Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Kate attends Wedding at Dorchester Hotel, Upcoming Engagement & Jenny Packham Styles

As we begin another week, another royal controversy makes the headlines.

On Friday, The Duchess of Cambridge attended the wedding of her first cousin Adam Middleton and interior designer Rebecca Poynton. Adam, who is the son of Richard, advises executives in his role for the Mayfair firm Manchester Square Partners. The civil ceremony took place at Dorchester Hotel's penthouse and pavilion. Kate was joined by her parents Michael and Carole and her siblings James and Pippa.

Dorchester

However, the venue of the wedding has proved to be a controversial choice. The Dorchester is owned by the Sultan of Brunei who has imposed stringent anti-gay laws, prompting high-profile celebrities including Vogue's Anna Wintour and Richard Branson to call for a boycott of the hotels. I've been following this story in the news for some time and was shocked to read the Sultanate introduced a series of harsh Islamic laws that increase the punishment for homosexuality from a ten-year prison sentence to death by stoning.

More from the Mail Online's Story:

'Acutely aware of the sensitivities over her presence at the controversial hotel, she avoided the front door and sneaked into its underground car park in a blacked-out people carrier. "The wedding was a big boost for the hotel," says my man with a silver salver. "It shows the royals will not let the Brunei business keep them away."
 While James drove to the hotel with his parents, Pippa and her boyfriend Nico, Kate arrived separately, accompanied, so I am told, by an astonishing nine police protection officers.'

Reaction has been varied, with campaigning groups furious. The veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told The Huffington Post that Kate's attendance was "hugely disappointing".

The Huffington Post

More from Mr. Tatchell:

'She's sending the wrong signal. The Sultan will take comfort in the fact that Kate continues to give her de facto stamp of royal approval to his hotel and is not supporting the boycott. Many gay and human rights campaigners feel let down. She could have taken a stand but declined to do so. 
 How can anyone go to The Dorchester knowing it is owned by a man who has brought stoning to Brunei? It's particularly offensive when it's done by those in the public eye like The Duchess of Cambridge, who should be setting an example. '

Meanwhile, Princes William and Harry participated in the annual Audi Polo Challenge Coworth Park in Ascot, Berkshire over the weekend. Coworth is also owned by the Dorchester Collection, which is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, an arm of the country's finance ministry.


Coworth Park is a five-star retreat set in 240 acres of parkland on the borders of Windsor Great Park. The park retains a close affiliation with polo, offering world class polo grounds and hosts the season from April to September each year.

Coworth Park

The two-day event raised tens of thousands of pounds for three charities close to William and Harry's hearts, including The Royal Marsden cancer hospital in Chelsea, which William is president of, and his patronage youth training charity Skillforce. Proceeds will also support Prince Harry's charity Sentebale which he founded with Prince Seesio of Lesotho to help vulnerable children and victims of Lesotho's HIV/Aids epidemic. You'll see the names of the benefiting organisations on the Princes' polo shirts.


While raising money for charity is an admirable effort, many feels the royals should support the boycott and dispel any affiliation with the Dorchester. Personally, I fully support the boycott and feel any endorsement of the Dorchster on the royals part should be seriously reconsidered. Obviously, Kate made every effort to ensure she wasn't seen (why anyone would wish to hold their wedding at an establishment owned by the Dorchester Collection is truly beyond me, though it may have been too late to cancel) and the venue of her cousin's wedding was completely out of her control, but should she have missed it? Should the Princes boycott Coworth Park?

What are your thoughts on the ongoing debate?  Photos were taken from the wedding. It remains to be seen when they'll be published, if indeed they are at all.

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In other news, William, Kate and Harry attended their biannual Charities Forum at the Natural History Museum on Thursday morning. No photos were taken from the private event. The Forum was founded in 2006 as a way for the royals to bring their individual charitable interests together and to explore how they could best lend their support to them all in an effective and efficient way. Below we see the Cambridges at a previous forum.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Official Website

Another engagement has been added to Kate's diary. On Wednesday, 18 June, Her Royal Highness will visit Bletchley Park to mark the completion of the year-long restoration project, which has restored the site to its World War II appearance. During World War II, German secret codes were broken at Bletchley Park and many radio amateurs were involved in decoding and intercepting information.

Bletchley Park

More from Majesty Magazine:

'During her visit, Her Royal Highness will view the restored location, tour the WWII codebreaking huts and will hear about the achievements of the codebreakers whose work is said to have helped shorten the war by two years. The Duchess will be invited to plant a tree to commemorate the visit.'

The visit will be of particular interest to readers who enjoy the highly acclaimed television series The Bletchley Circle. Filmed on location at the Park, the mystery show sees four ex-codebreakers investigate crimes in post-war England.

Bletchly Park
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Kate's first official portrait by Paul Emsley received lukewarm reviews. But a new painting of Kate given to the royal couple during their visit to Scotland last week has been warmly welcomed by the Cambridges. Local artist Tom Sutton-Smith created the painting which was given to William and Kate as they toured the arts and crafts stall at a fete. According to People Magazine: "When William saw it, he said, wow it's brilliant. That's going up in my room. Kate loved it too and reached out to hold it and stared at it."

Glennys Andrews

While Kate's portrait will be bubble wrapped and sent to Kensington Palace shortly, it seems decorating the couple's country home Anmer Hall is proving a more difficult task. Kate revealed obtaining fireplaces is proving quite the task. More from Richard Palmer's story:

'Kate, has revealed she's looking for several fireplaces for Anmer Hall. The Duchess spoke about her renovations to Theresa Edwards from Forteviot when she visited the village fete on Thursday. Theresa, who runs a firm called Strathearn Stone and Timber said: "She said she's doing her house up and she's looking for fireplaces. She said she's been having problems finding a fireplace so I suggested she look at our website."'

This photo of Anmer Hall was taken last month; one imagines it won't be too long before William, Kate and George can move in.


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I was discussing upcoming appearances on Twitter with a fellow blogger and we noted it's been quite a while since Kate had an engagement which calls for an evening gown (surely one will be in the offing soon). With that in mind, for tonight's fashion corner we're taking a look at a selection of to-die-for Jenny Packham gowns available at the moment. We begin with the Beaded Long-Sleeve Tulle Gown and the Boat-Neck Cornet-Beaded Gown.

Jenny Packham

This Nude Silk Beaded Gown features a crew neck, long sleeves, a fitted waist and intricate beaded embroidery. It encompasses several elements we know the Duchess favours and would be a perfect choice for an evening event. 

Jenny Packham

The Embellished-Neckline Silk Gown has a vintage feel to it. It's gathered at the waist with a grosgrain ribbon band and features a delicate polka dot print. We also look at the (very Downton AbbeyFloral Embellished Gown.

Jenny Packham

The Draped Embellished Gowns in three colourways.


Jenny Packham

Finally, we look at the Silk Draped Evening Gown with Embellished Detail. The pale blue colour is beautiful and the draped look with side embellishment makes this a stunning gown. Another striking soft blue gown is the Beaded Gown shown below. The silver sequins with the ice blue colour created a very sophisticated finish. These would both work very well for the Duchess.

Jenny Packham

The Resort 2015 Collections are coming through at the moment. We'll take a look at some of Kate's favourite designers' offerings when they're available.

286 comments:

  1. What an interesting post! ( I usually say great but w all of the controversy, great wouldn't work!)
    I understand Kate wanted to support her family but she was also supporting a horrible man w horrible ways. She needs to know better than that.
    A naive part of me wants to think she didn't know of the controversy but I know better.
    She needs to do something to rectify the situation of her actions, to show that she doesn't approve of the anti-gay laws.
    To me this is worse for her than her skirt flying up and showing her bum. Something I didn't give my thought on.
    I did hope Kate would go to one the polo matches but oh well.
    Like you said in the last post, Kate should have a busy June so hopefully this is true.
    I do wish we see her more in situations that's not engagements.
    I

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  2. I don't know why- looking at Jenny Packham gowns just makes.me happy and helps me overlook the flurry of recent negative press. Thanks for that, Charlotte. Like coconut cream pie pie after haggis.

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    1. The Jenny Packham dresses are gorgeous, I wish I had an event to wear something that gorgeous too!! I think the draped green dress is the prettiest. But I don't know.

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  3. Sarah from Calif.3 June 2014 at 02:12

    O dear what a position to be put in. To bad the couple chose the Dorchester for their wedding event. I would have gone also. Family is family , I certainly don't agree with many things my family does but, a wedding is a very special event.
    Next the Polo event ,same situation ugh. Oh I can see their will be much talk about all this.
    No time for me to engage in the debate ,we're working on a wedding here :)
    Oh I loved Bletchley Circle so interesting and my appreciation to the ladies who secretly did their work with no glory.
    Oh dear those dresses are lovely. My favourite is the last. Ice blue beaded gown. Wow Gorgeous !
    Hope you are having a relaxing summer Charlotte. :)

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  4. OMG people, she attended a family wedding and she had no say where it was held. So also when does the royal family get into a politcal fight when it comes to attend a family wedding.
    Emily what is Kate suppose to do by rectify by attending a wedding. This my no means says she approves of anything this terrible man does. She just attended a family wedding. Give the girl a break. People here do nothing but find things to put down Kate. This poor girl can not do naything correct in many of your eyes.

    Pam/Portland

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    1. I defended the dress incident and love Kate. But the thing is as a Royal, your actions are bigger than you are. That's why she should have not gone to the family wedding. She made a personal, self-focused choice over taking a stand on an awful issue. I suppose if that's her conscious choice then it just is what it is, but I wish she would have taken a stand.

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    2. I feel she needs to do something w Gay rights or something along that line.
      This is of course in my opinion, IMO. Also I do believe, that a public figure like Kate walks a fine line of controversy.
      One more thing. I have not commented in a while, and when I do it is almost always postive about Kate.

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    3. She was righ in going to a family wedding over which she had no choice about the venue. He went to a fundraising event over which he likely had no say in the venue (I would imagine not too many people have private polo grounds that meet the security requirements for a future king). One thing, since her husband is the future head of the Church of England, there may have been worse backlash about supporting gay rights and affected the Queen's position negatively. Much worse. Damned if they did and damned if they didn't. It's a private business being targeted by pro-gay bigots for being con-gay Muslim bigots. Sometimes "liberals" is anything but when it comes to other peoples' rights.

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    4. People are being killed for being gay! Kate 'just attending a wedding', no, it's far more than that. She should have stayed home and William & Harry should not have played polo. They all need to do something quick to fix this, because they look like spoiled babies who don't give a flip.

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  5. I am a huge Kate fan and enjoy reading your blog. I can honestly say that this is the first time I am disappointed in something she has done. I think this is her first misstep as a royal. I understand that she was attending the wedding to support her family but I think that its clear to everyone including her that her actions now speak louder than a lay person's and this was the wrong message. Anyone in her position must make sacrifices and I think this should have been one of them. Just my two cents!
    Lauren in Virginia

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    1. I agree exactly.

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    2. I absolutely agree!

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    3. Totally agree. Given who she is (and William & Harry playing polo too for that matter) she should have opted out. I've been a tiny bit disappointed in her, William & Harry in the past, but nothing like this. I'm angry because people are being killed over this matter, it's literally life and death.

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  6. The protest is certainly getting publicity now so maybe they did the 'cause' a favour.
    She was right to attend if she had committed prior to the boycott being called for. Weddings are planned much more than 4 weeks out so her cousin would have likely paid 90% of the costs already. It was a private event. 9 security personnel were probably there in case a protest did kick off.

    As for William and Harry the same goes. It was a commitment from prior to the boycott.

    They are not supposed to get political .... Catherine gave up her right to vote by getting married.....and until/unless the government issues sanctions they should carry on with whatever plans/commitments they had.

    To do anything else is making a political statement.

    Love all the gowns!!

