Friday, 6 June 2014

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge commemorate D-Day in Normandy

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined thousands of people, including The Queen and other members of the Royal Family to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France.


The visit began with a tea party in the town of Arromanches near Gold Beach, the codename of the sector assigned to British Forces, where they built a harbour essential for receiving supplies and the disembarking of troops.


William and Kate had the honour of meeting around fifty veterans.


Kate sat down and said to them "You've got lots of stories to tell". Veteran Arthur Jones asked her "Is it ok to kiss a Princess" laughing, she replied: "Of course it is". Mr Jones described the Duchess as "very sweet, very lovely and down to earth".


After the tea party, the Duke and Duchess visited Musée de Débarquement (D-Day Museum) where they met a historian for a short historical briefing and viewed exhibits.The idea for the museum as a permanent exhibition on the Normandy Landings came from Raymond Triboulet, who was involved in the resistance movement in Normandy and became France's first local governor after the liberation.


Undoubtedly it was a memorable day for William and Kate.


The couple attended the commemoration of the Normandy Landings at Gold Beach.


They stood on the stage and watched a marching brass band followed by veterans being pushed in wheelchairs.


Kate singing a hymn.


Royal reporter Emily Andrews shared a photo of William and Kate's seats before the ceremony began.

Emily Andrews Twitter Feed

During his speech Prince William described D-Day as a "great and terrible day" and said:

'It is vital that this sacrifice, and the reasons for this sacrifice, are never forgotten.'

As we mentioned earlier in the post, a number of royals including The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall travelled to France to attend commemoration events, however, today marked one of those rare occasions where the royals were not the primary focus of attention. It was very much a day of remembrance and reflection, and most of all, a day for the veterans, to whom the royals had the opportunity to pay their respects.


D-Day, 6th of June 1944, was the beginning of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II. The largest seaborne assault in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied Western Europe and led to the restoration of the French Republic and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.

Wikipedia

Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels and 277 minesweepers participating.

Wikipedia

There were landings at five beaches Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword and Gold beaches. Below we see U.S. Army troops wading ashore at Omaha on the morning of the landings.

Wikipedia
At Gold beach, where the Cambridges visited today, high winds made conditions difficult for the landing craft and the amphibious DD tanks were released close to shore instead of further out as planned.

Wikipedia

Allied casualties on the day were reported as 10,000, with 2,500 dead.

Wikipedia
The effort moved many. From the royal archives we see a draft message from King George VI (The Queen's father) to General Dwight Eisenhower, following his return from his visit to France on 16 June 1944. The King wrote: "I have visited the beaches of Normandy, which will be forever famous. All that I saw on my journey and on the soil of France, has moved me deeply. I have come home feeling an intense admiration for all those who planned and organised so vast a project and for the gallant and successful execution of it."

The British Monarchy Flickr

This week, Charlie Wilson - a US veteran - returned to Normandy for the first time since D-Day.

70e Normandie Facebook Page

This moving poem was placed at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in Bayeux, where 4,648 soldiers are buried, many from D-Day.

The Royal British Legion Twitter Feed

A veteran visiting the cemetery earlier this week asked a visitor to "never forget his mates" who lost their lives on D-Day.

Andy Farrell Twitter Feed

A powerful photo of world leaders in France for the 70th anniversary. It's interesting to see Her Majesty in the centre of the photo. I often mention this but she is a truly remarkable woman; her schedule over the past couple of days has been incredibly busy but she's handled it as she does everything - like a true professional. Indeed, she refused an interpreter for the state visit - of course, she speaks fluent French.


The Duchess always hits the right note with her sartorial choices for official engagements and today was no exception. Ensuring the focus remained on the veterans and not what she wore, Kate appropriately elected to repeat the cornflower blue Alexander McQueen belted coat she wore in Blenheim, New Zealand during the tour. It's interesting to note in Blenheim, Kate wore the garment to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at a war memorial.


Kate's coat is a bespoke version of the garment shown below. It is currently available at Net-A-Porter for €2,595. The striking powder blue coat features peplum overlay and a buckled belt. It has a pleated back, snap-fastening cuffs and is fully lined.

Net-A-Porter

Kate wore her £295 black Sylvia Fletcher 'Salsa' fascinator which we first saw last June when she christened Royal Princess.


Kate carried her Mulberry Bayswater Clutch.


The Duchess wore black suede pumps and completed the look with her sapphire and diamond earrings.



Kate's hair looked very pretty too.


Videos and Links

  • This ITV video shows footage from the tea party where William and Kate met with veterans. 
  • The ITN Source video featuring William and Kate's visit.
  • Do read this ITV Story about a veteran who reportedly went missing from a care home and turned up in Normandy today.

It was an incredibly emotional day and a privilege to cover on this blog. We leave you with a photo of our two favourite royal couples from their Normandy visit.

The British Monarchy/Splash News/With thanks to Victoria Arbiter

We'll see Kate on Tuesday when she attends the launch of the America's Cup at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

312 comments:

  1. Thank you for doing a wonderful job highlighting the meaning of this day in addition to satisfying our curiosity for the Duchess' clothing.

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    1. You're very welcome. Thank you for commenting :)

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    2. Can you describe the pin on her jacket?

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    3. Tressa She does not have a pin on today. But the one she had on during the tour is a poppy.

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  2. Jean from Lancs6 June 2014 at 18:29

    Kate looked lovely as usual, but her clothes(or anyone else'e for that matter) were not the point today.
    Those who gave their lives for the freedom of Europe and those who came home and still survive were remembered and honoured, but I would like to add those who fought and came home, but have died in the years between.
    My husband was one of these--though not on the beaches, he was in the RAF flying over Normandy. Like most veterans he never told me anything until one year we were in Normandy and went to the Cemetery at Bayeux, where he found several colleagues..
    The TV today has been quite emotional, but it was delightful to see William and Catherine talking and laughing with the veterans and getting a history lesson about the Mulberry Harbour--which I wish they would try to maintain in some way as it seems to have diminished a great deal since I first saw it.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story Jean.

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    2. My dear, departed father was a Veteran - of a particularly nasty place called Pelalau - when I mention that to Veterans, they
      WINCE. He, like most Veterans, did not talk about the horrors that they experienced - but had violent nightmares for the rest of his life about being in hand-to-
      hand combat with Japanese soldiers - and, once , when a nearby shopping center celebrated its grand opening with fireworks - the smell of the (?)
      gunpowder in the fireworks made my father cry. I was an adult (30 something) and saw my father cry for the first time in my life.
      I tell you these things to help you all understand what The Greatest Generation went through not only during the war - but for the rest of their lives. We owe them more than we can ever know.

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    3. Sarah from Calif.7 June 2014 at 00:18

      Jean and Jo, beautifully said.

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    4. If there was a blessing from my dad's death two years ago, it was the correspondence I struck up with his friend, Frank. I told my mother I'd tell him that dad had died and we've been emailing ever since. Frank was a bombadier in a Lancaster (I think!) bomber with the US Air Force stationed in Norfolk during WWII. He has a lot of stories to tell, that's for sure.

      I've been emailing him all the D Day articles that have been in the Daily Mail recently; I asked him if it were OK as I don't want to upset him if he doesn't like to think about it, but he's enjoyed them tremendously. He's very disappointed that the European theater only gets rudimentary coverage over here in the US, and I tend to agree. What those men did 70 years ago beggars belief.

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    5. bluhare, abc au has some interesting stories Frank might enjoy.

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    6. Thank you, Marg. I will tell him.

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    7. Bluhare, that is a very kind act you did (and still are doing) for your fathers friend. Some people like to talk about there experiences during war time, and some people don't. It is very nice of you to take time to listen to Franks' stories, when most people wouldn't.
      And I am very sorry for the loss of your father.

      Jennifer

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    8. Thanks, Jennifer. I started just to let him know about dad, but what a life this man has led. He's lived all over the world, fought in a world war, met the love of his life in Asia (but she was Norwegian), and tended her in her final illness. And he's 89 and still working on inventing the next great mousetrap!

      And thanks for your kind words about my dad.

