Monday, 22 September 2014

William Wraps Up Successful Malta Visit & Exclusive Claudia Bradby 20% Discount for Readers

Prince William wrapped up his brief but highly successful Malta visit yesterday with a series of interesting engagements and great quotes. The day began with an Independence Day service at St. John's Cathedral in Valletta.


As the itinerary was planned with art history graduate Kate in mind the visit included a viewing of some of the works of Caravaggio - the artist Michelangelo Merisi, born in the town of Caravaggio.


The artist was the first great representative of the Baroque movement. It was something the Duchess was said to be immensely looking forward to, but no doubt she'll have the opportunity to see them again.

Wikipedia
Afterwards, His Royal Highness visited the Agenzija Zghazagh (Agency for Youth), a government agency which runs a number of initiatives for young people. Supporting young people is one of the primary goals of William, Kate and Harry's foundation and incorporating that in overseas visits has been important to them.


As he spotted a group of teenagers huddling over the table football he couldn't resist joining them.


The Prince chatted with child care student Janet Desira, 17, about George and exams. More from the royals' official website:

'His Royal Highness joked: "You can come and babysit for me", and he held out his arm to show how high George stands, adding "He's very busy, they're very hectic at that age".
 Janet told him why she had chosen child care, and His Royal Highness asked: "Are there lots of exams, are you good at exams? I'm so-so". And then, referring to his upcoming helicopter studies for his air ambulance job, said: "I've got to do 14 exams by Christmas".

Next, William headed out to enjoy some sunshine at the main square in Birgu, a town across the harbour from the capital Valletta. There, he went on a walkabout during which he revealed Kate was "feeling a little better" and said he's been keeping her updated and sending her good wishes.



This is a simply adorable photo!


William then enjoyed a scenic tour across the Grand Harbour. Interestingly, the small craft St Angelo he travelled in, was also used by the Queen in 1949 when she took in the same tour. Little details like this demonstrate the level of thought that goes into these visits.


It is stunning visually.


Kate's right-hand woman, Rebecca Deacon, accompanied William on the boat tour and throughout the day. Below we see her wearing her very popular Somerset by Temperley dress.


It was a hugely successful visit for William and he appeared to thoroughly enjoy it. When will the royals return to the Queen's beloved Malta? Reports are surfacing claiming plans are underway for a historic trip including all four heirs next year. More from the Mail Online:

'The Queen is planning to make a major foreign visit to Malta next year - and bring her three heirs, including toddler Prince George, with her, it can be revealed. The historic family trip is being mooted for next November when the sovereign, who will be 89, attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting for the first time since 2011.

This certainly looks like a very interesting date on the royal calendar, if it goes ahead.

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

Our next topic should prove a special treat for the jewellery fans among you. Our friends at Claudia Bradby Jewellery have kindly offered an exclusive 20% discount for blog readers:

20% discount with the code HRH20. The code is valid until Midnight on Wednesday UK time.

As royal fans know, when Kate was working as an accessories buyer for Junior Jigsaw, Claudia's designs caught her eye and she approached the jewellery designer which led to a collaboration resulting in the design of beautiful pieces, including the £66 Kate Silver and Rose Quartz Earrings - featuring silver and rose quartz charms - and the £60 Kate Rose Quartz and Silver Necklace. Both of these items look particularly striking worn together.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Claudia thoroughly enjoyed working with Kate:

'Her vision was quite simple and classic. She was so straightforward, warm and bright that I remember thinking William was lucky to be going out with her.'

Kate wearing a piece she designed with Claudia - the striking Camellia Necklace.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Claudia is renowned for creating timeless and elegant pieces, specialising in pearl jewellery. Her designs extend far beyond pearls, and in recent collections we've seen her vision in new and exciting pieces. For Autumn/Winter 2014, Claudia's new collection of silver and semi-precious stones offers the ultimate in everyday glamour. From the beautiful Eclipse Collection we see the Double Eclipse Silver Earrings and the Eclipse Silver Bracelet.

Claudia Bradby

The lean and contemporary Eclipse Silver Necklace and Eclipse Silver Hoop Earrings are excellent transitional pieces, taking you from day to night.

Claudia Bradby
The Winter Wonderland Collection features exquisite hand-cut grey moonstone, lustrous freshwater pearls and textured silver hoops.

Claudia Bradby

With the festive season just around the corner (yes, it's almost that time of year again) Claudia has launched her first ever gift set - a fail safe for Christmas Day.

Claudia Bradby

The £75 set is presented in a monogrammed gift box and includes a pair of pearl button studs complemented by a pretty pearl necklace.

Claudia Bradby

New Season Pearls offer classic and hand picked molten pearls, perfect for layering and wearing with other pieces in your collection to add an individual twist.

