Friday, 28 July 2017

William's Last Day with the EAAA, Vote for Kate's Tour Jewellery and Shoes & 20% Off + A Giveaway from Azuni London!

Hello hello,

We have two more tour polls to share with you today, along with a treat for readers from Azuni London. Before we move on to all things fashion and sparkle related, Prince William completed his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance last night, not only finishing his time with the EAAA after two years but bringing his flying career to an end as he prepares to begin a full-time schedule of duties this autumn.

Prince William thanked his colleagues and said he was "grateful" for the experience in the following statement:

'I wanted to say thank you to my colleagues, team mates and the people of East Anglia who I have been so proud to serve. Over the past two years I have met people from across the region who were in the most desperate of circumstances. As part of the team, I have been invited into people's homes to share moments of extreme emotion, from relief that we have given someone a fighting chance, to profound grief. I have watched as incredibly skilled doctors and paramedics have saved people's lives. These experiences have instilled in me a profound respect for the men and women who serve in our emergency services, which I hope to continue to champion even as I leave the profession. I am hugely grateful for having had this experience.' 

Throughout his service, the Duke has been based out of Cambridge Airport, as part of a team including specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots providing emergency medical services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. EAAA helicopters can reach patients anywhere in the region within twenty-five minutes. They provide rapid, effective treatment as soon as possible after injury, and transport patients directly to hospital if required.  Regular landing areas for EAAA helicopters include residential gardens, carparks, beaches, roadsides, and any open space deemed possible by the captain. Last year, the EAAA carried out 2,361 missions.

The Telegraph reports:

'The Duke of Cambridge flew a critically-injured pedestrian to hospital on his final shift as an air ambulance pilot. The woman, in her 50s, had been reported missing when she was struck by a marked police van in Hethel, about eight miles south-west of Norwich. Officers were responding to a 999 call "relating to concerns for the safety" of the woman, Norfolk Police said.
Prince William's East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) crew was called to the scene at 11.13pm on Thursday and the critical care team treated her at the scene for complex serious head injuries. The woman was then taken by air ambulance to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where she remains in a "life-threatening condition", the East of England Ambulance Service said.
A mile-long stretch of the B1135 Wymondham Road in Hethel, home of Lotus Cars, remained closed on Friday as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigated. The rural road has farmers' fields on either side. The woman was struck at around 10.20pm on Thursday and nobody else was injured.'

No doubt it was a difficult day for William who has absolutely loved working as a pilot. 2017 is a year of significant changes, as Prince Philip prepares to carry out his last engagement next week, William soon begins dedicating himself full time to the Royal family. I'm sure the timing of both events is certainly no mere coincidence. It's going to be very interesting to see what the final quarter of the year brings.


It's been such fun to see your selections in our first post-tour polls; tonight we're asking you to vote for Kate's shoes, clutches and jewellery!

Best Tour Shoes

First up, we have a pair of shoes fast becoming Kate's new signature: the Gianvito Rossi Praline Pumps.

Gianvito Rossi

Kate added a chic finish to her Gosia Baczyńska look with her Gianvito Rossi Ankle Strap Suede d'Orsay Pumps.


Kate's new Stuart Weitzman NearlyNude Ankle Strap Sandals in 'buff patent leather'.


Kate chose the Prada Quazo Sandals for two receptions during the tour.


The Duchess sported her Monsoon Fleur Wedges in Heidelberg.


And finally we have Kate's trusty Superga Cotu Sneakers.


Kate's Best Tour Shoes free polls

Best Tour Jewellery

Kate wore several beautiful and memorable pieces of jewellery during the tour. Which was your favourite? First up, we have the oval diamond and ruby pendant and matching earrings Kate wore upon arrival in Warsaw.

For a reception hosted by the British Ambassador that night it was Kate's distinctive Balenciaga Pearl earrings and a matching necklace featuring four large pearls.

Kate accessorised with a very pretty pendant and earrings made from Milk Amber - the native gemstone of Poland.

In Berlin, Kate complemented her blue Catherine Walker coat with topaz jewellery by Kiki McDonough. The £3,500 earrings are blue topaz oval and cushion cut stones surrounded by diamonds set in 18ct white gold. On her neck, the £1400 Kiki Eden Blue Topaz and 18ct White Gold Flower Necklace.

For the Queen's Birthday Party in Berlin, it was red Simone Rocha Crystal Beaded Drop Earrings.

A lovely choice of earrings in Heidelberg - the Oscar de la Renta Pearl Sun Star Button earrings. More from the product description: "Make a subtle statement in our wear-with-everything button earrings. Crafted with striking gold-plated sun stars, this darling pair is set with lustrous Japanese resin pearls."

Kate brought back her Soru Pearl earrings in Berlin.

Soru Jewellery

The jewellery surprise of the tour came at a reception in the vintage mirrored hall of Clärchens Ballhaus. To the delight of many royal watchers, Kate wore Diana's much loved Triple Pearl and Diamond Bracelet. 

The Duchess wrapped up the tour in her gorgeous Kiki McDonough Lavender Amethyst Pear and Oval Drop Earrings.

