A Closer Look At The Heads Together Campaign & My Own #oktosay

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If you are a regular follower of mine, you will be aware that I am a big supporter of the Duchess of Cambridge. I love her fashion, regularly purchase some wonderful British products that she has been associated with, such as Emma Bridgewater and Jo Malone, that I would not have heard of without her association and I like to think that I support her causes and work. Of course, I have heard of the Heads Together campaign, when the surprise video came out announcing that it was this year’s partnership charity with the London marathon I watched it, I loved the informality of the video and rushed to the J Crew website to buy my own breton sweater as Kate had worn in it. I knew the campaign had something to do with mental health. For the next twelve months, I eagerly awaited each appearance associated with the campaign by the Royals. However, it was not until well after the marathon had actually commenced that I had a real understanding of what the campaign was actually about. For today’s post, I am going to be taking a much closer look at the campaign and share my own personal #itsoktosay

Whilst I have come a bit late to party on this important campaign, the hard work that William, Kate and Harry have done in promoting the cause for the last year will be wasted if we all move onto the next issue and stopped having the conversation!

The Heads Together Campaign is the biggest project that Kate has tackled so far. She has spent the last year, along with Princes William and Harry spearheading the campaign to end the stigma surrounding mental health. The campaign brought together key charities from the trios work in areas such as homelessness, veterans and addiction, such as place2be, the Anna Freud center and contact.

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The aim of the campaign was to change the national conversation on mental health and well being so we could all feel confident speaking up if we had any issues, without the fear of being stigmatised by admitting we had problems. Through a video made for the campaign and William and Kate’s recent radio interview with BBC1, we have had an unusually personal glimpse into the lives of Royals with Kate admitting she had a difficult time adjusting after the birth of Prince George and William and Harry opening up about the death of their mother, Princess Diana and how, despite the close relationship between the two, they did not talk to each other or support each other enough.

The #itsoktosay was created as a way for people to join in on the conversation surrounding mental health, by either sharing the videos and press releases from the Heads Together campaign or by encouraging their friends to reach out if they had issues or to use it reach out to others with their own issues when they weren’t sure how to start the conversation.

Which brings me to an important issue I would like to discuss which is online bullying. I don’t think there has been any replikater who has posted pictures of themselves in a replikate outfit who at one time or the other has not been targeted by trolls who want to criticise the person’s weight, their lack of own personal style or chastise them for what they see as a frivolous use of money.

At least twice a week I find myself targeted by online trolls who want to tell me I’m fat or would need to spend a million dollars on plastic surgery to come close to looking like Kate. Even the back handed compliment has come up a few times such as ‘you could be so pretty if you lost weight so why don’t you’. For the record, I know that I am overweight and should lose weight for health reasons, I have a long history of unhealthy yo yo dieting. I also don’t believe I look like Kate but I am highly influenced by her style and wearing an outfit, whether inspired by or directly copied from her gives me a confidence boost and makes me feel special and pretty so what’s the harm in that? I have turned down multiple online media opportunities in the past as I know the criticism will be mainly around my weight. I think its sad that I have let these online bullies influence my decisions in this way for what should be happy and exciting moments.

Whilst I am sure there are people who will feel that I have brought this criticism onto myself by posting a picture of myself side by side with Kate, it is the only way that a lot of us can reach out to find other replikaters or people who share our greater Royal obsession as I can’t think of many who have family and friends outside of the online community who support, encourage and understand our obsessions. Posting our replikates is a way to connect with others so we don’t feel alone, another important aspect in promoting good mental health.

I have also been criticised by one of the major Kate accounts for deleting derogatory comments and blocking the people who leave them. If someone came to your front door right now and started to call you fat or make other derogatory comments, what would you do? You wouldn’t invite them into your home, you would ask them to leave and if they didn’t you’d most likely feel threatened enough that you would call the police. Online bullying is such a problem as there is no escape from it, you essentially invite every bully into your home, your own private space, so I don’t feel there is any harm with deleting or blocking the people who are leaving personal and degrading comments. If you find yourself the target, you don’t want to constantly be seeing the degrading comment or giving that person the opportunity to come back and try to make you feel bad about yourself again so we should all encourage and support each other to block the culprits and even report people for their online bullying behavior.

The bullying has at times been so bad that I have considered shutting down both my blog and Instagram accounts and more than once I have been upset enough that I have stress eaten excessive amounts of sugar, which isn’t helping the weight issue the trolls take so much pleasure in pointing out that I need to do something about but on the flip side I have meet some great women who support and encourage each and inspire me to be completely myself. I would hate to think I wouldn’t be there to encourage or support a new Replikater who was going through the same issues as I had let the trolls intimidate me into shutting down my accounts or making them private. Please remember if you do find yourself a target in the future, the bullying says a lot more about the person making the comment then it does about you.

I have found this post quite difficult to write and I hope that by sharing the experience I have encouraged those going through similar issues to speak out and stand up for themselves and to start their own #itsoktosay conversation

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The Perfect Replikate Dress For Kate’s Barbara Casasola Dress

Remember back in July last year when Kate attended the art fund museum of the year awards at the Natural history museum in London. She stepped out looking stunning in her debut dress from designer Barbara Casasola, a stretch jersey off the shoulder figure hugging number called the tribal dress.

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Janet E has found and shared the most perfect replikate for this dress. Available from Dillards, see link below.

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http://www.dillards.com/p/jax-3-4-sleeve-front-zip-up-midi-dress/506766006?di=04906205_zi_ivory&categoryId=-10005&facetCache=pageSize%3D96%26beginIndex%3D0%26orderBy%3D1

 

The Royal Week In Review

Starting with the most recent Royal appearance, yesterday saw Catherine, William and Harry along with other senior Royals including the Queen attend an unveiling of a new memorial dedicated to Britons who had served in Afghanistan or Iraq during 1990-2015. During that time 680 Britons on active service in these areas lost their lives however the memorial is designed to celebrate the sacrifice made by all personnel who put themselves in harm’s way to bring peace and stability to the area.

Kate wore a Michael Kors coat we are all familiar with, having seen it previously during the Anzac day service William and Kate attended at the Australian War memorial in Canberra during their Royal tour to Australia and New Zealand and in 2014 when she officially opened the Magic garden at Hampton court palace.

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Kate also repeated many of her accessories, wearing her tanzanite earing and pendent set from G Collins and sons that we have previously seen on multiple occasions, including when the Royal trio hosted the Obamas for dinner at Kensington palace and her trusty muse clutch and Rupert Sanderson navy suede Malory heels.

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The fashion stand out piece within this outfit was by far the new Lock and co Tiffany drop brim hat that Kate debuted. Inspired by the infamous black drop brim hat with white ribbon that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the hat oozes sophistication and glamour and was perfect for the occasion. Costing 325 pounds the hat is still available here;

http://www.lockhatters.co.uk/tiffany-drop-brim-hat.html

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I have a military themed day event to attend in May which I think this hat would be perfect for and have been frantically searching for the perfect replikate so you if you have found something similar please drop me a line.

This week was all about Rebecca

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It’s not often that another member of the Royal family can completely dominate the headlines over Kate, so the fact that this week, a member of Royal staff completely dominated most of the news stories shows what a valuable and indispensable asset to Kate she was.

The week started with the happy announcement that Kate’s private secretary, Rebecca Deacon, or Becca, as she is affectionately known amongst her family and friends, is soon to wed her partner Adam Priestly. Becca has been given the honor of being able to use the chapel royal at Kensington palace, which Royal watchers will remember from Prince Georges christening, however has been used for many key Royal occasions dating back to King Henry VIII.

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Later in the week came the sad announcement that Becca will be stepping down from her role at the end of the summer after 10 years of service to the Royal family. No doubt the heavy workload and irregular hours, though rewarding, make maintaining a personal life difficult. It will be quite unusual to see Kate at appearances for quite a while without Rebecca at her side but I am sure everyone wishes her much happiness and success in the future.

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Updates to Kate’s calendar

In exciting news for our readers from Germany and Poland, it has been announced that the Royals will be touring the area in July at the request of the British Foreign secretary to ‘extend the hand of friendship’ and ensure strong relationships between the nations continue post Brexit. This will be Williams second trip to Germany since the Brexit referendum. In a speech he gave during the first trip he stated ‘the depth of Britain’s friendship will not change after Brexit’. Kate has not yet formally travelled to either country.

