Duchess Kate wears red Carolina Herrera during a surprise trip to Belfast

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Windsor Park in Belfast

This is interesting: today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in Northern Ireland. The trip was scheduled but previously unannounced for security reasons. This is not a “surprise” visit because all of the royal reporters are on the ground in Belfast as we speak. They’re actually spending two days in Northern Ireland, which I don’t think they’ve ever done before? They’ve done events in Belfast before, but I don’t think they’ve ever stayed overnight. The goal of this trip is to celebrate the Northern Irish youths. Their first stop was the Windsor Park football stadium, where they’re highlighting the Irish Football Association’s youth programs, especially the Shooting Stars program which gets girls involved with football.

For the first day (or the first event of the day), Kate wore a bright red Carolina Herrera coat. It’s a repeat – she wore this during the 2016 Canada tour, and I believe that was the last time we saw it? I don’t remember seeing it since then, but I could be wrong (Kate’s coats do seem to blend together). Her shoes are LK Bennett and she’s wearing Kiki McDonough earrings. I was wondering about the significance of wearing red in Northern Ireland and I briefly fell down the rabbit hole of the history of the Ulster Banner. I’m sure people more familiar with the political iconography of Northern Ireland will be able to tell me: is Kate’s bright red coat significant in a political sense? Also: ARE THE BUTTONS SIGNIFICANT?

Additionally, Kensington Palace confirmed another joint event for William and Kate: they’ll travel to the seaside town of Blackpool next Wednesday, March 6th, for a day of activities. Their events will focus on local businesses and “regeneration projects” in the area, and they’ll also do an event focused on mental health.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Windsor Park in Belfast

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Windsor Park in Belfast

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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120 Responses to “Duchess Kate wears red Carolina Herrera during a surprise trip to Belfast”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I’m surprised a 2 day visit like this was kept so hush hush. I know they have been “embargoing” more royal events in general but it seems odd to keep an overnight trip quiet.

    Anyway, I like the coat but not with the jeans and booties. The proportions are off, and it seems kind of like she is mashing genres – a fairly dressy coat with skinny jeans.

    • Annie. says:

      She is now playing football in those same jeans (with sneakers) so I guess it was a matter of necessity?

      • tempest prognosticator says:

        This makes sense. She looks very pretty. Beautiful hair.

      • Elisa says:

        I hope we get so see some pictures!

      • Milla says:

        And looks like she is enjoying herself. I never thought she could look happy, but she does now.

        Maybe she is over Wills and just enjoying her royal life.

      • BellicoseBelle says:

        Milla, Kate is becoming the real star of the royal family. Her confidence, presence, warmth and looks are making her much more interesting to watch than she used to be. When she and Meghan are in a picture together, she towers over Meghan and Meghan looks like a young girl who actually disappears next to Kate. She surprisingly has gotten a lot more presence and charisma. I agree, she is happy and that’s a great look!

      • Tina says:

        Keep telling yourself that, bb.

      • Himmiefan says:

        BB, at Wimbledon, Meghan did look like she wanted to hide behind Kate because that was one of her first visits without Harry, and she was naturally nervous. I would be too. Other than that, Meghan has looked poised away from Kate and with Kate. Personally, I don’t like to think that it’s either Meghan or Kate but both Meghan and Kate. Both add a lot to the royal family.

    • Clare says:

      Agree – the dress is too ‘frocky’ with jeans…It’s her usual coat dress style, so looks a bit awkward with the jeans.

    • xdanix says:

      They nearly always put embargos on the Northern Ireland visits because of security reasons. I can’t remember a time they haven’t done it.

    • TheHeat says:

      I think that, if the buttons had been black, the whole look would have worked. But the red-on-red made the coat dress too dressy for the skinny jeans.
      All in all, though, I don’t hate this outfit. I’d wear it.

    • Ravensduaghter says:

      I think the booties are wicked! (In a good way)…

    • Lorelei says:

      @Becks I’ve been meaning to say this for a while (and hope it doesn’t seem creepy!! 😂) but sometimes I feel like we’re the same person because I always agree completely with every single thing you write. I may as well just follow you around CB writing “co-sign” under your comments 🙂

    • Princessk says:

      They never give out advance information when it’s a visit to anywhere in Ireland, it is still considered risky.

