Saturday, 9 February 2013

A Closer Look At Mustique, Upcoming Plans + More

William and Kate are currently enjoying a 'babymoon' in the Caribbean Island of Mustique with the Middleton family. The couple are staying a five bedroom villa set in lush gardens which normally costs £19,000 per week. The Cambridges have been keeping a very low profile, and the villa is reportedly hidden from the main road and contains a media room and guest cottage with a staff of six and a chef on standby.


A short walk down a private path from the villa leads to the a beautiful beach, thought to be the finest on the island. People reports on past visits the couple have made several trips a day to take a leisurely stroll or to snorkel well past the rocky outcrops that border the cove. A source told People, "The Island is locked down - that always means royalty is here."


Mustique was bought by Lord Glenconnor, Colin Tennant in 1958 for the sum of £45,000 and two years later he gave Princess Margaret a plot of land as a wedding present in order to associate the Island with the royal family. Since then Mustique has become a hideaway for royals and celebrities. The Middleton family have come to adore the paradise island and travel their annually. Pippa passed up the opportunity to run a marathon in New Zealand in order to join them.


According to a Daily Mail story, William and Kate first visited Mustique after a fortunate conversation at a society wedding in 2006:

'William told a friend named Lotty Bunbury that he would love to go but that "he couldn't possibly afford to." It so happened that Lotty is married to Mustique's only doctor, Michael Bunbury. Thus, she arranged for William and Kate to be lent the beautiful Villa Hibiscus (in the end, they made a donation to charity in return), belonging to John and Belle Robinson, the owners of fashion chain Jigsaw.'

Basil's Bar is a popular bar and restaurant located on the island. William and Kate have enjoyed spending time their on previous visits and this year they arrived just in time for the popular Blues Festival.


I expect William and Kate will continue visiting Mustique annually with the Middletons, and of course in years to come they will be joined by Baby Cambridge :)



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The Mirror's royal reporter Victoria Murphy is expecting her baby at the same time as Kate and is writing about her pregnancy exclusively for Mirror Online. Victoria's name pops up regularly here on the blog as she is incredibly kind with sharing information and answering questions about the royals.

In her latest entry Victoria writes about William and Kate's babymoon and informs us that. beginning with Kate's visit to Action on Addiction's Hope House on February 19th, the young royals will be taking on a number of engagements.

'Everyone deserves a holiday and to be fair on the royal couple's choice of luxury location there are not many places they can go if they want to be certain of secluded relaxation. But I can't help feeling that the timing for this one hasn't been the best given neither Kate not William have been able to fit in any public engagements recently.
Yes he has been concentrating on his RAF flying career, but the public want to see William and Kate, people love them and the Monarchy needs them to be and about flying the flag. But I am assured that, kicking off with the Duchess's first public appearance on Feb 19, we CAN expect to see Kate and William and Harry out and about throughout the end of February and March.'

It is thought the royal trio plan to focus on their current charitable patronages and Kate is due to announce four new patronages shortly. Another long awaited announcement is expected this month. We will hear whether or not William plans to stay with the RAF or take on another military role which would allow him and Kate to take on more engagements. I'll let you all know as soon as any of these announcements are made.

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We recently looked at maternity wear possibilities for Kate and one of the brands we included was Séraphine, a maternity wear brand favoured by celebrities and the fashion elite, with an ultra trendy flagship store boutique in Kensington, right around the corner from Kensington Palace it would seem an ideal choice for the Duchess. 

The lovely Nicola from Séraphine kindly sent me their 'Get The Look' moodboard which includes a number of 'Repli-Kate' pieces for expectant mothers and indeed possibilities for Kate herself. I thought the Embellished Butterfly Sleeved Gown particularly pretty. You can find all the looks here.

Séraphine

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We generally hear about Kate sightings first via Twitter so while the couple are in Mustique I was interested to read a very excited tweeter reveal her boyfriend is working in William and Kate's house in Anglesey replacing a boiler! 

Enjoy the weekend and for those of you experiencing snow, stay warm x

64 comments:

  1. Wow! Some of those maternity dresses are fantastic and I just hope Kate continues to feel well enough to go places to wear them.

