Cathy Cambridge Goes Gardening

Posted on May 30, 2012

Cathy Cambridge and mum-in-law Cammie went to a garden party together. It’s not like the ones you go to.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends garden party at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II in an Emilia Wickstead coat dress paired with a Jane Corbett hat. Clutch and pumps by L.K. Bennett.

L.K. Bennett ‘Natalie’ Clutch

L.K. Bennett Sledge Court Shoe

Cathy, your first order of business as the People’s Duchess (or whatever insipid term they come up with to describe you) is to start a Keep Britain Beautiful program by having your mother-in-law shipped off to a stylist. Seriously, girl. Someone needs to teach her how to dress and since you seem to have time on your hands and like to wear clothes, we think it should be you.

As for your outfit, it’s perfectly princessy. On anyone else, we’d call this twee as fuck, but it totally works on you. We do so love saying “fuck” to royalty. Downright life-affirming.

Anyway, this getup is cute, but if we must quibble (and we must), then we don’t like the shoulderpads and find the way the waist dips down in the front to be very distracting. We will pretend to like the silly putty pumps, just for you, dear.


[Photo Credit: Anthony Devlin – WPA Pool/Getty Images,]

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  • Can someone help style Camilla? I’m not certain what style of dress would look good on her body type. 

    • Sobaika

      I think a wrap dress might suit her just fine, but it’s too casual for royals.

      • I agree, the dropped waist is NOT her friend and (as dull as silly putty shoes are) Camilla’s shoes are exactly the colour of her skin and it’s freaking me OUT.

        • Aside from the fact that Camilla’s dress is two generations too young for her, these dresses are too springy for those sensible putty shoes.

        • Not her skin, they are the same color as her PANTYHOSE. Yikes.

      • TheOriginalLulu

        I don’t know about the wrap dress. They say it’s universally flattering, but if you’re big-busted and short-waisted, the horizontal line created by the ties only emphasizes a short waist. Speaking from experience here. A faux wrap is better. She’s thick-waisted as well, so I would say a little shirring along the sides might help her out. And a good, supportive bra is step 1. Nothing is going to work without a good bra.

        • Susan Stella Floyd

          Also, the late Queen Mother wore almost exclusively wrap dresses, no?

        • Susan Stella Floyd

          Also, the late Queen Mother wore almost exclusively wrap dresses, no?

        •  Camilla needs to reduce, or at least wear a foundation garment. Overall the dress isn’t completely awful- white is good on her, the sleeves shoulders and neckline work well and it’s a good length- but around the middle it looses everything.  The hat and hair are good.

          • Lisa

            The hat and the hair are fine.  She needs some good supportive undergarments, and a dress that isn’t so volume-y on her, because she’s not fat or anything.  She could wear something lovely that comes in at the waist more  I don’t think she looks *that* bad.

          •  All things considered Camilla looks better than usual- maybe because she actually seems to be enjoying the occasion.

      • Aurumgirl

        Then maybe not a literal wrap, but a dress that has a kind of draped sarong shape, or a dress with gathering in the area of the waist so that it creates a more shapely waist where none exists.  That and a good bra, and Camilla would look fantastic.

    • Little_Olive

      I wanna go there and yank her girls (ladies, really) up with a crane. 

      • MoHub

         A decent bra would make all the difference in the world for Camilla.

        • sarahjane1912

          She needs a quiet word with her mother-in-law who frequents — as I do — the house of Rigby & Peller for all her undergarment requirements. Seriously, it is NOT rocket science [though perhaps, some element of physics comes into play] and the brassieres R&P peddle to the rich/grateful absolutely Do The Work. Poor love. 

    • schadenfreudelicious

      a much more supportive brassiere would be a fine place to start..:)

    • MissAnnieRN

      I am certainly no stylist, but based on this outfit alone, she should be forbidden from wearing anything that is drop waisted (I think one of the hardest shapes to wear unless you are eleventy feet tall and rail thin) and this fabric is also out. Is it so hard to understand that dresses should be fitted at te smallest part of one’s torso? Her foundational garments are shit too. Camilla, go for a professional bra fitting, please!!!!

