Royal Watch: Chilly Cathy

Posted on February 22, 2012

As Queens, we hereby dub thee…

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Rose Hill Primary School in Oxford in a Orla Kiely shirt dress paired with Aquatalia by Marvin K. ankle boots.

Orla Kiely Birdie Wool Jacquard Shirt Dress

Suede ‘Rouge’ Aquatalia by Marvin K. Ankle Boots

…Catherine, The Duchess of Coats and Adorable Booties.


The gal surely does have a way with outerwear, does she not? That little boy just fell in love for the very first time, we’re thinking. He’ll be telling the story of this day for the next 70 years.


[Photo Credit: Solarpix/PR Photos,,]

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  • Jill_3

    That little boy just made me cackle. Oh, honey. Our first crush is a very powerful thing. I am giving her booties the exact same look.

    • Helen C

      I think that little boy might discovered his love for nice coats.  

  • blixtme

    Did they slash the price of that coatdress in half before or after she was photographed wearing it?

    Either way, I love that she wears stuff that would actually be affordable and even reasonably priced for us, too. Too often that coatdress would be, like $5k and there’s no way I (or, I assume, most of us?) could possibly justify a single piece of clothing at that price.

    • AuntieAnonny

      When I saw the price of it I was actually surprised. Much approval.

    • For one thing, they PAY for everything — they aren’t allowed to take loaner clothes like celebrities.  And the Queen approves of frugality. 

  • Gayer_Than_Thou

    Still no baby bump, I see.  Hmm…

  • What a lovely dress; I just wish it were actually a coat, especially since it is half-off. (Oh never mind, it is now sold out, of course).

    I love the expression on the face of the little fella in red in the last photo! Actually a number of the kids look a bit bemused/horrified. What do they see that we can’t? Did someone stick a naughty Post-It on her back?

  • Love love love.  She seems like such a joy!

  • JDreesen

    i was expecting the term “predictable” (gorgeous though it is).

  • I have such a crush on that dress. And I would normally come down strongly against booties with tights and a dress but she manages to make me like it. 

  • lilibetp

    Are you kidding, he probably has his own blog.

  • portlandmermaid

    The coat dress is kind of drab-pretty; great booties. I like the lady in the pink coat and pink polka dotted dress; she looks like the office secretary who has a great time after hours. 

  • P M

    I think it’s notable that all 3 ladies in the first pic are wearing the same template. Cathy, you don’t need to pretend / rehearse on how to dress when 40. There’ll be plenty of time to do that when that age arrives.
    Is she deliberately copying the Queen, in that the old gal’s style essentially hasn’t changed in 60 years?

    • schadenfreudelicious

      since i’m way past 40 i always wonder what that expression means…that she is dressing frumpily?.. for the record, we dont all dress like the geriatric set once we hit 40…now that i have vented, how should she be dressed on a chilly walk-about at a primary school?…just curious.

      • schadenfreudelicious

        ps. i’ve never seen her Majesty sporting a kicky coat dress, tights and ankle boots but i imagine she would be a sight to behold if she did!

      • Corsetmaker

        Thank you from someone who turns 41 next month and doesn’t dress like a geriatric either 🙂

        I think she looks perfect for her job, the event and the weather.

      • P M

        All right, all right: I apologize. It was uncalled for. But really, would it kill her to dress in a slightly livelier fashion?

        And no – I’m not apologising because I was caught out. I really did stick my foot in it.

    • TheOtherChristina

      Really? I don’t think those three outfits are even comparable.

      Orla Kiely seems like a sufficiently lively choice to me. I do prefer her larger-scale prints, but then again, Cathy’s a little slip of a thing and a larger pattern would probably overwhelm her.

      I wouldn’t say no to some more color, but I suspect this outfit looks less monotone in person.

  • Glad to see her stretch out of her comfort zone a little in the foot wear department. Those booties are downright rugged for her! Super cute and very appropriate for the occasion!

  • cmb92191

    I love the open wide mouth stare of the little boy in the last picture!    You just know he’s thinking “you go girl!”

  • Aaaannnddd, in two minutes, the dress was sold out.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    I love the little girl’s skeptical look. Cathy looks fabulous, but people who are bad with children always bend like that when talking to them. I’m sure if her hands were empty, they would be on her knees. 

    • minnye

       Huh? Kids like it when you get down on their level.

      • LesYeuxHiboux

         Kids absolutely like it when you get on their eye-level to address them, they do not so much enjoy it when you lean into their face like a deranged, patronizing jack-in-the-box. I guess the Duchess can’t exactly squat or kneel, but in that photo she is looming. Reminds me of when Oprah is forced to be around children.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    That little boy’s face is too funny. Reminds me of Peter Parker: “Aunt May, is she an angel?”. 

  • The coat had me at hello.  And then she wore some damn ankle boots.  And that made me very sad. 

  • h123456

    I pretty much always hate booties. And damn you duchess, you sold me on them.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Damn, I think I want that coat.

    Oh, crap. It’s a dress?

  • Cute but I wish she’d do more color…

  • Lilak

    Most sincerely working the line, and in a coatdress…with tights… and LI’L ANKLE BOOTS!   
    Can’t imagine the original People’s (cough) Princess going about this business looking so downright CUTE.


