Tuesday, 28 January 2014

New Engagement Announced, Duchess as Eliza Doolittle; Jenny Packham Styles + More

Hello-Hello Duchess Kate readers,

We're back with some very welcome news that is sure to please Kate fans. A new engagement has been added to the Her Royal Highnesses diary for February 11, her first official appearance of the year. In her role as patron of the National Portrait Gallery, the Duchess will attend The Portrait Gala 2014 black tie dinner (I believe we can expect to see HRH in an elegant gown).

More from Majesty Magazine:

'During the event, guests will have the opportunity to view hand-written Pen Portraits and Mystery Portrait Postcards created by a selection of leading artists, authors, previous sitters and well-known individuals who have been inspired by portraits in the gallery's collection.
Funds raised by the gala will support the gallery's daily work of delivering inspirational exhibitions and displays, offering unique learning opportunities and undertaking world class research. Some of the proceeds will go towards the Gallery's Portrait Fund, which allows the gallery to acquire portraits of outstanding national importance for the collection.

Double Booker prize winner Hilary Mantel is among those contributing pen portraits to the gallery. Inspired by the portrait after Hans Holbein of Henry VIII's wily adviser Thomas Cromwell that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, the author described her portrait as "In a black legend he is a greedy thug, a spymaster, a thug". Of course, many of you will recall Ms. Mantel made the headlines when she described Kate as a "plastic princess" during a speech last year, although she later insisted her comments were taken out of context. The pen portraits will be sold for £500 each.

Hans Holbein Cromwell/National Portrait Gallery

Richard Palmer notes for once the media will be more interested in another guest's sartorial choices. Although I am inclined to disagree :)

Richard Palmer Twitter Feed

Before the gala dinner, Kate will attend a reception where she will meet a selection of guests including photographer David Bailey and Olympic Gold medallist Katherine Grainger.

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Hello! Magazine reports the Duchess of Cambridge will also undertake a solo engagement on Valentine's Day. More from this week's issue, which as you can see is vague about details due to security reasons.

'Though she's still officially on maternity leave, Kate has agreed to attend an event on 14 February, in which she's bound to capture hearts. Kate will be solo during the visit - details of which Hello! has been asked not to reveal for security reasons - as The Duke of Cambridge continues his agricultural studies in Cambridge.
 It is believed Kate's job will take place during the day so she can spend the evening with Prince William who is commuting to Cambridge from London.'

We will update the post when more details are released to the press concerning the nature of the engagement. I imagine we'll see Kate carry out at least several engagements before the tour in April, during which time we'll see the couple attending a number of events most days and, of course, we can expect to see Prince George at some point, too.


Many will remember Kate also had an engagement on Valentine's Day 2012 in Liverpool, whilst William was deployed to the Falklands. The Duchess told well-wishers the Prince had sent her a card and flowers. No doubt they will mark it together, most likely at Kensington Palace this year.


We've received many comments emails and messages via social media enquiring about the lack of engagements since William and Kate viewed Alive 3D at the Natural History Museum on December 12. January tends to be a quiet month for the royals across the board with very few appearances in general even from the most senior royals. February will certainly prove to be a more eventful month.

Paul Harrison Twitter Feed

Richard Palmer offers another perspective:

Richard Palmer Twitter Feed

I don't know about you, but here at 'Duchess Kate Blog' we're all very much looking forward to seeing the Duchess out and about again :)

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During the quieter spells, older stories tend to re-emerge with additional details. Over the weekend a new video clip from a production of My Fair Lady emerged, in which 11-year-old Kate showcased her acting talents as the endearing Eliza Doolittle. Vanity Fair notes, "even while playing an imposter Duchess, Kate exhibits a regal, downright noble presence onstage," and I very much agree with that sentiment. You really must watch the video below to hear Kate's cockney accent; the 'Rain in Spain' section is particularly good!




Downton Abbey fans will recognise Kate's co-star as Andrew Alexander, who played party-loving aristocrat Sir John Bullock in the most recent series. The media claim young Kate had a crush on Mr. Alexander. Whether that's true or merely embellishment to the story we cannot know for sure.

ITV

What did you think of Kate's performance? A number of tweeters noted the white and black coat dress she wore is incredibly similar to her signature style now.

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Next up, a story which we meant to touch on last week but got distracted with our poll results. Prince Charles is to take a significant step towards becoming King this month when a key part of his household merges with Buckingham Palace. The Prince's communication team, which is responsible, for his public image will move from Clarence House to the Palace where one of Charles's courtiers will take charge of publicity for all members of the Royal Family.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry's media team will continue to be headed by Ed Perkins, whilst some junior staff will remain at Kensington Palace and Clarence House, the younger royals communications team will also be consolidates. More from The Telegraph article:

'It is hoped the merger will also prevent members of the Royal Family competing with each other for coverage in the media when they carry out high-profile engagements on the same day, as often happens now. "We will have a lot more joined-up planning in the future and will be able to make the best use of resources across the whole of the family."'

News of the consolidation has led to plenty of speculation regarding Prince Charles and his purported feelings of William and Kate's popularity. It has also been suggested he wishes to scale down the monarchy ensuring the focus is kept on key members (senior royals) and the media glare is firmly focused on serious matters rather than more light-hearted topics, such as Kate's clothing. If there is any truth to these rumours, and again we can merely speculate, then I feel it is a fruitless endeavour. The press and public are fascinated with the younger royals, where they go, what they wear etc. and that interest translates into publicity, donations and support for charities they champion. In the same breath, Charles is intelligent and has been around long enough to know exactly how it works and the fact that the focus on the young royals will remain firmly as it is, and most importantly it's very much positive for the monarchy moving forward.

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In today's fashion corner, we look at Jenny Packham's Spring/Summer 2014 Bridal Collection. We know the Duchess favours the designer's bridal wear and the gorgeous teal gown she wore to an Olympic Gala in 2012 was modelled after the silk chiffon 'Aspen' gown.


We also see the Ink-Blue Packham gown Kate wore last year in a bridal style.


Glancing through the collection, there are endless possibilities for Kate. If you can envisage any of these gowns in jewel tones, neutral shades or classic black they would work incredibly well for the Duchess.

Jenny Packham

We've come to expect so much from Ms. Packham's collections; romantic elegance, soft layers, delicate embellishment, feminine silhouettes - all of which this collection exudes in abundance. 

Jenny Packham

The collection, titled 'Belle Époque', takes its inspiration from an era of French history crossing the 19th and 20th centuries encapsulating "the spirit of Edwardian style and the Art Nouveau movement which defined it". Several of these pieces are made for Kate, and I do hope we see one or two during that tour we've been obsessing over very much looking forward to.

Jenny Packham

Next up, a designer we wish Kate would wear. We look at several looks from Elie Saab's Spring 2014 Couture Collection. Mr. Saab is favoured by European royals and celebrities alike and in a pared down version of one of his gowns, the Duchess would look splendid.

Style.com

Finally, Hello! also reports Kate has been devoting her time to caring for George and making their Kensington Palace home more child friendly, including a request that a pond be covered so a toddling George doesn't fall in. Staff at the Palace have described the Cambridges as "incredibly doting parents".

113 comments:

  1. Pauline Oak Hills28 January 2014 at 16:40

    Charlotte Thank you for this great news. I was having really bad Duchess withdrawals...lol She is doing what all new mothers do (or wish they could do), spend time with her baby. And it was nice to know that William has been commuting home to be with his family.

    There was a photo posted today of a mad looking William getting off the train in Cambridge this morning with a big duffle bag. Any news on if he has to stay in Cambridge for awhile or is it a field trip. But he did not look very happy.

    Thank you again for this great blog.

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    1. Lynn Georgia USA28 January 2014 at 18:58

      Charlotte,

      Pauline having piqued my interest, I went searching for this photo. My computer reports an error, indicating that the Telegraph has removed the picture and article. Am I experiencing a computer glitch or has the Palace press office intervened? What do you think?

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    2. Pauline Oak Hills29 January 2014 at 01:14

      Yes I have been looking for it and it is gone. It showed William with a black bag thrown over his shoulder and a lap top in his hand. He did not look to happy. I will continue to look for it. And post the link.