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    9. You are most welcome bluhare. I don't know what it feels like to lose a parent, but I have lost many family members over the years, most were veterans. He sounds like he has had an amazing life. That is so very touching that he met his soul mate that way and was able to have many years with her.
      Over the years I have been able to get more than a few stories out of my father about his 2 tours in Vietnam (he is retired Chief Engineer/Navy). There are some heart wrenching ones and surprisingly a couple of funny ones. My step father however still refuses to speak of his time there (he is retired Sergent Major/ Army), he did 3 tours in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne (he was at Hamburger Hill). I gave up trying to get him to talk years ago. I think it would help him, but my mom said not to push too hard.
      But it sounds like you are a great help, and friend, to Frank. I bet it makes you feel good, it would me.

      Jenn

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  3. Great post! I always look forward to your posts on their engagement days. I also love that you took the time to put up some historical pics and didn't focus solely on the royals. Keep up the awesome work!!

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  4. Thankyou Bonnie. I really wanted to keep the focus on the day and the veterans.

    Photos have been incredibly slow coming through but we'll be updating very shortly.

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    1. Charlotte the photos of the couples are great!!!!. The Duke of Edimburg was very handsome whe he was younger, "Lizzy" fell in love with him when she was only fourteen...........

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  5. Thank you Charlotte for a very nice respectful post about an incredible day in history. I really like how you included the historical pictures from the day 70 years ago. I also enjoyed reading the letter and the poem. It looks as if William and Kate made some veterans very happy by showing an interest and sharing their stories with them. It would be fascinating to talk to them of their experiences. I was happy to see Kate again in one of my favorite outfits she wore on the royal tour. I love that color blue and it looks great on her. I would love to see the back and the pleats and also another photo that shows better how she wore her hair. It looks similar to how she wore it when she wore this before.
    The Queen is just as as you say - remarkable! Her energy and stamina are amazing! I did not know she spoke fluent french. Yet another reason to admire her. I wonder what other royals speak french also.
    Thanks again and I look forward to your next post!
    Jen in USA

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    1. Jen - I'm positive that I've read somewhere that Prince Philip also is fluent in French.
      I so want to correct the spelling of where my father fought and was apparently wounded - I suddenly remembered his Purple Heart-
      It was Peleliu. He could never listen to taps - it was so painful for him.

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    2. Jen - I'm positive that I've read somewhere that Prince Philip also is fluent in French.
      I so want to correct the spelling of where my father fought and was apparently wounded - I suddenly remembered his Purple Heart-
      It was Peleliu. He could never listen to taps - it was so painful for him.

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    3. There was a beautiful photograph of a lone piper at one of the beaches in France this morning. Got me so emotional I had to go fix my makeup before I left for work.

      I love the story in the Mail right now about the veteran who went AWOL from his care home because he didn't want to miss the ceremonies and the home wasn't going to let him go!

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    4. JO: They speak fluent French and it´s highly likely they speak some German and Spanish. Leonor of Spain is learning Chinese too. All of royalties speak plenty of languages that´s one of their Jobs.

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    5. I picked up that story on the Express, Bluhare, and enjoyed it immensely. Mr. Jordan certainly personified the spirit and determination of all soldiers by dodging the staff at his care home to be at Normandy this week!

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  6. Theresa, from Paris6 June 2014 at 18:40

    As Jean from Lancs said, today was less about the clothes than the commemoration of this momentous historical occasion. But the way people dress and behave are important to honor the fallen and show respect.
    I thought the Duchess was perfect. Some here are saying she must have been sweltering in her coat and should have chosen something lighter, but although she did seem warm, I thought she was elegant and appropriate, as was the very elegant Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

    Yesterday, I happened to walk out on the Champs-Elysées close to my home just as the Queen was driven by. I caught a glimpse of her pink hat and gave a wave :-))
    I cannot help but admire her stamina. Now all streets around my place are blocked by the police because she is guest of honor at an official dinner at the Elysée Palace with 240 guests, and she hasn't stopped all day !!!
    Fantastic ! God save the Queen !!!

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Eve. There was a lot of suffering everywhere during that war.

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    2. Oops. My browser was all wonky yesterday; this response ^^^^ obviously belongs below in response to Eve.

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  7. Thank you for focusing mainly on the importance of this day. I particularly liked the letter from George VI to General Eisenhower. It brought to light the King’s perspective during such a turbulent time. Wonderful post!

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  8. Eve from Germany6 June 2014 at 18:44

    I am German and my mother lost her beloved and cherished father during the very last few months of World War II - a loss she never really recovered from as he was reported missing for a very long time and up until today we don´t really know for sure what happened to him - but I bow in respect for what these men have done on D-Day, the bravery and courage they displayed in order to free Europe from Hitler. Seeing these pictures I cannot imagine what these men must have felt, getting off their boats, trying slowly to get through the water - such an easy target for German weapons.
    War is never justified, it´s cruel and horrible. Seeing the videos and pictures from D-Day just reminds me so much of this fact. Let us hope and pray that we will never have to experience anything like that again....

    I loved the Duchess interacting with the veterans. On a commemorative (I hope it´s the right word) day like that I will refrain from commenting on her outfit. What counts today is remembering.....

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    1. Eve, it must be awful for your mother. It's sad to think that there was suffering on both sides of war. There must have been many innocent Germans caught up in it, not knowing which way to turn. May everyone who lost loved ones remain in our thoughts and our hearts. God bless. Polly London

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    2. Hi Eve. If you ever have the chance to go to Bayeux and visit the cemetery there, you should go. I visited six years ago and was struck by how the French had kept the German graves as clean and nice as they did the British ones. It was very moving and made me cry. It was a very touching tribute to all the men who died, not just the British ones. I'm so very sorry for your family's loss.

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    3. There is a German pilot's grave in the cemetary of my father's home town in England. It is also kept up, and I think it's lovely.

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    4. Eve, a poster on another blog I read tells the story of her grandfather's unit going into Germany in the war's waning days looking for Nazis who were hiding, and how well they were treated by the people they met in the villages, and how they'd offer what they had and they had cups of tea with them. This person was in Europe working a few years ago, and was at a small village in Bavaria. The conversation turned to the war and some of the older people there talked about American troops coming through and how they were so kind and gave them food. One gentleman (who was 7 at the end of the war) said one unit gave them food in an ammunition box, and he had saved the box. He brought it out and showed her. It was from her grandfather's unit. Can you believe that? What a small world, and people are decent human beings everywhere you go.

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    5. That's a particularly heartwarming story! I'm happy to have heard it. Really does reinforce the honor that comes from paying kindnesses to others.

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  9. Silvia from Portugal :))))6 June 2014 at 18:44

    Dear Charlotte,

    Thank you so much for the outstanding report today.

    For me today is a day that remember us that United we are stronger and live better. This is our world so it does not matter if we are Portugese, British, American, French, Russian, we should all overcome our divergences and built a better world. I know that this seems a "Miss Universe" statment, but that is truly how things should be.

    I whish you all a lovely weeked.

    Silvia

    PS as always Kate was perfect.

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  10. I believe it was CNN that pointed out that out of all the dignitaries attending the ceremony, only one had been in uniform during WWII - Queen Elizabeth II, which I found fascinating. The broadcast said D-Day, but according to Wikipedia, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service in February 1945.

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    1. Prince Philip was in the Royal Navy. He was mentioned favorably in dispatches after battles, and was on board a ship in Tokyo Bay when the peace with Japan was signed by General MacArthur.

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    2. My Dad was also on board a ship standing off Japan with the US Navy. They were part of an invasion force.It was made unnecessary by the mission of the Enola Gay.Dad said it was terrible what happened to Japanese civilians, but the loss would have been much greater, over all, if the invasion had taken place.

      There are so many beautiful stories and responses from our little community. My heart is very full.

      Charlotte, beautiful work. Thank-you especially for the lovely photo of Catherine and William at the top. Also, with their photo next to that of Queen Elizabeth. and Prince Phillip, relaxed and smiling- demonstrating the chemistry that we so rarely get to see. I think the Cambridges will have the same endurance.
      Have a good rest, Charlotte. You must be quite weary by now. Long day.