Claudia Bradby

 The Bella Heart Charm necklace is a real treat and perfect for women of all ages. It's particularly eye-catching when worn with the matching earrings.

Claudia Bradby

To mark the birth of Prince George, Claudia designed two commemorative pieces: the Acorn Pearl Necklace - inspired by the Middleton family crest - and The Heritage Charm Bracelet. Both are wonderful gifts for new mothers and of course royalists!

Claudia Bradby

As the Duchess often demonstrates, a pair of trusty pearl earrings are the ultimate accessory to polish off any look. Claudia has a multitude of these to suit every taste. Below we see the Couture Pearl Stud Earrings, Alexandra Pearl Drop Earrings and the Baroque Pearl Earrings.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Hollywood leading lady (we know her better as The Queen) Dame Helen Mirren is a huge fan of Claudia's pieces and was recently photographed wearing her Constantine Earrings.

Claudia Bradby Jewellery

Looking at the beautiful pearls reminded me of Downton Abbey, which returned to our screens last night. William and Kate are said to be huge fans of the show.

ITV

A reminder: the discount code is HRH20 and is valid until midnight on Wednesday. With thanks to Claudia Bradby Jewellery for sharing this discount :)

188 comments:

  1. What a great little tour this seems to have been. So happy that it went so well. You usually kind of see that the tours are planned around the people in mind. But when that person is exchanged, you can REALLY see it. Couldn't help to giggle that William was viewing art... Somehow does not seem to be his cup of tea. But he acted amicably, as always.

    Good to hear he's been able to keep in touch with Kate, and that she is continuing to feel better. He must be so worried. Hope she got to curl up and watch some Downton yesterday!

    I am not at all surprised that George can be hectic. Not at all! :P Hope the next one might be a little easier ;) Or maybe not! :)

    I love many of the pictures from this weekend. I love his dorky dances when he wins! I wonder if it was William that influenced Kate or vice versa with those victory dances! And that picture with the boy. ADORABLE!!! :D

    I like that it was the same boat. And I have to add. He looks goooood in that unbuttoned shirt and shades. (As long as you don't have to see those dreadful pants...)

    I really hope that rumour is true. Would be an amazing trip with Elizabeth and her heirs. I wonder if they plan to bring the spouses? Or if Philip, Camilla, Kate (& the new baby) stay back in Britain.

    PS. Those who was part of the little discussion on the Swedish royal family in the last post. I posted a response comparing British and Swedish royal pomp and pageantry (With some pictures) just as this post came up. So I thought I would shout out a little here in case you missed it.

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    1. Yes, it certainly does look like it was a very successful tour. Good for William! :)

      It would be wonderful if it's true that HM will travel to Malta with her heirs, but it almost seems to good to be true. Princess Beatrix did this when she was Queen and I so admired the way the family interacted and how proud the Queen was of her son and daughter-in-law.

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    2. The Swedish and Danish RF's are great when it comes to pomp and pageantry. The do more formal tiara events than the BRF.
      Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is an artist and has designed costumes for the Royal Ballet on several occassions so she definitely knows the value of the spectacle of pomp and circumstance. Her fashion choices also have a certain theatrical flair. It is always fun to watch the Nobel Banquet in Sweden and the New Year's Gala in Denmark for gorgeous ball gowns and royal bling.

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    3. Hello Art Historian,

      Welcome to the blog. Looking forward to reading your comments :)

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    4. Thanks!
      I must admit that William and Kate don't interest me nearly as much as the other European royals, but when I saw people discussing CP Victoria I through that this might still be a place for me.

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    5. I think you will like it here. Ofc it is alot about Kate here. (Duuh!) But we are good at getting a little of topic here. And those topics sometimes contain other royals, British history, titles, succession, royal jewels, tiaras and much more. Charlotte is very good at incorporating information in her posts. So you will have opportunity to discuss old buildings, clothing history (and styles, designs) and alot about the engagements and the organisations involved. And since Kate studied art history in collage they incorporate art in her engagements. She is a patron of the Natural History Museum and Natural Art Gallery (getting a little unsure of the names now....) and of a childrens charity that uses art therapy. So I think you can find some stuff here.

      Charlotte also has another blog that (when she has time) focuses on different royals. The royal digest. You can find a link to it to the right on this blog!

      Welcome! I will really appreciate your expertise since I know almost nothing about it!

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    6. Good to hear. I'm into jewellery design in a big way. I tried to post a comment on the pieces featured in the blog post as well as some links with examples of the kind of design I find interesting, but the post didn't get published for some reason. I posted linkes to a few jewellers' web sites though, which I guess can be seen as spamming. I am a little unsure on the comment policy here. I like to post links to pictures when discussing art, jewels, etc. Hope that is ok here.