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  2. I had this feeling you would be posting today. I checked the blog and there was nothing new, then to my delight a new post popped in! I love, love, love the new Jenny P bridal gowns and I can absolutely see the Duchess in colored versions of some of them. In fact, I'm a little jealous that one or two weren't around when I got married a couple years ago. I could have tried them on at least. ;) Oh, and Elie Saab...yes! How great would that be if Kate were to wear one of those fabulous designs! They rarely disappoint on the red carpet.

    Can't wait to see the Duchess out and about again. I don't condone the stalker-azzi, but in the absence of official engagements, I must say that I miss catching glimpses of her!

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  3. Lynn Georgia USA28 January 2014 at 17:53

    I hesitate to impugn Prince Charles's motives in consolidating royal press offices. However, I do seem to remember that he was, indeed, quite jealous of Diana's popularity from the very beginning. If he is, in fact, hoping to quell interest in Kate's clothes or Harry's beard, I fear he is fighting a losing battle! He should just sit back and bask in their reflected glory!

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    1. I had the same thought, regarding Charles being so terribly jealous of Diana. Of course that doomed relationship was much more complicated; but he really ought to realize the battle is lost as to the younger generation drawing attention. I'm sure he is a dedicated hardworking man who will be his mother's son as King, but the dazzle factor is somewhat lacking, bless him.
      Love those new Packham gowns, what timeless, gorgeous designs. Too bad the next dinner engagement is black tie, wishing for a tiara evening in vain.

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    2. I am going to give Charles the benefit of the doubt - this is an austerity and coordination move. It is silly for all of them to have different press offices and they should function as a unit. If the whole point of appearances is for media attention, then he has done the right thing by unifying it and developing a coordinated appearance program. This way all the patronages will get exposure and the media won't have to choose which one to feature.

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    3. Lynn, it *is* a losing battle! :)

      And I doubt he will ever adopt JFK's approach ........."I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it." No way, no how.

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    4. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 18:10

      It has been a very long time since Diana had influence over Charles. He did resent her at times; I think so as well. However, that's because when they went out on engagements no one wanted to see him. Think about how we'd react if we were out with our spouse and no one cared that we were there, no one cared about what we had to say, and all everyone cared about was where our spouse got his suit and who made his tie. After a while, I bet all of us would be ready to choke out the spouse and/or make him/her stay home. It's human nature. Combine that with a spouse who loves seeing himself on the front page every day and there you have it. Quite a bit different than the scenario with William and Kate. Who do appear to mirror Charles/Diana in the "spouse is the draw" category, although not as much as Charles and Diana.

      But, just for sake of argument, let's assume Charles is jealous of William and Kate. Why? Because of all the engagements they do and attention they draw to their causes? No. Because they're better looking? Maybe. But, more likely, if Charles is upset I'd place a wager that it's on Kate for upstaging his SON. Imagine how we'd feel if our son's wife (who got her position due to her marriage) got attention over our son.

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    5. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 18:11

      royalfan: Charles did do that. He said it was too bad he didn't have two of her so he could be in the middle of the road directing the operation.

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    6. I never thought Charles was "jealous" of Diana. I think he sometimes justifiably resented her popularity when his own, largely much more substantive charitable work and other serious interests went unsung or sneered at as the media waxed rhapsodic about Diana as Lady Bountiful, not to mention her clothes. This is a man who, for example, has actually founded over 30 charities; Diana didn't found one. He is patron of hundreds of charities and organizations, far more than Diana ever patronized, and his environmental interests have turned out to be prescient.

      And frankly, Diana did rather gleefully revel in the attention she got vs. the attention he received. She became a victim of her own, media-created image and believed a lot of the truly ridiculous hagiography concocted by royals reporters in the name of selling magazines and newspapers.

      However, Charles isn't stupid, and at this juncture, he knows well that if the royals are seen merely as celebrities and clotheshorses, the monarchy will be weakened, especially as the Queen becomes increasingly aged and less visible. It's important for its survival that it be perceived as a weightier, more serious, and more substantive institution. To that end, consolidating and centralizing the public relations activities is an intelligent step. It will be easier to plan and strategize and perhaps to avoid some of the missteps made in the past.

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    7. bluhare, I don't believe that Kate has upstaged William. William is popular in his own right and certainly more approachable than Charles ever was. Plus, he's got Diana's legacy behind him. Naturally, any female will get the added attention because of her wardrobe vs a man in a suit, but I don't see William having a problem with it. If anything, he is protective of Kate, but not upstaged or jealous. When they appear together, W&K are more of an even double act, which was not the case with Charles and Diana since he was always seen as stuffy and out of touch. William is also very tactile with Kate and doesn't appear to resent her company.

      I don't think Charles has concerns over W&K's impact on one other. But given his past history with being upstaged, and the burden of promoting Camilla as Queen, I do believe he is worried about W&K's impact on him and Camilla.

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    8. I would agree that initially Diana enjoyed the media attention, but perhaps that had a little something to do with the positive feedback she was not receiving at home. And as it became more and more clear that there was no pleasing her husband or her in-law's, I believe she did what many women do and thought, the heck with this, and she rather enjoyed it. That's human nature and I cannot fault her for that.

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    9. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 22:54

      Hey royalfan . . . Kate does poll as the most popular royal, so she does have that. I agree that any upstaging is quite mild compared to the olden days of Chuck 'n Di, and I do think William is better equipped to deal with it. I also think that his image is carefully managed, as well. At least he doesn't run around telling people he'll decapitate them when he becomes king any more! (I used to love that one!)

      As far as Diana goes, I think we'd all need PhD's in psychology to truly understand what went on with her, but as she felt unwanted since childhood (being a girl instead of a boy) it's not surprising to me either that she'd latch on to public adoration like a dog to a bone.

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    10. Pauline Oak Hills30 January 2014 at 00:37

      Bluhare I do not think William is worried about Kate up staging him. If you watch him when they are doing joint engagements he just looks so proud of Kate and all the attention she gets. I can see him thinking "man that is my beautiful wife and I am one lucky guy".

      And if Charles is worried about Kate up staging his son then is just need's to grow up. If it does not bother William then it should not worry Charles. Maybe alot of this is coming from Camilla because let's face it Kate & Will has up staged her.

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    11. The notion that Camilla is some scheming witch who is resentful of the Cambridges just makes me laugh. Every shred of evidence indicates that Camilla really prefers to keep her head down, that she likes a private life, that while she takes her duties seriously and performs them well, being royal was never all that important to her. My guess is that she delighted to have the Cambridges around to pick up the slack and distract the media. The evidence is also that she and the Duchess of Cambridge get along quite well. I don't think these staff and office changes have a thing to do with anyone's resentment or jealousy. I think they are practical changes intended to support and improve the monarchy's public image and emphasize its continuing viability as the Queen becomes less active and less visible AND as the British public is becoming ever-less tolerant of some aspects of the institution.

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    12. I might add that I think there's a quite unfortunate tendency on the part of a lot of people to see the royals as characters in some melodramatic soap opera, filled with scheming, plots, jealousies, and all manner of nefarious, underhanded behavior right out of some trashy tabloid. The truth of the matter is that the royals are, for the most part, really quite ordinary people in terms of personality if not in terms of privilege. They're just not that exciting. Perhaps that's the problem: they're not as exciting as people would like, so the temptation is to assume that there must be a lot more going on than we can actually observe and that it must involve a lot of sly or hostile maneuvering and jockeying for position. This is one very tiresome legacy of the Diana years and the way she played the tabloid media game and bought into conspiracy theories.

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    13. Well, if Camilla prefers to keep her head down, she made an interesting choice in pursuing the heir to the throne...and MARRYING him. For many years, Camilla was in the shadows and she wasn't exactly a popular figure. Her marriage to Charles was the ultimate validation for her so I do not believe for one nanosecond that she doesn't want every bit of recognition for her current position. Being overshadowed by W&K must be quite irritating for her. This may be my opinion, but I also believe it's human nature and logical given the factors and history involved.