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  11. The Heads of State photo shows Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, Francois Hollande, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, and Vladimir Putin on the front row (adversaries buffered by two strong women). King Philippe of Belgium (left) and King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands (right) are at the ends of the second row. I liked Queen Margrethe's blue suit best, and I'm happy to see that the Duchess of Cambridge dressed similarly. Their bright blue outfits seemed so appropriate to the setting and the occasion.

    The entire ceremony attended by the Queen was carried on our NBC web site, and I watched it all. Very interesting, very somber until the end, very well executed. Finally a Luftwaffe pilot and a French pilot were taken to the front to stand together and eventually embrace each other. I don't quite remember D-Day, but I do remember the end of the War and the emotions of that summer. Those two old former enemies brought reminiscent tears that ran down my face, as they ran down my mother's face on V-J Day. Another sweet touch was using children to accompany the heads of state when they arrived. And I can see more children behind William and Kate at their event.

    It was also moving to see the Queen and Prince Philip, both WWII veterans, watching with the Normandy veterans. Every veteran who greeted the Queen had something to tell her. The pictures of Kate show her listening intently to the veterans she visited, encouraging them to tell their stories. I like the relative sobriety of her coat dress, and her attentiveness to those she meets.

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  12. Charlotte! It says 308 readers! Stupendous post, glancing over it. Am saving for later as a reward for doing something I hate to do ha!
    Thank-you for the "and other royals."

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  13. What a beautiful post! I love the history of it! I got tears in my eyes reading the poem! Today is in a day that should never be forgotten! Thank you for the great work Charlotte!

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  14. Another wonderful post, Charlotte! Kate looked lovely today.

    I realize the commemorations are not about the clothes and jewels the royal family wears.....however, I have to admit I was disappointed to learn Will and Kate (or Charles and Camilla) were not attending the state dinner with the Queen - certainly we would have seen a tiara on Kate! Here's to hoping the Duke and Duchess will attend a state dinner soon.

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    1. They were not on a state visit to France, but in France to support and commemorate British and Commonwealth military who were engaged in this event - actively or as support. Totally inappropriate for them to attend a state event.

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    2. There is a time and a place for them to attend and this was not one of them. It was not a state visit so that is why Charles, Camillia, William & Catherine did not attend.

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    3. Actually, I thought it was quite impressive that all six were in France to commemorate D-Day. As it should be. Far too often (IMO) we see Edward and Sophie, for example, selected as representatives for the BRF (although I do recognize that this was a very special day and that would have been unlikely).

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    4. anon from Leominster8 June 2014 at 16:01

      I agree. It always seems strange to me that all the other crown princes and princesses are at an event, an often kings and queens as well and we send Edward and Sophie. Nothing against Edward and Sophie, I like them, but it doesn't feel right and hope that changes and William and Kate start to attend.

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  15. Hi Charlotte,

    Thank you for such an interesting post! It is an honor to be able to recognize all the veterans who fought so bravely for the freedom of future generations. One other interesting fact, Queen Elizabeth II is the only world leader attending who actually served during the Second World War. She is truly a woman to admire!

    On to the fashion. Liked this coat the first time Kate wore it and I still like it. While it's not my favorite coat she's worn to date, it is very pretty and color works well on her. By changing her hair style and wearing a fascinator, to me, it changed the look of the outfit entirely.

    Today seems to be one of those rare occasions where what Kate wore pales in significance to the actual event she is attending. To me the best part is seeing the smiles on the faces of the veterans when talking to Kate and William. These men seem to have fallen under the Duchess' spell and it's lovely to see.

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  16. Didn't like the coat the first time around, and it didn't improve on this outing -I think it's those boxy pockets. On the plus side, it was heavy enough for the breeze, unlike Camilla's outfit.

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    1. Like Charlotte said this post is not ab lout what Catherine was wearing but about all the men & women who lost their lives and the veterans who were there today and the ones who could not travel. They were being thanked for their service to there countries and ours. If it was not for them and many more we would have our freedom today. So forget about what Catherine wore today but think about all who gave their lives for our freedom.

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  17. First time commenter but long time reader here... I just wanted to say thank you for the thoughtful blog today. It's nice to know that even on a fun, somewhat frivolous fashion blog we can take the time to reflect and remember the events and the people who have shaped and formed our world. We must never forget and we must continue to teach the lessons of history as is reflected in the multiple generations of the royal family participating in these ceremonies. It's moving to see the baton being passed down and not dropped.

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  18. I get so upset when I read negative press about Kate (as I did on the Daily Mail). If you look at the footage, she was engaged with the veterans, enjoyed their company, and listened attentively to their stories. She is not a "dress up doll", she seems to really care. People were responding so warmly to her and she to them.
    She clearly has an almost impossible task. If she leaves George for a minute, she is given criticism for being a poor mother (again from the Daily Mail), but if she smiles and engages veterans, who will always remember her and her warmth, she is called "vacant".
    She pulls off all these tasks with aplomb and great beauty of soul.

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    1. I won't read that article. Like you, I am so tired of the unjustified criticism of Catherine and William too!

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    2. Anon 20:56, Hello, I completely agree with you 100%! I haven't posted in a few weeks, but I have been reading the posts regardless. Honestly I haven't put my two sense in because I have been so disgusted with all the negativism I have been reading. Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I just felt like the past two post have been run into the ground enough! I didn't even finish reading all the comments on the last post, had heard enough.

      Thank you Charlotte for this beautiful post! I have mentioned it before, I come from a long long line of military involvement in my family. I have many Great Uncles who fought in WWII, in every branch (my Grandmother had 8 brothers who ALL served), and I am very VERY proud of all our veterans and all the veterans from our allied countries! They gave the greatest sacrifice for our freedom. And many of us would not be here if not for them.

      Again Charlotte, thank you for a wonderful and respectful post. I hope you and everyone have a great weekend. Take care.

      Jennifer

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    3. My thoughts exactly. I think it's quite unfair that whatever she does will undoubtedly be criticized, no matter what it is, or if she's clearly doing an excellent job.

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    4. I read the article, and it didn't slag her at all. Don't know where you got that from.

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    5. It did not come from the article itself, but the remarks made about her from readers at the end of the article. Sorry to be unclear.

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    6. You've got to take the Daily Mail comments with a grain of salt. If you believe them, you'd believe every american in the world hates Obama, is racist as the day is long, and thinks Europe owes them thanks for saving them in WWII too. I'm embarrassed to say I live here, reading DM comments from Americans.

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    7. Bluehare
      Yes, I have also seen that you have been missing from the daily comments in this blog. I see that you have not comented almost regularly. And I do enjoy your comments usually because of your dry sense of humor. But here is absolute honesty. Give all of us a break. I had never, never, never, never, never commented before on this blog before. But felt the public comments on the daily mail were unfair. We are all expessing our opinions, but you have seemed to turned into the "queen of opinion" and think that my comments do not count. I am saddened, because, I also want to stand up and be a supporter of the Duke and Duchess. Please try to give me a break and not rely on all your "fans".

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    8. Well that left me gobsmacked. Please define "break" anonymous. I was bored this evening and commented up a storm. Sorry if that disturbs you. I have NEVER asked anyone not to comment and won't start either. I do, however, think the comment section in the Daily Mail isn't worth getting worked up over and hardly ever read them. Apparently you disagree which is your prerogative, but to turn it into a personal diatribe about me is a bit rich.

      If you'd like me to avoid your posts, please let me know and I'll be happy to do so. It will be helpful if you post under a name so I know which ones to avoid.

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    9. Hit send too soon. I meant to say why let comments from morons stop you from reading what was actually a nice article about William and Kate?

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    10. I can't sort my thoughts out about the last two posts. However, that has never stopped me before. Sometimes it helps me to itemize.

      1) anon 03:43- please keep commenting. We all take it on the chin from time to time, but if you read carefully, you will notice that we make friends of the posters who hang in there for awhile. We have a number of "hit and run" posters, usually identified as anonymous., and whose only apparent motivation is to stir up controversy. Which is unnecessary, because we do a rather good job of it ourselves, with a lot of under-lying affection. Some are a little gun shy. I certainly hope English (or American) isn't your second language, because I am throwing out idioms and slang all over the place Esti will never let me live this down.. This is a wonderful blog and it just keeps getting better. Pick a moniker- it makes if easier and more interesting for conversation, and hang in there.