Kate's Best Tour Jewellery free polls


We have a weekend treat from our friends at Azuni London to share with you - they are giving away a pair of Kate's ever popular Athena earrings - renamed the 'Kate' as they are forever synonymous with the Duchess. Azuni are also offering an exclusive 20% discount code for blog readers. To avail of the code simply enter KATE20 at the checkout.

The 'Kate Earrings' remain an incredibly popular staple at Azuni, continuing to sell out time after time several years after the Duchess first wore them. They are £29.50 but this is reduced to £23.60 by using the discount code KATE20.

The drop stud earrings are versatile and wearable making them an ideal choice for jazzing up a work outfit, injecting a pop of colour into a little black dress or perfect for summer events. They come in a variety of stones including amethyst, garnet and lapis.

Azuni London

The earrings are from the Athena Collection: "Athena is a journey of reinventing an ancient past. This timeless collection of elegant pieces are hand-textured with a soft matt finish in 18kt gold, empowered with vibrant semi-precious gemstones." Below the 'Althai earrings' (the updated version of Kate's earrings) and the Marina Gemstone Hoops in Rose and Moonstone.

Azuni London

Azuni London

A closer look at the gorgeous ’Meganisi' bracelet which features a double wrap of semi-precious gemstones and gold beads united by an circular gemstone charm.

Azuni London

The 'Neferiti' Long Coin Necklace in Silver Labradorite: "Add a little bohemian flair to your wardrobe with this versatile bead and coin wrap necklace. A sterling silver necklace featuring hand textured coins interspersed with semi precious stones. Create different looks by layering, or simply wear it long. Can also be wrapped around your wrist to be worn as a charm bracelet."

Azuni London

Azuni London

Vibrant cocktail rings include the Large Cushion Cut Dark Blue Chalcedony Ring and the Amethyst Cocktail Ring (on sale for £25).

Azuni London

There's a fantastic sale underway at Azuni with up to 50% off select pieces. To see all pieces included in the sale please click here.

Azuni London

Points of note on the giveaway:
  • To enter the giveaway for a pair of 'Kate' earrings simply sign up for the Azuni Newsletter.
  • Leave a comment letting us know which piece of Azuni jewellery is your favourite. You can check out the treasures available here.

Wishing all entrants the very best of luck! A reminder for those availing of the KATE20 discount, it is valid until midnight Monday.

Azuni London

We'll see the Duke and Duchess in Belgium on Sunday; in the meantime, wishing you a lovely weekend! :)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Vote for Kate's Best Tour Looks, Diana: Our Mother, Her Legacy & More

Once tours have concluded, it's always enjoyable to recap Kate's tour wardrobe and see which looks proved most successful and remain most memorable afterwards. It was a notable tour, different to any we've seen the Cambridges previously undertake - the use of royals as envoys deploying soft diplomacy amidst the harsh background noise surrounding Brexit offered an entirely different scenario to the goodwill Commonwealth tours the Duke and Duchess have carried out thus far. These demands extended to Kate's style on tour with clothing not only sending messages, be it the colour paying tribute to the host country or the designer Polish or German, but specific pieces had to carry Kate from a concentration camp and memorials to vibrant street parties and walkabouts meeting children. It was a challenge that was met with an uptick in bespoke pieces and largely, a reliance on tried and trusted designers. Tonight, in the first of our post-tour polls, we're asking you to choose your favourite Day and Evening look.

Best Day Look

The tour began in Warsaw with the Duchess arriving in a familiar silhouette by Alexander McQueen. The ivory wool and silk blend twill coat bore instantly noticeable similarities to previous styles worn by the Duchess (quite a few readers thought it a repeat). We all have specific styles which work best for us and we feel comfortable in and that was very much the case with this look for Kate. The impeccably tailored look was complemented with the addition of a distinctive belt. The Duchess styled the look with Gianvito Rossi praline pumps, her red Casa clutch and ruby and diamond jewellery.

For Day Two of the tour, the Duchess wore a bespoke top and midi skirt in 'Hurst Rose Print' by Erdem. The outfit proved by far the most divisive choice from the tour with incredibly heated opinion expressed. What I will say on the matter is: everything I remember about the visit to Stutthof has absolutely nothing to do with the clothes; it was the stand out engagement where such matters seemed almost too trivial to write about. I personally thought Kate looked appropriate, the itinerary of the day meant the Cambridges were taken straight from Stutthof to a street party, drink tasting and a theatre visit. Kate teamed the dress with her Stuart Weitzman Nearly Nude Sandals, Etui clutch and Milk Amber jewellery.

It was a cornflower blue Catherine Walker as the Cambridges arrived in Berlin for the second leg of the tour. Walker designs tend to offer a level of no frills classic sophistication and professionalism which is exactly what this look did. Kate wore the coat with a light blue dress with a scalloped hem (hopefully we'll see it in its entirety at a later date), Gianvito Rossi pumps, a Jimmy Choo clutch and Kiki topaz jewellery.

