Wednesday, 27 August 2014

UPDATED: Upcoming Engagement Announced, Make Up Shopping at Harvey Nichols, Simponized Kate & How Well Do You Know Kate's Style?

Hello-Hello, we hope you're all having a splendid week!

We're very pleased to be back with news of an upcoming engagement for the Cambridges. On Monday, 8 September the Duke and Duchess will formally open the Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre building at St Hugh's College.

St. Hugh's

More from the official press release:

'Their Royal Highnesses will meet members of St Hugh's College staff, students and friends of the centre before being shown the China Centre building. At the new China Centre, the Duke and Duchess will meet designers and building contractors who worked on the project, donors and academics.
 In the courtyard, the royal party will join others for a traditional Chinese ribbon cutting ceremony.'

The centre is a dedicated building for the study of China. In fact, the University of Oxford is Europe's leading centre for the study of China with nearly fifty permanent academics working on the politics, economics, history, literature and society of the country.

St. Hugh's

The new centre contains a dedicated library and reading room, which will provide a permanent home for books from the Bodleian Libraries' China Collection, as well as 63 student bedrooms and a range of conference and seminar facilities. The centre is named after Mr Dickson Poon, a Hong Kong philanthropist who donated £10 million towards the cost of the building. His companies own well-known brands including Harvey Nichols and S.T. Dupont.

St. Hugh's

We expect to hear more engagement announcements for September. Following such a dry spell there's usually a busier month or two afterwards.

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Speaking of Harvey Nichols, Kate was spotted shopping for make up there by a couple of excited tweeters.

Ety Makeup Twitter Feed

The English luxury department store stocks Kate's favourite Bobbi Brown range as well an extensive selection of other beauty ranges. Aside from beauty, their womenswear collection boasts labels favoured by the Duchess including M Missoni, Amanda Wakeley and Max Mara. The Duchess has been spotted browsing there several times before.

Visit London
According to another fellow shopper the Duchess purchased mascara and the Clarins Restorative Total Eye Conentrate which is described as a "restorative eye care treatment that targets all signs of ageing. It retails for $83 with Free Shipping at Sephora.

Clarins

More from Charly Jones:

Charly Jones

It's an interesting sighting, as it means the Cambridges are not in Balmoral yet. It had been reported they planned to spend much of August there, but it would seem unlikely given sightings of William and Kate in Berkshire and the Duchess' Bicester shopping trip earlier this month.

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Many of you were kind enough to get in touch and comment to share a wonderful story about 'Simpsonized Kate'.

aleXsandro Palombo

The Duchess is lauded as a major style icon all over the world and Italian artist aleXsandro Palombo celebrated it in an entirely unique and delightful way - Kate as a Simpsons character. We just love this here at Duchess Kate Blog. I can vivdly recall watching The Simpsons after school many evenings as a child. I don't think there are many households where someone doesn't enjoy viewing the antics of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie.

aleXsandro Palombo

In several of the photos Kate is depicted alongside the Queen.

aleXsandro Palombo

Welcome to Buckingham Palace :)


Kate in L.K. Bennett for her visit to Leicester with HM.

aleXsandro Palombo

Mr. Palombo did a stellar job emulating some of Kate's most classic looks including the Alexander McQueen military-inspired look the Duchess most recently wore to Bletchley Park.

aleXsandro Palombo

Kate's Emilia Wickstead coatdresses.

aleXsandro Palombo

Evening gowns including Kate's strapless velvet and lilac McQueen are featured.

aleXsandro Palombo

How well do you know Kate's style? Can you identify all of the pieces worn on 'Simpsonized Kate'. Test yourself with five looks we've selected randomly (Answers at the bottom of the post).

1. Let's start with an easy one. This military-inspired coatdress made it's debut for the Cambridges' arrival in New Zealand in April. Which designer made this memorable piece?

aleXsandro Palombo

2. Kate wore this during her pregnancy. The pretty peach coat and custom-made dress are by two separate designers.

aleXsandro Palombo

3.  Kate stole the show in this beautiful silver, one-shoulder gown, but who designed it?

aleXsandro Palombo

4. Kate wore this when she made her first speech at East Anglia's Children's Hospices. A major clue: it's a piece she shares with her mother Carole or vice versa.

aleXsandro Palombo

5. Pre-engagement gown worn to a Starlight Children Foundation event in 2009.

AleXsandro Palombo

To view all of Mr. Palombo's 52 illustrations his blog is here.

AleXsandro Palombo

This set of illustrations is not the first time the talented artist has been inspired by Kate's style or The Simpsons. Last year he combined both to feature Marge Simpson as a model wearing some of the most iconic dresses of all time. This included Kate's ISSA engagement dress.

Vogue

Mr Palombo said: 'I made a strict and careful selection of what, in my opinion, has really influenced the style of the last 100 years.' Other famous looks which made the cut included a Catherine Walker gown worn by Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn's Breakfast at Tiffany's Givenchy dress, and the pink suit Jackie Kennedy wore the day President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. You can view the full selection at Vogue.

Vogue

 Now, time for those all important answers!

  • 1 -Catherine Walker.
  • 2 - Tara Jarmon Coat / Dress by Independent Designer.
  • 3 - Jenny Packham.
  • 4 - Reiss.
  • 5 - ISSA.