    I was glad to read that somebody pointed out how hard it is for Kate and Will to have a normal vacation - if they found a spot with a bit of privacy I am very glad they went. Envious, but happy for them.

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  2. Such lovely pictures and beautiful dresses! Thank you Charlotte for this great post! You've made my evening. It's is so cold and grey over here. Is it snowing in England? Please keep warm too!

    Wishing you a fantastic weekend as well,

    Hugs!

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    Replies
    1. It's quite cold and cloudy, I think we're all looking forward to the summer :)

      Thank you very much, I hope you're all enjoying the weekend!

      Delete
  3. Can't lie. I'd go there in a heartbeat!!

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  4. Privacy is a valid concern. I think their vacations have more to do with spending money on privacy than luxury. I do envy them, especially after we just spent a good part of the morning digging out from the white stuff, but I am happy for THEM.

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  5. Mustique looks like just the weather I need, now in DC:) No wonder Will and Kate ran away to warmer climate! Can't wait to see Kate wear all of the maternity wear dresses you posted! Although I would like to see her recycle her pre-engagement dresses. Thanks Chica for this update and for those in the NorthEast, stay safe and stay warm!!xoxo

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    1. I also love the Duchess' style of the pre-engagement period!

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  6. Jean from Lancs.9 February 2013 at 19:54

    The dresses are lovely. I can picture Catherine wearing any of them for the Coronation celebrations.
    Mustique looks beautiful--but I am sure the main thing for them is privacy.
    Most of us don't need to be concerned with that as no one is interested in us.
    Beach holidays were never our "thing"---we always went up mountains or visited historic places.

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  7. Is Belle Robinson Kate's former boss at Jigsaw? I've seen the woman on interviews before keeping it real saying that although the rumor was her, Kate and the Middletons were great friends, it was in fact just an employer-employee relationship. It would be odd then to have another wedding guest arrange with a former employer through her husband to have you and your family stay at their vacation house. I was always under the impression this was a Middleton trip Will would accompany Kate on not the other way around if the details in this post are correct.

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  8. Great post! But I am confused by Will's comment that he couldn't "afford" to go to Mustique??

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  9. First tweet arrives:
    Robert Jobson ‏@theroyaleditor

    Kate & William have been spotted on Mustique by photographers from "Hollywood Life." Couple were snapped on runway getting on private plane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry those pictures were taken last year.

      Delete
  10. Was anyone else surprised to read the report of William's "I could never afford it" comment? I understand that at the time he said it, he hadn't yet come into his inheritance from Diana, but I didn't think that even back then he would have had any difficulty paying for such a trip. Can anyone who knows more about the RF's finances clear up my confusion?

    Looks like a lovely place!

    Zora

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    Replies
    1. I hope I recall this correctly....

      One of William's university friends was interviewed a while back. He said William was talking to him about something he wanted to buy (related to his motorcycle I believe) but he wasn't sure which of two colors he should pick. The friend's response was to buy both rather than to pick one. Apparently, William's response was one of surprise and he pointed out that it was a lot of money (and therefore buying two would not be practical.)

      Delete
    2. Until he came into his inheritance he would have had his salary from the military and an allowance from his father's private income.
      Unlike European Princes and Princesses the British ones do not get a salary from the state--but get expenses for Royal duties.
      Anything else comes from the private income of the Queen or in the case of William and Harry of the Prince of Wales.
      Private holidays and travel to them, are paid for themselves.
      Security is provided by the state as it does for a great many other people.
      I have little doubt that ,at least in the first year of marriage, not employing domestic staff was as much a necessity as a desire by Catherine to be a housewife.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the explanations! Royals certainly do have an uneasy relationship with money, don't they? Some appear to have it made with steady streams of private income (Diana's inheritance for William & Harry, the duchy income for Charles), but then you also end up with situations like Fergie's, where whatever allowance she was earning as the wife of the second son apparently wasn't sufficient to keep up with her lifestyle. And of course, even though royals could probably always come up with a rich friend or relative to lend them Mustique villas, French chateaus, yachts, etc, there's going to be a certain amount of judgment levied by the public if it appears that royals are trading on their titles too much.