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    7. You can post pictures I think. (Not to been seen in the comment field but as links. As I did in the last post). But sometimes messages have a tendency to just disappear or turn up under the wrong comment etc. Not something Charlotte does. Just bugs. But if you are unsure I hope that you could mail Charlotte and ask if the message was declined or if it just didn't get through.

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    8. Thanks Rebecca.
      I'll try to post my thoughts on the jewellery (and what I like) tomorrow and see what happens. Because I would love to hear what people here think of some of more more interesting choices.

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    9. Hi AH, you can post links, but I don't think you can post photos. Charlotte's got some a tight licensing agreement I think. I know I've tried to before and it doesn't work.

      On Sunday night, PBS had a show called Royal Paint Box, hosted by Prince Charles about artists in the British royal family. I found it really interesting, and was very pleasantly surprised at the level of talent some had. George III, for example. Amazing architectural drawings, and Queen Alexandra had this tiny water colour book with it's own tiny paint box on the side. Loved it!

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    10. Hello everyone!

      Blogger often places comments with links in the spam folder, an issue that has thankfully been greatly improved lately, however it still happens from time to time. All links are very welcome. It's great to see such interesting discussion here again :)

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    11. bluhare, I haven't seen that but looking forward to it. How did I miss it ? Your out West right? I would have thought we were somewhat on the same PBS schedule. Darn

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    12. bluehare,
      That program sounds interesting. I didn't know that they had been members of the BRF that had artistic aspirations.
      There have been several artists in the Scandinavian RFs though. Princess Marie of Orleans, married to Prince Valdemar of Denmark (son of Christian IX) had a big interest in art and painted herself - though the art establishment didn't think much of her work, but in this context the fact that she was royal and a woman worked against her. (Women artists didn't have an easy time getting recognized as artists during this period). She was also a very excentric and popular personality. She was passionate about social equality, she took a keen interesting in fire fighting and would often help out the fire brigade in person when there was a fire. They made her an honorary fire major and gave her a special uniform. She also had a tattoo on her forearm. I have also seen a photo of her riding a bull! Unlike the rest of the DRF she was also politically active.

      Another royal artist was Prince Eugen of Sweden, son of Oscar II. He studied with well-respected artists such as Pierre Bonnat and Puvis de Chavannes in France. He is probably the only royal artist who has received whole-hearted acclaim as an art professional - there was a retrospective exhibition in Sweden some years ago and some of his paintings have been included in large, international exhibitions of 19th century scandinavian art.

      Queen Margrethe II is also an artist, both in painting and theatrical design. She has designed costumes for several ballets at the Danish Royal Ballet and her paintings have been exhibited at several Danish museums, though the latter caused a great deal of debate amongst art professionals. She has also translated books and illustrated an edition of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings under the pseudonym Ingahild Grathmer - her sons have said that she used to read LotR to them as bedtime stories when they were children.
      Her husband, the Princce Consort Henrik, is also a poet and has had his work published.

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    13. Yes, I'm on the west coast, Sarah. It was on this past Sunday at 7pm. I would have missed it too, but my mother was surfing channels and called me to tell me it was on and she thought I might enjoy it. And I did.

      Check your On Demand programming if you have it. Lots of times PBS specials are available under their channel. I just went to youtube, and they only have the trailer, not the entire film.

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    14. Wow, Princess Marie sounds bad-ass! Cool!!

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    15. She sure does. She would definitely get a seat at my imaginary royal dinner party!

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    16. Oh, I'd like sitting in a corner observing that dinner party!! :D

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    17. My imaginary royal dinner party would also include Queen Daisy and her husband Henri, Queen Maxima, King Felipe (because he gorgeous) as well as the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent because I have the sneaking suspicion that those two are excellent company. She writes historical fiction and I saw him in a documentary on Faberge, which he knows a lot about. I think he would be an aboslute charming dinner companion. So would the late shipping magnet Maersk McKinney Møller, who, I've been, told was a charming conversationalist and a true old-school gentleman, who would always send the woman he sat next to at a dinner flowers the day after as well as a hand-written letter thanking her for their lovely conversation. They don't really make them like that any more.

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    18. bluhare, will check it out. Thank you :)

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    19. ArtHistorian, I have a special request regarding your imaginary royal dinner party...

      May I sit in between Prince Michael and Crown Prince Haakon? I realize you did not mention CPH, but you did make a reference to "gorgeous" and surely he qualifies...? :)

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    20. CP Haakon definitely qualify. I have no idea of what his personality is like, but he's pure eye-candy. (And that should be the end of my shallowness for today).

