Kate Middleton shines at The Sun Military Awards 2011

This morning the papers are awash with news of The Sun Military Awards. Our nation which had been dragged into a war that initially was not ours to fight are still reeling in the aftermath, so it is poignant that we reflect back and salute those brave heroes who protected the country they were sent to fight for peace in and others around them.

Kate Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge attends A Night of Heroes

The Duchess of Cambridge was on hand with her RAF fighter husband, Prince William, to hand out awards and speak personally to those who had been involved and deserved to be recognised at last night’s ceremony which was held at the Imperial War Museum in London. The awards which were originally set up by Prince Charles to mark the achievements of the Armed Forces and those who support them on operations at home and abroad was led by Kate’s brother in-law Prince Harry with his emotional speech (as another serving officer in the family) paying tribute to military colleagues and those in the forces. This was a mature and heartfelt note to which catapulted him in the eyes of the press; a far cry from his fancy dress days.

Kate shone in a stunning customised Alexander McQueen dress with sweetheart neckline and fishtail train costing approximately £3,995 just off the rail, however this piece is now sold-out nationwide. Teamed with a diamond and ruby necklace which was gifted to her on her wedding day earlier this year, and matching earrings and bracelet, Kate also adorned flat satin Prada pumps for comfort and her trademark dark eyeliner; looking every inch the Princess in her classic gown, but cleverly trying not to steal the limelight from this worthy cause.

The Duchess and Prince William presented the award for Most Outstanding Soldier to Sergent Ryan McCready, 26, of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment with the Prince commenting that, “You exemplify the unique qualities that make the British soldier second to none courage, steadfastness, sense of humour, professionalism and a deep sense of humanity. Congratulations.”

Royalty and celebrities such as Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden (who presented the awards) David Walliams, Myleene Klass and Jimmy Carr (who all presented individual awards to soldiers) alongside stars from Coronation Street, Helen Worth, Catherine Tyldesley, Sacha Parkinson and Brooke Vincent, TOWIE’s Amy Childs and Mark Wright, DJ Sara Cox, model Jerry Hall, TV’s Ross Kemp, Ben Fogle, singer Peter Andre and rugby’s Lawrence Dallaglio were all in attendance and fought back tears to honour these truly inspirational soldiers.

Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd was also on site to present an award with judge Alesha Dixon (who looked fabulous in a Philip Armstrong creation) to Para Scott Meenagh for Overcoming Adversity.

As reported in The Sun Meenagh, 22, lost both legs in January after he was blown up by a Taliban mine in Afghanistan — then watched on as his colleague and friend Private Martin Bell, 24, was killed as he tried to rescue him.

Ever since Meenagh has devoted his life to “living for two” in honour of his brave friend. He has not only learned to walk on his new legs, but has also taken up ice hockey, archery and sailing and won medals at the Endurance Games in America for waterskiing. He now intends to cycle 3,000 miles across the US.

When accepting the award Meenagh explained “There are a lot of young lads who are faced with the injuries I have and a lot of guys that have worse injuries. They all just get up and crack on with it. It’s just what we do — what we are trained to do.” With Judd adding: “It’s truly inspirational to meet you. I’m humbled.”

You can watch The Sun Military Awards/ A Night of Heroes on ITV Wednesday 21 December 2011 at 8.30pm. 


Dower & Hall jewellers launch charity Tusk pendant

Posh jewellers Dower & Hall have decided to launch a fabulous limited edition silver tusk pendant in aid of raising money for the Tusk Trust charity.

Dower & Hall Tusk pendant

Dower & Hall Tusk pendant

Supported by Prince William (he has been a Patron since 2005), this amazing charity was established in response to an urgent need to halt the decline in Africa’s natural heritage and fight against a poaching crisis on the African elephant and black rhino: and helping to combining the interests of people and wildlife alike.

For every Tusk pendant sold Dower & Hall will donate a generous 40% of the proceeds to this remarkable conservation charity, which will then in turn be used to help fund the vital work that Tusk undertakes across Africa.

