Duchess Kate dropped $80,000 on one Ralph & Russo gown for Aussie tour


Does anyone else think it’s kind of funny how hyped Duchess Kate and Prince William’s Australia and New Zealand tour is, and it’s almost like that’s their built-in excuse for not doing much of anything for more than three months? “Oh, I couldn’t work, I’m going on tour for three weeks in April.” Or: “I’m taking two vacations back-to-back because I’m going on tour in April!” I’m just saying, the way they’ve built it up, this better be the tour to end all tours. The money being spent and the lost hours when they could have been, you know, working instead of mentally preparing for this “grueling” tour… I kind of wonder if it’s going to be worth it.

Anyway, as you can imagine, Duchess Kate has been shopping her fingers to the nub to prepare for the tour. I would imagine she’s been shopping constantly week after week after week, not just for decorations for her palaces, but also for clothes for the tour. And there’s news about one dress in particular that Kate has “commissioned.”

Looks like Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge’s tour wardrobe is going to be the best ever as the royal has reportedly met with the design team at Ralph & Russo where cocktail dresses start at a whopping £50,000.

The haute couture luxury brand, which is by appointment only, is run by Australian couple Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo and counts Angelina Jolie and Beyonce amongst it’s celebrity fans. According to Grazia magazine, Kate had a meeting with the designers ahead of the royal tour, where she’ll be undertaking 25 engagements.

“Kate visited Ralph & Russo’s boutique last month and said she was looking for inspiration for the tour,” a source told the site. “She liked that they had Australian connections and has apparently given them specific instructions for a gown.”

Insiders have claimed it’ll be a very different Duchess we see on this royal tour, to the one who visited South East Asia with Prince William in 2012 when her wardrobe cost around £35,000 in total. Now the mother of the future king, Kate has reportedly been urged to take on a more regal appearance fit for someone who one day will be queen.

“Kate is taking this tour very seriously,” the source explained. “She’s putting a lot of thought into what she wears and she’s opting for some quite expensive choices as a result. Kate’s entire wardrobe for 2012 cost less than one of Ralph & Russo’s gowns! She’s really upping the ante and opting for higher-end designers than she would normally choose,” the insider added.

The Duchess and Prince William will land in New Zealand on April 7 along with their son Prince George ahead of the 20 day tour which will take them onto Australia. As well as her usual go to designers, Alexander McQueen, Alice Temperley and Jenny Packham, Kate’s expected to also opt for indigenous designers as she has previously.

With an Australian couple behind Ralph & Russo we wouldn’t be surprised if they had created a gown fit for the Duchess’ first visit Down Under. But don’t worry, Kate hasn’t completely ditched the high street. She was spotted shopping at GAP near Kensington Palace earlier this week, picking up baby clothes for George and trousers for herself.

[From Entertainmentwise]

£50,000 for ONE DRESS. I mean, it’s nice that she’s being thoughtful about using Australian designers and I’m sure the Ralph & Russo gown/dress will be worn at some huge, important event. And I’m also sure she’ll recycle it too. But still… it makes me wonder. What is the cost/benefit analysis of Will & Kate? Are the British people – nevermind the Commonwealth nations – really getting enough for what they put into this royal endeavor?

Also: Are we still supposed to believe the Prince Charles is footing the bill for Kate’s shopping sprees? That’s the most bizarre part of it to me, that William doesn’t really know how much money his wife spends nor does it come out of his pocket. That and Kate’s biggest passion is shopping and putting together outfits. Imagine if she put that kind of time and energy into charity work?

PS… Besides all that, Kate has the worst habit of ruining expensive looks with cheap makeup and sausage curls. Why wear epic royal jewels if her hair covers them? Why spend $80,000 on a dress if you don’t know how to style it?



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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253 Responses to “Duchess Kate dropped $80,000 on one Ralph & Russo gown for Aussie tour”

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  1. Liberty says:

    Well, I am sure Mummy and Pippa can borrow it sometime, so that’s like, really practical actually. like only, what. $26K or something per wearing. That’s probably why they could only afford to spend one night at an entire posh lodge, minding their pennies as we do.

    • Gg says:

      Ha!! I cringed at the quote, “Kate is taking the tour very seriously… She’s choosing her outfits with care.” Is she that stunted?! I overplan outfits and overpack just as much as the next girl , but doesn’t she consider why she’s there at ALL other than to be a meek pretty mannequin?!?

      • Liberty says:

        Maybe she was willing to wait for nine years because she never wanted to do anything but this. and this was one of the few shots on the planet to spend life planning outfits and waving.

    • homegrrrl says:

      I so love that as an American, I don’t have to abide the royals. What a super yawn.

  2. T.C. says:

    Since she will actually be working on behalf of the Commonwealth I can’t complain about the costs of her dresses. She has to look the part as the wife of a future King and mother to a future King. As long as Kate does ANY type of work I have no complaints.

    • Jedi says:

      T.C. i get where youre coming from, these two just drive me bananas though.
      I just fail to see what any of her ‘work’ does for the commonwealth. Like, how is her vacationing in Australia helping any commonwealth nation. Because thats what this is – another vacation. going to some banquets and giving a tiny speech saying thanks for having us should never be considered work. it seriously makes my blood boil that they even get a cent from commonwealth nations.

    • Angelic 21 says:

      You don’t need to spend 50k on 1 freaking dress to look appropriate and grand enough at the same time.

      • The Original Mia says:

        This! WTH?! Is it dipped in her weight in gold. Please explain to me a $80K dress. In what universe does someone approve this expenditure?

      • My2Pence says:

        See Letizia of Spain for a comparison. Mostly dressed in Mango and Zara for everyday duties, then she works with 1-2 Spanish designers for evening wear. She’s also been known to have them re-work an existing dress to freshen it up without the expense of an all-new gown.

        And this is a former news anchor who used to purchase her own couture suits before the engagement with money she earned herself. She dialed all of that back significantly after the engagement and now dresses in affordable Spanish brands.

      • FLORC says:

        Letizia is gorgeous always! It’s an accurate and at the same time unfair comparison.

    • hmmm says:

      This ‘wife of a future king’ certainly can’t find time to act like one when it comes to work. But shopping, I guess, is okay.

      • flan says:

        Good point.

        I should not click on articles about her. She’s so annoying. And I always try to like her, but it never works.

    • Eleanor Zissou says:

      This hard tour sounds like a really cool vacation to me.

      Anything they do is not work. There should be some word invented for it because smiling and shaking a couple hands every 3 months ain’t work.

      Even the Queen doesn’t really work, does she? My grandma worked in a factory for 45 years. That’s work. Doctors work. Teachers work. This ain’t work.

      • Eleanor Zissou says:


      • Tatjana says:

        I completely agree.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Most tours are actually pretty intense.

        The Queen works a lot. She, Philip, Anne, and Charles usually have intense schedules. Please remember the ages of these four people too. QEII is 88 later this month, Philip is 92, Charles is 65, and Anne is 63.

      • Eleanor Zissou says:

        The Queen shows up and shakes hands a lot. She is old now, but she has been doing the same thing her whole life – and people say “she’s so hardworking”. She’s been pampered her entire life.
        As I said, my grandma worked in a factory. That is work.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Have to agree. The royals don’t work as hard as it seems and they are still doing the things they want to do. All while wrapped in luxury and privilege. Pffft.

      • hmmm says:

        Agreed, Eleanor. The Queen has been pampered all her life. She hasn’t had to worry about basics and she is surrounded by helpers, and supported and coddled. I do admire her sense of duty, though, which I guess is a big deal given how she could have ended up like the Dolittles.

        What she does is ‘work’ in the loosest sense of the word. Now, if she were heading an army and out there fighting, that would be a whole other deal.

      • Mrsjennyk says:

        Totally agree with you! Work is not showing up and shaking hands, tasting tea, cutting ribbons, attending film openings, christening ships. Yes, I’ve included thing both the queen and DoE and Will and Kate have done. Why don’t the younger ones try their hand in a factory or a kitchen to see how the rest of us have it!

      • hmmm says:


        “Most tours are actually pretty intense. ”

        They should try cleaning the houses of the very rich to a deadline for intensity.

        For them it’s three weeks of ‘intensity’ being lauded and coddled, and a lifetime of lazing around. Granted, I imagine the Queen would be armed to the gills with information at least , but so far, Kate has not proven herself to be the studious sort. It’s just another holiday of posing and grinning and getting for this painted doll.

      • My2Pence says:

        Whether or not people want to call what they do “work” at least the other members of the BRF show up, do it, and are counted.

