Monday, 15 September 2014

What to Expect now Kate's Expecting

Last week we heard the joyous news the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child. Many have estimated the baby will be due around April - more than estimated in fact. British odds-makers began making predictions about names and birth dates for William and Kate's second child. When Kate hits the twelve-week mark the Palace will confirm the month. Until then, how much will we see of Kate during this pregnancy?

At the moment the Duchess is with her parents in Bucklebury. William joined the Queen and Prince Philip at Balmoral last Thursday, went shooting on Saturday and was spotted at a church service yesterday. The imminent decision on Kate's mind is her much anticipated first solo trip to Malta, scheduled for this weekend. This was marked as an important milestone for the Duchess in her role as a member of the Royal family and it was seen as a special gesture by Her Majesty to send Kate to the country she spent some of the happiest times of her early marriage in.

The Palace confirmed Kate will make her decision by Wednesday, and while I believe she would like to go I think it very unlikely at this point. Even if she feels somewhat better by Wednesday, there are absolutely no guarantees she will not be very unwell by Saturday.

Meanwhile, Palace staff have been busy searching for a replacement to fill in for Kate. William is thought to be the frontrunner for a variety of reasons. As Kate's husband it would seem fitting, press and media have booked their accommodation and are expecting to have a senior member of the family there. However, if Kate is feeling very poorly she may well want William by her side leaving the role open to other royals, including Prince Harry. One imagines Princess Beatrice would be very eager to attend (she's incredibly willing to become more involved in royal duties) but she may be considered too junior a royal for such a visit.

As you can see, this is following a very similar pattern to Kate's first pregnancy, although it's important to note each pregnancy is different and a nurse I was speaking to informed me Hyperemesis gravidarum can be considerably worse with successive pregnancies.

Kensington Palace said engagements will be taken on "a case-by-case basis" meaning we may not see anything scheduled for some time and if we do they may be announced with very little notice. Just a couple of weeks after her first pregnancy was announced Kate made a surprise appearance at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. The press were informed of the news Kate was feeling well that day and wanted to present an award just hours before the show. The Duchess wore a stunning green Alexander McQueen gown but looked quite tired and pale; she elected to stay for only 45 minutes.

A couple of months later Kate was feeling considerably better and began taking on a few engagements here and there and rounded up her official appearances with Trooping the Colour, before taking maternity leave five weeks before George's arrival.

Annual events attended by the Royal family, such as Remembrance Sunday in November, are ones I would pencil in for Kate's diary.

Where the Cambridges will spend Christmas this year has been another topic of conversation. Last year they enjoyed the festivities with the Royal family at Sandringham, and the previous year at Bucklebury with the Middletons. It is believed this is a pattern they mean to continue, ensuring neither family is left out.


If the couple do plan to alternate family Christmases, this year they will celebrate with the Middletons. It would offer a more relaxed family setting than Sandringham which involves meeting well-wishers, the walk to Church, awaiting the press and several outfit changes.

In terms of fashion, the thrifty Duchess will almost certainly repeat her maternity wardrobe for official and private events. Which pieces from Kate's wardrobe would you like to see her wear again? Immediately the beautiful bespoke blue Emilia Wickstead dress Kate wore to an Art Room reception springs to mind. It was very Jackie O, just perfect and very stylish maternity wear.

The Tara Jarmon coat and matching bespoke dress would be lovely for Kate as she approaches the later stages of her pregnancy.

Kate's much-loved Topshop polka-dot maternity dress.

The Duchess selected Séraphine as her go-to maternity wear brand and ordered a number of dresses and other pieces from the label to wear throughout her pregnancy and in the weeks afterwards Séraphine founder Cecile Reinaud discussed her delight upon discovering Kate was a fan: "The Kate effect is huge and we have been enjoying a 400% growth in sales since it became public that Kate bought Séraphine dresses back in April 2013". Below we see HRH in the £46 fuchsia Jolene Dress for the first official portrait of Prince George taken by Michael Middleton.