      2) bluhare, I guess I would qualify as a fan,but...

      3) I am hurt. You only converse with us when you're bored? ha!

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    11. Speaking as one of the "fans" :) .......maybe my morning coffee hasn't kicked in yet (and it's difficult to follow all the Anonymous posts), but I think for the most part everyone here agrees about the DM. Unless I missed something and it is early..........

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    12. LOL, Marg!!

      Was I unkind to this anonymous person? Honest question; I didn't think so but perhaps I came off as more flip than I intended.

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    13. The first time I´ve had to press the traslator bottom, sorry but I don´t read "Anonymous" because it is imposible to me I don´t know who said what..................
      Marg: I will really never forget it..........he, he..

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    14. Esti- better be careful- pressing translator bottoms.

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    15. Just as Royalfan said....I am speaking as one of the "fans"- No bluhare, I do not believe or sense from your comments to that anon person, that you were rude at all. I just reread the convo for the 3rd time, trying to see where she got that from, and I just can't see it. So you made a comment about the DM article...you were voicing your opinion, nothing more. Which is what everyone does here. I don't know why she singled you out. There have been nights when I have made more comments than just 1 or 2 (my usual)...maybe she will pick on me next time lol.
      No, really, in all seriousness, I don't know why she said what she did, you did nothing wrong in my eyes.

      Jenn

      PS...since I'm a "fan", do I get to sit on the bench now? LOL

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    16. LMBO Marg! I just saw that lol, good one.

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    17. Sorry, translator BUTTON, this is wery worse that that thing about hens...............but if the buttom is George Cluny´s.............

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    18. thank you, Jenn. I do pay attention to how I come across and have paid particular attention here as I was definitely not very popular when I first started posting here. I'm thinking this anonymous may be one of that group. They used to single me out a lot. I've learnt that if you're going to comment in the interwebs it is best to have a somewhat thick skin.

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  19. We visited Normandy 2 years ago on the 68th anniversary of D-Day, and I was surprised at the number of parades and commemorative events that were taking place, even though it was not a major year like the 70th. It was clear that this event lived on in the hearts and minds of the French people and they were forever grateful for the efforts of the Allies.
    We located the grave of my husband's uncle in the American cemetery above Utah beach - he was a pilot and his plane crashed just offshore during the invasion. It was an extremely moving experience.
    I'm glad the royals all attended - and drew attention to the tremendous sacrifice of the soldiers.
    My own father fought in the Pacific during the war, and fortunately wasn't injured - or I wouldn't be here today! :)

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    1. This event is commemorated every year in France. Imagine your land invaded by another country who were determined to change how your country was run; imprison or execute those who opposed their action - entire male populations of villages were killed for helping resistance fighters (both French and British).

      Britain feels strongly about this because we came so so close to being invaded.

      These feelings change the perspective about this event, It will always matter because it is part (not all) of saving Europe

      Delete
  20. I think Kate's assistant should get a shout out for her attire at the service as well.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I loved Rebecca's fascinator. Very cute!

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  21. Thank you very much Charlotte for this wonderful post. I'm always dilighted to discover a new article on your blog.
    I do think the Duchess didn't want that people may an emphasis on her clothing that's why she may have decided to recycle and dress soberly. Regarding her shoes I definitely think they are the Episode Angel shoes, not the JC ones as the sole is black as well and the shape around the toe different than the Vikki round ones.
    Best,
    Sophie from France

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  22. A big hand!!! That was the war for the peace...........While we were recovering from a civil war and we weren´t there...Hugs for Anglo-Xason people.............

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  23. No, the focus today should not be on Catherine's clothing. However, I do think she looked very appropriate for this day. Charotte, this post was awesome!

    Nancy in Alabama

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  24. Charlotte, both my parents are veterans of WWII. My Daddy was in the Pacific. We have a picture of him in Tokyo beside the crater from the atomic bomb. My Momma was a WAVE. She served in Florida in a typing pool. Anything to get out of Tallasee, Alabama! I think she had a blast from listening to her stories. She supposedly met a young Bear Bryant before he was a coach at The University of Alabama. Good thing, because she was totally a War Eagle from Auburn University, where my Daddy graduated!

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  25. I agree that the focus should be on the importance of the day rather than the clothing. And I think that Charlotte managed to do exactly that! Thank you.

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  26. Lovely post today. Both of my grandfathers fought in the European campaign. One was a medic in the Battle of the Bulge, and the other was in the Navy, and when his ship blown out from under him he was taken to England to recoup from the hypothermia....so thank you England for saving him! :-)

    I appreciate all the research you do.

    Amy from Detroit, Michigan

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  27. Laurie - N. Carolina6 June 2014 at 23:53

    Wonderful post!! Charlotte, I love that you included so much information about the significance of the day and all the old pictures and that poem. It brought more than a few tears to my eye. My grandfather was a Veteran of WWII, and I remember him telling us stories when we were young children. Every time I see a Veteran now, I make it a point to take a moment to thank them for their service to our country. They give so much of themselves and deserve every ounce of respect that we can give them. I love that Kate was so obviously engaged with them and showed such interest in everything they had to say. She truly looked like she was enjoying her time with them and they with her. Love the comment about "kissing a princess"!! And I had no idea that the Queen spoke fluent French. She is really a remarkable lady!!

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  28. Thank you Charlotte for this wonderful post and all of the historical information provided. My father also served and was with the US Navy.
    TRH look amazing as always and totally engaged in the conversations they had with the Veterans. I wish they could wear sunglasses! I know it probably isn't "proper" but neither is it a good idea to damage your eyes. Anyway, again love the post and the information. Happy week-end all.

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  29. Hi Charlotte. I just want to say thank you. Your blog is the only one I read about the duchess. Your posts are always well researched, well rounded and well informed. You never focus too much on what Catherine wears but you always highlight the work she is doing. I, as well as many other readers really appreciate the work you do.
    So thank you,
    From an avid reader. Xxx

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  30. Really thoughtful and lovely post Charlotte. Thank you. Simone from Melbourne

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  31. It was an emotional day I'm sure for Queen Elizabeth. I loved her lime outfit....the one she wore laying the wreath. Kate was very elegant In McQueen....I wish he was still alive...he would be so happy to see Kate dressed from his house. Everyone looked great today, especially the veterans.

    Thoughtful post...thanks Charlotte....you're the best!

    Mel from SoCal

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  32. I'm sure this has been said many times and I am saying it again: We in the USA owe such a huge debt to the Europeans, who struggled for years before the US actively joined the effort. We sent our fathers and sons, and daughters , but at least they knew their loved ones were safe at home .
    The London Blitz,- absolute horror that the British military men and women knew their families lived with.
    The French...and if I start naming the countries, I will leave someone out.
    Those who landed in Normandy 70 years ago were unspeakably brave. I also remember the ones who fought at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom and dad lived throught the Blitz, and I remember my nana still had her bomb shelter in the house. We liked to play in it. :) Both my parents were evacuated to the country, so missed the worst of the bombing, but not all of it. They have a lot of stories, and I wish I'd written some of my dad's down. I should talk to mom while I still can.

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    2. Bluehare. When and why did your family re locate to the states? If u don't mind me asking. Its always so interesting to hear about other people's lives. Do u miss uk? Polly London

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    3. Jean from Lancs7 June 2014 at 18:20

      Bluhare,
      I was not quite five and just started school, during the Battle of Britain and the bombing that followed and was often very scared, but my mother always said it was nothing to worry about,---"Just our Spitfires keeping us safe"
      I believed her, of course and was comforted. It was only later that I realized we couldn't possibly have so many Spitfires and that all the planes made different noises.

      Delete
    4. Actually we don't owe Europe anything. England's decision to get into the war had nothing to do with America. FDR wanted to join in but knew that the people wanted no part of it. When tne Japanese became crazy enough to pull off Pearl Harbor the USA's hand was forced.

      Delete
    5. My dad thought there was no future in Britain at the time, so he sold most of what we had, and we took a boat over to Canada. Interestingly, I miss the UK more the longer I am gone. I'd like to spend my retirement there, actually. I'll have to see if I can make it happen.

      Delete
    6. Anon 18:21- I will not dignify your comment by any further response.

