On the 28th February 2018, Kate Middleton wore Orla Kiely to visit the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London. As you may recall, the Duchess is Patron of the gallery. She took on the patronage in 2012.
It was the second engagement of the day for Kate, who spent the morning discussing the future of the Royal Foundation with William, Harry and Meghan. (Read more about that here.)
Kate visited the gallery to see and promote an exhibition which she helped to curate, titled ‘Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography’.
The Duchess worked with the National Portrait Gallery to select Victorian photographs for a special “Patron’s Trail”.
Kate contributed personal captions for selected images in the exhibition.
She also wrote a foreword for the exhibition’s catalogue, in which she speaks about her undergraduate thesis:
This period in the history of photography 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 particular, which feature predominately within 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 in the 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 a mother of a young family. – Duchess of Cambridge
According to exhibition curator Dr Phillip Prodger, Kate explained that her undergraduate thesis is stashed away somewhere in the ‘family archives’. Apparently, Kate asked to retrieve the document, but nobody could find it.
Kate, who graduated from St. Andrew’s University with an Art History degree, also wrote that she’s an “enthusiastic amateur photographer”. As you may recall, Kate regularly takes and releases her own ‘official’ photographs of her children. Earlier this year, the Duchess released two photographs of Princess Charlotte to mark her first-day attending nursery school.
The Victorian Giants exhibition includes rarely-seen photographs from a number of photographers, including Oscar Rejlander, Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron and Lady Clementina Hawarden. Some of the photographs have been loaned to the NPG from the Royal Collection.
After touring the exhibition, Kate met guests and NPG staff at a reception.
If you’d like to go and view the Patron’s Trail, the exhibition will run until the 20th May 2018. You can find out more details at npg.org.uk.
On to Kate’s outfit now. The Duchess wore a floral print dress by Irish designer Orla Kiely. It is from the designer’s third collaboration with stylist and Harper’s Bazaar contributing editor, Leith Clark. Their capsule collection has been titled “L’Orla“.
The dress features a colourful floral print, long sleeves, a soft velvet collar band, ruffled bib detailing, soft pleats at the hem of the skirt and soft, ruffled cuffs.
Here’s how the dress was described at VeryExclusive.co.uk:
This floral print smock dress will have you looking effortlessly feminine at this seasons occasions, cut to a flattering figure-skimming fit that’s sure to have you turning heads – team it with your favourite strappy heels and a clutch as part of a chic party-ready ensemble.
The bag is described as being “ballet pink” at Nordstrom.com, where it currently retails for $1,495. The silver-coloured frame is decorated with pink crystals.
Kate’s shoes are by Gianvito Rossi. They’re the designer’s “Gianvito” style in Praline. Kate owns at least five pairs of the shoe in varying colours and heel heights. You can read more about the shoes here.
If you’d like to own the same shoes, they can be purchased from Net-A-Porter.com for £495 GBP / $675 USD.
Kate brought back her bespoke Kiki McDonough earrings for the exhibition. They’re made from h stones. They’re similar to the pair pictured below: