Grazia HQ was whipped into a frenzy when Kate Middleton stepped out in Leicester yesterday to kick off the Diamond Jubilee tour. We ‘ooh-ed’ over her ladylike LK Bennett dress + jacket, then ‘ahh-ed’ at Queenie’s pink and black Liquorice allsorts-like ensemble, but it wasn't all about the clothes, oh no. There was some serious business to be done...
As Grazia Daily reported yesterday, 120 footwear design students at Leicester's De Montfort University university were offered the chance to dream up a pair of shoes for the DoC. A shortlist of six had been sent to St James’s Palace and all were on display yesterday morning. So after being greeted by Bollywood dancers, Chinese umbrella dancers, a gospel choir AND soldiers, the royal group headed inside the university where a huddle of quivering footwear design students were waiting to unveil their shoe creations to the Duchess of Cambridge herself. Eep, we can only imagine their nerves!
After perusing the gorgeous concoctions, Kate chose *drum roll please* Becka Hunt! The 20-year-old from Peterborough had designed a pair of rather fabulous blue suede stilettos with lace appliqué. Considering the Duchess loves herself some royal blue and is known for sporting a splash of lace, they really are the perfect fit. Talk about a Cinderella moment! Or something.
‘Kate was absolutely lovely and so beautiful,’ Becka told Grazia yesterday. ‘She took the time to come and see us all with our shoes, and congratulated us on all of our hard work. She said they all looked beautiful.’
So how did it feel to meet Princess Catherine? ‘When she first came in everyone was in awe of her, but she was very natural,’ Becka reveals. ‘I even got to shake her hand – I couldn’t believe it. She was softly spoken and very calm.’ And speaking of her style, Becka says she looked ‘fantastic.’
Indeed, Kate’s chic teal outfit – with a PEPLUM no less – had the Graziettes in rapturous, but we’re desperate to see the notorious fan of classic nude heels sporting such a colourful concoction. ‘It’s so overwhelming that I won,’ Becka told us. ‘And I think it’s going to be another extremely surreal moment seeing Kate wearing my shoes for the first time.’ We cannot wait.
So let’s take a closer look, shall we? Inspired by 19th century footwear, the bright blue shoes are covered in delicate beading and cream lace with a three-inch heel, neutral coloured sole and an open front. They're suitably regal and rather fairytale-esque, dontcha think? ‘They were completely inspired by Kate,’ Becka reveals, ‘specifically her amazing engagement ring and the fact she is a Princess. I tried to emulate her classy style, which I adore, but also add an edge to it that we haven’t seen before on Kate.’ Bravo!
‘I hope she wears them all time. If she likes them I’d love to design more for her! It’s been so manic trying to get the shoes ready over the last few weeks, but all the hard work has been worth it. I hope that it’ll be a great start to my career.’ With the Kate effect on her side, Becka’s sure to be one busy girl.