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    21. I have decided to add couple of extra guests to my imaginary royal dinner party: Charles II because he appeared to be a charming an edcuated man, and I suspect that he was a great flirt. He also had a very dramatic and adventurous life. Prince Harry because he seems charming and fun, and I quite like gingers. CP Mary because she is always so elegant, and Sheika Mozah of Quatar. She's not only fiercely elegant but she's also works very hard for women's rights, in terms of eductation, and safety from abuse.

      I find Elizabeth I to be one of the most fascinating monarchs of all time. She was extremely well educated and a canny politician as well. However, I suspect that she would be a quite intimidating presence since she really didn't like if she wasn't the centre of attention.

      Eleanor of Acquitaine was another fascinating Queen. A strong woman with a very dramatic life.

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  2. Those are some beautiful jewellery! I especially love the acorn necklace.

    Re the plans that the Queen is visiting Malta next year and bringing her three heirs, it's all rumours. I read that on twitter this evening. Also, I had once read somewhere, that the Queen is not travelling to foreign countries anymore and infact, she sent Charles as her representative at the last CHOGM in Sri Lanka.

    But well, we still can hope to have the Cambridges over at least, anytime they wish!

    www.whimsical-truth.blogspot.com

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  3. Looks as though William did a stellar job. Rebecca Deacon always looks a bit unprofessional to me? Perhaps I am giving more weight to her job than it warrants? Thoughts?
    Ali

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    1. Even i noticed her hemlines go higher esp in the boat pic, shes usually never like that aroud Kate

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    2. Ohhh, Ali, I have been biting my tongue...I really have. But (yes, I said but...lol) if another young woman was sitting with her dress up that high we'd be up to four "loads" in the comments section. And I observed this more than once. I'm no prude and I don't think it's horrible, but it did stand out to me in comparison to other women there, especially since her role is to blend into the background.

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    3. I observed her dress is necessarily pulled up exposing too much personal. This, while traveling with the husband of her boss.

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    4. Rebecca looks very warm and uncomfortable. Think how Kate would have felt! Rebecca must have been almost as disappointed as Kate with the change in plans, and I think the disappointment is visible along with the discomfort. Her dresses on this trip are a bit short when she sits. But usually I think she looks nice.

      William spent his first year at university studying art history, before switching to geography. And of course he has been surrounded by the royal art collection all of his life. But I suspect he enjoyed playing with the teenagers more than looking at the gloomy Caravaggios!

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    5. Tell me you guys aren't implying what I hope you aren't implying.

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    6. No implying on my part, bluhare. Not at all. But please tell me that Kate would not have been criticized if her hemline was that far from her knees when she was seated (and it was more than one photo in Malta). Go on, tell me... :)

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    7. Ohhhhh YES!

      I meant to say something about Rebecca's inappropriateness, but hoped I was the only one thinking it was distasteful and especially sly next to William and without Kate around.
      And I'm not implying - I'm observing an attitude.

      Camilla

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    8. I'm kind of with you guys. And what you guys are implying, I highly (and hopefully) doubt. But in any case it is kind of stupid to even fuel or give media something to work with.

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    9. Yes, Kate would have been criticized royalfan. She's the star of the show and expected to provide an example. I don't care what Rebecca's wearing and she *is* sitting in a boat. But I agree the dress could have been longer. It was the other implications I was hoping weren't really being implied. The woman has a man of her own! And hopefully wouldn't go trolling for another while very publicly at work.

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    10. bluhare, my observation wasn't limited to the photo of her in the boat. Go back to the last post where she is sitting behind William. That was my first, "okay...not an ideal choice on her part" moment.

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    11. oes. I don'r know why everyone thinhks she is go great. Wearing dresses to short when she is with Prince William on a very important engagement. Very tacky IMO.

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    12. Hey all,

      I agree that Rebecca does need to watch her professional dress when on engagements of course. And certainly Kate has been criticized for this as well. For me, the only difference, and it is a big one, is that Kate (and other royals) are national representatives. Rebecca is her advisor, and it ultimately does not matter how she dresses as she is not representing a nation - but certainly professional dress at work is expected.

      Anon 19:12 I think "everyone thinks she is so great" because she is hardworking and it shows - such a quality is held in great value to some people.

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    13. Saw the dress , it is cute and probably she wore it due to the temperature outside, not really thinking about when she sat down. Oh well, lesson learned.

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  4. Stop the Press! William changed his tie from blue to red! Ha ha ha. I really enjoyed your coverage of his trip to Malta and the pictures you included are wonderful. Thank you, Charlotte, for this extra effort.

    In regards to Rebecca Deacon not looking professional, she looks hot and a bit tired and of course it was a humid day with the wind blowing her hair about on the water, so she couldn't have looked her best. Her dress is pretty, but it looks like that fine silk has wilted a bit. I don't know--some women seem to have the knack of always looking cool and comfortable no matter what. Like Her Majesty. And some women do not have that talent. Like Rebecca. Life is not fair, is it?