      Also just a random observation - the British class system is SUCH a mystery for non-Brits like myself! It's kind of weird to read about a relationship where one half is a royal (ie, at the top of the class hierarchy) but can't afford vacations and motorcycles, and the other half is the daughter of self-made millionaires who are sneered at as "new money." Is it really the case that "aristos," even the ones without any money, basically use their titles and pedigrees to make themselves feel superior, or is that a misperception formed from too much DailyMail reading? ;-)

      Zora

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  11. Well, be may not all be able to visit where Kate and Will did, but we can ogle the menu from one of the places they may have eaten.

    http://www.basilsbar.com/menu.asp

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  12. SSadly I just saw Kate has had pictures taken in a skimpy bikini that are being shopped to non-british press.

    It said the baby bump was noticeable. There are also pics of her sister.

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    1. Where did you find the pics? Is it deffo them?

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  13. I am looking forward to see the wonderful Duchess on 19th February! :)

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    1. Sarah from Calif.10 February 2013 at 01:39

      The beach looks heavenly. Swimming and snorkeling I could do everyday if the water was the right temp. The central coast Pacific ocean is tooo cold.
      I hope they are all having a great time.
      The selection of maternity clothes from Seraphine is great! Wish we had that choice when I had my boys.
      Have a wonderful weekend all :)

      Delete
  14. If photos are indeed being shopped about I pray who ever took them is banned from the lovely island. The people that live there full time seem to be keenly aware of their guests quest for privacy - to break that code, to me, should be re paid with banishment from entering the island. I can't imagine a resident breaching this code of etiquette

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    1. More likely than not, these pictures were taken from sea with a very long lens. Those were how other Mustique pics came about.

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  15. This is a bit strange. Back on February 5, 2.22 an anonymous (not me) left a message suggesting that Kate would be photographed in a bikini, to detract from the criticism of their trip (which has been widespread and in respectable and varied publications, not just in the tabloids and not just in this blog.) It sounded like anonymous thought there would be an attempt at a sympathy vote. A similar message was made on February 9, suggesting pictures would appear. (don't know if it was the same poster.) Now here they are, and will apparently be published abroad. I have to admit I took the message with a grain of salt but I'm wondering. A very odd coincidence. Understand that William and Kate are nattering about privacy again. Ordinarly, I would agree wholeheartedly but must admit this time, when they know attention will be enormous, I think Kate might have settled for staying around her 19 thousand pound villa and enjoying her infinity pool.

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    1. Sarah from Calif.10 February 2013 at 14:53

      I've never heard that term (nattering) what does that mean? Can someone please tell me?
      As for just hanging around the pool, I really would go nuts with the warm ocean water calling me in. I guess money can't buy everything, in this case privacy.

      To be so desperate to get a picture of someone in her bikini, sounds a bit like a young (h":;;) school boy. I guess it's the money.

      Delete
    2. Nattering means chatting or gossiping.

      Kate might go nuts with the ocean calling her name, but she knows from prior experience that telephoto lenses shoot from a long way away.

      Delete
    3. Nattering means chattering, going on about, idle talk. There's a certain "lady dost protest too much" about Kate and these repeated bikini snaps. This will put to rest the ridiculous surragacy rumours and I am starting to wonder if this is what she had in mind. It's easy to forget how much experience Kate had with the press before she was married. She was photographed constantly and even got a restraining order, while at the same time using the attention to stay in sight when William broke off the relationship. (Remember that striking lace dress and the Channel crossing challenge.) We don't have to be seen as haters or even like Kate less to admit she knows what she's doing. The lack of privacy is unfortunate but most celebrities and top people in public life have the same problem. It's part of our world, for better or worse. I suspect this is why the queen mostly holidays at Balmoral and Sandringham.

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    4. I think it's unfair to suggest that Kate should stay by the pool to avoid having her picture taken. After all, they were on private property and a good distance from a main road when the topless photos were taken. I think swift legal action is the way to go.

