On November 19, 2015, I shall be dining with the Duke of Wellington in Philadelphia. I say this to people – people  I know but who aren’t au fait with British history – and in response, they look at me askance whilst uttering a nervous laugh. “Right,” they say, “the Duke of, er, whatever. Right. Nice. So, er, I’m just going to go and . . . . .” They think I’m nuts. I say the same thing to people who are on point as far as British history is concerned and they say, “Oh, you’re a card! The Duke of Wellington. Right! Har Har!” Followed again, for the most part, by nervous laughter.

As though I would lie about the Duke of Wellington. Me. Lie about the Duke. I ask you!? Okay, so I won’t be dining with that Duke, but rather this Duke – Charles Wellesley, the 9th Duke of Wellington.

And whilst I’ll be dining with the Duke, so will about one hundred others. Honestly, here’s the link to the event, which is actually a lecture by the Duke followed by dinner. Victoria was otherwise engaged, so I roped Hubby into agreeing to travel to Philadelphia and attend the event with me. Now you can cue the nervous laughter. 
Tickets to the event have been secured. Flights booked. Hotel room the same. Done and dusted. Now all that’s left to worry about is the night itself. Many people have dined with many Dukes of Wellington and, as far as I know, all of them have survived. Mrs. Arbuthnot and Lady Shelley dined with the first Duke many times and they came out alright. Queens and Kings have dined with subsequent Dukes of Wellington and emerged unscathed. It’s not the dining, or even the minute long meeting, with the Duke of Wellington that concerns me. Well, okay, Hubby meeting the Duke of Wellington does concern me, but personally I’m in a quandry as to what to wear. What does one wear to meet the Duke of Wellington? Or any Duke, for that matter. The event details say, “Formal Business Attire.” I can understand this as far as men are concerned, but what about women? Surely something more than a severe skirt and jacket is warranted for an evening event with the Duke? 

Granted, this might be a tad too much . . . . . .

But on the other hand, surely this is too little?

Is this more like it? Or am I still off base?

I suppose I could always follow the Royal lead . . . . . but then I’d have to find a hat. Sigh.

What to wear, what to wear? It’s a quandry and it’s distracting. So distracting, in fact, that I’m not even worrying about how in the world I’m going to get Hubby into anything resembling “formal business attire.”

Please do leave a comment as to proper attire. I’d welcome the input. Hints, tips and tricks on how to get Hubby to agree to don a suit and tie when no one he knows has died would be likewise appreciated.


  1. I'm so excited for you! I'm thinking if I should purchase a ticket myself and attended this event. 😉

    As to the attire, I do like what the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing in that picture. A cute pencil skirt, a peplum top, or a nice but simple dress with a light jacket and I think you'll look great.

    As for the hub, I'm not sure. Good luck with him.

  2. Congrats!! An item to scratch off the bucket list. Now, formal business attire. I know what it looks like, I just don't own any. But here's the official Dummies guide:

    And UNC's business school dress guide for its admissions interviews:

    Given the occasion, you can probably go with the end of this range that has a bit more flair, but it's still business. Softer skirt, silk top.

  3. I am absolutely GREEN with envy and I cannot wait for a full report!

    I actually like the black lace outfit. I would err in that direction. Nice skirt, perhaps with a chiffon overlay and a silk blouse or a sequined top with a silk jacket. More of a cocktail look. I fully expect to see photos!

    Hubby can wear a nice basic black business suit and a silk tie – Cambridge.

  4. I used the Duke to buy a new black jacket at White House Black Market. See link below. It fits like a glove and will formalize almost anything – pants, skirt or little black dress. Let's hope that my post on the affair will be sans any mishaps. One can but hope. I'm going to wait until closer to the date before schooling Hubby on how to properly address a duke. Your Grace and m'lord are not phrases that he's familiar with . . . . . .


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