  • Sobaika

    I don’t like that’s beige-y pink from top to bottom, but seeing her stand next to Camilla keeps it all in perspective. That lady is a bit of a mess.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      I think Camilla would be much more comfortable at her and Chuck’s country estate where she’d be in something tweedy with wellies. 

  • Pupioso

    Love this on her and it does look royal. Even the pink is fine.

  • fungstyle

    maybe it’s just how thin she is, but her hands and feet always look enormous to me. and those lk bennet pumps have got to go. 

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Not my favorite outfit – but she is gorgeous, as always. 

  • Also, not crazy about how the concealed snaps to close the front are puckering and pulling.  

    • ballerinawithagun

      Yes, the snaps can’t seem to make up their mind if they are concealed or want some decorative stitching. Really bad for what is probably an expensive dress.

      •  Its an indicator that the fit is not what it should be.  Its a tiny bit tight in the bust for her.  And I mean less than an inch too small. Otherwise it would close smoothly and the dress would look sleekly fitted.

    • Yes, that is bothering me also.  For what that dress cost we shouldn’t see the stitching holding the concealed snaps/buttons whatever from the front.  

      •  Two possible reasons for it. One, its too small, so the snaps are being tugged. And two, the thread used for the snaps, when being sewn was taken too close to the face of the fabric, causing the divets in the front of the bodice.

        • Little_Olive

          Hm. I think it is more a problem of the fabric being to lightweight for that type of closure, which inevitably produces some pulling -in fact, if it doesn’t pull it’s not working. The panel going to the side should’ve had a sort of lapel of the same fabric but without that bulky finish (like a single layer of fabric maybe?) hiding buttons or even a zipper with false buttons for finishing IMO. 

          •  You may be right!  Well, it is clearly a knit of some sort, and perhaps has too much give to it for this to really work right, without some underlayers to take up the heavy lifting.

        • Beardslee

          I love it when those of you who understand construction make comments like this.  Interesting and educational.  Thanks.

    • kimmeister

      Yes, I was so distracted by the puckering that I didn’t even notice the dip in the waist.

    • I made a hot pink coat dress very similar to Cathy’s in the late ’60s.  My sewing skills were decent but not really up to the challenge of tackling the double breasted closure.  My dress top looked a little lumpy on the snap side, and I made myself crazy trying to successfully disguise those bumpy little suckers so that they didn’t show through on the front.  I was very frustrated and disappointed when my finished dress didn’t really lay all that differently from the Duchess’s.  But I was a high school seamstress with a few years of experience, and the D. of C. had the services of a professional designer.  And a way bigger budget than I had back then.

      The hat.  Well, it’s fussy and too small and not terribly flattering.

      But the shoes — could we just burn all nude pumps, please?

      •  I give all Brit Royals of the female gender a pass with regard to the hat thing, since its such a cultural requirement.  Frankly, Kathy would look so much better in trim, simple hats.  And though Cammie has the right of it that big brimmed hats are good for her, she needs to loose the 1980’s lion’s mane hairdo.
        And nude shoes, I just cant anymore.  Burn them all!

  • DaringMiss

    I wish she would stop wearing so much black eyeliner.  I know that she thinks it is necessary to make her eyes pop, but something a little more subtle might serve her better as she gets older.

    And the front fastenings on the coat are distracting.  The fabric is just a bit too bulky to make this work.  A hidden side zipper would be more elegant on this dress

  • siriuslover

    Thank you for the mum-in-law comment! I saw that pic of Camilla, and I was like, girl get some good undergarments! A good foundation would help her improve her look even with her poor clothing choices.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    Quick, somebody get Camilla a decent bra for heaven’s sake! Those things are about to hit the ground!

    • Thank goodness her hips were there to stop the fall.

      • TheOriginalLulu


      • TheOriginalLulu


  • quiltrx

    Cute, Cathy!  And poor Cammie…she always seems to manage to find clothes that make her look MORE dumpy.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      As others have remarked, a good brassiere fitting would be a start for Camilla.  I know some women of a certain age consider the dropped waist to be their friend, but it isn’t doing Camilla any favors.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    it’s definitely not my favorite look on her (never cared for that much petal pink on anyone past primary school age), but she has such a genuine and engaging smile, and looks to be having a great time that i shall forgive her this rare sartorial faux pas…..

