The Duchess of Cambridge chose a cream and brown polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich when attending Royal Ascot today.

Above, the Duke and Duchess arriving in Carriage 1 in the royal procession. More from The Express:

It also marks another first for the royal couple, who never rode in the first carriage as part of the Ascot royal procession.

Today, Kate and William shared the carriage with The Hon Arthur George Vestey, whose elder brother is a close friend of the Duke and a fellow Old Etonian, and his wife Martha.

Arthur is also the son of the Queen’s friend and former Master of the Horse, Baron Samuel Vestey.

And from a Hello story.

Prince William and Kate’s attendance on the penultimate day of Royal Ascot comes as a surprise since the royal family usually make appearances in the first three days of the annual horse-racing event.

Prince Charles and Camilla attended days one and two of Royal Ascot this week, leading the royal procession by riding in the first carriage. They left an empty space in their carriage on both days as a sign of respect for Her Majesty who would normally be in attendance.

A quick video.

And one more view. 

As noted by The Telegraph, “The Cambridges have not attended the Berkshire meet for a number of years, partly due to the Covid lockdown, and were cheered by the crowds as they waved from their carriage and at the parade ring.”

Below, you see the Duke and Duchess chatting with Sr Francis Brooke, the Queen’s representative at Ascot.

Today is the fourth day of the annual meet, which wraps up tomorrow. 

The royals awarded jockey Christophe Soumillon his winnings for taking first place in The Commonwealth Cup race.

The Duchess and Crown Equerry Colonel Toby Browne.

Here you see the Duchess sharing a laugh with Martha Vestey in the Royal Box.

And now for our look at what Kate wore for Royal Ascot. For many, it was an ensemble evoking images of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady and/or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

The silk crepe de chine dress by Alessandra Rich is from the designer’s spring 2019 collection. It features an asymmetric hem, puffed sleeves with button cuff, a ruffled overlay at the left shoulder, buttons at the left shoulder, and a self belt.

Many thanks to Clare on FB for this ID, as well as Middleton Maven.

Thoughts on the look from The Telegraph’s Tamara Abraham.

You didn’t need to be a royal historian to get the reference. When the Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Royal Ascot on Friday, wearing a black and white polka dot dress and a broad-brimmed hat, the homage to Diana was crystal clear.

This is Ascot – an event where nearly every guest pulls out all the stops – but Kate’s arrival was a bona fide Fashion Moment. It’s safe to say there hasn’t been this much excitement over a polka dot dress since the Zara spotted dress epidemic of 2019, when it seemed as though half the women of Britain were wearing the same black and white design.

Diana, Princess of Wales at Royal Ascot in June 1988.
Embed from Getty Images

And another image of the Duchess today.

We return to The Telegraph column.

There are practical reasons for this particular look’s timelessness too, though. It’s a classic monochrome palette, and the high neck, sleeves and midi hem are modest enough for royal engagements. The polka dot motif keeps it interesting, while the fitted silhouette prevents it from slipping into frumpy territory.  

Another shot of Diana, this one with Princess Anne at the 1986 Epsom Derby.
Embed from Getty Images

We saw a new hat today, a boater style by Sally-Ann Provan

The NAEVA (£750) is described as a “hand-made hand-blocked herringbone weavel straw hat with a small round crown, vented brim, and trimmed with handmade silk duchesse origami flowers. There is one large five petalled origami flower on the back.” You can see the Duchess has had the style customized to include a solid brim. Thank you to Gabi for another terrific ID.

The hat is fitted “with an adjustable elastic and pinning loops to match your hair colour and ensure a comfortable fit.” 

Princess Eugenie has worn this design, seen below at Royal Ascot in 2018.

The Duchess carried a clutch I’ve not seen before, a brown suede foldover style that is unidentified.

Middleton Maven suggests the Duchess was in a pair of Gianvito Rossi 105 heels ($725) in a color called “Texas.” 

The Duchess wore her hair up.

She also wore the pearl and diamond earrings that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales.

She first wore the earrings to the 2019 BAFTA Awards. The Telegraph described them this way: “The earrings feature a double curve of various cuts of diamonds, with a cluster of marquise-cut stones in the centre.” The Duchess wears them with slightly smaller pearls than those worn by Diana.

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Also today, a very brief look at the ensemble worn for an engagement the Duchess had on Thursday (the 16th) related to her Early Years work. 

She hosted a roundtable with government ministers and the Early Years sector to mark the release of new research from the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, per Kensington Palace.

Kensington Palace noted, “It is a year since we launched the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. Today was another opportunity to highlight the unique importance of the first five years and the significant impact it has on our later life outcomes.” 

More from this Telegraph story

The Duchess of Cambridge has warned that children must be taught to understand their emotions to prevent them turning to self-harm, addiction or suicide in later life, as she urged government ministers to seize a “huge opportunity” to change Britain for the better.

The Duchess, who invited Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, and Will Quince, the minister for families, to a roundtable meeting to present research from her Centre for Early Childhood, called on them to “shape the future of our society” by focusing on the importance of early childhood.

From the Royal Foundation site:

Conducted by Ipsos UK, the research explores public perceptions of early childhood, focusing on three key areas: the prioritisation of the early years, the link between the first five years of life and lifelong outcomes for mental health and wellbeing and the support parents seek when raising young children.   

Key findings include: 

  • Nine in ten agree the early years are important in shaping a person’s future life but less than a fifth recognise the unique importance of the 0-5 period
  • Seven in ten think the early years should be more of a priority for society  
  • Majority of public recognise a person’s future mental health and wellbeing most likely part of adult life to be affected by their early childhood
  • Community support networks found to be a crucial for parents  
  • Parents more likely to seek support for child’s physical wellbeing than social and emotional development 

You can read all about the research here

Now for a very speedy look at what Kate wore. 

It looks like she was in an Alexander McQueen Blazer and Trousers.

The single-breasted jacket has padded shoulders, side panels, and pointed lapels. Thank you to Georgie’s Mum2, Christin, and Lady Valerie for their ID work.

The Duchess brought back her Emmy London Rebecca Pumps ($415) in the ‘makeup’ color way.

She also wore her Mappin & Webb ‘Empress’ pendant and earrings. 

 

Apologies for the brevity of the coverage; I am on vacation and traveling.

Here is one more shot of the Duchess. 

 

VIDEOS:

Ascot Racecourse posted a 4-minute+ video of the carriage procession.

 

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