Princess Diana and Kate Middleton filled the discharge from the hospital with a secret meaning.
April 23, 2018, went down in history as the birthday of another heir in the British royal family – Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge (the story of the event ─ “This is a boy: Kate Middleton gave birth to a third heir”). The birth of the baby was marked by several moments: the stunning unity of the British nation, coupled with millions of followers of the Duchess of Cambridge around the world, the impossible charm of the faces of young George and Charlotte hurrying to the newborn brother, and the stunningly blooming view of Kate Middleton just a few hours after giving birth. The exit of a new mother of three children on the porch of the Lindo Wing of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Maria produced a wow effect of such force that it instantly split the army of fans of the Duchess into two camps – admirers and, unexpectedly, haters. The latter was made up mainly of women who gave birth, who suddenly felt humiliated and insulted – it is impossible, they say, to look like this 6 (and 12, and 24!) hours after childbirth, and most importantly, why do it. We have already talked about this in the material “Why did the Duchess of Cambridge hurry to leave the hospital after childbirth?” Now we explain why not everything is so simple in the kingdom, and that the norms and standards there dictate not desires, but duties.
The art of looking “irresistibly cute and homely” after the birth of offspring is relatively new to royalty. The rules for showing wedding dresses and outfits of official events for more than two centuries have been honed to perfection by royalty. But until 1982, young and not so young mothers of the royal family with newborns hid from prying eyes in the palace chambers and were spared from posing for photographers until the baby was at least a few weeks old. This means that they did not need to look good “immediately after”.
A great example is Elizabeth II, whose pictures with baby Charles in her arms were taken after he was a month old (presumably, the future queen used this time, including to get in shape).
Everything was changed by Diana, who appeared on June 22, 1982, on the same porch of the Lindo Wing, where we have already seen Kate Middleton three times, with little Prince William in her arms. The tradition of the appearance of heirs to the throne in the palace was broken, and with it a new one was laid – a public extract, which includes an official photo set. And as much as Princess Diana didn’t like it, Charles was most likely right when he claimed that a newborn of royal blood “belongs to everyone.”
Times were changing and the royal family needed to adapt to change. So, Diana, was in the crosshairs of the cameras just a day after giving birth but looked generally good. The outfit on her was not just beautiful and comfortable, but symbolic. Women around the world often choose elastic leggings and voluminous sweaters or sweatshirts for discharge from the hospital, which is understandable from the point of view of comfort (especially if the birth was the first or difficult). Diana, followed by Kate, went beyond just a good look and made clothes a non-verbal signal for communicating with the public.
In the mid-80s, fashion for pregnant women tended to large volumes (today we call it oversize), which did not emphasize the shortcomings of the figure but hid them. Often, alas, along with the merits. It is known that when Diana was pregnant with William, she turned to the designer of children’s clothing, the Frenchwoman Catherine Walker with a request to sew her several simple dresses in the same style – a free silhouette, with a bow at the neckline of medium depth and sleeves-“lanterns”. For the first time, she wore it a month and a half before giving birth to a sports event – a polo match with the participation of Charles, and this was the starting point of the birth of the so-called image of coming home. Many reviewers then noted that Diana looked wonderful – young, at ease, and somehow especially fresh.
She tried to relay the same perception by going out in that same turquoise polka dot dress on the porch of Lindo’s wing. The sample came out a little crumpled, and it was not even in the “repeated” dress: the child was in the arms of Charles, then Diana, and it felt not so much happiness as nervousness of young parents. But it is impossible not to note the neat styling of Diana and light relaxed makeup.
The Princess of Wales could not afford (or could not afford) to appear in public unkempt: even if only 24 hours ago, but she gave Britain a future monarch, and she herself had to become a queen, which means that she can do and can do more than an ordinary woman.