Michael Middleton

Of course, the eyes of the world's media will be focused on the Lindo Wing once again as we await the first glimpse of the little prince or princess who will be introduced as his parents leave the hospital for the second time. After the birth of the baby, it is believed the couple plan to spend the first weeks at their country home, Anmer Hall.

Popular names being guessed for the little one already include Alexander, James, Louis, Arthur for a boy, and Alexandra, Victoria, Catherine, Elizabeth and Charlotte ;) for a girl. Do you have any name predictions? I expect the couple will stick with tradition but may surprise us by incorporating more Middleton family names this time round.

It's a very exciting time for the couple and indeed for royalists around the world. We'll keep you updated as news comes in and in the meantime we hope Kate feels better soon!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

"All Bets off Regarding Royal Duties" as Kate's Illness Continues, Jenny Packham Spring 2015 & More

Hello dear readers,

We're back with updates on Kate's diary and her condition. The Duchess of Cambridge will not be attending the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games this evening or attending the athletics event tomorrow, Kensington Palace confirmed this morning. Doctors caring for her informed Palace aides she would not be well enough to join other members of the Royal family at Olympic Park for the event.

The statement from Kensington Palace also touches on the Malta visit:

'The Duchess of Cambridge will not attend the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games this evening or the athletics event tomorrow. The Duchess's attendance on the forthcoming visit to Malta will be kept under review and a decision taken closer to the time.'

More from royal reporter Rebecca English:

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

We're very sorry to hear Kate is feeling so poorly; it must be an incredibly difficult time for her. Regarding the Malta trip, I cannot see the Duchess making it at this point. With travelling, a hectic schedule and a speech it would be quite stressful for her, not to mention how ill she is feeling. No doubt the Palace is busy organising another member of the Royal family to make the trip. Perhaps Prince Harry who has a free schedule at that time. The Maltese government congratulated the couple and noted they are fully aware of the situation. It also looks more than likely the recently reported (officially unconfirmed) China tour for next year will not be going ahead.

Meanwhile, other members of the Royal family have been reacting to the joyous news. At a Prince's Trust event in London yesterday, a beaming Prince Charles said, "It's wonderful to be a grandfather again. I'm looking forward to it - but - I hope it will be a girl this time." Princess Diana once revealed Charles had always wanted a daughter.

At an Invictus event Prince Harry also revealed how pleased he is but noted Kate was quite poorly the last time he saw her. There's a video featuring Harry's words on the announcement here.

Many commented they thought William and Kate would wait for a while before having another baby. According to The Telegraph the Duchess plans to have three before her 35th birthday:

'The Duchess of Cambridge decided to have two children less than two years apart because she intends to have a third child before she is 35, friends have claimed. The Duchess has reportedly told friends she would like "at least" three children, to give Prince George and her second baby the chance of having the sort of family environment she had.
 The Duchess is just 20 months older than her sister Pippa and less than five years older than her brother James. They remain incredibly close and rarely go more than a month without meeting up at the family home in Bucklebury'.

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a serious condition, caused by elevated levels of 'pregnancy hormone' HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, which increases after inception. Sufferers experience extreme nausea and may vomit up to thirty times a day. If anything, it is said to be associated with a normal, healthy pregnancy. Doctors are monitoring Kate closely at Kensington Palace where she is expected to remain until she recovers.

It's been wonderful to see such an outpouring of good wishes for William and Kate following the announcement. It's splendid news for both families and no doubt little George will love having a little brother or sister around. In terms of royal engagements, I believe there will be very, very few for the remainder of the year and certainly none in the very near future.


Fashion fans will enjoy our next segment. Have you been following fashion week? If so, you may have noticed Jenny Packham's Spring 2015 Collection.

Jenny Packham

The British designer was very much inspired by the iconic Marilyn Monroe:

'It's blatantly Marilyn Monroe. She's been there all my life, but I've rediscovered her again. She's still so relevant. What she wore doesn't date.'