    Erininnyc

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    1. Lynn Georgia USA3 June 2014 at 16:40

      I did not know that the royals cannot vote. I'd not ever thought about it either--one way or the other. How far into the royal family does the voting ban extend? How long has this law (tradition?) been in place? Please enlighten me, for I am quite interested.

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    2. The Royal familie cannot vote (in Spain either) because there is a democracy an a Prime Minister and they don´t choose him if not the people. The Queen is there always , the Prime Minister change by universal sufrage.

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    3. All Royals can vote - they choose not to.

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    4. Interesting article on the subject here: https://www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchUK/QueenandGovernment/Queenandvoting.aspx. It is apparently unconsitutional for the queen and her heirs to vote (not sure how far the reaches) but makes sense.

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    5. The Royal Family cannot vote and don´t have surname, they use Windsor if it necessary.......but as they have a title of nobility..
      https://www.royal.gov.uk/thecurrentroyalfamily/theroyalfamilyname/overview.aspx

      The Queen of Spain surnames before her wedding were all German, because her first cousin is Margaret of Denmark, but it was imposible to people in Spain to ponounce. Finally her surname was changed by : "Sofia de Grecia", which is very easy to us.

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  7. Lots going on in this post! Thank you for your continued hard work on details and then more details. Wonderful! First, the portrait is.....interesting. I love the style but I'm still waiting for someone to capture her smile. So far, both portraits make her look like an old woman. I would absolutely die to see Catherine wear the Nude Silk Beaded Jenny Packham gown. It is stunning!!! Here's hoping she already owns it and already has an occasion to wear it!

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    1. Lynn Georgia USA3 June 2014 at 16:46

      I don't like the portrait at all. It looks almost like a caricature of her--with those deep marionette lines. The green background does her no favors either. I think she's a zillion times prettier than either painted portrait of her. Her formal "picture" portraits are so much more beautiful--engagement, wedding, family framed in Kensington Palace window.

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    2. Hi. I don't like the portrait at all. She looks old, her hair looks shorter also, and those facial lines,lord she looks better than that.id burn that portrait. For the wedding, she did the right thing by going,doesn't mean she supports the issue and these events are also scheduled and booked many months ahead. I'm glad she went .shows she thinks for herself. Can't please everyone.

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  8. LOVED each and every gown that you showed above - vrry elegant, glamorous, and regal - and Kate can showcase them to perfection!
    The Royal Family has a fairly close relationship with the Sultan of Brunei - I think it must present a very tricky tightrope for them to walk , now more than ever!
    I still say that Kate has her hands full trying to get two extremely large households estsblished - with lots of stops, starts, interruptions, renovations, now-where-was-I?? lists of which rooms still need what, George, William, what am I going to wear to the next four engagements??
    WHEW!

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  9. Do you investigate the location of every private family affair that you are invited to? I understand that she is a public person who must observe any and all issues with regards to her actions. This was not a public affair, it was a non-disclosed family event to which not a single paparazzi was invited. She did not make a speech, voice an opinion or attend to annoy anyone or make a statement. She was attending a family wedding that, as a mere cousin of the groom, she probably had no say in where the bride and groom chose to have their reception. So, is she supposed to cut herself off from her own family if they don't observe the social expectations set on her?? Give the poor woman a break, she can't control the wind (as per the ludicrous statement above), nor can she control the decisions that her family members make.

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    1. Maryland Moxie3 June 2014 at 19:33

      It becomes the publics business when it costs them the salary of nine security officers. So I would say, yes, Kate knew it was controversial and knew who owned the hotel.

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    2. Yankee from California3 June 2014 at 21:40

      Maryland Moxie -- by this logic there is never a time when her actions are free from public scrutiny as she must take security officers with her at all times, public or private, formal or in the park. There will always be someone offended by the group/business she is visiting, by the outfit she chose because they are sick of her jeans or her skirt reacted to the wind or her hair is wrong, there was another person in attendance who was offensive to someone on the planet, she went on vacation, etc. Of course she knew it was controversial, that's why she entered in as private a way as possible. I find this to be as respectful of the LGBT community as she could have been short of removing herself from having any sort of private life for fear of offending someone, somewhere. That sounds like a ridiculous option to me. MM, I admit that I rarely agree with you but I typically LOVE reading your posts as you force me to think about some of these issues from an opposite perspective. In this case, I just can't get there, but I love ya anyways!

      I'm flabbergasted that she can't do anything right. That this is on the front page of papers and the opinions are so negative wears me down. I can't imagine being in her shoes.

      Anon 2:59 -- I love your post and I wish you used a name so I could follow what you have to say in the future. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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    3. Moxie- I think you are a smart, smart person and realize the number of officers has not been confirmed. It is also not confirmed, if there were indeed nine, how many were actual royal PPOs (tax paid) and how many private and/or hotel security (privately paid)
      Out of curiosity, do you read all the other comments? Or do you pick and choose which to read, as some apparently do?

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    4. Of course I don't approve the treatment of gays in Brunei, but on other thought, I would not have even known about it without this controversy.... So if you try to be positive, the situation got a lot of press because of the Duchess attending a family wedding.

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    5. Kate went with 9 royal protection officers. She doesn't decide how many; the police dept. does that.

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    6. Maryland Moxie4 June 2014 at 11:59

      I read when I have time, the blog comment forum can be tricky to keep up with given how the posts are displayed so I don't see them all. My comment above was not accusatory of Kate - merely clarifying that if 9 people escorted you to an event - you might have a clue as to why - and how the use of extra security for a wedding in London now becomes the business of the taxpayer. (And who exactly were they securing her from?) Meanwhile, The Sultan of Brunei was a guest at her wedding and is good friends with Charles. The Middleton family using the Dorchester to celebrate a family event that was surely booked before the announcement of sharia law is very tricky from a diplomatic perspective. It would seem to me, that even if the family wanted to change venues, they didn't have enough time to sort it out. I don't think Kate should miss a family wedding because a dictator suddenly announced Draconian laws in another country. However I think the royals would be foolish not to heed the outcry of the people and it will be interesting to see if they continue to patronize these properties in the future.

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    7. There are a lot of celebrities that are boycotting, as a result of developments in Brunei. Kate has cast her vote concerning this situation by her attendance. That's what boycotts are. It would be very difficult to say that she was not aware of what was happening.

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  10. As expected from Daily Mail, sensationalizing everything. I quite agree in one commenter who said that this is a way of Daily Mail trying to bully the Duchess. Prince Harry had a Sentebale event a few weeks ago at one of the hotels owned by the Sultan as well, where's the furore/headlines? The Princes polo event are public events which is actually quite more of "endorsing" compared to an obviously supposed "low-key attendance" at a family wedding but people act as if she held a press conference and openly supported the Sultan. She must really love William to put up with all of this. I don't think I can live a life where everything I do, say, wear are intensely scrutinized as if I don't have a right to live my own life without people having something to say. No one, not even celebrities, deserve this kind of bullying by the media. Kudos to them for just getting on with their lives, doing their duties, despite all the crap people try to throw at them. Also glad she's still keeping in touch with her Middleton side of the family.

    P.S. A lot of other high-profile celebrities in the UK and US as well are not joining in this boycott thing. I personally think it's quite futile and in the end these boycotts are affecting not the Sultan's political/human rights views but the employment of thousands of employees of his properties who risk losing their jobs. Like what the hotel administration said, they are not involved in any political/religious/social issues, they're a business.

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    1. Agree, totally. There was no outrage at Harry's event at the same hotel. She was a guest a private wedding where she had no control of the venue location. She attended discretely and didn't make a big deal of it.

      The British Royals have had a long history of having gay people working for them. The Cambridges have a gay man as one of their top advisors, William Private Sect Miguel Head.

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    2. I have nothing against Harry, but that is an excellent point!!

      Sentebale's 10th anniversary celebration took place at The Dorchester Hotel. It's his charity and he attended in an official capacity, yet the condemnation is reserved for Kate for attending a FAMILY wedding.

      Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2014-05-08-prince-harry-sentebales-10th-anniversary-event-at-the-dorchester-hotel#ixzz33Z6f1YZC

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    3. Silvia from Portugal :))))3 June 2014 at 11:15

      Good Morning All and Special Hello to you Charlotte,

      Mslex I totally agre with you on the employment question, these matters go far beyond a straight forward analysis!!!!

      I also belive that Kate should stick close to her family as well so that she never looses her balance!!! She decided for her love and to love a life with her love and she has done and will do many great sacrífices to live her life with the man she loves. This was a private event.

      Off course I do not agree at all and by all means with thei Sultan policy, but that is another question.

      Have a great week all of you.

      Silvia

      So

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    4. This is not about thousands of peoples jobs. That's bait and switch!

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  11. Jennifer from Wisconsin3 June 2014 at 03:18

    Love the Packham gowns! Thank you for lightening up the post with beautiful dresses. While I wish Kate had not given the appearance of condoning the Sultan's actions and views, I imagine she only attended because it was her cousin.

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    1. I agree. I think the gowns are breathtaking and VERY Kate.

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  12. carrie from the rockies3 June 2014 at 03:24

    I personally wouldn't miss a special family event. Those memories are worth celebrating. What the sultan ruled is absolutely wrong. But I'm not going to..not support my family either.

    But for the charities, I would've suggested it be moved. There are other great field's they could have played at. I wouldn't have missed the match cuz it supported charities but I would suggest it be moved.

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  13. I'm disappointed and disgusted with William, Harry and Catherine for endorsing the Dorchester.

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    1. Oh give me a break. All she did was attend a wedding. My god she is not endorcing him in any way.
      She did not stay at the hotel. She went to a family wedding. You are making a b ig deal out of nothing.

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    2. Pauline, we all have our opinions and some of think this is a big deal. That human rights is a big deal.

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    3. I would thank your posts a thousands times if I could emily. Human rights are a big deal and Prince William and Harry should not be endorsing polo facilities effectively owned by a tyrannical administration. They get leases on the cheap from Audi and this is the reason they play the audi polo games at Coworth.

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    4. Thank you Anon 4:28. Your first sentence makes smile. I do wish I had a name, so I can properly thank you.

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    5. Dear Pauline, all we can hear is "give her a break" a break from what? from being the Duchess?
      In my opinion, Kate is a devoting mother and wife but the role of Duchess is too much for her at the moment.
      Thank you Charlotte for stating and sharing with us your attitude towards this boycott.
      Alice.

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    6. Thank you Emily and Anonymous!
      Human rights issues are indeed a very big deal. Truly attempting to change the world for the better does, in my opinion, not only mean that you support a select number of causes/ charities but that most of the decisions you make in your personal life should be informed by that attempt.
      I try to do so in my personal life and while I don't expect the British Royal Family to do the same, I'd greatly appreciate it if they did.
      As Emily said it is a big deal. It is especially when you have got a high public profile, but in my opinion it is also if you do not. When people are stoned to death it is a very big deal. The people you associate with, who you do business with, what you buy, where you stay... all of these things matter and while one cannot always know what and who are behind a company, when one does one should take it into account.

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    7. 1) Pauline said, "Give ME a break," not the Duchess.

      2) The " big deal" refers to the brouhaha over Kate's attendance, not the boycott and its human rights issues.
      Personally, I think death by stoning is barbaric, no matter gay, straight, or neuter.
      Having recently witnessed another barbaric death penalty being carried out in my state, I feel the issue is much broader than the boycott. It - the boycott- is self-limiting, as it is. It is a gesture, nothing more; but sometimes all we have is a gesture.
      As far as local "customs" such as stoning being supported by international companies- don't see it happening.
      The US has its own dirty linen. We could do with a few international companies calling for a. a wash-up.
      And then, we have the question of international companies themselves, which is a whole other issue, and so far off-topic, it is back on topic.

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    8. OMG Alice I agree wholeheartedly, you totally nailed it. She must be a caring mother and obedient wife but being a royal and represent them is too much for her, her lack of experience bites her back.

      The portrait is beyond words has the painter seen the duchess before? The dresses on the contrary are incredible I hope we can see one or two of them soon.

