Duchess Kate repeats a decade-old brocade coat in Belfast: tedious or fine?


I was prepared to yawn my way through another Duchess Kate fashion post featuring a repeated brocade coat which was boring and fug a decade ago, when she bought it. But then I read one small detail about Kate’s ensemble that made my eye twitch with anger. Justified anger! First, these are photos from William and Kate’s outing in Northern Ireland (which for some reason I keep writing as “Northern Island” – why brain why??). They attended a giant garden party at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast. Fun fact: Will and Kate’s titles in Northern Ireland are Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus. I had forgotten that! This was their first trip to Northern Island as a married couple, but they did make a trip to Belfast when they were engaged.

So, let’s talk about Kate’s look. Kate wore a ten-year-old brocade coat by Day Birger et Mikkelsen. We’ve seen her in this coat before – she wore it to the Paralympics in 2012, and to Zara Phillips’s wedding in 2011 and to Laura Parker Bowles’ wedding in 2006. I can see why she would chose this for a wedding-guest look: it’s vaguely wedding-y and the brocade fabric definitely fits in with what the whole “English wedding” thing. But for a garden party at a castle? I don’t know, maybe wear something fun and bright and pretty. I’m so tired of Kate never taking off her coat during events too, it makes it seem like she’s always ready to leave the event.

Kate accessorized with an undercooked cinnamon bun hat by Lock & Co which is really not that great, especially given some of the better hats she’s been wearing recently. She wore topaz earrings which we’ve seen before, but the pièce de résistance was the gold shamrock brooch. According to People Magazine, the brooch was a wedding gift to Kate… from the Irish Guards. The Irish Guards were thoughtful enough to send Kate a lovely gold shamrock brooch for her wedding, and Kate couldn’t be bothered to pass out shamrocks to the Irish Guards at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day event. She was too busy going on ski vacations and getting her hair done. But she’ll wear the jewelry they send her.




Photos courtesy of WENN.

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112 Responses to “Duchess Kate repeats a decade-old brocade coat in Belfast: tedious or fine?”

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  1. Locke Lamora says:

    I like it. I’m not a fan of thing that are “fun and bright” so I think this is lovely.

    • puffinlunde says:

      I like it as well – it was only low 60sF/around 17C in Belfast yesterday so I can understand not wearing anything flimsy to an outdoor event.

      I won’t knock her at the moment as she seems to be making an effort and has done 7 events in 7 days.

      • Llamas says:

        Yes, she seems to be making effort but it’s because these are events for the queen. Mrs. Carrickfuckus would never work this hard for a charity.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      That made me laugh.

  2. Alix says:

    The outfit’s fine, if bland,though she really has some nerve wearing that shamrock pin. In the top photo both she and Will look like they’d rather be anywhere else in the world…

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      Yeah, I find her wearing their gift right after she blew them off for no apparent reason to be a bit unclassy to say the least.

      • Lisa says:

        Given that half the population of Northern Ireland think they’re English, the shamrock is …odd. Certainly that would be the half that would turn up to meet the Royals because you know, the other half just doesn’t appreciate what they do for us.

    • LadyJane says:

      She knows the bad press she got for blowing off the Irish Guards event. So this brooch can be nothing more than a two-fingers to her nay-sayers. She is either a bit vindictive or tone-deaf. Either way, the optics are not in her favour

      • hmmm says:

        I choose vindictive. It’s not the first time she’s flipped the metaphorical bird.

        Plus, she doesn’t care.

    • Hazel says:

      That was my first thought–how dare she wear that shamrock?!

    • Sarah says:

      If Kate, Will or #poorjason had any sense, they would have put the brooch away for a year. Alas, they are all clueless.

  3. Jules says:

    Boooooooooooooooring………………a recycled coat dress, and the always nude shoes………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  4. Lisa says:

    The Duchess of Beige strikes again? Ugh! The coat looks at least 2 sizes to big and why is she wearing a giant cinnamon bun on her head? Also, reminding everyone of her biggest gaffe with the Irish Guard gift was kind of dumb too. SMH
    @Alix They do both look like they’re glazed over in the top pic, don’t they?

    • Kate says:

      I agree, I think it looks too big too. Mind you she is mega skinny at the moment, as much so as she’s ever been. Clearly she likes this coat but I think it looks like it was made from old curtains.

    • Sarah says:

      The coat is swimming on her, she’s lost so much weight on an already slender frame. Again, why is no one in her family alarmed about this?