The second discharge – returning home with Prince Harry – was marked by a more restrained style of the mother. The red dress and coat in the tone of Jan Van Velden were devoid of flirtatious “light” details, and the image of Diana as a whole seemed more businesslike than feminine. With strict lines, broad shoulders, and simple sleeves, the white-collar played in a completely different way – he declared the seriousness of the moment, accepting the responsibility assigned to these shoulders and understanding his capabilities. Many critics consider this outfit the beginning of the “fashion era of Lady Di” when the outfits of the Princess of Wales became more confident and bold, and Diana began to try to dictate trends herself, and not blindly follow them.
Almost thirty years, which passed from the second discharge from the maternity hospital of Diana to the first of the three discharges of Kate Middleton, were not in vain. Fashion, media space, and the demand for crowd spectacles have changed. In 2013, Britain was eager to watch the birth of the heir to the throne almost online (detailed retrospective ─ “The most touching moments of the three discharges of the Duchess of Cambridge from the maternity hospital”). And, of course, the audience also wanted to see the baby as soon as possible. For the first public officially motherly outing, Catherine asked Jenny Packham, one of her favorite designers, to sew a special dress.
When the Duchess of Cambridge, a day after giving birth, appeared on the threshold of the Lindo Wing of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Mary in a pale blue dress in small white polka dots analogies with the image of Diana, introducing the newborn William to the world, came instantly. It was a tactful stylistic, no, not even a curtsy, but a bow to the one whose absence on that day was felt especially acutely. No one will tell how many people William’s beaming smile reminded them that their beloved princess would never take a baby grandson in her arms, and he would never call her a grandmother…
Of course, it is necessary to pay tribute to the personal team of the Duchess – the efforts of stylist Natasha Archer and hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker to bring the new mother into shape “was there a boy?” turned out to be titanic, but the result captivated quite qualitative naturalness. Kate’s hair was decorated in her usual curls, and the makeup was simple and natural.
However, nothing human is alien to the Duchesses: a step into the comfort zone was noticeable. Kate preferred more comfortable shoes – wedge shoes, ignoring the standard for her usual style boats on a stiletto.
With the birth of Princess Charlotte, it was a different story. A dress of very spring colors with a buttercup print of course from Jenny Packham was no longer just cute, but truly elegant.
As simple and loose in cut as the first one (perhaps even a little looser to hide any hints of an as-yet-unclaimed uterus and the “remnants” of a pregnant belly that Kate got from the villains for the first time), it had a unique flavor: fashion reviewers noted the choice of white as “especially bold”.
Kate felt more confident and preferred to put on her shoes in her favorite nude boats, and comb her hair and make-up – more brightly, even glossy and glamorous. The hair was textured curled at the ends, playfully bouncing and fluttering, the eyeliner dramatically and intensely darkened, emphasizing the eyes, and lipstick and blush of a peach shade correctly complemented the makeup.
“Bright and fresh” – this is how the British press dubbed this outfit. Kate’s gaze was no longer relatively relaxed after completing a difficult mission, as was the case with George, but collected, “working” and branded royal.
Finally, Catherine’s Mom’s third outing. As the British joke, Kate would even be forgiven to go out on the porch of the hospital in “pregnant” jeans with an elastic band and a cotton T-shirt. But the unlikely scenario was not destined to come true. The discharge of the Duchess of Cambridge with the newborn Louis of Cambridge (the name, of course, the happy parents voiced much later) was held under the sign of national color.
Self-confident and full of dignity, Kate appeared in a red straight-cut dress with 3/4 sleeves authored again by Jenny Packham. The dress was distinguished by a white lace collar, and while the world’s secular chroniclers reproached Catherine for the “folk style”, too forgiving and aging of her, the sentimental Britons secretly wiped away a tear – how similar the Duchess of Cambridge was to the Princess of Wales in her last outfit on the threshold of the maternity hospital in 1984!
The red shade of Kate’s dress, as it is still believed, was a reference to one of the main colors of the British flag, and do not forget that little Louis was born exactly on the national holiday – the day of St. George, the patron saint of England.
Suede nude boats with heels, styling, makeup are the “gold standard” with it. Not a hint of fatigue, malaise, drowsiness – only will, endurance, charisma, and charm. In short, we have a future queen.