Sunday, 12 January 2014

Vote for Kate's Best Separates Look + Best Designer of 2013

Hello-Hello Duchess Kate readers,

We're continuing on with our polls next. Today we have two. Firstly, we'll be voting for Kate's 'Best Separates Looks' whereby readers will not be voting simply for one piece but the overall look. From Kate's signature blazer and skinny jeans to the polka dot suit she wore to sign the book of condolences for Nelson Mandela, there are many worthy winners in this selection, I think you'll agree.

I've been looking forward to this poll and whilst glancing over the first look it's easy to see why. Mixing and matching pieces can present its challenges; we want to achieve maximum wear from key pieces in our wardrobe whilst achieving a well put together ensemble. Kate has this skill pretty much perfected, as demonstrated by her casual yet chic shopping look back in 2013. The Duchess selected a gorgeous plaid Zara cape with black jeans, a long sleeve black top and a matching scarf.

Topstar Photos

In April, Kate and Carole Middleton were photographed shopping for a Moses basket in London. The Duchess looked relaxed in a loose fitting navy top with a white lace collar and jeans.

Hello! Magazine

In late August, Her Royal Highness was photographed grocery shopping in Anglesey. Once again she looked stylish in the Ralph Lauren 'Tori' top and Paige Denim 'Skyline' skinny jeans. I loved this look!

PopSugar

Kate returned to public engagements in late August to bid a fond farewell to Anglesey at the Ring O' Fire marathon. The Duchess chose her Ralph Lauren hacking jacket, hospital print Zara top and her black Topshop Leigh maternity jeans for the engagement.


For a sporty engagement in October, the Duchess wore her Smythe One Button Blazer, Ralph Lauren 'Tori' top and J Brand Skinny Jeans. It's a look we've seen Kate choose time and time again. During her time as London 2012 ambassador, she wore these pieces on a very regular basis to watch various events.


Kate enjoyed a spot of retail therapy at Zara Home in a smart blouse by UK brand Jack Wills, jeans and a comfy cardigan. As we go through the list it's interesting to note how often the Duchess wears her hair up when she's out and about casually in comparison to official appearances.

PopSugar

On November 20 2013, the Duchess looked splendid in navy. At first look one would presume it was a suit by the same designer, but in fact the jacket is a Max Mara piece from their Autumn/Winter 2013 collection and the pleated skirt is by Orla Kiely.


For a visit to Shooting Star Hospice the Duchess opted for low-key, dressing in the Reiss 'Delaney' Jacket and corduroy pants.

Bradley Page/Shooting Star Hospice

Finally, the Cambridges signed the book of condolences for Nelson Mandela at South Africa House on December 11. Kate looked sophisticated in a polka dot suit she has owned for at least several years (a reader noted the print is better known as Swiss Dot Pattern). It remains unidentified unfortunately; nonetheless it looked great on Kate.


Vote for Kate's Best Separates Look!
  
pollcode.com free polls 

For this poll, I'm going with the Zara cape and jeans, what did you choose?

Next up, we'll be voting for Kate's Best Designer of 2013. I am really so very excited to see who you all choose. I've narrowed the list down to four nominees who we've seen Kate choose again and again throughout the year, from her maternity wardrobe to evening gowns in recent months. Let's have a brief recap of Kate's designer looks from last year.

Alexander McQueen


Jenny Packham


Alice Temperley


Emilia Wickstead


Vote for Kate's Best Designer of 2013!
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Thank you all for taking the time to vote. I have to say I was very much torn between Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham before looking at the designs side by side and choosing McQueen.

************

In other royal news, Kate enjoyed a quiet birthday dinner at Kensington Palace with William, George and family. She was spotted shopping in Peter Jones and John Lewis, Sloane Square during the week for home furnishings. Today's Sunday papers are reporting William and Kate are looking for a new nanny to take care of George during the tour, as 71-year-old Jessie Webb does not plan to travel with them.

Peter Jones/Wikipedia

The other story dominating the royal headlines today is news that the "Kate effect" has helped to boost Prince Charles's finances, as turnover for his company has increased by almost £1 million as interest in the Royal Family increased after the royal wedding and Prince George's birth. A royal courtier said, "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's popularity has given the Royal Family a lift in general." All remains quiet on the engagements front, but perhaps something will be announced this week.

I hope you all have a splendid weekend, in our next poll we'll be looking at hats :)

84 comments:

  1. Charlotte, you made this one very difficult...lol. I absolutely loved the black Noa coat and the recent ink blue gown, but I voted for McQueen because of the *number* of outfits I liked. And the polka dot suit got my separates vote. When she first appeared in that at Windsor, I thought "wow". She really looked the part of a future princess and Queen.

    And I read the Telegraph article and it doesn't surprise me one bit. As I stated in the last post, I could almost imagine the reaction at Clarence House when the accountants confirmed the added benefits of William and Kate's popularity! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for doing such a splendid job keeping us going through this period of no engagements.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I voted for Ralph Lauren and Alexander McQueen. She looks great in their clothes. Classic good looks... Both the duchess and the designs.

    I'm not a bit surprised that the marriage and the baby have boosted Charles' income. They are something positive and good and stable in a world that sometimes seems anything but. Catherine is the perfect wife for William. He chose wisely and well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Kate *is* perfect for William. I also happen to believe that Diana would think so too.

      Delete
    2. bluhare in Washington State13 January 2014 at 01:37

      Diana might have liked Kate; not sure about whether she'd have liked her mother. The grandmother power struggle would have been epic to watch.

      Delete
    3. bluhare, I agree with you on that. It would have been a case of two strong personalities competing for equal time...and influence.

      Delete
  4. Hi Charlotte, first off thanks for putting the Kate Loves section back. I spent some time last night looking over it and I really enjoy it. Now on to the votes, for the best separates I too voted for the the cape with black jeans. I was inspired to wear a similar look the other day and received many compliments on it. I often think of outfits Kate has worn or how she put her looks together when I rummage through my closet looking for something to wear. While I enjoy fashion I have trouble putting looks together and look to the Duchess or Jennifer Aniston for inspiration.

