William & Kate join Charles for Day 2 in Belgium

William & Kate join Charles for Day 2 in Belgium

Here’s my post for Belgium Day 2 on July 31. Prince William and Kate Middleton, along with King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, were joined by Prince Charles for the second day of commemorations marking the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele, the third Battle of Ypres.

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The day began with William and Kate visiting Bedford House at Tyne Cot Cemetery where they met Commonwealth War Graves Commission interns who help visitors understand the stories of servicemen in the cemetery, before viewing some of the graves.

Charles then joined William and Kate.

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The Prince of Wales and the Cambridges were then joined by the King and Queen of the Belgians and Sir Timothy Laurence for a walk through the cemetery before attending the commemoration ceremony at the Memorial.

William, Kate, Charles, Philippe, Mathilde at Tyne Cot Cemetery cs
[Clarence House @ClarenceHouse]

Prince Charles gave a speech at the ceremony.

    “One hundred years ago today the Third Battle of Ypres began. At ten to four in the morning, less than five miles from here, thousands of men drawn from across Britain, France and the Commonwealth attacked German lines. The battle we know today as Passchendaele would last for over one hundred days. We remember it not only for the rain that fell, the mud that weighed down the living and swallowed the dead, but also for the courage and bravery of the men who fought here. The advance was slow and every inch was hard fought. The land we stand upon was taken two months into the battle by the 3rd Australian Division. It would change hands twice again before the end of the war.
    “In 1922 my great grandfather, King George V, came here as part of a pilgrimage to honour all those who died in the First World War. Whilst visiting Tyne Cot he stood before the pillbox that this Cross of Sacrifice has been built upon, a former German stronghold that had dominated the ridge. Once taken by the Allies, the pillbox became a forward aid post to treat the wounded. Those who could not be saved were buried by their brothers in arms in make-shift graves; these became the headstones that are before us today. After the end of the war almost twelve thousand graves of British and Commonwealth soldiers were brought here from surrounding battlefields. Today a further thirty four thousand men, who could not be identified or whose bodies were never found have their names inscribed on the memorial.
    “Thinking of these men, my great grandfather remarked: ‘I have many times asked myself whether there can be more potent advocates of peace upon earth through the years to come, than this massed multitude of silent witnesses to the desolation of war.’
    “In 1920 the war reporter, Philip Gibbs – who had himself witnessed Third Ypres – wrote that ‘nothing that has been written is more than the pale image of the abomination of those battlefields, and that no pen or brush has yet achieved the picture of that Armageddon in which so many of our men perished.’
    “Drawn from many nations we come together in their resting place, cared for with such dedication by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, to commemorate their sacrifice and to promise that we will never forget.”


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Kate laid a wreath at the memorial while William read: “A Soldier of The Great War Known Unto God.”

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Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing, which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and completed in 1922, is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world in terms of burials. There are 11,961 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Tyne Cot Cemetery. 8,373 of the burials are unidentified. There are also 4 German burials, 3 being unidentified.

The Memorial forms the north-eastern boundary of Tyne Cot Cemetery and commemorates nearly 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom and New Zealand who died in the Ypres Salient after 16 August 1917 and whose graves are not known. The memorial stands close to the farthest point in Belgium reached by Commonwealth forces in the First World War until the final advance to victory.

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The ceremony ended with a flypast of four Belgium Defence F16’s flying the Missing Man Formation.

Charles then marked Welsh and Irish contribution during Third Battle of Ypres at the Artillery Wood Cemetery. He gave a reading and laid a wreath.

The first day of the Third Battle of Ypres saw the Victoria Cross awarded 14 times – a record number for a single day in WWI.

Switching gears into fashion… Kate mixed old with new and re-purposed a hat to my dismay.

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Kate chose a new coatdress from Catherine Walker, the “Melrose”. The coat looks white and grey to me, but the product description calls it “dusty pink” with “taupe” lace applique. Sure. Kate’s coat is slightly altered from the original design.

She paired the dress with a pink Prada clutch she’s had since 2011, a new pair of Gianvito Rossi Praline 3.5 inch pumps (because she needs the same pair of heels in two different heel heights for some reason), and her Cartier watch.

Kate wore Diana’s Collingwood Pearl and Diamond Earrings again (she debuted them at the Spanish State Visit), and another loan from the Queen: a Three Pearl Diamond Leaf Brooch. The provenance is unknown, but HM wore it during a State Visit to South Korea in 1999.