      • Tina says:

        They gave out advance information for H&M’s visit to the Republic last year, but not the NI leg of the trip.

      • Becks1 says:

        @tina – yes, that’s what I was thinking of and why I was confused. But I went back and looked and nothing was announced when they visited NI before their wedding.

        But, those were all day trips (Will and Kate’s previous visits there and H&Ms) – so that’s why I’m so surprised it was kept quiet, because it was an overnight trip. Oh well though.

    • JoanK says:

      There is a significant security risk associated with visits by the royal family to Northern Ireland and also the Republic of Ireland.
      Lord Moutbatten, the uncle of Prince Charles was assassinated in 1979 in County Sligo in the Republic of Ireland and since then there has always been secrecy and tight security surrounding royal visits.
      In the light of the increased tension due to Brexit I am not all surprised a) that a visit by the young royals occurred now and b) that this was kept secret until the last minute.

  2. Annie. says:

    She also wore the coat during their trip to Paris in 2017.

    This trip has to have been carefully planned. All the details that are emerging today + the woman that was announced as the new member of the Order of the Garter today…. This has not been planned in a day.

    • Tina says:

      Yeah, you can’t do a spontaneous royal trip to Northern Ireland, that doesn’t happen. The red looks good on her (and doesn’t have a particular political meaning there, as far as I know).

  3. Enn says:

    Whatever fire is under her butt, it’s working (and so is she). Now let’s do this on a weekly basis, Kate.

    • Alexandria says:

      I second this. And William too, don’t forget about the heir. I think he has been steadily increasing his work?

      • Tina says:

        I notice that he’s doing engagements solo (which get zero press because the media only cares about Kate and Meghan at the end of the day) and William and Kate are doing some engagements together. We’ll see what the end of year numbers are – 2018’s numbers were an improvement, but he still has a very long way to go.

      • Nic919 says:

        William has bumped up his numbers but Kate still is behind the pack looking at 2019 numbers. And she still isn’t surpassing her numbers even from last year. There is a perception that she’s doing more, but at the moment she hasn’t.

    • Elisa says:

      YES! And I think it’s smart to do engagements together because they simply get more media coverage.

    • Linda says:

      Keeping up with the Sussexes lol

      • BellicoseBelle says:

        Beside from the tour, Meghan has done 6 days/nights of work this year. Can we please stop pretending she isn’t as lazy as the rest of them?

      • Tina says:

        Tour engagements count just the same as the rest of them.

  4. Enn says:

    I know things aren’t nearly as fractious as they were – I was a teen in the 90s and remember well the IRA, the bombings, and the very real fears of a classmate whose parents were from Belfast and still had family there – but it’s still fraught.

    • Lara says:

      Brexit has also made it a lot more fractious at the moment so I suspect security concerns are high

    • pearlime says:

      Have you watched Derry Girls? Seeing the troubles shown against teenage drama is really poignant, and the show still finds humour in some places.

    • styla says:

      Belfast is still a troubled city, you can see it all over. It had the weirdest vibe out of all the places I’ve been world wide. A paused war zone in small city form. They’re working hard with their youth though to make for a better future though. Can’t say anyone seemed much hopeful though.

    • Aang says:

      I was in Ireland for 10 days returning just a few days ago. Everyone I was able to speak to about Brexit were confident that any type of a border will see a return of trouble. And I was in both the Republic and NI.

      • Princessk says:

        Hmmm…..the politicians are really playing with fire with Brexit. Putting political party interests before national interests and national unity.

      • Bohemian Angel says:

        I’m quite sure it’s already starting up again, there were a couple of bombs in NI last month. These brexiteers will know about it when the bombings start again in England, they can not mess with the Good Friday Agreement. I remember those days too well where you were scared to go to the West End just in case a bomb was planted or it was advised on the news not to go to a certain area esp in London, it’s bad enough here with the constant threat of Isis!