    My favorite designer this year was Jenny P. I absolutely loved the dress and coat Kate wore to the Coronation church service. It reminded me of the Jubilee outfit she wore, which is my all time favorite dress. I also thought the ink blue dress was gorgeous, but I wish Kate had worn a wonderful necklace with it and maybe had her hair up. I might have voted for McQueen but not being able to see the dress she wore to the Diplomatic reception made it difficult to judge. I was not a fan of the pink coat she wore, I thought the large buttons made it look rather matronly but the color was a little too cutesy so I was confused by it all.

    I look forward to seeing how others have voted.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sarah from Calif.12 January 2014 at 16:46

    Oh so much fun! Well I voted for tha Ralph Lauren Tori top , skinny jeans and I live those shoes whatever they are. Kate looked refreshing , youthful and a happy new mom!
    Second on the Best Designer of 2013 , I'm going with the Alexander McQueen group
    I finally voted for a coat Charlotte. That was very hard for me. I love the color of the LK Bennett Ami on Kate but not that particular style. If that color was on the Hobbs Celeste it would be perfect but alas it is not so, the Alexander McQueen tarten recieved my vote. Whew I am complicating.
    Well if William and Kate need a nanny for their tour , I will glady volunteer! Having raised 3 boys I think I have a little experience. :)))
    Thank you Charlotte for the lovely post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pauline Oak Hills13 January 2014 at 16:59

      Hey Sarah the royal couple have a job for you. They need a nanny for the trip down under. You would do a great job, you are such a loving person.

      Delete
    2. Sarah from Calif.14 January 2014 at 02:13

      Pauline, I would love it! :)

      Delete
    3. Sarah, that would be awesome if you could get to nanny Prince George!!! I voted for Jenny Packham as my favorite designer cauz i love the ink blue gown she wore at the women's gala. Thankx chica!awaiting the next postxoxo

      Delete
  6. I like the outfit Kate wore while shopping at Zara Home. For best designer of the year I have to go with Emilia Wickstead.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for all your wonderful blogs, you are doing a grat job Charlotte! I was also torn between Alexander Mc Queen and Jenny Packham. But I absolutely love Kates outfit at the queen´s coronation service!

    By the way, we had a poll in Germany and Kate was chosen the most popular royal in Europe.
    This was certainly due to the birth of Prince George last year. He is just wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It was hard to choose. Jenny Packam won because I just absolutely loved that ink gown. Though I liked all of her looks. I know she has worn the black lace Temperly a few times but it just fits her so well and just looks good on her.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It was hard to choose. Jenny Packam won because I just absolutely loved that ink gown. Though I liked all of her looks. I know she has worn the black lace Temperly a few times but it just fits her so well and just looks good on her.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello :)
    Charlotte... have you thought about for example 'vote for Kate's best/charming moments" something more than clothes, something connected with her job... hugs with this small girls, playing voleyball, or singing with children... :)

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not a bad idea!

      Delete
    2. I would like to see that, too! :)

      Delete
  11. That navy Smythe jacket is my all time favorite piece of her closet.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Americanfan Florida USA12 January 2014 at 21:55

    Love the dotted swiss black suit- very royal and regal but not stiff or cold. Kate really can wear most anything, also loved the Cape & boots with the black skinny jeans. Lastly love all things Sara Burton/MQueen- and am so looking forward to the royal tour this spring. Thank you Charlotte for all the hard work you put into this blog so we can pick and choose. You really REALLY do an amazing job. I wonder, do you think that maybe HRH sneaks a peek here now and then??? I have to believe she is aware of this site. Thank you again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eve from Germany14 January 2014 at 06:55

      I totally agree with you, Americanfan from Florida. I love those McQueen clothes on her, too. It´s amazing, how "wearable" these seem to be on the Duchess, whereas the designs shown on the runway or in magazine ads are often... well, very sophisticated, to put it politely... ;-)))) I love Jenny Packham, too, that gown on her first evening engagement after the marriage was SO STUNNING..... And, YES, Charlotte is doing such an amazing job with this site. I truly loved your suggestion of HRH having a look at it every now and then, it made me smile and giggle.... :-)))) Well, it definitely would be worth while if she did it! I think she could hardly find any other site like this, full of information, and above all, always respectful!!! Lots of love, Eve from Germany - Hey, I just found out how to put your name above your comments.. (YES, it IS useful to read the information given on the site before you start commenting... ahem.... so enough with all this "anonymous"-commenting! :-))) )

      Delete
    2. Well, I strayed from home for a little while and started reading some different blogs. Please, I don't recommend it. I stumbles on a blog that claims Kate faked her pregnancy and had her babies through surrogacy, yes I said "babies". Supposedly, she wore a fake belly and somebody else gave birth to her twins. I wish the cambridges would file a lawsuit against individuals who run sites like that. Charlotte, I will not stray again lol

      Delete
  13. Interesting that Prince Charles' reported investment of 56,000 pounds in Kate's public appearance wardrobe for her first year as a duchess has been paid back "royally!"

    ReplyDelete
  14. I had fun voting for Kate's outfits for 2013 - although I found myself torn between a few of them. I loved the blue polka dot Jenny Packham dress she wore when they first presented George to the world. I also loved the yellow Emilia Wickstead coat. And of course for her separates - I fell in love with the Smythe Jacket, the Ralph Lauren top and the jeans...not to mention the shoes too!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you all for voting and commenting. This poll is particularly interesting and the results are fascinating to follow. We have a couple of poll posts coming up this week before we wrap it up with our 'Kate Fashion Awards' :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is really interesting to hear everyone's favorites. But to choose a favorite designer is just too hard. So many great designers. Also, I find the hats really make or break the outfits, and they aren't by the same designer. It is just too hard to choose.

    ReplyDelete
  17. For the separates poll, I had to choose the Tori top and the skinny jeans and loafers Kate wore while grocery shopping. Kate just looked so great in them, and so completely recovered from childbirth. I also loved both skirted outfits, if only the navy skirt had been a few inches longer.

    I chose Temperley for the designer because the outfits are so elegant and so well made. The evening gowns are lovely, especially the long black lace, and the style and fit and construction of these garments, including the elegant Remembrance Day outfit, are superb. They are also designed to take great advantage of the beautiful fabrics.