Now on to that hat. Kate wore a Jane Taylor hat which has been re-trimmed. Back in August 2014, Kate was in Belgium to mark the centenary of the beginning of WWI, and she wore a very pretty Jane Taylor hat with pink ruffles on it. For the 2017 event, Kate removed the ruffle and added some light pink tentacle things. While I don’t think the new version is ugly, I think it is a discount version of the original. The original design was very pretty, this new design is blah.

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Queen Mathilde also wore lace, opting for a beige dress with lace on the bodice, and matching beige accessories.

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Prince Charles also opted for beige.

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Charles and Philippe also wore sunglasses during the ceremony.

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62 thoughts on “William & Kate join Charles for Day 2 in Belgium

  1. Lots of dumpy and wrinkled beige outfits for Mathilde and Charles. Not a fan of the Commonwealth countries once again being grouped up in a speech despite important individual contributions, it’s part of the reason why many in the Commonwealth want to dump the UK monarchy because they really don’t represent or include us most of the time.

    Kate’s coat dress would be ok except for that ridiculous crotch heart that was altered from the original design. But again she had to decorate the poppy with a brooch and is the only one there who does that. She rarely wears brooches as it is but thought this was the time to do it. And her hat and really bad hair make her look like Olive Oyl. Whoever is styling her needs to be fired.

    So where are we numbers wise this year compared to last year? Has there been any increase in appearances? Doesn’t really seem like it.

    1. It’s pretty clear that the BRF speaks principally for the UK, but only lip service is given to Commonwealth countries. As you imply, it’s a signal that we need to call time on the monarchy as our HoS. We’re independent nations.

      I can’t un-see the placement of that crotch heart on Kate’s dress. Surely someone saw it while it was being altered? I can only assume it was a deliberate design decision on Kate’s part. She has a tendency to draw attention to her nether regions, by either tight pants or fly-ups. The hat and hair age her considerably and harden her features even more. If only she saw the value of a professional stylist.

      1. Agree about the hat and the hair. She doesn’t seem to have anything between having her hair down or up in these really tight buns. The hat/hair look particularly bad from the back.

        The outfit is fine, very Mother of the Bride, very like other coat dresses she has, but fine.

        Charles looks a hot mess, rumour is that despite the flight from Scotland he was actually in the Med with Camilla.

        1. It’s so unusual for Charles to look so disheveled. He is usually dressed and groomed impeccably. I think only very tall long-legged men look good in double-breasted coats. William could probably manage one all right, but he’s a head taller than his father.

          1. Agree! But my point is he has people whose sole job is to make sure he looks correct. How many times have you worn an inappropriate thing to a commemorative service? Me neither and I’ve been dressing myself for 60 years now.

  2. I actually loved Charles’ speech, especially the quote from his great grandfather. I understand that the Commonwealth countries could feel slighted for being lumped together, but I think that’s more the fault of the organizers for not inviting representatives from countries with large numbers of casualties. For all it’s brevity, I thought Charles’ speech was informative and touching.

  3. Charles’s speech was wonderful, as his speeches always are. He looks unusually out of sorts, from almost always looking quite spiffy.

    I always notice how miserable William and Kate look, borderline angry, at these sorts of events. It’s not a solemn face, but they–especially him–seem so put upon being there.It’s not a good look.

    Kate, please get a decent hairstylist, there’s no reason your hair should look like my elementary school from the 90s lunch lady!

    1. I always feel bad seeing Kate and William at such events, because you get the impression that they rather want to be somewhere else.We all know how much Kate loves making holidays and watching sports,William doesn’t like royal work in general.Such events must be hard work for them both to attend, if you are used to just care for yourself.
      But perhaps I give them wrong and they just try to look pensive and not too happy which would also be wrong.

    2. I’m glad you think Kate’s hair looks that current. To me. her hair looks similar to my great grandmother’s at my parents wedding. That was 1956 and Nana was 90+ years old. If Kate’s hat was further back on her head, even that would look similar.

    3. Here’s a thought- do the updos have something to do with the fact that she has hair extensions? From what I know you can’t pull extensions back tightly, maybe that’s why we never see anything Other than loosely pulled back buns? Just a thought!

      1. It definitely does. She never does a high ponytail because the extensions would be noticeable. She would loom more modern with certain high ponytail type styles.

        She needs to deal with whatever issues cause her to keep this blanket of hair. It’s fake because she didn’t have all this hair in her 20s when you have your best and thickest hair. And she needs to actually cut it and layer her real hair. She would look way younger.