Ms. Packham took her research for the collection very seriously by visiting Monroe's bungalow in Hollywood and travelling to Jersey to get a glimpse of a private collection of the late star's dresses.

Jenny Packham

Ms. Monroe's influence is certainly evident in the collection, but in a pared-back sense. Calf-length dresses and soft pink numbers featured.

Jenny Packham

The designer's love of sequins and detailed embellishment was incorporated.

Jenny Packham

Beautiful ball gowns fit for a Duchess. I don't see Kate wearing gowns like these in the near future but if anyone could pull them off, it would be Her Royal Highness at a white-tie event, teamed with a tiara of course ;)

Jenny Packham
Elegant little black dresses.

Jenny Packham

Somewhat reminiscent of the black crepe dress which had been hand-stitched with silver beading to represent New Zealand's national emblem.

This stunning blue gown is my favourite piece from the collection and it would look stunning on Kate, but perhaps she will select a darker colour.

Jenny Packham

The very talented Jenny posed with models after the show.

Jenny Packham Facebook Page

Will we see Kate in one of these Marilyn inspired creations? I do think so. What about you?


Finally today, for those who enjoy following other royals The Royal Digest is back and will feature regular posts covering British and European royals along with weekly features covering iconic royals including Princess Diana and Princess Grace and of course plenty of tiaras and jewels. There's a link on the sidebar or you can find the blog here.

We'll keep you updated on any news regarding Kate :)

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Duchess of Cambridge is Expecting Her Second Child

In unexpected and breaking news, Kensington Palace has confirmed the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child. The couple only found out very recently and Kate has not yet reached the crucial twelve week stage.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website

We wish to extend our congratulations to William and Kate. The couple are doting parents to Prince George and we're so pleased they will be welcoming a new addition to their family.

Once again, William and Kate have been forced to take the difficult decision to announce the pregnancy because Kate is suffering with Hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. Her Royal Highness will be unable to accompany William for today's visit to Oxford.

Rebecca English Twitter Feed

When Kate was in the early stages of her first pregnancy, the morning sickness was so severe she was hospitalised at King Edward VII hospital. This time Her Royal Highness is at home at Kensington Palace being treated by the surgeon gynaecologist to the Queen Alan Farthing. Dr. Farthing assisted Marcus Setchell when Kate was expecting George.

More about the condition from Pregnancy Sickness Support:

'Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum are particularly isolating conditions and women are very often left feeling misunderstood and alone for months on end when housebound'.

The official statement from the Palace:

'Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child. The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.
 As with her first pregnancy, the Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis gravidarum. Her Royal Highness will no longer accompany the Duke of Cambridge on their planned engagement in Oxford today.'

Kate's sickness means her first solo trip to Malta later this year is seriously in doubt. A Palace source said that a decision would be made closer to the time. But the Duchess does plan to support her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, at the Invictus Games for the opening ceremony on Wednesday evening, although it will depend on how she feels.

While we don't know exact dates, it's been reported Prince George will have a brother or sister in late March-early April next year.

The baby will be a Prince or Princess, as The Queen ensured all William's children would become HRHs with fitting titles. The Prince or Princess will be fourth in line to the throne and the the fifth great-grandchild of the Queen and Prince Philip. Allegedly the Queen and Prince Charles were informed over the past 24 hours while the Middleton family were told the good news last weekend.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website

The press gathered outside Kensington Palace today.

Meanwhile, a very happy looking Prince William formally opened the Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building in the grounds of St. Hugh's College this afternoon.

The Prince was greeted by excited school children who shouted 'Congratulations' and received a posy of flowers for Kate and a toy swan for George. During the engagement he revealed he hopes Kate "will be over the worst of her morning sickness in a few weeks time". There's a video from the appearance at ITN Source.

Before leaving William said a few words to the press:

'She's feeling ok thanks. It's been a tricky few days..week or so. But obviously we're immensely thrilled.  It's great news, early days. We're hoping things settle down and she feels a bit better.'

Do you think William and Kate will have another little prince or a princess? :)