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Kate is nautical in navy & white for Portsmouth visit

On February 12th, 2015 the Duchess of Cambridge visited Camber Docks in Portsmouth to visit the Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) headquarters.

Duchess of Cambridge visits Portsmouth

The Duchess visited BAR HQ to see how work on a new Visitor Centre for the 1851 Trust is progressing, and to hear more about the progress of BAR’s bid to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain.

Kate meets Sir Ben Ainslie, David "Freddie" Carr, James Roache and Nick Hutton.

Kate meets Sir Ben Ainslie, David “Freddie” Carr, James Roache and Nick Hutton, via @BenAinslieRacin Twitter

As you may recall, Kate is Royal Patron of The 1851 Trust, an organisation dedicated to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry. The Trust is the charitable arm of Ben Ainslie Racing.

The Duchess of Cambridge meets construction crew of the new Ben Ainslie Racing HQ in Portsmouth, via @KensingtonRoyal

The Duchess of Cambridge meets construction crew of the new Ben Ainslie Racing HQ in Portsmouth, via @KensingtonRoyal

The 1851 Trust Visitor Centre will be hosted at the Ben Ainslie Racing headquarters and will be an interactive showcase for the sport, sustainability and innovation.

1851 Trust Visitors Centre

1851 Trust Visitors Centre, via

While at BAR HQ today, Duchess Kate met with children from six local schools –

Duchess Kate meets local school children at Ben Ainslie Racing HQ

Duchess Kate meets local school children at Ben Ainslie Racing HQ, via @KensingtonRoyal

The children helped create the mural at the site, which you see in the background. It was a community art project, created in collaboration with local street artists James Waterfield and My Dog Sighs.

The community art mural

The community art mural, via

More about the art project from –

“The project involved 6 schools from Ryde, Portsmouth & Leigh Park with over 80 pupils taking part painting ships, yachts and more on a sea mural over 100 feet wide. As well as the help of three local street artists the young people also had sailors from the BAR crew, trustees of the 1851 Trust plus the Minister of Portsmouth help out.”

During today’s visit, Kate added her own artwork to the mural, she was very careful not to splash paint onto her white coat:

Kate paints onto the wall

Kate painted part of a docking rib boat, two of which will be used in the 2017 America’s Cup attempt:

Duchess Kate painting the mural, photo via @1851Trust

Duchess Kate painting the mural, photo via @1851Trust

During her visit, Kate also tested a pair of 3D virtual reality goggles.  From the Ben Ainslie Racing Twitter account:

The Duchess of Cambridge looks up the virtual rig of ‘Rita’ on our 3D simulator

Duchess of Cambridge using a virtual reality simulator today, via @BenAinslieRacin on Twitter

Duchess of Cambridge using a virtual reality simulator today, via @BenAinslieRacin on Twitter

Later in the afternoon, six-month pregnant Kate headed over to the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays to get a bird’s eye view of the America Cup base, and to meet with community leaders and local ambassadors. Kate also toured a display of exhibits destined for display at the 1851 Trust Visitor Centre. 

Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge seen arriving at the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth this afternoon

Here’s a photo of Kate trying out the Power Grinder during her visit to The Spinnaker Tower – photo via the 1851 Trust on Facebook:

Kate in her boat print dress

The centre is due to open to the public in June 2015.

A final picture of Kate inside the Spinnaker Tower, again from the 1851 Trust on Facebook:

Kate wearing the boat print dress

Duchess Catherine was announced as Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust on October 2014; you may recall she attended an engagement organised by BAR and the 1851 Trust at the National Maritime Museum in June 2014.

Kate wore a Jaeger dress today for the Americas Cup event

Kate has a keen interest in sailing, with her love of the sea going right back to childhood. During her gap year, Kate crewed a Round the World Challenge boat in the Solent, and worked as a deckhand during her student days. During last year’s royal tour, Kate and William raced America’s Cup sailing boats around Auckland Harbour. You can read more about Kate’s love of sailing in this article from The Express.

Kate Middleton Yacht Race with Prince William

As an aside, the ME+EM Breton stripe top Kate’s wearing in the photo above was re-released earlier this month. It’s now back in stock in all sizes.

ME+EM (Me and Em) Breton Striped Top, as worn by Kate Middleton

Kate’s outfit in Portsmouth today:

Kate opted for a nautical themed outfit in Portsmouth today, pairing a white coat with blue coloured accessories and a boat print dress.

Kate in her nautical themed outfit today

Kate wore a white coloured coat by Max Mara Studio. Specifically,  she wore the company’s “Villar” coat in ivory.

Max Mara Villar Coat in Ivory

The double-breasted and belted coat is made from 100% wool. It’s currently on sale at House of Fraser for £345 (approx $530) in very limited sizes.  It originally retailed for £580 ($890).

The Max Mara Villar coat on the model

Under the coat, Kate wore a sailboat print shift dress from Somerset by Alice Temperley, a collection designed exclusively for British upmarket department store John Lewis.

Somerset by Alice Temperley "Boat" dress

The £99 dress features a “delicate all-over print that boasts little red sailboats with white sails for a dainty aesthetic.”  Here’s a closer look at the fabric:

The Sailboat print

And here’s another look at the dress, this time on the model:

Model wearing Alice Temperley Boat Print Dress

The dress features short elbow-length sleeves, a round neckline and a subtly tapered bodice.  One key aspect of the dress is its figure-skimming fit, perhaps it was this element of the dress that Kate favoured, as she is six months pregnant and starting to show a small baby bump.  Another picture via @KensingtonRoyal:

Kate in the boat print dress, via @KensingtonRoyal

Somerset by Alice Temperley stocked a number of items with a nautical sailboat print –

Temperley Boat Print

Kate’s accessories will be familiar to you if you’re a regular Kate follower.  The Duchess carried her L.K. Bennett Frome clutch bag in blue suede.

L.K. Bennett Frome Clutch Bag

Sadly, this piece sold out a couple of years ago.

Kate also wore her coordinating Jimmy Choo Georgia heels, also in blue suede.

Jimmy Choo Georgia Navy

Kate added a little bling to her outfit with her Cartier “Ballon Bleu” watch (33cm) –

Cartier Ballon Bleu watch

And finally, she wore her blue sapphire & diamond earrings (thought to be adapted from a pair worn by Princess Diana).

Kate Middleton's sapphire and diamond earrings

Kate's outfit for Portsmouth Visit

Jimmy Choo Georgia Navy

Jimmy Choo Georgia Pumps

Navy Suede Round Toe

Click to buy

Steal Kate Middleton's style:


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