Duchess Kate made a surprise event in London, wore blue Jenny Packham

The Duchess of Cambridge visits IWM London

Good lord, she might actually be KEEN!! The Duchess of Cambridge did a “surprise” event today, and by that I mean that this was not announced one week in advance, or even 24 hours in advance. Kate stopped by the Imperial War Museum today in London, where she will read letters “relating to the three brothers of her great-grandmother, all of whom fought and died in the First World War.”

For this surprise appearance, Kate wore a rich sapphire-colored Jenny Packham dress, accessorized with a Mulberry clutch and her beloved nude pumps from Gianvito Rossi. My only issue with the Packham dress is that I dislike the “puffy shoulder” detail, which gives so many of Kate’s dresses that dated, 1980s feel. But otherwise, this dress is really lovely. I especially like the way Kate’s hair is styled here – sort of, like, beachy waves? Very pretty.

You can follow Kensington Palace’s Twitter for a thread about Kate’s connection to World War I.

The Duchess of Cambridge visits IWM London

The Duchess of Cambridge visits IWM London

The Duchess of Cambridge visits IWM London

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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125 Responses to “Duchess Kate made a surprise event in London, wore blue Jenny Packham”

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  1. Mini says:

    Someone confiscate her eyeliner/eyeshadow combo pack, please.
    It’s so unflattering, it makes her eyes look so closed.

    • Erinn says:

      I will say- she seems to have at least lost the thick lower lid eye liner. Her eyes are kind of deep-set, so I think a lot of things are going to have a closed-off effect. I have similar eyes, and it can be hard to balance out at times.

    • Stubbylove says:

      Yes, and someone PLEASE TELL HER TO STAND UP STRAIGHT. F’ing-A. Something nice: the blue is pretty on her.

      • Mini says:

        God yes, she stands SO BADLY.

        For someone who seems so obsessed with her appearance and looking as slender as possible, surely someone must’ve told her good posture makes you look slimmer?

      • Nikki says:

        I’ve read this comment so many times, so I just took a look. I expected a horrible slump or something. I don’t see anything so terrible; she’s listening to a shorter woman, and not standing to salute!

      • Aoife says:

        Is it perhaps a tall person thing? At 5’2″ I have the opposite issue – having to crick my neck up all the time.

      • PattyCakes says:

        And when she stood up straight on the balcony with shorter Meghan behind her, you all accused her of trying to steal Meghan’s thunder. Kate is the one who can’t win on this site with most of you!

      • M.A.F. says:

        I’m over this repeated comment. Not all of us have the ability to stand straight for a variety reasons.

      • Cranberry says:

        @Nikki

        Agree with you. Anytime I’ve seen pics of Kate I’ve never noticed her posture one way or the other. It seems like more Kate-nit-picking. If she had really good, notably straight posture, she’d probably be accused of trying to be superior over others.

      • cola cookie says:

        I noticed, too. She is tall and she wears high high heels. Which means that she towers over people but she also has to bend down her head/shoulders in order to look at people or when she is talking to them. Her bad. She should reduce the height of her heels – that would solve the problem. But she won’t. Because those heels give her the long legs she desparately craves. She mostly wears knee-long dresses and skirts and her legs would look short if she didn’t wear such high high heels.
        She could achieve a good look with good proportions if she wore stylish long sleek straight trousers and kitten heels. But she has no style except the one given to her: knee-long something and nude high heels.

    • PattyCakes says:

      Ugh. Agreed. She looks great, then I get to her eyes and she did something wonky to them. Kate, take some makeup lessons!

  2. isabelle says:

    Blue is a good color on Kate. Like this look on her.

  3. Enn says:

    I think she looks lovely! Keep it up, Kate, and earn your keep.

    • Enny says:

      This really is a beautiful look – the color and style are great on her. One thing I will say: while I don’t always love Kate’s outfits, the fit is usually impeccable. Even the button overload travesties fit her like a glove. Girl has got herself one tremendous tailor, and I wish she would share his/her details with Meghan, who is lovely and gorgeous and stylish but FIT is often an issue…

      • Hallie says:

        I agree. Kate’s style choice may seem old-fashioned/dated/dowdy to some, but her clothes are really tailored well to her body shape. It also helps a lot that she is tall and very slim. She (or her stylist, if she has one) knows her body shape very well (she has long torso/short legs) so she knows to wear clothes that would compliment it. With Meghan, she is also very slim but shorter, with a very short torso and quite a boxy upper body. I would imagine it is a little bit more difficult to dress her and so she really needs her clothes to be specially tailored to her particular body shape.

