Friday, 18th June 2021—Dressed in a vibrant iris blue dress by L.K. Bennett, the Duchess of Cambridge attended two engagements in London to mark the landmark launch of her new Centre for Early Childhood.
First, Kate visited the London School of Economics to speak with leading academics and practitioners about the Centre’s first report Big Change Starts Small and its mission to “create a happier, healthier and more nurturing society.”
After, she headed back to Kensington Palace to reunite with some of the parents she’s met over the last ten years.
If you haven’t heard of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, you might have missed the news in my earlier post. Kate officially launched the Centre on Friday the 18th of June—it’s her latest project and a culmination of all her work and learning over the last decade. The Centre is “on a mission to transform society through early childhood”—the years from pregnancy through to the age of five.
Why those years, in particular, are important:
Our early childhoods, the time from pregnancy to five, fundamentally shape our whole lives. Through research, campaigns and collaboration we’re working to change the way we think and act on the early years so that together we can build a happier, healthier, more nurturing world.centreforearlychildhood.org
Kate’s dress is from L.K. Bennett. It’s the Dee style in an eye-catching shade of blue. It features a sweetheart neckline, cap sleeves, a fitted silhouette and a pencil skirt with a back vent. RRP: £225.
It also comes in cream. Sadly, it is widely sold out in blue (as you’d expect! Everything she wears sells out immediately). If you like the shape and style of the dress, the cream version might be a good alternative. (The blue is available on eBay if you really did want it.)
The Dee dress is from L.K. Bennett’s collaboration with Royal Ascot. The company are the Official Ladies Fashion Licensee of Royal Ascot 2021 and have created an elegant capsule collection of clothing, shoes and accessories all designed with Royal Ascot in mind. The dresses feature modest skirt lengths and necklines/straps as permitted in the Royal Ascot dress code. Here’s a quick look at a few pieces in the collection:
Kate’s shoes will be familiar to our regular readers. They’re the Gianvito Rossi 105 style in praline suede (pictured below on another occasion).
The 105 is Rossi’s iconic signature pump. They’re handmade in Italy using fine suede leather and feature a pointed toe and a slim heel that’s 105cm tall. Kate clearly can’t get enough of the shoes, she owns another FOUR pairs (in red, burgundy, black and silver!)
The heels are a perennial style for Gianvito Rossi. They’re almost always in stock at Net-A-Porter.com (£510 / $695).
Onto Kate’s jewellery now. She added a touch of sparkle to her outfit with a pair of diamond and sapphire earrings.
They’re believed to be refashioned from a pair of drop earrings once worn by Princess Diana.
The heavy studs – that match Princess Diana’s cluster engagement ring – were among her most treasured jewels and were seen on her at numerous events during the 1980s and 90s. They were remodelled for Kate […]
A courtier said: “Now they’re married, William wanted her to have some of his mother’s favourite pieces.”The Mirror
They’re probably Kate’s hardest working pair of earrings! She’s worn them frequently since joining the Royal Family in 2011. The British Royal Fashion Data account on Twitter counts at least 60 wears!
By contrast, the rest of Kate’s jewellery is much newer (and probably more affordable!) Her blue and gold pendant is by Astley Clarke. It’s their Round Stilla Necklace. It features a hand-cut lapis lazuli gemstone hung from a demi-fine chain made from 18ct yellow gold vermeil. The Duchess started wearing the necklace earlier this year, shortly after her birthday in January, so we speculate that it might have been a gift from William or another family member. She’s worn it on three other occasions to date:
The necklace can be purchased from Astley Clarke’s website for £160. If sapphire isn’t your stone of choice, a number of other gemstones are available.
Kate’s double-layered gold necklace is from Spells of Love, a small business based in Wales committed to making eco-conscious choices. It’s a demi-fine two-strand necklace crafted from 19ct gold vermeil on Sterling silver. It features small orbs spaced along the chain. RRP: £89. It can be pre-ordered at spellsoflove.co.uk.
Kate first debuted the necklace in 2020, while meeting parents in Battersea park. She’s worn it a handful of times since.
Kate added the perfect finishing touch to her outfit in the form of a bracelet from London-based Halcyon Days. It’s the company’s Maya Torque bangle with aquamarine-coloured cabochons. The pretty piece is crafted from 18ct gold plated twisted brass. Halcyon Days describe it as lightweight, classic and as forming a “spectrum of elegance and opulence”. RRP £110. The piece is still available to buy on the company’s website.
Kate first debuted the bangle at the launch of her 5 Big Questions survey in 2020. This is its sixth public outing.