      I am torn with this hotel gate thing, although I cant understand why she was smuggled in, it seems like she was very aware of the controversy but she went anyway.Blue27

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    9. I can see both sides to this story - dammed if you go, dammed if you don't, but really think Kate could have actaully taken a stand on something important - human rights - by not attending and sending out a statement. It's unfortunate that she probably is not allowed to do that, but by not going she would at least have sent some sort of message that she does not condone this. With great privilege comes sacrifice.

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    10. carrie from the rockies4 June 2014 at 02:59

      What many are forgetting though is that william promised kate that she would live as normal a life as possible and wouldn't have to "sacrifice" a whole lot. That's why they took so long to get married. She was afraid she would lose the things she cared about, like family.

      So when we think "she's not doing her royal part. Shes supporting antigay rights. She should have stayed home," we need to remember that she was promised she could do these things without the judgement from the royals. If they are following that promise, why can't we?

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    11. While that promise seems purely speculative to me - or did William publicly voice it at any point? - even if that was so, you wrote 'as normal as possible'. That phrasing already indicates that a completely 'normal' life would never be possible and that it would be a fine line to walk.

      Also, I very much doubt that Kate can do whatever she likes, without judgement from, say the Queen. Such a promise could never be kept.

      Finally, even if William/ the Queen have promised her some things along those lines, those promises hardly apply to us. If you so choose, that is perfectly fine but others can just as well choose not to.

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  14. I have my own thoughts about the Sultan and his policies, but I do not fault Kate for attending a family wedding. It was a private affair; she didn't go there in an official capacity. If one of her charities was hosting an event there and she attended as their patron, it would be a different scenario.

    And I really like these gowns and can imagine Kate in most of them.

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    1. I don't either, royalfan. I bet the wedding was planned and booked long before the boycott. Although it does show Kate is aware that in her position she should be careful, and in this case it didn't work.

      But that portrait! It's bloody awful!

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    2. Totally agree royalfan. I read this article in the Daily Mail online last night and was interested to see that most commenters were criticising the DM for sensationalising a private family event where she had no control over the venue
      On a totally unrelated topic we've just come back from 4 weeks in central Australia including Uluru. Seeing the unique colours of the landscape made sense of Kate's choice of dresses to wear there. Bright colours would just clash with that landscape.

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    3. bluhare, the portrait reminds me of a couple of portraits of the Queen. It's different, but not so terrible, IMO.

      blue wren, I didn't read the article, but it's nice to hear that about the comments in the DM.

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    4. Four weeks in Central Australia this time of year sounds quite picturesque! Enjoy those happy memories and pics, blue wren.

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    5. William & Harry DID go to a charity even hosted by a hotel in the Sultan's portfolio, what should we think about them?

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    6. Harry hosted an event at the hotel, William was not in attendance.

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    7. Thank you Summer

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  15. This is the dumbest "controversy". Must have been a slow news day......

    1. I'm from the US but under the impression that British royals are not supposed to express political opinions. Which Kate did not. By her actions she attended in the most discrete way possible for someone of her position.
    2. She didn't let it stop her from supporting her family, which in my opinion was the only thing she was supporting. Admirable.

    - Jessica, US

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    Replies
    1. It is true that she is supporting her family, and that is very admirable of her. Something I hope she never stops.

      Delete
  16. Alan Turing is the famous code breaker and hero who was persecuted for being gay in the years after his triumph for Britain. Announced right after the visit to the Dorchester -- this is a very visible and celebrated place to visit and support the work of all WW2 heroes- most especially Turing

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  17. The solution to "cultural" controversies such as these is simply solved by managing who sells what to who.
    This is a global phenomenon.
    It's not just about a wealthy entrepreneur buying a hotel chain - it is about any individual or corporation buying anything internationally and enforcing rules not held by that country's government/people.

    This is not a problem for Kate. It is a problem that needs to be scrutinised far more closely by parliamentarians and changes in legislations made.

    Everything else has already said above. So I won't repeat.

    Love the JP gowns. The woman certainly knows how to style the perfectly romantic princess dress!
    But don't think much of the portrait as it bears no resemblance to Kate whatsoever: but I do love the colours and the work on the eyes. There's depth and some feeling from the eyes in this portrait - albeit a little sad in mood.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Those gowns are breathtaking! I like your choices there! I am excited for Bletchley Park above all things listed in the diary.



    I feel sorry for Kate that people need to put her down for every little thing she does. Cut her some slack! She was a private guest at a private wedding and she tried her best to keep it private so she won't be seen as endorsing it. It's not as if she threw her own birthday party there. If people truly want to critique the royal family on human rights issues, why not go off on the Queen for inviting the heads of Brunei, Bahrain and the Middle East for the Diamond Jubilee? Charles and Andrew for dining and staying with them? Human rights issues aren't new. But the royal family stays out of political debate because it is in the best interest of the country that they do so. Just because they are respectful and civil with world leaders doesn't mean they are endorsing all their decisions. The daily mail just wants to put Kate's name in their headlines as usual.

    P.S. I don't like the portrait either.

    ReplyDelete
  19. All of you who have made such thoughtful, sensible comments regarding Kate's attendance at a private event planned long before a boycott was called, well said. I agree.
    Anna Wintour is leading this boycott. Funny that: her Vogue magazine features clothing made in countries with horrible human rights abuses, like China and Bangladesh. The United Kingdom does a brisk export business with Brunei, and Brunei exports oil to Commonwealth nations, including New Zealand. Let's see Mr. Cameron get up in Parliament and call for a true economic boycott. Will never happen. The Sultan of Brunei is a despot and a religious extremist. He's also worth about $US 20 billion. Boycotting his hotel is barely a flea bite. If it succeeds, some low wage workers will lose their jobs, and these repugnant laws will not change.
    Charlotte, I appreciate the good heart that leads you to support the boycott and I thank you for all the lovely dresses to admire. So many that will suit Kate to perfection. . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like your comment on Anna Wintour Greybird.
      There are political agendas behind all of this kind of thinking and behaviour.
      Which is why as I mentioned above - this should be handled at government level.

      All of a sudden Kate has been turned into political ammunition to be manipulated by some political group.
      I wonder, if in fact, her cousin, her family or even Kate herself had any idea who owned this hotel chain and what their political views on homosexuality were when this wedding was planned?
      This may sound ignorant, but I did not look into the "real" owner of the hotel chain we used for our wedding reception.

      I'm certain if it any of this was of any concern to the palace, they would have had a say in it.
      Evidently there's no concern by them at all.

      Delete
    2. I didn't think of that. Sad but true the boycotts wouldn't make a dent on the Sultan's fortune. His motives are cultural and religious too, not monetary. I doubt the hotel employees have much interaction with their foreign investors but they will probably suffer the most. Already they are pointing out that other hotel chains are owned by countries which have practiced sharia law for decades but are not prosecuted. Now I'm not saying the boycotts are wrong but there are other bigger and more realistic ways to tackle this problem I think the princes are absolutely right to honor their commitment to polo at Coworth Park, which would also have been booked in advance. Their presence bring thousands to charity. I'm sure the patrons and guests would have been extremely upset if they backed out when they shouldn't even make a political stance at all. So would Kate's cousin if she missed his wedding. Must be so hard to be a royal because everything you do is scrutinized and you end up upsetting someone whatever decision you make.

      Delete
    3. Those dresses are beautiful! I hope to see her wearing at least one!

      Delete
  20. Kate was in an absolutely IMPOSSIBLE situation. She can't declare a boycott against a foreign head of state, or decide to participate in a boycott, not sanctioned by parliament. Had she participated in the boycott she would have been taking a position on a major foreign policy issue, which is unconstitutional and a far bigger ethical issue for a future queen than merely adding one head count to the wedding.

    That said, this is a far more fair point of criticism than the dress flying up. But truly, that criticism should be directed at parliament, not Catherine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No she wasn't in an impossible situation at all. She simply didn't have to go and not say anything about it in the press. I'm sure her family would understand given the position she is in.

      Delete
    2. Elle- I had not thought of the other side of the coin. Not criticism for attending a function at a boycotted hotel, but the implications and political statement if she honored the boycott and stayed away from her cousin's wedding. All in all, I think she did the right thing. But what an incredibly stressful decision.
      Excellent point!

      Delete
    3. carrie from the rockies4 June 2014 at 03:04

      Elle, absolutely right!!!

      Delete
  21. I forgot to say ..... is it possible that William and Kate were being polite about the portrait - so as not to hurt the artist's feelings? What else could they say!?
    Sorry - it's just not my cup of tea & immediately set me to wondering what Lucien Freud would do to Kate's lovely face on canvas! I Loved her very first potrait - even if so many others did not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don´t like the portrait either, it´s awful, that´s not Kate......

      Delete
    2. Am I the only person who likes the portrait? .....maybe if you stand a few feet away from it ? Think of it as a Picasso or a later Van Gogh style. It is supposed to evoke a feeling, isn't it? Ha!

      Delete
    3. Marg the "Art" is about feelings if that picture creates you any emotions , the painter had his job....it is very subjetive...

      Delete
  22. I disagree with the Huffington Post. I don't feel that Kate was being supportive of the hotel at all. She went to support a family member getting married in that hotel. I don't think it's the same thing. If she stayed the night that would be different. I think it's a fine line to walk...if she didn't purchase anything in the Hotel or stay the night (thereby giving money) then she was there supporting a family member in my opinion. Maybe her cousin didn't know at the time that they booked the hotel for their wedding that there was so much controversy. It can be very difficult to find a wedding venue on short notice.
    Great post! I love coming to your blog. Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have no problem with Kate attending that wedding. It was a family wedding for goodness sakes! She wasn't endorsing anything. She clearly attempted to make her presence low key.
    Why isn't anyone going after the bride and groom for choosing the venue? Instead of hounding Kate for attending? In any case, her attendance, or not, will have zero effect on the sultan's policies. In fact, had she not attended, she would just have brought even more negative publicity to her cousins' wedding, on what should be a beautiful, memorable day.
    Give her a rest already!
    As for the gowns, they are all spectacular, except for the polka-dot one. That fabric looks inappropriate for an evening gown. But the rest of the gowns are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I find it ironic that Adam Middleton, in his line of work, married there. If you look at his CV, he's very much in the business of political correctness himself and has made a career out of advising others.

    With a security entourage that size, the family anticipated trouble.

    What now for the Royal Family and this association? This Sultan holds academic and military honors in the UK, the latter awarded him by HM. Perhaps Kate and William aren't facing the controversies head-on because of the Queen's leadership? Maybe they're following her quiet lead in regard to this association? Just a thought.

    I adore the dresses and can very much see the Duchess in several. I hope there's a stellar occasion soon that calls for such attire.

    The portrait ... I see some merit in it, but I also see flaws. The coloring and style is interesting, but with it the artist sacrificed capturing elements of her face more exactly. Where you expect to see fine shading or lines, instead there are large strokes and distortion. I can't imagine how I might react to a portrait of myself in this style, other than with polite curiosity!

    I'm well into reading "The Queen Mother, the Official Biography" and have a new appreciation for this wonderful woman and how her life parallels that of Kate in some ways - the redecorating and renovation of historical family homes included. I usually spend each summer reading on theme, and I have proclaimed this the year of the British Royal Family! No spoilers, please. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  25. KJ (Dallas, TX)3 June 2014 at 06:54

    I'm undecided about her attendance. I can see both sides. However, I did find this interesting quote straight from the Royal website "the Royal Family's public role is based on identifying with every section of society, including minorities and special interest groups" https://www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchUK/QueenandGovernment/Queenandvoting.aspx.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Actually we are all guilty of supporting evil deeds. Don't tell me we don't all eat chocolate produced by mainstream chocolate producers using cocoa beans picked by child slaves? Coffee beans? Wear clothes produced by underpaid employees in China who keep their children on a leash in factories whilst they work suffering nhumane conditions?
    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone....
    This is just another event twisted out of control by media my friends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure we are all guilty of things like you mention, but there are several HUGE differences here. First, none of us are Kate, we are not in the public eye so basically no one would even know if we were boycotting something or not. Second, I do try to avoid products where I know there is an issue, conflict diamonds, chocolate, but we can't always know exactly which is the best brand of this or that. The information is not always readily available. The issues with the Sultan of Brunei are VERY public. I personally don't think Kate should have attended, and William & Harry shouldn't have attended the polo match.