      Delete
    7. My mom was born in 1932, so about four years older than you, Jean. She was evacuated out to her gran's for a while, but she remembers the bombing too. My dad's town got it a bit more than my mom's I think, I remember dad talking about the bombing, and their black out curtains and an incendiary bomb that destroyed a house down the street. He said it was the noises; you started to know what was coming.

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    8. Actually, America was helping Britain out for at least 2yrs before publicly joining the European theater, thru equipement and shipping lane patrols, but FDR kept that very quiet (in a world much better suited to that kind of thing) while anticipating our engagement when it became no longer possible. Also, Churchill in his oratory & in perhaps his most famous speech to the US government had crafted them specifically to his audience, using all the emotions of the phrasing to appeal to the American public to help support FDR when he finally entered the war, knowing if the US didn't get involved, Europe would most likely end up under German domination (omitting the irony of the EU for now). The UK didn't have any choice about lauching a war effort, since tens of thousands of its citizens were being murdered by the Germans daily. And on the most simple level, if it weren't for Europe, we wouldn't have this delightful blog, among others, because there'd no longer, G-d forbid, be royalty anywhere except in the ground.

      Delete
    9. Things that were done to win the war would not be tolerated today. I remember as a child reading The Man Who Never Was by Ewan Montague about a man who died of natural causes, and was dressed as a British officer, with a suitcase handcuffed to his wrist and dumped off the coast of Spain? I think it was. Anyway, it was in a place where the Germans were likely to retrieve the body, and they did. The suitcase contained documents indicating the planned invasion of Europe (which the Germans knew was coming) would be implemented in Sicily. The Germans believed it and moved defences away from Normandy and helped with the day 70 years ago. Amazing story.

      http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Never-Was-Counterintelligence/dp/1557504482

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    10. ..."actively joined. We sent our fathers, sons, and daughters." As opposed to things money can buy and replace.
      Europe was fighting Hitler long before the "care packages" started. When did Czechoslovakia fall? It was almost trade-off: we will send supplies, but not our children
      There might still be royalty, but not the kind likely to win loyal fans. Remember Franco and the Spanish king?

      I have read of the lift in morale when US troops arrived. I will always believe that, before the US ACTIVELY entered the war, the British were going on morale and strength of character, with the King and Churchill (don't forget- his mother was American) leading the way. Without that, all the supplies in the world would not have helped, if the Brits had lost the will to fight. And thank God for Wallis Warfield Simpson



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    11. I am with you Marg, if I responded to that comment from anon 18:21, I might not be able to stop ( and it wouldn't be pretty).

      Jennifer

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    12. My goodness I can't believe anon 18.21 just wrote that. I don't think I can write much more for fear of being so rude. Polly London

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    13. Actually I have e to add,well done to Britain for standing up to hitler and all he did to all those European people. Maybe if the USA had cared earlier and helped it would have stopped alot of blood shed. Polly London

      Delete
    14. Thank you bluehare for answering how u got to Canada. I didn't realise you were in Canada. Fur some reason I thought it was washington. I'd stay put if I were you. Parts of the uk are sadly struggling with the continuing recession and the class divide is apparent again. Polly

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    15. Hi Polly, I'm in in Washington now. Like a lot of Britons, dad didn't want to leave the commonwealth, and Canada was what he picked (over South Africa). We were there for a few years and then came to the US.

      Delete
    16. Polly, I have to agree with you on your 2nd to last comment, about Hitler. I am an American, but my fathers' family moved here from Ireland in 1920s, so I consider myself 80% Irish ;-)....anyway, I agree, we should have gotten involved sooner. What those poor people went through because of Hitler is unspeakable. I have a strong stomach and absolutely love reading about history from many different times...but it is very difficult reading about what happened in those horrible camps of his. I have often wondered how many would have been spared that if we had started helping when the UK first got involved. Just my humble opinion.

      Delete
  33. bluhare- I miss your pithy comments. Hope you are ok.
    I used to think you and royalfan were the same, somewhat conflicted, person. It seemed you always used to post at the same time. Now,I know there are two of you.

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    Replies
    1. I'm fine, Marg. Didn't have much to say on that last post. :)

      Delete
    2. Marg, LOL. The only conflict has been timing. :)

      bluhare, I'm glad to see you back.... :)

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    3. Yes Bluhare.
      I agree re: the last post.
      Too much speculation (for me) to make any decent discussion of it.
      (The political/ethical aspect aside.)

      Delete
    4. Lol Marg, I'm so happy that royalfan and bluhare are two people. Anything else would have been scary!

      Delete
    5. I was so surprised to find someone missed me (thank you, Marg!), I didn't even notice the comparison to That Other Poster!

      Florence? You're happy? I'm ecstatic! :)

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    6. Haha I'm happy for you bluhare, maybe even ecstatic! Love reading all your posts.

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    7. Thank you, Florence. I've had a bit of a chuckle thinking of me and me arguing about Camilla, though!

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    8. LOL! I also enjoy reading your comments Bluhare, and am happy you are back as well. I have found that you and I have very similar opinions on most subjects, and I often look forward to reading your comments :)

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    9. Thanks Jenn.

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    10. You're very welcome :)

      Delete
    11. You're quite welcome :)

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  34. Rose from Montreal, Canada7 June 2014 at 03:03

    Thank you Charlotte, great post as usual.

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    1. This is a superbly written post,,extremely informative since I was not aware of the details about the D-Day, Kate looks lovely as always. Thanks chica!xoxo

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  35. Just to round off some of the discussion about The Queen's service during the war - some of you may not know that the then Princess Elizabeth was a mechanic!? She gets more and more remarkable the more that you learn about her!

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  36. What really has struck me is the genuine expression of horror from King George VI in his letter.
    You hear much from veterans told from their own battle. That is understandable.
    But to have the King write such words brings the whole disaster up another degree.
    Looking at war time photos always tugs at my heartstrings. The faces of so many. What are they feeling?
    What are they thinking? How many mate have they lost? How many family members have they lost?
    The enthusiastic faces of the young, uninitiated soldier. The weary faces of the experienced soldiers who have been battling for months.
    Haunting images that put life into a different perspective.
    Thank you Charlotte for the substantial effort and information in today's post.

    Although I felt that W&K's presence today did a lot to bring a smile to the veterans, I am surprised to see that all photos are of W&K seemingly having a good time. I believe given the nature of the day, it would have been somewhat appropriate to see an image of them looking more contemplative at the meaning of the day's events. I'm certain that there are such photos around. Perhaps during William's speech, some photos may have been taken? I have yet to come across any - but it would befit the occasion. It certainly is/was a "great and terrible day."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helen, have you checked Getty's site? They always have many photos for each event/engagement. Just a thought..... :)

      Delete
    2. Royalfan - Thank you.
      Just had a browse through all the images. Fantastic to see!
      This will probably prove to be a regularly visited site for me.
      Proves how "illiterate" I am when it comes to browsing the web for information. : )

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    3. Numerous photos taken at the services and wreath laying (which you must have missed, Helen 3:42) show W&K's completely appropriate levels of gravitas for the occasion. However, we must also remember that this anniversary commemorates the beginning of victory over tyranny. Naturally, that is an occasion which demands much celebration and joy. That such joy--and human freedom--was bought a high price after a bloody fight escaped no one who marked the day whether on site or from away.

      Delete
    4. You're welcome, Helen. Getty is in my "favorites" and it's one I check everyday. You can really go to town on there with all the different search possibilities. :)

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  37. The Queen and Kate look amazing. The lime outfit was gorgeous and Kate really hit a high note this time. I salute to all of the men who fought for their country, the fallen, and alive. The veterans are so cute and very happy. I can't even fathom at what they've gone through!
    Anonymous 2:18 is right. If Alexander McQueen was alive today, he'd be thrilled to see Kate wearing outfits from his fashion house.

    See you all on the 10th, everyone! Kate's calendar is quite busy this June :)

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  38. Catherine looks gorgeous.

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  39. Her Majesty looks radiant. Thank you Charlotte.

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    Replies
    1. I know this is a serious subject, and it means a lot to me . . . but did you notice the bling she broke out for the occasion? From the brooch on her green coat to her coronation diamonds last night?