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Whilst it was widely assumed that both William and Kate would not be attending the st Patrick’s day Irish guard parade to hand out shamrocks as the date coincided with the first day of their mini tour to Paris, it has been formally announced that they will be in attendance. It appears they will then travel to Paris so I wouldn’t expect to see many events on their first day in Paris outside of a formal welcome and a possible black tie function that evening. Details will be confirmed as they become available which shouldn’t be to far away as the tour commences on friday. At this point there are no appearances scheduled til friday.

 

 

 

 

My Royal Wedding Memorabilia

Earlier this week I posted on Instagram a really lovely gift that I had received from a follower, a copy of the official Royal wedding program from Will and Kate’s big day. Since then I have been flooded with requests for looks inside and it appears many people have missed out on seeing the ‘my story’ snaps I added to Instagram so I will be adding pictures of each page at the bottom of this post. First though, lets take a look at my other Royal wedding memorabilia.

William and Catherine Figurines, Hamilton Collection

These wonderful fashion figurines are part of the Hamilton collection which was sold via the Bradford exchange. They have a whole range of fashion figurines featuring Kate pre wedding, in gowns post wedding and with a baby George. Unfortunately no figurine has been made with charlotte. Whilst the figurines are no longer sold directly from Bradford exchange, they are constantly popping up on Ebay so keep an eye out there if you are interested in starting your own collection of Kate figurines.

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Royal Wedding Fashion Illustration

I am a huge fan of fashion illustration in general and love the work of Brittany from Replikate It. Keep an eye on her Etsy store around special occasions such as Royal tours and you usually find new art work pop up for sale. I’m not sure what she has planned yet but she told me she is in the process of working on something special for the 20th anniversary of Diana this year.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RepliKateIt

Royal Wedding Earrings

My lovely copy of the custom-made acorn earrings that were gifted to Kate on her wedding day by her parents were bought on my trip to London a little over a year ago from the Kensington Palace gift shop. They are the loveliest copy of these earrings I have come across and can be bought directly from the Historic Royal Palaces shops at Kensington Palace or the Tower of London or purchased online here; http://www.historicroyalpalaces.com/acorn-drop-earrings.html

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Illuminum White Gardenia Petals Perfume

The perfume that Kate wore on her wedding day has proved to be the single most difficult Replikate for me to get my hands on as it is not in stock or shipped to Australia. I was able to purchase a small bottle on Christmas eve from Fortnum and Mason department store and was extremely lucky as it was the last bottle they had in stock. I had hoped to purchase 1-2 of the large bottles. I’m not really sure what I will do when it runs out, maybe plan another holiday to London?!?!?!

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Jo Malone Products

Probably the easiest way to add a touch of the Royal wedding into your own home and daily life appears to be through the use of the Jo Malone products that Kate used in Westminster abbey as they are reliably in stock and available world-wide. In an effort to have Westminster abbey resemble a British garden wedding Kate transformed the chapel through the bringing in of trees and flowers and the use of Jo Malone Orange blossom scented candles and hand washes of grapefruit and lime, basil and mandarin.

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Official Royal Wedding Program

My newest Royal wedding memorabilia has been recently gifted to me by a lovely follower on Instagram. A local London lady who loves near Buckingham Palace, she wondered down on the day of the wedding and was able to score a couple of the programs. I feel incredibly privileged that she offered to send me this as I truly would not have been able to get my hands on one otherwise and truly cherish it.

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I would love to do a follow-up post in April over the Royal wedding anniversary  so if you have any memorabilia you would like to share or were lucky enough to be there on the day please get in touch via the contact form or send me a message over on instagram.

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Inside My Wardrobe- My Royal Tour Of Paris

 

Never have I been more excited about any Royal tour then the upcoming mini tour the Duke and Duchess are planning in March to Paris. In the lead up to this exciting event I am sharing some pictures, memories and of course replikates from my own Royal tour of Paris (or vacation as non Duchesses in training call it!)

In December 2015 I was lucky to be spending a wonderful two weeks visiting London and Paris over Christmas and new year. After arriving in Paris on the Eurostar and checking into our hotel that was marvelously positioned just near the Arc De Triomphe and the Champs Elysees we headed to a local Parisian bistro to sample the local cuisine and much to the amusement of the French locals we ordered escargot. It actually wasn’t to bad, tasting mainly of garlic and butter and I can be seen enjoying it below in one of my favorite Kate accessories, a Temperley lotus leopard print scarf that Kate was seen wearing at the Brisbane airport at the conclusion of the Asia and Pacific tour.