How did you score out of five? Let us know in the comments section! :)

129 comments:

  1. That's a heck of name for the China centre. Does the joke translate to British English?

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    1. LOL!! I was taken aback too, at first! Ha!

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    2. Poon is not an unusual name in China. Dickson is quite English (think two fat ladies). Where exactly is the joke? Reminds me of Oscar Wilde's astute observation on ignorance: Touch it and the bloom is gone.

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    3. Dickson poon?!?!?! Wow!!! That's pretty funny!!! Lololololol

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    4. Philly, the joke isn't quite the sort of thing one tells to a nice, sweet, refined girl.

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    5. Amy, Detroit Michigan28 August 2014 at 15:36

      Poon....hahahahahahahahahahaha


      Why yes, yes I do have the senseof humor of a 12 year old boy.

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    6. Rebecca - Sweden28 August 2014 at 18:37

      You and me both Amy. DICKson POOn.... Tihihihi!

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    7. Why do some have to be disrespectful to the man who carrys this name. And to post such disrepect on Charlottes blog.

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    8. Rebecca - Sweden29 August 2014 at 21:36

      Why do some not have humor and understand that we have no disrespect against the man. Just pointing out the fun things about a names meaning in different cultures. Fanny is a normal name in Sweden. Not so much in England. And in England Pippa is a perfectly good nickname but in Sweden it's slang to have sex. I have no problem with his name. Or him (that I know nothing about). Just having an innocent laugh about the humor that can arise when cultures collide.

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    9. Ha, Rebecca, I didn't know about Pippa! That's funny. Good post. :-)

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    10. Well said Rebecca. I back you all the way. I did hear that dear old Brad Pitt had a bit of a shock when visiting Sweden and they explained to him what his name meant. Absolutely unrelated to the duchess of Cambridge. But related to "what's in a name".

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    11. Standing ovation, Rebecca. Seriously; that was a great answer to a very rudely phrased question.

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    12. Good post Rebecca and Florence!
      I am still
      In shock over fanny pack :-)
      Simone

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    13. Rebecca - Sweden30 August 2014 at 09:32

      MM- Yeah, I can't help smirking a little everytime I hear about Pippa Middleton.

      Florence - Yeah, pitt is also a little funny. But now we're used to Brad ;)

      Bluhare - Aw, thanmk you so much!!

      Simon - Thanks. Haha, yeah. That's weirder though, because it's in the same language :P

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    14. 'Fanny' used to be an 'acceptable' girl's name in Britain....'The Faraway Tree' children's stories by Enid Blyton all featured a child with this name. But the character's name in the stories has now been changed to 'Frannie', and the character 'Dick' has been renamed 'Rick'.....

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  2. Wonderful post.....thank you! I really love the ISSA......gorgeous. I got two right, the Packham and the Catherine Walker.

    Mel in SoCal

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    1. Hello Mel,

      Thank you for sharing. It's interesting how some looks are instantly recognisable and others take more time to remember.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden27 August 2014 at 23:38

      My problem wasn't remembering the look (except for the last one). I could see them clearly as day. but putting the name of the designer?! Oh no, not gonna happen! :P

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    3. Exactly, Rebecca! :))) I recognized the dresses immediately, but please don't test me on the names of the designers.

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  3. I only got the Jenny Packham right! Go figure. I was always an evening dress girl.

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    1. I'm an evening gown girl too. It's a gorgeous dress.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden27 August 2014 at 23:37

      Aren't we all? ;)

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  4. No shade on Kate - I really like her. But I can not figure out how she can shop so much. How can she not be bored of shops ? It sounds exhausting !

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    1. Shopping, for some (not all) people, is a way of relaxing. However, if you hate shopping, retail therapy is not for you.

      For those who enjoy it, their minds focus on the lovely things they look at or try on the way they might on (say) a mantra. While doing so, the mind and emotions are occupied by distractions rather than the problems or challenges people might be facing. Plus, they get the benefit of walking a little. The same effect can be had by visiting a museum, gallery, park or even a grocery shop.

      So long as people don't have a problem with a compulsion to over-spend, it's a less harmful pastime than sitting down with a glass of wine or a plate of cakes or using substances for the same effect.

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    2. Well, don't most women shop if they need clothes for work or days off...clothes for their growing children...gifts for birthdays, etc...makeup...or they have homes to furnish?

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    3. Given two homes, a husband, a son, gifts, and her own private and public clothing and cosmetic needs, I don't think Kate's observed shopping amounts to much at all. I expect some of her aides are purchasing standard items, but other things she must choose herself. Dress designers probably come to the palace. Dresses off the rack come from stores. Everyone with a home and family shops, and Kate has the added responsibility of dressing well for her position.

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    4. I am highly doubtful Kate was actually shopping at Harvey Nichols a day after it was announced she would be
      meeting with Dickson Poon, the Hong Kong mogul who owns the brand. I think an entrepreneurial makeup firm used the connection of those words on twitter to get themselves seen. I'm putting this one under "doubtful" and Will and Kate may very well be in Balmoral or anywhere else for that matter.

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    5. Interesting, Maryland Moxie.
      Definitely domething that happens in firms.
      But maybe it could be that Kate wanted to pay a homage to the benefactor?
      Bizarre coincidence anyway!