    Meanwhile, the jewelry is pretty, but not to my taste. It looks good on the Duchess and others though.

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    1. Ok, but you don't keep your skirt so up your thighs!

      Camilla

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    2. Anonymous @23 September 2014 12:19,
      True! especially when it is not an A line or similar cut. Her dress looks loose enough to easily cover her thighs. It seems as if she has pulled it up or is unaware/unprofessional enough not to know. She also looks contemplative. Men are widely known of their cheating history takes place during their wives pregnancy. Regardless, she needs some awareness, discretion and prevent temptation of the male's blind spot especially when the wife is not near by.

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    3. Okey, now we're getting into "men can't help themself" territory, and that I can't handle. She should be able to stand naked and that is not a reason for him to act! Yes, that dress might be a little high for the image she is supposed to be sending out. And yes, she might not have been aware or she might have been very aware. An yes, that is something she should try not having to happen etc. If just for the reason that the press don't get something. But she in no way is obliged to "prevent temptation of the male's blind spot". With or without a wife nearby. Ugh...

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    4. Anon 14:54 I agree with you. Royal men have a history of cheating on their wives but I can't say if it when they are pregnant. William & Rebecca have a history of working together so I "wonder" if at any time in the past if it was something more. And then he got engaged to Kate and wanted Rebecca to be her right hand lady. William was known to cheat on Kate while they were dating but can't say if he continued when they got engaged. This way Rebecca is close.
      Now please don't think I am applying anything here, I am just looking at the facts and history between these two.m And no I am not trying to start anything.

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    5. I'm finding this conversation about Rebecca both in poor taste and unwise. We have absolutely no evidence that she was not simply uncomfortable in the Malta weather, and perhaps tired as well!

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    6. I can't even... this is without a doubt the most off-base string of comments I've ever read on this blog. Can we not create a sordid story where there is none? We finally have a marriage in the public eye that seems sincere and strong. Please don't drag this one into the dirt unnecessarily. Especially since once rumors (emphasis on the word 'rumors') are out, you will all stand back and say you so hoped it was true love. This is the type of inappropriate speculation that could tear down even the strongest of people.

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    7. I'm sort of with 22.02 also. Even though I agree that the skirts were a little to short and that it is an unecissary risk I really don't like people putting her in a position as a "teaser". And saying William was cheating. He might have been. What do I know. But my point is that none of us can know, and it is mean to speculate. And have someone else noticed that we usually only point out Rebecca when she's extra pretty. But now when we don't have Kate to pick on we go straight to Rebecca.... Sad really....

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    8. Rebecca - Sweden23 September 2014 22:14
      "But she in no way is obliged to "prevent temptation of the male's blind spot". With or without a wife nearby. Your comment...end. In a perfect world and in theory you are right.

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    9. Rebecca and Anon 22:11, I would agree that this has gone off on a tangent, and one that was never intended in the original comments here. The discussion went from commenting on the professional wardrobe of an employee of the royal family to motivation and "other" speculation.

      If someone had mentioned that Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton wore a particularly sharp looking suit, for example, I have a strong feeling that we would not delve into his motivation for doing so, and it shouldn't have happened here.

      Btw, Anon 22:11, I gather that you have been following the blog. :) There was a recent post here about Rebecca that you may have read. But go back a few weeks for some seriously unrelated commentary. :)

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    10. anon from Leominster24 September 2014 at 11:31

      I think Rebecca was hot, not trying to look hot. If the dress was silk, it may have been sticking to her legs so she pushed it up. (Why cotton is a good choice.) But it looked messy and is a lesson that, male or female, when you work for royals, the camera may be on you at all times.

      It was a wonderful and successful tour for William and apparently has given Malta tourism a big boost- not that it really needed it. It will be fabulous if the trio of heirs do gather on Malta next year.

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    11. I'm a bit in shock to come back two days later and see what my seemingly innocent comment spawned. I absolutely and strongly disagree with those who have started and fueled such silly speculation. What has come over you? Can't you see in thousands of photographs the body language of William and Catherine is that of a couple incredibly in love? Let's simply celebrate that, shall we? I mean no disrespect to those who have amazing imaginations, but surely we can put them to better use than this. Rebecca Deacon as well as William and Catherine deserve much more respect, to my way of thinking.

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    12. (Sorry for the rant I wrote above. Really, please excuse that; I should have thought more and not put it on here!) I really want to say that I agree with anon from Leominster that cotton works MUCH better in hot climates than any designer dress fabrics. That day would have been a perfect one for Rebecca Deacon to have chosen a cool cotton slacks outfit, something very professional looking but chic. Aside from that, kudos to her for all her work on the tour and for her attention to details and so forth. I'm sure she was invaluable to William--and her professionalism cannot be doubted.