    The McQueen outfits are obviously special, but I often see faults, like the pucker along the neckline and a wrinkle in the ruffle of the christening dress. Or the unattractive snapped front of the Black Watch outfit. Even the stiff bodice of the wedding dress, and especially of the gown for the evening wedding reception, could have been better designed, I thought. And the pink coat, though I really like the color, seemed more loose than necessary even for a pregnant princess.

    Jenny Packham is my second choice. I love the ink blue gown, and actually I liked the way Kate wore it. I would have loved the gold sequined gown without the odd panels, which kept this from being a tie. And the maternity outfit for the Coronation service is especially beautiful. Other than the beige inserts, these are also extremely well made and elegant garments.

    As for Emilia Wickstead, the blue dress is a great favorite of mine, in spite of the crease in the skirt. Kate looked truly elegant in it. I am less fond of the coats, though the green was very appropriate for the Irish military events. In this case, one garment stands out from the others.

    These are great polls! I think they encourage us to be discerning in our observations and comments, and they are a lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear that someone else didn't like that stiff bodice on the wedding gown. The look should have been soft and lovely, and yes it was a beautiful gown, but then there was this stiff, shaped, pointy breast area. Why did the designer put something so structured right there?
      I agree that that is one of the reasons I didn't pick McQueen in this poll.
      I picked Packham. I loved the way the gold sequin gown draped on Kate's body. It made her look like Wow! old school Hollywood glamour. And the ink-blue dress was divine.

      Delete
  18. great post thank you!! I voted for McQueen!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really love Max Mara piece with Orla Kiely skirt. I would love to be happy owner of this outfit. :) From the designers I have chosen Jenny Packham. But it was very hard to choose.

    ReplyDelete
  20. For these polls I've chosen the Max Mara/Orla Kieley (superb, it really stroke me) and for my favourite designers, definetly MacQueen and J Packham. As for the more casual looks, I prefer the Ralph Lauren jacket with the hospital print (?? funny designation!) top, it was picture perfect.

    Yay! A hats related post, I can hardly wait for that, Charlotte!! I love all kinds of hats. It's a shame that here we don't have the habit of wearing them... but I wear them often, anyway ;)
    Hugs!
    Z. from Portugal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "hospital print" top is exactly the same pattern and color as the gowns we put on to have medical exams and diagnostic procedures in the USA. I expect lots of readers were surprised to see Kate wearing it by choice!

      Delete
  21. I thought I had an easy choice in the first poll with the Zara cape and boots combo. I really loved that look. But, you threw that swiss dot suit in there at the end and then I had to think about it because I thought that look was perfect. I ended up going with my first thought - the Zara cape. I do think it's funny that people are choosing and commenting on how much they like the Max Mara/Orla Kiely navy look when I remember reading so many negative comments about the look at the time. I liked it as well, just not my favorite of the bunch.

    For the second, I had to really look at the designs. I narrowed it to McQueen and Jenny P. Ultimately, I went with McQueen. I LOVE the Alice Temperley designs Kate has worn, but they're not bespoke. I'm not a big fan of Emilia Wickstead's designs. I know many people liked her blue maternity dress for Kate, but beyond the beautiful color, I did not care for it at all. I saw that she dressed Caitlin Fitzgerald for the Golden Globes and I disliked that dress too.

    I'm excited for the next post! I'd feel silly wearing hats here in the US. I think I'd look overdone, especially for my age, but I really love the designs so I can't wait to look at them all again.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello Everyone,

    Thank you, Charlotte, for keeping us informed and entertained during a "Duchess Drought" of new appearances, etc.

    I've also decided to start looking at the "whole look" of Kate's outfits. I chose the Zara cape just because I've always loved, loved it! But another consideration of the Max Mara navy blue ensemble led to it being a very close second for me. Kate looked stunning-even if the skirt was a bit too short.

    I loved the "hospital print" description! It was the first thing I thought too. Nevertheless, that whole ensemble was very well chosen for the event, etc.

    Picking a designer was tough. I appreciated the comment from a reader that if only one piece really jumps out for an observer, it might not be appropriate to pick him/her as overall best designer. I picked Jenny Packham because of the ink blue gown, the sequined gown and the blue going home with George dress. It was a very difficult choice as all the other designers are such super stars too. I've always loved the green Emilia Wickstead coat!

    Thanks in advance for the hat roundup. I'm really looking forward to it. I still would love to see some different hat silhouettes-wider brims, etc. but I'll take what I can get!!

    Please send good thoughts and prayers my way. My darling husband has surgery tomorrow for a longstanding sinus problem. We hope it proceeds safely and uneventfully but anything near his brain is always a concern!

    Best to all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Americanfan Florida USA15 January 2014 at 00:30

      Canadian Friend- I hope all went well for your husband. Let us know ok?

      Delete
  23. I love these polls, but oh my goodness it's so hard to choose! I voted for the Zara cape/black jeans, but I also love the Ralph Lauren Tori top/denim jeans and the Max Mara/Orla Kiely ensemble. Again it is just so hard to choose. For the best designer, I definitely have to go with McQueen. Timeless and classic, I think it's definitely a label we'll see Kate in for a very long time. I see Kate to McQueen as Diana was to Catherine Walker. The other designers have beautiful pieces as well and Kate looks gorgeous in everything, so another hard choice.

    Charlotte, I was thinking another fun poll would be Kate's different hair styles. Have you done that before? I can't remember. She has worn her hair in so many different styles. I LOVED her hair at her visit to the National Portrait Gallery last spring. So beautiful and fresh! I would love to see other opinions. :-)

    I'm really looking forward to the hat poll! Wondering if we'll have 2 polls...hats and fascinators? SO fun! Thanks for another fabulous job on the post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kate, I would love to see the poll results for hairstyles. Personally, I don't think she's experimented all that much, but it would be interesting to see the poll split between wearing it down and in an updo. This is one area where I feel she does herself a disservice by wearing it down so much. My absolute favorite look on her to date was when she attended UK's Creative Industries Reception at the Royal Academy of Arts in July 2012. She looked very sophisticated.