The elegant pendant features a weighty solid silver tusk with a smooth polished finish, topped delicately with a hand-crafted crown motif and hangs beautifully from a long stylish chain. Fitting into the safari chic trend for spring/summer this timeless piece can be used as a staple in styling yourself for years to come. It is even noted that Dower & Hall has gifted one to Kate Middleton already, so if you see it on her then you read it here first!

The Tusk pendant costs £245 and is available to purchase in stores and online now.



Kate Middleton crashes REISS website

It seems the Duchess of Cambridge can do no wrong.

The Duchess of Cambridge in REISS, Prince William, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

The Duchess of Cambridge in REISS, Prince William, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

Fresh back from her honeymoon with Prince William, she was positively  glowing and bronzed on her first official engagement to meet the US President Barack Obama and his wife, the First Lady, Michelle. But no sooner had she stepped in the room the press call photographers swamped them with photographs which were then quickly uploaded to the web. Moments later it was announced that Kate was, in fact, wearing yet another REISS creation – this time the SHOLA dress.

Since that moment REISS have been fighting back their switchboards offering both UK and US contacts to try to help consumers get their hands on their perfect size. The website crashed almost instantaneously, following with at least 3 more crashes in under 24 hours. At one point the company were selling a dress a minute and have seen their fan base grow by 11%.

This isn’t the first time however that Kate has sent REISS into pandemonium. When her engagement pictures were shot last year, the famous fashion photographer Mario Testino, allegedly helped her pick out the cream origami effect shift dress which then meant -as it was a frugal buy years before – that REISS had to reinstate the dress into their – then current – autumn/winter collection due to popular demand.

It seems that now, no matter what the Duchess choses to wear, just like Princess Diana herself, she will forever be a style icon…

The Royal Wedding review

Prince William and Catherine Middleton - First...

It seems like a million years ago already, but as Prince William stepped out in his Irish Guards military uniform by Kashket & Partners we all squealed with excitement, for it was until this point that Britain had taken a back step with patriotism and was acting like we were completely not bothered that the wedding of the century was taking place.

We had watched mesmerised as royalty, MP’s and celebrities all arrived early at Westminster Abbey; which was transformed into an ethereal magical woodland wonderland with Maple Trees and more.

Then as the Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton arrived, men everywhere took notice; who was this beautiful bridesmaid who at that point was upstaging the bride? Dressed in a slinky silk and lace McQueen floor length gown by Sarah Burton, Pippa wowed the crowds with a simple floral display in her hair and stunning Robinson Pelham jewels.

In fact jewellers Robinson Pelham where the driving force behind all of the Middleton family that poignant day. Princess Catherine’s parents Carole and Michael had commissioned the company to produce a pair of hand-made bespoke earrings for Catherine as a wedding gift, showcasing her new coat of arms that included an acorn and oak leaves all set in stunning pave diamonds, and echoed her chosen tiara.

Robinson Pelham earrings worn by Catherine Middleton

Robinson Pelham earrings worn by Catherine Middleton

Mother of the bride, Carole Middleton wore a tourmaline and diamond pendant and matching earring whilst two gold stick pins, one with a single gold acorn at the head and the other with an oak leaf, were also adorned by the Father of the bride, Michael, and the bride’s brother, James.

As Miss Catherine Middleton stepped out from the Goring Hotel in London, into her waiting car, we all snatched a glimpse of her wedding gown: beautiful long-sleeved lace encapsulated over a heart-shaped bodice.

We were then stunned when she arrived at the Abbey and was helped out of the car: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen was the choice, and everything down to the slimline skirt with lace applique was perfect. This was a women who knows her own mind and had matched the church perfectly to her elegant gown.

Sarah Burton followed with a statement later that day:

“It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every moment of it.  It was such an incredible honour to be asked, and I am so proud of what we and the Alexander McQueen team have created. I am delighted that the dress represents the best of British craftsmanship.  Alexander McQueen’s designs are all about bringing contrasts together to create startling and beautiful clothes and I hope that by marrying traditional fabrics and lace work, with a modern structure and design we have created a beautiful dress for Catherine on her wedding day.

