pregnancy I’m basically just giving her a free pass. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to April getting here as soon as possible – I’m ready to swap out awkward fashion for new baby photos and I have a feeling Kate is too.

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With that, we’ll return to some history for the next few days. Kate and Meghan have engagements scheduled for next Tuesday through Thursday, so we’ll circle back to them then.

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