      Delete
    2. Jennifer from Wisconsin3 June 2014 at 22:03

      Florence,
      I think you bring up a great point. The other thing about If Kate had not attended is that no one would say she took a sand. Instead, it would just be reported that she did attend. There would be nothing about her making a statement of protest abut the Sultan's policy. No one would know why. That would be the end of the story. I think Kate and her family tried their best to have her come to a family event as safely and quietly as possible. She truly was damned either way. She chose her family- not to support the Sultan.

      Delete
    3. Have we forgotten the route the Cambridges took to Sydney? Wasn't it via Brunai? (that's a real question) It was one of the UAR countries, but I'm having a senior moment here
      What role does BP play? We are dealing with some REALLY complicated issues here.
      I won't mention a wedding whose invited guests included a number of representatives of the UAR, but not the head of an important Western country. And later, when apparently encouraged, the newly married couple spared exactly 20 minutes of their time for this leader, as a photo op .
      This is not a simple issue, if attending a relative's wedding is going to be seen as a political event.

      Delete
    4. I believe the flight that W&K took to and from Australia was a Qantas flight flying via Dubai.
      I think it's disappointing that Kate choose to go to the wedding, knowing that it was a contentious issue, rightly so, regarding human rights. I thought it seemed strange to stop wearing a fashion label because a member of the Al Fayed family had joined the Board and there had been public criticisms of the British Royal Family but to then attend a family wedding at a hotel chain where there has been such public condemnation of the behaviour of Brunei. That suggests double standards and not thinking all of the implications through well enough but enough so that additional protection officers are in attendance to a) keep her out of sight and b) protect against any protests. She is a member of one of the most important families in the world and sometimes the sacrifice had to be not to attend jolly family gatherings because of the harm that it can do to the RF. Tough but real life.
      Liked the portrait and loved the dresses!! Simone in Melbourne x

      Delete
  27. Great post Charlotte! But I think it was poor judgment on Kate's part to go to a wedding at that hotel. She must have new the PR would be a nightmare. On a happy note its so nice to see Hot Harry!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Maryland Moxie3 June 2014 at 08:19

    Has the royal family ever expressed support for the homosexual population? I don't recall them ever championing that particular lifestyle. Anyone have examples of them doing so? The Church of England, of which Elizabeth is Supreme Governor will not perform same-sex marriages. And clergy, should they happen to be homosexual, are expected to be celibate, which is not the same expectation for heterosexual clergy. Elizabeth is "Defender of the Faith" and that "Faith", the Anglican Church, is not particularly gay friendly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you consider Princess Diana being the first major figure to shake the hand of an AIDS patient in the 80s an good example of this? I know this was a LONG time ago but it springs to mind. The BRF is also known to employ a lot of homosexuals. The Church is tougher -- and will likely take a long time to come around.

      Delete
  29. Just as a side - slightly irrelevant to today's post.
    King Juan Carlos of Spain has decided to pass on the throne to his 42 year old son.
    I'm thinking this is an interesting precedent the European monarchies are setting.
    I'm also wondering what our Queen Elizabeth II may be thinking of this trend.
    Should we see King Charles III on the throne soon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the queen doesn't abdicate. Charles is a nonsense and his lazy son who can't decide if he's in or out of the royal family would jeopardise all queen Elizabeth's hard work. Mustn't she feel sad it'll go to pot once she's passed. Angie. Woking

      Delete
    2. It´s a trifle but Felipe is 46 years old, no 42. I saw Elizabeth riding a horse yesterday and this afternoon there is a garden party at the palace, and she´s 88 when I´ll be oldest I want to be like her...
      I asked the same....

      Delete
    3. While I of course do not know her personally, I have done a fair amount of research on Queen Elizabeth and her life. I can just say that I personally am 100% sure that she will never abdicate. Never. If there's one thing that I think I know about her it's this. She once promised to dedicate her life - her whole life - to the crown and that's exactly what she will do. I am certain that the only thing that can end her reign will be her death (which hopefully will not happen for quite some time).

      Delete
  30. Getting tired of all these controversies. Maybe a list could be made of what the Royal Family is allowed to do. It would be shorter I am sure than a list of what they are NOT allowed to do I am sure. It sounds as if they can't do anything on their own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stoning gay people to death is hardly in line with Kate flashing her bum, wearing the wrong shoes, etc. With great privilege comes great responsibility.

      Delete
    2. I agree 100% Mabel.
      The flashing bottom incident was irrelevant to me.
      This is a different ball game entirely. Far more serious and irresponsible. Simone from Melbourne

      Delete
  31. anon from Leominster3 June 2014 at 09:04

    I had to think about this one. There is no question the situation with the Sultan of Brunei is very tangled and is likely to get more so. While many countries have political controversies, stoning as an official policy is extreme.

    My immediate reaction is whatever Kate did, she was wrong to sneak in. Sneaking in is never good, it looks like you are hoping not to be discovered. Same with blacked out cars and nine policemen. I also took note that Kate has missed important weddings for a number of reasons including weddings of close friends and a wedding in the Spencer family. This would not have been the first family wedding she didn't attend.

    My feeling is a message needs to be sent to the Sultan quickly and effectively and a good start would have been for Kate not to attend that wedding. It would be perfectly acceptable for her family to attend and make her apologies but she is a public figure, even a private matters. Sooner or later, the royal family is going to have to face up to this, and this would have been a swift and easy start. Likewise, I believe the polo match should have been moved.

    Sometimes the best thing is to act quickly. Now, Kate's presence will be used by Brunei to claim that the royal family isn't supporting the boycott. Her private visit has become a public issue as has William's match. Most likely, changing the forum and not attending the wedding would have had no effect on the sultan but a action from royals is stronger than action from celebrities. Pressure can make a difference.

    There is a difference between the government who most people accept get their hands dirty and end up dealing with things that are unsavoury, and the royal family. The royal family does deal with other royals whose polices most of us would not support, but there has been prior instances of too much contact proving embarassing. That was why Andrew gave up being the trade representative because he became to embroiled with unsavoury connections.

    Ironically, I think the fact it was a private event would have sent a message without making it official policy. An opportunity lost is how I see it, although I do understand why others think differently. But the blacked out car is terrible. You are either there or not. You don't sneak in places. If you don't plan to support the boycott, you walk in head held high and simply can make the statement it was a private family event.

    The moral issues of others who support the boycott isn't relevant to my way of thinking. The issue is how things will be handled between the royal family and Brunei. The queen may have to do think officially like meeting that man from Ireland which I'm certain she wasn't happy about. Making a point unofficially is sometimes the best way to go.

    I'm not at all sure Kate had to give up her right to vote until she becomes queen. I think that only officially applies to the queens although other members choose not to vote as a matter of principle.

    One thing I do find odd is that fact that Kate no longer attends polo matches, not just this one. She rarely missed a matches when she was dating and continued to attend soon after she was married. Zara often attends sporting events with little Mia. Kate could just as well bring George.

    On a happier note, Kate would look lovely in any of those gowns. Let's hope she soon has an opportunity to wear them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. If you go to the event no sneaking in, makes it ten times worse. Really disappointed in Kate's decision. Ann london

      Delete
    2. Jean from Lancs3 June 2014 at 18:54

      "Sneaking " sounds rather nasty! It's many years since I was in the Dorchester, but I seem to remember that cars had to go round the back.
      Perhaps someone with more up to date info can tell me if that is right.

      Delete
    3. Jean - no, that's incorrect. For example, there are pictures of Pippa Middleton and Carole Middleton walking into the Dorchester to attend the wedding. Their cars didn't go round the back and they didn't sneak in.

      Delete
    4. I agree, anon from Leominster!

      Also, Kate did indeed not give up her right to vote. The Sovereign and the heir to the throne cannot vote. Other members of the Royal family do have the right to vote, even though they don't exercise it.

      Delete
    5. Anon 19:51 Where are the pictures you claim are out there???? I am sure if there were they would be all over the internet and they are not.

      Delete
  32. Here is an excerpt of an article from NBC news:

    http://www.today.com/news/prince-harry-infamous-vegas-photos-i-let-my-family-down-1B8059323

    Asked about his brother Prince William and his wife Kate's recent pregnancy news, he again complained about the media.

    “I think it's very unfair that they were forced to publicize it when they were, but that's just the media for you,” he said in an apparent reference to the media environment and not one news outlet in particular.

    Given how striking Harry's distrust of the media is, many might be surprised to learn that he reads articles about himself.

    “If there's a story and something has been written about me I want to know what's being said, but all it does is upset me and anger me that people get away with writing the stuff they do,” he said.

    “My father says don't read it because it's always rubbish," he added.

    Asked how far back the mistrust goes, the prince said: “I think it's fairly obvious how far back it goes, it's when I was very small.”

    Here is Prince Harry's opinion about the Media bullying.

    Not so long ago, it was a joy for me to come to this blog but it's no longer so. I always fear the worst now. What a pity!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I will be cautious about this theme. I think that the wedding is a thing and the polo match another. Kate didn´t choose the place for the wedding but who did select that park for charties??
    In my opinión the problem is with the Crown and its positon in this issue and diplomatic reations in Brunei.

    Charllote the gowns are stunning, I have no money nor body...

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    Replies
    1. Lynn Georgia USA3 June 2014 at 17:17

      I am really interested in the feelings on the streets in Spain about King Juan Carlos's abdication. Does the general population seem jubilant? I know that Felipe is immensely popular. However, abdication of the throne is a really serious decision for the whole country. The restoration of the Spanish monarchy in 1975 after Franco's death was so momentous. How well I remember it! (Yes, I'm old!) There are certainly important implications for Britain, I think, in the rash of abdications that have occurred in the last year or so all over Europe--not while the beloved Queen Elizabeth II rules (Long live the Queen!) but certainly for the future.

      Delete
    2. Hi Lynn!! The abdication has been necessary. First thing I saw Juan Carlos this morning and he needs her son even for walking. In the second instance his popularity is at the minimun since his hit was broken hunting elephants in Botswana while his son´s is raising.

      Felipe is a new generation and can speak 5 languages, and has 2 master´s degree on economics as well as he´s an honest person.

      Nevertheless a part of the nation is asking for a referéndum and want the republic but in our Constitution is posible now this change without many trouble.

      I´m old too, ha, ha when Franco died I was 6 years old...

      Delete
    3. Lynn Georgia USA3 June 2014 at 21:23

      Thanks so much, Estabaliz. One of the joys of this blog is having direct contact with people from all over the world. I love hearing the opinions and the reactions of the "people on the ground" (Translation: ordinary, real people who are close to the events taking place). We miss so much by just reading a news article or even listening to a television broadcast. In addition to Felipe's credentials and accomplishments, he is so tall and handsome--and the new queen, Letizia, is beautiful beyond words. I look forward to Charlotte's coverage of the two of them and their precious daughters when she resumes her Royal Digest (hint, hint, dear Charlotte!).

      Delete
    4. Yes Lynn, that´s the magic of internet...Last night I was thinking about that the people in western wold is more similar every day. We watch the same films, wear similar clothes and have information in real time....sorry, I´m a bit nuts.