      Camilla

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    6. Kate's at a busy touristy makeup store in Kensington in August and the only person to notice her was a makeup marketing firm? Who didn't take a moment to provide photographic proof? On the phone that he/she tweets on?

      Anybody can say anything they want on twitter. When you might believe what someone is saying about Kate is when they either provide a visual, or if there are tweets from multiple independent folks who saw the same thing. The visit to the center is the homage Kate is paying to the benefactor - that's going to get plenty of press.

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    7. I don't believe a word anyone says unless there are photos or others remarks about seeing Catherine.

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  5. Jennifer from Wisconsin27 August 2014 at 23:14

    Charlotte~ First day of school and I already got tested by you! :) I missed #2 but it was fun!

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    1. Summer passed so quickly! The academic year tends to drag a little towards the end but it's worth it for summer. I hope you all enjoyed it and had a nice break!

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    2. The test is a nice diversion, Charlotte. A great idea to reprise during other fallow times on the Cambridge calendar. Please, do it again.

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    3. I have seen this before on WKW (What Kate Wore) - and I am not sure how I feel about them. To me they are a bit insulting. But that's me.

      I guess as far the "test" goes, I got 4 out of 5 (didn't remember much about her pregnancy outfit).

      Mia (Canada)

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  6. Amy, Detroit Michigan27 August 2014 at 23:34

    Oh my gosh, those Simpsons drawings are awesome! I admit to not getting any correct except the ISSA because unless it is an outfit I am jealous to not have, I don't really remember the designers too much. Thrilled to see a drawing of the lilac McQueen....that is my favorite thing the Duchess has ever worn...it even looks spectacular in animated form!

    Great job, Charlotte!!!

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  7. Do the American kids go back to school in August Jennifer? That seems a shame as it's still summer :-) UK still have another week or so.
    The Aussie kids have the whole of January and the first few days of February - our summer :-) upside down world :-) Simone

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    1. Jennifer from Wisconsin29 August 2014 at 05:24

      Hi Simone!
      I went to private schools and yes, we did go back during the last week of August. My friends who went to public schools did not and the kids start September 2nd. I think it might depend on the type of school. :) Hope you are doing well!

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  8. Brilliant post thank you Charlotte.
    I hope Catherind saw the amusing side of being Simpsonized! Has she already been Andy Warholized? Does anyone know?

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    1. Florence, are the Simpsons' dead as well?

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    2. Could you please clarify your question Pandora?

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    3. Reply to self via google: yes, Catherine was Warholized in 2011! I wonder if she would hang it in her house?

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    4. So sorry Florence just saw this - as Mr. Warhol has been dead since before the Duchess was born (if I am doing my maths correctly?) I was confused as to how HRH could have been "Warholized" - which I presume referred to a Warhol "Campbell's Soup Can" painting, at which he was uncanny. But I just saw this and was inspired to learn something, so I "Googled" (is this proper English now as well?!?!) Catherine Cambridge Warholized and got a pic of a Tatler cover from before the wedding. So I now have a new verb (or perhaps two?) and a genuine piece of art in some WC in some house somewhere, which is where Mr. Hesiod (or Mr Jupiter, depending on the day) likes to read his copy of Tatler. Brilliant!

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  9. Sadly I got not one dresses right. Oh well, I never claimed to be a fashion person! But I do remember when she wore those dresses, except the one before her engagement ISSA.
    I do love joint events w Will and Kate!

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  10. I dont like the Simpsonized Kates....However the post was in interesting read...Thank You Charlotte!!xoxo

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  11. Valerie in Arizona28 August 2014 at 00:36

    Thank you for the update Charlotte! I didn't get any--never remember names. And I thought when they were opening a "China Centre" it had something to do with Wedgewood or Royal Doulton. Showing my age here….

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    1. Ha! I love that you thought it had something to do with Wedgewood or Royal Doulton. I could look at china patterns all day!

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  12. I took a look at Alexsandro Palombo's blog and it's clear that I am a serious Kate "fan".......I recognized every single outfit. Ha! :)) And you'd never guess that she does as much recycling as she does!! Lol.

    What a fun post, thank you Charlotte.

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    1. Well done Royalfan! Not that I would ever have doubted you!

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden28 August 2014 at 18:39

      Me too.. God, we're geeky! :) "We're geeky and we know it! Umf, Umf" *Singing* Wanna join Simone? :)

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    3. Okay, ladies....geeky and proud of it! :))))

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    4. I dare not Rebecca - shhhh off topic police are around :-)
      Simone

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  13. I was surprised I got the first one right, but the last one was easy: pre-engagement had to be ISSA, besides that gown is unforgetable... :) (although I imagine Kate can't use these kind of necklines anymore, not after Boeing engaged to Prince William I suppose...?)

    Anyway, I guess that's 2/5 for me! :)

    Ana from Portugal

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  14. Sarah from Calif.28 August 2014 at 02:06

    Hehe Funny and for the Simpson's , tasteful...
    Hope you are well Charlotte! and remember, you are welcome out here anytime :)

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  15. I know Mr Dickson Poon Charlotte, but do you mind telling me who these Simpson people are? I hope the Duchess found time to browse Harvey Nic's frocks for Malta as well as cosmetics! As funny a post as your last of Malta was beautiful, thank you so much. PS Valerie in AZ I thought much the same, speaking of translating to British English mm!