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    14. Well, we'll have to agree to disagree. I see no public evidence whatsoever that Camilla feels she's being "overshadowed" or that she is irritated, and it was the public evidence to which I was referring. I don't pretend to be able to read anyone's mind, particularly the mind of someone I have never met. I know from experience, however, that there are a lot of people who feel that they know precisely what goes on in the minds of all the royals. I've always found it rather amazing.

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    15. Yes, we will have to agree to disagree. I happen to find it equally amazing that some people are willing to dismiss past history and not even consider that elements of it may be repeated.

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    16. I think this is rather a silly remark from someone who is still stuck on "past history" and determined to make claims about people she does not know and never will. I'm distressed by the tabloid mentality I see on this site. On what grounds -- and I mean this quite seriously -- do you claim that the Duchess of Cornwall is somehow hostile to, or causing problems for, the Duchess of Cambridge?

      Please offer firm, documentary evidence, not claims out of some trashy supermarket tabloid.

      Do think about the possibility that the "past history" that so concerns you might not matter very much to other people who have other things to occupy them in this day and age. That is, what YOU think about the royals, in a tabloid/soap opera/blog context, might not be considered immediately relevant to their lives now and may NEVER have been relevant, outside of some trashy tabloid.

      They have other things to concern them. And thank God.

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    17. Vittoria, I think it's rude to classify someone's comment/opinion as "silly" and it's dismissive to assume that someone is basing their opinions/comments on tabloids.

      Many of us come here to share our opinions and I certainly use my fair share of "IMO" in my comments. We don't have to agree, but as long as the difference of opinion is civil, I don't see a problem with it. And it seems that others agree or you wouldn't be reading these conversations.

      There's a time to read the NEMJ...and there's a time to take a breath and enjoy the lighter side of life. And fortunately, Charlotte has been very kind in allowing us to do exactly that.

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  4. When is Hrh's maternity leave supposed to end. I agree that W&K need to build a strong foundation for their family, but I would like to see them once a week or so.

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    1. carrie from the rockies29 January 2014 at 02:28

      I believe her leave was 8 months or at least that's what someone told me.

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    2. British women can take 12 months----Catherine obviously is not taking that, as they are off to Australia and New Zealand in April. so many women criticizing her for wanting to be with her child is sad.
      On the day Prince George was born all the senior press officers were in the street outside the hospital---I suspect they have realized that working more closely together was a good idea---particularly when the BP Press office kept insisting that Catherine was not a Princess, when everyone else knew she was.

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    3. Pauline Oak Hills29 January 2014 at 15:44

      Kate can take up to a year maternity leave. That is what any mother in the UK can take.

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    4. Taking up to a year is awesome! We get a measly 3 months at months at my work😞

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  5. Hi Pauline - Can you post a link to the photo? Thank you! Great job, as always, Charlotte.

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    1. Pauline Oak Hills29 January 2014 at 00:50

      Hi Anon- I just put prince william in my search engine and it brings up things regarding William. There is where I saw the story. I will look again and see if I can get the link.

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    2. Pauline Oak Hills29 January 2014 at 15:43

      Anon- Sorry it was in the Telegraph and they have removed the photo. Maybe Charles caught wind of it and had it removed. We know he is jealous of Will & Kate.

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  6. So cute Kate as Little Doolittle!

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  7. Portia from Chicago28 January 2014 at 19:18

    I have been following with great interest all the debates about C&C and their role in handling W&K's offices/press coverage both here and on theroyaldigest site. I am agnostic to some extent about Charles' motives. We know that there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence of his jealousy of Diana's popularity. On the other hand, we do know that Diana was quite adept at handling the press very early on, so her office could have been the source of these rumors. At the same time it is not inconceivable that Charles was a jealous petty sort. There was talk between bluhare and royalfan on C&C phone conversation, on royal digest, and I would insert my two cents on that as the following. I was astounded at how Camilla was good at stroking Charles' sense of being wronged and his apparent constant self-pity. I believe that she had him wrapped around her finger simply by feeding his need to be validated (which btw Diana probably never did - she was too self-sufficient in some sense to understand Charles' need for that) - if you read the transcript it is endless, mindless validation from Camilla and constant self-pity from Charles. So, a whiny, somewhat needy character like that may also have had pretty robust streaks of jealousy and pettiness .. or he may have acted out of jealousy or pettiness at times towards Diana.
    Then again it's been 20 years. So maybe he has gotten past that.

    As for Charles' role in W&K affairs. I find it hard to believe that he is actively jealous of them. There may be some envy and concern about his and Camilla's popularity. But overall I think that he is more annoyed at how the media and public focus on their appearences while the hard work of senior royals like himself are often not even covered in the media. I don't find that to be a wrong sentiment at all. In fact, given how serious Charles is about his causes I can certainly understand how it might rub him the wrong way.

    So overall, I tend to believe that Charles wants to control media focus on the royals, and that his motives are not dishonorable. Of course there will be touches of self-interest - who does not act out of self-interest all the time. But I don't think that actively wishes to harm W&K or Harry's popularity.

    As for Camilla - she has played the long game. At the expense of her children, her reputation. She is a smart character - an old-fashioned feminine sort. My grannys used to play her game - stroke male egos to get what they wanted. She is a pro at that.

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    1. Portia, I enjoyed reading your take on the telephone conversation...and I totally agree on both method and motive. Camilla is a pro. Where Diana (I think) wanted a more balanced relationship, Camilla was content to sit back and reap the benefits of stroking his ego. Granted, it did take her places!

      Regarding Charles' jealousy of Diana's popularity...yes, she was media savvy, but his attitude and reactions to it was well documented; the subject was highlighted in reputable royal biography/documentary programs.

      And I won't go so far as to say that he wants to harm W&K or H's popularity, but I do believe that his goals tend to be self-serving. I'll leave it at that understatement! :)

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    2. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 01:44

      Wow, Portia. Very good assessment of Charles. I can see all that, and I also think like you that his motives regarding centralizing communication are good. I think it's a good idea that one message for the monarchy gets out; not piecemeal with competing factions. It creates the "brand" everyone talks about, as well as solidifies the message.

      I might nitpick about Camilla playing the long game at the expense of her children, but I confess I haven't really looked into that so can't really say. My gut reaction says she didn't, but I've got nothing to base that on.

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    3. Pauline Oak Hills30 January 2014 at 00:29

      Portia I think Charles is going to try and control Will & Kate but I do not think it will ever happen. He is very jealous of them and I think that Camilla has alot to do with it. I also belive Camilla is super jealous of Kate. I do not believe any of the crap that is written about Camilla doing things to Kate but she does not like all the attention Kate & William get. Let's face it you have a beautiful couple who are very much in love and the world are in love with them. And they have nothing to do about it.

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  8. I *love* the Jenny Packam gown with the keyhole neckline, empire waist, 3/4 sleeves (far left in your second group of photos.) That would look sooo elegant on Kate. It drapes so beautifully.
    I also like the one that is second from left in the bottom group of Jennys. The top is so cute - it would work with a knee length skirt in summer. Here's hoping Kate commissions some bespoke versions. I can't wait to see what she'll wear to the National Portrait Gallery!

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    1. I was thinking exactly the same! That dress really stands out for me, and would look gorgeous in a different color. Makes me wish we could vote for what Kate actually wears!

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  9. Looking forward to seeing the pictures from Kate's upcoming engagements. It's lovely that she has been able to spend lots of time with George, though I'm not a mother, yet I can imagine those baby years slip by so fast. Wasn't she great as Eliza?! Made me smile! I agree, what she is wearing resembles her signature style of today. I know it might sound random but it reminded me of the McQueen Military Silk Georgette blouse!

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  10. The video featuring young Kate was a hoot! I loved it!!Cant wait to see her on Feb 11th for her first official engagement of the year. Jenny Packham's wedding collections are awesome,,each gown is unique in its own way.Thanks chica!!xoxo

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  11. Okay. I have to say that the comments from the Hello! article don't do William or Kate any favors. I support both of them, but even I admit to finding it difficult to read that she "agreed to attend an event"...and that it will "take place during the day so she can spend the evening with Prince William." I can just see non-supporters jumping out of their chairs over that sugary snippet. I have to ask myself who wrote it, and why? It doesn't put them in a favorable light; more like porcelain dolls than action figures.