      Delete
  34. Jean from Lancs3 June 2014 at 11:25

    I have no doubt that the Dorchester wedding was booked well before Brunei passed the law. Had she not gone DM headline would undoubtedly be(, "Kate snubs her cousin's wedding"
    Nor do I believe she had nine security officers---unless they were the Dorchester's own staff.
    I certainly do not support the Brunei Laws---so boycott Brunei not a London hotel which will cause British residents to lose their jobs---easy for people like Stephen Fry ---but disaster for hard working hotel staff.
    Charlotte, I tried 3 times to put an answer to "Elizabeth" about the Royal Circular, but got a funny message about "Advisor nor permitting" ( their spelling!

    ReplyDelete
  35. as someone who used to live in brunei and has met the bruneian royal family, and as a non heterosexual person - i'm disappointed in Kate, and any of the other members of the british royal family who indirectly support the sultan and brunei's new sharia laws.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How are the royals supporting the sultan of brunei? She went to a wedding that is it. She went in underground because she did not want to draw attention to herself. People need to get over it, she supported a family memebver at his weeding fro christ sake.

      Delete
    2. This is hard to believe, but there was a movement to incorporate sharia law into Oklahoma law. It actually went on the ballot and could have passed, because people had no idea what it was and every other proposition on that ballot passed, I believe. The thought of that still scares me.
      On second thought, maybe it is believable.

      Delete
    3. Marg, I live in Oklahoma and am no fan of the state's majority political agenda or attitudes but do need to possibly clarify your comment about sharia law. The constitutional amendment to prohibit judiciary from considering sharia law in their decisions passed. The amendment was declared unconstitional by the state Supreme Court. I doubt there is any evidence of any Oklahoma judge considering sharia law in their decisions either before or after the vote.

      Charlotte, you do an amazing job. Thank you for the care and effort you give the community you have created. Terrye

      Delete
  36. Jean from Lancs3 June 2014 at 12:15

    Forgot to add on previous blog---there is an article in the "Daily Express" on line, which suggests that William; Catherine and Harry are not being allowed to do too many engagements because of the expense. Seems money is supposed to cover 3000 royal engagements in total---already carried out by those already active. If that is true, I think it is unfortunate that they are allowing the long-term future of the monarchy to be put at risk, because the young ones are being labelled "lazy" through no fault of theirs..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer from Wisconsin3 June 2014 at 22:08

      That could explain alot

      Delete
    2. Sarah from Calif.4 June 2014 at 02:43

      Thank you for that note Jean. Good information.

      Delete
  37. As a fan, I wish the Duchess had declined to attend this wedding and support the boycott. I say this with full belief that she went to support her cousin and also had zero control over the venue selection. That being said, I believe she was fully aware of the controversy as evidenced by her carefully planned and discreet entrance to the hotel. To me, this signals that she knew it was wrong to support the Dorchester and tried to sneak by and get away with it. As a member of the royal family, Kate enjoys many privileges that many people cannot even dream of. With those privileges come with great responsibility. If Kate wishes to be regarded as a powerful change agent in her own right and not just a pretty ornament at William's side, then she needs to make herself aware of world issues and take a stand on them-much like her late mother-in-law. Of course she wanted to support her family and I applaud her desire to do so. At the same time, this is an instance where she should have sacrificed due to her position. No one respects a princess who wants to have her cake and eat it too.

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    Replies
    1. Molly. Well said. I agree with your very well written post. I empathise with kate that she wanted to support her family but she is royal. She chose to be too. Ann London

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    2. OMG she is not supporting Dorchester or the gay rights. She went to a wedding for christ sake. I couls see everyone getting upset if she stayed at the hotel but she did not. Just because she is a royal does not mean she has to reframe from attending family weddings. She had to sayon where the weddingwas held. Give the girl a break.

      Delete
    3. Hi Molly- I thought Kate's discreet entrance was evidence of a wish to keep a private event private, not a moral judgement call. (..."she knew it was wrong...")
      It may just be a matter of semantics, but I don't think being discreet equates to being "sneaky."
      It would be great if Kate would be allowed to be a powerful change agent. I like that idea. I honestly don't know how much personal influence a monarch has on UK policies, let alone a monarch's spouse. Is Prince Phillip a powerful change agent? At one time, he was pretty much arm-candy himself. He still cuts a rather dashing figure.
      We have examples in the US of first ladies attempting to be change-agents. Hasn't worked out so well , at least not since Eleanor Roosevelt. Maybe Betty Ford.
      I don't believe Diana was a powerful change agent, at least not until she was a private individual.
      As always, I invite anyone to dispute what I have said. I have been wrong more than once, Molly.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous- I disagree. I believe that being a royal does me she has to forgo certain private past times. For instance, she does not wear the Issa label anymore due to the company's connections with the Al-Fayad family. Obviously you have a different opinion and that's perfectly fine. It just seems to me that there is some picking and choosing going on. In this case, I disagree with Kate's choice.
      Marg- I agree that being discreet is not always sneaky. That is a good point. Plus, I don't know all the facts and the Daily Mail is not the most reliable source. That being said, if these facts are true (going through the back, multiple protection officers etc), it signals to me that she was being sneaky. In recent years, Kate has been rightfully understated at weddings but she has not gone in the back entrance. It makes me wonder. I think Kate receives a lot of attention and praise for being a change agent. Her advocacy for issues such as addiction have certainly brought awareness to an often stigmatizing disease. As a fan, I'd like to see her do more of this. Don't you think that First Lady Michele Obama's "Let's Move" campaign has been a success? But it is not really a matter of comparison. I grapple with being a fan of Kate because I'd like to see her do even more with her position. Perhaps I am being unreasonable but it would help me to better accept those all those pesky trips to Mustique and designer clothes. Also, as a feminist, I'd like for her to be known for her ideas rather than her clothes. Maybe this is unrealistic in the royal family but why not? As members of the public, we will never shift public opinion unless we voice our own.

      Delete
    5. Molly, I was cheering for you, untiI l got to " those pesky trips to Mustique and. designer clothes." I seem to remember she was criticized for LACK of designer clothes jewellery, tiaras, etc.on her recent trip.
      And bringing up Ms. Obama's campaign was a valid point. I think the success or not of that campaign will be whether there is a significant decrease in childhood obesity. But the results will take years to realize. The point is, she is making an effort.
      Thank-you for your well-written response to my comment, Molly.
      I am seriously considering with-holding further comments on this blig, until I have returned to school for a grammar, punctuation, and spelling refresher course. Ha!

      Delete
  38. If we made all our decisions on where we shop, eat, or attend in general based on the views of the company or CEOs, we would have a very small list of places to go. People have different views all over the world and if you are not supporting someone solely based on their beliefs, you are doing the complete opposite of what you yourself are wanting them to do- be open and accepting of all people. Kate didn't do anything except attend the wedding of her cousin. You only live once.

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    Replies
    1. This is literally about life and death for some people in Brunei, it's not just, 'oh I don't want to eat there because they don't treat their chickens right'. I don't think someone in Kate's position should have gone to this wedding.

      Delete
  39. It's a shame, but family obligations came first, no doubt. Given how far ahead you need to book a wedding venue, it was probably done long ago and could not be changed. It's too bad that grand old London hotel left British ownership. Hoping the Cambridges and the Middletons will find a way to express their support of human rights in the future.

    Anmer roof tiles looking better already!

    Lovely gown choices--would be delighted to see any of them, but esp. the Packam Coronet beaded gown.

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  40. I would not offend my cousin by refusing to attend his wedding. She went in a very low key way. She did the right thing. These boycotts only hurt British workers and they are a knee jerk reaction without thinking things through.

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  41. People do love a good controversy, don't they? What a shame that Kate was put in the awkward position of going to a family wedding, but knowing she needed to be discrete about it. I'm a staunch gay rights supporter, but I sympathize with Kate on this one.

    I do love those Packham gowns! I hope we see one or more of them on Kate soon!

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  42. You know why the West is hated in the Middle East? Because we go to their countries, make a mess and tell them how to live. The boycott is a foolish waste of time that gives busybodies a chance to feel righteous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Western countries are vilified in the Middle East because they annexed land in Palestine.

      Historical change happens because people resist. People who effect change are not busybodies. If people who have lobbied for change were doing so, merely in order to feel self-righteous, why do it? There are many hero's who prove that there is another reason, for resistance. Change sometimes can mean civil war (as in the US, which freed the black man to his rightful position). I do not know what needs to be done. Sharia laws even affect little girls. But if we wait around for someone else to do something, who will? Boycott's are not about money - they are for raising awareness of something important. Awareness forces change, and sometimes it takes years of education. But the last thing to do is nothing...

      Delete
  43. I don’t understand why the masses are insinuating that by attending a wedding at this hotel Kate and the fellow royals are giving their stamp of approval of anti-gay laws supported by the Sultan. How ridiculously farfetched. They are acting as if she wore an anti-gay t-shirt. Obviously Kate wanted to be present at her cousins wedding since she holds family in the highest regard. It is not her fault that her cousin chose the Dorchester as his wedding venue. Is she expected to miss her cousin’s special day because people expect her to bend every which way? I think she showed enough respect by going through a private entrance. I wish people would separate politics from this situation. She attended her cousins wedding so she could be there for his special day and nothing more should be taken from this. I wish they would just leave her alone.

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    Replies
    1. And if you had a family member in Brunei who was in danger of being stoned to death? Kate going to that hotel and William & Harry playing polo at the other doesn't give their stamp of approval, but it doesn't take it away either. I hope they all find it in themselves to come out strongly against what the Sultan if Brunei is doing.

      Delete
    2. Rose from Montreal, Canada4 June 2014 at 03:12

      AMEN

      Delete
  44. As a person who loathes boycotts...they rarely change anything, and make the participants feel as if they are actually doing something about something with minimal effort...I think this whole bruhaha is ridiculous.
    She was supporting family. People love to find reasons to freak out over everything these days.

    As for the dresses....sigh, I wnt them all, and would love to see Kate in any of them.

    Amy from Detroit Michigan

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    1. Amy I agree with you. People find the little things to complain about Kate can not do anything right. These people who complain about everything have nothing better to do then sit in front of their computer and complain, compalin. complain.

      Kate was just going to a wedding of as family member and went in the underground so not to cause a stir.

      Pam/Portland

      Delete
    2. Amy - fair enough to have that as your own opinion. I respectfully disagree that boycotts are useless.
      I believe that our consumer power is one of our strongest assets in a money-driven society. These things start small - you're correct in saying that one person on their own can't make a great deal of difference. But if it snowballs, consumer pressure can force quite significant change.
      Kate can't get political, true enough. And the royals certainly are in an awkward position with regards to the sultan of Brunei. But it is time to take a bit of a stand when human rights abuses come out in the open, as has happened here. It would be good if they didn't show public support to the sultan's investments...

      Delete
  45. I'm dismayed she attended the wedding. Granted she can't help the venue that relatives picked but she can decide not to attend. She is a royal and that's part of the deal like it or not. Plus she must have realised it would cause controversy or why else go in a back way? And all those police another waste of tax payers money. All in all it's just another bullish attitude of will n kate. They do what they want and the British tax payer has to like it or lump it. I'm so disappointed in this couple, there was real hope for r monarchy. Ann London

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  46. Attending the wedding of a friend is the right thing to do. The media and those against the monarchy are trying very hard to make it look like Kate or any royal is "anti-gay" by attending a wedding. The venue was not their choice. It would be very un-royal to abandon a friend.

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  47. We only know she was at the hotel because the media is carrying on. She didn't carry a sign in support of the hotel. In fact, she tried to discreetly enter and exit to not bring attention to herself. This was a wedding of a first cousin and someone she was probably close to growing up. There's not any evidence she spent any money in the hotel.

    We only need to look in our closets and at our electronics to see we may not care about human rights when it comes to our own purchases. If that's the case, we shouldn't be hypocritical when judging the choices of others.

    I can see Kate in a lot of those dresses. Quite lovely

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  48. Krystalyn, Laura, Anon 18:49 - I agree with everything you say. Also, the Royal Family and/or the British Government may not support the idea of her making a bold anti Sultan of Brunei statement. It may interfere with diplomatic efforts and as far as I am aware of, the Royals are supposed to stay out of the politics of foreign affairs as far as possible. If it comes to it, the families would visit each other and smile for the cameras anyway. I think it's far bigger then "Kate doing the right thing".