  5. Jack Daniels is my Patronus says:

    I like this coat. It seems appropriate. And I’m jealous it is cool enough to wear coat dresses. It was 99F (37.3C) here yesterday

  6. LAK says:

    I’ve always liked this coat. I loved how she styled it for Zara’s wedding.

    This time, it looks too big for her especially in the collar and sleeves.

    That hat is ridiculous. Definitely one she should never, ever repeat.

    The earrings are new, from her usual retailer.

    The brooch – shameless!!

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I like the coat, too. That hat. That hat is so ugly, so stupid, so inexcusable that it’s making me very angry and in need of deep breathing and self talk about how hats can’t hurt me. Are the earrings Kiki McDonough? She has a pair that are very similar – topaz and diamond drops, but they are a more teardrop shape. Still how many pairs of topaz and diamond drop earrings do you need. She lacks imagination. The brooch – you are exactly right. The nerve!!

      • Kay says:

        Yes Kiki McDonough. I think her jewelry is very pretty, but you’re right, how many variations on the same pair of earrings does she need?

      • notasugarhere says:

        Another new pair of $4000+ earrings. So thrifty.

    • crtb says:

      Love the hat. Best part of the outfit

      • Red Snapper says:

        The hat looks like a giant beige vagina. Am I the only one who sees this?

      • bluhare says:

        No, you aren’t. I thought the same thing, although I was going to say it was reiminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe (i’m very polite and refined, you know.) :)

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Oh my God, you love that criminally ugly hat? That vagina cinnamon bun paper mâché rose hat? That flying saucer, swirl of beige do do hat? Stuck to her forehead with what? Staples? Ok, that’s your business, but I’m not crazy about it.

      • ClaireB says:

        I liked the hat the first time I saw it, because it looked like a rose. But when I looked again, I didn’t like the pointy bit at the back. It doesn’t look overly vaginal to me, relative to other hats we’ve seen royals wear! But I definitely agree with the cinnamon bun resemblance!

      • Megan says:

        My mind went straight to cinnamon roll. Since I went gluten free, everything looks like carbs to me. The coat looks like a sesame breadstick.

      • Birdix says:

        I like the hat too– it looks like a rose from the top, and I like the two fabrics and the swirly thing in the back. The coat on the other hand is fine but looks dowdy because it’s big. Does she wear anything under her coats or are the coats the dresses?
        And what does she do with all those hats? There must be a room with hat boxes stacked to the ceiling somewhere.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Megan, have you tried Udi’s gluten free line?

      • ClaireB says:

        She’s got the hat perched a little more forward than the one on the maker’s website, I think. Their picture has it a bit higher up and to the side, instead of coming down the forehead. That might be the reason it looks more like human anatomy than floral.


      • Megan says:

        Nota – just recently discovered Udis. Total game changer!

      • Feeshalori says:

        That color hat would have popped fabulously against the neutral beige.

      • msthang says:

        A lot of flowers resemble the va J J !!

    • HH says:

      I like the outfit as well. However, she wears them VERY often. Is this HER preferred look/style? Or, do most of the events she attends call for coatdresses and/or are the most appropriate look?

  7. Assf says:

    Would it kill jer to wear that horrible coat with something not of the same horrible color?what is this 1985 where everything had to be matchy matchy….a pink hat a blue hat a yelliw hat…a red shoe a bkue shoe….ahhh the possibilities

    • Egla says:

      Green shoes, green hat. I mean dark green. She would look better with a bit of a mix. I am a disaster and even I know that with beige you can use the colors you want. The darker the better. What about the make up here? It looks HARSH again.

  8. jemimaleopard says:

    The coat’s ok – I think it’s a bit dated but so is she. However, it’s way too big for her now. She should have had it altered (I don’t want to comment on her weight or concern troll but she can absolutely afford to have stuff tailored to fit properly).
    Absolutely *hate* the hat- it’s pretty fug. The nerve of her though to wear the brooch!!! Does she have no shame?! Actually… Never mind. Answered my own question.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Even the sleeves are a little too long. I can’t believe she goes out like that.

  9. AmyLW says:

    I believe the brooch is a loan…as in the Irish Guards can ask for it back. It has been worn by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mum and Princess Anne.

    Also, this is a yearly assignment for a member of the royal family. I guess it was their turn.

    Personally, I do. It quite understand d the complaining about her outfit choices. She isn’t going to be Maxima or Mary.

  10. Sixer says:

    Don’t care about brooches. But that hat is ridiculous!