      • Ronia says:

        Eleanor, as a daughter of a high level diplomat, I have to disagree. We can’t all work in factories, hospitals, schools and similar. If you think diplomacy is an easy field, you may want to read more and lobbying on the international level takes quite a bit of knowledge and skill too. The Queen has it.

      • Tulip says:

        @Eleanor. There are different kinds of work and they suck the life out of you in different ways. The Queen’s work (along with most royals) I think involves shutting up and smiling around people (some who may repulse you) and knowing everyone’s name and saying what they want to hear so that no fights break out. A bit like the Thanksgiving or Christmas day dinner that would not die. Your Grandmother worked her fingers to the bone. But if it gives you any comfort, it’s not a complete free ride for the Royals.

      • Tulip says:

        Oops. Also what Ronia said +1

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Totally agree. I watched a documentary about the Queen and I came away thinking that she has a very privileged existence, but it comes with a price. I would be bored out of my mind going to all of those teas, chit chatting with everyone, day after day, same old boring boring boring. So, your charity encourages protection of the gypsy moth. How marvelous. That must be fascinating. So nice to meet you. So, your organization assists retired firemen. How marvelous. That must be fascinating. I hate chit chat. I think I’d die of boredom.

      • Christina says:

        Every country needs diplomats. Every country does NOT need a monarchy. I honestly do not have sympathy for whatever mind-numbing grueling days the royals put in, because of how they hoodwink and conceal to the public about their personal and financial records to make sure they stay in their places of power. Are they bored much of the time? Probably. But to me it is a clear indication they take more than they give back when they exchange these mind- numbing diplomatic meetings and events (which last a pretty minimal amount of time honestly) with their privileges, and that they know it.

      • Constance says:

        To be fair I think the Queen does work hard for her age. Ok so it isn’t manual work but she’s done a lot with her life.

        William and Kate on the other hand are shameless spongers. The hype around this three weeks of ‘hard work’ is stupid. Even Paris Hilton works harder than this.

      • Ronia says:

        Diplomats do not work for charities and do not raise awareness of issues. Monarchy is a symbol, a traditionand, when those in it are ethical people, a powerful instrument because its charisma is not dead yet. Naturally, I am biased but my votewill always be fora monarchy as longas it is not dependingon a couple like this one.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      They apparently have turned down a dinner invitation from the NZ PM to be close to little PGTips:


      Isn’t stuff like this an integral part of an offical tour? The arrogance and stupidity of BaldTop and the Hungry One is just mind-blowing! There are there to represent their country, and meeting with the offical representatives of said countries is a part of the job. I still find it hard to believe that they are THAT stupid, especially in their position, but I guess they are just that stupid. BaldTop especially should know better since he’s been brought up to this position.

      • LAK says:

        So much for Baldtop wishing to join the foreign office to learn all about diplomatic relations – dinner with NZ PM should have been an easy lesson 101.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Yeah, he must be thick as a plank!

      • hmmm says:

        Yikes! And they’re using Georgie, whom they had no problem leaving for over a week for some “me” time thousands of miles away, as an excuse. They are shameless.

      • bluhare says:

        Yet William claims to want to know about diplomacy. So much for a little on the job training.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        I just surprises me that they don’t see the importance in this – and that they don’t think that the public will catch on to their inconsistency regarding George: using him to get out of inconvenient duties but leaving him for self-indulgent trips.

        Either there is something going on about behind the scenes that twe don’t know about or they are simply stupid. I’m starting to think it is the latter, especially since the Windsors aren’t exactly known for their intelligence.

      • dagdag says:


        ………., especially since the Windsors aren’t exactly known for their intelligence. …….

        They would be a hot mess by themselves, without their aides and advisors.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Well, it looks like William isn’t listening to his advisors, hence the hot mess he always manages to land himself in.

        I once read somewhere that he in an interview claimed that he always did the opposite of what the courties advised. Nitwit!

      • FLORC says:

        Like this is a shocker. It was simply another escape route from duties and his family. This invite would have provided a good cover story, but instead we’re seeing the cracks in his facade.

  3. mel says:

    Yikes, she’s gonna age so rough.

  4. Xantha says:

    Wow, for that price it better be fucking spectacular. Or at least find flight 370

  5. 'p'enny says:

    Come the revolution I will be pulling the leaver.

  6. Reece says:

    “PS… Besides all that, Kate has the worst habit of ruining expensive looks with cheap makeup and sausage curls. Why wear epic royal jewels if her hair covers them? Why spend $80,000 on a dress if you don’t know how to style it?”

    Because it’s not about style. It’s about wearing an 80K dress with a designer name. The name is the “style”.

    • FLORC says:


      • Reece says:

        Yes and no. I do/have know/n people like that. I’m tragically related to a few so all I do is smile and say ok.

    • SoCal says:

      Yeah, I can’t stand people who think a dress is better just because it is a designer or labeled dress. People go broke with that philosophy.

    • My2Pence says:

      What is so pathetic to me is, in addition to how much money Kate Middleton wastes on custom pieces, if that the results are so “blah”:

      - That odd baby blue crushed tin-foil Emily Wickstead dress with the breast darts on the back of the dress

      - The silver sequin Jenny Packham dress with the odd back. Not only is this a copy of earlier styles, but I know teenagers who could make the same thing or better with a couple of yards of stretchy sequin fabric from the fabric store.

      - The pink Emily Wickstead (again with the artificially-raised waist) that looked like the top was stapled together vertically in some pictures. Pretty much everything Wickstead does for her looks like something I’d put a 5-year-old in for Easter Sunday.

      If you have “style” you can be stylish in a $5 dress from the thrift store.

  7. Juliette says:


  8. Shelby says:

    Maybe William likes her hair worn long? My hubby prefers when I do and he is one I’m looking to make happy :)

    • LadySlippers says:

      Reportedly so does William.

      However, you still need to be appropriate and professional when you’re on the job. Then it becomes an issue. (And we often see her hair up when on private outings).

    • braebre says:

      I think she would look so much better w/ shorter hair and wear it wavy instead of those awful curls. Her hair hides her face and weighs her down. Not to mention adding 10 years to her look. I am starting to believe her hair is her security blanket.

    • hannah says:

      Maybe SHE likes her hair long .

      • FLORC says:

        If her past has taught us anything… It isn’t relevant what she likes for personal tastes. Her appearance is dictated by what William prefers.
        Short skirts, thin frame, long hair. Professional appearance is an afterthought that barely makes it in.

      • Eleanor Zissou says:

        She looks ad with her hair up. She should go for a bob or something.

        I can sympathise, I also hate wearing my hair up.

      • LadySlippers says:

        But on private occasions — her hair is almost always up.

      • My2Pence says:

        I don’t think she looks bad with her hair up, I thinks she looks *as close to professional as she ever gets* with her hair up. I’ve used this example before: The Roksanda Ilincic dress with hair down (messy) and hair up (professional):


      • ArtHistorian says:

        That is the only time I’ve ever seen her approach looking elegant (with her hair up).

      • bluhare says:

        I agree, 2Pence and AH. That engagement is either 1 or 2 in my “best looks” on her. She looked great with her hair pulled back in that dress.

      • wolfpup says:

        I think she is lacking in elegance when it comes the the length of her neck, and the set of her collarbones. This can never be changed…photo – go!

      • FLORC says:

        I do agree. When she’s alone she wears her hair up and looks great.
        Why she can’t do this for events and jewels is unthinkable.

  9. Apples says:

    I was thinking she’ll get a huge Royal discount that the company could write off or think of as the best advertising campaign ever.
    For some reason, when she wears something- it sells out. Not sure if she has the same exact influence on the over 50K crowd, though.

    • Deedee says:

      Many of her outfits are already nearly sold out before she wears them. She’ll wear something from last season, so it sells out almost immediately. Or it’s bespoke and not available.

      • FLORC says:

        That’s almost entirely the “high street” fashion. It’s not the thousand upon thousands of pounds outfits. And it’s rare we get a real figure on those more expensive items.

      • My2Pence says:

        Plus, when people compare the high street to the version she wears, it is clear that there is still tailoring involved. So they aren’t exactly “cheap and just off the rack”

      • LadySlippers says:

        See My2Pence, I’m not always convinced she gets a lot tailored.

      • FLORC says:

        Kate gets a fair amount tailored. Even just slightly her outfits look different from the same off the rack items. Even if it’s just a hem line.

  10. Emily says:

    I’m not a fan of these two, but I really can’t wait to see all the pretty dresses. Bring on the fashion pron, Waity!!! :D

    • wolfpup says:

      I wish she actually had a “presence” other than clothes; something that she was passionate about, other than her appearance. Diana seemed to genuinely care about people, we loved her look, but it wasn’t why we cared about her. We can look at mag’s for fashion…and we close it after a bit of looking. But there has to be a meaning, after the glossy, doesn’t there?