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  49. Maryland Moxie3 June 2014 at 19:56

    Everyone has assumed that Kate had no say into the venue. Isn't it just as likely that the royal family connection may have factored into the choice and they may have gotten a discount?

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    Replies
    1. Jennifer from Wisconsin3 June 2014 at 22:11

      I doubt it Moxie.

      Delete
    2. Maryland Moxie4 June 2014 at 11:08

      The Sultan attended her wedding and is close friends with Prince Charles. Your cousin being a future Queen of England might get you a few breaks. We'll never know, but it is interesting to me that everyone assumes she had no input or never uses her status to help out her family. I've no doubt the booking occurred before the May 1st announcement of the sharia law. And it would have been tricky for the Middleton family to back out, even if they wanted to, if they were being shown special courtesy.

      Delete
  50. Even if the Kate had no say into the venue - and even if it was booked before, her presence in that hotel is - in my opinion - without excuse. Look at what it has done to damage the royal image around the world - more bad than the tour did good - so overall she looks like a liability to the royals at the moment... Very unfortunate. I can tell you that in Canada everyone I know (and they are loyalists) is just simply outraged. Too bad, again...

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  51. Everything Kate does is official the moment she leaves the gates of her residence - and sneeking into a wedding is no excuse. It only shows that she was VERY AWARE and made a decision - which is putting her in a bad spot for me. One must be principle-based in their life - and an ostrich-like behavior is only making things worse. It's bad that she stepped into that venue, not that we are aware of it. Even if no one knew, it is still fundamentaly wrong. What kind of person is she, really? What does she truly believe in? I've come to wonder. Not sure I like the answer I am getting at the moment.

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  52. TO BE FOLLOWED: Next polemic on June 6th or before? Wait and see!

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  53. Canadian Friend3 June 2014 at 21:52

    Hi, Charlotte,

    Thank you for this very interesting post.

    I think Kate was right to attend the wedding on her own with a minimum of fuss. This is her first cousin. She doesn't have a huge family so this is likely considered a close relation. She's obviously been raised to take family connections very seriously.

    Isn't it interesting that she has deliberately stayed away from some friends' weddings for fear of drawing too much attention? Looks like she was right!

    I bet she gets absolutely no say in how many security officers accompany her. There's likely a security protocol based on destination, overall location, how public the place is, etc. She probably couldn't change it if she wanted to.

    Since Brunei changed its position to a more backward and discriminatory one, I bet the wedding was already booked and couldn't be changed. I actually think the polo match is more of a problem. I think the Princes' charities using that place in light of Brunei's position is more of a problem than Kate going to a private event.

    Princess Diana did a great deal to overcome stigmatization of the HIV/AIDS population, many of whom were gay, by visiting hospitals, hospices for Aids patients and supporting artists, such as Elton John, who have raised millions for AIDS related charities.

    It's not easy for the Royal Family. I hope going forward they use their influence to pressure the Sultan of Brunei to change his mind.

    On a lighter note, the Packham gowns are beautiful, especially the beaded one, the lavender embellished one and the pale ice blue one.

    I hope some of the upcoming events bring a more positive focus.

    Kind regards to all readers. I appreciate the wide range of opinions.

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  54. I have been following this blog for quite some time, but have not posted since before the tour. I must say first - great job on the tour posts Lady Charlotte, amazing coverage! As for the fly away skirts, i was getting so tired of all the commenting on it, but after this last shot of her bum (which I must say I wish mine looked that good!) it really is time for some serious weights in the bottoms of her summer skirts and dresses, should be easy enough to remedy. Now as for some folks making her appearance at her cousins wedding into a fight about human rights on Charlotte's blog, to that i say, its her cousins wedding, she should have gone and i think she tried to go discretely, like other places she has gone so as not to upstage the bride and groom. I don't think you can say that she is endorsing stoning to death of gay people (who would agree with that!!!) im sure the wedding arrangements were made long before the "celebrity" ban. I bet most all of you in the U.S. shop at Wallmart?!?! Wallmart is evil, killing small town America, maybe you all should boycott that?? think the boycott of the hotel is only hurting the probably minimum wage employees. and i loved that someone else was pointing out that prince Harry had event at the hotel a few weeks ago, yet no one said anything about it - so hypocritical.

    As to the JP dresses, beautiful and i can see her wearing all of them, they really do her justice! I am in the minority on the red wool coat from the other day, LOVED IT! it was a great color for her and looked warm as those in the know were saying it was quite cold, for those of us that are cold all the time, i would love that coat, if i had the money, also loved her hair that day too!!

    i really think the palace limits her engagements and i dont believe they are lazy. they are young and trying to have a family and Wills is 3rd in line. give them a break or please complain on the DM site. this used to be a more forgiving place, it can be again. Ok, now you can all yell at me! - Caroline in MT

    P.S. would like to give a shout out to Sam in London!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. anon from Leominster3 June 2014 at 23:44

      I'm truly shocked that anyone would equate Walmart with stoning to death people for social reasons. I've never heard anything so outrageous, and I'm no supporter of Walmart. I try to be respectful of others views but this is a bit too much. Even the death penalty where it exists in the west is for people who commit capital crimes. In other words people who have murdered others, and there is a long appeals process.

      We are talking about people being Stoned to death who haven't harmed anyone. People who have fallen in love with the wrong persons. People of the wrong sexual persuasion. It could happen to any of us on this blog. Look at that poor woman in Somalia who was about to be hanged because she married a Christian, even though she was raised a Christian because her father, who abandoned his family, was a Muslim. This is the sort of thing we're talking about. And twe're speaking of the policy of the state of Brunei, not acts of terrorism or private extremism.

      No one suggests the West is always right and no, we can''t stop every injustice, but there are limits. No one expects the Sultan to change his policy immediately but pressure can be put on him to divest western assets since the conduct of his country is not in accord with Western moral values, just as we are expect to be tolerant of others' beliefs. I'm no great supporter of boycotts but I do feel this is a sufficiently barbaric situation where some action is required.

      I have little sympathy for Kate here. She has missed other family weddings, particularly a Spencer one when it didn't suit her to go. She s a woman with a public position, a choice she made when she married William. That means there may be time that you don't get to do exactly what you want but there are compensations. I'm certain her cousin would have understood and the rest of the family who are private citizens could have attended. Likewise, I believe William and Harry should have backed out of the match. I'm sorry for the people who work at the Dorchester, it's not their fault, but to paraphrase Don Giovanni, I hope they get a better master.

      The royal family has frequently made decisions of this sort. Charles even cut his friend Kanga out of his life when she started having mental difficulties. (I certainly don't support that) There have been other times when the royals have had to consider this such as Andrew's friendship with the man in the States who was accused of abuse of minor girls. There are times when being royal has to come before family and wishes.

      I'm certain Juan Carlos could say something about that since the main reason for his abdication has to do with private holidays for which he was heavily critiicised as well as private matters with his son-in-law. Likewise, the Belgium abdication had much to do with private activiity.

      Royals are given public deference. In exchange, they are expected to consider their actions which may mean personal compromises. I believe this was a case where William and Kate should have considered this. They had no problem boycotting Harrods and Issa when it suited them.

      The world is full of things many of us may not approve of, but certain things are so universally serious, they require saying "Enough!"

      I don't normally speak of personal matters but I was once employed by a man who openly and wrongly discriminated against hiring a disabled person. I was angry and horrified but my father urged me to keep my job because I needed the money. My father was not often wrong but this time he was, I came to realise that staying in that job was a terrible mistake and I should have spoken up. We all have moments when we have to think outside ourselves and I believe this was one for Kate and William.

      Delete
    2. Anon- do you really think homosexuality is a social reason? That it is a lifestyle?
      I agree that there comes a time to say ,"Enough!"
      I don't know the personal circumstances that prevented the attendance of the Spencer wedding, but I doubt it was a Kate whimsey. The Issa situation was about clothes- a personal decision and one I am not sure we can have any certainty about. And it was about a dress, for pete's sake! If one isn't allowed to reference
      Walmart, where do those examples fit in?
      Her deciding at the last minute to not attend her cousin's wedding, who could possibly be more important to her than a Spencer in-law or a dress, would be a statement in itself: no need for a press conference. As someone said above, royals in her position do not make statements about political issues. It is possibly illegal for her to do so.
      All she could do is go ahead with the plans as made prior to the sultan's announcement. And by the way, I find the timing interesting.
      She made the best of a difficult situation.
      And the media was given more ammunition for the Kate- barrage.
      This is not a series of unrelated events. Something had to be done about the astounding success of the recent tour and the huge popularity of the Cambridges.
      My opinion, Leo. You are still one of the best there is on this blog for reasoned discussion and I admire you tremendously.

      Delete
    3. anon from Leominster4 June 2014 at 04:35

      You're one of the best too, Marge even if we don't always agree.

      Walmart related to a comment above, an unfortunate analogy of the mass market retailer to Sharia law.

      Issa merely showed the royals are capable of an economic boycott if they feel personally offended. Kate abandoned the line when Fayed's daughter bought it.

      Andrew is the most telling example of royal indescretion. I don't think anyone would seen it as a political statement about the abuse of underage girl if he had declined that walk in the park. You or I, Marge, might forgive a friend who had served his time, but people in public life face the risk of looking like they condone the bad conduct or at least don't feel strongly about it.

      If political statements by royals were illegal, Charles would be in the dock now due to his statements about Russia, made in a private conversation. Royals have often made remarks but I don't think Kate's absence would truly be a de facto remark, just prudence. She doesn't attend every wedding.

      I suspect the king of Spain thought he was acting privately too on that hunting trip but it cost him his kingship and may still cost Spain the monarchy. The lines between public and private are blurry for royals.

      I'm no believer in the old rule that people marrying into the royal family needed to stand apart from their families but this is an example of why that used to be the custom. I think it's wonderful Kate is close to her family, but she is a future queen and when her role and her wishes for her family clash, her role will need to come first.

      Missing a wedding isn't that devasting. Her cousin, if a decent person, surely would have understood and wished to spare Kate the embrarassment. The darkened windows show Kate knew she was doing something that would be questioned.

      I don't think the sultan imposed Sharia law at this moment to embarrass Kate or that the boycott of many of his properties was planned with the knowledge she was going to a wedding there. I don't think this is a press conspiracy, just bad timing.

      For William and Kate, in my personal opinion, the best of a bad situation, would have been to cancel these two engagments and give those affected their sincere and heartfelt regrets.

      Delete
    4. Leo. appreciate the nod.
      I promised myself I was finished with this subject, but... the reported darkened windows represent a bid for privacy to me, an admission of guilt to you. I can't find any common areas with you, other than, perhaps, our mutual respect and interest in the Duchess.
      I am a bit embarrassed by my 01:19 remarks. I think my reasoning was a tad hazy at times.
      Elsewhere in the news- Esti mentioned seeing the Queen (she looked great!) at a garden party ( Princess Alexandra there also and looking band-box fresh) and riding her horse in Windsor Park. Her traditional scarf was noted. It made me wonder why the Queen does not wear protective head gear when she rides. Perhaps the scarves are made of Kevlar?.

      Delete
    5. I am not a fan of Walmart and living in Northern California we do not have many.however for work I have been in the California central valley where it is poorer and Walmart is the only retailer for a city of over 500000 and the the hotel staff tell me Walmart is their only choice and the only place to get clothes for their children
      Again not defending Walmart but the class syst by retailers should also be viewed
      I know that was off topic but the same is true of the Dutchess going to the wedding it was a complex decision and we do not have the facts' perhaps financially the bride could not change. Given the grooms profession I think there could be a reason the wedding was held there
      I just think it is good for all to express opinions bit as we have not heard the Dutchess, logic we need to acknowledge she could have a good reason for got amid controversy


      Delete
    6. I believe HM has commented before that protective headwear ruins her coiffe. With limited time to have it styled/restyled each day, she chooses instead her traditional Hermes scarf. I believe courtiers also have quipped that all that stands between the Queen and her heir is a headscarf.