      • PrincessK says:

        @Bohemian …I remember those days too. Buses being diverted or withdrawn because of bomb scares and struggling to find ways of getting home after work.

  5. Enn says:

    I’m full of royal thoughts this morning while I drink my coffee. I’d like to see Kate do multiple engagements weekly, even if that means she designates something like Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings, and I’d love to see Meg take a breather.

    I know Meg has drive and if up to her she’ll probably be working from her delivery room, but she has earned some time to nest, put her feet up and read a book, and hang out with Doria when she comes.

    • Wilma says:

      With Meghan I get the feeling that she loves the work and that is was one of the things that made her want to give up on a ‘normal’ life.

    • Princessk says:

      I really don’t want to see the royals in public all the time. I would rather have them doing more behind the scenes quietly and raising money for charity. They should just appear in public now and again, not every week, too much overexposure.

      • Tina says:

        Most of the royals appear in public all the time as it is, the press just isn’t interested. The press only cares if Kate or Meghan are involved. I think it is very important for the royals to interact with the public.

      • PrincessK says:

        Interact with the public EVERY day of the week. Royalty needs to have some mystique, we do not want them to become too ordinary and familiar.

      • Tina says:

        Diana did hundreds of engagements every year and her mystique only grew.

  6. Kittycat says:

    This is such a Kate outfit ;).

    I would love to see her in a straight skirt but this is fine.

  7. duchess of hazard says:

    Ehhhh, when we crash out with a no deal Brexit, this will all be for naught, tbh.

  8. Guest says:

    Kate dresses like an old woman or a young girl. Sometimes she hits it on the head but most times shes misses.

    • claire says:

      True – the skirt & dress outfits typically seem so matronly and then there’s the jeggings….
      Does she have a stylist? With all of her resources and connections you’d think she’d come up with age-appropriate attire that also fits in with the circumstances.

      • Ahoyoy says:

        Every time I see her in these leggings, I want to holler at the screen ‘buy proper jeans, nitwit!’ She needs to buy jeans with a lower stretch fabric percentage. These are just unsightly. She could still play soccer in a pair of slim cut cotton crop pants or a good pair of slim cut jeans. Charlene of Monaco has devoted herself to children’s sports causes and never looks anything less than professional and impeccable at the events- including one where she taught the kids CPR while kneeling on the ground. And she was a tomboy too. One can be an adult, a tomboy, and appropriately attired at work.


        An adult tomboy

    • BeanieBean says:

      Yeah, I know she went on to play soccer with kids, but–she’s changed outfits mid-day before. This outfit reminds me of grade school when we girls would wear pants (trousers) under our dresses during the winter (still had a dress code then–girls had to wear dresses–which was abandoned a couple of years later).

      • JanetDR says:

        We had that too. I was envious of the girls who had black tights, but my mom didn’t think they were necessary. It was only gradeschool, but I did not like taking my pants off in the cloakroom. Isn’t that crazy? Women alive and still working today were not allowed to wear pants to school! It was not a private school of anything, just the 60s.
        When I was in 6th grade, we could wear pants on Fridays. I had the coolest paisley bell bottoms!

      • BeanieBean says:

        Oh, paisley bell bottoms! How groovy! My first pair of pants for school–junior high–were a white, green, and red plaid. Oh, yes, I thought I was something!

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Does she not own a single straight skirt? I find her obsession with this cut of skirt rather twee.

    • Eliza says:

      It’s just a coat, she’s got jeans underneath.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        The flare of the coat is the same for all lf her coats and dresses. Which was my point.

    • Beth says:

      But it not a skirt or dress. It a coat

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        All of her coats, skirts and dresses have the same cut. Which looks twee on her IMO. Which was my point.

    • bread says:

      She has very narrow hips, so I think she’s trying to give herself some shape with these kinds of flared cuts.

    • Lorelei says:

      @ValiantlyVarnished she does have a few straight skirts and she always looks SO good in them that I wonder why she doesn’t wear them more.

