Duchess Kate bores in black DVF for Royal Variety Performance

Duchess Kate bores in black DVF for Royal Variety Performance

Prince William and Kate Middleton (in a super boring dress) attended their first Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium Theatre on behalf of the Entertainment Artistes Benevolent Fund tonight, November 13. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife Madeleine Lloyd-Webber before heading inside and meeting some of the performers, including One Direction (which I guess is a band?) and Ellie Goulding (who sang at Will and Kate’s wedding). The Cambridges then headed into the auditorium for the performance, afterwards heading onstage to meet more performers.

The Royal Variety Performance dates back to 1912, when King George V and Queen Mary agreed to attend a ‘Royal Command Performance’ at the Palace Theatre in London’s Cambridge Circus in aid of the Variety Artistes’ Benevolent Fund (the previous name of the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund) and its proposed plans to build an extension to its Home for elderly entertainers, Brinsworth House. The second show was in 1919 at London’s Coliseum, and was the first to be billed a “Royal Variety Performance”. The Royal Variety became an annual event in 1921 when George V became Patron of the Variety Artistes’ Benevolent Fund. He decreed, after the show, that ‘the Monarch, or a representative of the Monarch, would attend an annual performance in aid of Brinsworth House and the Variety Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, once a year thereafter’.

Kate bored me to tears with her dress selection tonight. She wore another new dress, this one by Diane von Furstenberg, the “Zarita”. It’s a full length black lace gown. Kate already has a full length black lace gown, by Temperley, did she really need a new one, especially one so boring? It’s not just boring, it’s matronly. Like, I could totally see Helen Mirren wearing this to a premiere**. That’s not to knock Helen Mirren, she’s amazing, but she’s 69. Kate’s 32. I realize Kate loves her some lace, but she needs to stop wearing it all over her dresses, it just ages her. Case in point, Carole Middleton wore a similar all over black lace dress to the event – Carole is 59. If you are 32 and dressing like your 59 year old mother, you’ve got a problem.

**Actually, I take that back, even the goddess Helen Mirren wouldn’t wear something this boring. Full length lace, sure, but she’d at least wear a nice color or have the neckline a bit lower.

You know, as much as I was fearing we would get a fourth viewing of the Temperley dress, I almost wish Kate had worn it again. The DVF was THAT boring to me.

Kate Middleton Temperley black lace gown
[1/8/12 War Horse premiere – Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images; 11/8/12 St. Andrews 600th Anniversary – WPA Pool/Getty Images; 12/11/13 NHM – Mark Cuthbert/Getty Images]

Kate accessorized with her Kiki McDonough Lola Blue Topaz Hoops, Jimmy Choo Cosmic pumps, and that sequined black clutch she carried to the Action on Addiction Autumn Gala. Boring dress, boring jewelry… just so much boring! At least her hair was up. I mean, she looked nice, just really boring.

You can also see the backline of the dress in this photo.

Kiki McDonough Lola Blue Topaz Hoops

Did I mention that Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton were also at the show? Yeah, they were there. Sigh.

Kate added another new appearance to her calendar. On November 25, she’ll attend the East Anglia Children’s Hospices Norfolk Capital Appeal launch at the Norfolk Showground.

Kate receiving flowers from 6 year old Charlotte Tomlinson (who is clinging to her mother, Cathryn Tomlinson). How adorable is she? I love her dress and shoes, so cute!

Kate meeting One Direction:

Here are some bump-y photos for you (ugh, button your jacket, William!):

Rut Roh!! Did this lady wear the same dress as Kate? I cannot find a good photo of this woman, and I have no idea who she is. The below photos are screengrabs from the above Telegraph video. Obviously it’s a grainy image, so there’s no way to be sure, but it looks the same to me. If they are indeed in the same dress… YIKES!

Same dress as Kate

81 thoughts on “Duchess Kate bores in black DVF for Royal Variety Performance

  1. What do you think KMR, is Kate filling up her calendar because we aren’t going to see her after the Christmas Walk until Trooping the Color? She’s never made many appearances in Jan/Feb and she bowed out of public view 2 months before George was born – which would be March/April this time around. She’ll have time to get her beach vacations in this Jan/Feb. She seems to be sticking to galas and awards show this fall. In 2014 – she’s done 8 patronage appearances and has 2 more booked – but she needs 3 more to tie last year’s numbers – when she had a baby in the middle of the year.

    I agree this dress is boring — I had to wear one just like it as a bridesmaid — in the 90s.

