Kate's scarlet fashion choice raises eyebrows in more ways than one

Kate horizontal

Queen Elizabeth, Camilla and Kate stand aboard the royal barge 'Spirit of Chartwell' during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames on Sunday. (AFP/GettyImages)

We can only imagine how many strategy sessions are held when the women of the Royal Family are due to attend the same event.

Kate streetThe subject isn't likely who sits where or says what. It's much more likely to be about Who Wears What.

Queen gets the final say, of course.

The clothes chatter hit overdrive in the wake of the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on Sunday. This was, after all, the Queen's day to shine as her subjects, in boats and on the shore, paid tribute to her 60 years on the throne.

What would she wear? Equally debated, what would her granddaughter-in-law, Kate, wear? She is, after all, the one who has been setting the fashion standard. Oh, the tension!

When Kate emerged to board the royal barge, there were some gasps. Next to uniformed Princes William and Harry, Kate was a stark contrast in stunning scarlet. It was a Alexander McQueen outfit with pleated skirt, topped by a felt floral hat from Sylvia Fletcher of Lock and Co.  If it looked slightly familiar, it's only because Kim Kardashian wore the same $2,000 outfit (different dimensions, of course) last year. 

The Queen, on the other hand, was clothed in ivory boucle, her Angela Kelly coat bejewelled with Swarovski crystals. She definitely held her own, though it didn't stop some observers from slapping the Duchess's hand for trying to upstage the Queen.

Wrote the Daily Mail:

"Oh Kate, what were you thinking? While the rest of the royal party sensibly opted for a muted palette, determined not to outshine the woman at the centre of it all, the Duchess of Cambridge opted for a scarlet dress so bold and bright it just screamed: 'Look at me!'

Another pundit suggested that the next time we see Kate with the Queen, she'll probably be wearing beige ("It's not nice to outshine Queen Elizabeth.")

Then again, it's hard to argue with Kate's fashion choices. Red has become her signature colour, she wears it well and, heck, she even matched the boat colour.

If the Queen seemed ticked at her colour choice, she wasn't showing it. She didn't have to.

There was no upstaging the Queen on this day.

Kate and will

PippaAbove: The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Prince Harry prepare to board the royal barge to join the Queen for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. (AP)

Right: Pippa Middleton and her brother James pose for pictures as they take part in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. (AFP/Getty Images)



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It has occurred to me, along with a few hundred thousand other Royal watchers, that Prince Edward has been conspicuous by his absence during the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. The Queen's other three children accompanied by their Ladies and ex-wives were all present on the Royal Barge yesterday, but not a whiff of Edward. It appears to some that The Prince keeps a low profile in general as we see very little of him in the media. Why is this?


I didn't think The Duchess of Cambridge upstaged Her Majesty in any way during the flotilla. Had The Queen sat on her red "throne" for the ride down the Thames, her ivory outfit would have been very pronounced while Catherine's choice of colour would have blended into the benches they were meant to sit on. Both ladies looked lovely. Camilla was boring in beige.

When I was a kid, my British grand mother refused to wear a red hat to a wedding because of the well known phrase "Red hat no knickers." I thought that's where you were going with the critique of Kate.

Give me a break - I doubt that Kate was trying to upstage the Queen. As the writer said, the Queen gets last approval on what anyone wears to the event. It was the Queen's choice to wear all white and everyone looked great. If anyone should be questioned, it's Camilla and her decision to wear a colour and outfit almost identical to what the Queen was wearing.

That's ridiculous. I'm sure Kate has to vet any outfit that she will wear during an outing with the royal family. Sounds like complete jealousy on the part of the Daily Mail writer.

Would Kate have been better to have worn a sideways-sliding cake on her head like her stepmom Camilla did?.....if anything, people should be miffed at Camilla for wearing something so close to what the Queen was wearing.....

Kate didn't upstage The Queen. She is young and vibrant and dressed approriately for the occasion. I am sure colours were coordinated before the event. Everyone looked lovely. As much as I hate to say it, even the DOC, Camilla.

Sorry I disagree. I think that Camilla had brass balls to dress so closely to Her Majesty that you always had to look twice during the live shots. I think the Duchess of Cambridge got it exactly right: not blue as all the men were wearing, not white like Her Maj, but a patriotic colour. You surely noticed that the barge was mostly decorated in red? And that the crew also wore red? So a red dress is closest to the background, eh?

The Queen stood out in her white outfit against the predominantly red decor of the barge. Kate matched the background of the boat & from a distance would have been harder to spot. I thought it was interesting that Camilla's outfit was so similar to the Queen's. I also thought it was odd that no one thought to have weather proof clothing stashed on board in the event of the weather turning soggy.

You got it right at the start. The Queen had the final say, not only on her outfit, but on Kate's also. I wouldn't be surprised if Kate was told to wear that outfit and that she did not have a lot of input in the final decision

I found that the colour choice for Duches of Cambridge was appropriate because you had the red, white and blue (William's uniform).

I thought Camilla's dress was a worse choice. From a distance she became indistinguishable from the queen. Indeed the fellow CBC tv's Suhanna interviewed from the Canada canoe said he had seen the queen, and then described Camilla's dress. Kate made a better choice.

This article was panned when it appeared in the Daily Mail, it is no less catty and stupid in The Sun.

The Queen had the final say for sure and it was Camila that was upstaged by design. Look at all three faces.

Clive, Prince Edward has been in hospital with a bladder infection

kate can wear what she wants. we are in 2012 not 1012. get over it . great celebration for our Queen. many more mommy of Canada. God bless the Queen

Didn't like the Queens choice of white, maybe Camilla should have been wearing blue - but Kate certainly stood out in red! When she wore beige later on she still stood out - she's young and beautiful let's face it.

Where was Princess Margaret the Queens sister? And Princess Ann her daughter I only saw briefly......

P.S. Clive - It was Prince Phillip in the hospital with a bladder infection. Get your facts straight.

@ Melissa Prince Philip was in the hospital with a bladder infection not Prince Edward.

@ Clive Prince Edward was on the same vessel as his wife, Prince Andrew and his daughters. He was also at the Epsom Derby on Saturday as well as the concert Monday night. The Queen very specifically wanted the attention for the weekend focused on herself and those who will succeed her.

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