    1. Agreed. The applique would have looked nice on a different dress, but it just didn’t look right. Her hair and hat were awful.

  4. I would have liked Kate’s coatdress if it didn’t have that heart thing in the front and the fact that she has one almost exactly like it, but in blue and white. Why not just repeat it?

    Her hairstyle is unfortunate.

  5. It looks very hot, so they all appear a bit crumpled. The speech was very good. Kate’s hair is just dreadful – covering her ears? It’s very Charlotte Bronte. She needs a cut which enables her to look professional at her work.

  6. I can sort of see the lace on Kate’s dress as taupe, but don’t see the pink at all. At least it explains why her accessories look like she mixed them up with a different outfit. I like this coat dress, and I don’t know how the lace applique could be fixed; the original had lace inside the “heart” that looked like it pointing toward the unmentionable. I’m sure we will never see this again, but that’s true of so many of her clothes.

    Charles needs to have a couple of new suits made.

  7. I’m not a fan of the outfit, but not for the reasons most dislike it – I don’t like the hem, with the uneven look – and I don’t like that you can see the clasp inside that’s just above the zipper. The “heart” doesn’t bother me – I didn’t notice it the first time.

    Agree with you on the hat, KMR – not a fan.

  8. KMR, thank you for the history lesson on this event. As far as the fashion aspect goes, the lesson learned is what not to wear. I keep hoping the lace look would go away for an extended vacation, but alas, both Kate and Mathilde have lace on their outfits.

  9. A very important history lesson, I agree and appreciate it, too.
    Looking at the graves reminded me of Normandy. Just seeing the stones and thinking of the brave men who lost their lives and their burial place so far from their homes was so moving. I appreciate the fat that such care has been taken of their remains and that this will remain a reminder to everyone of the horrors of war and the brave people who fight for freedom.

    I can understand how Commonwealth countries and their people would feel slighted. THe service and sacrifices they made are to e honored for sure.

    Why both women chose to wear lace looks is beyond me. Did look, once again, MOther of the Bride, instead of dignified and somber and respectful. The first time I saw the coat, I did not see the heart, either, but when I did, I thought it was totally wrong!

    Kate’s had and hair did not appeal to me, either. I don’t see how anyone could not feel terrilby moved when visiting such a site. I would hope that all who were there felt the deep sense of bravery of the men who served and the losses that were insurmountable.

    BTW, the coatdress looked grey to me, too. Definitely not a dusty pink.

  10. This outfit was a fail for me. Like KMR, I loved the hat in the original version, but this re-styling left me cold. The coat-dress is hideous, and too old-looking. Her hair does not look good; while I love her new haircut, and think it looks fabulous on her, I think she/Ms Cook-Tucker need to reconsider up-dos for the new length. Getting the shoes in a different heel height is yet another example of needlessly wasteful spending. What; a pair of her nude kid leather 3.5″ heels just won’t do? Shameful.

  11. I feel like screaming/crying “no more coat dress!”… in the same tone as “no more wire hangers” from mommy dearest…. I can’t I just can’t…. it’s summer she is wearing a damn coat!!! Clearly I am shallow for not concentrating on the real reason’ legitimate great and somber reason they are there for.

    1. Yes yes yes! It was clearly hot, right? Why on earth would you wear a coat dress? Does anyone know if there was a dramatic, unexpected shift in weather?

      Everyone looks crumpled and dreadful, really, except for Wills who might be on the precipice of a Hotness Renaissance.

      1. She’s probably not wearing anything under the coat dress, judging by the modesty stitch and how you can see nothing under it when she did the wreath-laying.

        It must have been so hot and miserable! I like the idea of the coat dress but execution as always is blah. She dresses like her mother, which is probably a big part of it; Carole probably helps her pick clothes, and of course, use Catherine Walker who Diana loved.

    2. I will join you, lol. Burn the coat dress, indeed! And, those stupid fascinator style hats, too!
      Sorry, I just think they look ridiculous.

    1. When I first saw this I had a very negative knee jerk reaction, but then I read the Pink News article. Admittedly it’s been edited for “greater clarity”, but I actually think its a good article. The headline may be provocative and click bait, but the message seems positive, to me. I’m including a passage that I thought encapsulated the opinion, in case anyone is interested, but doesn’t want to go to the site:

      “There are of course those who say that any discussion of the prince’s sexuality is premature, but this isn’t about his sexuality.