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  16. Yea for a new post! Thanks for the update Charlotte! I hope they had a brilliant holiday and found the privacy they so desire, especially after what happened in France. They deserve a sweet babymoon before parenthood hits. :) As I mentioned before, I hope opinions of some change as they head home to England and the engagements start up.

    The maternity clothes are so beautiful. Can't wait to see what she chooses in her wardrobe. She will look gorgeous! How many days until the 19th? :) Can't wait!

    It sounds like many of you are having gloomy weather. High tomorrow is 76 here. There are many days I wish for a real winter. :) Hoping for something sunny and warm in your Sunday!

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  17. Hello to you all,

    I can confirm photos of the couple have been taken on their holiday in Mustique. They haven't been published yet but I expect they will be soon.

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    1. This makes me sick! Can they ever catch a break?

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    2. will you post them?

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    3. Have you seen the photos, Charlotte? I've only heard about them from reports so far. I'm sure they're probably real, but there's a skeptic in me that thinks of a tiny chance that the reports are simply mistaken. I've seen numerous articles claiming to have new pics of Kate & the Middletons heading to Mustique, only to describe photos undoubtedly taken last year. And yes, those reports claim to see a baby bump too! It can be very silly.

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    4. Hello Dash,

      I haven't seen them. You may recall a few days ago magazines were describing last years photos for articles about this holiday. However, the Sunday People claim photos were taken clearly showing Kate's bump, apparently on the 8th. However I am suspicious too, surely they would have been bought and published by now?

      Delete
    5. Hello Emily,

      If they exist (we're not completely certain now), I won't publish intrusive photos.

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    6. I understand, I didn't think you would. But it never hurts to ask right?

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    7. Of course not :)

      It's hard to decide until I've seen them, candids are always tricky but if they're intrusive I won't post them.

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    8. I am a big fan of the Duchess but I will not look to see any photos that were taken while they were on a private holiday together. It is a real invasion of their privacy and I think who ever post's the photos should be sued just like before.

      This poor couple can not cut a break. I love seeing the Duchess during her engagements when she know's she will have her picture taken but not now while on holiday.

      WE all know how protective William is of his Duchess & his unborn baby and I think this invasion will just make him more so, it that is even possible.

      And thank you MS. Charlotte for always bring us fans up to date on the Duchess & William. I respect you for not posting the photos if there really any new photos of them on holiday.

      Delete
  18. So much for Will's trip to Kenya and this rumour of surrogate mother! Not a day goes by without new rumours and assumptions coming to light. It is quite boring. Can't the royal pair be left in peace just for a few days? Why this obsession with the baby bump?

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    1. "Surrogate mother"-- well I haven't heard that one before, but I suppose it's the 21st century variation of "the warming pan" baby.
      Ridiculous!

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    2. My words exactly, Jean (and it shows there really is nothing new under the sun) If my history isn't rusty, you're speaking of the supposed male heir of James II by his second Catholic wife, Mary of Modena, who would have technically suceeded Mary (of William and Mary) and Queen Anne, at time of Glorious Revolution. There was always talk that baby was smuggled in. Believe he became "the old pretender" and never made it to the throne. My apologies if my history is off. I'm from California and it's been a while since university.

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    3. I think the obsession with Kate's "baby bump" is intrusive--and many on this blog who purport to be Kate's biggest fans and staunchest defenders are the most obsessive and voluble of all. Words can invade one's privacy as surely as pictures can. I considered a fairly recent blog fantasizing about William being present in the delivery room to cut the umbilical cord particularly intrusive and offensive.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous 14:46
      Yes James Francis Edward--if I remember correctly, said to have been smuggled into the bedroom in a warming pan!
      Later known as "Old Pretender" and led the 1715 rebellion.
      The result was that a representative of the Home Secretary had to be present at the birth of every baby close too the throne until King George VI stopped it just prior to the birth of Prince Charles.
      Rumours can have long lasting consequences.