  • LaFortunaStudio

    The buttons on her bodice are too small for the knit weight of the dress’.  Looks puckered.  Slightly larger so that from a distance the crowd can tell they are buttons and not safety pins.  Beautiful color. 

  • MilaXX

    I don’t really like this dress on her. It doesn’t seem to fit  quite right.

    Camilla on the other hand doesn’t look half as bad as she typically does. Sure the girls need a bit of support and the beige hat looks a bit off next to a white dress, but that dress shape may be as good as it gets for her. I also think Camilla has entered the I don’t give a damn stage of dressing and considering some of the things she usually wears I give her a pass.

  • Dull as dishwater. Looking forward to the next time she mixes it up a little. 

    • judith traherne

      Agree. I see a remarkable similarity between their two looks. Safe as houses and boring as fuck. Obv Camilla needs a bit more help but this is no landslide for Kate.

  • Camilla does need an intervention, in more ways than one but the Duchess does look pretty, as she always does I guess. Wish she would get a little more adventurous with her style, even just a smidge.

  • Judy_J

    Awwww…Cathy’s pretty in pink!  Camilla is in desperate need of fashion help. 

  • jessieroset

    “Twee as fuck”. I could say that all day.

  • Little_Olive

    Hmmm… the top is too stiff. I don’t like the closure and I really hate the neckline on her. It needed to be either closer to her neck or lower on the chest. 
    I dunno. Too literal for her, who had somehow managed to escape this european royalty uniform (especially re. the top). 

  • fallen_ikon

    I don’t know if it’s just the pictures or my monitor screwing with the color, but I actually think that shade of pink is not very flattering on her. I like the style of the dress, but the color is just a bit “meh” to me.

  • Lina_bee

    Not Cathy’s best look, no, but she still has that infectious smile and that glow of “I have the BEST JOB EVER, SRSLY.” Her MIL definitely needs a stylist, or else a NEW stylist who doesn’t hate her.

  • 3boysful

    I suspect Camilla is just beyond caring–and really, could she ever outshine her DIL??–and going for comfort.  Nevertheless, a better bra is definitely called for here.  The dress itself would probably be cute on someone taller and thinner.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Considering that Diana was considered a style icon, and Cathy Cambridge is on her way to iconhood, I agree that Camilla has moved beyond caring; that said, a bit more polish would be a good thing.

      • TheOriginalLulu

        Yes, I agree about the polish. It’s not about outshining anyone; it’s about dressing her own body in a flattering way. Of course, one has to remember that “dressing up” is not Camilla’s bag. She’s a country girl and she’s clearly more comfortable in a pair of riding pants and boots.

  • Beardslee

    That shade of pink is great on her but now all I can see is that odd waistband. Camilla, structured clothing is your friend.
    Think how great navy blue pumps would have looked – still conservative but so much more interesting than those putty ones.

  • She wore this dress a couple of weeks ago and just restyled it. She’s not only classy but frugal. Gotta love it.

  • RzYoung

    That pink really suits her. The hat is fussy but also works. Love the earrings. 

  • Corsetmaker

    Oh Camilla, I know it’s been pretty hot this last week or so and I know you don’t really give a damn about clothes. But if it’s too hot for some shapewear then wear a darker colour. I can see more of your lumps and bumps than I ever wanted to.

  • BazoDee

    Ohh -I don’t like this color on the princess. And yes the shoulder pads are dreadful. But I love the hat!! 

  • SapphoPoet

    Not my favorite outfit on Kate, but she still looks gorgeous. 

    Poor Camilla. She just never looks good, and standing next to Kate just makes everything worse. She really needs a stylist; I know she’s not a slim young thing, but she could look a whole lot better. The first thing she needs to do is get fitted for a proper bra. The girls need a whole lot more support than they are getting–I think that would do wonders for her. She should never, ever wear that style of dress again–it does her no favors. Also don’t help that its white, because white just enhances all the flaw. Camilla needs to find a designer who knows how to dress middle-aged women who need to look good but don’t want to fuss about their clothes. I think a sleeker hair style would help, too. 