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    2. I was too busy looking and listening to the veterans. But I'm sure bling is important to some! =)

      Delete
    3. Yes, bluhare, and I almost had to reach for my sunglasses!

      Delete
    4. One could look at as the Queen was donning her best in honor of the men who fought, Elizabeth, and I don't think it unseemly to notice it.

      Hey, royalfan, want to come sit by me in the Insensitive Section?

      Delete
    5. anon from Leominster8 June 2014 at 00:13

      Nothing insensitive bluhare, I'm sure the queen meant for her finery, to be noticed. If Charlotte doesn't mind me mentioning another site, The Court Jeweller has a nice description of what the queen wore. A number of the pieces were her mum's, and I'm sure the queen was thinking of the Queen Mother on this day. She also brought out some of her finest and most historic pieces, no doubt to honour the great servicemen by wearing her best, as we all would.

      The queen also had an amazing four changes of clothes on the first day, one on the train. Quite remarkable for an eighty-six year old lady.

      There were a number of photos of William and Kate looking serious, the others were mostly taken when they were chatting to people.

      The best photos are of all the old soldiers with their medals. So many from a number of countries. I don't think there will be another occasion like this. A very special weekend.

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    6. OK, I wasn't going to say anything, but.. in the Queen Mother's day and before ( Alexandra, Mary) bringing out the big bling was a means of showing respect. Like you said , bluhare The . Queen seems to identify more with her Mother's generation.
      I realize the European royals haul out the diamonds on the slightest provocation; but seriously, isn't the average working person in GB having perhaps a tougher time now economically than those in Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, and Esti- you know about Spain. Maybe the next generation BRF is sensitive to this. To me, it seems Countess Sophie and HRH Camilla tone things down a bit when home. Although, it may just be the difference in occasion.
      I personally love to see the Queen in all her finery. If you go by her remarks to her bridesmaids (ladies in waiting?) during her wedding, the Queen would be happier in tweed than ermine and a headscarf than a tiara. She does it for others, and the others at that time were the veterans and the world leaders.And I think she had every expectation the jewells would be noted.
      Should I sit in the front row or the back, bluhare?

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    7. There is an anecdote about the late Queen Mother, who when questioned about her wearing her furs and jewels to visit the bombed sections of London, made the comment "If they were coming to see me at the palace, they'd wear their best, and so I wear the best I have to honor them in their homes". Well played, Queen Elizabeth, and a charming reflection of your mother's thoughtfulness!

      Delete
    8. I accept your kind invitation, bluhare. :)

      On a serious note, I was thinking the same thing...the Queen put on her best bling in honor of the men.

      Delete
    9. Anon - Of course I don't mind, it's an excellent site. The lady who runs my favourite royal site 'Order of Splendor' had a terrific blog on The Queen's jewels http://queensjewelvault.blogspot.com

      Delete
    10. Leo: I love that blog. Also, the same person (I think it's the same person) also runs From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault, and who can forget that fabulous site A Tiara A Day? It's nice to be amongst some fellow magpies!

      Did I hear correctly that there will be an exhibit of the Queen's diamonds at BP this summer? If true, would anyone like to start a "Send bluhare to Old Blighty" fund so I can go drool on the display cases? I'll have royalfan follow me with a bottle of windex and a a squeegee.

      Delete
    11. Marg, this is the insensitive section, so insensitivity is the order of the day. Squeeze in where you can and the hell with everyone else!

      Actually, that's not quite true. I'd feel badly if Elizabeth were upset. But she's very welcome in the section. We're going to watch a highlight reel of President Hollande's ex (Valerie Trierweiler) throwing wine glasses at the TV when she saw how much she was missing in not being able to host the Queen yesterday. When I've got you all tipsy I'm passing the hat for my "get bluhare to Old Blighty" fund so the more the merrier. :)

      Delete
    12. bluhare, I love your sense of humor and I hope Elizabeth appreciates it too. What's nice about this blog is that we can discuss serious subjects and at the same time see the lighter side of things.

      Regarding Valerie...me too!! I was imagining how proud she would have been to play hostess on such a global scale.

      Delete
    13. anon from Leominster8 June 2014 at 15:54

      I believe Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour and From her Majesty's Jewel Vault, are done by one person and The Court Jeweller and the much lamented A Tiara a Day (oh, how I hope that returns) are by another, Ella Kay. All are fabulous sites.

      And Charlotte was off to a great start with her tiara postings on the Royal Digest. When the time is right, I hope that returns because Charlotte's submissions are always so wonderfully researched. So much beautiful and historic jewlllery to consider, and it's fantastic to have serveral sites to turn to.

      Delete
    14. anon from Leominster8 June 2014 at 16:18

      Marge with regard to your economic remark, the Belgium monarchy and Belgium itself is always at risk and there are larger republican movements in Europe than in Britain. European monarchies are much younger than the British, I've noticed the European royal families find it more important to have a defined royal role, and that includes more formality as part, but only part, of that.

      It's worth remembering that when Charles and Diana married, times were much worse in Britain with the Brixton riots still fresh and the Falklands coming up. But while the marriage may not have been happy, Britain embraced Diana at once as a fairy princess in all her finery.

      I think the queen does very much enjoy her jewels and why shouldn't she. Camilla also wears a lot, sometimes too much in my opinion, as if she is trying too hard. But for everyone after the queen, there seems a lack of cohesion of vision as to what their role is and how things are going to be balanced.

      I think the lack of a unified vision for the future of the royal family within the family itself, has more to do with what's worn than economic reasons. I'm not convinced there is a realistic view within the royal family and their advisors today about how the public, especially monarchists, really feel and what they would like to see. Only the queen sails on with complete confidence in her subjects, and that's why we love her.

      Delete
  40. William and Catherine always seem to enjoy these opportunities to meet with veterans, and you can tell from the veterans faces how much they enjoy the day.

    Your post shows exactly why royals participate in these sort of days, to draw attention to the issue and not their outfits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the vets asked her if it would be OK to kiss a princess and she said it would. :)

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  41. My younger daughter Lisa was in Arromanches yesterday, walking on crutches as she twisted her ankle severely some time ago. For years, she has been believing in the importance of remembrance. Yesterday, she waited more than twelve hours to see TRH. It was such moving day to her and when at the end William and Kate passed by her - she was standing in the first row- it was too solemn a moment so that as much as she would have liked to she could not utter a word.

    As for me, I watched the ceremonies at home. They were so moving. There was a really beautiful gesture when British soldiers flourished the tombs of German soldiers.
    And yes I agree war is an awful thing. I wish that the world could live in peace. Thank you to all the veterans, whatever their nationalities, who helped liberate France. Long live the Queen and the Royal Family!
    And many thanks to you Charlotte for that wonderful post.

    I wish you all a lovely week end!

    Monica, France

    PS: Special thoughts to my friends living in Portsmouth and Gosport (Hampshire)

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    Replies
    1. I would hope that the sight of the amazing veterans who stormed onto those beaches 70 years ago on June 6 and began the process to save the world from tyranny impressed your daughter as much as the sight of a well-dressed, professionally-coiffed socialite.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps that was why she was there, Elizabeth, as Monica mentioned her daughter believes in the importance of remembrance.

      Delete
    3. It appears some people don't know how to read a paragraph correctly bluhare, as in elizabeths' case, seeing as how the 2nd sentence of Monicas' comment speaks of how strong her daughter feels about remembrance. It amazes me how some people pick a comment apart and harp about one thing and ignore the rest of it.

      Delete
    4. The way I read Monica's comment Elizabeth is that her daughter was much moved by the events of the day.
      How emotionally overwhelming to be surrounded by so much history, so many tales of heroism, loss, success - the list is endless.

      I'm quite sure, if I was surrounded by all that, I too would be speechless as the Duke & Duchess passed by me. Their presence, would just blend in with the intense atmosphere at Arromanches at that moment.

      I'm assuming that Monica's daughter felt just that, and that W&K were not what caused her to become speechless - it was the intensity and the accumulation of all those emotions encompassing everyone there. It was not I believe, the thrill of seeing Kate, and her outfit of the day.