  11. harpreet says:

    Guys, doesn’t she have a stylist to get clothes for free? No celeb (besides Quebec’s patron saint Celine Dion) buys their designer clothes. Most are lent.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Kate refuses to hire a stylist. She insists on creating her look — clothes and make-up herself.

      The lack of a stylist and the fawning of the press is why get get the messes we do from her. And technically, Royals aren’t supposed to get freebies. Discounts, even very heavy ones, are ‘okay’.

      • My2Pence says:

        Weren’t there rumors of her using a personal shopper for the Canadian trip?

        Of course, if the personal shopper picked out the inappropriate “let’s flash everyone with my upper inner thigh” white dress and Elena-of-Spain style taco purse, I wouldn’t give the personal shopper any points for style


      • hmmm says:


        Yowza! I’ve never seen that. She looks like a tart. Not delicious.

      • bluhare says:

        That’s the dress she wore in an engagement photo. And she was in Canada which is why she was red and white. Not my favorite dress, though.

      • My2Pence says:

        @bluhare, thanks for the info. So I don’t get to blame the personal shopper for that bad decision but Kate Middleton herself. I don’t mind theme dressing, HM and Diana did it very well. What I mind is an on-duty skirt that is 4-6 inches too short, wraparound so it can blow up in the wind, and with the slit completely inappropriate on duty.

        Much like the Roland Mouret cream evening gown. She had him custom make it looser in the back (apparently to avoid a “Pippa” moment) but didn’t think to have him sew up the slit 8 inches or so?

    • Suze says:

      I’m pretty sure the royals buy clothes. Lending is not something that is done in royal circles.

      It is a government related job. There are different rules.

      Not to say that they aren’t perks at times, but I do think they buy their wardrobes.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      Members of the RF are allowed to take advantage of discounts but not freebies, although they find a way to get those as well.

  12. lucy2 says:

    LOL, you don’t really think she’s paying full price, do you? That company will get more publicity and sales out of making her one dress than they could imagine.

  13. Matthew says:

    And they only donated 5,000.00 to charity?
    I don’t live in the UK, but I can say I truly dislike that entire family. They are so out of touch with reality, truly sad, not to mention a complete embarrassment to their country.

    • Suze says:

      That was just one charitable donation.

      • Nymeria says:

        Yeah, and it seems to be their only donation to date, based on how they bent over backwards to ensure it got “leaked.” It meant that much to them to make sure we knew they donated that amount at that particular time, so they’d let us know each and every time they donated any amount. So far, all we’ve got is the 5k.

        And yeah, those people really are an embarrassment. It’s okay to spend 50k on a dress, but it’s not okay to periodically donate and give back to the country that supports them. What the hell is this, a cosmic joke? Because never mind the fine details of “They spend x percentage of their own money on this, and taxpayers pay only 1 pound per year per person.” The basic exchange here is taxpayers give millions, and the Windsors give back zilch.

      • LadySlippers says:


        They actually *have* donated before — especially from their foundation. But none have ever smacked so much as a PR move as this one.

      • My2Pence says:

        I think the point was, I think this was pushed as a “private donation” from their personal funds, wasn’t it? Not moving some money from the Foundation. For someone who is supposed to be worth upwards of 20 million pounds, this little $8000 donation from private funds of William’s is insulting.

        On the heels of the ridiculously-expensive trip to the Maldives, even worse. IF they paid for any of the Maldives vacation themselves, the food for just William and Kate on that trip would have been $8000+ ($500/meal at that resort). IF the money for this donation even came from William. For all we know, Charles gave it to them to donate to try to smooth things over about the tropical vacation.

      • LAK says:

        Foundation money doesn’t count because it was set up to donate money. That’s it’s raison d’etre!

        Other people at the foundation do all the work and send that money. These 2 (and Harry) receive a report it. Have you noticed the recent wording of WK’s speeches in which they specifically name check the foundation’s work with the charity, not their personal involvement?

        It’s like the praise Kate received for donating money (£300K) to the foundation until you read the fine print which was that the cash came from the annual summer wedding dress exhibition which included her wedding dress. Ignore ALL the other wedding dresses in the exhibition and let’s pretend her dress alone raised that cash, and story written as if she’d given the cash to the foundation from her own pocket.

        And another thing about the fundraising efforts of the foundation, are we going to ignore the huge sum of money Charles donated to it as it’s starting point? The overall figure is often quoted as if the foundation is doing very well and the fine print of Wedding dress exhibition donation + Charles’s contribution = a combined total of about half the sum the foundation has raised. Throw in Harry’s fundraising efforts for his charities which are lumped into the overall foundation records, you gotta ask,what exactly have WK done?

      • bluhare says:

        Exactly, LAK. The only way I’ve seen they can say they actually donated to their own fund is because they requested donations to it in lieu of wedding gifts.

      • LAK says:

        Bluhare: i’d forgotten about their wedding fund, BUT!! there is small print there too. Every royal who marries has a wedding fund set up for them in lieu of gifts from the public. The royals have used their wedding funds for charitable endeavors.

        The amount of spin used to burnish these 2 and to make them more than they are is amazing. It’s the source of my criticism.

        to sum as far as foundation money raising efforts:

        1. Wedding Fund
        2. Charles’s donation
        3. *Annual Palace Bridal exhibition
        4. Harry’s fundraising efforts for Sentebele/WWTW and other charities

        The only WK fundraising efforts i can think of are the 2 galas/dinners for 100 Hedge fund ladies and Centre Point.

        *That exhibition has every wedding dress going back to Victoria. exception Diana’s dress which is with the Spencers.

      • My2Pence says:

        I’m assuming that wedding fund raising was supposed to reflect how happy the nation was with the wedding. Pretty much a bust that they couldn’t even reach £1,000,000 with the UK population at over 63 million. I think Charles moved something like £250,000 pounds to get it over 1 million. I do not remember if the money came from the Duchy or from The Prince’s Trust.

        I cannot find a lot of information about the creation of the Orange Fund (Orange Fonds) in 2002 in the Netherlands (population: 16.7 million). It was “a gift from the people of The Netherlands” to W-A and Maxima when they married. Was it from donations that were freely given? Tax dollars that were “re-directed”? Did anyone have a say in whether or not they gave a “gift” or was it somehow mandatory? I’d like to know the answers to those questions!

        12 years later, the “Orange Fund is the largest social fund in the Netherlands and it aims to promote participation in society”. Currently employs 46 people.

  14. Delta Juliet says:

    So, she’s working really hard preparing and putting a lot of thought into….what’s. she’s. wearing. on. a. trip. What a brutal lifestyle she leads. Damn.

    • Gracie says:

      Poor thing’s gonna need another vacation just from planning her outfits.

      • word says:

        Yeah they are the type that will need a vacation AFTER coming back from Australia as well. To most of us “normal folk”, their trip to Australia sounds like a luxury vacation and not “work”.

      • My2Pence says:

        Well apparently they didn’t sneak off skiing, which I fully thought they’d do. So expect a skiing holiday with Family Middleton close on the heels of the return from down under.

    • Nick says:

      Right?! How boring and unsatisfying a life she must lead. I hope she wakes up at some point in the next few years and begins doing something/anything besides go shopping. Honestly, I dont think she will. She seems too robotic.

  15. Angelic 21 says:

    I really really really really really hope this is true!!!!

    If this will be true(please god please),then she is finished for media, for majority of British tax payers. Media will shred her to pieces,and rightly so, for spending 50k on 1 freaking dress, plus the whole narration of simple, normal, next door girl not to mention thrifty duchess will end for good. Media will hold nothing back if this is true, nothing. On every article they will right about her, they’ll mention this dress.

    So again I really really hope this is true!

    • Tilly says:

      Unfortunately, that probably won’t be the media reaction. Some outlets (side-eye at the Daily Mail) will spin it as her making a wonderful impression and looking like a ‘true princess’ when she represents the country wearing a vomit-inducingly expensive dress. Hopefully the public will see through it this time!

      • Constance says:

        The public never see through it and every time you try to start a revolution you are labelled as jealous. Most people buy everything that tabloids shove down their throat without a second thought.

      • wolfpup says:

        I don’t believe Michelle Obama, or any other 1st lady, has dropped this kind dime for a money-cow.

    • hmmm says:

      Because she’s on a ‘job’ representing the Queen does this mean the taxpayers pay for the clothes as well?