      As Madonna, Lady Gaga, the Babadook and yes, even Ariana Grande have shown, you don’t have to be gay or even have a defined sexuality to be an LGBT icon.
      How valid this is will continue to be an ongoing discussion, but this is how many see it.

      And if some want to view Prince George in that light – even humorously – in a culture which isn’t exactly overwhelmed with LGBT representation, it’s hard to see what’s wrong with that.

      It’s also important to spread awareness that heterosexuality or stereotypical masculinity isn’t a default.”


      1. The fact that they used his mannerism and body language to .call him a gay icon was a problem it was stereotyping gay people the reason Madonna lady gaga and Adriana are gay icons is because they have supported the lgbt community

      2. That Pink article is new to me, but I did read a NewStatesman article weeks ago about this subject. Here are my issues with this:

        Firstly, the idea that George is a gay icon and using people like Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Ariana Grande as examples misses the point that those women consented to that label while George has not. Gay icons like Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga, etc chose to support the LGBT+ community and chose to lean into the image of “gay icon” to help sell their brand (not that that makes their support false in anyway, but it is true that it is part of the image they sell). George is 4, he has not consented to any such label. That’s not to say that he won’t grow up to become an ally of the LGBT+ community, but just that he has not actively chosen that now. And considering that part of the discussion around LGBT+ issues is being who you are and choosing your own labels, I think it is incorrect to label a 4-year-old with such a label that he did not chose himself.

        Secondly, the NewStatesman article described the photo of George smiling in the helicopter as “distinctly feminine”. No, it’s not. That image is not feminine, it’s not masculine, it’s nothing but an expression of pure joy. An expression of pure joy is not inherently masculine or feminine, and calling it “distinctly feminine” undermines their entire argument. The article’s argument is that assuming someone’s sexuality and defining people by masculine/feminine gender stereotypes is wrong. But then they go ahead and assign a gendered stereotype to that image and make assumptions about the child’s sexuality.

        I see nothing wrong with gay men, or anyone, finding that photo relatable and/or turning it into a meme (and I actually think the NewStatesman part about assuming a child is straight is just as “sexualizing a child” as assuming a child is gay was very well put), but I think the articles defending gay men’s use of that photo as a meme are doing so with some faulty logic.

        Here is the NewStatesman article: http://www.newstatesman.com/2017/07/why-gay-men-love-photo-prince-george-looking-fabulous

          1. He’s a child, for God’s sake. Anyone calling him an icon of any type is beyond insane. He’s a little boy who was happy being in that chopper.. I’m sorry, but I am not ready for a world that sexualizes a child in any manner. It’s sick!

        1. I agree KMR; there’s nothing feminine or masculine about smiling with his hands placed on his face. Even his shorts aren’t feminine. The author is doing a lot of projecting because it reminded him of himself as a 5 year-old.

          I would imagine things like this is precisely why William and Catherine keep their kids out of the spotlight as much as possible. George was named best dressed when he was 8 months old by GQ and now he’s a gay icon at 4. Charlotte had a lipstick named after her by Marc Jacobs when she was 9 months old. Sexualizing babies and small children is unfortunately a thing.

          1. The one way to control all press attention is to relinquish the benefits of being a part of the BRF and become private citizens who earn their own way. Since neither Will or Kate will ever do that, then some press attention will be a part of the bargain. And it’s not like they were required to bring the kids for this trip. They have attended much longer trips without them.

            As for George being considered a gay icon, it is more of a comment on how boys are often socialized and pressured to be macho at a young age and to not cry or show emotion. That image is of a boy who isn’t worried about showing emotion, which is often something gay men are criticized about doing. If Will and Kate truly wanted to be modern, they would comment on this in a positive way to help gay youth who are often at the highest risk of suicide.

          2. “As for George being considered a gay icon, it is more of a comment on how boys are often socialized and pressured to be macho at a young age and to not cry or show emotion.”

            This was not the Pink article’s argument. And the NewStatesman article undermined this argument by stating that George’s expression was “distinctly feminine”. If their argument was that children shouldn’t be forced at a young age to adhere to gendered stereotypes, then they shouldn’t have used gendered language when describing his expression.

  12. While we should remember the sacrifices made by those brave men and all the brave men and women who lay down their lives for us each and every day, I think we would honor them better by actually learning from those sacrifices, so that more are not needed.

    At first I really liked this outfit but since seeing the heart over her nether regions, I can’t unsee it. Also I noticed that the style and shape of this coat dress is almost identical to the ones that Camilla wears, so I think she would be better served by finding a younger style of coat dress.

