The Earl and Countess of Strathearn, as they are titled in Scotland, joined HM for church services this morning in the village of Crathie, Scotland.
Kate and William are enjoying their annual visit to Balmoral Castle, located on the Queen’s estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and Carole Middleton are also visiting. (It is possible other Middleton family members are taking part in the visit, but I’ve not seen confirmed media reports that is the case.)
A wave from the Duchess.
Balmoral has long been the British Royal Family’s ‘Scottish home,’ and it is said to be HM’s favorite of all royal properties. The Queen spends about two months here every summer. From a Town and Country story:
Princess Eugenie has previously shared that Balmoral is one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite places.
“I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands,” the monarch’s granddaughter said in the documentary Our Queen At Ninety.
We learn more from the Balmoral Castle site:
….it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, having been first leased in 1848.
In the autumn of 1842, two and a half years after her marriage to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria paid her first visit to Scotland. They were so struck with the Highlands that they resolved to return.
Below, Queen Victoria in 1863 at Balmoral with her daughters, Princess Alice (wife of Duke Louis IV of Hesse) and Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, all seated next to a portrait of the Queen’s late husband, Prince Albert.
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More from the Castle site:
When Queen Victoria died in 1901 Balmoral Estates passed, under the terms of her will, to King Edward VII, and from him to each of his successors.
Although it remains largely the same as it was in Queen Victoria’s reign, successive Royal owners have followed the initiative of Prince Albert in making improvements to the estate.
Below, a 1924 photo of (from left to right) Queen Mary; Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) pictured when she was the Duchess of York, with her husband the Duke of York (later King George VI) in the gardens at Balmoral Castle, Scotland.
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Here you see Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles at Balmoral in 1952.
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HM and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1972.
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The property is open to the public several months of the year.
There are guided tours of the grounds and gardens in October and November; next summer the property is open from April 1 – August 2. There is also a gift shop, cafe, as well as special exhibitions at the estate. (Click here for details.)
The royals attended services at Crathie Kirk, a two to three-minute drive from the estate; it is the royal family’s place of worship when at Balmoral.
The Parish website notes, “the Parish of Braemar and Crathie is one of the largest, highest and most remote in Scotland. It is set in the magnificent Cairngorms National Park.” Below, Princess Elizabeth with her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary leaving Crathie Kirk after the morning service in 1932.
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You see just a bit of the church interior when HM attended a 2014 service.
This is also 2014, showing HM and Prince Philip after a Sunday service.
Other royal family members were also at church today, including the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall; the Earl and Countess of Wessex with their daughter, Lady Louise; Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence; Peter and Autumn Philips.
The Queen looked lovely in a hot pink ensemble.
Now for what Kate wore, a mix of familiar styles topped by a new coat.
It appears the Duchess was in the Navy Herringbone Wool Trench Coat (£525, roughly $645 at today’s exchange rates) by a brand we’ve not seen her wear before, Guinea London. Today’s Tip of the Tiara goes to Samantha Salazar for identifying the piece.
The double-breasted coat has pockets, an extended back vent, and distinctive military-style goldtone buttons. It also features navy velvet lining on the lapels and collar so the lapels can be worn open. Below, a closer look at the buttons as well as the fabric, woven for Guinea London at a mill located in Yorkshire.
The company was founded in 2017, and described on its website as “a truly British brand, with a very British look, and key to this look is creating chic clothes, cut to flatter which work for all aspects of your busy life.” The family-run business is named after the guinea coin.
From a Guinea London blog post by founder and creative director Judith Cutting:
Many of Guinea London’s iconic coats and jackets have very specialist and distinctive design features to minimize the waist and other areas women can find problematic or perhaps be self-conscious of. These key details are what turn a jacket or a coat into a really flattering item and we are going to cover how to dress to minimize problem areas in this blog series Guinea London Makes the Cut. Ultimately all Guinea London items are not only beautiful and of the highest quality but they are designed and cut in a way that will flatter women of all shapes and sizes.
The brand notes, “We are very conscious of our own equestrian origins, and as a family run business we love this picture of the owners’ grandfather taken in the 1930s. He’s sporting a tweed coat (naturally) and leading his horse which had just won a point-to-point race.”
Zara Tindall is said to be a fan of the label, per Hello! Magazine, shown below in a piece by the company on the opening day of Cheltenham this March.
When zooming in on a few of the photos, you can just see the pattern of the dress Kate is wearing beneath the coat (inset below). Some will recognize the Michael Michael Kors Peacock Pattern Dress we first saw when the Duke and Duchess visited Blackpool in March.
Thank you to Lauren for quickly catching this detail and sharing the information on Twitter.
The Duchess brought back a Lock and Co. hat we have seen previously.
It was first worn for a 2016 service honoring the 75th anniversary of the RAF Cadets (l) and then again last year for services at Crathie Kirk (c).
Kate accessorized with her Asprey Oak Leaf Earrings, shown below as worn at another engagement.
A quick refresher on what the Duchess has worn for services at Crathie Kirk over the years: when driving to church in 2013 we saw Kate in her ‘Workers Coat’ by Moloh; in September 2015 Kate wore her ‘Celeste’ coat by Hobbs; for 2017’s service it was the ‘Celeste’ coat again paired with the Lock & Co. ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s” hat; last year the Duchess wore Catherine Walker topped by the Lock & Co. hat seen today.
The Duke and Duchess attended services in 2016 but there are no photos available I can license. You can see pictures in this People story, with thanks to Vicky for the link. Kate appeared to be wearing her Michael Kors skirt suit seen at Sandringham in December 2015, with a black top. During that 2016 visit, we did see HM at the wheel as the pair headed across the grouse moors to meet Prince William for lunch.
NOTE: I originally had the wrong product image of the coat posted, a version without the velvet cuffs. Many thanks to Mary for her email giving me a heads-up!
- Learn more about Balmoral Castle and the estate at this link; info on Crathie-Kirk is here
- The Mirror’s story is here; the Daily Mail’s coverage is here; a Metro piece is here; Hello’s story is here
- Town and Country’s piece is here; a Harper’s Bazaar story is here; a PopSugar gallery is here; People’s article is here
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