The Duchess Wears Sandro Paris for Hampton Court garden Festival & Pakistan excursion

The Duchess wore a dress by Sandro Paris for today’s engagement at the Hampton Court Palace garden Festival.

The previously unannounced appearance was to preview an updated version of her Back to Nature Garden. A quick video from Emily Nash of hey there shows Kate as she arrived.

The Back to Nature garden initially debuted at the Royal Chelsea flower show in May (shown below). 

This new version opens to the public tomorrow at the Hampton Court Palace garden Festival. 

More from The Sun:

It has been transformed for its new venue close to Henry VIII’s former home.

The garden has some of the features of the original design but is now double the size, and includes new elements to encourage visitors to play and interact with nature. It includes a hill, a bee-friendly meadow with tall grasses and flowers children can hide in, and a pond where youngsters can paddle.

And from The Telegraph’s coverage:

Kate told Jake Catling, director of the Landscaping Consultants – a bespoke garden construction service which built the garden: “I loved it. So lots of of them loved hopping over the stone and that’s so great to see.”

The Duchess visited the site near Kingston in south-west London last Tuesday to help with the planting, and Mr Catling said she had been a beneficial member of the team.

He said: “She was very hands on, it was fantastic. She came and did lots of planting and directing everyone around and got involved in the mulching.”

The Duchess was joined by children from four of her patronages: Place2Be, the Anna Freud Centre, Evelina Children’s Hospital, and action for Children.

Action for Children shared a photo of Olivia, Henry, and Riley in the garden’s den.

More from Mr. Catling in this evening conventional piece:

He added that Kate had requested the path across the water feature for George: “We made the stepping stones because Prince George wanted them. The kids loved jumping across it and it was down to Kate we got that in.”

Riley and Henry testing the water feature. 

Students from Hampton hill junior school also joined today’s activities. 

The Duchess with some of the children in a video Richard Palmer of The express tweeted.

Another look at Kate and some of the students. 

In his story for People, Simon Perry notes the garden “forms part of Kate’s ongoing campaign to help encourage kids to take pleasure in the outdoors.”

The children went on a bug hunt with the Duchess. I think that *might* describe the looks on their faces below. 

This picture appears to have absolutely been taken during the bug hunt.

Below, Kate with Evelina London patients Millie and Miracle. The girls say they had lots of fun looking for insects and hiding in the den. 

The children also went on a treasure hunt and had a picnic lunch with Kate. 

Two a lot more shots of the Duchess and the young lady. 

This is a terrific project for the Duchess, she is clearly in her element. 

From the RHS(Royal Horticultural Society):

RHS Back to Nature garden finds a new home at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace garden Festival, as it continues to encourage families and communities to engage with nature and spend time in the terrific outdoors.

Like the Back to Nature garden at the Chelsea flower Show, this one was co-designed by the Duchess and Adam White and Andrée Davies of Davies White Landscape Architects.

Below you see Kate with Andreé Davies and Adam White today.

The Duchess with the architects and others who worked on the garden today.

Kate also took time for a chat today with 8-year-old Khareesha James. More from Emily Nash’s Hello! story:

Kate, 37, spotted that Khareesha James, eight, was feeling shy as they visited her RHS Back to Nature garden and took the schoolgirl into a fabric-covered den for a private chat and told her that she likes to hide in them when she is feeling shy.

Speaking afterwards Khareesha said: “I am shy and she said that’s where she goes when she’s shy – in the tent. Her mum Sophia Dowd told HELLO!: “Khareesha is very shy – she doesn’t talk too much to people – and she (Kate) took her over to speak to her. She was really great with her.” Asked if the moment had helped her to feel better, Khareesha nodded yes.

Khareeesha also gave Kate a plant as she was leaving today; Emily Nash of Hello shared a video.

The RHS also noted that the Hampton Court garden Festival has a “much a lot more laid back feeling than RHS Chelsea and two children up to age 16 can check out complimentary per paying adult, so we hope lots of families will come and join in the fun, be inspired and then go home and garden together.” Below, the Duchess and little Olivia. 

The pictures today brought back memories of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis enjoying the original garden when they had a special preview before the Chelsea flower Show. 

Emily Nash also shared a video of Kate with officials and others as she was leaving.

Now for our look at what Kate wore for today’s trip to Hampton Court Palace, starting with her dress by Sandro, a brand we’ve not previously seen the Duchess wear.

She was in the Printed Flowing Midi dress ($199 at Harrods).  It is made of 100% polyester fabric, with floaty batwing-sleeves, a hidden back zipper, and deep v-neck bodice with ruching and decorative buttons. The dress is mid-shin length and fully lined.  

Here is a closer look at the bodice ruching and self-covered buttons. below left, that detail as seen on Kate’s dress today, and on the right, an image from the Harrods product listing. 