    1. Alright, I crunched some numbers, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to do a post about this at the end of the year once the numbers for the rest of November and December come in. Kate is pretty consistent that there is always a spike in her workload in November. The rest of the spikes are all over the place from year to year, but there is always a spike in November. Also, always low in January – that’s consistent from year to year. So having a work spike in November is normal and has nothing to do with her planning to take off due to pregnancy.

      Going forward, given the trends in data (I’m using how many days she actually worked, not “engagement numbers” which can be off since they sometimes do multiple appearances in one day at the same or nearby location) from the last four years (and given that she’s pregnant and the trend we saw last time), I expect Kate’s workload to dip in December, completely fall off in January, she’ll make an appearance or two in February, maybe one more in March (like first half of March), then she’ll take all of April off. Depending on when the baby comes, we won’t see her again until Trooping the Color and Order of the Garter in June. We probably won’t see her for the rest of June. She’ll definitely make an appearance in July (when depends on when the baby is born) for the Christening, but she might make a second one to actually do something. There will be a lull in August and September (or a continuation of the lull) but she’ll probably make an appearance each month. She’ll do a couple appearances in October, before spiking again in November, and then she’ll dip again in December.

      OH WAIT! I forgot about the possible China tour. I don’t know when that will be but that will throw off all my predictions. Darn it! Oh well. She’ll have the China tour at some point next year, but that won’t be until the second half of the year (no way she’ll do it pregnant, and she’ll take at least a full month off before coming out of hiding after the baby is born). I’m going to stick with my predictions up until June next year, then all bets are off since I don’t know when the China tour will be.

    2. Oh my gosh I didn’t even think about that. We may not see her until June after this year. I was wondering why all the sudden she is making a bunch of appearances when she normally only makes 2-3 a month. I figured it was making up for lost time, but I had not thought about the fact that we may not see her until after the birth. She may be doing a bunch as build up so people will not complain and think ‘well she did a lot of work in November and December while she was sick, so she deserves some rest before the baby’. Even though it would be 4 months of rest. Which means she would only work 2.5 months during her pregnancy. I am curious to see if that happens:(.

  2. Color me in the minority, but I love this look. It’s a safe choice, but a good one she got right, especially when compared to the cut-out Temperley frock from a few weeks back.


    1. I do think she looked lovely. I loved that her hair was up. I don’t think she did anything wrong, by any means, it was a solid win for her. I’m just being picky because I really thought the dress was boring and aged her a lot.

    2. Count me in as well; I love the look – probably because it is safe more than anything (no bare extremities, knobbly knees, or other malfunctions) and thankfully that hair is out of the way and does really look nice (smile) and I would wear the dress (but I am 59 anyhow…)

    3. I loved this look as well, but then I am personally old and perhaps boring. I think she looks so much better with her hair up. I have not liked her hair down for a long time – she has nice hair (except when she’s wearing the sausage curls) but I think it’s a schoolgirl look. I would have liked the dress in an interesting color as well but I think the black is nice.

  3. The dress was fine. Her hair ages her. She either needs to hire a make up artist or take lessons because her eye makeup is always AWFUL. It ages her, it makes her look sharp. It does nothing for her face. She needs to lay off the eyeliner for chrissake.

    1. I agree with Lexi and J above that this dress is fine. Actually quite elegant, if a bit matronly. I would wear it. However, as I have mentioned before I am a middle-aged, Mormon, mother of two and a grandma to boot! (Sorry, Kate, if that squicks you out. Lol!) I also agree that her hair is elegant, but aging, and her makeup always sucks. No one will ever convince me she doesn’t have tattoo eyeliner. I am surprised she and Will showed up together, but I guess they have to be seen together in public just often enough to keep the gossip down.

        1. Yes! If she was going to go with the boring, aging dress she should have worn some big statement jewelry. That would have made the whole look much better and I wouldn’t have been so picky about it. I wonder why the Queen didn’t lend Kate any jewels for the evening. The Queen lent Kate the Nizam necklace earlier this year. Did Kate fall out of favor again? You’d think since she was pregnant the Queen would have been nicer and lent Kate some jewelry.

          1. The Queen doesn’t have to be nice to Kate. The Queen doesn’t have to be nice to anyone. She’s The Queen. She can be whatever she wants to whomever she wishes.

          2. I agree with you two, fairygodmom and KMR. The hair does look a little aging, especially in tandem with the safeness of the dress, but I’ll still choose a chignon over her horrible dolly curls. This is the first time I’ve ever seen her remotely approach regal.