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    1. Yes, I thought exactly the same thing. It gives off the wrong vibe completely. Kate has "agreed to attend an event" sounds very incorrect. In her role as patron, it's a duty to support the gallery and I'm sure an honour. I wonder who wrote it (I believe it was Judy Wade) but I cannot imagine reading "Her Majesty agreed to attend an event" because it's a royals job to carry out these engagements.

      Also, to those who mentioned the pictures of William, The Telegraph appears to have removed them...

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    2. Pauline Oak Hills29 January 2014 at 15:38

      Maybe Charles was involued in having it rermoved...lol

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    3. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 18:01

      Sorry, I'm a bit out of breath due to all that chair jumping I just did.

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    4. Portia from Chicago29 January 2014 at 20:22

      royalfan, you know, I hate to point this out.. but even you will agree that Hello is *extremely* pro-Kate and William ? Yes ? So is it not possible that the wording of the article was derived from what was conveyed to Hello from Kate's office ? I know that you want to believe that Kate and William do want to work and pull their weight - and you know, I did give lots of time to be proven so, but I do fear that there is some evidence to the contrary.
      To me, it seems that Kate and William simply feel entitled to massive amounts of time off. Hence those words.

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    5. Yes, Portia, I totally agree that Hello! is very pro-W&K and it's quite possible that it was from their camp. But regardless of the source, I was not impressed with the content and wondered who the heck would write it AND think it would benefit them in any way.

      As far as their diaries are concerned, I think there was a method to the madness, so to speak, and William's time in Anglesey was an ideal way to bring Kate into the fold, and time for them to start a family. People may not agree with it, but I think it was all done for a reason.

      What happens going forward remains to be seen, but I strongly believe that the focus will be on C&C. Not that this will be beneficial to W&K (short or long term), but I could see it happening.

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    6. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 23:00

      Now that I've got the chair jumping out of my system (that was funny, royalfan!) I am proud, yet somewhat surprised, to find myself agreeing with you. Why the heck didn't they just say she has an engagement and leave it at that?

      Perhaps it's because of all the hoo-ha about William commuting so he could spend time with Kate and George? I mean why bother commuting if your wife's going to dump you for a formal gala appearance? LOL!!!!

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    7. Pauline Oak Hills30 January 2014 at 00:23

      I think it wil notl bring C&C to the forfront. Will & Kate are just to popular and nothing Charles try will hurt that. Let's face it, they are the face of the royal family and IMO Charles & Camilla are very jealous of them.

      I did read that Will & Kate will not be full time rpyals for another few years. Now I am not sure if this is true. They say after William finishs with Cambridger and their tour then he will work for Charities or other places. Again not sure if this is true also. We will just have to wait and see what will happen after the tour.

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    8. bluhare, I'm happy to hear that you got over the chair jumping. LOL. :)

      My opinion of all the "explaining" (is William commuting? is Kate on maternity leave? does she have an engagement during the day so she can be with William?) is that it is not doing them any favors at this point.

      The less said, the better. Let their engagements/charities speak for themselves and leave it alone. The more they explain, the more people will expect it and, in the end, it only causes more speculation.

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    9. bluhare in Washington State31 January 2014 at 00:00

      About engagements speaking for themselves . . . .

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2548964/Food-medicine-Prince-Charles-calls-quality-hospital-food-clinical-priority.html

      That's how you do it. (Sorry; had to find something good to say about Charles!!)

      Delete
    10. bluhare, I don't dispute the contributions he has made. I respect him for that. It's just my belief that some of the choices he's made in his personal life have tainted his resume. And in his position, it DOES matter.

      Delete
  12. thank you Charlotte for all that you do. I am excited to see what is upcoming with the duchess!

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  13. I like reading about Catherine, but I think the move to consolidate press coverage is an excellent idea. They must be seen as serious if the Monarchy is to continue, otherwise they degenerate to being just "celebrities" with no real purpose. And that simply isn't the case. They are in a whole different category. I am very pleased when I read about the vast amount of good they do for the country. That is far more important than how they look. And I hasten to add that I think they all look very good just about all of the time.

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    Replies
    1. Portia from Chicago29 January 2014 at 18:10

      Jane, I agree with you. The main problem that William and Kate face is that the public and media do not take them seriously as patrons. They are mostly responsible for that, though. They do not have the gravitas, the thoughtful approach that Charles or Diana did at that age. They do not have the work ethic and the professionalism of either CP Mary of Denmark or Victoria of Sweden (who are a few years older but have been working for a decade and longer). Their press office releases falsehoods like them being "one of us" and not having hired help among many idiotic things - like William will live in Cambridge (wth was that about ?) . I have pointed out many times before that they do not control their image. The media has a wild time painting them in whichever way they wish. Flying skirts, flying hair, idiotic questions (from Kate), tiny skirts, cement the image of a beautiful rather empty-headed celebrity rather than a thoughtful professional who is trying to bring attention to a real cause. Kate is undoubtedly very beautiful and it is the public's instinct to focus on that. But Diana (who was equally if not more beautiful) was able to expertly steer the attention away from her looks. Yes, women talked about her clothes, her hair, her eyeliner. But they talked about her causes all the same. It took time, but what she did on a consistent basis was SHOW UP. She worked, from day 1. Two weeks after giving birth to William she had an engagement. Look it up. She took no maternity leave, neither for William nor Harry. She built her brand through her work, and with media. She did interviews - she was fearless in letting people see her for what she was. She communicated to the people that SHE CARED. She refused to be an image that the media painted or a puppet the palace controlled - which is EXACTLY what Kate is allowing herself to be. Who IS Kate ? We have no idea whatsoever, because she is so scared of revealing herself. What is there to hide - I wonder.

      Charles obviously cannot force W&K to work.. but I think that by taking control of the PR he can relegate their "celebrity" image to the background while showcasing his and senior royal's work in the foreground. The monarchy's goal is not to be liked by a few women who read blogs but to be liked by EVERYONE. Men, women and children. They cannot be liked unless Kate and William speak to ALL of them. Not just women who think she's pretty !

      I have LONG been lamenting about W&K's really awful PR and I for one think that this will improve things and eventually benefit them and the monarchy.

      Delete
    2. I totally agree with you Portia nice summary!!! Blue27

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    3. Portia, Diana was married to the next in line, just as Camilla is today. Kate is not in the same position and I believe there has been a conscious effort to avoid mistakes made in the past. And could you imagine what would happen if Kate *did* take on a similar schedule? It would be great for her image, but I cannot see it benefiting C&C.

      Delete
    4. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 23:03

      royalfan, for now I'm going to accept that Charles has great concerns about public perceptions of the Cambridges vs. Camilla. With that in mind, what would happen if Kate took on a much greater role? Why would that automatically negate Camilla? I think it would depend on how it was approached, not that Kate actually did it. Hope I'm getting my point across as I'm having a bit of trouble getting my thoughts onto paper today.

      Delete
    5. Speaking of chairs, bluhare, I almost fell out of mine when I read that you agree about Charles having concerns over public perceptions of W&K vs. Camilla. A buckle your seatbelt heads-up would be helpful next time... :) LMAO.

      Charles (his PR people really) has (have) worked long and hard to bring Camilla out of the mistress shadows and make her his wife and future consort. Personally, I don't see anyone jumping up and down over the prospect of her being crowned Queen. IMO the opinions run somewhere between lukewarm acceptance of the inevitable....to being appalled at the idea because of the path she/they took to get there. (Need I say which way I lean?:)

      Speaking for myself, William is a vivid reminder of Diana and seeing him happily married and enjoying the family life she was denied, makes it very difficult to look at C&C from a warm and fuzzy perspective. It would be totally different if Camilla came along AFTER the fact, rather than having been the third person in C&D's marriage.