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    1. Info about The Simpsons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Simpsons

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  16. I shocked myself by getting 4 out of 5! Love the quiz, Charlotte.

    I love the Simpsonized Kate as well! I recognize all of the looks and remember where she wore most of them, though I know I couldn't tell you all of the designers. I certainly didn't realize I knew all of that. Does this mean I read the blog too much?

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  17. I might be the only person in the USA who has not seen an episode of The Simpsons, but I still liked the Simpsonized Kate drawings, and especially the ones with her and the Queen together. I did not even try the quiz--I am so unfashionable! I do love looking at pretty things, but I don't think about the designers (sorry, designers!). I thought the Dickson Poon China Centre photos showed a lovely addition to the college. Thank you for showing that. I had to look up the words in a US slang online dictionary and am annoyed to see what the "joke" is about. I think it's really too bad.

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    1. Marci, you are not the only one in the US who has not seen an episode of The Simpsons. :)

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    2. Amy, Detroit Michigan28 August 2014 at 15:43

      Marci, you are not the only one. Never saw an episode, and am in complete shock that it is still on the air.

      However, I did have a Bart Simpson "don't have a cow, man" button that I put on my super awesome jean purse back when I was 10 and the Simpsons were the cool new thing. Ugh!

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    3. Here's another US non-Simpson viewer! And yes, the pun (I also consulted the dictionary) is pretty bad. Perhaps we're a pair of prudish fuddy-duddys, but there it is! We two don't inhabit the current culture very well.

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    4. I've never watched any of the Simpsons either! Never felt the need to.

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    5. Anonymous 17:33, you and I not inhabiting the current culture just makes us timeless, right? :-D

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    6. Absolutely, Marci! There seem to be a surprising number of us timeless wonders here. 17:33

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    7. Yep.Marci and anonu.

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    8. Marci and anon, made a reply earlier. Hope it appears!

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  18. While the simpsonizing is interesting and, for the most part, clever, I find it offensive that the artist chose Jackie Kennedy's suit, which still has President Kennedy's blood and brain matter on it, as something to make into a cartoon. I understand it's an iconic piece of clothing, but it's still pretty offensive to me.

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    1. I could not agree more Lynda. At times some limits are required. I did not know about that, but it would have offended me too,

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    2. Yeah, he should of picked a different Jackie O outfit.

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    3. anon from Leominster28 August 2014 at 14:35

      I agree, completely tasteless. Surely, her inaugural gown would have served the same purpose and fit better with the other two gowns. Have to admit I don't like the Simpsons.

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    4. I agree. Jackie's pink suit will never be an appropriate subject for humor or satire!

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    5. Rebecca - Sweden28 August 2014 at 18:41

      I did not know that at all. All I knew was that that is the look you see her depicted in. Now I feel kind of yucky... That's... tasteless and sad.

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    6. I assume my post will appear in the next group. It also refers to the last post, as well as Lynda's remark
      Waiting expectantly!

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  19. I'm impressed Dickson Poon, a Hong Kong national, is able to get the audience of Will and Kate. Says a lot about China's influence in the world that this is being opened at Oxford and that members of the royal family will be present. I know there is a complex history between the UK and Hong Kong (now under China's purview) yet it is notable to see who is financing what at renown Universities and what influences they are hoping to exert on the future leaders of tomorrow.

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    1. The request for the Duke and Duchess to open the new building would come from Oxford University, but doubtless Mr. Poon will be there as he has made such a large donation.
      All Universities (including in the USA) accept donations.

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  20. I think that Simpsonization with all the styles on it is fascinating because it shows her tendency to wear one color outfits which is why it is easy for the artist to replicate them in this way. She wears few things with pattern. She has several basic frames that she also sticks to. I think this is why I find her fashion a bit boring - it's all a little too conservative and safe for my tastes. Honestly, you've got deep pockets and you buy the same basic McQueen dress in two different colors?

    Suggestion for you Charlotte - would love to see posts on the designer and all the clothes we've seen Kate wear - all the McQueen's lined up together, and then another post with the Packham's... and so on. Throw all the one off's together in one category - until she wears two of them and they get their own post! Maybe it's just my idea of fun...but a Kate's Closet series would be a great read when there are lulls. (Then you can just add to them when she shows up in something which would make a neat archive.)

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    1. I second that idea Maryland Moxie! What a great idea!

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    2. Moxie, I think it's sad that all there is to talk about Kate is that somebody decided to do caricatures of her. Nice you can think of something positive out of it.

      I wonder what these two think of the monarchy in general. They are the future of it, no? They don't seem to care that by avoiding the spotlight and shunning engagements they aren't exactly setting themselves up for success. People talk about the monarchy being over after the Queen is gone. I'm thinking that they may be right. Charles will have his reign, but when William and Kate step up if they don't have solid public support behind them from being in the public eye and working, then they shouldn't be surprised if the public shrugs and says "meh" to a William reign. The Queen gets her respect because of her LIFETIME of duty. Charles has worked his entire life as well. These two seem to think that as long as they smile and wave right before it's their turn everything will turn out all right. Maybe they're smarter than I am, I don't know. In this internet age, people don't seem to remember five minutes ago so maybe it really doesn't matter if they work for their keep now.