      Delete
    7. anon from Leominster4 June 2014 at 17:38

      I would agree Marge, if Kate usually went around for privacy in cars with darkened windows but as far as we know, she doesn't. (Maybe we wouldn't know if she did, but no evidence of it.) This did seem a bit out of the ordinary. There was a bad incident a few years ago when Charles' car was attacked by protestors concerned about university fees. Camilla looked quite frightened. The fear of a protest may have been behind the decision, so I'm willing to give Kate a break for the car since we don't know what motivated it.

      Personally, I would love to boycott the Dorchester but haven't been there in over twenty-five years when they told my mother and me, we were too late for tea. Went to the Ritz instead, and had a splendid time.

      On the subject of tea, was delighted to see the queen in sunshine yellow at the very wet garden party. What a strong lady. I'm not a great fan of Camilla's but she was there too, looking quite queen mumish in elegant blue-green. Felt bad for all those poor people in their finest in the rain. Princess Alexandra has always been a favourite of mine and she looked lovely.

      The queen has been criticised for years for not wearing a helmet but fear she won't change now. An old article in the Telegraph says it's because she sometimes has later engagements and doesn't want her hair mussed! Fortunately, I don't think most people take her as a role model in that regard, it is quite a dangerous safety issue. Her pony does look quite the solid sort, but one never knows.

      Delete
  55. I am surprised no one mentioned that she plays the "got take care of the child" card to get out of charity events and has skipped countless weddings since she has been married YET this one she could make. That fact alone seems odd to me and when you add the support for the Sultan I think shame on her

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    1. Hshe was supporting the Sultan.ow is she supporting the Sultan, by attending a family wedding? No way. She missed wedding because she was pregnant, did you forget about that. Kate did attend wedding being pregnant but the ones you are talking about were far from her dr.'s and she had a rough time during her pregnancy, or did you forget about that too. I think Shame on you for thing

      Delete
    2. I agree. Either she is dedicated to good causes - or she isn't. All her charitable work is significantly shadowed by her CHOICE to attend and the cover up. What a HUGE disappointment!

      Delete
    3. She had the Sultan to her wedding when countless foreign heads of state were excluded.
      The royal family has received jewels from the Sultan

      Delete
  56. well people you better stop using gasoline in your cars etc... Where do you think it comes from ?

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  57. Really tired of people judging other people. Just because someone is a public figure, doesn't mean that the public can sit around and pass judgement on the behavior of the person. It's wrong and it's not something intelligent and kind people spend their time doing. It's also frustrating to see that people don't do a lot of independent thinking. Just because an un-named employee of the hotel tells the press that the fact that Kate attended a family wedding of the hotel, means the royal family or Kate approve of the hotel owner's positions, doesn't mean this is a true statement. It's obvious that she does not approve since she did everything she could do to keep her attendance private, in order to not make a public statement while honoring her cousin on his special day. All of this is another damned if she does and damned if she doesn't situation. If she doesn't go, she's a callous person who takes her royal role more seriously than her family role. If she does go, she is betraying all of human kind. It's just so wrong and so unfair. Why not just give her credit for being a smart, caring woman who is doing her best to juggle the demands of family, society and work, like all the rest of us. As adults, it's important to see that things are not always all black and white. Children view the world as black and white, adults are supposed to be capable of understanding the complexity of life.

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    1. Yankee from California4 June 2014 at 00:40

      Brilliant.

      Delete
    2. Jane you hit it on the head. Kate can not do anything correct. People judge her unfairly.

      Delete
    3. Awesome Jane.

      I just did a quick check on the media data bases I use for my research work and discovered that over the years there have been regular 'controversies' on the RF (including the Queen) and their supposed closeness to despots. One high profile case being the Countess of Wessex and the 'Sophie's gems from despots' in 2012 where she reportedly accepted a lavish gift of jewellery from the Bahraini RF who were accused of serious breaches of human rights, torture, violent suppression of citizens etc. In that case there were some serious issues about appropriateness. But in this case the Duchess simply went to a private family event and tried to do so in the most discreet way possible. There has been no suggestion in any of the media that she benefited in any way from the association with the venue.

      Human rights and gay rights are incredibly important issues and we all try to do our bit by supporting Amnesty International, signing petitions, writing to parliamentarians, going to marches for gay marriage etc. But that's not a reason for a sensationalist and unfair media beat-up. Nor in the end does it do much for the cause when it leaves people like myself feeling cynical about the motives of some of the individuals concerned.

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  58. I may be wrong but I think fhe Royal Family are probably all being required by the Government to be nice to that Sultan of Brunei...they very likely have no choice because of his country's importance to the UK. The Queen was once required to host the murderous Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. It was deeply distasteful being required to be gracious to them and she apparently even hid behind a bush to avoid running into them during a walk outside.
    My guess is that they wouldn't invite them to their weddings or conduct engagements in/on the properties of such a monster if they had a choice.

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    1. The king of Brunei was at will and Kate's wedding. He was near the front too and can be seen behind William during the ceremony. Saw this on TV show covering the story.

      Delete
    2. I wonder why the President of the United States was not invited to attend a recent wedding.

      Delete
  59. Countries where Sharia applies in full, covering personal status issues as well as criminal proceedings:
    Mauritania, Sudan, Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Maldives, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

    With Regional variations:
    Indonesia, Nigeria, Philippines, United Arab Emirates

    Do we expect Kate to stay clear of these countries? And everything that may be owned by, or associated with their ruler and governments? Is she excepted to ignore diplomatic relations and follow only her moral voice? Do we really think her world is that simple? I don't think so. I think her reality is much more complex.

    I boycotted many products since my teenage years because I wanted to support the right cause. And I was sometimes wondering who it actually is I hit and punish with my actions. But that aside. I can make those choices and follow my heart. I don't think it's that easy for Kate. And I truly don't believe she is ignorant or doesn't care.

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    1. Anna. appreciate your comment.

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    2. anon from Leominster4 June 2014 at 17:45

      It's said to be an issue because it is a new adoption and the first country in East Asia to do so. It's already more strict than Indonesia apparently. It covers both Muslims and non-Muslims, the latter make up about thirty percent of the population.

      There is no question of the royal family's close connection with the Sultan but I would love to see the younger generation of William and Kate consider the issue of human rights within the scope of their power to do so. I'm sure Diana would approve, she was very bold. During her marriage, she became active on the issue of AIDS at a time it was still controversal and she openly raised the issue of land mines in spite of the political implications.

      Delete
  60. I firmly feel the Palace should have a policy in place for issues like this and make it official no Royal can cross the line - then it would be much easier for Kate or any of them to not feel they must make their own best decision - that's just not in the best interest of the Country's position or the position of the Palace - the Queen would never have gone! I had friends who were caught unaware of the SB's position or that he even was the owner of the Beverly Hills Hotel - they booked their wedding and reception date, paid a huge reserve and lost all the money when they pulled out due to the issues they had over the SB's position on Gays - I certainly would not have gone to their wedding if they had gone forward with it - people are not even stopping into the Beverly Hills Hotel for drinks like they use to do - it's no where anyone really cares to be these days. I personally say this was a large mistake on her part.

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    1. Agree with you, Kate should not have gone.

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    2. anon from Leominster4 June 2014 at 17:46

      Bravo to your friends for their dignity and courage on this issue. It's not easy to forfeit money for your beliefs. Well done.

      Delete
  61. I have been reading this blog for awhile now. I thought it was about Catherines fashion, etc. But since when do we have to bring in stoning because someone is gay. This is a very hot topic and everyone has a different opinion. But to think many of you think that Catherien is taking a standance on gay topic is completely wrong. She attended a wedding and she did not say anything about endorsing gay rights or against gay rights. I feel you all are putting to much into this. And I am very disappointed in Charlotte for letting this go this far.

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    1. Anon 01.49 I think the great thing about Charlotte's blog
      Is that it isn't simply a "fashion feature"
      I'm sure we all have our own
      Opinions and thoughts on the controversy that is current raging in terms of the stance of the Sultan of Brunei and the appallling actions he is taking against what many of us would consider basic human rights. Boycotting hotels owned by him is one way of showing this disapproval and Kate has walked into a force 12 gale by choosing to attend one of the hotels that has been boycotted. She is a public figure whether the wedding was private family or not and she is influential and her attendance noted. Charlotte started a great debate and I don't understand your comment on why you think it has gone too far - when is too far?
      How many more people should die in a barbaric way before action is taken and a country shamed into taking human rights seriously I ask you?
      Simone from Melbourne

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  62. I can't believe people are judging Kate for this! It is easier said than done that the royals should stand up against worldwide political matters. They are neutral and apolitical. Always have been and one reason why the Queen is so successful diplomatically. It's easier for us civilians to speak out and demonstrate opposition to rulers of other nations. Like someone else here mentioned, it'll take an act of parliament before the royals could do anything. They will otherwise just cause chaos and headache to ongoing foreign relations and be accused of meddling in foreign affairs, which is not their place. So we might see them campaign for world peace and hunger but they will not individually go against a single country without government's direction. If they stand up against Brunei, then why not Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and most of the Middle East? Some commonwealth countries practice part of the same Islamic laws too. Should they stand up against them too? Come on!

    To those who point out that she's missed other weddings, remember: 1. this is her blood cousin who she probably grew up with. 2. many times she avoided friends' weddings because the media know in advance and photographing her would take the spotlight away from the couple. This is private. Supporting your cousin's wedding doesn't necessarily equate to supporting the Sultan's decisions. Playing polo in Coworth park does not mean you are anti-gay or unsympathetic of human rights. These venues are arranged by other people - cousin and charities. They did the right thing in their situations.

    I have read this blog for a long time but seldom do I post. Count me in as someone who feels that the place has gotten very negative and accusatory. There are many things that the Duchess does that are wonderful and could make for wholesome conversation. Instead people just point a finger. It's turning me off and I really yearn for the old, kinder atmosphere

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    1. Anon 02:52- Charlotte conveniently includes an archive. Go back through the comments and please provide specifics of when exactly there was a "kinder atmosphere." There have been disputes and criticisms of Kate since the beginning. Her "work ethic, " or lack thereof, has been a favorite bone of contention.
      In fact, I feel the last few months have seen a distinct increase in respect and courtesy on this.blog.
      When Charlotte leads with a controversial subject, as she often does, there is bound to be equivalent reaction.This is.no blog for Marcia Milquetoast, but it is kinder than other sites,by far.
      If Charlotte didn't enjoy lively discussions, she would not "prime the pump," so to speak.
      There are a few itinerant posters who like to hit and run. The regular posters, who hang around and accept praise or criticism for their comments, are mostly respectful.
      And I really think it helps discussion when posters use a moniker, other than "anonymous."

      Delete
  63. Sharia law is a cultural phenomenon that is a lot bigger and more complex than gay rights. I find it somewhat humorous that it is just the stoning of gays that gets discussed so hotly. "Fallen in love with a wrong person" says one of the commentators above? Sharia contains many rules and regulations that are equally cringe-worthy to us, post-protestant Western vaguely-modern-christian-ish, highly influenced by Nazism, frequently agnostic, equal rights promoting, somewhat-hippie folks. Yes, that is our culture in the West. And middle-East is a different culture entirely. To them, in turn, we are at times equally cringe-worthy idol-worshipping wrecks who are so filthy, we don't wash our feet every 4 hours. We are all different on this planet, and that is okay.

    Sharia law also did a lot of good at the time and in the milieu when it originated. Many very strict religions came to be when living conditions were very harsh. Having that strong, prescriptive, fear-instilling kind of faith brought order and promoted survival.