      Delete
  19. Since they each turned 21, William and Harry had access to the investment profit (but not the principal) from the $10M US inheritance left to them by Princess Diana. That investment income was estimated at around $450,000 US per year. After they turn 30 (William already has), they have access to the $10M principal. William's salary as a captain and pilot has been estimated at around $61K per year. In addition, it's my understanding that Prince Charles is covering the cost of Kate's wardrobe. The Middletons are millionaires a few times over. The Queen and Prince Charles almost certainly have gifted the young couple financially. I struggle to swallow the line that William and Kate can't afford this vacation. I agree with Victoria Murphy, this vacation, given its lavishness and the obvious absence of William and Kate from the royal engagement schedule, is just poorly timed. I also don't connect one single announced engagement on Feb. 19 as being a "busy schedule."

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  20. Royalfan: It might be unfair to suggest Kate should stay by the pool for her own privacy. Screens could be set up so photographers could not get a shot. But her life is what it is and there's photographic proof that when she ventures into public view she's a target. So it's her decision to (a) go in the ocean where there may be boats way out to sea, and (b) wear a bikini while pregnant.

    I can even understand why she may be upset about all the coverage of her pregnancy. It is a personal and private time. But by being so elusive and cagy about it makes the media want more.

    She can't win, no doubt about it. However, she was not a naive 19 year old when she got married. She was 29 and had been in the media spotlight for almost 10 years. She knows what she has to do to stay out of prying lenses.

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    1. Bluhare, I would agree that she knew what she was getting into by dating and marrying William, and I think she has handled it pretty darn well given the media frenzy surrounding her. But I do believe the couple has a right to ask for privacy when it comes to strictly private time like this vacation with family. It's one thing to be photographed when she walks the dog in Kensington Gardens or if she buys coffee at Starbucks. It's inevitable that someone will take a picture on their cell phone in this day and age. But when they are on private property it crosses the line and it's equivalent to being stalked. I can't agree with some folks when they dismiss And in cases like that, I do believe swift legal action is necessary. If the photographers cannot benefit financially, and if they face potential legal action, it will deter them.

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    2. Royalfan: It doesn't seemed to have worked if photos are being shopped of this holiday. Apparently French lawsuits don't have a big deterrence factor. And big money apparently has a large incentive factor!

      Frankly, I think it's a bit sleazy if you have to take a photo with a telephoto lens from half a mile or more away. A lot of celebrities (and I think the royals too) do a photo op in return for privacy the rest of the time. Perhaps William and Kate could work something like that out in the future.

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    3. I am sure both William & Kate are not naive to the consequences of their actions. Like you said, they've lived it for 10 years. What I see is a couple who's trying to balance what they can do with what they want to do. They chose to continue with a family holiday tradition in spite of the risks of criticism and getting photographed. I am certain they know what they're doing. But what we see from the outside may not necessarily be how they feel exactly. Of course, when asked, the palace would say they're upset if pictures were taken. They probably are, but are they cursing and crying over them? Likely not. Would they continue to ask for privacy when not on public functions? Of course they will. I suspect they are savvier about this than we think. They simply want to send a consistent message regarding their privacy.

      As far as tropical getaways go, you can't really get much more private than Mustique. It's also a Middleton family tradition that they go there, so I don't blame them for the choice. Sure, Sandringham & Balmoral would guarantee zero paparazzi shots. But what life would it be if you stayed inside royal residences all the time in fear? Besides, wouldn't the media pounce on the Middletons again for exploiting their royal connections had they chosen to holiday in royal estates? Mustique will always be their tropical getaway. And I have no doubt that when Baby Cambridge is born, he/she will be a regular there, too, along with Mum, Dad & Aunt Pip, Uncle James & the grandparents. I personally hope they are able to continue with this lovely family tradition.

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    4. It's also worth pointing out that William and Kate are not the only royals who take breaks or go on vacations. But it is inevitable that their choice to go to a sunny and enviable location like Mustique will be criticized a lot more than a break or vacation in Scotland, for example.

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    5. What do you guys think about this?

      http://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/376818/If-two-s-company-is-Carole-is-a-crowd

      Delete
  21. Thank you for all your comments.