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    3. Hear hear Bluhare. If only it were Harry...but I suppose we shall have to trust that the Monarchy will endure a reluctant sovereign...when I think what a lucky thing Mrs.Simpson was (I shall leave that purposely ambiguous, although the lady was far from happy with her lot and did her duty with greater fortitude than some who come to mind)...I am glad I for one am too old to live to see it, but what I fear most of all is degenerating into a "bicycle" monarchy. One thing can be said for Charles: a man who needs his man to put his tooth powder on his toothbrush is not about to go bicycling - however much of a nutter he can seem otherwise.

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    4. Chuckle! Funny to think that we would entrust the monarchy more to a get your kit off / fun loving / irreverent Prince Harry - much as I love him I do not believe he has the slightest desire or inclination
      To be king ..... :-) Simone

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    5. Laughing at Charles being a nutter, Pandora. He is, isn't he, but I do admire him for carving his niche out. I agree about Harry; of the two of them he is much more suited to the role and doesn't appear to dislike it so much.

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    6. I agree he may not have the desire or inclination to be king, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't perform the role admirably. He takes on projects and tours on behalf of the Queen and does them very well. I've never heard him complain about it either, other than about the inevitable loss of privacy that comes with it.

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    7. bluhare, yikes! :) I cannot imagine Harry as king. He may have the people skills, but I don't see him being a candidate for the more serious side of it. As for him not disliking it...well, of course not. Harry can enjoy his role the way a grandparent can enjoy his/her grandchild....i.e..........you can play as much as you want, when you want.....you're not living and breathing it 24/7.

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    8. Unfortunately, we won't get a chance to see Harry as king. I think you absolutely can have fun and enjoy yourself and also be serious when the time comes. I don't know why, but I think he would surprise you, and I really do think he'd make a better king than his brother.

      The one thing I really like about Harry is he uses his position in a good way. Yes, he has much less restriction than his brother does because he's pretty much out of the line now with George in the picture, but he hasn't been sitting around, remodeling his house, and whining about his lack of privacy and choices. He's got out and done things, and for that I admire him and wish him well.

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    9. Hi bluhare,
      I'm pretty sure it's clear that I am a royal watcher versus being a "fan" and I comment from that perspective. One observation about the British Royal family is they are currently unique in having so many generations alive at the same time and there is the absolute tradition of holding the crown until you die. All of Will and Kate's "2nd in line to throne peers" are toddlers or in grade school. Switch the frame to look at if from a "business" or "firm" angle and you've got Elizabeth (CEO) and Charles (Senior Vice President or Partner) and William (Junior Partner). Now how many firms spotlight or depend on their Junior Partners? or the Junior Partner's wife? Consider it from the perspective of UK government (and people) who employ this family firm to conduct public relations and gentle diplomacy on it's behalf. The CEO (Elizabeth) developed a corp of ambassadors (Phillip, Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward, Camilla, Sophie, Michael, Edward, and Alexandria) who are seasoned veterans. Now without losing any "employees", you've taken on training a new crop of ambassadors, Will, Kate, and Harry. There weren't really any openings in this firm - but the new crop need some experience. My point is - the show is being run by Elizabeth and UK Ministers and Will and Kate may not be in control. This China Center opening is a diplomatic function and it was assigned to Will and Kate. (They probably didn't ask to do it, they were probably told they were going to do it - but in a very nice way. And it was planned much further out before the public was told.) The minute the Foreign Minister's office does not have use of the royal family, or the royal family doesn't cooperate with the Foreign Office - is when you will see the vote put out to make UK a republic. (I am not quite familiar with how issues get put up for vote in the UK - but here in the States - it's pretty much controlled by the lawmakers - the public might make a stink, but it can get easily blocked in committee if they don't think it is good policy for the nation. A lot of our national politics is showmanship.) If UK does vote republic - who will preside over your State Banquets and take over the foreign duties the Queen does now? You can't just get rid of one system without planning for its replacement. Changing your diplomatic structure is very delicate and complicated.

      See Part 2!

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    10. Part 2! (I've never written so much that I had to split it!)

      One of the problems with the Queen's long reign is most of the population is unfamiliar with a change in monarchy so it will be a culture shock when it happens. And folks might actually appreciate the tradition and pageantry of a State Funeral and then a Coronation. The Heir's Wedding and then The Diamond Jubilee River Thames pageant were remarkable displays - the UK does this sort of thing very well. You think people had emotions when Diana passed away...

      Meanwhile, back to Kate. Malta will be her 5th "official" foreign trip this year (Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium) and her 12th overall (Canada, US, Denmark, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Malyasia, Singapore). Malta is her first time solo and representing the Queen. Kate just went through the joys and exhaustion of being a first time mother, celebrating one year in July (and most likely working on another child) - she's made five charity appearances (and one with no press) and represented the royal family 9 days at home and attended 2 public royal family outings. There are 4 months left in the year for her to contribute more. That's the beauty of the internet - it's keeping track of the information without palace, government, news, and personal agendas. (that duchess kate tracker is handy!) Charlotte's blog is a great place to talk about it. Kate may not be quite the Charity Princess people were hoping for - but watch what events she does go to and think about why she might be there - is it to further diplomatic/trade relations, showcase business, military, history, sports, culture, entertainment or a charitable cause. Is she appearing mostly on foreign soil or at home. Does she dress a certain way in one arena but dresses down in others? If so, why?