  4. Canadiangirl says:

    Kate is looking lovely these days!

    • Jan90067 says:

      She looks great! Beautiful color (and I even like the sleeves lol). LOVE the hair. Looks like she’s working with her own natural wave here. She does look a bit tired, but with three little ones, who doesn’t? Lol. Good to see her out at an event.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        I think the slight bell sleeves work so well because they balance the small amount of pouf at the shoulders. She looks lovely. The only difference in this hairstyle versus Kais&%’s much reviled “sausage curls” is that the wave starts closer to the scalp.

        Someone got a Dyson air wrap… this is what I want for Christmas… in addition to an extra firm down pillow. ☺️

    • minx says:

      She looks really good but her eye makeup is a little wonky….?

    • Nikki says:

      I agree!

  5. bonobochick says:

    I like the color of the dress but is it truly sapphire?

    Her hair looks good.

  6. Grant says:

    I like the color, I like the puffy shoulder, I love the silhouette, I loathe the nude pumps.

    • isabelle says:

      They do make your legs look longer and sleek. One advantage of nude high heels.

    • Aoife says:

      @Grant My thoughts exactly.

    • Veronica S. says:

      I can deal with the nude pumps here because of the dress color. Navy would be too dark for the blue, which would mean going for a dyed to match shoe which would be too matchy-matchy. Black would clash or be too heavy. White might feel out of place in autumn. Grey would be equally boring and need to be an exact shade and tone to avoid being too light or dark. Other color combinations probably aren’t a real option. Which leaves nude.

      • Sue Denim says:

        I think about this kind of thing a lot too haha! But maybe at least if they were strappy or interesting somehow, a detail or cut out, and not suede, I think it’s the suede that really makes them ugh. Or maybe if they were a soft color like blush? I don’t know…but I love the dress, and she really does look radiant these days.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      It looks dark teal to me. I really like it. She looks lovely except for the shoes and bag. Not a fan of nude. Her hair looks fabulous!

  7. Becks1 says:

    This is a nice (albeit boring) dress. I don’t like the shoulders of the sleeves, and I really would love to see her in a pencil skirt with nice blouse or sweater or slim pants, but in general – this is a nice look on her. Classy, professional, etc. and I like blues on her.

    • Lolly says:

      You know, I see that comment a lot on Kate’s posts, that some of her outfits are boring. I don’t understand how a dress worn to a war museum can be boring. If she was going to a premiere or the met gala, then yes I would agree. What exactly is boring about it? It’s a pretty, professional dress. Sometimes I feel like it’s the last dig used if there’s nothing else bad to say about her.

      • SequinedHeart says:

        Lolly, your take on it is perfect. It is professional and classy for the event she is at.

      • Wilma says:

        What Kate wears is very much like what I wear, so I’m always amused by the comments that say she dresses boring, innapropriate and old-fashioned 😁

      • Becks1 says:

        I mean, its boring, lol. I said it was nice! but it’s boring. It’s overly plain and there is nothing interesting at all about it. and honestly its not just the dress itself. It’s that this is such a typical look for her, right down to the shoes, that it’s boring and expected.

        Meghan wore boatnecks like 4 times in a row and people screamed about how boring and predictable she was, so I think its about even ;-)

        ETA – and I mean, I even said it was classy and professional. It can be classy, professional and still be boring. There is a way to do classy/professional that’s not boring. Shrug.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Wilma – I definitely dress a lot like Kate. but I’m pretty conservative to the point of being boring, haha.

      • ChillyWilly says:

        Right? Is she supposed to wear a tutu?

  8. April May says:

    I don’t see why she needed to have a public event to go see these letters. Reads more as a private event to me. Just feels like a way to boost her numbers.

    • Becks1 says:

      I agree that the nature of this event feels weird. I am hoping there is more involved than reading letters about her great-grandmother’s brothers. (I think that’s a nice thing to do in light of the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I…but it def feels like a “padding the numbers” event.)

    • Reese says:

      I can’t believe I’m actually responding to this garbage?!?
      Armistice Day is coming up. Respect.
      It means a lot to many people to see the BRF showing their respect for this upcoming day of rememberance.

    • Sisi says:

      Armistice 100 will be a big event, and it’s understandable that the war museum would want to have promotional material leading up to it showing people having interactions with their services. In that regard it’s not a private event, it’s educational.
      The cambridges have had several events for armistice day over the years (including the rose exhibition), so it’s not that surprising that one of them would do a follow up this year.