      • LAK says:

        Yes. Charles gets the expense of her public duty clothing reimbursed.

        The argument that private expenses are met privately, whoever is paying, falls down when you see her wearing her tax payer paid clothing in private.

      • bluhare says:

        Wait a minute. So Charles buys her work clothes, and is then reimbursed by the government? So she is subsidized by the taxpayers if they pay for her clothes!

      • hmmm says:


        And then she reportedly buys a dress for 80K. Not paid by Wills or Charles or RF. What is wrong with this picture?

      • bluhare says:

        If she did spend that much money on a dress . . . that the government will eventually pay for, I think it’s obscene. There is no justification in my mind for that. None.

  16. Suze says:

    The article actually skirts around what she paid, or what she actually bought, probably because they don’t know. It only says that clothes can get that expensive from that designer.

    Which, well, WOW. If I bought something and laid out that much cash, it better be perfect and fit like a dream. I would also have to be able to wear it every day, forever.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Very true Suze.

      And the subtle shade that they are throwing is equally awesome.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Right, it just says cocktail dresses start at that price. Holy cow, I thought $10,000 was too much for a dress. $80,000? Do you think she will pay full price? Yikes. I’m all for her looking appropriate, but that seems very excessive.

    • bluhare says:

      Duchess Kate has a write up about these designers and I have to admit the clothes are exquisite. I have no idea what justifies a $80,000 pricetag though.

      Even if she got a 90% discount, that’s still $8K for a dress!

  17. Dame Snarkweek says:

    These outfits will not be paid for by Charles or the Cambridges. They are for official state functions not private ones. Also if she didn’t put a lot of effort and expense into this wardrobe it would be disrespectful to all countries involved, imo.

    • Jedi says:

      So that means they are paid for by the taxpayer?? *head explodes*

      • itsetsyou says:

        If the taxpayers are the ones paying for it they don’t seem to mind much – every Brit I’ve met so far has told me that the royals bring more to the country than they take. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but if they didn’t believe it, they would’ve done something already..

      • LAK says:

        That line is fed by a well oiled Palace PR machine to justify the existence of the royal family, whilst deliberately obscuring the true cost AND never quite being able to explain how exactly they bring in tourism.

        Secondly, many people don’t pay attention because there are many people in Britain who don’t look beyond the PR and media image who genuinely believe she’s a hard working busy girl with lots of charitable interests who has never put a foot wrong and is a big hit with the royal family.

      • My2Pence says:

        And obviously many of the Brits on here think they do NOT bring value for money and are horrified by this lazy duo.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        I’m a little bemused by these tours that the BRF does – it smacks a bit of a colonial “visiting the territories”-attitude.

        I think that they should take a leaf out of the way the DRF has begun to conduct their tours. For state visits they often work closely with the Foreign Ministry and Danish industry and commerce. For state visits to Vietnam and Russia they have travelled with a delegation of business people, who use the occasion to forge contracts. This has in fact been a highly succesful enterprise. Though the DRF isn’t directly involved with the business side of things on these tours, the royal aura has actually been helpful – something that the business representatives themselves has attested to. They have in fact closed more deals than usually on these occasions – so the state visits have been beneficial in promoting Danish industry and commerce. Cp Frederik and Mary also visited New York at the same time as a large campaign for Nordic culture, that was sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Culture.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:


    • My2Pence says:

      @Dame. What continues to confuses me about this is when they wear things both in private and on public duty. Who pays then? I’m guessing Duchy-and-taxpayers.

      It seems like somehow they should have to be kept separate 1) work clothing paid by Duchy and taxpayers vs. 2) personal clothes purchased with personal money (of which she probably doesn’t have much). And the rule is, you aren’t allowed to wear work clothes in private. If you choose to wear personally-purchased clothes “on duty” you can, but you are not allowed to wear taxpayer-funded (and reimbursed) “work” clothing off duty (ie at weddings, skiing, etc.).

      - Zara dotty shirt she wore when they went to Switzerland for the wedding. Again, too sick to work, not too sick to fly to Switzerland for a wedding. She later wore this shirt on an engagement with William (some kind of agricultural fair I think).

      - Everything she wore at that Swiss wedding (private event) she had previously worn on a public engagement.

      - Leopard print coat worn once (to christen a ship), was then donated and is now on display in the ship. What? Does Charles get to take that off on his taxes twice – once for “on duty clothing” and once as “donation”?

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        I see your point but what to do about it? Reselling the clothes is chintzy and time consuming.

      • My2Pence says:

        The point is, if it is purchased with Duchy or tax money for WORK, it is reserved for public engagements and only for public engagements. If it is purchased with “personal money” (not getting into the debate on William’s inheritance still tracking to taxpayers) ie. not the Duchy, then it can be worn on personal time OR for public engagements.

        If she decides to get rid of something purchased with Duchy or tax money, it has to go through a de-accessioning process just like any other government work equipment. In other words, it goes to public auction and the money goes back to a government fund.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        This would be hair splitting to an excruciating degree. Wearing dresses twice is okay in my book. If Kate’s dresses are for engagements they will be paid for with public funds. Rewearing them for private functions doesn’t bother most people, imo. Besides, if Kate wears her own clothes, jewels and shoes to public engagements would you reimburse her for the costs? Of course not. So then?

      • My2Pence says:

        Dame, hair-splitting when dealing with taxpayer money is not a bad thing in my book. And wearing dresses multiple times, not just once or twice, is what she *should* be doing.

        It is pretty simple:

        1) purchased with Duchy money for work using the Duchy credit card, Charles gets reimbursed for it, she is ONLY allowed to wear it for work

        2) personal item purchased with “personal” money and not reimbursed, she can choose to wear it in public or private but receives NO reimbursement because she chose to wear private item on duty.

        Not that difficult to keep track of, if there is an honest person paying attention to the charges on the Duchy card. Anything she buys with that card is required to be work-related. If Charles still wants to provide a credit card for her to pop to the shops and buy clothes for George, that is a separate card. If she is not smart enough to understand what goes on which credit card, the accountant will accompany her shopping until she is made to understand.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        That is all simple enough but you don’t address what to do with the clothes used for public engagements after they are worn. If Kate doesn’t rewear the clothes then what should be done with them? as a way to save tax dollars what would do and who would be the royal wardrobe watcher to make sure the entire family doesn’t wear state funded clothes in private. Could you tell if Harry’s navy blue suit and tie for a charity dinner was different from a navy blue suit and tie worn to dinner at his men’s club? I understand your almost constant resentment with Kate and sometimes I think you’re spot on but you also have to pick your battles, imo.

      • LAK says:

        Dame: Less Hair splitting is how Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson were fleeced by those 2 sisters they had to take to court.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Agreed and of course everyone understands the need for an expense account. But the type of fleecing you are referring occurs when employees pass off personal purchases as business related ones. For our purposes it is understood that the clothes being purchased will be used at least once for public engagements. Tuppence is of the opinion that those clothes should then be put out of circulation for royal private use. To that I say that the principle sounds okay-ish but the execution and enforcement of such a rule would equal silly, inconsistent hairsplitting.

      • My2Pence says:

        @Dame. I think her taxpayer-funded lifestyle – including her clothing – is a battle worth picking. There are simple ways to keep track of what is purchased, how and when it is used, and to put a simple de-accession plan in place. HM still has every ball gown she ever wore in storage, probably thinking that one day (after she passes), she’ll donate them to a museum

        I wouldn’t use the word resentment (“bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.”) nor would I use the word hate. I think Kate Middleton is pathetic, lazy, a horrific example to girls and women everywhere, and overall remarkably useless when it comes to being royal.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        We agree more than you probably think. But I believe commandeering Kate’s publicly funded wardrobe would be pointless. What the heck would anyone want with her frocks? Might as well let her wear them again and get more value out of them. And in order to keep things fair you would have to do the same thing for all the working royals. Do you really think someone is going to be waiting for Charles to finish cutting a ribbon and then literally take the clothes off his back? The queen’s wardrobe would be lovely in a museum at some point but aside from a few gala ensembles no one wants Kate, Sophie or Camilla’s clothes.besides, the fact that they are formal and carefully tailored mmakes them inappropriate even for donating. Same goes for the men’s bespoke suits. Imo you feel Kate doesn’t deserve to privately enjoy the spoils of her very public role. And I’m not saying you’re wrong but if you follow that logic to its full conclusion the monarchy itself should be scrapped, imo.

      • LAK says:

        Dame: it’s simple, she doesn’t have to wear distinctive and distinctly different clothing at every engagement. She could tone that down by repeatedly wearing what she already has. She already does this with her evening clothes.