  • luciaphile

    She looks stunning, but I wish to god she would eat something.

  • It’s cute, but mostly because she’s young and slender. In a larger waist (say, for her mother-in-law) it would be matronly- even dowdy.

    • TheOtherChristina

      I don’t really think that’s a fair assessment. For one, she isn’t the queen, and I suspect she factors that into her clothing choices. And two, that’s sort of how fashion works. Context is key.

      •  Agreed, but I still think this is on the thin edge between cute and frumpy. That smile goes a long way in selling it.

        • TheOtherChristina

          Fair enough. I definitely think this is a hard dress to pull off. I can see how a slight misstep would wreck this look.

          • mariavii

            I don’t agree.  The style…nipped in waist with a slightly more than a-line skirt is a wonderful silhouette on many of us with a larger butt than bust.  This size 14, almost 40 year old, would kill (or pay) for such a CLASSIC dress.  Too bad they only make them for the little people.

    • Saoirse Lee

      Her mother-in-law? Diana? 

  • There’s nothing about this outfit that I don’t love and wouldn’t do in a heartbeat. *sigh – wishing for more disposable income*

  • Love her. Classy & timeless … as always! 

  • siriuslover

    I love her (I say this with every Cathy Cambridge post). I really do. And I looooove that coat. How gorgeous is that?

  • mjude

    just love

  • MilaXX

    Cute look. My sister has a pair of boots similar to those.I’m sure they cost considerably less.

  • serenitynow02

    This young woman is really a class act. It is unbelievably refreshing.

    I don’t think anyone else could have made me like booties.

    •  Refreshing, yes! She carries herself with so much natural grace. And yes on the booties, too- I feel the same way about them. 🙂

  • my only comment i ever have for her is oh how i love cathy boo, and it comes with a big smile!

  • PeggyOC

    She’s fabulous.  The woman next to her in the picture wearing the hot pink coat with the navy/red spotted dress needs to be stopped.  Don’t the Brits have some kind of Secret Service?  How about a fashion Secret Service?

     “Sorry, ma’am, we’re going to have to ask you to move out of the picture.  It’s a matter of National Fabulosity.”

    • I’m guessing that’s her lady-in-waiting, or maybe someone who works at the Primary School, but yeah,she clashes!  I love Kate and you just know that her looks fly off the racks now!

    • Corsetmaker

      The dress looks like navy with pink spots to me, which makes sense with the jacket.  I’m guessing she’s the headmistress.

  • The little boy with glasses staring up at her in adoration, or the little boy with the “Look at that ASS” face in the last pic?

  • Sara__B

    I adore her style, her hair, her sunny attitude, but I don’t like her eye makeup. I’ll bet she’d be even more stunning if she softened (or eliminated) those heavy rings of liner around her eyes.

  • Judy_J

    Just like Mary Poppins, she’s practically perfect in every way.

  • Cracking up at the little Asian kid. So precious. Ps I like the outfit Cathy

  • Anathema_Device

    So fabulous. Love the way she dresses.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Super cute, even the booties! Love you Cathy!

  • SapphoPoet

    I don’t care for this. Too much brown. If she was not young, tall, and slender, it would look pretty frumpy, I’m thinking. I do like the booties, though, and her smile. 🙂

  • grouchywif

    I wonder what you put in a gift bag for a duchess…..

  • grouchywif

    I wonder what you put in a gift bag for a duchess…..

  • Irish designer!

  • DaringMiss

    She has a great skill at picking items that will photograph well.   That isn’t the most common skill but priceless in her new life.

  • formerlyAnon

    Ohh, that coat dress. The color combo doesn’t thrill me here, but it doesn’t have to. She’s just made of fashion awesome as she toils in the Family business.

  • ri_dic

    I don’t know what’s better- her fashion sense, or her, “I love my life” attitude. I heart her. And her hubby.

  • rainwood1

    Fab in all ways.

  • butter nut

    LOL! that little boy is ready to rip that gorgeous coat off her back!  (i know, cause that was my exact face as a scrolled down the page.)

  • veronkimo

    J’adore! She looks so wonderful! 

  • I don’t know if I want the coat or the booties more. She is just fantastic – so chic!

  • Qitkat

    I’m not that fond of brown coats, but Kate here is so pert and adorable in this one, I’ll overlook my initial reaction. But I sure as hell would kill for those boots.

    oops, I see it’s a dress. Still feel the same 🙂

  • Violina23

    I can’t think of anything she’s worn that I’ve disliked.  I love her sense of style, as conservative as it is.  

  • OneTwoThreeFashion

    LOVE this outfit!!!!!

  • Absolutley perfect.  She always looks so put together.  That kid will tell his grandchildren about this someday! 

    And I am irrationally excited about Kate and Will getting a balck cocker spaniel puppy!  I’ve had two blacks and two buffs and they are the best dogs…

  • pdquick

    There’s a possibility that what that kid is in love with is, is this dress.

  • RzYoung

    I love Orla, this looks gorg…and it seems like she’s scaled back on the make-up a tad

  • bluefish

    A great look.  Love the half-boots.

  • nancylee61

    Since I love outerwear, I really appreciate how she dresses. And look – hose!!!! 

  • sagecreek

    She looks great. If I were that size, I’d wear that, too.