            As for the jewelry, I also agree- those hoops are underwhelming. She needed a chunky piece, but if those are on loan from the Queen and based on grace and favor, can we assume she’s not in total favor because of her recent extended hyperemesis gravidarum sick leave and backing out of Malta?

      1. I think if the dress had not been lace, I would have been fine with it. But the all over lace was far too matronly for a 32 year old. Like I said to Lexi, this look was a solid win for Kate since it was completely appropriate and she even wore her hair up. But I thought it was so boring and aging with the all over lace with nothing interesting to break it up. She could have at least carried a prettier purse or worn more exciting jewelry or something to liven up the dress. Or worn the dress in a different color.

          1. It also wouldn’t have broken protocol if it was another color. All-black might be fashionable, but on-duty in the BRF you’re only allowed to wear all-black at funerals.

          2. I have to wonder if Kate is sticking to black and other dark colors because she has actually gained about 5 lbs and has a miniscule stomach bump. It’s pretty common knowledge that she is insecure about her body. I have also read that it’s not proper to wear all black at Court, but I wasn’t aware that also applied to them when they make royal engagements. Interesting.

      1. ha ha! I don’t even notice the raccoon eyes anymore; they’re kind of standard war paint – I agree raccoon-y they always will be…..

  4. when will kate ever give a proper speech, its getting boring, she just dresses up appear and disappear, leti and maxima , mary are better dressers but still bring attention to their causes!

    1. Hi Adam,

      My guess is that Kate will continue to make as few speeches as possible. Which is fine with me, she gets so nervous that she twitches constantly, flicking her hair back that it’s very distracting.

      This is my biggest source of frustration with her, she has a world wide platform from which to really help others and affect some change but she does absolutely nothing with it. Although to be fair, in the engagement video she did say she wanted to be able to make the “smallest difference” and she’s happily on her way to doing just that.

      1. I agree that she will probably continue to not make many speeches. She should really hire a speech coach. It’s a shame she doesn’t make many speeches. If she started making speeches that had some actual meat to them, it would get the critics off her back.

  5. She looks boring but nice, I’m glad that her hair is up for once. I do however like that bouquet. By the way, did you noticed that Carole seems to be wearing a slip underneath her dress? It looks like she has thin straps showing.

    1. I will say the flowers look really nice against the dress. I see two sets of straps, one thicker and one thinner. I think the thicker one is a part of the dress. But yeah, the thin ones could be a slip. If she is wearing a slip, I hope she tells her daughter all about it so she can wear one, too.

  6. Thank goodness, she’s finally looks like a knock out! So much better than her last hideous outfit. She looks absolutely beautiful, that dress is so stunning.

    1. CM is also showing off the straps of her slip. The wider straps look like they’re part of the dress design, but the narrower straps are from her lingerie. Get some lingerie pins, please.

  7. So sorry to disagree, but I really liked this look tonight. I actually thought that this dress was somewhat daring for Kate, as it was very form fitting, not as loose as she usually wears. And I have to say I really liked this updo, elegant but unstuffy.

    Am I the only one who thinks Carole might want to look into getting an eyelid lift? The poor thing won’t be able to see pretty soon if her eyelids droop any more.

    Last thought, I saw pictures of CP’s Frederick and Mary earlier at some benefit and they were holding hands. I think it’s lovely for couples to show a bit of pda and especially if they are royal couples!! As W&K are the youngest royal couple around, why are they so stodgy and uptight about this?? They are married after all, it’s perfectly legal 🙂

    1. CP Frederik and Mary was at the Bambi Awards in Berlin (I think). I really love her blue dress and the accessories. The chandelier earings are lovely (with aquamarines I think – Mary wears a lot of those). I just wish I could get a better look at the bracelet, it looks lovely. It IS very cute seeing them holding hands after 10 years of marriage and four children.

      Regarding Kate:
      She looks very good with her hair up and the dress is appropriate even if it isn’t very exciting fashion-wise. I don’t care for lace though. I hope she realizes how much better she looks with an updo.

        1. Mary is the picture of loveliness. That dress is so beautiful while being conservative. She should pass her stylist’s number to Kate. Also, did Frederick cut his own hair? Yeesh…

    2. I have to disagree with your suggestion that Carole consider an eyelid lift. People age, and as they do so everything gets looser and begins to sag, especially skin. I won’t judge people who choose cosmetic surgery, but I will vigorously support anyone who simply ages gracefully.