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    5. Yes, that was why she was there. She attended many other celebrations before in France. She really likes to speak with veterans and in our town she is much loved by them. By the way, I have two great uncles who were veterans, my daughter's great great uncles. She passed the whole day speaking with old people there and I can tell you that they were all very moved by the coming of William and Kate and what they represent. The predominant feeling there was deep respect and admiration for those who served us so well in times of conflict. It had nothing to do with fashion really.

      Monica, France

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    6. I forgot to say that my daughter is Guardian of the Memory.
      I can see nothing wrong in my comment that justifies such agressivity.
      I would add no more.

      Monica, France

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    7. No Monica, there was absolutely nothing wrong with any of your comments. And I hope the negativity from Elizabeth on this subject (and IMO on many other subjects and toward individuals) will not keep you from commenting again.
      I think it is wonderful that your daughter was able to witness such a historical event. I am sure she will carry the memories from it with her for a very long time to come.

      Jennifer

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    8. Victoria, Oregon8 June 2014 at 19:24

      Monica, I was interested in your daughter's experience via your comments as, obviously, were Helen, Bluhare, and Jenn. I hope you continue to comment and feel support and not attacked. I saw nothing in what you wrote that justifies any criticism or aggression. Elizabeth's reaction did come across to me as very judgmental (reading into your daughter's reaction), but maybe she's been personally affected by the war. My two-cents. :)

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    9. Neither do I, Monica. You told a meaningful story. I am sure you are so very proud of your daughter.
      I wonder if you would please explain "Guardian of the Memory?" It sounds lovely.

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    10. Nous voulons que vous continuez à écrire, Monica. Vous n'êtes pas autorisé à arrêterr!

      As I am apparently Queen of the Blog (with apologies to Charlotte for dethroning her), I hereby decree it. :)

      Delete
    11. I like your comments and also hope you continue to post, Monica.

      Delete
    12. As one of your "loyal subjects", I second that! ;)

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  42. Yes Mellie.
    She is absolutely beautiful and admirable.
    What a role model for Kate!

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  43. anon from Leominster7 June 2014 at 10:06

    Thank you Charlotte for doing such a wonderful and moving report for us. It has been so touching reading about the families of others on this blog too, and important that we always remember the losses and sacrifices on all sides.

    The photos of Charlie Wilson and all the other old soldiers are so special to see. And I loved reading about Mr Jordan, a true adventurer, no matter what happened.

    Kate was lovely in that pretty blue coat and hat and her beauty and charm must have dazzled the gentlemen. The queen looked amazing. Truly a remarkable lady, but each and every one of those brave gentlemen are amazing too. And it is so difficult to comprehend the sheer numbers of young men who were lost in one day on all sides. I wish my father who served with honour in that war in the medical corps was alive to be witnessing all this.


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    1. Mr. Jordan has turned out to be the star of the show! What a wonderful story. He says he wants to go next year. :)

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  44. The stories and photos from today have been such a treat, and you've done an exceptional job highlighting the best, Charlotte. Thank you!

    I appreciate so much the leaders who turned the spotlight on those who served, fought and perished in WW2. The tributes, speeches and events were thoughtful and well executed. I especially enjoyed seeing HM and TRH, of course, because of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's personal link to the war and the era.

    Like so many of you, I have a personal connection to that day: my now-deceased grandfather. He was one of five sons that my great-grandmother sent off to fight in the war. Two brothers were lost, one of them on D-Day. My grandfather couldn't talk about what he saw and experienced during the war and its aftermath, it was all unbearably painful. He lost brothers in arms and of blood and never really recovered emotionally.

    He did bring back with him hundreds of photo slides, viewable on a close-mount projector of which I am now caretaker. Most are mid-to-late conflict. He was intrigued by wartime journalism/photojournalism and was convinced Winston Churchill's stint as a war correspondent (and POW) in the Boer War helped him develop into the incredible leader he was during WW2.

    It is such an honor to pay tribute to and remember those whose sacrifice in war is eternal. They have my heart.

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  45. hi Charlotte i love the article of you honoring the veterans i salute all the soldiers who fought for your country i love the duchess wearing her coat she never failed to impress as what recycle and what new her majesty looks good and radiant and younger looking too Charlotte looking forward to duchess kate app it would so much fun cant next appearance on june 10 specially rebecca looks good too

    ReplyDelete
  46. Danielle from the Netherlands7 June 2014 at 16:55

    Thank you Charlotte for this very well balanced post! I simply love your blog and the engagement of the community in discussions on subjects that matter. There is so much carelessness on the internet, in terms of use of language, ethics, respect. This blog is outstanding. It's like we travel the world with Kate and learn more about history, culture and society. Thanks to her charism and that of the royal english family in general, I am learning about Britain whereas in the past, I was more interested in french language and culture. Would love to visit your island any time soon. Thanks again and I look forward to the next blog.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Charlotte, good job for keeping the focus (mostly) on the World War II veterans and the momentous event that started on June 6, 1944, in Normandy.
    I would safely say nobody cared what Kate was wearing on this day. She wasn't the focus of attention nor should she have been. The amazing commemoration celebrated those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those who stayed alive to make sure we always remember and honor the Greatest Generation.
    Of course, the events hold a special place for the queen, who lived through World War II. She publicly exhibits the values of hard work, dedication, service beyond oneself and the whole "keep calm and carry on" ethos that are typical of the Greatest Generation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't believe that anyone suggested that Kate was the focus of the day, but since she is the focus of this blog, it would be difficult to find a thread where her name doesn't come up once or twice. :)

      Delete
    2. Elizabeth, were you affected personally by the war? If you were, I do offer my apologies if any comment I made seemed insensitive to you, as they were not intended that way at all.

      Delete
    3. Elizabeth, do you have a personal dislike of the Duchess? That is just the vibe I am feeling from you after reading your comments. If so, why are you here on this blog?

      Delete
    4. BLUHARE: I´m a bit lost but I read somewhere I can´t find right now that your father is Norwegian and your mother Asiatic??? Amazing!! And what do you look like?

      Delete
  48. So many beautifully expressed personal stories. if I were to comment on all of them, you would all grow very tired of my voice.
    Just know, all of you - you have been heard and appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Elizabeth -some DID and DO care about what Kate wore on this very important occasion - and that's OK.
    Most of us who contribute here care about Kate - and are interested in fashion - we don't look down on her as a well-dressed socialite. If that is how you see her, I don't understand why you have joined our conversation. I say this not in a nasty spirit, because
    debate, not nastiness, is the true heart and soul of this blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo, that's a nice comment and I agree debate has become the heart and soul of the blog. It wasn't always, but it is now.

      Group hug everybody!!!

      Delete
    2. bluhare, what do you feel was the heart and soul of this blog previously? (and when)

      Delete
    3. I am not the person to answer that question, Marg. I'm fairly recent here.

      Delete
    4. Hi Marg.

      I'm not answering for Bluhare here - as she is certainly more than competent to answer for herself. :)
      I've been reading Charlotte's lovely blog as a quiet by-stander since way back when she started.
      To be honest, many comments then, were all very stereotypical of idolising Kate , nary a criticism to be said.

      I've started to comment because I'm finally impressed by many intelligent remarks that have begun to appear.
      I hold great regard for the Royals, but they are far from perfect. Although I do find our Queen almost faultless! :)

      It is healthy to take on discussion that is not just about putting Kate on a pedestal, and I think Bluhare may see it that way too. (I imagine many sharing on this blog may think the same way).
      There are many absorbing comments that come into dialogue from many interesting people around the globe on Charlotte's blog now.
      This is what gives this blog "heart and soul".
      My simple interpretation...

      Delete
    5. Thank you, Helen. I totally agree with you.

      Delete
    6. Comments- 9-25-11, the first time there were more than 5-6 comments- complaints about Kate had already begun. The honeymoon was definitely over. That time, the criticism was about her spending four hours in a hair salon (before a wedding) as well as other unkind and one crude remark. Work ethic, weight loss were favorite subjects for criticism. I doubt it has much to do with less Kate idolizing.now than early days.
      "...nary a criticism.." ...only when there was nary a comment.
      I think there might be some selective.memory going on.
      The criticisms grew, with the growth in comments and were often snide, snsrky remarks. Now, at least most ,posters seem to make an effort to validate their remarks. Some attempt an even-handed approach.
      I think Charlotte's readership has evolved, which might account for the trend toward reasonable discussion.
      What gives this blog "heart and soul?" One word- Charlotte.