        She simply needs to improve her accessoring and re-working/re-fashioning her clothing so it looks different or is reused like HM or Anne.

        or Take a leaf out of Letizia’s book and find a working wardrobe that is simple and effective without looking like the fashion plate she claims she doesn’t want to be.

      • My2Pence says:

        I also think the two credit card system (one from the Duchy for work clothing, one from William’s inheritance for personal clothing) would *help* her learn the difference between work and play clothing:

        1) Jeggings, 4″+ heeled shoes, 4″+ heeled shoes with platforms, 4″+ spike heeled boots, t-shirts, skirts that are above the knee, mini-dresses, mini-skirt coat dresses = play clothing purchased with William’s money

        2) pant or skirt suits, trousers, skirts at the knee or below, tailored blouses, tailored dresses that hit at the knee or lower, shoes with heels 3″ or lower, cocktail dresses, evening gowns = work clothing that meets royal protocol and purchased with Duchy money

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Sounds okay to me. As long as there are enough glamorous outfits to satisfy the public a more practical working wardrobe makes sense.so if I am understanding this properly then people won’t mind if Kate rwears public outfits privately as long as they can be repurposed. Is that right?

      • My2Pence says:

        No, Dame, I still think that is a problem. Who gets to decide when a public outfit has been worn enough so now she gets to wear it on “me” time? If she spends $50,000 on a gown, only wears it twice on duty, then decides to make it a “personal item”? Seems like an easy way to make the taxpayers pay for a couture wardrobe for her off hours.

        Given what we have seen of her personal “style” there would be very little cross-over between 1) what is appropriate for her to wear on duty and 2) what she likes to wear. So it shouldn’t be that difficult for her to wear on duty clothing only on duty.

      • LAK says:

        this is an area where her lack of work experience shows. And apparently she won’t take advise on it, so the blurred lines continue.

        It’s very easy to have a distinct work wardrobe vs a play wardrobe especially when you work for a conservative company like she does. She doesn’t have a work wardrobe. Most of her clothes are better suited to what i’ll call play wardrobe.

        I didn’t mind that we saw her in new clothing at each new engagement the first year she worked because i thought she was assembling a work wardrobe. And to be honest, with hindsight, much of what was worn in the first 18months was though vaguely inappropriate or worn at inappropriate occasions eg the outfit worn to visit riot victims, had the bones of a working wardrobe. What seems to have happened in the last 18mths is that her work wardrobe morphed into primarily play wardrobe which will not do.

        The problem as i see it also includes her weight and tightness of clothing during those initial 18mths. I remember Sachi making the comment that her wardrobe would be obsolete the minute she gained any weight and here we are.

        The problems with her wardrobe are on a par with her public service. they seem to have gotten worse instead of better.

        …but, i look forward to seeing what she wears come monday.

        I hope she proves us wrong on this tour.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        No argument here as Kate’s wardrobe is usually ridiculous at its worst and hit or miss at its best. So I think our conversation and that between Tuppence and I have bifurcated. We all seem to agree on the problem but I don’t see the point of outright forbidding royals to wear state clothes in private. Barely enforcable, needless micromanaging, sexist and wasted energy, imo. Better to drag Kate to elocution classes, hire a stylist and beef up her calendar. And I don’t see that happening for a looooong time. Besides, the clothes Kate should be wearing are hardly the ones she prefers for private wear so this is such a moot point. And the exceptions would not justify the headache of calling in the repeat police.

      • hmmm says:

        It’s the blurring of the lines between public (business) and private and tacit approval of such by the RF and its apologists alike that allows people like Kate Middleton to flourish. She is a venal little thing, fully supported by the system to indulge that venality.

        I really like My2Pence’s idea of 2 separate credit cards. But then, of course, it would mean more transparency and we can’t have that, now can we? After all, they are divinely entitled and, therefore, the rules don”t apply to them.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Two credit cards would only make tracking and seperating the purchases easier. That is there may be a similar system already in place and that isn’t the problem anyway. What would be done with the clothes afterwards is my eternally unanswered question, as well as how to fairly and logically enforce the wardrobe seperation.
        But hmmm you are right in the sense that the expense accounts would just be creatively shuffled around anyway. I also believe starting in on Kate’s way would be seen by some as a patriarchal way of keeping the fluffy, silly, lazy little girl-child in line while the more hardworking responnsible royals are spared this type of constriction. My point is that it would be like pulling on a little thread and eventually unravelling the entire fabric. Imo, this needs to happen but if fiscal transparency is the true motive behind such a move then it has to effect more than Kate’s dumb dresses and extend much further in scope than Chuck’s American Express statements.

  18. Jaded says:

    Why doesn’t she put a lot of thought into presenting a more professional image? Tone down the freaking eyeliner, put your hair up or tie it back, no more wafty little thigh-high dresses that show the regal smalls with every puff of wind, no more painted-on jeggings paired with wedges, no more fake and bake orange tan. NO. MORE. And polish up your public speaking skills while you’re at it.

    Anyway they’re both arrogant, lazy, useless arses. Bring on the revolution I say!

  19. idk says:

    I don’t understand why the Royal family can’t accept gifts or freebies. Aren’t they partly supplemented by British tax payers? So it’s ok to use tax payer money but not accept a gift?

    • My2Pence says:

      Here’s one possible reason.

      influence peddling

      1. the use of position or political influence on someone’s behalf in exchange for money or favors.

      • hmmm says:

        Which makes one wonder, where else has this been going on?

        The exposé on Fergie showed that it does go on, happily and willingly where some members of the BRF are concerned.

        In her small shy way, Waity does it with gifts passed on from others like Pippa and Charles.

      • My2Pence says:

        Yes, the George necklace via Pippa, the fur skiing hat that went to ma midds and was worn by multiple members of the family, etc.

  20. itsetsyou says:

    I don’t know if the news about her spending that much money on one dress is true or not but I never thought of Kate as someone who just LOVES shopping. I don’t think she is really that into fashion or clothes in general. She has never worn anything particularly expensive or extremely stylish before she married William despite her parents’ wealth. After she married William she’s been wearing the same stuff most women of upper-class typically buy and recycled her clothes and shoes again and again. And I’m not even talking about recycling dresses for the big events. Whenever she’s out photographed by paps she is always wearing the same stuff. Good quality but nothing to write home about.
    The girl doesn’t even paint her nails and aside from the jewelry she’s owned for years and that the Queen lends her, she never wears anything truly extravagant. Her sister has more style than Kate and so obviously enjoys fashion. Kate just doesn’t strike me as fashionista who roams the streets of London looking for outfits. And her beloved sausage curls style that she just can’t shake off of herself just proves my point.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Kate has been quoted as saying she’s not into fashion. I don’t remember where I read that too.

    • Suze says:

      I don’t know…I know plenty of women who hold on to the same hairstyle for years yet are very into clothes.

      I don’t think Kate is particularly fashion forward but I do think she likes shopping for clothes and for home furnishings.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      I think she shops to relax. She may be work shy but I think she enjoys feathering the nest. She seems to be all about home, hearth, hubby, child and family. And vacations. That’s what’s going on folks. That’s how it is.

      • Suze says:

        I think this is spot on.

        I wonder how she is the daughter of Carole, by all accounts a very ambitious and driven woman.

        Genetics is a funny thing.

      • LAK says:

        I agree with Dame with regards shopping being a soothing experience for her. She heads out to the shops straight after engagements.

        I also agree that she’s one of those women whose only ambition for themselves is home and hearth.

        If she’d married someone else, she’d do the same, it’s too bad that she married the one person whose ‘spouse’ can never be a housewife because that’s not what marriage to him is. It’s a public undertaking. He understands this and they both said as much at their engagement interview. He went out of his way to mention that he took so long to propose for a variety of reasons which included her understanding the job aspect of being his wife.

      • Suze says:

        Again, this time to LAK, spot on.

        Kate does seem to be very much about homemaking, albeit a very upscale type of homemaking. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with that. The thing is, she pursued the wrong man if that was her goal – about the wrongest man she could have focused on.

        She had to be completely deluded not to have considered the public role of Queen Consort before she devoted her life to landing William – it’s almost boggling that she didn’t. Like LAK said, she was advertised as the perfect potential royal consort, well-rounded, educated and fully aware, after nine years, of the role she was assuming.

        It is a job, an all consuming, never ending one.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        LAK and Suze
        It is the world’s biggest head scratcher. There’s got to be some connection to that mysterious childhood head injury, lol.