      Delete
    2. I would LOVE a poll on Kates hair choices! I dont have her body type or money for her clothes ( I'm 5'5 and curvy about a size 12) but I do have long brown hair like hers. just not so thick or curly. I love to get hair ideas from Kate! I do think 2013 wasnt her best hair year. I love when she has a updue and last year she didnt have many updues.

      Delete
    3. bluhare in Washington State14 January 2014 at 00:58

      I vote for the hat/fascinator poll. I love hats; wish they were more common. I wear hats, but usually just little knitted things in the cold. I love a nice hat, and Kate does wear them well.

      The other option would be shoes/boots and/or bags, but Kate tends to be pretty conservative in the shoe arena and lets the clothes do the talking.

      Delete
  24. Another great post. I really do look forward to these polls, it's so wonderful to see all the photos again! This was tough one: I voted for the blazer and JBrand jeans just because I think she looked so marvelous that day playing volleyball in the Stuart Weitzmans. The first photo would have been my 2nd choice: that Zara cape/poncho is the item of Kate's that I've looked for the most frantically! Thanks again for the beautiful post:)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am getting some Kate withdrawls! I reallly wish her people will anounce some new dates to her schdule. Wouldnt it be great if she and the Queen would do something together again?!
    I do have a feeling her and William are going to be visitig Cambridge offically soonish!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yeah i love the kate poll there so many things that i love seeing i love the first photo with zara capwe and black jeans ans i also love the yeah kate next time hat polls im sure she will put a lot hat and fas cinators to choice love all the choices

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hello everyone!

    A hairstyles poll sounds like an excellent idea! For those having Kate withdrawls, I asked a royal correspondent today who said Kate will have "just a handful of engagements" before the tour so I do expect something will be announced shortly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bluhare in Washington State14 January 2014 at 03:49

      I wonder where the Powerful On Her Own Kate went? Wasn't it just before Christmas that she was supposed to be creating he own power base and going to more engagements on her own? I don't get it.

      Delete
    2. I'm trying to think what a hand full is... maybe 5-8? So maybe 1 or 2 a month before they leave? I have to keep telling myself that they will be on a month long tour...(in 3 months). Im having mixed feelings about this....

      Delete
    3. I've been thinking, 2012 really spoiled us w the Queens Jubilie, the summer olympics. and their South Pasific (?) tour. We got to see a lot of W&K. I completly understand the reasons why her schdule isnt more busy right now.
      Being a new breastfeeding mother and isn't the norm for the moms in England to have a year maturnty leave?
      not being a full time working Royal,and being busy planning for her new tour.
      I get the reasons but we got spoiled and I cant wait for something new! (Sorry for my rant)

      Delete
    4. bluhare, I'm just wondering....did you base your question on the Katie Nicholl article in the DM that talked about Kate going "solo"? I ask because a lot of what is written is based on speculation and that doesn't do Kate any favors in the end if/when it proves to be untrue. I don't mean for that to sound like an excuse or explanation...more the reality of what *I* see.

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    6. bluhare in Washington State14 January 2014 at 16:09

      I did, royalfan. Katie Nichol is a court reporter with some good connections. As a very astute poster the other day pointed out, when you see something with one of their bylines you know that the royal's office is at the very least aware of it which takes it out of pure speculation in my opinion. If she wasn't going to go and get 'em, her office could have corrected Katie Nichols' impression. I doubt KN would be dumb enough to print something that Kate's offce has told her isn't true. She wouldn't get much cooperation from Kate's office in the future if that were the case. Also, why does Kate have two months with absolutely no engagements or, as Charlotte says above, a handful? So she can prepare for their tour? Two months is a long time to shop and be briefed on what she's doing. Other royal women have a dresser to do that for them, but Kate refuses to hire one. I can understand that to a point, and she got some bluhare points for that, but in a situation like this one would think a dresser would be an excellent idea. I have family in the UK and, if they're typical, William and Kate are not doing themselves any favors by not getting out in front of the public. They need to knock off the "we're just like you" bit and get to what they're there for. Being royal. Which is most definitely NOT like us.

      Delete
    7. Okay, bluhare.... :) First, given the number of Waity Katie headlines KN wrote before she jumped on the royal wedding bandwagon and became an expert, *I* take anything she writes with a grain of salt. And as a brief side note, I always believed that the whole "waity" issue was more about the *public* waiting for an official announcement than it was about Kate; I suspect she and William had been on the same page for quite some time before an official engagement was announced. I don't believe he would have strung her along, and it would have been the worst possible PR for him to walk away after the years they spent together. (Thanks for allowing me to get that off my chest!) :)

      But for the sake of this debate, let's give KN full credit for having her ducks in a row and sharing accurate information about Kate's agenda for 2014. Okay. I'm not making excuses here because I don't think it's necessary two weeks into the new year, but there are some relevant points to keep in mind, IMO. First, traditionally this is a quieter time for the royals. And second, with William taking the course, their preparations for the tour, and a six month old baby, I can't fault her for not having had an official engagement yet. And the handful (?) to be announced remains to seen and we can debate that once we have an actual number.

      I don't believe William and Kate are trying to suggest that they're exactly like us (that would be unrealistic and condescending). But I do think they are trying to simplify and modernize their lives compared to older generations. And Amen to that when you consider Charles' recent birthday bash at BP or his ability to send a chauffer from Highgrove to London to retrieve a favorite (and forgotten) pen...and then proceed to preach about carbon footprints and green lifestyles! Please! W&K have a very fine line to walk. Yes, people expect them to be royal and go on with the show, but at the same time, there are those who think the monarchy is both archaic and costly and they would rather see a more relevant and in-touch approach.

      Finally, I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but I strongly believe that "lessons learned" also play a significant role here. The Queen has witnessed enough of her children's personal lives unraveling to know how important a solid and happy family foundation is to future of the monarchy. The prioritizing we see with W&K has her blessing, IMO. And then there's the popularity "hot potato" that the RF doesn't want to see repeated, especially since they have to continue to sell Camilla as the next Queen. (I even have trouble TYPING that!) I guess my bottom line here is that it's too early to proclaim 2014 as a slow year for Kate...