    • Nic919 says:

      Yep. Perhaps if she read the letters to children or something this may have more value as an engagement. This seems tacked on and pretty empty.

    • Eliza says:

      Sadly by that definition 70% of royal events wouldn’t count: zoos, plays, movie premieres, museum trips, hikes, etc. All most do on Saturday for fun, they call it work.

      Given the press is actually talking about war heroes bc of her connection instead of just her outfit (which of course they’re still talking about) i think it was actually a nice turn of events.

    • Elisa says:

      this is obviously an event ahead of Armistice100 and I’m sure the IWM is more than happy to have Duchess Kate there to publicly promote the museum / cause…

    • Nic919 says:

      Had this been promoted in advance it would have had more value. As it is the media is still covering the end of the Harry and Meghan tour and Charles and Camilla are starting their tour in west Africa. It’s going to get lost in the media shuffle.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        Agreed…I don’t get why KP didn’t bother to do some proper promotion of this event.

      • Reese says:

        So it not being promoted in advance is the problem with this event that brings awareness to the museum and Armistice rememberance coming up on November 11th?
        It’s “empty” bc she is honouring the bravery, courage and lives of deceased soldiers. However, reading the letters to children would of made this apprearance more reasonable? Not so empty?

      • Rosie says:

        So it doesn’t matter what the Royal Family do, if it isn’t on camera or high profile it’s worthless?

        The value in the BRF is that they go to the small humble events that the big politicians/Journalist wouldn’t bother with. They go to Grimsby or Croydon on a rainy Monday and open a hospital or a sports centre. It’s not life changing stuff for most people but to the people who work there or have raised money for the charity it’s nice to have the Royal nod of approval for their work. The day the hype and PR takes over completely is the day it ends…IMHO.

      • laylaaa says:

        I LOVE THE ABOVE COMMENTS. SHOW SOME RESPECT.

      • laylaaa says:

        This engagement has been all over our (UK) papers/media, it would never “get lost in the media shuffle”. Events like this mean a lot, they are never ignored. If you’re talking about worldwide, well, frankly, who cares? The Royal Family represents us… trends, new fans/stans will come and go, but tradition will always stay the same.

    • Hieronymous says:

      It’s a nice and creative engagement, a nice way of showing her own connection with the war, something plenty of people have in their own histories. Maybe the museum asked her to look at her own connection to the war and bring it into the engagement. Yes she could have reflected on something privately, but the royal family are not a private family.

    • Aloe Vera says:

      We’ll for a start her doing this publicly has allowed all of us not in the UK to both know about and see that amazing poppy art work, so yes I think it was worth while it being public.

  9. Jaded says:

    She looks like she’s had a boob job – either that or she’s padding her bras!

    • Eleonor says:

      Or maybe she still breastfeeding…

      • MissM says:

        No way she is still breastfeeding (assuming she ever did). She spent 7 hours at Wimbledon back in July without taking a break, you cant do that when you are pumping.

    • Lexa says:

      I think she’s possibly still breastfeeding/pumping…?

    • isabelle says:

      She breast feeds, correct? They may look bigger because she is breast feeding?

    • KidV says:

      That was my first thought too. When did she get boobs? LOL I know a few women who got boob jobs after breast feeding their last kid. Nothing huge, just enough to make them perky again. Maybe that’s what Kate did.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think its the particular bra. When we saw her last week in the ice blue McQueen they looked different.

      • Vava says:

        Agreed. In the blue McQueen monstrosity, her boobs were about half this size. It’s a padded bra she’s wearing.

      • Diedra1 says:

        Kate wears “cutlets” in some outfits. I read it several years ago in a European gossip magazine.

    • Eliza says:

      She’s got telltale nursing clips on her bra. Just nursing.

    • Thirsty Hirsty says:

      she’s still nursing, FFS

    • morgfunk says:

      She definitely had a boob job. She’s not still breastfeeding because she’s obviously had a fresh round of botox and fillers. My guess is she does breastfeed but probably loses her milk quickly because of her punishing diet and workout regime. Everyone I know pretty much who has issues with food and over exercising can’t keep milk past 3 months. i’m sure they had a night nurse and human donor milk for all their babies, you just would never hear about it publicly, a lot of wealthy people do all of the above, they’re no different. She actually looks good here! And I would have gotten all that surgery too if I felt I needed it. BUT your boobs do fill back in once you stop breastfeeding, I think they do say to wait at least 6 months or a year after you stop to do that kind of thing. For all we know she could have just had fat transferred but from where I have no idea, she was always super thin, even pregnant and even postpartum.