      So buck up, bluhare! If my understanding is correct, most folks in Europe go on holidays in August! Very few royals have been sighted anywhere. The Queen herself has only been in public 5 days. (love Her Majesty's Jewel Vault website.) All the royal blogs are quite light on content. Are you watching to see how Princess Charlene dresses for her pregnancy? The woman would not know what you meant by "High Street".

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    11. I think he complains plenty Bluhare but he often does it with humour .... Most recently I can think of was when he was on Tour (Afghan) and using the canteen made him feel like a performing seal. I believe he has also blamed his royal status on lack of a girlfriend / wife.
      I agree he has done some amazing work this year and his Chiliean tour was great! He has a way with people that is unique to him but I suspect that he is happy with his lot in life and I think, like William and Kate, we will see less of him when he gets himself a wife and has a family :-)
      I seem to remember Florence, Helen and I made a bid for him to move to Australia as head of state here anyway :-) Simone

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    12. Now that is a really excellent post Moxie :-)
      Very thought provoking and an interesting perspective.
      Thanks for that!
      Simone :-)

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    13. How Kate dresses is not really my focus, Moxie. If you read my posts, very few are about her clothes.

      But as far as the royal family goes, the reason I keep up with them is I'm British and I agree that the BRF does pageantry like none other. It's a throwback to an earlier time and I get quite nostalgic over it. As far as who orders who to do what, I've got no idea, and you might be right that William and Kate do nothing because they aren't asked to do anything. I find that diffiucult to believe with Charles wanting a streamlined monarchy, and throwing the Yorks to the side, though.

      But sometimes I think you argue for argument's sake, Moxie. You seem to want to poke us with sticks to see how we'll react, which is how I'm feeling right now so I'll bow out of this conversation.

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    14. Simone, I agree Harry's complained as you said, and it goes to what I've said about he complains about the loss of privacy. I've not heard him complain about the actual job. It will be interesting to see if he does disappear like William and Kate. None of the other royals ever did when they got married, so we'll see if they've started a trend.

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    15. Prince Harry will be King of Australia if I have anything to do with it Simone. And as we said previously, we will sponsor Bluhare for an extended stay in his vicinity lol

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    16. Excellent post Royalfan. I love the analogy with "grand-parenting". That has a lot of truth to it. Thank you.

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    17. anon from Leominster30 August 2014 at 14:50

      Have to strongly disagree on one point Moxie. I would never call William a junior partner. The analogy of the firm of a partnership is a fraught one because it is unclear what standard you would use. Order of precedence? Years of experience? Importance to the public? Whatever standard you use, William is third in line to the throne. He is no junior partner.

      At the moment, the monarchy is tightening up, ironically at a time William has chosen to "go private." In the past we might have expected Beatrice and Eugenie or even Peter and Zara to take on public work but they are all on track for private careers. (If William stays private, I think that may change for Beatrice and Eugenie.) For a monarchy to represent its subjects most fully these days, it needs members of all ages.

      In spite of talk about multiple generations, the relatively few working royals at the moment are either quite old (The queen, Alexandra, who has reduced her schedule , the Gloucesters and Charles and Camilla, all over sixty-five) or middle-aged (Anne, Andrew, Edward, Sophie.) For the younger generation, William, Kate and Harry are it. For an institution that must both look to the past but also be relevent to the future, that puts a lot of responsibilty on very few young members.

      I would never assume that William and Kate are told what they will do. I think most likely there is an interplay in what they chose to do (some of those flashy parties Williams seems to like) with what they are ASKED to do -- Overseas tours. The latter has to be balanced out so parts of the Commonwealth and other nations don't have too many or too few visits.) A visit by William and Kate, the so-called junior partners is clearly much more prestigious than a visit by Edward and Sophie, who really are fairly akin to junior partners, although again I don't like that term because they have little chance of advancement no matter how hard they work. Birth, not merit, places you in the royal family.

      August is definately a holiday month for almost all royal families and many of the rest of us (and a quiet month for all blogs) but this year, with the exception of the Australian tour has looked like every month is August for Willam and Kate. Yes, she is a mother but the vast majority of young mothers go back to work before their baby is a year old. So we'll see what the rest of the year brings.

      As for ending the monarchy, I don't think it will happen, but with a huge influx of immigrants and a huge changes by technology in the world, I don't think the monarchy can afford to be complacent either. Talking about change is again fraught because every generation sees their world change rapidly but Britian has changed a lot just in this decade and the royal family will need to change too.

      One thing I've noticed is how quickly things happen in this world when they do. In another month, Scotland might be independant. (Will stay mum on my views on that.) So nothing can be assumed.

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    18. I like to analyze for analysis sake. I don't see it as arguing with anybody. Just contributing to the conversation. I think the Junior Partner's wife is the perfect analogy to describe Kate's position in the family and why she does not operate at the level of Mary, Victoria, Mette-Merit all of whom are next in line. I've been refining my thinking and expectations because I've been listening to the people on this blog who have contributed to the many conversations. I also read other blogs to get various perspectives and one wit wrote "nobody every married into the royal family because they wanted to work". That made me chuckle, particularly as the Queen is currently enjoying her two month break in Balmoral. She'll be back in London for a bit and then she'll head off on her two month winter break to Sandringham. This is not her retirement schedule.

      bluehare, it was your remarks about evening gloves that got me wondering if you followed the Monaco Royals - they dress up well and often for evening events. They affect a more glamorous aura. Perhaps I did not make that association as clearly as I meant to. Evening gloves make me think of Grace Kelly - our American Royal.