      Delete
    8. bluhare in Washington State15 January 2014 at 01:42

      royalfan, I apologize but my heart's not in this tonight. Let's table this one for now. I do have a rebuttal, but I've got stuff going on so let's save it for later. Hope that's OK.

      Delete
    9. Of course! Until later then.................... :)

      Delete
    10. I always enjoy these discourses but I fear I have to fall in with bluhare. Kate certainly is not helping any of the talk that happened before the wedding that she was workshy or lazy or had no ambitions beyond marrying Prince William.
      A lot of people on here get angry for those of us who dare to critique Kate's looks that, in our opinions of course, don't quite hit the mark. Why do you always focus on her clothes and hair, they fume. Well, and this point has been made, because we don't have anything else to focus on. The girl really, when you get down to it, hasn't done that much in the way of "work," either before the wedding nor after it either.
      Yes, I understand that the Palace learned lessons from the way it dealt with Diana in her first days and months as a new wife and then a new mother. But I would suggest that the Palace and the queen have been excessively generous to William and Kate, letting them have their "year off" in Anglesey, not requiring Kate to undertake a full-time or even part-time royal schedule, allowing a very generous "maternity leave" and allowing Kate and William to go to the expense of repeatedly making the Middleton mansion in Bucklebury their home base, during and after Kate's pregnancy and the baby's birth, as opposed to their own two royal residences, where the security costs would have been considerably less.
      I would suggest that while William and Kate's happiness and contentment are important to the queen, doing one's duty is her priority. She's done her duty, regardless of the circumstances, for six decades. I can't help but think this excessive lack of interest in work and lack of interest in their royal duties from Will and Kate has her blessing.

      Delete
    11. Portia from Chicago15 January 2014 at 05:25

      The only explanation I can find for this utterly peculiar and transparent lack of work ethic is what royalfan suggests - there is active pressure from the upper echelons, the queen and C&C for W&K not to overshadow them.
      I think that everybody was initially quite understanding of their need for time to learn the ropes, as they say.. But now it's just unseemly. It's just not attractive to see this play out in this fashion.
      There are two possibilities: 1. William put his foot down with the Queen and managed to finagle this 1 year of non-work, or gap year with the understanding that they would resume duties immediately after. OR 2. C&C actively want them to stay in the shadows and hence they are not encouraged to work much.

      Whatever it is, it looks bad.

      As for Kate's personality, identity etc.. I think that I have made my feelings quite plain earlier. It is difficult to summon any sort of respect for her actions, even if she is constrained by the Palace to some extent. Especially in comparison with other European Royal women who seem to be so much better crafted in all respects. One has to wonder.. how was she raised this way? It's 2014 for god's sake. Not 1914.

      Delete
    12. Regina, I wouldn't exactly call W&K's time in Anglesey as a "year off". William had a job to do, with time off factored in for some royal engagements. And it was an ideal way for Kate to learn the ropes as a member of the royal family. They also went on a tour of Canada, the South Pacific, and they supported the Queen during her Jubilee year. And in the last year, Kate was pregnant, had a baby, and they've transitioned from a life in Anglesey to the reality that lies ahead in London.

      And I can't begrudge them time in Bucklebury because of the cost of security. Do you really think they should confine themselves to their royal residences? Kate has every right to see her family and spend time with them *as a family,* and I suspect William enjoys their company too. A normal, happy, and relaxed family home must be a welcome change for him. Besides, if Camilla was able to convert her pre-marital home into her own royal escape (with security costs, etc), I can't begrudge W&K for staying with the Middleton's from time to time.

      And Portia, yes, I strongly believe that the RF fears a repeat of the past; they want, and need, for the focus to be on C&C. I can't agree with a "lack of work ethic" for the reasons I just explained above, and because I believe they haven't had complete control over their roles within the family firm. I have said this repeatedly (so I apologize...lol), but I honestly believe Charles was very happy to have both sons tucked away in the military rather than competing with him as f/t members of the RF.

      IMHO, it will be interesting to watch the family dynamics in the years ahead. Personally, I hope Carole is around for a long time to act as confidante to Kate and W&K's "advocate". Something tells me they will need someone to look out for their best interests.... Say what you want about Carole, but she wants her daughter and son-in-law to succeed in their royal roles. Others may find that to be a conflict with their own goals. Enough said! :)

      Delete
    13. Hellene from Washington, DC15 January 2014 at 23:37

      I don't see her as lazy, and I never have. She was an excellent student, she worked a low-responsibility gig at Whistles, as many young women do, and then worked for her parents' company. I see nothing odd in this trajectory. Not everyone has to blaze trails to be a hard worker. Do you have any idea the kind of water she must have been treading under the surface for the past four years? I think she has grown increasingly more confident with her role as a royal, and I think she will continue to develop.

      I often find that people predict future behavior, and then judge her based on that prediction, which is an odd way to form an accurate criticism, no? Realistically, she just had a baby. William is on a course (the effort to make that seem like a bad thing really made me giggle). I, for one, am not clamoring at the gates for her to come out and parade around. They have done multiple engagements since the birth, and will be on tour shortly. I would call this level of engagement a success. And I suspect the people dissatisfied with her work are dissatisfied with her in general, in that you see what you want to see. I'll throw my judgement in the ring after she's been a royal for a while, and there is more merit to either side of the argument. For the moment I wish them well, and I enjoy the spectacle, part of which is clothing, and part of which is watching someone grow into a charitable leader. (I'll reserve my unreasonable snark for my ex's new girlfriend.)

      And I'm certainly not judging anyone based on how closely they hew to what Katie Nicholl does or does not write about them in the Daily Mail. It's a reactionary gutter-press tabloid. Hardly a primary source.

      Delete
    14. Hellene, I think you've made some excellent and reasonable points.

      People do speculate and then judge the results based on their own predictions. You're so right about that. I also agree that if someone doesn't care for Kate in the first place, it's far more likely that they will find fault with much of what she does or does not do.

      Delete
    15. Hellene from Washington, DC16 January 2014 at 15:46

      Thanks, royalfan. I hope I didn't sound too aggressive with my argument. The "Waity Katie" and "lazy" labels really bother me in a personal way. I know we tend to conflate our own image with people in the public eye, and I am as guilty of this as anyone.

