Happy sixth, Will and Kate
This weekend marks the six-month anniversary of William and Kate's nuptials. (Who said it wouldn't last?)
From the triumph of their April 29 wedding, through a summer of fashion madness, a royal tour and intense scrutiny, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have managed to survive the onslaught quite well. There's even been time for a little 'real life' living at their home in the relative solitude of Wales.
Looking back over the royal clippings, here's our list, chronologically, of some pivotal moments in the Will and Kate parade.
1. May 24: The 'Kate Effect' is born
After returning from their Seychelles honeymoon, Kate and Will’s first public outing is a 20-minute photo-op with Barack Obama and wife Michelle at Buckingham Palace. For the occasion, Kate wears a $275 ‘Shola’ dress from UK fashion retailer Reiss. Within minutes, traffic to Reiss’s online store spiked, then eventually crashed with the surge of Kate wannabes. Within days, Shola dresses were showing up on eBay at double the retail price. It's safe to say no one has done more for High Street fashion in 2011 than the Duchess of Cambridge.
2. June 9: The next generation of Royal Glamour
Will and Kate attend a black-tie gala for the charity Absolute Return for Kids (ARK). After sticking to High Street shops like ordinary folk, Kate goes all out for this event. The couple arrives in a Jaguar limousine and Kate steps out in a $5,600 Jenny Peckham gown. The dress sells out within days. Besides that, though, the couple makes a pretty strong statement about their royal role as charity ambassadors.
3. June 30: Will and Kate conquer Canada, eh?
The royal couple lands in Ottawa to begin a 10-day visit that is the most anticipated royal tour since Charles first introduced Diana to the colonies. Ever conscious of setting the right style note, Kate starts the tour with a dress by Montreal-born designer Erdem Moralioglu. By most measures, the tour is a success and a pivotal step in the royal education of a duchess in the making.
4. July 7: Diamond meets her princess
Six-year-old Diamond Marshall watched the royal wedding from a hospital bed while undergoing treatment for a rare cancer. Her mother had died four years ago, also of cancer. Inspired, she wrote a letter to Kate. "Dear Princess Kate. My name is Diamond Ann. I am six. I was named after Princess Diana. My Mommy Memory is in heaven with her. ... I like playing Princess dress up. My favourite princess is Aurora. Who is yours. I would really like to meet you. Do you wait [sic] to meet me too?" The Children's Wish Foundation made it happen, and so it came that Diamond would see her princess on the tarmac at the Calgary airport. Not waiting for an official okay, Diamond rushed to Kate and hugged her. On a well-scripted tour, this unscripted moment is a lasting one.
5. July 22: 'Horrible' exhibit goes viral
The royal wedding dress exhibit is unveiled at Buckingham Palace. The Queen was not amused, calling the headless display of the dress itself as “horrible.” The public disagreed. More than 600,000 passed through the turnstiles over 73 days to view the exhibition, up 50 per cent over the 2010 summer tour numbers. Estimates put the admission receipts at close to $16 million, which goes to keeping up the Royal Collection.
6. Oct. 26: Kate goes solo
For all of her six months as member of the Royal Famiy, Kate was always at the side of Prince William for official engagements. That has been very deliberate, William being very conscious about treading lightly when it came to exposing his wife to the rigours of the regal job as a solo act. There will be plenty of that ahead. But, stuff happens, right? When father-in-law Prince Charles had to bow out of a charity event at Clarence House unexpectedly, the call went for Kate to fill in. Donning an Amanda Wakely gown, she charmed the crowd all on her own and passed a critical test of royal life. As a bonus, the world discovered via some close-up pictures that Kate has a scar from a childhood operation on her left temple. So, she's not perfect, after all. Good to know.