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    19. Thank you, Moxie, for the tabulation of Kate's activities. She has visited a very large part of the Commonwealth since she married. In the UK, there is a focus on sports in her events. William and Catherine have been directed to those two areas which they obviously enjoy and that are very important to the Queen. She has always been dedicated to the Commonwealth, and she has spoken in her Christmas message of the importance of sports. If Harry is added in, the focus is also clear. And like these three, Beatrice and Eugenie fill occasional charitable events, especially in the health field.

      I like your analysis of The Firm. It would seem that, as executive trainees, William and Catherine are now being directed to other countries and cultures, outside the Commonwealth. France and Belgium were a nice start. The China event is in England, which makes it manageable, and gets them to a major university as well. And then there is Malta, a step forward for Kate. This is clearly an organized plan, and it allows for the family building and family appearances which are also monarchy maintenance.

      The Queen is an extremely organized and experienced CEO. Kate herself has been described as very organized in her approach to home renovation, and obviously she is in her wardrobe management. Prince George is being raised in an organized way, with more nanny time as he grows and with his public appearances carefully spaced (and a few quick glimpses to keep us posted about his progress).

      The schedule also allows Prince William and Prince Harry to continue their chosen careers for now. If one looks at the whole picture, as you have, the patterns are very clear and very much have the fingerprints of the Queen on them. I expect there has also been considerable input from Prince Charles and probably Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. We know Prince William has had some training to be Prince of Wales, and I suspect there is preparation somewhere in his schedule for the constitutional duties of the head of state.

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    20. Moxie, recently I used the example of a law firm and made a similar observation regarding the junior partner's wife. We do agree on that. :)

      I honestly believe the current strategy has Charles' finger prints all over it. If he resented Diana's popularity at a time when he was married to her and was in a position to reap the benefits, then surely he would feel threatened by a similar distraction (in the form of W&K) now that he must remain focused on Camilla being the next Queen. Instead of looking at it from the point of view that William is running away from royal duties, perhaps we should consider that he may be running *towards* something he does have control over. It is not unheard of for a younger generation to be frustrated with the older one if they are running a family business, for example, and the younger set believes there is room for improvement, yet the older generation is unwilling to go along.

      The Queen's popularity and reputation is based on her selfless commitment to duty over the years. Charles, on the other hand, will be in a tricky position when he becomes king. He has worked hard and made significant contributions as PoW; I don't deny that. But he is at a deficit when it comes to the selfless duty column. I would even go so far as to say that he gambled with the stability of the monarchy in his pursuit of a personal agenda.

      It is likely that Charles will not land the "top job" until he is over 70. At that time, those closer to his age will remember the past (all chapters of it) and potentially hold it against him and Camilla. The younger people may not remember it, but the downside is that C&C will not be as relevant to them because of the age factor. As much as C&C try to be warm and fuzzy, they have an Edwardian façade that they cannot escape. And what Charles does not appreciate is that the more he distances himself and Camilla from the younger generation, the more obvious this becomes.

      Times have changed. The Queen repeatedly put duty ahead of her family during her reign (and her generation did not hold it against her). When it is W&K's turn, perhaps they will be respected for putting their family first at a time when it was possible for them to do so (while two older generations remain in full control of the family firm).

      Your thoughts...?? :)

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    21. bluhare I totally agree with you. Moxie like's to stir the pot here. And she has some sidekicks that follow her every poke.

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    22. Thank you, Florence.

      Nothing against Harry's skills or input, but in no way does he have the same weight on his shoulders that William does. And it became even lighter after George's birth.

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    23. Hmmm. . .

      http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000DyuXcvo5JS4/s/600/600/Prince-Charles-rides-an-electric-bicycle-8204.jpg

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    24. Anon 00:52 I think Moxie least qualifies as having "sidekicks". I've seen the same posters both agree and disagree with her comments, and bluhare and I are perfect examples. What *is* consistent is your own blanket statements when you dismiss a whole group of people with whom you disagree.

      Delete
  21. I only knew the name of the Catherine Walker coat, because I read recently that is was also one of Diana's favorite brands. But I was shocked about how much of the Simpsons' dresses/outfits I reckonized, I am too much of a Kate follower definitely. But I must be talking to the wrong persons here :)

    Anyhow, Kate is such a good ambassador for British fashion! These styles and labels I will remember 'till the day I can actually afford them :)

    Thanks Charlotte for the post, look forward to monday!

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  22. hi charlotte i do love the simpson when i was a kid and as of now i love that marge could possibly play be the duchess cambridge and i do like the fact that the artist love recreating fashion icons could bring to life charlotte what will be doing in sept 8

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  23. Dickson Poon? I'd love to work there for a day just so I could sing out the name every time I answered the phone.

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    Replies
    1. Amy, Detroit Michigan28 August 2014 at 18:48

      OMG! hahahahaha

      Dickson Poon, how may we help you?

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  24. 4 out of 5! could not remember the orange coat :)

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  25. Marion from Germany28 August 2014 at 15:13

    I have never been a regular Simpsons-watcher, but I like the characters. The Simpsonized Kate is so cute and funny.