      Delete
  50. Bluhare - Marg- Leo - Royalfan - Esti-
    All our loyal royal fashion passion history loving debate society sisterhood (mostly!). I know I'm a rookie among you comparitively speaking, but you have been so welcoming and the unique quality of our discourse of shared, cherished
    passions is worth defending against any level of abandoned civility.
    SO THERE! ♥♥♡♡


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo, it's great that you've joined the conversation. :) And you have me wondering how you managed the hearts.... (I'm proud that I can add the smiles!) LOL.

      Delete
  51. Thanks so much everyone for sharing your stories. It's incredibly interesting to read about your families history. I am german and I have always believed that Germany has a special responsibility to educate the youth and to raise awareness around the mechanism of fascism and anti democratic tendencies.
    Over the decades we did this with the help of many wonderful and courageous contemporary witness who would tell their stories and answer question in a way no regular history teacher ever could. I remember them as wise, warm and forgiving people and it makes me very sad to see them all go. In a few years it will be different without the company of those people who actually lived through the horror and tyranny of war and dictatorship. Lets honor them while we still can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anna, Guten Tag freundin!!! I can´t belive that you´re from München, he,he...That town is great. We borrowed 2 bicycles at the hotel and turned around .....the Nymphenburg Palace is cool....I wish I could live there but German is very hard.......he, he...

      Delete
    2. Sehr gut, Esti!

      Anna, I actually commented to you on the last post.

      Not sure how to make the umlaut.

      Delete
  52. Wolfpup - Helen - Patricia- FLA- & others - sorry - I did not mean to excliude anyone....it has been a strange day.!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're no "rookie" Jo.
      The problem with the written word at times is its misinterpretation.
      Many times we may be writing with the intention of some humour in our words; but for some bizarre reason, the reader may miss the humour and perhaps twist the original meaning completely around. Funny may be seen as sarcasm. Thoughtfulness rendered as criticism. Wit inferred as insincere.

      It is very tricky to get the written word right. I firmly believe, if there is doubt about one's intent, to ask for clarification.
      From experience, the differing time zones may mean that I may comment either really late at night or incredibly early during the "morning rush". These comments are made with a hazy brain, and often nonsensical. Many of my comments I'm sure are misinterpreted too.

      After some time of reading the "known" commentators, you do understand what they mean to say even if they are not specific. I however have a tendency to "waffle", which can land me into hot water too! :)

      Your comments are always appreciated. And we all have "strange days" too..
      Hope it gets better!!!

      Delete
  53. The Queen looked simply stunning! The color of her outfit was fantastic. It is ironic to me that the Queen, who is 80-something, wore such a fun, youthful color, while Kate, who is in her early 30's, continues to choose such dull outfits. I looked back to one of this blog's posts from 2012 and Kate had such a pretty, relaxed choice in fashion with cute separates and dresses that accentuated her great figure for evening. I understand she is now a "working" royal, but wish she would choose fewer coats and wear more dresses that flatter her figure. Every one of the veterans at the D-Day event looking outstanding! I am humbled by their selflessness and courage every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Queen really looked lovely in that lime green, didn't she?

      Delete
    2. I have always been so turned off by the collars of her coats. She makes it worse by wearing her hair down when the collar is so high. Concerning this coat, the pockets are terrible and it's too long.

      And I know well that her attire pales in comparison to the importance of the day's events, these are just my thoughts about her outfit.

      Delete
    3. Anon 11:00, are you talking about HM the Queen, as Carmen and bluhare are, or the Duchess? I'm confused...because HM doesn't have hair to wear down lol.

      Delete
    4. Bluhare: I really liked the pink separates one the day before, and the best for me Samantha Cameron, she doesn't usually be very fashionable, but this time was great.

      Delete
    5. And yet, Jenn, I imagine at some point HM has certainly "let her hair down."

      Esti, I bet you understand that- for others, means relaxed, casual to the point of disregarding attire, etc.

      Delete
    6. Marg, yesteday "I had a bad hair day".............I translated literally botón=button............My God!! Touchin "bottoms" at my age!!!

      Delete
  54. Here here Jo! Very well said.
    LOL bluhare, going to be one huge hug :-)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi girls!! There´s a time diffrence and when I´m sleeping you´re writing and viceversa..........Ufffff!! The English Crown Jewels is a tricky issue and don´t want asking for trouble..........

    In Spain there´s is nothing at the moment. Queen Elizabeth´s are in the Tower of London...and it´s the best collection in the world....The Socotish Jewels are in the Castle of Edimburgo. You just know that at that time the borders in Europe were others....

    The origin is diferent, Queen´s collections are gifts of other monarcs but there is a part which The House of Hannover is demanding due to a testament.
    Also there´s a leyend about the Spanish ships from America that were stolen by english pirates and still nowadays theer are ships sank deep down the Athlantic ocean and are contains Spanish jewels...I won´t say anything else.....

    Sorry for the rabbit on.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Esti- I think the Spanish had stolen from the Aztecs, so I think we all had our hands in the cookie jar at one time or another. I think the Aztecs stole from the native Indians. Also, I think those English pirates were based off the coast of Cornwall, so it's all Prince Charles 's fault. HA!
      Yes, Esti, that (cookie jar) is probably an idiom and you figure it out! ha!
      PS. I know you can.

      Since I have already heard from various history experts, I am sure I will hear more. That is just my passive-agressive way of saying, "I enjoy and welcome your input!"

      Delete
    2. Sure!! Native indians hate Spaniards......we (althoug I promise I wasn´t there), carried a lot of illness and stole of evething.........but you´re right all it´s Prince Charle´s fault.

      Delete
  56. Excuse me but about Queen wearing jewels, IMO (I get it , ha,,), she is a monarch of other generation when to wear jewels was a sigh of power and she was talking with people of her generation (veterans).
    Nowadays monachs in Europe wear jewels in special ocasions as weddings, etc....

    I´m reading you little by little..A war is always traumatic for all......I don´t know if you´ve ever seen "The Gernika of Picasso" that was a geman bombing in the Basque Country.....Thanks Good I haven´t lived a war...
    I know that I´m like a pain in the neck............I´m a little know-it -all.........but you liked history, don´t you??? ;-))))))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No no Esti, you are NOT a pain in the neck :-)....I for one absolutely LOVE history! And it is very interesting reading the history you share about the Spanish Royals, as I am not as knowledgeable about them as some others. So thank you very much for sharing! Take care :)

      Jennifer

      Delete
    2. Hi Jenn!! And I´m learning about WWII, very interesting also the storys are truthful and tell in first person, that´s a privilege....

      Delete
    3. I agree with Jenn. Love learning about other countries. Have we talked about the general opinion of Letizia in Spain yet? Is she popular? I don't know much about the other European royals, although I'm fast becoming one of Estelle of Sweden's fangirls.

      Delete
    4. I love your historical notes, Esti. What a good thought ,about the jewells being a generational point of contact with the veterans.

      Delete
  57. It's interesting that the Queen seemed to have dressed for the cemetery, where her green coat was perfect for the surroundings. Perhaps laying a wreath there was most important to her. I thought Queen Margrethe, Camilla, Queen Mathilde, and Samantha Cameron had the ocean in mind in their color choices, as did Kate. Queen Maxima did not seem to be dressed for the surroundings, though her gold outfit was pretty.

    Dress of course was not the central focus, but the symbolism of color choices is very interesting. It was especially so when the grey clothing of the dancers who represented the European population became flamboyant colors at the point of liberation.

    ReplyDelete
  58. PS All of the ladies wore jackets or coats. It was probably cool along the shore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The temperatura was very high 28ºC, but my husband told me that it´s unusual that temperature at early June, and the weather may be very chageable in Normandy...I think they choose coats and finally felt warm...

      Delete
  59. Tammy from California8 June 2014 at 17:34

    What a lovely blog post! The greatest generation, for sure. I loved the comment Kate made when one of the veterans asked if it was okay to kiss a princess. JUST DARLING!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Anon 15:43... and the blue also for peace. We know Kate uses color in meaningful ways, as does HM, I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete

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