  13. Today Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and Prince Sebastien graduated from Sandhurst, congratulations to them! I wonder if they received special treatment like William did (I know he did stuff that would get anyone else kicked out, like bringing girls back to his barracks and partying so hard it mortified Harry, and William was dragged back to his room to sleep it off).

    1. How do you know all this, Ellie? Not giving you the side-eye, just generally curious and would love to read articles if you have links?

      1. I will go find them, I remember reading so much about this – it was Harry’s passing out, and William got so drunk and embarrassing he got sent back to his room in disgrace. And I recall someone finding out about William bringing girls back to his barracks, while he was with Kate; that precipitated the big pubilc break-up in 2007 where she then tried to get him back while he screamed “I’m free!’ I assume some of this has been whitewashed from the internet…

        I swear it has to do with people leaking to The Sun. Harry got some special treatment as well to leave to see Chelsy. William was the one who brought girls in.

  14. i barely noticed what kate was wearing because of Prince Charles! Dear lord, how is it these people cannot dress themselves appropriately for the occasion? With all their money? How is it this hard?! Who wears a khaki suit to a memorial service in a cemetery!
    i just can’t with these people.

  15. Maybe William and Harry are now able to fairly divide up Diana’s pieces. Now that Meaghan looks like she could be the next royal bride, Harry could choose pieces he knows Meaghan will enjoy. This could be a possible reason Catherine seems to have a few of Diana’s pieces – maybe Meaghan has a few as well.

    1. I would hope Harry wouldn’t be dumb enough to give Diana’s jewelry away to a person he’s not married to yet. Because what if they decide not to marry, and Meghan just gets to walk away with those pieces of Diana’s jewelry because they were gifts and she could rightly claim they are hers now (the way Alexandra of Denmark claimed the tiara Margrethe gave her was a gift, so the judge said Alex could keep it). That would not be good.

      1. I didn’t mean I think he has already given pieces to her. What I meant was it would be unfair if Catherine got first pick of half of Diana’s pieces first, leaving whatever she didn’t like to Harry. If Harry is planning on marrying Meaghan, and it sure looks that way, he would have a good idea of what types of jewelry she likes and would be able to choose some pieces and have them set aside for when he does marry. So maybe they had a ” you pick one piece, I’ll pick one piece and so on ” session recently which would explain why Catherine suddenly has a few of Diana’s pieces. Just a thought on what might have happened. Then again, just because she is wearing a piece of jewellery doesn’t mean it was given to her. She could be just borrowing it from the collection.

        1. Ah I understand. I thought you meant that Meghan already had them, not that they were just set aside for her.

          I hope it’s a “borrowed from the collection” situation, so that the two wives (an eventually the daughters) can share. Kind of like how the Swedes do it with lots of their jewelry.

        2. I recall reading recently how William has control over it, so it is his decision about what Harry gets. If true I imagine Kate gets all the nice stuff and whoever is Mrs Harry gets the unattractive stuff.

          1. Ellie, I have never heard of that. I don’t think William is that mean to gift all the iconic beautiful jewels to Kate and leave the not so famous ugly one’s to Harry. I hope Harry gets the Emir of Qatar pearl earrings and the sapphire pearl choker and also the Aquamarine ring, bracelets and earrings. As well as the Saudi sapphires.

          2. I read it recently, as in within the past month; I’l go try to find it.

            I do think William is petty and cruel enough. God knows how he treats other people in his life shows he is not exactly a giving, generous person. Which is sad.

          3. So Ellie you are saying that the famous sapphire choker will be on Kate’s neck soon? As well as the matching drop sapphire and diamond earrings? I mean she already has the big blue ring, Diana’s favorite pearl earrings, the CLK tiara and recently Diana’s pearl bracelet. Also The Queen has given her a lot of loans I think more so than any other in laws. I guess The Queen is fond of Kate.

          4. I don’t think Kate can carry it off but I also don’t think she can carry off any jewelry, it all looks twee and cheap on her. I don’t think the Queen likes or cares much for Kate–“It will all end in tears”– but they do coddle and give William anything he wants, so if William stamps his foot for Kate to have something, she shall. I would run away screaming from anything associated with Diana!

          5. Ellie, I think we all know Kate will get the famous jewels. But who knows Harry’s future wife will have a great relationship with The Queen and The Queen will give more jewels to her. But the choker I really want Harry to grab it. Also, Diana had an Aquamarine ring so who knows Harry may use that ring for his future wife.

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