    We should more talk about Normal Bill covering Attitude (Britisher gay magazine). Ten years after his looks faded. Snigger. Why wasn’t it a shirtless Harry? That’s what I want to know.

    • bluhare says:

      That is an excellent question, SIxer. Why???

    • Marmaduke45 says:

      Sixer, it gives me tremendous comfort to know that you aren’t afraid to ask the hard questions. ;-)

    • ClaireB says:

      Shirtless Harry, grinning, with a puppy dog, mischief sparkling in his eyes. He is the hottest British royal, not that it’s a high bar. Or, if we’re specifically targeting the gay men, Harry in his army camo, with the top undone?

    • Sixer says:

      Ooh, goody! A dedicated thread. Over there to repeat myself!

  11. Hegimal says:

    Is there trouble in paradise? Wills and Katie seem to be suffering in stony silence.

  12. Eleonor says:

    The coat allow her to spare us from Marilyn moment, so for me it’s fine, I love coats too.

  13. spidey says:

    I’m not Kate’s biggest fan either, but I wonder if it occurs to anyone that she might have been suffering from PND last year? Because I doubt it would have been announced at the time if she had been.

    • Amber says:

      It has occurred to others. It becomes a regularly posed question during certain intervals, IDKY. If Kate has ever suffered from depression, anxiety or PPD, it’s been in the most the convenient forms that I’ve ever seen. It’s never prevented her from attending a polo or tennis match, meeting with Ben Ainslie, making a balcony appearance, or shopping, and shopping, and shopping, and meeting Brad and Angie. (Didn’t prevent her from keeping up her exercise routine either. She also got her scuba license somewhere in there, it was reported at the beginning of August. And she picked up some other hobbies. http://www.celebitchy.com/445982/duchess_kate_has_so_much_free_time_shes_taken_up_sketching_seriously/) Those are all things she did while on her maternity leave last year. She just didn’t work for most of six months. Then she was back trying to get her numbers up to the less than mediocre average we’ve come to expect. Rinse and repeat. It’s the same pattern of behavior whether she’s pregnant, just had a kid, had another kid, or if it’s just the early years of her marriage. It’s the same. And she complained about the pace during The Jubilee/Olympic year, where she did a whopping 111, mostly fluff, engagements. Laziness seems to be Kate’s greatest affliction. Nothing else adds up.

      • hmmm says:

        Well put!

      • Egla says:

        She may have had a light form of PND, but as Amber said she has done a lot of things that show the contrary. I think their main problem are each other. The enable each other in their entitlement and laziness. I wonder what will she do when the others who work hard will be gone (as dead). What will they do ? Who is going to be around to meet and greet the plebes??? She is complaining for 111 engagements? What about 400???

  14. Citresse says:

    It’s a bit mother of the bride but I really don’t mind this look on Kate. It looks good on her. The hat is another story ie- it looks like a Peony flower collided with LHR double decker bus.

  15. Capepopsie says:

    Back to nudes!
    I’m Probably the only person who
    thinks “the huge cinamon bun” on
    her head is nice. I like it! ☺️

    • Sharon Lea says:

      I liked the hat too, but maybe because it shows us some personality. Its like the red hat she wore yesterday, it was different while every other thing she wears is perfectly acceptable and blends in. I’m hoping we are seeing baby steps with hats and then, we’ll see more with shoes and finally dresses.

  16. als says:

    LOL, Kaiser, that bit about the Irish guards…awesome shade!

    • sophie says:

      I don’t care about the ill fitting coat or the cinnamon bun on her head. What is utterly inexcusable is the Irish Guards shamrock brooch worn by someone who thought a hair appointment (?) was so much more relevant then attending an event by the Guards.

      I must stop reading about these two and their entitled attitude else I’ll have no hair left!

  17. Megan says:

    If she is unwilling to have her older pieces tailored, why wear them? I’m sure she has plenty of clothes in her correct size.

    • kaiko says:

      I think it’s a not so subtle way of showing how she’s recycling outfits, especially if they are noticably interchanged between “Skinny Kate” and “Pregnant Kate”…it’s attention grabbing, which is what the BRF always wants, good or bad. After all they are nothing but a glorified family business, and you gotta make the money to keep it going. Media presence=money=power.

  18. ABC says:

    Blimey that pair look like a real bundle of laughs don’t they! Even the photographs look bored.

  19. maum says:

    Yes the coat is too big on her.

    I want to eat that hat.