  10. Melissa says:

    Agree she looks lovely here! I don’t mind the puff sleeves but would add more of a “hip” pooch out to give the dress better proportion with the puff sleeves. Looks like the darting made the skirt skinnier but could have used for opposite effect.

  11. OriginalLala says:

    i love this shade of blue, but the puffy shoulders and the odd length of the sleeves is not my thing. She clearly like it tho because she’s done that shoulder/sleeve combo several times so that’s cool, you do you Kate.

    • Erinn says:

      I keep seeing this kind of sleeve popping up, and I’m not a huge fan. But I’ve definitely seen it a lot more this fall season. I don’t mind 3/4 kind of sleeves- I wear that sometimes. But I don’t like bell sleeves. Also not really a fan of the shoulders, but it’s less distracting on this dress than on a lot of other pieces I’ve seen.

  12. Lexa says:

    I’m so glad this dress got a second outing! I think it looks really nice on her. There are some shots of her where her hips are thrust so far forward that her posture looks almost painful, but I noticed Meghan doing it on tour, too, which makes me wonder if it’s for balance in those very high heels.

    • Rosie says:

      Lexa, I always wonder how they totter around on those heels during events. Are they not going to get problems with their back and feet at some stage. I don’t understand why they have to be quite so high.

    • Thirsty Hirsty says:

      When she wore “this” dress in Canada….it had a collar. Not convinced same dress? Similar, yes but is it the same one? Unconvinced. Also, where is her poppy??

  13. MaryContrary says:

    I love that museum. I think she looks great.

  14. Elisa says:

    I love everything about this look, from the color of the dress to her hair. My only minor complaint is her posture, but as mine is similar, I know how hard it is to improve it…

  15. Rhys says:

    The pointed shoulders and nude pumps were very popular about 5 years ago. This combo looks dated.

    • Linda says:

      The pointed shoulders are in right now actually.

    • Killjoy says:

      Pointed shoulders are in now. Maybe you are thinking of shoulder pads? Those had a revival a few years back.

      I don’t mind the pointed shoulders – I have narrow shoulders, and a figure otherwise very similar to Kate’s. The shoulders give some structure to plain dresses.

      Those 3/4 bell sleeves can burn in a dumpster fire though.

  16. Beach Dreams says:

    These softer waves make a huge (improved) difference from the sausage curls. She should stick to this style more often.

    She’s also going to set herself up for some unpleasant back & neck issues if she keeps hunching over like that. Taylor Swift tends to have the same problem with posture. Wonder if it’s a thing with tallish ladies.

    • OriginalLala says:

      I sadly have the same posture issue but mine is due to too-large boobs which pull my shoulders and neck forward :(

    • FC says:

      :::raises hand slowly::: Can someone explain to me the difference between these “lovely beachy curls” and sausage curls? I see no difference.

    • Amelie says:

      We’ve definitely seen her wear her hair this way before and they were called sausage curls back then… I have never actually seen her wear real sausage curls and I never understood why that term was used. It’s kind of like the jeggings, this site really doesn’t know the difference between certain things.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        @Amelie and @FC: There IS a difference. Kate’s hair is wavier here: More tousled, much looser curls, etc. Compare this to styles like when she did that infamous hair twirl at Remembrance Day. She’s slightly “evolved” from that hairstyle over the years, but she still tends to favor those ringlets on a more muted scale.

      • FC says:

        Not to be nitpicky @BeachDreams, but “beach waves” are usually just styled as straight hair with a slight wind-blown-esque wave. This is Intentionally Curled Hair (new band name, btw). Nothing about Kate is ever “tousled”.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      @FC Agree to disagree on the “tousled” look. I don’t consider these “beach waves” btw (that was the article’s description), I think they’re just softer waves and much more flattering to Kate than the usual poodle-ish look she goes for. I think shorter styles in general suit her more.

  17. violet says:

    Beautiful dress, she looks elegant and understated. Lord, I wish I had her waist.

  18. Digital Unicorn says:

    This type of event is unusual for her, we normally only see her on Remembrance Sunday with the rest of the BRF. She’ll be more visible over the next few weeks as she’s has to get her numbers up, the DoLittles tend to have a last push at this time of year. It won’t last, she’ll disappear and won’t do anything like a consistent schedule till March/April next year.

  19. ladie says:

    Ooh I love this! Such a pretty colour and shape. And her hair 😍😍😍 So full and bouncy! I love her in sapphire blue – I like when the ring matches the dress hahah.

  20. Fluffy Princess says:

    She looks great here. Her dress isn’t my style, but it’s hers and she works it.