      Bottom line...IMO...the more the public sees of W&K, the less "appetizing" C&C become. And how do we deal with that? Tuck them away and let their reputations suffer in the meantime. I hope I am proven wrong. I really do. This one-voice for the monarchy is a wonderful idea, but the message will only be as good (and beneficial for ALL) as the messenger intends it to be.

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    6. bluhare in Washington State31 January 2014 at 00:03

      Don't get yourself too worked up there, royalfan! Please note the two operative words in my post: FOR NOW. Which also translates to "for the sake of argument". :)

      And I disagree that the more we see of WK the less appetizing Charles becomes.

      Delete
    7. Portia from Chicago you are absolutely right...who is Kate? She does and says little to reveal anything about herself. She doesn't talk to the press, gives no interviews and very few speeches. Their PR team is doing a horrible job of making her seem relevant. Yes, she has a baby at home, but I have felt from the beginning that saying she is on "maternity leave" is a huge mistake. Maternity leave is for women who go to work everyday full time. Not for someone who comes out every few weeks for an hour or so. I tend to think this has more to do with W&K than Charles. Also, what other Royal family releases hardly any photos of a future heir to the throne?

      For better or worse Charles is the next King. He might not be as charismatic as W&K but he passionately devotes himself to his causes - he spoke about climate change long before it was popular and people thought he was crazy. IMO, Camilla does not get enough credit. She takes on causes that are not typical Royal causes such as rape kits for women and animal rights. Kate would never touch anything like this. Her patronages are admirable, but nothing out of the ordinary for Royals. I really don't think Charles is trying to keep W&K in the back ground - I think this is where they want to be and this is why they get bad press. Even calling this year a "Gap" year for William was a mistake. What 32 year old takes a "gap" year?

      William is known to be very headstrong and stubborn and would probably rather have stayed in the military if he had his choice. It seems like the Queen and Charles are willing to give him his way for now, but I'm sure not for long.

      Delete
  14. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 01:45

    That red Elie Saab!! Now that's a gown!

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  15. Looking forward to official enagement its been awhile since her last enagement i love the little duchess playing eliza made me smile when little

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  16. Did anyone catch the bit about the palace being broke? Bizarre!?

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    1. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 17:59

      It's the money from the sovereign grant, I believe, not the Queen's personal wealth. Nor is it the money from the Duchy of Lancaster. The Queen is far from broke, although apparently her grant money (old civil list) appears to be either mismanaged or woefully inadequate.

      Delete
  17. carrie from the rockies29 January 2014 at 02:43

    I too am extremely happy knowing she taking care of pg. And I can guarantee shes doing a lot of behind the scene plans for this year as far as charities go. I bet she's also organizing photo albums and portraits to hang all of pg and their little family.

    I am excited to see her at an engagement as well. Not for what she'll be wearing but for art appreciation she'll be doing. That was her absolute favorite in college. And if she is going out on Valentine's day, I bet it will be a children's visit. I would love to see the excitement on the kids faces when she surprises them.

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  18. Hi Charlotte!

    Thank you for the good work you do in bringing HRH's fashion highlights to all of us! As a quick note, there is a small typo in the National Portrait Gallery paragraph: 'Henry VIII's wily adviser Thomas Cromwell that _hands_ in the National Portrait Gallery,' It is hangs.

    Have a wonderful evening!

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    1. Thank you Anonymous, correcting now :)

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  19. Charlotte, thanks for the lovely update! SO happy to know we'll get to see Kate out for the National Portrait Gallery engagement. I have to agree with you and disagree with Richard Palmer's tweets. I think most will be incredibly interested to see Kate and what she wears. The fact that it is black tie should peek interest a bit more in my opinion. We'll see. I will be VERY excited to see her out and about!

    Kate as Eliza Doolittle was fantastic! I know she was always involved in drama and apparently sings beautifully also. I would love to hear her sing. Wonder if there are any video clips that would surface? :) She seems very talented from what I can tell in the short clip. I know there have been interviews when others who have performed with her have said she was very talented. To tackle the cockney accent is a trick in itself!

    The Jenny Packham gowns - WOW! They are all gorgeous! I think my favorite was second row down to the far left....jeweled loophole neckline and waist. Kate would look amazing in it! Maybe we'll see Kate don one at her upcoming engagement!

    Charles, oh Charles. Bless his heart. It would be a fruitless endeavor to try to take any focus or attention off the younger royals. I guess time will tell. If the Queen has the longevity of her mother, her reign is far from over. If that's the case and obviously no one knows, it is always a possibility that Charles would ascend to the throne at close to 80. Charlotte, as you stated, the focus needs to be on the younger royals to help move the monarchy forward.

    Charlotte, NBC news reported tonight on the House of Windsor being "broke"...mismanagement of funds, a large percentage of households unacceptable as far as repairs, Buckingham Palace "falling apart", etc, etc. I know that the news can exaggerate, but wondering if any British media has reported anything. I just found it interesting. Robert Jobson was interviewed stating that they could possibly rent out rooms at Buckingham, open BP for a longer period of time to the public, etc. Just curious.

    Thanks again for the great update!

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  20. I would love to see Kate in Elie Saab. Well, at this point, I would love to see Kate in anything, what an incredibly quiet month! :)
    I've seen the video of the play, and oh my god doesn't young Kate look beautiful. Her acting and attitude on stage are perfect for an 11 year old.
    Can't wait for February, 11! Just 2 more weeks to go.
    Hugs!
    Z. from Portugal

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  21. For the girls looking for the photo of William arriving in Cambridge: here you go https://twitter.com/Telegraph/status/428181225862209536/photo/1

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    1. Pauline Oak Hills30 January 2014 at 00:10

      I tried to site and it did not come up. Said page not avaiable.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry I looked! those nasty comments are so unfair. It would make me nuts not to be able to defend myself but they aren't allowed to do that. Bummer.....

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    3. Pauline, what site did you try? The Telegraph? I posted the link to the Telegraph's TWITTER. Just copy my link and you'll see the picture. I've juts tried moments ago and it's still there. I checked it this time on a different computer and if you cannot see the picture, put the link to it in google and then go to the 1st link shown there. It stars with: Twitter / Telegraph: Prince William looks glum as etc. Hope it helps this time. That's what I did and was able to see the photo again.

      Delete
    4. Pauline Oak Hills1 February 2014 at 04:51

      @M Thanks I saw it again. Poor guy looks so unhappy.

      Delete
  22. My brother in law has a cockney accent, he's very hard to understand lol. The cockney accent is the British version of the American deep southern accent. I still have trouble understanding my Grandmother....this makes for interesting family get togethers

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  23. Dear Charlotte,

    I am Italian so my opinion is not much worth, but - if I was English - I would like to pay more tax in order to renovate Windsor's palaces. The Royal Family is a great business, Great Britain might take care of their public image. A bit of mystery is important for the power of their image, so why ask them to open the doors? no, in my opinion it would be better to pay few cents more per head than to risk to put down the image of the most respected and admired monarchy in the world.

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    1. Omg. Well I am from the uk and think we pay enough. Many palaces we don't have access to some aren't lived in 24/7 and there are enough people living in poverty in this country who require help rather than the royal. Enough is enough. And then r uk papers aren't allowed to publish pics or stories of the royals in their non public engagement days.

      Delete
  24. CJ from Minnesota29 January 2014 at 20:18

    Just a few random thoughts sitting here in my hotel room in Croatia...

    The Jenny Packman dresses are nice - I notice how the model is wearing her hair back or up which looks nice with all the dresses. I love Elie Saab dresses although after a while they can look kind of the same. The Luxembourg ladies seem to really like his dresses.

    I do think Charles is on to something about combining the PR efforts for the royal family into one unit. It seems to make sense to me but how is it going to be put into action? Ofcourse, I am sure that the individual PR teams now are not happy because people may be losing power, control, influrence and their jobs. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out because in reality, there are quite a few royals out and about besides the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camila, W&K, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Sophie, Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice and Eugenie (occasionally), The Kents, The Gloucesters, Princess Alexandra - did I miss anyone? All these people have their patronages, charities, pet projects so will that get cut back or redistributed or rotated? I noticed that both the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra have had and do have engagements on their calendars. Both of them are elderly and have health issues and yet they are out and about. Will they just retire some of them and do less but with more impact?