    Nowhere in the world do we need that kind of tool anymore, perhaps. Still, I wish people were a bit more respectful, and had a wider world view to understand that for some cultures certain aspects of religion have such deep roots, the people will come back to the same religion over and over again. It will take many centuries for humanity to finally turn away from the deeply seated dogmas we have developed over thousands of years. Christians too had very harsh punishments at times. So did Confucians, Jews, and probably many other religions. Humans are cruel in general. If we could come back in 5000 years, perhaps we would see a more enlightened world. We are working toward it, but it will take time.

    ... Whether or not some modern starlet or even a Duchess enters a hotel owned by a sharia-law-promoting man is, in my view, dwarfed into insignificance by these considerations, which are as large and our entire history of existence.

    As to the Duchess of Cambridge and the attitude the Royal family at large tend to take on such matters ... To me, the main thing they tend to promote is respect and civility. I am grateful for that, considering that the rest of us non-Royals are doing a splendid job producing a sky-high public outcry over human rights violations. Rightfully so, yes. And yet I am grateful that there is an institution, the Royal family, which reminds me that humans can rise above their differences, have dealings with each other despite those differences, and with time, over a very-very long time, perhaps transcend them.

    Reminds me of stories from WWI and WWII when folks fighting on the opposite sides would crawl out of the trenches in-between the battles, have a smoke together on the neutral ground, share some stories from back home. Next day - business as usual, of course. But those moments of sharing despite the differences, I bet were priceless.

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    1. Which royal family are you referring to? The dictatorship that imposed sharia law or the one that imposed protestantism and persecuted the catholics? Are you referring to the country where the people have no right to vote on matters in their own country? Or the one where Prince Harry respectfully dressed up as a Nazi? The one where the prince has a harem or the one where the prince cheated on his wife and she divorced him? Do you live in a country that has an independent news source or one that is State run? You have an interesting definition of respect and civility.

      Delete
    2. I feel as though I do not inhabit the same western world that you describe. I also do not believe that it is a mere difference in culture that created the problem under discussion. Imperialism by the west, in the not so distant past, required decisions given by "His Majesty's government". Perhaps that is why the royal family's choices are seen as British government policy.

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  64. I wonder if the blacked-out windows and the "sneaking in the back entrance" were more about Kate's trying to keep the press attention on the wedding instead of on her. The number of security officers isn't something that SHE would determine; someone in charge of security made that decision.
    I feel that I have to say something about some of the more strongly worded comments: "for christ's sake"
    is not a phrase that I've seen used in my admittedly brief association with this group - we try to debate and express our differences by keeping to the point - with humanity and in an intelligent, civil manner. I'm sorry that anyone made it necessary to make this point - we're better than this.

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  65. Anon 01:49- The whole reason people are upset is because the Sultan of Brunei has said that gay people in Brunei will be stoned. I agree that it is unfair to assume that Kate is taking a stand simply because she attended her cousin's wedding. Charlotte's tag line does state that the blog follows the life and fashion of Kate and quite frankly, we really do not see her on a daily basis so only following her fashion would make this a tough blog for Charlotte (amazing as she is). I think you are being unfair to Charlotte. To keep a fairly balanced discussion, it does take two sides. As an aside, maybe it's just me (and I know you will all tell me), but while I understand the frustration over the tone of occasional comments made directly to others, I am sorta tired of reading the complaining about the tone of the entire blog. We all have a choice as to what we do, read and say. The longer I read this blog, I have figured out with a few exceptions, that there really always is a debate going. A pro-whatever is going on with Kate side and a not so much con side, but it really is silly to expect everyone to get along all the time and complain that you used to love this blog but lately.... fill in the blanks... That is like when someone sighs on Facebook. Really- if you just want extra attention or someone to console you, it really is not the place for it and attacking Charlotte for allowing comments to be printed unless they violate her policy is unfair- it is her blog. She does try to keep it nice and it is up to us as to the content of our comments so complaining about the whole blog seems melodramatic to me. Okay that does it for me. I am bracing for the responses back but I really do like this blog and it just bugs me. Does that make the kettle black? Maybe. Charlotte, if you don't print or edit this comment, Can you even edit a comment or do you just have to decide whether to allow it through or not?

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    1. Well said!
      Tolerance people

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  66. I think the portrait is kinda nice, except the lower part of the face. The lips seem to belong to a different person : ) Other then that, it could have been taken a little further abstract for my taste.
    Anmer Hall looks like a wonderful country home. I would love to visit - including afternoon tea. I am always fascinated by the combination of historic and modern components. Although I am not sure how modern William and Kate would actually go. Still, would be so curious to see the grounds and the house.
    Jenny Packham. So far not my favourite collection. Too much safe middle ground. But I do like almost everything from AW 14/15 (already introduced by Charlotte).
    Sorry, nothing can excite me much today.

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  67. I have been away from here because of a family emergency, and I am astonished to come back to this repetitive debate about a moral vs. personal decision. I have only been able to scan the opinions, and I am too tired to work out what I feel Kate should have done about the wedding. It does strike me, however, that both the issue of alcohol and that of gay rights have been suddenly thrown at the Duchess of Cambridge in strange ways. She obviously doesn't support either alcoholism or stoning, but she is criticized for normal activities because of other people's involvement with them. Perhaps tomorrow some of this will make more sense to me. Maybe I'll know whether I think she could have made a difference by her actions, and whether her life should be unfairly restricted by the need to avoid offense where serious social issues are concerned.

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  68. So sad... she is not the person I thought she is. :( Whilst no one is perfect, this is just showing me where her moral principles stand. Not in the place I thought they did...

    Can't understand how you combine that with evening gowns... substance vs surface... at this stage I couldn't care less what she wears. what's on the inside is what matters - and that actually ain't pretty at all.

    So that's it for me as far as following her whereabouts... (and I doubt this post will make the "review" - no worries either way, it's not like I care).

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  69. Jean from Lancs4 June 2014 at 09:16

    The Duchess of Cambridge too, has human rights--one of which is the right to family life. She went to her cousin's wedding-full stop.
    The DM is presently out to get Catherine---pity so many on this site join in.
    I strongly disapprove of the death penalty anywhere and sad to say, we have all heard of a recent execution in the US which was carried out in an appalling way--does that mean we should boycott the US? Ridiculous!
    Incidentally the royal family has been well known for its sympathy to gays---long before the government and the country caught up, newspapers used to infer criticism of their employment of suspected gay people. Before anyone accuses me of being anti-gays---I was questioning the then laws in this country, decades before they were changed.

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  70. I have realized that anybody doesn´t know which is a MONARCHY, nowadays. They are the Head of the Foreing Office (diplomatic: neutral an without conflicts). Any sigh misunderstanded could blow out in a war..All of them should be careful with conflicts with Middle East because of the PETROL, if we run out of petrol what could we do???

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    1. Esti--enjoyed your comment on the "four-button" post. I do not intend to return there. I just kept checking back to make sure you knew I was not criticizing you in any way I literally lost sleep over it. I use irony a lot and make fun of myself and it could all be confusing to someone trying to blog in a foreign language- you. It probanly confuses other people, too.
      There are a number of posters for whom English is a second language- some might include Americans (there's that pesky irony) I
      To answer your question, I live in Oklahoma, USA. I won't say I am "from" here.
      I just erased the beginnings of a rant about this state. I will say I was here and was awakened by the sound of two explosions on April 19, 1995.
      I know what terrorism looks like up close and sometimes the verbal barrage on Kate stirs a terrible memory. I don't think most what are sometimes called "haters" even realize what they are doing. It is a game to them, or a habit learned on the internet- harmless fun?
      Esti, with your (rapidly disappearing ) English challenge, you are probably still easier to understand than I am sometimes. Ha!

      -

      Delete
  71. I must say I feel very sorry for Kate. It would seem the DM are constantly looking for any story about her be it good or bad.
    With regards to her attending the close family wedding I think she did the right thing.
    As I understand it the Sultan only introduced Shiria Law about 4 weeks ago that wedding will have been booked months ago when there was no problems. I am sure most of the money will have already been paid and a new venue could hardly have been arranged at such short notice. I would also point out that Prince Harry attended a major function for his Charity Sente4bale at the Dorchester only a matter of weeks ago I also feel sorry for the family who must feel very upset at the attack Kate has suffered because of attending their wedding.

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  72. Hi Charlotte and all, love the JP gowns- not crazy about the others but all would look great on HRH. I stopped reading after about the last 10 comments. To snarky for me. I think HRH attended a family wedding-end of story (again, for me) and PW & PH played polo for charities they patron. Looking forward to the next time we see HRH and a new topic.

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  73. Catherine too has human rights, including the one used by so many foreign criminals here---the right to a family life.
    There was a time when the press used to infer criticism of the royals for being too tolerant and accepting of gays.
    They were way ahead of the Government and the country.
    I abhor the death sentence in any country---especially when it is carried out in a blatantly cruel manner---do we boycott all those countries? Ridiculous of course, but everyone should think of their own country's actions before criticizing anyone else.

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    1. Jean from Lancs4 June 2014 at 16:48

      Sorry, don't know why the previous comment came up as just"J", but four times this morning I was unable to publish a blog with the same note appearing as over the last few days.

      Delete
  74. Just wanted to say that I'm sure forefront in Kate's mind was getting to her cousin's wedding -- she probably couldn't ask him to change the venue. Surely her decision to go was all about her family and really no intention of anything else.

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  75. I have never more wished that all the Anons would pick a user name. Reasoned debate is much easier to follow when a moniker (and at some point a writer's voice) can be attached to a commenter's posts.

    It isn't difficult to do. It doesn't have to be your given name. I dare say your comments would carry more weight and be more seriously considered if you did.

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  76. Kate, Texas, USA4 June 2014 at 15:39

    I personally don't think there should be an issue with Kate going. It was a family wedding and she was there to support her family, not support or not support what this man is doing or any boycott. I think our society in general gets worked up over ridiculous issues. Did she have any control over what venue was booked for the wedding? I don't know, but I don't think she should take harsh criticism. Should William and Harry boycott Coworth Park, again absolutely not for the same reasons as I mentioned for Kate. They were there to play polo for their charities and raise money for very worthy causes, not support a person or not support a group. I hope they both had a lovely time at the wedding and polo match.

    The portrait of Kate is really good and I loved William's comments. Having seen Paul Emsley's portrait of Kate last year in the National Portrait Gallery, in my opinion he completely missed Kate's sparkle and joy (no need to start the debate on that again). This one looks more like the Kate most of us love with the twinkle in her eye and more expression on her face. Congrats to the artist on a fabulous job!

    On to Jenny Packham.....WOW! I think her style is so very classy. I think all the dresses pictured above would look stunning on Kate! My favorite is the ice blue beaded gown....LOVE!

    Looking forward to heading across the pond in a week! Ready to walk the lovely gardens and enjoy a good British pub! :)

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  77. The worst thing about the Peter Tatchell attack is its unvarnished sexism. Why were Princes William and Harry not excoriated for attending events at the Dorchester and Coworth Park?

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    1. I agree with the sexist overtures and the disparity between the comments directed toward Kate vs William and Harry. The Duchess was at a private event which she attended as quietly as possible. The Princes had a jolly good time doing something they love in public. I understand they were raising money for charity, but they were doing it in a very glamorous and fun way, which surely could have been done at another park. If that's not putting your stamp of approval on something, I'm not sure what is.

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  78. Kate might look like the portrait when she's about sixty years old! Nevertheless, it is rather engaging.

    I like some of the Packham gowns, especially the first one and the last one, probably with a higher back for the latter.


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  79. It's one thing for Kate to abandon ties to the Al fayed family (Harrods lost The Royal Warrant after accusing Prince Philip of ordering Diana and Dodi to be killed) - but the entire Royal Family has to be nice to Brunei because The British Government requires them to do so. It must be a nightmare for them standing for civility and Christian values - and having their names bloodied by being required to associate with such a man. The government has a serious tiger by the tail....made a deal with the devil...etc.

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