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    13. I agree with your rant! No need to apologize.

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    14. I'm thinking she sat down and the dress went a little higher than she expected but oh she probably forgot that the camera lens could go .......how many miles? Such a pain in the Arse

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  5. Well done William :) it looked like a delightful visit for William and his Hosts. I'm afraid Kate missed out on the art but , am sure William thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw pictures of St. John's Cathedral. Wow, simply gorgeous. Malta looks so relaxing and the people so engaging.
    The jewelry is lovely! Looking forward to Downtown Abbey here is the states.
    Hope all is going well with your studies Charlotte!!

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  6. Caravaggio is one of the masters of the Italian baroque, especially the realist trend. He's famous for his higly dramatic narrative paintings and his bold use of clair-obscur - the contrast between light and darkness. He also led a very scandalous life of sexual debauchery, violence and murder. If any of you ever find yourself in front of a Carravaggio, look for the dirty feet! It was a kind of signature for him to include a person with dirt foot soles in his Biblical paintings - though people was greatly offended by this.

    It is a boon for the museum in Malta that they have a Caravaggio, though it is one of his more lacklustre efforts.

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    1. If this is snobbish knowledge, AH, keep at it. I had no idea about the dirty feet! I'm almost afraid to ask what it means. :)

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    2. I was curious too, bluhare and I had to look it up. :)

      I hope AH expands on it, but from what I found, it had to do with the Catholic church. Apparently, the dirty bottoms of someone’s feet were seen as "unsuitable content" in a painting.

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    3. It is a detail that points to the realism of Caravaggio's style - when people walk barefoot, they get dirty feet! Why many people at the time didn't like it had to do with the Biblical subjects of many of his paintings and the genre he worked in. This kind of painting is called history painting and was seen as the highest achievement in art because it was difficult but also because it featured subjects that were seen as noble and elevating. That might not be the case in relation to this particular subject since the beheading of John the Baptist was demanded by Salome because he critizied her. Then again, he was also seen as a martyr for his faith and as a prefiguration of the sacrifice of Christ.

      I don't think that the title of the painting was included in the blog post, but if a decapitated head is pictured on a plate or tray it is (almost) always a depiction of the death of John the Baptist. All of the biblical subjects had their own specific iconography, which means that they were always depicted in certain was and with certain symbols.

      The dirty feet is also a bit of signature for him.

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    4. Charlotte wrote a little about the artist and painting(s) when she went through Kates itinerary for the Malta tour: http://hrhduchesskate.blogspot.se/2014/08/kates-malta-tour-ten-engagements-all.html

      Might be of interest :D

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    5. Very interesting... Thank you for expanding on that, AH. :)

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    6. So to truly simplify it, ArtHistorian, dirty feet were seen as a very common touch that was not appreciated, and perhaps the artist took great pleasure in doing exactly as he pleased with that in mind.

      How I wish dirty feet were the most offensive image for us to deal with in 2014. :))

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    7. Malta actually has two Caravaggios. But the most notable one is the the altar piece for the Knights of St John, the beheading of St. John the Baptist. It is Caravaggio's largest and one of his most famous paintings. Simon Schama devotes a good deal of attention to it in his history of art series for the BBC.

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    8. ArtHistorian - I was interested in your comment about biblical iconography and I wondered if you had any resources that discussed WHO developed the symbolism - meaning was it controlled by the Catholic Church, Ruling Monarchs, or some other power structure? I am interesting in finding out the origin, if known, and the perpetuation of the symbols. It's fascinating that the same theme is portrayed consistently, such as John the Baptists head on a platter, albeit with different styles throughout the ages. Where does the idea originate? I would love to read up more on the topic.

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    9. Maryland Moxie,
      Beware, you might set me off on a long spiel.
      A great deal of the Biblical symbolism comes from the Bible - the stories in it. Remember that Salome demanded John the Baptist's head on a platter. Jael killed Sisera with a nail to his head, etc. However, a lot of the Christian symbology is also gleaned from theology. The Virgin Mary was confirmed as Theotokos, which means Mother of God, and Queen of Heaven at the Church Council in Ephesos in 413 AD. In Christian, and especially Catholic art, she is always depicted in a blue cloak to symbolize her heavenly connection. However, the symbology of Mary has more complicated roots because a lot of her symbolic attributes have been borrowed from older Mother Goddesses. Several of the ancient goddesses had attributes of celestial cloaks, and so on. In fact, much of the marian symbology is borrowed from the Egyptian Goddess Isis. Isis was depicted with the Horus Child on her lap, just like Mary is with the Christ Child - and there are many other parallels. (Curiosly enough, there's actually a lot of marian symbology used in connection with Elizabeth I, both in some of her portraits but also in poems written in her praise - even though she was a Protestant monarch and not a Catholic one).