    She seems so much more relaxed and confident after Prince Louis’s birth. I think she is coming into her own and it shows. I think Meghan taking some of the intense interest of the press works for Kate–like she has a bit more freedom to be herself.

  21. Franny Days says:

    Good job, Kate! She does seem so different after her third baby or maybe Meghan really does give her a confidence boost like the focus is not just on her now.

  22. Vava says:

    Another blue dress……..
    that said, the tailoring is nice and I like the length. No to the puffy sleeves. No to the shoes, hate those.

    • Vava says:

      edited to add: this dress is the same one she wore in Canada when they took the children over there.

      • Thirsty Hirsty says:

        I’m not convinced it is @Vava because when arriving here in Canada, I swear the dress had a collar?

  23. wha1ever says:

    The Navy dress was my favourite one of her last royal tour of Canada. This one doesn’t have a collar so I guess it was removable? Her hair looks fab too. Good look all around and its nice she is doing an appearance that is a bit more personal to her.

  24. Loretta says:

    A boring dress fr a boring woman.

    • Diedra1 says:

      She is very boring, I always felt that’s one reason among others of why William was attracted.

  25. TheOtherSam says:

    Her style is a bit boring, but have to say, her clothes always fit her like a glove. Like this (admittedly boring) dress here, tailored to her to near perfection. Would love to see this level of fitting and tailoring done for Meghan as well. It can elevate boring or questionable style choices for everybody (who can afford it).

  26. SlightlyAnonny says:

    I’m neutral on Kate and this may be more on the PR office than her, but to position this as her just going to read the letters about her family is a little self-centered. Literally all they had to add was “and others” and it would be fine. This just reads like she dressed up for a personal trip to a museum and got some photos taken.

    • CanadianGirl says:

      From reading other articles it seems like these letters and photos just came into the Archives possession and it might be that she was invited to view them now that they are part of the collection. Her ancestors are also George’s, so it’s a “get” for the Archvie to have them.

      They probably also wanted to tie it into the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

    • Flying fish says:

      Exactly.

    • laylaaa says:

      Nope, I disagree. It shows a personal connection which many families have, it was a nice event to mark Armistice Day.
      I can’t believe people are calling this a “tacked on event”. So very rude.

    • Yami says:

      Really it may be one thing that Kate has apart from Meghan, this heritage and history. It actually might be a smart PR move to highlight her heritage. If I’m being cynical, you could say it makes Kate staunchly British in a way Meghan can’t be. Of course, we don’t know if Meghan’s ancestors fought in WWI, but it was at first a distinctively European war.

      • CanadianGirl says:

        Canada fought in WWI from the very beginning, so it wasn’t just Europe but yes, the US didn’t join until late. My great-grandfather was a Doctor in WWI, his nephew a soldier who was killed in action and who’s documents (including the notice of his death) we still have.

      • Bohemian Angel says:

        I only observe on this site but @Yami You have hit the nail on the head. Defo a PR move to show Kate’s Britishness and Meghan’s lack of!

  27. Aerohead21 says:

    Ok, can we pick on the puff sleeves when she edited herself? It wasn’t puff sleeves and a belt and buttons and fringed hemlines and off a booty bow…I mean…JUST puffed sleeves…I can handle it.

  28. Betsy says:

    I kinda like puffed sleeves. I’m ride or die for Anne of Green Gables though so that clouds my vision.

    She is definitely in a private competition with Meghan.

  29. Hieronymous says:

    She looks beautiful, but I often wonder how her style would have evolved had she not been a royal. She certainly has a bit of a “character” as a Duchess/future queen, and her choices were probably heavily influenced by her environment. It was forged in the crucible of the royal family, after all.

  30. Amelie says:

    I quite like the coat on the other lady talking to her. Wouldn’t be able to pull it off but it’s interesting.

    Not a fan of the pointy shoulders but other than that this dress is fine to wear to a war museum. Quite cool that Kate has a personal connection to Armistice Day.

  31. Flying fish says:

    Kate’s doing her job…

  32. Linda says:

    She looks gorgeous and her dress is tailored to perfection.

  33. Greta G says:

    She should borrow one of granny’s brooches & maybe a bracelet.
    I’m here just for lite reading. So I’m sorry that I’m being very shallow today.
    She looks lovely & a poppy pin would look appropriate for this solemn occasion.

  34. Indira says:

    Kate looks beautiful all around. Love the dress and the lighter hair color. She’s very fortunate that she has such an athletic build, I’m sure it makes it much easier to fit back into her clothes so quickly. I’ve always thought she has great legs.