      I can be extremely critical of another woman’s dress, hair, and make-up, but I will not criticize her natural attributes. Women need to stick together and support one another as we age. Remember…sag happens!

      1. Hi Dag Tagart,

        I completely agree with you about aging gracefully. However, drooping eye lids can severely limit eye sight. I found out about this when a good friend of mine, older and still so beautiful, under went this procedure. As her eye lids drooped it became harder to see as the folds of skin blocked her vision. Not all “cosmetic” procedures are simply about looking younger, some actually serve a medical purpose.

  8. LOL, LOL, LMAO!!! KMR you are soooo right! The dress Kate has on is the exact dress the older lady has on at the same event! Although Kate looks nice in the dress, I agree with you. It ages her and her hair up just adds to the aging look. A statement piece would help some, I guess. I think Kate has had so many mishaps when she wore what she wanted to wear, that she is now wearing what her mother chooses for her. Just took another look at the photo of Kate and the women with the same dress, LMAO again :)!

  9. I have to disagree with you, KMR. This dress is so elegant – and that means it will suit a 32 y/o or indeed a 59 y/o.

    Class doesn’t date, you know? The cut of this was exquisite – form fitting then flaring out when she walked, rather than the oh-so-naff mermaid style it could have slipped into being.

    Gorgeous. Loved the hair up too. My only issue was the earrings – they were pretty enough but I agree some knock out stones would have been great. Kate seems to prefer tidy jewellery though.

    1. I love the cut of the dress, just not the all over lace. That’s one of the things I like about that Temperley black lace gown, the cut is beautiful when it flares out.

    1. omg he is! Lol, I didn’t even notice that. I don’t usually notice what William wears, because his style is more one-note than Kate’s and is super boring. God, he is so not cool enough to pull those off.

      1. Even better Princess Madeleine also wore the same dress for an official portrait. I saw it in the RD Royal Portraits thread. So she’s definitely not an original…lol

  10. On WhatKateWore, they show a navy version of the Zarita gown and I think that would’ve been a better option. But since Kate has already worn a gown in a shade of blue, I guess she said no to another blue colored gown. Even grey would’ve been nice too, but its only sold as a cocktail dress not a gown.

    I don’t understand her jewellery choices, the light blue earrings clashed in my eyes with this gown. Too bad she hasn’t discovered some black cosmetic jewellery at Debenhams or at her favorite label, Zara.

    1. The gray version is a lovely color – too bad it’s only in the cocktail length!

      I agree with you about the earrings.

      1. I actually think the deep burgundy color would have been so pretty. It is only in a short version as well, however, since she is Royal I am sure they would have made one for her.

    2. The short versions come in some great colors, too bad the long only comes in black and navy.

  11. Kate would have really knocked it out of the park wearing a jewel tone, although she did look lovely though somewhat matronly in the black. At least a colorful clutch would have brightened up the look. And I actually prefer the sheer neckline of the dress her mom wore and wished Kate had that style since it’s more youthful looking. And a fabulous brooch or jeweled pin nestled in her wonderful updo would have been the finishing touch.

    And doncha know that Kate has to justify her New York shopping trip/vacation by bumping up these engagements? If she had just traveled to New York and didn’t make any appearances prior to that, people would be naturally be questioning the state of her selective morning sickness.

    1. The dress in a jewel tone would have been awesome. But even brightening up her accessories would have worked. But black on black with non-stand out earrings didn’t do her justice.

      Very true re questioning her sickness if she had only gone to NY.

  12. So apparently, Our Lady of Boring Outfits Kate has her PA dressing her, which is a shame because dear God, woman, you are Royalty now. You can afford an actual stylist. There was an article on Yahoo earlier this month that said she promoted her PA to her personal stylist. I guess we know who to blame for her fashion bores and mishaps. This entire time I thought she was picking her own clothes, but I guess not. So, if she has a stylist to take care of her wardrobe, why is she always shopping??

    1. From the few photos I’ve seen of Natasha Archer, Kate’s PA/stylist doesn’t even know how to dress herself well. Kate needs a professional.

      1. I just looked her up on Google and am extremely underwhelmed. I think she’s just a yes girl for Kate. Also someone to lay the blame on if it goes terribly wrong.

  13. KMR you took the words straight out of my mouth.

    This matronly dress together with that hair and flat makeup = a matronly Kate.

    Never have I wanted her sausage curls back as I did when I saw this dress, but Jeesh even the exquisite Princess Madeline, with hair down, couldn’t make this dress look good.