Our thanks to The daily Mail’s Caroline Parr for the dress ID. We show the dress at Harrods where it is still available in very limited sizes; originally $284 it is $198.63. It is also offered on Sandro’s EU site.

The print itself was used in two other dresses, although they are 100% silk, as opposed to Kate’s polyester frock. The Silk Patchwork dress (originally $395, $189 with Happy4th) features contrast fabric on the sleeve and pleating on one side; the Short Printed Silk green Dress has contrasting piping at the bodice and neckline (originally $445, it is on sale for $178 with promo code HAPPY4th).

Reaction to the dress from Who, What, Wear:

Not only does the dress boast a affordable price tag, but Sandro is also a cult Paris-based brand that all the best-dressed French girls always wear. So to recap, it’s on sale, still available, and will give you a dose of French-girl flair. What’s not to love?

UPDATE JUL 2: lots of thanks to Anita B who sent an email with info on a third piece done in the geometric print, the Hena button Front Satin top ($315). 

If unfamiliar with Sandro, the Paris-based brand was founded in 1984 by Evelyne Chetrite. It is described as having “… an indisputable Parisian elegance… unambiguous clothes worn by an urban girl who hones a discreet look, only to be all the a lot more visible for it.” It is another brand I have long hoped Kate might wear. Below, three ensembles from Sandro’s autumn collection.

Nordstrom has carried Sandro for some time. The label has been worn by other royals and celebrities. If interested in exploring the brand now is not a bad time to shop; you can take an additional 20% off sale styles with the promo code Happy4th online and in store.

Sandro started opening its own stores in 2007, and there are quite a few in the US, including locations in Florida, Texas, California, new York, Pennsylvania, and new Jersey.

There are stores throughout Europe, as well as Canada, Australia, and lots of other countries. 

Sandro’s parent company also owns Maje, a brand we’ve seen Pippa Middleton wear with some frequency.

Kate wore the Castañer Carina style espadrille wedges ($170) we first saw at the Chelsea flower Show.

She also brought back the Polly Petal Earrings by Accessorize. 

A quick shopping sidebar: if you like dthe dress Kate wore for the Chelsea flower show preview with the Cambridge children, it is back in stock.

The Floral Ruffled Maxi Dress ($117) from H&M’s a lot more upscale brand “& other Stories” is back in stock in all sizes.  


Also today, a very brief note about the Pakistan excursion for those who may not have heard about the Kensington Palace announcement Saturday night. Below, the KP release. 

The Palace’s Instagram post included photos of HM visiting Pakistan in 1961 and 1997, as well as an image of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall when they were in Pakistan in 2006.


View this post on Instagram


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will undertake an official check out to Pakistan this autumn, at the request of the foreign and Commonwealth Office. Further details will be advised in due course. Her Majesty The Queen visited Pakistan in 1961 and 1997, and The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited in 2006. Swipe to see photos from the visits: 2. The Queen attends a State Banquet at the President’s House, Karachi, in 1961. 3. The Queen meets members of the Pakistan cricket team at the Rawalpindi cricket ground, in 1997. 4. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, in 2006. Photos courtesy of the Press association and @royalcollectiontrust #Pakistan #RoyalVisitPakistan

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Jun 29, 2019 at 2:30pm PDT

Hannah Furness did a piece in The Telegraph I think you might enjoy.While the excursion will see the couple undertake familiar engagements, likely to revolve around their crucial themes of child development, the environment and mental health, it will also involve a lot more challenging diplomacy.

It is intended as a “big moment” in UK-Pakistan relations, sources said, and is intended in part to honour Britain’s large Pakistani diaspora.

Two semi-private visits by Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1996 and 1997 saw her spend time with friends Imran and Jemima Khan, attending fundraising events for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial cancer healthcare facility and visiting sick children.

The full piece may be read here.


This Royal family channel piece runs about 3:20.

This Kensington Palace video offers a very quick drone’s eye view of the garden.


First, our links to the four charities:

The Place2Be website is here; follow the Facebook page here; the charity’s Twitter feed is here

The Evelina Children’s healthcare facility site is here;  its Facebook page is here; follow the Twitter feed here.

Learn a lot more about action for Children at the charity’s website here; check out its Facebook page here; follow the Twitter feed here

 Visit the Anna Freud Centre website here, view its Facebook page here, follow the group on Twitter here, or check out the Instagram page here

Olivia Tobin’s story for The evening conventional is here; The Sun’s story is here; The daily Mail’s coverage is here; The Telegraph’s piece is here; ITV’s story is here

Simon Perry’s people story is here; Emily Nash’s hey there piece is here; a PopSugar gallery is here; the Fug Girls post and slide show are here