    I guess I am not sure what the definition of maternity leave is with regards to Kate? My Danish coworkers have one year for maternity leave and I don't see or hear from them with regards to work for the full year. I realize the palace said Kate was on maternity leave but she did some engagements late last year and she is going to do some in February. From a PR stance, perhaps calling it maternity leave wasn't the optimal thing...

    I am not feeling like W&K PR is working to their advantage - for people to be talking about Kate out shopping, planning her wardrobe, decorating houses seems to be only balanced by taking care of George. Which of course taking care of George is top priority. Most likely, she is very busy planning her tour but people can't see that and unfortunately, there needs to be a balance of what is done backstage with what is seen in the public. They could show pictures of her in meetings planning things... I agree the wording on the Hello article is unfortunate...

    Camila was the consummate mistress - I found it amazing how her husband seemed to go along with it all. He didn't even make a huge fuss with regards to the divorce. I believe Prince William was asked about her once and he replied "she makes my father happy" and so she does!

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  25. Some royal musings.
    Don't think it would hurt to open B. Palace more. Know it's a working palace but surely a couple of days a week in most months could be managed, or perhaps mornings could be set aside. I think people would appreciate the monarchy more if it wasn't so much behind closed doors.

    Don't think that's the reason for consolidation though. Conflicting schedules is given reason: I.E. Charles doesn't want William and Kate out at the same time (unless with him) to draw attention away from his engagements.

    I've given thought to Princess Michael's remarks. (Doesn't mean she should say them.) Don't think it's just age. Queen, Phillip and Queen Mum always carry or carried attention. But being a good royal requires charisma. Seems to be no antonym for charisma but charisma is what Charles and especially Camilla lack. NOTHING will bring more attention to them. Camilla may be the life of the bedroom and party, but that's not what makes a great royal. The queen, Diana and Queen Mum were all said to be witty but that's not why they are/were loved. Who can recall a joke the queen made? It's their presence. Diana had charisma in loads as does Harry. Andrew used to but it turned negative. (Fergie was no help.) William and Kate have incipient charisma that needs to be developed by public exposure.

    No idea whose plan it is to keep them in the background but it's a terrible one. It won't help C & C, just harm the monarchy. It's destroying Kate's reputation far too rapidly. People who once had hopes for her now see her as lazy. For George's sake most of all, she and William needs to get out there A LOT and draw the young in. They are the most vulnerable to the republican movement.

    The royals aren't like us. Maternity leave is for mothers who have to go back to nine to five jobs, and do the laundry when they get home. Driving your wife home from the hospital doesn't make you a common man. Fixing up expensive homes is not an excuse for not taking on duties. How many of us would like to do that if we didn't have to work. Decorating Kensington Palace should be the bottom of Kate's priority. She didn't need so much time to prepare for the tour of Canada, why does she need it for Australia? She needs to get out there at least a couple of days a week.

    There are plenty of hardworking royals, Anne, Sophie, Alexandra, the Gloucesters. But they don't have the charisma to pull attention to the monarchy and not let its roles get wittled away by republican minded politicians. Only Kate, William and Harry can do that. Charles can work everyday of the year and William can hang back and all that will happen is the monarchy's popularity will plummet.

    William and Kate should remember Queen Mary's maxim "We are royal. We are never tired and we LOVE hospitals. They should get out and build a future for Geoge to inherit.

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    1. OMG Anonymous. What a brilliant post! Thank you. :)

      I'll only add that I always believed that Charles was happy to see his sons pursue military careers rather than take on royal duties f/t. This allowed the focus to be on Camilla as he introduced her as his non-negotiable wife and future Queen. IMO, it appears that we are entering the next stage of the game. And how true that it will only hurt W&K and George.

      In my humble opinion, it would take maturity and a selfless character to allow the younger generation to shine and cheer them on in the process.

      Delete
    2. bluhare in Washington State31 January 2014 at 00:04

      I absolutely love your comment about maternity leave.

      Delete
  26. Eve from Germany30 January 2014 at 08:41

    Great discussion, as always, I thoroughly enjoy it!. What we tent to forget is that Victoria of Sweden and Mary of Denmark are FIRST in line to the throne or married to that respective person. There is a very strict rule in most monarchies what each member has to do or even what they are allowed to do as far as public appearances or "worthy causes to support" are concerned. It´s like a hierarchy which corresponds really to what we all experience everyday in the companies we are working for..... So it´s no surprise that the first in line to the throne and his wife have to be more "visible" than his children and that the causes have to be more "important". I think it´s an inteligent and modern move to put all the PR offices together. Should save costs and certainly it should make the creating of a positive image of the monarchy much easier... So in my opinion that makes absolute sense and shows a good "business" sense.... I think Charles is totally over that "jealousy" thing. He made mistakes in the past yes, and I think if he could turn back the time, he would do a lot of things very differently... But what has happened has happened and now, it´s really about building a future for the monarchy in the 21st century. He loves his two children and he just doesn´t want William to go through what he had to. So he´s really using the fact that William is not Prince of Wales yet in order to give him some time and space. I´ve said it before - once the Queen dies, it´s over for W&K as far as any kind of "normal" live is concerned. They will have to become full-time working royals then - like Victoria of Sweden and all the other Crown Princes and Princesses (including their spouses). So come on, let´s give W&K some space. I love to see them, too, but I´d rather see them growing old happy and still together than seeing them more often at the moment.
    As far as Camilla is concerned - well, maybe she IS how the media and Diana loved to see her - the crafty, ill-meaning mistress. Maybe. Perhaps she just fell in love with the wrong person at the wrong time. What if your "love of your life" happens to be the Prince of Wales and you can´t be together with him because you are not considered to be "suitable" (ah yes, you´re over 20 and you had a boyfriend or two already - now how many of us would have been "unsuitable" due to that kind of criteria, too?) Whatever her motives were or still are, she sure had and has to pay a high price for it! To be the "bad woman" for the rest of your life - I can imagine a better life than this. She wasn´t "stealing" Princess Diana´s husband - I can assure you you can´t "steal" any husband or wife if the marriage is standing on good and solid feet. I was mesmerized by Diana like everyone else but I know what it means to be together with someone who was as traumatized as Diana was. If you are not psychologically trained you are fighting a lost battle. You add Charles´s own traumatic childhood experiences and their public exposure - and disaster is almost inevitable. If Camilla is the one for Charles - so be it. It´s sad when "fairy tales" don´t come true - but that´s life, I guess.

    I absolutely love the Jenny Packham gowns - and Elie Saab, well, he truly knows how to create pieces that are "dreams come true".....

    Charlotte, thanks so much again for this blog, it´s so informative and inspiring, I simply LOVE it!! And thank you all for your comments and discussions - I just LOVE that, too! So have a lovely day, lots of love from Germany! Eve

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    1. Perfectly said, people is always prone to see things in a very schematic way, but things are generally more complicate: you are right, no fairy tales for humans.

      Delete
    2. Eve, let's say that Charles' goal *is* to give W&K time to enjoy family life for as long as they can. Okay...but in 2014 when many people question the need for a monarchy or they're going through difficult economic times and may resent the royal lifestyle they see (and imagine), do you think it would be in the MONARCHY'S best interest to pursue this strategy? I don't.

      I fully supported W&K's time in Anglesey while he was working and I understood allowances being made during Kate's introduction into the RF and her pregnancy and initial maternity leave. But now that Anglesey is behind them and they have moved to KP, it will not benefit them in any way to be seen as being "allowed time and space".

      The only possible "benefit" would be to highlight C&C's role. And while that is important given the Queen's age and the natural order of things, it should NOT be done at the expense of W/K/G and the future of the monarchy.