      • LAK says:

        Dame: i find conspiracies exhausting, but i am slowly beginning to believe in the one about her head injury being the cause of much of what we see.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Omg this. Kate is very #pippatips and not in an ironic way. The wheel is spinning but the hamster is gone, imo. It would explain Jessie Webb and the need to have a foreign nanny also.

      • LAK says:

        Dame: LOL. i thought no one else had noticed that she *is* #pippatips come to life!!

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Lol sad but true, imo.
        When attending public engagements on a windy day refrain from adding weights to your hems. The pleasant breezes you are sure to encounter will bring your thoughts back into focus. People will not only admire your alertness but praise you for saving money on weights #tippapips (I don’t want to be sued).

    • My2Pence says:

      6th try at posting this.

      What is perceived as “recycling” to some people is merely wearing clothing more than once. She works rarely and sometimes wears an outfit she has worn before. To me, that still doesn’t scream thrifty but rather lazy

      Kate Middleton is photographed – by paps or by camera phones – shopping all the time. All she does at this point is shop for clothes, shop for jewelry, go to the hair dresser, shop some more, go to Starbucks, shop some more, work out, shop some more.

      You don’t think she wore expensive things before they were engaged? When’s the last time you spent:
      $275 on a pair of rubber boots; $600 on a pair of leather boots; $600 on another pair of leather boots; $2000 on a Ralph Lauren blazer

      She spent $150,000 on clothes in a single year, and potentially from someone upthread, Charles get to be reimbursed *by the taxpayers* for everything she wears on duty. Purchased since the wedding things like:
      $1300 Mulberry purse; $3400 leather coat; $4000 worth of clothes to go “roughing it” with the scouts for 1 hour (some of these clothes were purchased pre-engagement); at least $10,000 on custom earrings from Kiki Mcdonough

      Then there’s the mysterious $80,000 “olympic” necklace, which we were told was her personal property. Purchased recently or before they married – that answer wasn’t given.

      Where I come from, none of that reads 1) thrifty or 2) disliking shopping to me.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      I have spent good money before on good Italian leather riding boots. They have looked great going on six years now. And my cashmere pashminas will never go out of style. A little pricey but better than replacing JCPenney crap every other year, imo.

      • My2Pence says:

        I’m not saying that other people don’t spend that kind of money. But let’s not pretend that she is anywhere near frugal. In everyday, “down to earth” middle class life a $2000 blazer is not the norm.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Frugal? I would say no. But the daughter, wife and daughter-in-law of millionaires will never shop like we do. But I do believe she may balance her purchases with some couture, some black label and some bargain highstreet. Considered in totality this would be pretty much normal for someone like Kate.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Retail therapy lol. Diana was the same way and don’t let Chuck fool you. He favors bespoke suits, handcrafted belts and shoes and handpainted silk neckties. His university peers used to laugh at him because he dressed like such a serious adult. But those days were before trash journalism, public curiosity, diminished royal mystique and gossip blogs.

    • hmmm says:

      A brilliant point! You make a good case. She’s a shopaholic, not a fashionista.

  21. Patty says:

    That’s a lot of money for one dress, especially considering the double dip (or is it triple at this point) recession. Furthermore, Kate will more than likely fail to appropriately accessorize, have the clown eyeliner, and have her security blanket (her hair) down. Thus even if this dress was the most spectacular dress ever – she won’t be able to pull it off.

    • Feeshalori says:

      That dress better have fairy dust sprinkled on it and lined with solid gold for that amount.

  22. adam says:

    kate is boring, dull, uunattractive, with her hair up she looks sooo manly, her arms are manly thats why they are always covered up, she will be a flop, she never pulled it in usa, canada what do u think ,a miracle will happen, what u see iis what u get, she is NOT INTERESTING zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

  23. wow says:

    I have a strong feeling Kate is going to surprise a lot of people by representing well on this tour. I say this because I don’t expect anything deep out of her. Her only “job” really is to keep Bill happy, produce heirs, wear expensive clothes and look pretty. That’s it. She will exceed in those task especially with help from The Queen’s stylist. She is going to rock this tour and the press will eat it all up.

  24. HoustonGrl says:

    Wow. It must be nice to be that rich and not have to work for any of it.

    • idk says:

      Haha yeah I guess all we need to do is marry really rich men !

      • My2Pence says:

        Trouble is, the money isn’t really his. When and if the royals are ever booted, they’ll only receive a small percentage of what they “claim” is their personal wealth as a payout.

  25. Cersei says:

    Ahh, my favorite Kate photo. The brunette Theresa Russell, in Black Widow.

  26. Blah, blah, blah–Kate’s lazy. Big news.

    I totally agree about the jewelry–you would not have to worry about that if it was me. I have a tendency to play with my hair ALL THE TIME when I have it down–so I always end up putting it in a few big braids and then pinning it back. PERFECT for showing off the Royal earrings and necklaces (as well as a nice frame for any tiaras)…ugh, Kate, what’s wrong with you? I’d be working my fingers to the bone, sucking up the Queen SO BAD…she’d just throw some pearls and diamonds at me, to get me to leave her alone.

    Also–just so you all know, the real reason why I can’t marry Prince Harry (because seriously, if I could change ONE thing about myself, it would be to have red hair–my sperm donor was irish), is because you would all be so focused on my boobs and my absolute gorgeous-ness and fabulous-ness, that it would just completely detract from the Family, and from any causes that I would throw myself into.

    Just so you all know ;)
    The sacrifices one makes for God and country.

  27. Hello Kitty says:

    What is the point of a Royal tour? Increase awareness for charities? FaceTime with the proletariat? Increase tourism to the UK? I’m not being (too) facetious. I’m having trouble thinking of the answer to “why?”

    • LadySlippers says:

      Hello Kitty,

      Those are great questions but one of the main goals of any overseas tours is diplomacy. Raising awareness of various local charities and other causes also plays an important role. But overseas tours are very valuable for all countries involved.

      • wolfpup says:

        What does this diplomacy mean? What is the value? Other than the ogling, fanfare and fun, and the memorable impression of how “privileged” royal living is, what is the takeaway for the plebs?

        So far, the main message from the royals seem to be, is to just bend over. (sorry, in advance)

      • LAK says:

        I know you are making a very good point, but it’s not apparent in the WK’s tours.

        Their tours have very little in the way of diplomacy and seem more about fun and vacationing, which i find very odd in a future head of state couple.

        i can’t believe that rumour that William wishes to be in the Foreign office to learn about diplomatic relations and hasn’t figured out that these tours are lesson 101.

      • bluhare says:

        And they turned down dinner with the NZ PM to be with George, yet thought nothing of leaving him for a week to go holiday. I shake my head.

  28. sophietta says:

    I don’t have a problem with the duchess wearing expensive clothing….look at the European royals and especially the Netherlands’ queen. I also agree with ‘itsetsyou’ that Kate is not particularly interested in fashion else why wear a lot of the outfits we’ve seen over the years. But those ‘gawd’ awful primary school/porn starlet curls she favours? Other female royals, ours and others, seem to tackle the hair issue with a degree of elegance. Is it really that difficult? What I do have an enormous problem with is: a British-educated, expensively schooled woman not having the know-how to deliver an interesting, lengthy, intelligent – dare I say it – SPEECH – without peering at her paper for every second word. She’s certainly had the time and presumably the training! I wonder what her former teachers and tutors at those quite pricey schools/universities make of her apparent ineptitude on those few rare occasions when we’ve heard her speak?

    • My2Pence says:

      Maxima tends to wear clothing from the horrible Natan, who seems to be the only BeNeLux designer so ladies from all three countries wear his stuff. Letizia of Spain is extremely frugal and IMO always looks professional. She mainly wears Mango and Zara, which are Spanish brands. They aren’t all spendthrifts like Kate Middleton, and they all worked far more from day one than she has.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Letizia HAS to be frugal — she has a shanefully low allowance for clothing (really low in general). But I totally give her props for making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

      • Suze says:

        It helps that Letizia is drop dead gorgeous.

  29. Izzie says:

    As a Canadian, I’ve seen my share of British royals passing through on various tours (saw Diana in serious couture when I was a girl guide). The tours are taken VERY serious by both the commonwealth country they’re visiting and the BF. They come to “form closer bonds”, “improve their knowledge of the culture”, and bring attention to “worthy causes”. Whatever, but people seem to LOVE it.
    Kate’s got to put together 25+ situation appropriate outfits for this tour. As she’s no fashionista and she’s been told to “step it up”, I bet she’s been obsessing about making sure she’s going to look pitch perfect this time. Choosing her outfits and cramming in her Australian and New Zealand history has probably been her full time job since the new year started.