      I have had no measure of public professional success, but you better believe I work harder than many who get up and go into an office every day. I judge my worth on how much of a role I play for my family, friends, and community, and almost none of this work is the kind that you can quantify. So when I hear people organizing facts to paint the worst possible picture it really gets my goat. "Lazy" is a really nasty word, and I would hesitate to label anyone with it whom I don't personally see lying in bed all day.

      I do enjoy the debates here, but this particular point just gets me going! :)

      Delete
  28. It was not a rant at all Emily! I think we'd all love to see an engagement or two in the near future :)

    I know initially the royal correspondents were hearing Kate would have quite a full diary after Christmas and this has been altered by William's Cambridge course. I seem to remember something about Kate officially opening a facility for The Art Room in January, there's nothing confirmed but if it's true we should hear something very soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would imagine that Kate is frantically preparing for the month long trip. She has to get information about how many engagements during that trip, where they will be and the likely weather for each, how many of them George will be at, and then not only plan a wardrobe for both of them (including at least two different sizes for George who is said to be growing fast) but also try on outfits, possibly asking for some to be redesigned or otherwise altered, and when she has the designers, overall plans for the dresses/coats chosen, then accessorize them with shoes, jewelry, hats, whatever. And back up outfits for her and George. And finding a new nanny to travel with them, plus teaching the new nanny what they expect from her, etc. under the very unusual circumstances of an official long trip half a world away. I'm scaring myself as I'm writing this. Poor Kate. It will be a wonder if she is able to stick her head out of the palace at all before April.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Colorado Eve, you said what I've been trying to say, and said it better. Let's give Kate some credit for what she's actually doing. Just as in her 'Waity Katy' days she was working hard for Party Pieces and no doubt studying for her future role, she has things to accomplish. I think she is brave to agree to a big tour when Prince George will be less than a year old. And it requires a good deal of preparation, as you have so well described.

      Delete
    3. I read somewhere too, that Kate has to study up on all the diplomats, town mayors, etc. that she will be meeting. So she has background on all of them and background on what the outstanding issues are at each place they will be going. Lots of preparation that is not just related to having the right clothing! She needs to be able to have relevant conversations with these people, and show that she is knowledgeable about and interested in what is going on in their communities.

      Delete
  29. Am I the only one that doesn't care for her skinny jeans looks? It just seems so odd to me that she doesn't ever wear any pants/trousers except for those - whether casual or more tailored. I also think they make her look "boyish". I dislike her wedges too. (Have you done a shoe poll yet?) She looks wonderful in short flirty skirts like that Orla Kiely - that whole outfit/look was a refreshing break and the blue colors just popped all around. I really liked those blue shoes - and I am completely against high heels on principle! But if you are going to wreck your feet, that's a beautiful way to do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristin, San Francisco15 January 2014 at 04:04

      Hello Anon 12:04-
      You are not the only one - I got tired of the look after my third 'sighting'.....also the wedges. As some of our fellow posters said about her sometimes hanging hair at formal events: Get. Over. It. So, I did.

      Kate may be her own woman but do think she feels the pressure to be thin and wear skinnies and to continue to wear what's in her closet...(hee hee - just like us!)

      Delete
  30. My favorite look was the Ralph Lauren top and jeans and the moccasins as she was grocery shopping in Anglesey. But the Zara cape and jeans was a close second! I'm just not entirely a huge fan of capes, I think they tend to look old for some reason.
    My favorite designer remains Alice Temperley. I just think her pieces are consistently classy, appropriate and feminine, not to mention well-tailored. They suit Kate, her age, her body, her position. Whether or not you like or approve of Kate wearing those enormously expensive gowns more than once, the black lace Temperley gown, which made a reappearance recently, always looks chic, elegant and classic. It suits Kate and I'd expect that's one of the reasons she returns to it. You wear the pieces you know you look good in and which flatter you.
    As for the engagements, I would agree with Charlotte and a few others who think Kate (and William for that matter) really need to start stepping up and doing something.
    Yes, we get it, she's a new mom. Other new moms in the UK and throughout the world don't have the luxury of platoons of servants, a nanny, a housekeeper, etc. etc. not to mention a nearly 7-month maternity leave. And I don't think it's unfair to ask William and Kate to do some public engagements.
    Keep in mind as you wail and weep over all the organizing that poor Kate has to do for the upcoming Aussie trip - much of that organizational work is being handled by assistants and staff. Sure, William and Kate are being consulted and giving orders but it's not like that occupies every hour of every single day. I would expect Kate has, by now, someone who's working with her (keep in mind that not ALL hires for their staff are publicized) on her wardrobe, discussing what to wear and when, what the weather will be like, what the event will require, etc. Yes, there's an enormous amount of planning but much of that work is shouldered by people other than William and Kate.
    Moms who work at jobs outside the home handle babies, homemaking duties like laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. often all on their own AND hold down full-time jobs.
    I think the best way for Kate and William to deflect the criticism that is starting to come their way - I've read that there have been several pieces in the UK media critical of William essentially taking a year off from everything - is to just do something, pick up their royal schedules and add a few duties. I can't help but think that this may also have created some tension in the royal family, whether or not one reads about it. There are other working royals who do twice and three times as much and get little or no press or credit.
    If they truly want to be seen as doing things their own way or changing the face of the monarchy, this isn't the best start - to come across as two wealthy aristos with so much money they don't have to work at anything and can just shop and travel and lunch and play while the rest of the UK struggles.
    I would say if this streak of doing nothing continues much longer - the royal tour isn't until April, they've got time to do a few engagements - we will really start to see their popularity drop, not on this blog, of course, but with the UK public in general.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A year off? What does that mean? You don't get to see William smiling and shaking hands often enough? An intensive course on agricultural management and a long tour of Australia and New Zealand is not work? I can't see how you can interpret this as doing nothing! And we don't yet know his plans for the rest of 2014.