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  27. Just a couple of points!
    Someone was asking why it was announced that accommodation had been arranged in case William did not commute back to London. I suspect no explanation of that would be necessary to anyone living in this country---January weather can be bad---ergo if he cannot get home, he will have somewhere to stay.
    Same reason I have always understood that engagements in Jan were kept to a minimum.and those fairly local.
    I do not think people in the US know what goes on here. No one has mentioned that Prince William is arranging a conference next month about wildlife--particularly saving the rhino.
    For the first time a Chinese Minister is coming---a coup by the Prince, as China takes most of the rhino horn and they usually refuse to attend such conferences.
    When William started on this course at Cambridge, the press were given full access for photos--with, it was reported a reciprocal agreement to leave him alone after that. This was not for his own sake alone, but a University cannot function with loads of paparazzi around all the time. I suspect the "Telegraph" were reminded of that.
    In my opinion just at this stage, Catherine can do more for the future of the Monarchy by giving her son.all the love and attention she can---much more important than dressing up and heading off somewhere---much as we enjoy seeing her..

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  28. Also Jean, I would think it would be hard for a new mum to not be around her newborn, at least most of the time. The first sounds, the first steps etc. Royal ladies are wives and mothers too. We usually focus on the male, but as Kate is such huge phenomenon everyone wants to see her every minute of everyday. It's important she takes time to bond with the baby imo. To many rush back to work, when they don't really have too. I hope the royal couple can set an example to young couples with young children. After all as a new mum she's entitled to 52weeks statutory maternity leave, plus an extra 26 weeks as well. I doubt she isn't organising her schedule behind the scenes too. January is usually a quote month in the royal schedule anyway. As the future Queen she doesn't need to rush anything. It's all about the long game, less is more is healthy and good value even in the Internet age. Maybe she's taking riding lessons indoors or spending family time with both sets of in-laws.

    All the best to you

    Lady Charlotte. Xoxo

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    1. Wow. I like and support Kate, but the riding lessons and leisurely pace you describe would be better suited for a Ralph Lauren ad. :)

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    2. Pauline Oak Hills31 January 2014 at 01:44

      royalfan I too do not believe Kate is taking riding lessons...lol I do like the idea of her staying home and raising George like any other mother. Yes she is royal and has a duty but she will do what the Queen and her people want her to do.

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  29. None of us are asking that Kate work full time, merely take on an engagement or two a week. I was fortunate enough to have a stay at home mum but she went out for two days of week, even when I was a baby, to do volunteer work. It wouldn't seem unreasonable or harmful to George for Kate to do the same. It would benefit both of them.

    She is not a normal mum who will have to work full time, organise child care or get Nana to watch him. She will always be free to organise her time with George much as she wishes and it is an insult to hardworking average mums to put Kate in the same catagory. No wonder so many resent the royal family now.

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  30. my mom went back to work after 3 months after i was born and we still are close

    lady charlotte so u just encourage women to be housewives?

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    1. Is there anything wrong to be a housewife? A woman should have the right to choose whether she wants to be a housewife or work. This is the true meaning of freedom!

      Monica, France

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    2. Pauline Oak Hills31 January 2014 at 01:41

      Monica I totally agree with you. I IMO I think William like's the idea that Kate is staying home with George. We need to remember they are the new royals per say.

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    3. As an educated professional woman who made a choice to stay at home after my children were born I find the above comment regarding housewives very patronising and dismissive. Many many women make this choice for a variety of reasons. There should be equal respect for all mothers regardless of whether they work inside or outside the home. I personally would encourage any mother to have as much time as possible with their children as those years go by in a flash and I can honestly say they have been the most fulfilling of my life putting my previous professional career in the shade. If Kate wishes to devote the majority of her time to her young family over the next few years I sincerely wish her all the luck in the world and remind her that herself and William have many years of public service ahead of them and they should make the best of these years.
      Fiona

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  31. Mantel never said Kate as a person was a 'plastic princess'. If you read her piece you'll understand she was talking about the new phenomenon of the modern media culture and not attacking Kate personally. I thought that was pretty obvious.

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    1. Pauline Oak Hills31 January 2014 at 01:34

      I repectfully disagree with you. I read and re-read the story and this woman put Kate down.

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    2. bluhare in Washington State31 January 2014 at 17:16

      And I respectfully disagree with you, Pauline. I, too, read the article, and Ms. Mantel was talking about the image presented of Kate, not Kate herself. She said Kate is trotted out AS a plastic mannequin, not that she IS a plastic mannequin.

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    3. Pauline Oak Hills1 February 2014 at 04:48

      @bluhare Ok maybe it is my old age that I read it incorrectly...lol

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    4. Pauline Oak Hills1 February 2014 at 04:49

      @bluhare Ok maybe it is my old age that I read it incorrectly...lol

      Delete
  32. Interested Canadian30 January 2014 at 17:45

    I too have a few points to make. Jean from Lancs has helpfully pointed out that accommodation might have been provided for William in Cambridge due to the uncertain British weather in January. We Canadians, and some in the northern US, may find this hard to believe, given the amount of snow, the whiteouts, and the black ice we contend with in January. By comparison, British winter weather looks like a picnic in the park. Is William really such a wuss?

    I cannot speak for citizens of the US, but here in Canada we have heard all about William and his foolish fondness for rhinos, which some of us believe is code for a fondness for a certain two-legged human female--lest we forget, William is a Windsor male, hence not given to fidelity within wedlock, as proven by his father, and if decades of rumour are to be believed, by his paternal grandfather.If we do not speak of Williams many past under-the-radar solo visits to Kenya, and his apparent determination to continue said visits, this time above-board, as a newly married husband and father and great conservationist--never mind his well-documennted lust for bloodsport--perhaps we do so out of respect for his lovely wife, Kate. We have wearied of respect for the House of Windsor.

    It is not North Americans who are kept in the dark about the Windsors, it is the British public. We knew, long before Brits, about Wallis Simpson; we knew, long before you, about the difficulties in the Charles-Diana marriage.We have something called freedom of the press here.

    We Canadians know, for example, that Prince Charles was inordinately jealous of W/Ks popularity during their 2011 tour of Canada; this was reported in one of Canadas premier papers-The Globe and Mail, out of Toronto-DURING the tour. Hence, some of us concluded that Charles had learned nothing from his past; he was still the same old Charles, selfish, egotistical, not-very-bright.

    This is off-topic, but here goes. Academic success does not always equate to intelligence, but it is a start. So lets start with Charles. He graduated from Gordonstoun/high school with 2 A-levels,with marks of B and C. Well below the general admission standard for Cambridge. His admission to same was not based on merit.

    Prince William attended Eton/high school, a far more rigorous academic institution than that offered at Gordonstoun. He graduated with 3 A-levels, with marks of A, B, and C. His marks were good enough to merit admission to the University of St. Andrews, one of the top 10 in the UK.

    For those who may be interested, Prince Harry also graduated Eton/high school, with less than stellar results. He managed two A-levels,one a B--he was accused by his teacher of cheating; the other a rather dismal D.The inescapable conclusion is that Harry is an intellectual dullard, who only won admission to Sandhurst because of his last name--Windsor-- just as his father had won admission to Cambridge a generation before. William, at least, has earned his way, academically. A royal first.

    By the way, Kate earned 3 A-levels, A, A, B, besting her husband, her brother-in-law, her father-in-law, and her step mother-in-law, not to mention the Queen and her obnoxious/toxic husband.

    Regarding Kate, I am in full agreement with Jean from Lancs. Kate can do so much more for her son, simply by being there for him, than Diana, raised by nannies, or Charles, also raised by nannies, ever did. I hope that William appreciates this, but it is doubtful. He too was raised by nannies.

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    1. Can someone explain what A-levels are? We don't have them here in the US. Are they exams in different fields of study? If so, what were Kate's fields? I suspect none of the monarchy (including William) did anything in scientific fields. This may sound snippy, and I don't want to insult anyone, but in my mind, majoring in the history of art is not a terribly demanding discipline.

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    2. I have to agree with Canadian's comment about the British weather :) It looks balmy compared to what I endure here at 8000 feet in the mountains of the western US!