  • I don’t love it-I think it’s the color. The clutch is adorable though.

    I just had to buy a pair of silly putty pumps for a wedding I’m in. It broke my soul a little.

  • Aurumgirl

    Camilla needs better undergarments and clothing that doesn’t harken back to the days of Laura Ashley.  That chest needs hoiking* and honestly, putty coloured pumps are ugly on everybody.  However, Camilla’s hats always out do Cathy’s.  She has that part down pat. 

    As for Cathy, I can’t get over the thought that the waist line on that dress looks poorly constructed–like the tailor just made mistakes on it.  The “curve” is crooked and truly looks wrong.  The colour’s pretty on her but she really does not need to wear clothes that are designed for someone three times her age, and this pink dress is one example.  And I hate to say it but that second photo of Cathy (where it looks like she’s saying, “I know, RAAIIGHT?”) makes me think her hat looks 1970’s-bridesmaid-topper cheap.

    *stole this word from one of the brilliant bitter kittens in a previous post.

    • Beardslee

      Another Camilla hat fan!  I thought maybe I was the only one.  I loved the hat she wore when she married Charles.

      • Aurumgirl

        Oh, me too. It bothered me when people thought it was weird. I also think I prefer Camilla to Diana, who, pretty as she was, was a bit of a twit.

        • yetanotherLaura

           Oh, Diana was more than a BIT of a twit.  That girl had a few screws loose. 

        • yetanotherLaura

           Oh, Diana was more than a BIT of a twit.  That girl had a few screws loose. 

  • Camilla’s #1 issue is that her bra doesn’t fit properly and her girls are heading south (and east… and west).

  • enid soto

    It looks like something Fraulein Maria Von Trapp would have worn in 2012. I hate it. She is SWIMMING in that heavy, drab thing.

  • YolandaHawkins

    Duchess Cathy, no one will begrudge your getting another pair of pumps and putting the LK Bennett pumps in shoebox in the back of your very fashionable closet.  Otherwise, she looks as lovely as ever.  Could there be weights in the pleats of Duchess Cathy’s dress that is causing the waist to drop like that?

  • Anathema_Device

    Not my favorite look of Cathy’s. This is completely devoid of personality, and that drooping at the waist really bugs me.
    The dress reminds me SO much of my first suit out of college (1986). It was this shade of pink, had shoulder pads, and was double-breasted, of course.

    Camilla looks like she just doesn’t give a shit.

  • LuisaNL

    I hate Kate’s dress. I hate the neckline and the waist and those sleeves! I do love the fact that she is always smiling. And that kinda makes up for the sad little getup.

  • VeryClaire

    So cute my teeth hurt. The lace & bow under the hat?  Maybe a little too twee even for a princess.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Someone needs to teach her how to dress
    Thank you!  I tried covering the hat with my hand to see if that improved matters; it did, but only slightly. That’s a nice dress, but it’s just not her. I’m not sure she’s made for dresses at all. 

    • 3boysful

       She’s dying to be in her riding tweeds.

  • GorgeousThings

    I’ll give Cammie props from the neckline up. Below there, poor woman’s a mess. I bought those pumps that Cathy is wearing, and I sent them right back to Nordstroms. Unless you have a skinny foot, they are incredibly uncomfortable!

    Love love LOVE the clutch.

  • Lilithcat

    Love Camilla’s hat!  

    I vote for Camilla from the neck up, and Cathy from the neck down.  But both are wearing atrocious shoes.

  • And still no baby bump.

  • KateMaryC

    OMG CAMILLA’S SHOES. They make every silly putty shoe in history look downright chic.

    • 3boysful

       But dontcha know Cammie is thinking to herself “all the girls are wearing nude shoes these days instead of black, so I’m going to be hip and Cathy will be so proud that I know which stylish shoes to wear!”

  • Prince Charles went from Diana to THAT?????

    • nancylee61

      You know, she is older, his contemporary, they have a lot in common, and I saw Diana from the first time she hit the public eye, she was a year or so older than I am, and she really was a very silly, self-involved woman. I wasn’t really a fan of her, at all, not much to admire in her character except that I think she was a really good mother.