  20. Cee says:

    If Beatrice had been the one to wear this outfit, especially the hat, the comments made by the press and commentators in the Fail would have been so different.

    About the brooch – she really has no shame. We get it, Kate, you don’t care.

  21. Seraphina says:

    she is a snooze fest both fashion and personality wise. Maybe that’s why she is work shy she’s so lathargic with everything.

    The bigger issue here is that she skipped out on the Guards and they have her a wedding gift. She’s so appreciative And that does make me furious. I too got eye twitches.

    Everything goes wasted on her. EVERYTHING.

  22. Maggie says:

    Really? That made you seethe with anger? Jesus christo

  23. HK9 says:

    This hat IS an under cooked cinnamon bun. The coat is ok but I HATE the hat (and I like most of her hats) .

  24. Rapunzel says:

    That coat looks like my grandma’s living room curtains.

    That brooch is such a bad idea.

  25. Deedee says:

    Hat designed by the Pillsbury dough boy.

  26. Vava says:

    From what I understood, the pin is loaned. It’s a great pin! It’s the best part of the entire ensemble.

    This coat would look much better with some color, red would be great. But yeah, it’s too big for her now and probably should just be tucked away. The hat is ridiculous. The countless pairs of Kiki earrings and beige court shoes are also ridiculous. Kate is the Duchess of Drab. Inside and out.

    Now the thought of Harry shirtless on the cover of that magazine – that would have been fantastic! Instead we get Boring Bill.

  27. NOLA says:

    As I recall, some commenters on here posited that Kate didn’t skip the Irish Guards so much as she was told she couldn’t go by William. If that is what happened, then I see the gesture of wearing the golden shamrock as her attempt of an olive branch. Even if she did refuse to attend the Irish Guards for her own selfish reasons (as opposed to being forced to abstain by William), I still think wearing the shamrock as a lovely gesture. When I give someone a gift, I love to see them actually use it. It would hurt my feelings if they didn’t.

    • Red Snapper says:

      As I recall, nobody here concluded that William said any such thing. How would we know? When she showed up at the opening of the EACH shop with freshly dyed hair, most of us figured she blew off the Guards for a hair appt.

      • bluhare says:

        It was brought up, as it was right after the huge spate of bad press he was getting for hardly ever working at EAAA.

    • Megan says:

      I don’t think William forced her to skip the event. I also don’t think he had any objection to her skipping it.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Post-event whitewashing. The reporters were told the week before that she wasn’t going to attend – because she didn’t want to set up the expectation that she would attend every year.

      After the outcry, the other excuses started coming out including she had to be with the kids full-time before the India holiday-masquerading-as-work, a pre-school St Patrick’s Day party that likely did not take place was more important, and the “William didn’t want her to go”. All excuses after the fact to try to clean up the truth. She didn’t want to go, she’d rather be at the hairdresser.

      The loaner is from the Irish Guards, presumably for her to use to pin shamrocks to her own coat during the Irish Guards ceremony. Not for her to use as a fashion accessory at other times.

      • hmmm says:

        I did not know that about the pin! Thanks. Makes its appearance even more egregious. But, she doesn’t care about any of it. She’s a Princess, not a mere mortal.

      • Vava says:

        She wore that pin with the navy blue Alexander McQueen coat dress (with all the gold buttons), too.

      • NOLA says:

        Ah, understood NOTA. I thought the article said the brooch was a gift; not a loaner intended to be used for one event (Irish Guards) only. That definitely changes my perspective. Hmpf!

  28. DavidBowie says:

    It’s a couch cover.

  29. I Choose Me says:

    Agree that the coat is the only thing good about that whole outfit. Oh and the earrings.

    That hat looks like a danish that somebody forgot to bake.

  30. Aerohead21 says:

    You can really see her weight loss in this coat. Pre-wedding she looked healthy. Post-wedding she’s so thin she lost her shape.

  31. TeamAwesome says:

    In previous wearings, were the buttons off centered as well? Because it literally looks like someone moved the buttons over to make the fit more snug.

    I am not a fashion girl, and I can not wear heels so I don’t really care about shoes, but if I could have a dedicated stylist and tailor I would make sure I was impeccably dressed any time I went outside. She could look so amazing all the time, and yet. Nope.

  32. Tiffany says:

    So I just read that Bill interviewed and did the cover of Attitude magazine. Word I never thought I would type, respect. Good one.

    • Sharon Lea says:

      Yes, I agree. William really stepped up here and it is so timely. I hope he continues with his open support.