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Our first full day in Paris was spent exploring the city and visiting many well-known sites including the Arc De Triomphe, strolling down the Champs Elysse and stopping at Laduree for the most amazing macarons, the Eiffel Tower and the most amazing shopping mall I have ever been to, Galeries Lafayette. I can be seen enjoying the sights below in my Tory Burch Bettina coat that Kate wore during the mini tour of New York.

Completely accidentally I stumbled across a coat seen on Kate whilst shopping at Galeries Lafayette, which I had to buy as it had long been a favorite of mine and it is my favorite souvenir of the trip. Can you guess whats in the shopping bag here at this picture taken at the Moulin Rogue?

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That night I wore my Seraphine Vanessa dress to see the show at the Lido which was perfect for the middle of winter weather.

The next evening we had a booking for restaurant 58 and returned to the Eiffel tower for the most wonderful experience. When we visited the Eiffel tower on our first day we were informed the wait time to go up was 5 hours plus and nobody wants to waste a precious day of a vacation in Paris  waiting in line, with a restaurant booking though the wait was only half an hour so I would highly recommend making a booking. The food, atmosphere and views of Paris were amazing and it is really a must do experience!

The next day I wore my brand new replikate purchase from Galeries Lafayette, Kate’s Seraphine Marina coat she wore upon arrival in New York and visited the former home of that first Royal IT girl, Marie Antoinette at the Palace of Versailles.

The next day was New Years eve and we had a wonderfully full day visiting the Louvre, strolling over the many beautiful bridges of Paris and placing our own love lock on one and wandering through the Christmas markets.On this day I wore the Reiss Rubik coat that Kate had been seen wearing a few times earlier that month that I had picked up from the Reiss Covent Garden store the previous week in London.

Whilst Will and Kate won’t be in Paris to see the many tourist spots I am hoping for just one picture of Kate with the Eiffel tower in the background and am looking forward to seeing if she wears any new French designers or how she will use fashion to pay homage to the visited country as she has done during previous tours. Where in Paris would you like to see Kate visit?

 

 

The Best Valentine’s Day Gift Guide For The British At Heart & Duchesses In Training

So ladies, this is one post to hand over to your husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends or yourself if you plan to buy a little Valentine’s day treat for yourself  (don’t worry, I plan to as well, go on, we deserve it!). Today I will be looking at the best Valentines day presents available for those who are British at heart or Duchess’s in training.

Jo Malone

Jo Malone is my go to favorite British company to buy perfumes, scented bath products and housewares such as candles. For Duchesses in training you can’t go past the orange blossom candle which Kate used inside Westminster Abbey during the Royal wedding to give the church a lovely English summer garden smell. You could also go the traditional route and give red roses, albeit in the form of a Jo Malone cologne. If you are buying for someone who is more of a peony lover like me there is also a wonderful range of products in the peony and blush suede scent.

http://www.jomalone.com.au/

Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater is a wonderful British company that make earthenware products at their factory in Stoke on Trent. The best products they sell for Valentines day are their range of Mr and Mrs products, pink hearts or for something really special, they have a selection of tea pots, mugs, plates and bowls that you can have personalized with your own romantic message.

http://www.emmabridgewater.co.uk/en/uk/page/home

Replikateit Fashion Prints

If you have not yet come across Brittany’s wonderful range of fashion illustration prints on etsy, get ready to discover a whole new way to indulge your Kate fashion obsession! I have several of her wonderful single fashion prints hanging in my bedroom and you are still able to purchase her poster prints through her etsy shop

https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/RepliKateIt?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Quaintly & co British Lifestyle Subscription Boxes

My top pick for an ultra romantic Valentines day gift for the British at heart is a subscription to a British lifestyle box from Quaintly and co. What the lucky recipient will get is a monthly delivery filled with all British soured artisan products with each box curated around a theme. Past themes have included tea time, British baking and Sherlock homes. They have a range of plans in place from single box buys to ongoing subscriptions.

http://www.quaintly-uk.com/