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  26. Post updated with details on Kate's purchases at Harvey Nichols :)

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    Replies
    1. Still not convinced! :-) But Cheers to the billionaire makers of the product and the billionaire owned stores that sell them!

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  27. Jessica in Texas29 August 2014 at 04:17

    I wonder, this product is likely to sell out now... does the Duchess use this product regularly or is she trying it out?

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    Replies
    1. I really don't thin k anyone really know's.

      Delete
  28. Kate seems to have visited Bicester Village on August 10, and Harvey Nichols earlier this week. If she and William had no engagements between these two shopping trips, they had two weeks when they could have spent some time at Balmoral.

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  29. Eve from Germany29 August 2014 at 08:00

    Well, I don´t know whether the Duchess was advised well on that purchase. The product is for ladies in or after MENOPAUSE when your skin becomes thinner and less luminous due to hormonal changes. Not really for her yet, I think. The "right" product for women over 30 would have been either "eye contour balm"(fine lines) or "eye contour gel" (puffiness). The "problem" is those two cost about half as the product she apparently bought. So less comission for the sales woman on the counter......

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden29 August 2014 at 16:41

      That's weird. (I know nothing about this stuff!!). Maybe she bought it for her mum when she already was out shopping she made time to buy it for her mother. Or, because she has a tendency to get a little puffy around her eyes she might believe (whether true or not) that she needs it.

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    2. Awww I love learning of Kate purchases! I understand your confusion Eve. I think it could be one of two things... Kate could possibly have some more skin damage than we realize, due to professional makeup she wears.
      As her eye shape and the skin around them is different from pre-marriage, I do believe she has had some work done around her eyes - but maybe she is looking for a better solution? She did party a lot when she was younger (no shade! I did too) so maybe she is looking for something stronger to correct the toll of that.

      A second option? She is picking something up not for herself, but for her mum :)

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    3. Now do we really know what Catherine bought?? And how do we know what type of skin Catherine has. All you are doing is guessing just like everyone else.

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    4. Charlotte got information on what she bought, Anonymous. Are you doubting her veracity?

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    5. bluhare I was responding to Eve from Germany. And I was not doubting Charlotte.

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  30. Someone asked earlier about school start dates in the USA. This info is for schools for kids between 5 and 17. Grade school through High school. It was stated that private schools often start in late August. Both public, schools in America which are free for anyone to attend, provided by the National and State governments, and Private where the parents pay for their child to attend. Both types of school have a variety of starting dates. Many mid west public schools start in the latter part of August. So it just depends where you live and what type of school. In general many school start the last week of August or the first week of September.

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    1. Valerie in Arizona30 August 2014 at 05:31

      Here in Arizona we started on August 4th. It is still HOT here and the monsoons make it interesting when they hit at the same time as school is letting out :)

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    2. Jennifer from Wisconsin30 August 2014 at 05:55

      Hi Anonymous,
      I have lived in seven states and have run into Florida schools that start in August that are public, but never in Wisconsin or Michigan (as of 2006 but listed differently in the article below. Amy! Can you help?) since it is actually illegal for public schools to start in August, In Chicago, this year, they start on the 2nd but the laws changed last year and the state varies. In Indiana, it is possible to actually start in late July (ugh). I hope that is for year round school and just on break! Minnesota and Iowa are interesting- see link below. I was speaking for just what I see in Wisconsin, but perhaps this information helps to specify more clearly the public school starting dates. Since you separated Midwest to mid west, I am not sure where you are from? What is it like where you are? I hope Charlotte does not mind the tangent as I more fully answer Simone's question. http://www.startribune.com/local/187687331.html

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  31. Royalty Europe on instagram has some cute pictures of George WALKING thorugh Kensington gardens with his nanny :) http://instagram.com/p/sRgbQViKVL/?modal=true

    I love to read things about Kate shopping in "normal" shops like everyone else! It's great to see that she can still do it without thousands of paparazzi around her!

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    1. Sarah in Minneapolis29 August 2014 at 17:24

      Anon- Thanks for the photo of George. He's grown so much since his birthday photo! This was taken 9 hours ago so perhaps Kate is also in London.

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    2. Yes, thank you for sharing! :)) It looks like George is looking and pointing at the photographer.

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    3. Neat find! The first thing that struck me was how he seams to be looking more like William did at this age!!

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  32. The pictures look more like Nanny than like George. He must have been in the sun a lot for his hair to be that light, and maybe he's had a bit of a trim and styling. He looks slimmer, too. Wet weather? They were bundled up and in boots. Perhaps there are fewer people about in gloomy weather, and they are less apt to be bothered. But someone was there with a camera or phone.

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  33. IMO those pictures may be a slightly blurry but the kid in them looks nothing like George. Children can get slimmer but his face shape looks completely different and the child looks much younger in the face than George does. They are also up on another Kate fan site called from Berkshire to Buckingham but the owner of the blog made no citations as to where the pictures originated from, there are no distinct background markers to confirm that they are in KP gardens, and these pictures also haven't appeared in any major news publications. The nanny does look to be Maria, but the kid could very well be from when she was a nanny to someone else.

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    Replies
    1. You could be right! That child certainly doesn't look like George's birthday picture.

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