      Delete
    2. Pauline Oak Hills15 January 2014 at 20:03

      Why do people have to bring up all the time about the work that William & Kate do or don't do. I read that Will & Kate will not be full time working royals for another few years. So people are going to have to just sit back and enjoy the work that they do due. I also really don't think it is up to us to say what is enough for them to do. We have to remember that
      William just left the RAF in September and tha tthey have a baby. Why do people think they have a hole stuff of people working for them. I personally do not believe that is true. William was quoted as saying he did not what a house full of people comiong & going from his house.

      But whatever they do is their business not ours.

      Delete
    3. I think a lot of the uk public have already switched off to this royal couple and their views are that they aren't doing enough public duties. Ann london

      Delete
  31. Portia from Chicago15 January 2014 at 05:14

    Regina - I agree with every word here. I understand the importance of building a solid foundation for the marriage and family. But for heavens' sake - this is just too much.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Charlotte. You do an amazing job with this blog. I follow this blog quite often, but refrain from commenting, just read others comments. But I just wanted to bring up a point in which Charlotte had to intervene a few times last year. Too many bloggers do not stay focused on the actual post and go off on Kate and Wills work ethic. Could us bloggers just stay on point. Enough has been said on their work ethics, etc. But certain bloggers seem to want to always bring up the subject time and time again. How would you feel if your work ethics or that of our co-workers is judged in public. I would feel humiliated and hurt because it's being discussed openly and no one has a clue of what organizations I belong to or how much time or money I give to each organization. It doesn't give us the right to judge another person or blogger's charitable time/work, especially publicly. No one has a clue what goes on behind the scenes where Kate is involved. So I say let's stay on point and focus on what Charlotte has posted. Thank you.

    Kim
    Mpls, MN USA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we all would be delighted to drop the subject if some engagements were just posted. This blog is about what Kate does - or doesn't do - not just what she wears. That's why it's interesting to many of us. There will always be disagreement, hopefully civil. We all care about Kate. Some just assume everything will work out. Others of us are concerned about the future of the monachy in these times of abrupt and unexpected changes.

      Kate is being funded by British taxpayers, from the roof over her head to her security and further funded by the Duchy of Cornwall - to do charitable work. It is her job, part of being a wife to a prince. She's not just an aristo girl. They have to earn their own keep.

      It's not a question of her financially supporting her charities - she doesn't. It's a question of bringing attention to them. Personally, for any charity I was supporting, including the royal family as a taxpayer, I have a keen interest in how much work they are doing. If they have time to party and shop and don't balance that with work, there is a right to be critical.

      Kate and William have had an unprecidented amount of time to do what they wish. It doesn't seem unreasonable to expect them to become more active royals at this point. And yes, Kate should be humiliated. She should look at the photos of Princess Mary of Denmark, in Myanmir and blush for what an active working royal, a loving wife, the mother of four young children, can accomplish when she just gets on with it.

      Delete
    2. Kate should be "humiliated"?? I think that's over the top. Sorry. Mary is married to the second line and has been a royal for 10 years. Camilla is in that position, as a matter of fact, and she has no children to raise, so perhaps you should expect to see pictures of HER doing her bit in Myanmar. :)

      Delete
    3. I have little use for Camilla but yes she could do more. Although she does accompany Prince Chales, who, like him or not, is the hardest working royal, so she has many more engagements than Kate. As for Mary, and most of the other European princesses, they took on a full schedule from day one, even doing tours during pregnancies.

      Delete
  33. A while back someone said we should be talking about Catherine's charitable work rather than her clothes. This is impossible to do as she isn't doing any work for her very few charities. No one expects her to work full time - I doubt that she could as she has never done so - but taking on three or four engagements a month would still leave her ample time for George and make her a more interesting, rounded mother for him.

    Catherine is a mature woman of thirty-two. She had a decade to party and play before she married William and has been plenty of time to get used to being a royal. At this point giving her more time off is harming her long term, not protecting her.

    Catherine knew she was not just marrying a man but a job - all successful members of the royal family have made it clear that duty comes first. That justifies the royal family's exisitence. Being seen is the main part of that duty. She may be doing some work behind scenes, all royals have to do that. But the queen, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and the ninety-plus Duke all manage to do that and lots of public appearances. Catherine should be able to as well.

    I'm no hater. I had the highest possible hopes for Catherine when she married. She had abundant gifts and the promise of being a wonderful royal. The last thing in the world I want is to see Britain become a republic or to give republicans excuses for claiming the royal family are tax supported losers. But Catherine is not carrying on her end of the bargain. A royal tour in April is no excuse for not carrying a limited number of engagments now. After a work light year because of her pregnancy, she really needs to become more involved in the duty part of being a royal, not just the privilage part. And she needs to do that a home as well as abroad.

    I've never had the slightest use for Uncle Gary but I do wonder if he wasn't right when he said Catherine finds it boring and difficult to talk to people.

    I love this blog. I have the greatest admiration for Charlotte for her magnificant work with the other bloggers on the Baby Cambridge fundraiser. I don't mind at all hearing about Catherine's clothes but it would be nice to have some work engagments to balance that. January is a month when almost all of us have to go back to work after the holidays. It should be the same for Catherine.

    Catherine said in her first interview that she was really a hard worker, not work shy as had already been claimed. She hasn't yet lived up to that bold statement but I hope the balance of 2014 will see that happen.


    ReplyDelete
  34. The Royal family has always done its duties practically on a term basis. The Queen has no, or few, engagements between Christmas and February 7th, a few weeks low profile at Easter and then nearly three weeks of summer recess when her only appearances are at things like a Highlands Games. It's been like this for a long time. I too hope to see Kate soon, but I'm used to Royal terms and I will wait and also wait until they are full time Royals before demanding more of them.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hello, All,

    I hope you're well, dear Charlotte.

    Lots of interesting discussion on the number of engagements and the Cambridges... I really wonder if this is largely about not allowing William and Kate's popularity to totally eclipse that of Charles and Camilla.

    Charles was always so sensitive about his own position as Diana rose in popularity. He hasn't made it easier by his" history "with Camilla. I'm glad for him personally as he does deserve some happiness with the woman he truly loves but I don't know if she can ever be rehabilitated as a popular Queen Consort. She'll undoubtedly have the position as Charles will insist but I can't imagine most people feeling good about it.