      It is very difficult, if not impossible, to determine exactly when the symbolism originated (since a lot of the early Christian art was destroyed during the byzantine Iconoclasm (which was a prohibition against religious images and the destruction of existing images during the 7th century). It is also impossible to determine who developed this because it is only in the late medieval period and early renaissance that we can put artist names on the paintings. (The practice of the artist signing his/her work is a fairly recent one).

      Also, symbols and their meanings tend to migrate and change over time, often because they are used in different ways - the use of the iconography of Isis in depictions of the Virgin Mary is a good example. It was a process that took centuries, that migrated from different parts of Europe and most people didn't know where the symbols originated, didn't know that they had pagan roots. And the early christian world was a melting pot of religions (in the Mediterranean), which is why we also find a lot of narrative similarities between the stories of ancient gods and goddesses and the christian narratives. Studying comparative religion and comparative mythology is just fascinating because you find a lot of similarities. Fx other, older, religions from the Mediterranean area also had myths of a Flood, just like the Bible. The earlist flood myth is from the Sumerian Culture (17th century BC).

      If you want to know more, I'll recommed Erwin Panofsky's "Studies in Iconology: Humanist Themes in the Art of the Renaissance" (1939). He was a very prominent art historian who defined iconography as the study of symbols in art, and he book is almost always on the curriculm in undergrad. art history studies.

      I would also recommend James Hall's "Hall's Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art" - it provided an introduction to the many different symbols and their meanings used in Western art.

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    10. royalfan,
      I'm not an expert on Caravaggio, but I definitely think that he liked to flip off the authorities. However, I don't think that it had occurred to anyone before to depict a person's dirty foot soles. It is such an idiosyncratic detail, but rooted in direct observation. I haven't read of any other artist doing this before Caravaggio. It think that he most likely included this detail as a sign of realism - and that people reacted strongly for two reasons: 1) it wasn't something they were used to see in a painting of an important subject (or in any painting for that matter) and 2) the biblical subject-matter was seen as elevated and ennobling and shouldn't be "dirtied" with something as prosaic and common as dirty feet.

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    11. anon from Leominster24 September 2014 at 11:45

      Don't claim to be any expert but the for paintings that would be seen the by the public, a common iconology helped when many would be illiterate. The inclusion of the platter for instance says it's John the Baptist, not Judith and Holofernes. All the saints had their attributes which made them easy to identify at a glance (back then, not always for us.) Often the symbolism was subtle. The Christ Child is often shown with a goldfinch and I wondered why - it seems goldfinches eat thistles, so it's a sign of the passion.

      Very interesting area and still used by the royal family today. I remember the queen wore the symbols of Trinidad on her gown when she visited. A friend of mine from Trinidad was thrilled. It turns out the symbols can be removed so the thrifty queen can use the gown again with different symbols for a visit to another country.

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    12. Anon from Leominster,
      Yes, a common iconography was definitely a help for the illiterate, and that was actually a question that was often debated in the Church many times because in theological terms images of Christ and the Saints posed a problem in terms of idolatry, which is forbidden in the 2. Commandment. That was one of the resons why religious images were outlawed in certain periods during the time of the Byzantine Empire where the Emperor and the clergy feared that people would worship the images, not without cause I might add. However, the Roman Church approached the issue in terms of literacy and the lack of it - so that images could tells the stories that the illitearte could read and thus lead them to God.
      The whole debate on icons and idolatry is very interesting and required a rather sophisticated theological solution.

      Furthermore, both Renaissance and Baroque symbolism is quite subtle and complex, often because certain symbols could have more than one meaning. Fx Queen Elizabeth I wore jewels in the shape of a Pelican (which symbolized Christian charity, the sacrifice of Christ and her role as a "mother" to her people), she also wore jewels in the shape of a phoenix (which symbolized dynastic continuity as well as the death and resurrection of Christ).

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    13. Great Conversation! Thanks for the resources.
      I'm going to rephrase and reframe something you both said - iconography did not "help the illiterate" - it WAS the mass communication form of an illiterate society that was used before written alphabet language replaced it. Not only is the subject matter of the painting telling you something - but who commissioned it, who paid for it, and where it was to shown are important considerations. We often focus on the subject, artist, artist technique and sometimes forget that there is INTENTION behind creating a piece in the first place. I am not sure I quite agree with the "...illliterate could read and thus lead them to God" theory. I might suggest a "put these bloody images in the view of the populace to remind them who is in charge" or "put these bloody images in view of the populace to create fear with the church to the rescue" theory. I'm pretty sure a severed head is a primitive and universal sign of fear and power that even the thickest among us can understand.

