William And Kate, It Was Worth The Wait!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you know that the newest royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, just wrapped up their two week tour of Canada and the U.S.  As someone who lives in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, I couldn’t have avoided the Niagara Falls of news coverage about Will and Kate even if I’d wanted to.  But I actually enjoyed most of the coverage and thought the young newlyweds conducted themselves with grace and good humor, genuinely coming off as two interesting, intelligent people interested in real people and real issues.  Quite a tribute to them, given how carefully managed these royal tours tend to be.

Of course, a great deal of interest revolved around Kate and her clothes.  And, yes.  I’m shallow enough to admit that I really enjoyed most of that coverage too.  She’s a beautiful girl who looks great in clothes, so that’s fun.  But even more important, Kate seems happy and totally in love with her new husband, and he with her.  That, of course, is in marked contrast to Prince William’s parents and especially his mother, Princess Diana, who often looked miserable as Prince Charles dragged her from one end of the planet to the other.  So here’s hoping Will and Kate avoid the mistakes of the earlier generation and have a happy life together.

But back to those clothes!  One of the best sites to follow Kate’s fashion happenings is What Kate Wore.  It’s incredibly detailed – mind-boggling so at times, but I actually learn quite a bit about contemporary fashion and fashion designers whenever I visit the blog.  If you like Kate and you love fashion, you might want to check it out.

Although William and Kate finished off their tour in Hollywood, they spent most of their time in Canada.  Kate and her handlers, of course, were very savvy about adding references to the relationship between Canada and the Crown.  That lovely red coatdress pictured at the top of the blog is what she wore on the day she departed Canada.  Red, of course, is the color of the Canadian flag, and Kate accented it with a brooch in the shape of a maple leaf (Canada’s official symbol), borrowed from her mother-in-law.

Of course, Kate wore lots of informal outfits too, like this one to the Calgary Stampede, which is a celebration of all things cowboy.

They both look pretty darn cute in those white cowboy hats, don’t they?  Just like a couple out of a western romance novel!

Speaking of romance novels, for all you Regency romance readers out there, have you ever wondered about all those primrose gowns Regency heroines tend to wear?  What the heck is the exact shade of that color anyway?  Well, wonder no more, because here is Kate in a lovely little primrose number.

And speaking of color, Kate seems to have a particular fondness for the color blue.  Two of my favorite dresses were in gorgeous shades of blue with lots of lace overlay.

Here’s a closeup shot of some of that beautiful lace:

Of course, no discussion of the Royals would be complete without fascinators, and here’s the really fun Maple Leaf Fascinator Kate wore for the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill.

That outfit went over very well with Canadians, I can assure you.

The royal tour is now over.  Will and Kate have returned to England and whatever passes for normal life for them.  They came, they saw, they conquered, and they did their grandma proud.  And as for Kate’s fashion sense, I think she knocked it out of the ballpark!

Long Live The Queen

This week Queen Elizabeth II became the second-longest reigning monarch in British history, over-taking the unfortunate George III of Georgian and Regency fame.  She has reigned for over 59 years and now ranks second only to Queen Victoria, who died after 63 years on the throne.  Given her health and stamina, it’s not unreasonable to assume that she will overtake Victoria, and leave her son Charles waiting in the wings for several more years.

According to The Daily Telegraph, a total of 12 prime ministers and six archbishops of Canterbury have served Elizabeth II.  And one of my favorite stats is that she has played host to more than one million garden party guests over the years.  Crikey!  That’s a lot of canapes.

Here’s a lovely family portrait of Elizabeth with Charles and Anne, looking much like any young mother during the early 50’s.

The old gal’s put on quite a few miles since then, but despite the many trials and travails she’s faced in her long life, she’s always conducted herself with dignity and grace.  Maybe it’s a bit corny of me to say so, but I think she’s swell.  So, well done, your Majesty!  Here’s wishing you long life and many more productive years to come.