Does anyone design pretty dresses better than Jenny Packham? Kate paid tribute to the gold in the German flag in a bespoke Packham jacquard dress with a fit-and-flare silhouette, a set-in waistband and floral motif. The dress was styled with Monsoon Fleur Wedges, a McQueen clutch and new Oscar de la Renta earrings.

The rowing trip meant a quick change of clothes. Kate chose her go-to casual attire of a Breton top and jeans. The blue top is by German luxury brand Hugo Boss. Kate also wore her Superga Cotu trainers. Note: This look is clearly very different in terms of informality compared to the other options in this category, however, as it's the only "casual daywear" look worn, it merits inclusion in this particular poll.

Finally, the Duchess was colourful in a bespoke lavender Emilia Wickstead dress for the final day of the tour. The long sleeve dress has a fitted bodice and flared skirt. Kate teamed it with a distinctive red Anya Hindmarch clutch, Kiki McDonough Lavender Amethyst Pear and Oval Drop Earrings and Praline pumps.

Kate's Best Day Look free polls

Best Evening Look

Kate's edgiest choice of the tour came when the Cambridges attended a birthday party for the Queen in Warsaw. HRH chose a monochrome cocktail dress with architectural black detailing and a deep v neckline by one of Poland's best-known designers, Gosia Baczynska. The designer later told the Telegraph: "Until the last moment, I didn’t know which outfit the Duchess was going to wear. I had some expectation that she would wear it but I couldn’t be sure so was extremely happy and excited when I saw her in my dress. The most important thing for me is quality which means really good fabric and realisation," she says. "I would like women who wear my outfits to feel special and modern. Classy and a little bit rebellious." Kate styled the dress with black Gianvito Rossi D'orsay Pumps and statement pearls.

Lady in red Kate donned a flowing, off-the-shoulder McQueen maxi dress for the Queen's Birthday Party at the ambassador's residence in Berlin. The dress is from Alexander McQueen's Spring '17 collection which captures the beautiful landscapes and folkloric history of the Shetland Islands. The dress was worn with Prada sandals and statement earrings by Simone Rocha.

For a reception in the vintage mirrored hall of Clärchens Ballhaus, Kate selected a sparrow print dress by German designer Markus Lupfer. The teal jacquard dress is from the Pre Autumn/Winter 2017 Collection; it was quite an unusual choice for Kate and different to her usual style of 'cocktail' dress choices. The dress was teamed with a Jenny Packham belt, a clutch by Anne Grand-Clement, Prada sandals, Soru Pearl earrings and Diana's triple strand pearl bracelet.

Looking forward to seeing your choices :)

Kate's Best Evening Look free polls


Whilst we're recapping the tour, at the Queen's birthday party in Berlin, official photos of the Cambridges and the team who accompanied them were published on UK in Germany's Flickr feed (they were later removed). The images show William and Kate with their staff who played a vital role in ensuring the tour ran smoothly.

There are quite a few unfamiliar faces in the photo. The ones I do recognise include Senior Communications Officer Katrina McKeever, William and Kate's private secretaries Rebecca Priestley and Miguel Head. Their press secretary Jason Knauf, Nanny Maria Teresa, and longtime adviser David Manning. The man beside David Maninng has worked for the Cambridges for several years as an orderly, but I do not know his name. Kate's stylist/PA Natasha Archer and hair stylist Amanda Cook-Tucker are also pictured.


The long-awaited Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy documentary aired on ITV last night, and I suspect, like me, many of you were curled up on the sofa watching intently. Over the years since her passing so much has been written, from the factually correct to the insanely untrue. We've heard perspectives and opinions from countless people who knew her as a royal, a friend, a sister. Until last night we had never so openly heard from the people who knew and loved her most, her sons. It's a very emotional watch, as William and Harry lay bare their grief and share treasured memories of Diana whom they miss more than words can explain. They discussed the fun times, their last phone call with her and how they still feel her presence. The brief was to make a film that, in years to come, the princes' could show to their children, and one day, George, Charlotte (and any future siblings and cousins) will all sit down and get to know 'Granny Diana'. Ultimately, it's a true representation of who Diana was and still is to William and Harry, the woman they knew and how they remember their mother. I thought it a fantastic, moving piece of television and a fitting tribute to the People's Princess from her sons. I won't say too much more as I know many of you haven't seen it yet. Luckily, it's now available on YouTube, click here to view!

Finally, we have additional information to share on the programme for William and Kate's visit to Belgium on Sunday and Monday. More from the press release:

'On behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, the Prince of Wales will attend commemorations marking the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele, the third Battle of Ypres. His Royal Highness will be accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. On Sunday 30th July, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the Last Post ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Two hundred descendants whose ancestors are named on the gate will attend alongside representatives from nations who fought on the Salient. The King and Queen of the Belgians will be present. Later that evening, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Market Square in Ypres for an event that will tell the story of the four years of war on the Salient with performances and music set to a backdrop of light projections onto the historic Cloth Hall.
On Monday 31st July, the Prince of Wales will be accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for commemorations at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Tyne Cot Cemetery to mark the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele, the third Battle of Ypres. The King and Queen of the Belgians will be present.'

Before then, we'll be back with our remaining tour polls.