    Does anyone know if there is any particular reason William has to take the agricultural training to manage the Duchy of Cornwall right now? It's somewhat strange since the Duchy is so firmly one of Charles's responsibilities. It seems odd to me that he's training for that when everyone insists the Queen will never step aside. If Charles will still be Prince of Wales/Duke of Cornwall for the foreseeable future, why does William have to move ahead with training right now?

    On a personal note, my husband has come through his sinus surgery and is home recovering. We find out more shortly about the results and whether it will give him some relief from having no sense of taste/smell and always sounding like he has the worst head cold ever. Thanks to Americanfan from Florida for the very kind message.

    Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eve from Germany16 January 2014 at 07:57

      Dear Canadian Friend, I keep fingers crossed for your husband - sinus problems can be VERY persistent.... I suffered from sinusitis for a long time and could finally find relief and even see the whole problem vanish when I started using herbal and homeopathic medication. So if you want to know more, let me know through this forum, we could then exchange personal mail adresses, ok? I would be glad to help..... I am a health counsellor so I do not only speak from personal experiences...

      As far as these "Work" issues are concerned, I wondered, too, why William is taking this particular course NOW. But in retrospect it really seemed to be quite "intelligent" because William still is "only" THIRD in line so has naturally less duties at the moment.
      What I really admire about the British Royal Family and the Queen in particular, IS their ability to learn from the past (ok I expect a lot of disagreement on that!). The British Royal Family stands like no other European Royal Family for TRADITION. So it´s particularly difficult for them to decide when it is time to change and give up "old" traditions... Once the Queen saw what happened to Charles and Andrew she very quickly allowed her youngest son Edward, to "enjoy" a "normal" life as an unmarried couple with his girl-friend and now wife, Sophie. I thought that to be REALLY "modern" and quite a huge step for the Queen. But she did it - because she wanted to see her children happy. So I personally think that William and Kate are quite deliberatly leading a comparatively "low-key" working life at the moment in order to be able to build a solid family, be there for their children before they go away to boarding school (which happens quite early in their lives) and enjoy some kind of "normal" life before "the real thing" starts.... The Queen is nearly 90 years old, Charles 65.... we would all have retired by now whereas those two still have a VERY active schedule.... Things could change VERY quickly for W&C. If the Queen should die, William will be made Prince of Wales - and then any quiet, happy family life will be OVER FOR GOOD. On the contrary, it will only become WORSE over the course of time. So let´s give them the last and ONLY opportunity they have to build their family and be THERE for their children as long as it is possible... Rest assured, the time will come when we will see LOADS of both of them - until then I will wait patiently, although, I admit it, I usually get those "withdrawal symptoms", too, ;-))) !


      Delete
    2. Eve, I couldn't agree more with everything you said. And I also thought it was a HUGE step for the Queen to allow Edward and Sophie's relationship to take a different path. It's not possible, IMO, to fairly judge William and Kate without considering the more recent history of the BRF.

      Delete
  36. I don't see anything wrong with being "an aristocrat, with so much money, there is nothing to do but shop, travel, play;" I think all of us would not turn that down as a life option. But there is significance to the point that Regina mentioned, which is that other royals are working 2-3 times as much, without getting press or credit. Simply, not fair.

    One thing that I've noticed about Kate, is that she seems to have made being a part of that family, her priority, which seems to be a very mature decision, and I applaud her for it. On the other hand, if there is anyone holding her back, I can't help to wonder if it is Charles...not that William is doing a whole lot.
    I wonder if he is ambivalent due to his personal history with his mother...not the crash, but all of her feelings about being royal.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I think there is a lot more to being a royal that goes on behind closed doors than handshaking and smiling for a camera. Prince William is taking classes on the Duchy of Cornwall. It would probably be a safe assumption to say that Duchess Catherine probably has a few classes of her own. It wouldn't surprise me if she had several "tutoring" sessions a week at her home. From patronages to various other royal topics. She was not born to "it" so she has a lot to learn. It speaks well of the Queen not to overwhelm the Duchess. Just something I've wanted to say for awhile when I see people complaining that Catherine doesn't do enough publicly. Don't get me wrong tho is soo love to see a new pic of all three of them.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I think there is a lot more to being a royal that goes on behind closed doors than handshaking and smiling for a camera. Prince William is taking classes on the Duchy of Cornwall. It would probably be a safe assumption to say that Duchess Catherine probably has a few classes of her own. It wouldn't surprise me if she had several "tutoring" sessions a week at her home. From patronages to various other royal topics. She was not born to "it" so she has a lot to learn. It speaks well of the Queen not to overwhelm the Duchess. Just something I've wanted to say for awhile when I see people complaining that Catherine doesn't do enough publicly. Don't get me wrong tho is soo love to see a new pic of all three of them.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I think there is a lot more to being a royal that goes on behind closed doors than handshaking and smiling for a camera. Prince William is taking classes on the Duchy of Cornwall. It would probably be a safe assumption to say that Duchess Catherine probably has a few classes of her own. It wouldn't surprise me if she had several "tutoring" sessions a week at her home. From patronages to various other royal topics. She was not born to "it" so she has a lot to learn. It speaks well of the Queen not to overwhelm the Duchess. Just something I've wanted to say for awhile when I see people complaining that Catherine doesn't do enough publicly. Don't get me wrong tho is soo love to see a new pic of all three of them.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am sure many of you have seen the press reports today about the Queen and Charles merging press offices and a member of Charles's staff taking charge overall. The report states that Charles will now take over many of the Queen's duties and that William will learn to run the Duchy of Cornwall estate. This entirely explains William's course happening now. Nothing happens without the Queen's agreement so presumably this is how she wants it. Another report said Charles was very sensitive to not being overshadowed by William and Kate and this seems to perfectly explain their efforts to be low key. I am glad Kate isn't out to grab the limelight.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are most welcome! Constructive discussion is always encouraged but off topic or hateful remarks will not be published. If you wish to share your name and where you're from without using the sign in options, simply select the "Name/URL" option on the drop down menu and insert your name, and if you wish the country/state you're from. You can leave the URL blank.

If there are a large number of comments, it is necessary to click the 'Load More' button at the end of the comments section to see the latest additions.