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    3. Pauline Oak Hills31 January 2014 at 01:33

      So am I understanding you that just because William "might" have a room available to him in case he need's to stay over night that he will have some young co ed sharing his bed? I guess you don't give him much credit. I don't believe for one minute that William would cheat on Kate becuae of the simple fact is what he saw his poor mother go through with his father. So I would give William more credit unless you know something we don't know.

      Just because his father & grandfather cheated does not mean that William will.

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    4. I am finding Interested Canadian's comments libelous. There is no reason to cast such aspersions on Prince William. And who knows what Prince Charles's thoughts during the Canadian tour were, but the subsequent beautiful tour to southeast Asia went ahead as planned. One would think he would be proud.

      As for the weather, I too was in the path of the polar vortex. I am still enduring subzero temps and snow. But Britain has also had a tremendous storm. The satellite pictures of it looked like a hurricane. There was a snowstorm in the north, a tornado and flooding in the south. Let's not be so smug!

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    5. @Anonymous 31 january 2014 00:22, do you know who started a new scientific mentality, who allowed humanity to think that experience was more important than tradition in order to increase our knowledge of the world? Leonardo da Vinci, a great painter and a great drawer. He showed that drawing is more important than writing if you want to describe exactly a body or a phenomenon. Do you know who opened a new way to the space description, a way that brought, tractatus after tractatus, to overcome the euclidean geometry, in the XVI century? Filippo Brunelleschi with his mathematical perspective. Pleas don't say that "art history isn't a challenging matter", it's a sign of great lack of knowledge, a black hole in your culture.

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    6. Interested Canadian. Your only reasonable remark was about harry getting into sandhurst with his lack of qualification. I have long thought none of the royal men would earn those top jobs if flying with the military if they were normal joe blogg on the street. And as for our uk weather we may not be under feet if snow but we have had and still do extensive flooding and battered by rain storms in cold conditions. I forget that USA/ Canada always have stuff ' bigger and worse'. Have humility for others. When I visited usa the news was very insular and felt like USA was the only country on the planet and no one else existed. Ann London

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    7. Wow - I didn't mean to elicit all the angry feedback about the A-levels! I simply am noting that none of the royals ever attempt a science or engineering degree. Why is that?

      And if you don't think engineers increase our knowledge of the world - well, think about the internet you are using right now - who do you think created/designed it? (Also, I don't think of Brunelleschi as an artist - more of an architect and engineer.)

      OK - enough off-topic stuff. I'll go back to talking about Kate now. :)

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  33. There was simply no way Wallis simpson would've become queen. She was twice divorced with two living ex husbands. Edward as king is head of the church. Parliament would not have allowed it. The prime minister threatened to resign. The country would have been in chaos. Also the there would have been an ascension crises if they had children.. Society has changed since then I suppose and attitudes have developed things are flexble nowadays, but rules concerning the royalty apply. Charles remarried in st Georges Windsor and not Westminster abbey, and by blessing by the Archbishop in st Georges chapel He's still the prince not the monarch therefore not able to remarry the abbey.
    There's always speculation around them, mostly ranging from far fetched to complete untruths. The press are the press They always want more. The royal family quietly carries on with more important duties. The boring stuff like supporting charities and the disadvantaged. Charles is refocusing William and Kate onto the main duties, instead what colour skirts she wears.etc etc. Hes preparing them for state duties and combining their press and offices together. Kate maybe box office, but there are important things to do constituionally as the Queen herself slows down. This needs proper preparation Try imagine Kate giving a speech as honary colonel in chief to a armed forces regiment in say New Zealand in English and in Maori. Can she take on the duties as a UNICEF ambassador for children. Charles wants to sort the fluff from the real work her position holds.

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    1. Lynn Georgia USA31 January 2014 at 16:29

      I thought that Charles and Camilla were married in a civil ceremony in the registry office in Windsor, the church service at St. George's having no legal ramifications at all. Will someone please confirm or else correct my perception?

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    2. The St George's ceremony was a blessing.

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  34. Hi. Do anyone know the answer what will happen with his siblings after Charles bekomes King? They now carry out duties on behalf of their mother, but do you think this can change in any way after? Greetings from Austria!

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    1. I remember reading a book about Queen Victoria's daughters, and how their lives changed as they moved from being daughters of the monarch to being sisters of the monarch to being aunts of the monarch. They were just relegated more and more to the background. Got way fewer perks as the years went by, and were treated with less & less respect. Their importance just faded. I would guess this would happen to Charles's siblings as well.

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  35. Okay, here's a theory I am throwing out there.......

    What if the main goal of the PR put out on behalf of W&K (key words being "on behalf of") is more about maintaining them in a neutral, non-threatening position vs. setting forth an aggressive agenda?

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  36. Fascinating comments here re.WK. (and Harry) Interesting discussion about Charles, Diana & Camilla as well. Regarding Charles's consolidation of the offices, I (may be wrong, but) saw it as more as a way of his alligning himself to eventually be King (and 'streamlining' his position/duties/role with that of his mother's as she presumably scales down her engagements) and also to make the Monarchy stronger than an attempt by him to restrict the roles of William and Kate. As people have said here (let's face it) WK are not even seen in public much (at least recently), so I don't think that Charles feels too threatened!! Also, the causes Charles supports and the way that he supports them is quite different to those favoured by WK etc. The fact that Charles is now a grandfather may have boosted his popularity a bit, I think; older people can relate to him regarding this. I think they (WK) have complete control over how many & what engagements they attend. Things do seem a bit muddled, like that comment in 'Hello' about Kate 'agreeing' the engagement, but perhaps that's what her PR person said, they may be trying to stress that that engagement is an exception as she is on 'maternity leave'. Currently, there doesn't seem to be much long-term planning of their roles, for instance: William's decision to do the agriculture course; he seems to be casting around somewhat to find a relevant cause/role/something meaningful to fill his time. But, I suppose, if he carried out solo engagements during this period (before they go to Australia/New Zealand), the constant refrain from the press & public would be 'Where's Kate? (& why didn't they 'take turns' to do engagements) It wouldn't be as though she would be carrying out solo engagements as well as she's at home with George or shopping or admiring her new Norfolk home etc! I think that's what she prefers to do.) I don't think it's as complex as people believe, that Charles is trying to regulate and restrict what WK do. I believe that they have free rein to do as much or as little as they please. That may be the problem; they are not really doing enough. People have defended Kate's role and behaviour by saying that she is not married to the heir to the throne. I don't think that's relevant here, as Portia and Vittoria have stated on this page; at the moment, she simply does not have the gravitas of CP Mary and Victoria. She may well develop it. There were unfavourable comments recently reported in the Daily Mail about WK (23.1.14) that had been uttered by the author Christopher Lee who said that WK don't have the 'gravitas' to be anything other than 'celebrities'. Re. Camilla's view of her own role, I agree with the person who said that it's impossible to know someone's mind. She was in love with Charles, massaged his ego, became indispensible to him, (all this has been written here) but I agree with the people here who feel that she is not particularly interested in a very high public profile. She realises that it comes with the 'job', though, i.e. through her marriage to Charles. Someone questioned here what sort of man her husband was (Andrew Parker Bowles), but I think there are rumours that he was unfaithful to her.

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    1. I would agree about the overall streamlining and the Queen scaling down her engagements. What I question is the message that will be put out on behalf of W&K and the control they actually have over their roles within the firm. Only time will tell, and I will be more than happy to admit that I am wrong if it appears to be the case. For now, I remain skeptical.

      Regarding conflicting causes/charities, I can't agree there. From the point of view of public interest, newspaper columns, and front pages, Kate could show up to watch how garbage is compacted and it will be a win over anything that Charles and/or Camilla may do. From a media perspective, it's like a popularity contest and William and/or Kate have youth, good looks and star power on their side. The only way for the royals to deal with it, is to "manage" it....and that is what I question.

      As far as it not being relevant that Kate isn't married to the next in line, I disagree. I think it's very relevant and it's not fair or realistic to compare her to Victoria who will be Queen, or Mary who has been married to the next in line for 10 years. Even Camilla, who is the next Queen [moan] was presented as "supporting her husband" when they were first married and her engagements were minimal and not very "deep".

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