    There was a lengthy debate about William and Kate's Mustique holiday, plenty of constructive opinions were shared but unfortunately as always with these discussions it's descending into very unkind and profane comments so I have to ask those who are leaving those comments to dial it back and perhaps move forward from that discussion.

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    1. I am confused. I hope my comments were not considered such. If so, let me know.

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    2. Not at all bluhare :)

      I was referring to comments I couldn't publish due to malicious and profane content.

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    3. Phew!! Thank you.

      Delete
  22. Sarah from Calif.10 February 2013 at 23:50

    Thank you Charlotte for your patience.
    I went with my hubby and mom to see "Les Miserable " my mom had never seen the play or previous movies, she was in tears. That's always a good indicator that a movie was well done.
    Thank you for all you do to bring us the news of Kate and William. I am all to glad to move on.

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    Replies
    1. It was an incredible movie Sarah, with so many Oscar worthy performances.

      I do encourage constructive debate but my word does it lead to bashing and unkind comments so it is most certainly time to move on!

      Delete
    2. Sarah from Calif. (today it was sunny :))11 February 2013 at 01:26

      Charlotte,
      What can I say, the movie was well done. The heart break of Fontine, Eponine, Jean Valjean, Cosette, Marius etc... precious life!

      Delete
    3. Charlotte, you have the patience of Job and always have such a nice way of telling people to hush. Kuddos to you....you really are the best! Looking forward to seeing what engagements will be coming and what beautiful wears Kate will don. LOVED the clothes from Seraphine! Thanks for adding that to the post!

      Sarah, I have seen Les Miserable twice in the theater and have cried both times. It is one of my favorite musicals of all time! The performances by all were incredible! Looking forward to seeing what Oscars they will win. Hoping they take everything they have been nominated for! I really want to see it again on stage now. I told my hubby I would really like to fly to London this summer to see it on stage. He just laughed. I guess that was better than a "no"???? I'm working on it! :)

      Charlotte, I affirm you again for all the time you put into the blog! You are GREATLY appreciated! Have a wonderful Monday!

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    4. Thank you Kate :)

      Persist with your hubby, particularly for around the time of the Coronation Festival! I'm also hoping Les Mis does well at the Oscars, it would be great to see a musical get recognised this year!

      Delete
    5. Sarah from Calif.11 February 2013 at 22:22

      Ha ha to cute -the sweet persuasions of women. My hubby and I saw the play in San Francisco, acouple of years ago and he loved it. He is one of those hunter guys so that says a lot. I want to go next week end to see a display of Marie Antoniettes at the Legion of Honor's.S.F. Calif., Down in Long Beach, Calif. is a display of Princess Diana's dresses etc...on the Queen Mary. Would love to see that but I'm not one for traffic.

      When is the Coronation Festival?
      Kate I hope you make it there, if not we'll get lots of great pictures from Charlotte.
      No pressure Charlotte :)

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    6. Hello Sarah,

      It's in July, I'm very much looking forward to covering it :)

      Delete
  23. Hi Charlotte,

    I have been reading your blog for about a year now and also follow you on Twitter, but I've never commented. I just wanted to tell you that it is so well-written and very entertaining. I am always so excited when I see a new post or tweet from you! :)

    On a side note and totally unrelated to this post- not sure if anyone has mentioned this to you, but Prabal Gurung is doing a limited time collection at Target in the U.S. I'm not even sure if you have Targets in the U.K., but I am SO excited to check out his collection. It started yesterday, and they have the pieces on their website. I never thought I'd own anything with the same label as Kate, but this may be my chance! Thought you would like to know!

    All the best,
    Brooke from Ohio

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    1. Hello Brooke,

      Thank you so much for your very kind words about the blog. I would love to include Prabal Gurung's collection for Target in this evening's post as it's quite a fashion related one. Thank you for letting me know it's out. I'm going to take a good look now :)

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  24. Whoever made the comment on the last thread about bikini photos being taken to deflect the negative publicity must have a crystal ball. They've been published in Italy. Coming soon to an internet near you.

    ReplyDelete

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