      The first ones that come to mind are the blue tweed Rebecca Taylor ones, and I believe she has a teal one from LK Bennett as well. I’m sure there are a few others I’m forgetting. But she chooses to wear the girly, flared ones so frequently. I think they are fine *sometimes* but she wears them so often and it makes her look so twee. Pencil skirts are so much more appropriate for a woman in her late 30’s IMO, and she certainly has the figure to look great in them.

    • Ahoyoy says:

      One of her thousand straight silhouetted coats and a pair of slim crop dress pants would have been entirely appropriate. Even to play soccer. And all she would have had to do is switch shoes. She’s a hot mess.

  10. Jfromfla says:

    The coat is cute…but seriously, booby buttons! Ugh!

    • vava says:

      hate this coat, those boob buttons are the worst. I don’t like the jeans and boots with this thing, either.

    • Trillian says:

      Lokked through the comments to see if anyone else was bothered by this lol. I am normally not someone who sees things, but this is a really unfortunate placement of buttons.

  11. Flying fish says:

    The Doolittle’s had to do something, the Sussex’s just cameback from a successful 3 day tour of 🇲🇦…don’t forget about us!

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Basically. Lol.

    • Vio says:

      They ALL should be out there at least 3 days a week,so I don’t get why some people are annoyed to see them doing what they are supposed to do. It’s like they want to use the “lazy card” at any cost to prop up someone else.. lol

    • Salvation says:

      Naaahh, yr accusation, @Flying Fish, don’t hold no water in this case IMO. Both tours seem to have been planned months ago. If anything, I’d say the Sussexes’ tour was the one that was so short notice, but the Cambs seem to have planned this way before the Sussexes thought of going to Morocco.

  12. Audrey says:

    I love this look!

  13. Allison says:

    I love this! She looks great.

    • Esmom says:

      Red is a good color on her. I agree she looks great, maybe the best she’s ever looked. (Generally, not her specific outfit.)

  14. Beth says:

    The coats not bad, but it looks a little wrong with jeans and those shoes. This is Kates style, nothing like mine and everyone is different. My coats do have buttons (not the same type as hers), because buttons or zippers are how coats stay closed, so they’re kind of a necessity

  15. PlayItAgain says:

    Eh, I think she looks great. I love the coat, and I think everything else is fine. If I had long skinny legs like that, I’d show them off, too.

  16. Ilive says:

    Same old

  17. L84Tea says:

    This ensemble is a little too Oliver Twist for me. I’m waiting to see Kate get up on a table and start singing Oomp-Pa-Pa.

  18. LizB says:

    Her coat style, as others have pointed out, clash with the jeans and boots.

  19. Seraphina says:

    Her outfits do blend together (yawn). I am liking the shoes though.

  20. Derriere says:

    I saw one commenter note that she played football afterwards in this outfit. It’s pretty simple. Wear OTK boots to hide the jeans, then change shoes and coat once you’re doing your sports activity.

    Right now, the outfit looks off.

  21. Lexa says:

    This sounds like it’ll be a nice trip. Am I remembering right that there was an article recently about the Queen asking the senior royals to do more events and give more speeches around the ideas of unity, etc because of the Brexit climate? The visit might tie into that a bit.

    I don’t mind the pairing of the coat with the jeans. One complaint I always have with Kate’s re-wears is that I want her to mix the styling of the re-wears up more, which she at least did here.

    • Livvers says:

      I haven’t read any articles, but that was my first thought when I read the headline; Brexit uncertainty therefore more royal appearances. It does make sense, since they project continuity at a time when so much is up in the air. Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s at the request of the government as well as the Queen though…

  22. Scal says:

    The sporty outfit underneath is cute-and the paired it with a puffy jacket.

    The red coatdress doesn’t go and is way to heavy for the jeans and boots. Imagine if it had been a well tailored trench instead. Would have still been elegant without looking like she threw on a random piece that didn’t match.

  23. wisdomheaven says:

    Given the political situation, I am glad to see William and Catherine in Northern Ireland. Should be a good visit.