  33. silken_floss says:

    I’m more fascinated on how she gets those fancy hats to stay on her head without moving or falling off

  34. Rapunzel says:

    I wonder if Kiki gives Kate freebies? She’s got a million pairs of her earings, which are all generic looking and overpriced, imo.

  35. hmmm says:

    I guess Northern Ireland is not worthy of anything other than a 10 year old coat. The hat is awful. She really doesn’t care about the place. Not enough paps for her, I’m sure.

  36. Coconut says:

    In a word, frumpy from head to toe. And the brooch thing! Only good thing by me is that there is at least one photo showing her hands at her sides, no crotch-clutch!!! Amazing!

  37. Katie says:

    This outfit desperately needs some color. So matchy matchy and monotone. And the dress is such a poor fit.

    However, I will give them credit for stepping up the work load these last few weeks. I believe the number of events lately is unprecedented outside a royal tour. Hopefully the pressure of the media backlash has made a change in them that’s not merely temporary.

    When it comes down to it, I really really WANT to like Will and Kate and it’s frustrating that only a few simple changes (even, say one event per week each on a regular basis plus monthly family photos released of the kids) could really turn their image around.

    • Deedee says:

      I think they had to step up for all the Queen’s birthday events. They really had no choice.

  38. cerys says:

    Its not her best outfit but its not her worst either. The hat has grown on me but as a previous poster mentioned if any of the York girls had worn it the press would have been very critical.
    The Cambtidges have been putting in a few shifts recently. Are they trying to shrug off the workshy tag or are they tryng to compensatefor all the days they will be spending at Wimbledon soon? Hmmm ….

    • hmmm says:

      I vote for Wimbledon as motive.

      BTW, when was the last time Willy played with his helicopter?

  39. deb says:

    Been a lot of repeat clothing lately I think her budget must have been cut by Prince Charles again

    • Lisa says:

      Well, she did just spend $50,000 on the hoop earrings she wore the other day. She’s gotta be frugal somewhere. The girl has to wait for the next payday just like us “normal” working moms. She really is fooling no one anymore.

  40. Lizzy says:

    We need a new name for her game. Repeat old outfits to appear thrifty (in her personal time I am sure she wears new stuff all the time) and accessorise with 5k$ worth of new earrings that also “look just like” earrings she already owns!
    People praise her for recycling while barely noticing the new jewellery.

    • Deedee says:

      “Something old, something new, something outrageously expensive, something blue. . .”

  41. Kate, put that dried out coyote turd on the ground, and set fire to it, it must be destroyed!

  42. Lainey says:

    The brooch isn’t actually hers, she’s just allowed wear it as William is their colonel. But bad form either way. And hate this coat- always have always will. And that hat should never see the light of day again!

  43. Roller74 says:

    The coat is dated and I don’t care for the hat. With her skin tone and hair/eye color, Kate was made for color. Considering she is one of the most photographed woman in the world, this whole “trying to blend into the wallpaper” thing has got to go. Ditch those nude pumps already!

  44. Amelie says:

    I like the coat and I’d wear it if I could afford it.

    I’m not sure why people think the hat looks like a cinnamon roll? My mind immedtiately went to a rose! However I really don’t like it.

  45. Tara says:

    Meh. I like the coat and will never understand why she’s not supposed to re-wear clothes.

  46. Hazel says:

    I saw a short bit of video yesterday where Kate turns back, grabs William by the hand, and tugs him along as they apparently leave. Anybody know anything about that? Was there a reason for a quick exit?

  47. bluesuedeshoe says:

    A pox on the negative commentary. She and William are making a huge effort to set a better example and assist the Queen. You folks are never satisfied…..

  48. Kate says:

    The coat is fine. The cinnamon roll on her head gives me pause

  49. lily says:

    duchess of drab strikes again!!!
    Personally I don’ t like the coat at all and most of all I just don’ t like how Kate’ s accessorized her outfit: it is dull, too much beige, that coat needs some colour!

  50. Jana says:

    Kaiser, it is perfectly correct to say Northern Ireland, as you did. It is part of the UK, whereas the Republic of Ireland is not. Regardless, your description of the fascinator as an undercooked cinnamon bun is spot on!

  51. Reece says:

    Suddenly I have an urge to go get Cinnabon…

    ETA: LOL I should have read the write up before I commented.

  52. Kelley says:

    Are you sure she is even wearing a dress beneath the coat?