      OK, I am ducking now.

      • Jessica Goldstein

         My interpretation of the whole mess is that if the rules then were what the rules now are, everyone would have gotten a much happier ending. Charles loved Camilla, Camilla wasn’t the right class, Charles went looking for the “right sort” to marry. In doing so he did a modest disservice to Camilla, a greater one to himself, and the greatest of all to a young titled woman too sheltered to know what she was getting into or giving up. There’s lots of room for finger-pointing in the whole sordid affair, but I see it as a tragedy.

  • Beth G

    Probably one of my least favorite of her looks, but she’s still just so dang cute that you gotta love it.  Camilla needs some time with Clinton & Stacey.

    • Snailstsichr

      That would be a hoot!

  • I want that hat.

  • chezdbirds

    And why is she carrying that cheap umbrella!

  • ccm800

    If all these royal girls stood on the lawn – they’d look like an eater egg hunt

  • Snailstsichr

    I love the little bit of lace peeking out of Cathy’s hat. To me an English garden party evokes a fantasy image as does the lace.

    Camilla does good hats. Wish she could find a stylist to handle the neck down. Bless her heart, I’d like to root for her.

  • Jennifer Hofstetter

    I really, really hate that shade of pink. Like, passionately.

  • VicksieDo

    You know, you rarely hear Cathy speak…wonder if she’s smart or dumb, nice or bitchy?  I do wonder, I do…..
    Oh the clothes…I love pink, even Pepto Bismol pink, so it’s an IN from me.  Poor Camilla, having to stand next to Cathy…haha. Karma is a bitch~~~

  • lordandtaylor

    Cathy…Oh she looks good. Please stand further away from Camilla…you might catch the anti-stylish virus.

  • Is it because they’re just very special people, or is there a reason the stilletos don’t sink into the grass?  Must be an anti-gravity device under the hats. . .

    • jabes

       I’m wondering if there’s some secret way to stand or something that the rest of us don’t know about!

  • Hillary Matlin


    • MikeW_PHX

       Muppet chicken!!! I’ve never heard the Duchess referred to as that before.  (But I really think the Muppet looks better)

  • nancylee61

    I think Camilla looks OK for Camilla, but I really don’t like Cathy’s dress on her!! I don’t like seeing the thread instead of buttons, and the fabric looks heavy, like it doesn’t sit right at all. Out for Cathy!!! A first for me!

  • SignLadyB

    Oh, that dimple in the second pic! Love the hat and I don’t even really like hats. I agree, Camilla looks okay for Camilla. This may not be Cathy’s best look but she really can’t go totally wrong evah!

  • up with pod people

    Boo, I think the lady in orange and yellow blew Kate out of the water in this one.

  • guest2visits

    First; I love it when Catherine wears soft, feminine shades. She can wear the stronger, bolder colors well; but she’s young and
    I think she should enjoy all the girlie and fun stuff too.  I would love this pink dress except as TLo noted, she doesn’t need shoulder
    pads and the front closure area is awkward. Maybe it was poorly taken in to fit her slight figure. It’s beautiful from the side view.
    I don’t mind the nude shoes, but it feels like she could have worn something with a little more charisma; maybe silver, pink, black?
    Second; I despise Camilla. She’s always been nothing more than a wretched spider.

  • Srw27

    Camilla is a dumpy, frumpy mess!  And those putty-colored, LK Bennett pumps are practically an appendage for Miss Kate because she wears them all. the. time.

    She does look cute though-perfectly princessy for a garden party at the Palace.

  • rainwood1

    Another winning look from the Duchess of Cambridge.  The other D of C doesn’t look quite so fetching, but I kind of admire her “I don’t give a fuck” attitude about clothing.  My guess is that if she started being a clothes horse, she’d get a lot of criticism, particularly from those who are still Diana fanatics.   

  • lifetime_student

    You would think that the wife of the Prince of Wales could afford some properly fitted foundation garments. 

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    The hat is divine but the dress makes her look so broad in the shoulder (and eliminates her bust) She looks like her torso is on backward, even if she is rocking that pink.

