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Fashion and finery to the fore

Carole Middleto and Queen Elizabeth listen to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after the wedding ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

Carole Middleto and Queen Elizabeth listen to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after the wedding ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

Published Apr 30, 2011


Victoria Beckham impressed, socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson polarised and Princess Eugenie and Beatrice of York baffled with their fashion choices at the Royal Wedding on Friday.

Hats, dresses, gloves and formal attire were the order of the day but some guests stood out for their inspired or underwhelming outfits.

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Fashion designer Victoria Beckham wore one of her own navy blue designs with Louboutin heels and a Philip Treacy hat. “She is not only pregnant but she looked like the best dressed there,” said Kluk CGDT’s Malcolm Kluk.

Palmer-Tomkinson’s bright blue outfit was the topic of much Twitter debate, with some loving her ensemble and others hating it. One user said she looked liked “an underwater queen smurf”, while another conceded that “she does rock this giant blue female genitalia of a hat”.

Designer David Tlale said she pulled the look off. “She killed everybody. She stole the show,” he said.

Kluk said she was “spot on” in the trendy shade of blue, although he wouldn't have done it from head to toe.

Princess Eugenie and Beatrice of York, who wore a bright blue, floral printed dress and a nude A-line dress respectively, left Kluk confused. Gavin Rajah said: “I’m not sure what happened to princess Beatrice and Eugenie.

“Even though they were wearing Vivien Westwood, they looked like they belonged in the Mad Hatter’s tea party.”

Rajah loved the Duchess of Cornwall’s look and thought it was “appropriate” and also approved of Carole Middleton’s “elegance”.

“She wore Catherine Walker who was one of Princess Diana’s favourite designers, so that was a nice notch to Princess Di,” he said.

The Queen wore a yellow Angella Kelly dress with a matching coat and hat. Kluk said she looked happy and her hat looked, “like the first layer of a wedding cake”.

Spain’s Princess Letizia was Kluk’s style favourite in a pale pink classic dress but he didn’t like Pippa Middleton’s dress which he felt wasn’t very flattering from behind as she climbed the stairs of Westminster Abbey.

Other Twitter favourites were the outfits worn by Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden who had donned a coral wrap number and peeptoe heels, as well as Prince Albert of Monaco’s South African fiancé Charlene Wittstock who wore a simple pale blue number and nude heels.

Designer Gert-Johan Coetzee commended guests’ attempts to mix in modern elements with their traditional attire.

But in the end he felt the dresses were somewhat upstaged, saying, “it wasn’t really about the fashion, but the hats”.

It was indeed about the hats as excitement filled the garden of the British High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. Guests in colourful hats and day frocks were served scones and cucumber sandwiches, together with glasses of bubbly as they eagerly awaited the big moment – to see the bride’s dress.

British High Commissioner Dr Nicola Brewer said the wedding reflected aspects and values from modern Britain and that the guests themselves represented many sections of modern British society. They included charity workers serving former military personnel, religious leaders, musicians, sportsmen and women, as well as members of the Middletons’ local community.

Kirsty Noble, of the High Commission, said: “Catherine’s dress was beautiful; the designer did a stunning job.”

“This is one occasion you cannot afford to miss”, said Juricious Mapela.

Gareth Cliff, 5FM presenter, said the wedding was an event that the world could feel good about.

Mike Jackson, of the High Commission, said: “It is a big day for the UK and it is great that we can share in their joy here in South Africa.”

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