What does a girl wear to an unveiling of a portrait of herself? Well if you're the Duchess of Cambridge, then you opt for a classic high street number from Whistles apparently, teamed with an Asprey 167 Button Pendant . Kate stepped out today with Prince William in one of her first public appearances since leaving hospital where she was suffering from severe morning sickness last year in a maroon dress belted in her usual style.
Looking perkier and rested, Kate was at the National Portrait Gallery to witness the official unveiling of her first official portrait [above]. Artist Paul Emsley had two sittings with the Duchess and was asked by her to portray her natural seld as opposed to her public self. Emsley said she found the Duchess to be "enormously open and generous and a very warm person. After initially feeling it was going to be an unsmiling portrait I think it was the right choice in the end to have her smiling - that is really who she is." The portrait joins those of the other Royals at the London gallery, of which Kate is a patron - and will be open to the public to view from 2.30pm on 11 January 2013.
We're told the maroon 'Sophia-Rae' dress is old season Whistles, from Autumn 2011 - a classic move by the Duchess that some have said means the so-called 'Kate effect' of people copying her style is overhyped. 'It didn't do anything for sales,' Whistles CEO Jane Shepherson said recently of the Whistles blouse Kate wore in her engagement photos. Not that the Whistles maven isn't appreciative of Kate's support, of course. 'It raises profile, it’s great, we get known in countries we’re not known in,' shes says. 'Fortunately, she looks great in it and it’s a great advert, but no more than that.'
A great advert indeed because this isn't the first time Kate's worn this Whistles dress. You can just about see the maroon number peeking out from the Duchess's LK Bennett coat when she went to Denmark for a UNICEF visit alongside Princess Mary in November 2011. So it's clear that Kate's pregnancy style remains unchanged - thrifty, chic and from the high street...