    • wolfpup says:

      Using Roget’s Thesaurus and the words, “celebration and repute”, I deduce that these tours are a sort of rite, a salutation with fanfare, with thanksgiving and ‘kill the fatted calf’ (where ‘ere they may go); a required, but rejoicing and triumphal gala for their hosts. This rite is for the glorification of rank, to enshrine the great name, to install the effigy – by splendor and grandeur. To seal the pre-eminence of the figurehead…

      I think that this will work, after all, everyone loves a good party…and this is the one that the pleb’s are invited to, for the above stated reasons (to pledge, toast, rejoice).

  30. SoCal says:

    For some reason I was thinking that because Kate is attending receptions with prime ministers and governor-generals that she wouldn’t be wearing any evening gowns, only cocktail dresses. She won’t be wearing any tiaras either and that’s another reason why I didn’t think she would wear evening gowns. I’m so confused lol.

  31. Barristerette says:

    She is a hideous waste of space, I wish she would go away, I’m so sick of hearing about her and seeing her awful pictures everywhere. It’s not like she’s contributing ANYTHING to the world.

    • itsetsyou says:

      are you the judge of what is worthy and what is a waste?

    • Jaded says:

      So far she’s nothing but a bowl of air. And ‘itsetsyou’, this is a blog where people air their opinions. We are not ‘judges of what is worthy and what is a waste’, we comment on the BRF in equal amounts of praise and punishment. Will and Kate are lazy. They have dropped the ball countless times when they should have been up front and centre doing their bit. (Hello devastating floods all across southern England…). Instead they were taking vacation number umpteen, nowhere to be seen. They have the most abysmal rate of public appearances for charities, hospitals, educational centres, etc. etc. of ANY of the royal family. William barely got through his basic flight training. And his bespoke farming program at Cambridge? It appears he can’t even complete 10 weeks without sneaking off to kill boars with his ex-GF or off to the Maldives on a bazillion dollar vacation….from what??? Shopping and decorating?? Their lack of work ethic combined with an excessively lavish lifestyle is an insult to the people of Britain.

      • hmmm says:

        That’s the worst part for me, Jaded, that people are not on their radar at all- it’s their indifference to humanity, indifference to events in their own country, and their entitled willingness to suck it dry that I find remarkable. Their own future subjects are mere things to them. Yet they expect those same subjects to bow down to them for being wastes of space.

      • wolfpup says:

        Maybe William won’t adjure to his job title if he is not coddled.

    • hmmm says:

      I agree. As a royal she is a waste of space. And so far there is very little evidence that she’s more than that in other aspects of her life. She certainly is a substantial shopper and spender of other people’s money, so I guess she’s (and her masters) contributing to the economy.

  32. Ellie says:

    I don’t think I’d be aware of the tour if I didn’t come here and I’m in the UK. I must be visiting the wrong places.

  33. Size Does Matter says:

    For the love of all that is Holy, how can ONE F-ING DRESS cost $80,000??? Is it knitted out of unicorn hair? Does it cure cancer? Does it enable you to fly and/or become invisible? Is $80,000 non-miraculous, made of cloth clothing actually NORMAL in some circles?

  34. caitlin says:

    I didn’t see anything in the article about all the time and effort she is spending on learning about Australia, its history, people, customs, etc. I guess that’s secondary.

    • My2Pence says:

      Should we take bets on whether or not she utters, “So this is where the Uggs come from?” at some point on this tour? Or making some public comment about the direction the water swirls in the loo?

  35. Bwarf says:

    It’s so unfair that much of the news about the Duchess and this trip is what she’ll be wearing and how much it cost. For one, if that’s all the info gossip sites will talk about, it’s natural and unfairly assumed, that all she’s doing is shopping, which is bs and such a double standard about women! Why isn’t anyone talking about all the polo shirts William will be wearing? Attention will be paid to her outfits but I’m doubtful that she’s the one out there going to shop after shop for Australia. She’s likely bringing clothes she already has and a lot is probably from a stylist or an assistant.

    “That and Kate’s biggest passion is shopping and putting together outfits. Imagine if she put that kind of time and energy into charity work?”
    That’s a bs assessment. She’s never seemed passionate about shopping and styling herself, her daily outfits and generally casual appearance are pretty much proof of that. It seems she puts in as much effort as any of us civilians, she doesn’t seem to dress like the attention whores who attend fashion weeks to be photographed. She doesn’t follow trends or dress like she was styled, she looks like she dresses for herself and for comfort.

    Even when she has official functions where she has to wear formal attire, she looks just as down to earth as their press office claims, no muss no fuss. Some people try to paint her as so vapid and high maintenance and it’s unfair and, I think, inaccurate.

    The Ralph and Russo dress is expensive but she’s definitely not paying that price. The dress has probably already paid for itself in publicity and it’s only been what, 24hrs? It’ll likely end up on display somewhere.

    • vava says:

      Sorry Bwarf, I don’t agree with you.

      Waity is a horrible public speaker and puts no effort into improving that, she rarely deals with charities unless it’s some red carpet event, and the record shows she spends her free time shopping and vacationing. She’s 100% WAG. That’s all. No one that anyone should admire. Plus she flashes her butt to try to get attention.

      • Bwarf says:

        But how do you know she’s not trying to improve her public speaking skills? If I’m not mistaken, Princess Diana didn’t like doing speeches either and did them rarely. I also remember reading somewhere that Kate actually gets lessons.

        Photos or stories of her shopping is what the press talks about, that’s what sells for them, and it sells for the retailers. Looking at all the photos of her shopping it actually doesn’t seem like she shops as much as people here assume. Either way, public speaking isn’t easy for everyone, no matter who they are, famous or not.

        I know people are going to love her or hate her, I just think it’s unfair the way she’s portrayed. She’s living a life that’s dictated for her at the moment, she chose the life sure, but I don’t think she’s just sitting there not caring. I think she definitely knows the impact she can have and the impact she’ll eventually make. Everyone has their opinion on how much work the Cambridges should be taking on but I don’t see the point.

      • My2Pence says:

        I really wish people would stop re-writing royal history to give Kate Middleton even more excuses.

        - One of Diana’s first speeches, a few hesitant phrases in Welsh, was when they were engaged. Soon after, Charles enlisted the help of Sir Richard Attenborough to help her gain confidence in speech giving. Again, Diana was 20 at the time of marriage with no higher education. Kate Middleton was 30 at the time of marriage and has a University degree. How on earth can she be so pathetic at speaking a few lines in her native tongue? How, because she doesn’t take any time to practice, prepare, or learn to do this job. (See also, “Can you test the smell by smelling it?” and asking the same fisherman 3 times if he catches a particular type of fish.)

        - The Palace has confirmed that she sets her own schedule and she is happy with the pace. How many times does this have to be quoted before people will believe the words the Palace spokesman states ON RECORD? Her life is not dictated to her. She is choosing to be incredibly lazy, choosing not to work, and choosing to spend more time shopping, vacationing, and at the hairdresser than she chooses to put into working for her charities.

        - All the press has to talk about is her shopping and her clothes because that is all she does – shop. She has worked 3 hours since the middle of December. If she got off her lazy a$$ and worked 40 hours a week doing royal engagements, they’d talk about her WORK not her clothes and shopping.

        - She pays someone else to wash and blow dry her hair (and extensions) three times a week. Three times a week! How on earth can anyone think this is a woman who is low maintenance?

        - She choose this life. Most of us here seem to understand the modern role of monarchy better than Kate Middleton, who had her eye on the prize for 10 years. She clung to William like a limpet for 10 years, and we are supposed to think that at no point during that decade did she think, “Gee, there is a public role that goes along with this. Maybe I should, you know, start thinking about how I could help this country IF we ever decide to get married.”

        - If she cares so much about her pathetic 4 – 7 patronages, why doesn’t she do things for them? Why doesn’t she visit them more than once every two years? And no, there are no secret charity visits. If she manages to get caught by camera phones walking lupo in the park, people would notice if she was popping into a museum or charity office.

        - She spent $150,000 in a single year on clothing. How on earth could anyone think she doesn’t like shopping when pretty much all she’s done is shop for the past three years?

        - Why didn’t she help out one of her CHOSEN charities by giving them one tiny item for their fund-raising auction? They ended up having to cancel their fund-raiser due to lack of interest. If she’d handed them even one old sweater that she’d been photographed in pre-engagement/pre-wedding, they would have raised tons of money from rabid Kate Middleton fans.

        - She doesn’t look down to earth on engagements, she looks sloppy and unprofessional. Again, contrast Letizia of Spain wearing a casual trouser outfit on duty for “down to earth” vs. the unprofessional dress and behavior of Kate Middleton on duty.