  • Fordzo

    Did she really need the clutch?  I always wonder this when I see women carrying them at functions such as this.  And what do you imagine she had in there?  Emergency cab fare?

    • Emily Guillory

       Doesn’t the queen always have a bag on her shoulder?  Maybe its a thing they do…?

  • STEP-mother in law, please.

  • Qitkat

    Have we ever seen Kate in pink before? She is stunning in that coatdress. We’ve seen her in a lot of coatdresses, haven’t we? And I have wanted to steal every one of them.

    Let’s give Cammie a break. Would you want to be compared to this fresh young lady, who always brings it sartorially? Me neither. Therefore, I declare that Camille looks lovely and well turned out. Very good hat, appropriate jewelry, a dress that certainly is not off the rack (although she could use a wee bit of help in the bra department), and a great big smile.

    And can I say how much I love the look of the woman greeting Kate? She is so thrilled.

  • Jessica Goldstein

    I’m not loving this on her, either. Maybe if it had cap sleeves or were sleeveless and worn with a jacket? It’s not like she looks bad, she never looks bad. (How is that possible, by the way?) This just isn’t showcasing her to best effect. 

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    i like it that she has worn this dress a few times before.  good for her – given that the “people” are likely paying for the dress, she should get a lot of good use out of it.  also, she looks so pretty in that shade of pink.  wow.

  • dramamajor

    This is probably my least favourite Cathy Cambridge look ever.

  • dramamajor

    This is probably my least favourite Cathy Cambridge look ever.

  • Did anyone watch the Katie Couric Jubilee special last night? I wonder if this is one of the 8000 people garden parties?

    •  It is! I read somewhere that there were over 8000 people in attendance and that it was Cathy’s first one. Glad to know I’m not the only one who watched that special too!

  • Props to Camilla for appearing in public alongside Cathy C.-she’s got to know she’ll be unfavorably compared to the princess.  (Love Cam’s hat, btw.)  If the royal family employed stylists, Wills wouldn’t keep going out in those horrible double-breasted jackets.  I think they need royal gays.

  • JaneDC

    Let’s leave Camilla alone. She’s not a kid, she got the man she loved and by all accounts is a very warm and down to earth person. As a member of her birth cohort, I say be comfortable and happy, which she clearly is. Leave the fashion to the young.

  • MasterandServant

    Seriously, can she trade up for something with a tad more color? Those putty pumps are killing me

  • sarct

    How is she standing on that grass without her heels sinking in? I MUST LEARN HER SECRETS.

  • Ksagun13

    Love her, hate the shoes.  And her MIL needs some serious foundation garments, STAT!!  

    That is all.

  • Sophie Collier

    This is the first time I’ve seen her looking kind of frumpy.  I think it’s the very square lines of the neckline, bodice and sleeves. Boxy never looked good on anyone.

  • sarahjane1912

    Cathy C hearts the nude pump. Always has. And I personally forgive the shoulder pads because you HAVE no shoulders, just elegant bony protuberances. Pink though … pink. Hmm. Princessy indeed, but not quite your signature colour, my sweet. You do work forest colours very well though, even while I do quite see that pink was appropriate for the occasion.

    But ohhh Cammy, Cammy, Cammy. I know you’re broad in the beam, dear, but drop-waisted ensembles only suit flapper-style beanpoles. With no tits. Please, someone — anyone — rid our Queen Consort of this hideous old trend. Hat works though.

  • Send Camilla to Rigby and Peller. It’s where her mum-in-law buys her foundation garments. Cathy is too long-waisted for this dress.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Camilla needs a better bra…there I said it! Cathy looks adorable…but I think it’s a little juvenile. Cute hat though.

  • Hate the weird skullcap part of Kathy’s hat.  Also, like Cammie’s hat better than most.

  • mayavaly

    I’m sorry, but I’m pretty much in hysterics over the crowd. Come on. The tranny in blue is priceless. Pretty sure that’s why the two of them are having a good old laugh. 

  • texashistorian

    At least Camilla is dressing her part… she looks like a tampon (rim shot).

  • jcolli69

    Garden party calls for wedges. Heels on grass?!?!?

  • i don’t like either outfit.
    i suppose i’m not cut out to be royalty.