    Kate looks fine. I love her boots and the coat is stunning on its own but looks a little too formal for the jeans.

    William is just so deeply unpleasant to look at sometimes. Not his actual looks, just how his attitude comes off in pics. He is definitely someone who benefits more from video.

    • claire says:

      Re: last paragraph – yes, he always looks irritated and suspicious. That’s what I get when I look at him in various photos

    • Lorelei says:

      “Smarmy” is the word that comes to my mind a lot when I see photos of William. It’s a shame. He used to be so handsome.

  24. ClaireB says:

    The buttons are always significant. Especially when they’re right on her boobs.

  25. Vio says:

    Not mad about the coat but the color is pretty good on her.

  26. BeanieBean says:

    I don’t know the specific political reference for the color red, if any, but I do remember that Ireland has in green everything that the English have in red–e.g., buses, postal boxes, and phone boxes.

  27. Elisa says:

    ITA with you.
    Also, this trip was planned weeks ahead, so assuming they “…had to do something…” as if this trip was improvised from one day to the next is quite unrealistic.

    this was meant as a reply to a comment above but ended up down here.
    Anyways, I wanted to add that I visited Belfast / NI 3 years ago and it’s so so beautiful. I would love to visit again…

    • susannej says:

      You know that Brexit is coming
      and if there is no Deal by the End of March
      the “Troubles” (aka civil war) might start again ….

      I pray for Ireland.
      No kidding.

      • Babadook says:

        Just FYI, the troubles wasn’t exactly a ‘civil war’. It was more of a civilian conflict – sprinkled with British military atrocities in N. I. Can you call it a civil war if a foreign army is involved?

      • Babadook says:

        Also, I hope my comment doesn’t come across as snippy. It wasnt meant to but I just realised it might! *anxiety intensifies* Also your prayers are appreciated!

      • susannej says:

        Sorry – I did not mind to offend anyone.

        But as I live in Germany, all the given information here is slightly colored by the “messenger” (newspaper, magazin, book, blog) and it is more of a mosaic than a clear picture for me as a total outsider.

        But what I know is that two close friends of mine live now (since 2003) in the UK, Brexit is a really difficult situation not only for millions of people I don´t know but also for two people I care for personally. This shouldn´t change a thing. But it does for me. Human nature.
        And yesterday Jan (one of them) told me, that he is more involved in NI, than I knew.

        It is a scary situation.
        I hope for the best.

        @Babadook: You´re not harsh – you are correct!

      • Carolind says:

        I have relatives and friends in Ireland and long before the referendum vote they were saying the violence/trouble in Ireland had continued to a far greater extent than was ever reported. I did tours of Belfast in 2013 and 2015 and was amazed at the way it is still sectioned off. Parts are actually locked each evening. As far as I know, green and orange are the colours of significance.

      • Tina says:

        Can we please avoid inflammatory language? Many people in NI don’t consider British troops to be “foreign.” Others definitely do. Things are not at all perfect in NI, but they are 100% better than before the Good Friday Agreement. No one wants to go back to those days. I hope Theresa May and the Brexiteers don’t sleepwalk us into them.

      • Glor says:

        Tina…..yes indeed. The GFA asked old enemies to put aside their preferences and differences for the greater good, and apart from that bullheaded party we don’t speak of, the fragile peace worked at last.
        That same party is now determined to cause maximum negative fallout with Brexit, and it cannot be allowed to happen!
        Someone said bombings have already started. Be assured……this time round, though god forbid, it will involve nobody but the still twitching-for-action swivel-eyed outright gangsters, not one political ideologue amongst the lot of them.
        Save us from this slide back down into the pit! It’s 50 years this summer since Bernadette Devlin led the Civil Rights marchers in Derry, and the roof came off the place for 30 years, British soldiers on the streets. NO!!! Never again! xc
        Lawks……..rather carried away!

  28. Toniko says:

    Again, this woman has no style. There is no final touch, something is always missing there.

  29. Cerys says:

    The coat is a nice colour but it looks strange with the jeans. I get why she is wearing jeans though. It’s good to see them out and about doing what is expected of them.