        - “double standard about women”? William still wears the same suit, shirts, and tie he’s been wearing since he was 20. Are you under the impression that he is out shopping for clothes all the time, but because paps are sexist they only take pictures of Kate Middleton? She is the one who acts like a Stepford wife from the 1950s. Surely no one considers her a feminist icon.

        The fact is, there just isn’t very much “there” there, when it comes to Middleton.

      • Suze says:


        “Princess Diana didn’t like doing speeches either and did them rarely.”

        Diana made speeches all the time. Several a month, at times.

        She started out hesitant, got coaching, and by year three was proficient at it.

        This is what royal families members do – make speeches. All the time. Eventually Kate will have to step up, but so far, she has not.

      • Jaded says:

        @Bwarf – Diana worked very hard at becoming a confident public speaker and she made many heartfelt and inspiring speeches about everything from aids awareness to landmines to providing decent affordable education, etc. etc.

        Waity, on the other hand, may have done some speech training but so far hardly a word on utterly boring topics. She’s no better than a lazy Stepford wife and appears to be entirely in the thrall of her arrogant, equally lazy husband.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      But those weren’t points she focused on, actually.

    • Lisa says:

      You are so right. We should be talking about her unrelenting charitable goods works, inspired writings, eloquent oratory, and profound thoughts. What was that she said about Higgs Boson the other day? Just amazing. It doesn’t end there — her brother made the internet or something with marshmallows and food printer. Remarkable, I tell you.

    • Emily C. says:

      If she did anything else, people would talk about that. Criticizing a woman is not always sexism. Kate Middleton is an absolutely NOTHING consort — in all of English history, I know of none as pathetic, vacant, and lazy as she has been. She acts like she’s just a typical trophy wife, and William acts like a typical trust fund baby. They obviously have no clue about history, because this kind of thing gets monarchies hated faster than anything else ever does.

  36. CynicalCeleste says:

    And here we witness the reason for the chauffeur driven trip to the Gap with convenient exit in front of the DM offices… A handy juxtaposition to recent photo of PGTips in custom cashmere and now leaks about her own new wardrobe. It’s just the pr strategy, no, I mean, the high-low mix for which she likes to be known…. like we all do, no? No?

  37. Jasrina says:

    I am most certain that she will manage to make this expensive gown look cheap and boring as per her usual unkempt self.

  38. Suki2 says:

    So almost twice George’s nanny’s annual salary for Kate’s dress?

  39. adam says:

    dont put your hopes too high the cambs and dissappointments walk hand in hand, the press will go gaga over them, but we are not blind! Especially this kate who always look LOST!

  40. Hazel says:

    i’ve been reading variations on this story–apparently it started in Harper’s Bazaar. One minor detail–the original article states that dress prices can go up to $80,000, not start at. And this is haute couture, which most of us don’t wear but that kind of cost is ‘normal’ for haute couture.

  41. melmel says:

    I can not believe that the Queen who is known to be thrifty would be ok with her spending 80k or even in the tens of thousands for one dress. I can imagine the Queen wanting her to not show her knickers in a gust of wind or wear longer skirts.

  42. bluhare says:

    Hey, you guys, it’s all OK! The Queen told her to go to this place so she’d be more regal! That’s what the DM headline says, so it must be true, right?

  43. India says:

    She looks cray cray.

  44. Jaded says:

    Kate’s a Stepford Wife, through and through. Her main job appears to be serving William and that’s that. I think it’s what William wants, and he settled with Kate because she’s compliant, while every other woman he dated probably had more drive for a career or a desire to play a significant role within the RF. Kate? She’s happiest when cossetted in the bosom of her family, protected and coddled, and being Prince Dolittle’s doormat. She has zero interest in making a difference for the marginalized, poor, uneducated and needy members of society, unlike Diana who battled to make it her priority.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      My only problem with your stance is it seems to put a women in boxes. If you’re not a career driven, super focused Angelina Jolie/Joan of Arc woman you have diminished value. What about women who cherish their more traditional role as wife/mother/homemaker and know their full worth within that framework? Do they have to do more to be valued?
      But if we’re just talking about Kate then I have no problems with your assessment – especially since she signed on for this.

  45. wendi says:

    Just finished reading – ok, scanning – a daily mail puff piece on the upcoming royal tour and it seems that Kate’s pr team is promoting her as the next “Queen of Hearts” due to her intense interest in children. What a crock. As one commenter put it “Body language never lies. You can see passion and genuine empathy in Diana, but sadly not in Kate”.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      Color me ever hopeful but I think Kate could still pull it off under the right circumstances. If she could build a troubled youth initiative with an emphasis on responsibility/academic growth/self-esteem through sports that would be a start. Kate, Will, Harry and Mrs. harry could engage with the kids in rowing, cross country, hiking, swimming, tennis, archery, volleyball, horseback riding etc. if Kate could ever let herself forget about the damn cameras I could see her really getting into it. And everyone on her team would get medals and soon we would get used to reading about the kids going on to university,, building promising futures etc.
      Even as I type this I feel it won’t happen.what wasted opportunities for positive change, imo.

      • Suzy from Ontario says:

        Great idea! I think she’s be a lot more respected if people felt she was taking a serious interest in something important instead of clothes and holidays.

      • wolfpup says:

        Excellent, believable idea!

    • greta says:

      I read the same article and there are a lot of dissenters in the comments section — this is just another one of Kate’s pr stunts to elevate her image, she is not genuine and can’t even come close to Diana, etc., etc., With Kate, it will take a lot of hard work and commitment to live up to this image as she is not naturally charismatic and interested in people.

  46. anatgaracia says:

    In regards to present day fashion, the fitness world has created a craze of certain items such as gym tank tops and yoga pants that are worn as casual wear by many people on a daily basis, whether they attend a gym or not.

  47. dagdag says:

    Very interesting reading and confirmed by belief that royals are outdated.

    Regarding the Ralph & Russo gown, it is true haute couture and probably a sartorial legacy for the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection.

  48. Jadesg says:

    Eh, you can look regal and elegant without having to rely on an ultra-expensive dress, yes? The Queen and the rest of the older BRF seem to be doing much better than she is. Oi. The worse thing is that she is only known for her outfits so the media can’t even bring up positive traits to highlight. I cannot even recall what her “work” is focused on. The arts?

  49. Suzy from Ontario says:

    Maybe Kate should be wearing clothing lent by young British designers who would (in return for lending/designing clothing for her) would get publicity when she wears it, promoting them and their designs. Win-win.

    I think wearing dresses that are thousands of dollars is ridiculous, especially when people are struggling financially these days. Especially when most dresses only get worn once.

  50. Cersei says:

    DM posted another photo of PGTips but, again, we don’t get a full look at his face. Hope there’ll be better pics of him this week.

  51. Baskingshark says:

    Dear GOD – in that 2nd picture down (the one with the black beret and the sausagiest curls) she looks about 58.

    I have a theory that she’s actually Carole’s sister and Pippa’s real mother and they did some sort of deal with the devil to keep her looking “young” and convince everyone she’s 30.

    Except they really need to report the devil to the Better Business Bureau because it’s not working.

  52. Jen says:

    it has started!
    getting off the plane in NZ she has flashed.

    • wolfpup says:

      “Beaver!” She just is not very pretty, she looks worn out, and yet from vacation. I haven’t heard anyone say it just yet, but jeez, it looked like she was wearing a glam stewardess costume. I thought as she appeared to be “the good little soldier” in their British color scheme, that she could have instead put Georgie in that, and herself in cream. She’s not Jackie O, and as Adam said, don’t expect a miracle, what you see is what you get. Cream would soften the edges a bit for her.

      Maybe she’ll get smart to what she likes, and do sports with kids. Simple.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      Well, she certainly kicked off this tour true to form – with a Marilyn moment! She is an endless source of entertainment.

      However, George is really cute.

  53. KateBush says:

    First impressions of Kate in Wellington… she was wearing a gorgeous red coat and dress but she was holding George coming down the stairs of the plane and Wellington is notoriously windy… you can guess what happned nxt :)
    My bf thought she looked stunning, I thought her hat was pretty old fashioned; reminded me of Jacquie Kennedy era.
    Im interested to see how she goes on this trip. Unlike most on this site i still hold out some hope that they will step up to their roles.

    I have very positivememories of Prince William visiting Greymouth a tiny isolated town in NZs South island that lost 27 miners in an underground explosion. Prince William took the time to make an unscheduled visit from Christchurch (a seven hour round trip) and spent time with the children of the lost miners just him and them. i thought that was lovely and it meant so much to the grieving town.