“The last few months have been very exciting and an incredible experience for my team and I as we have worked closely with Catherine to create this dress under conditions of the strictest secrecy.  Understandably, Catherine has been very keen to keep the details of her dress a secret, which is every bride’s prerogative, and we gave an undertaking to keep our role confidential until the day of the wedding.

“Catherine looked absolutely stunning today, and the team at Alexander McQueen are very proud of what we have created.   The dress was just one component of a spectacular day, and I do not think it is appropriate to comment any further beyond saying that I personally am very grateful and honoured to have been given the opportunity to work on this project, and I wish TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge every good wish for the future.”

Apart from the fabulous gown; which the Duchess of Cambridge later changed for the evening party, the highlights were lip-reading; as at one point when they left the Abbey Prince William turned to Kate and mouthed ‘Wow, this is mad’, speaking of the crowds who had turned out in their thousands to watch them. Princess Catherine also mouthed back, ‘Are you happy?’, in which the Prince replied blushing ‘Yes’.

Will & Kate’s departure in their vintage Aston Martin, waving to fans and looking immensely happy as they headed to Clarence House was also another highlight, putting on a show for the well-wishes.

But, how, oh how we would have loved to be a fly on the wall for Prince Harry’s speech and the evening reception…

Kate Middleton’s wedding hair choice

According to reports on Telegraph.co.uk yesterday, Princess in waiting, Catherine Middleton is ‘thought’ to be wearing her hair in a similar style to that of her appointment at the Darwen Aldridge Community Academy in Lancashire, where she attended a royal engagement with her fiance Prince William yesterday afternoon.

View Kate Middeton’s wedding hair style here

As her impending royal wedding draws closer for the April 29 date, it is reported that Kate will wear her hair in a half-up, half-down style with a centre-ish parting and slim curls at the end.

Kate has already chosen her wedding hair stylist, 33-year-old hairdresser James Price who works for the Richard Ward salon in Chelsea, and it is reported that Richard Ward himself will be attending to Kate’s sister and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton, and their mother, Carole Middleton. After this occasion it will be practically impossible to arrange an appointment with Price, who will then be able to charge higher rates as a result of the job (currently Price charges around £50).

Price, however, will be helped by a team of “dressers” on the morning of the wedding, with the preparation taking place at the Goring Hotel in Belgravia, close to Buckingham Palace.

Although Kate’s wedding dress designer is still under wraps it is highly speculated that designer Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen will be designing her wedding dress, with Alice Temperley providing the bridesmaids dresses. Bruce Oldfield has also been hotly tipped to be dressing Kate’s mother, Carole, also.

Sarah Burton of McQueen to design Kate Middleton’s wedding dress

Alexander McQueen's logo in London

Image via Wikipedia

Announced on ITN’s News at Ten yesterday evening it was stated that fashion designer Sarah Burton was to create Catherine Middleton’s wedding dress for her Royal Wedding this coming spring.

In little over a month (April 29th, 2011) Ms Middleton will walk down the aisle and marry Prince William, and not since the Diana – Prince Charles wedding has such controversy or delight been roused in the UK press.

Catherine and William have chosen to forego quite a few Royal traditions such as one wedding dress (supposedly) and changing Prince Harry’s position as a ‘Supporter’ to a more modern ‘Best Man’ role. So, as they to are moving with the times it seems fitting that Ms Middleton has chosen an ‘out-of-the-box’ designer such as McQueen; and with the late ‘Lee’ Alexander McQueen unfortunately no longer with us it seems again quite poignant that Sarah Burton his predecessor, friend, and confidant, be there on hand to design the dress as McQueen’s creative director.

However, amid the rumours, the house of McQueen are still fiercely denying having won this commission. But this would make sense as the details are being sworn to secrecy as the chosen couturier has already been working on the dress inside Buckingham Palace.

It would be a smart move for Burton, 36, to have designed the dress though. As a relatively unknown designer it would show that Ms Middleton is nurturing new talent, as did Diana, Princess of Wales, and would put British dress-making front stage and centre on the fashion map once more.

Let’s just watch this space for further news…