    I’ll just go over to pics of Princess Mary who was exquisitely dressed for the Bambi Awards. She was conservatively dressed and looked younger than her years AND Kate.

    Ps: from the evening, if I had to pick who was 40something and who was 30something, i’d pick Mary as the 30something.

    1. To be fair I do think that Mary’s dress was a bespoke version of Jesper Høvring’s line. He makes a lot of couture, so it is safe to assume that Mary’s dress was tailored to her figure and it is probably a lot more expensive than Kate’s. However, Mary has a very good hair stylist and she’s very good at accessorizing, adding those little touches that pulls together an outfit in a subtle manner. I maintain that Kate doesn’t know how to accessorize at all, hence all the way she often goes for matchy-matchy colour coding of an entire outfit. That’s where she could really use a stylist.

      Regarding age:
      Kate’s heavy make-up is ageing but I really don’t think that she looks like she’s in her 40s (or older as some people claim). She looks like she’s in her mid- or late 40s). Mary looks her age (42), which isn’t really that old and she loooks lovely. I have several female friends around 40 and many look much younger than Mary. I really don’t like this whole talk of ageing as something bad. Younger isn’t always prettier because poise, demeanour and style 8as well as charisma) plays a big part. I have seen a 70 year model look much better than certain young starlets and it has nothing to do with age.

        1. Yes, she looks like she’s in her mid-30s which she is. However, I have seen people elsewhere say that she looks in her 40s or even 50s, which is just plain wrong and comments like that are simply used to put her and her appearance down and I’m not cool with that.

          1. A comment on Celebitchy’s post on Remembrance Day said Kate looked older than Camilla. Hell to the no. I realize people aren’t fans of Kate but sometimes things get a bit ridiculous. Yes, Kate has make-up problems and bags under her eyes and wrinkles on her forehead but there is no way she looks older than Camilla.

          2. KMR,
            That’s what I mean. And I really don’t like the implication that only youth and looks are the most important characteristics of a woman, that a woman looking older than her chronological age somehow devalues her while looking younger makes her better. It is a toxic cultural script that needs to challenged. Ageing is largely due to genetics though there are other factors that can be influential but it is largely down to genetics and that is something none of us can control.

      1. She did! And I’m coveting her diamond Ole Lyggaard bracelet. That is one piece of lovely jewellery. I like a lot of the Lynggaard designs (they also made Mary’s Midnight Tiara), but the range is way out of my range range at present.

        Link to a picture of the Midnight Tiara, which I really like. I am always happy to see a successful, modern take on the tiara: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/316166836312996510/

  14. Neither William nor Kate looked at each other throughout that entire video. No nod before getting out of the car, no glance out of the corner of one eye to see what the other was doing. Nothing.

    1. Nice catch. You’re right, they didn’t look at each other at all. That seems unusual for Kate since she usually looks to William to direct her when they’re together.

  15. Yes, a matronly look, indeed. Her mother looked younger than Kate.
    What a social climber that woman is, though.

    Kate looked so boring. Just terrible, in fact. She is dowdy. That’s the only word I can come up with to describe her choice in gowns. She’s young. She has money. She could wear anything and gain attention in the right way — if only, she had a fashion maven advising her. Her own choices don’t seem to hit the mark at all. I’m bored with her. Bored to tears.

  16. Quick question concerning William. And, the other British Royal Males.
    What’s in the water the Royal Men are drinking? Wills was a handsome young man. Suddenly, he’s become so stodgy. It’s not just the hair loss. His face is so bloated. Prince Andrew was a handsome young man, too. Look how he aged. And, quickly, too.
    Harry’s still a looker, but one can only wonder. how long that will last.
    I’m curious. What goes on with these men? If Kate looks matronly in the black dress, then how does one describe William?

    1. Well the Duke of York is 54, so he probably went through a midlife crisis. It was also around the time Sarah was making bad headlines and needed lots of money to keep her unearned and undeserved lifestyle. Willy smokes and tries to get out of work as much as possible, contributing to premature aging, like Waity.

  17. I quite like it but I just don’t enjoy her in black. At least it fit properly. Lately she’s been wearing baggy sleeves and ill-fitting dresses that are just too big and make her look chunky. What happened to her tailor

    1. The only thing I can think of is that they were either expecting her to gain more weight than she has, or she’s going to rewear these clothes later in her pregnancy and was preparing for that. The newest Katherine Hooker dress is custom made; there is no reason for it to be baggy. Kate hasn’t gained that much weight yet. By this time last pregnancy her breasts were much larger than they are this time.

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