  30. Penguin says:

    Red doesn’t have too much significant. Orange or green on the other hand- those are the ones that make a political statement in NI

  31. Princessk says:

    One thing I find surprising is the role that the very accomplished woman who was sent by Charles to help Kate find a direction. Everyone said that she was too much of a high achiever to be Kate’s assistant but that is exactly what she is doing, helping to carry Kate’s bouquets 💐……What a come down, maybe she is just enjoying herself.

  32. Mego says:

    She looks good.

  33. Babadook says:

    I mean, red is the colour of ulster in both their Irish province flag and the separate flag that British unionists in NI prefer. But, its hardly a political statement on her part – nobody in N. I. expects a member of the British royal family to waltz in to N. I. wearing a tricolour or a shamrock hat. It’s pretty obvious based on her occupation where she thinks N. I. should be a part of (… Britain). Even if she personally believes otherwise, which as an upper class British person I doubt she does (either because she doesn’t know the history or just doesn’t support a united Ireland) she could hardly go around saying it or making statements. It’s just a red coat.

    • lubbylou says:

      If you took out the red, white and blue and the green and orange that would leave you blue, yellow and purple! Oh and pink and beige and grey. 😆

    • Tina says:

      The vast majority of British people, upper class or not, are happy for the people of Northern Ireland to make their own determination as to their political future within (or outside) the UK.

    • Glor says:

      Didn’t Kate wear a fine green coat to some NI military shindig one time, festooned with shamrock (ah! St Patrick’s Day, of course!) No worries on that score of course.
      I think (am I dreaming?!) Meghan actually wore a nod to the ‘Irish’ Irish tricolour up there though, (pearls clutched at dawn!!) which was quite daring. She muted its green, white, and gold into forest green, oatmeal cream, and russet, if I remember right.
      In doing so……and I hope she knew, or someone told her, she reproduced the filthy old Irish flag James Joyce’s character Stephen D hallucinates in Dublin Bay. (In Ulysses) That was nifty work, Miss! Brava!

      • Tina says:

        @Glor, Kate did indeed, but it wasn’t an NI shindig, it was in west London with the Irish Guards. I refrain from editorial comment on such matters. Meghan’s NI outfit was as you describe, but I put that down to her ignorance and the influence of her Canadian stylist’s father-in-law (which is one of the many, many reasons that she needs a UK stylist).

      • lubbylou says:

        Green is the (non-political) colour associated with Ireland. It is known as the Emerald Ireland because of the green of its countryside.

        The “wearing of the green” is a tradition going back over 100 years.

      • lubbylou says:

        ……But do blame Kate for something Queen Victoria started.

      • ohno! says:

        Exactly – Someone needs to check their history before jumping in with both feet in mouth!

      • Glor says:

        Ah, some misunderstanding I think, if I’m being seen to blame Kate for anything here! I meant it truly……nobody begrudges St Patrick’s Day greenery.
        As for the colour of coats and the effect on the feelings of either community…..hardly a great obsession with me, here in Ireland as I am and always have been.
        Just going along with the thread.

        Unless your comment about learning history actually means learning the history of royal visits made by young duchesses? In which case you got me; I’m no expert in that, it’s true. 🙂
        It’s worth pointing out that ‘the wearing of the green’ is a specific expression (and sometimes activity) which does in fact have a shedload of partisan history on its back, not that it’s so deadly serious these days (one hopes).

  34. Chrissy says:

    She is such a bad dresser. So much money and such terrible fashion sense. Fire your stylist Kate!! Or, hire one….

  35. lubbylou says:

    Wills was there too and they had a canoe race


    And I am sure there are those who will hate everything she wears on principle. 😆

  36. oddly says:

    As far as I know red’s a safe colour to wear in NI, no particular connotations. Green and Orange are generally avoided so as not to seem cliché , give off a clandestine political message or cause offence, unless it’s Saint Patricks day. Sometimes a red coat is just a red coat.

  37. Isu says:

    First picture – she has such huge stride as a woman, not very elegant really