      Female iconography is a wonderful area of study - the appropriation of symbols from other cultures to create Mary's identity is fascinating. It helped populations transition more easily to the new culture being implemented. Could discuss it for a lifetime. :-)

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    14. Symbolism is really interesting. And how different we interpret things based on religion, where we come from or which generation we belong to. I remember we had a discussion on pink clothes on boys (when George wore those white and red striped dungarees that looked pink) and how pink used to be a boys colour because Jesus was depicted wearing red and pink is a variation on that. And that blue used to be a female colour because of the connection to virgin Mary.

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    15. ArtHistorian, yes, I really do believe it was intentional and, clearly, he enjoyed the response if it was his "signature."......which leads me to Moxie's contribution....I do agree with your reasoning. OMG....very much so. I could expand on that, but I do not want to offend anyone. :)

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    16. Maryland Moxie,
      The ideal of religious images leading the illiterate to God was actually formulated by the Pope in the early medieval age. That was the reason they used for allowing religious art. I don't have the specifics on hand as to which pope and which year, but that was the official reasoning of the Church. How the images actually affected their audience is a different matter. My own research is very much about how images tell stories and how people respond to them - it can be a very complicated matter, but I won't go into it here, because it really isn't the place.

      Images of demons and hellfire in churches (especially the murals in Danish country churches) certainly served as an illustration and reminder to the illiterate of what happended if you sinned - you went to Hell and got roasted and spitted by grinning devils. However, the whole idea of the image leading man to God is a very important theological point in Christianity (intensely belaboured in theological debates that at certain times led to physical destruction of images) - the reason for this was to allow the use of religious images without breaking the 2. Commandment. Sure, the Church has always dealt in power and in social control, but despite this, they did truely need and believed in a theology of the image, which was used as a tool of social control to a certain extent. So a calculated use of religious imagery did go hand in hand with a genuine belief in a theology of the image.
      One of the most recent religious schism in Europe also involved the use of religious images. During the Protestant Reformation, many religious images were destroyed by the reformers (especially the Calvinists) because they felt that religious images violated the 2. commandment.

      If you're interested in this subject I can recommend David Freedberg's book "The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response".

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    17. ArtHistorian, I've put it on the book list. Forecast is for a long and cold winter. I shall politely disagree that your research has no place here. What fascinating images Charlotte shares with us regarding a symbolic family in England.

      I agree the Church had (has) a genuine belief in their theology - just as every cult leader does. I've been fortunate to travel in both Catholic and Protestant circles and the Protestants I engaged with were eager to separate themselves from the fear-based tactics of the Catholic experience. I should clarify that these were grade school (K--8) environments run by each group. It extended beyond the use of a cross instead of a crucifix -into removing the constant threat of hell for sinning and violent imagery. Very interesting to see the different strategies employed to shepherd youth toward the same God.

      I'm guessing the Protestants destroying the Catholic images was a bit of Karma for the Catholics destruction of pagan images. :-)

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    18. Maryland Moxie,
      I think that you'll find Freedman's book interesting because he looks a the many different ways that images affect people and how some of the themes we've discussed have played out through history. What I find interesting in his book is that he also address individual vandalism on art works in our time, fx like people attacking Rembrandts in museums with knives or acid. He really looks at the many different facets of this subjects.

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  7. Kate has been spotted out and about. Does anyone know when these were taken? They are brand new posted, but I don't know if they were from tonight. They might be older? Keep your eyes open for more :)
    http://royaltyofftherecord.tumblr.com/page/2

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    1. Hello Stephanie,

      I understand these may be at least a couple of years old, I haven't seen a specific date yet.

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    2. As sick as William said she was I doubt very much if these were recent photos od Catherine. These look like old ones.

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    3. Thanks Charlotte! Yes it turns out it is not new :(

      Anon 19:08, I didn't get the impression Wills said she was that sick anymore? He said she was so-so, up and down and a little bit better. Her whole family left to go to a wedding out of country. These are signs she is doing well enough than before - hopefully she will be out and about soon :)

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    4. Michael Middleton was not at the wedding. He must have been near Kate in England.

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    5. Dear Anon, 02:58, all of Kate's immediate family were at the Gilke wedding in Italy. Mike, Carole, James and Donna Air, Pippa and Nico Jackson as well as Harry, Beatrice and Eugenie.

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    6. Can anyone provide a link to a photo from the wedding that includes Mr. Middleton?

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    7. Here is one:

      http://www.pinterest.com/pin/155092780893278252/

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  8. Oh I found this here, it is no newer than the 12th of September. Could be an old one from a polo match maybe? I am hoping to find more, I like her sweater!
    https://twitter.com/livelovelaughvr/status/510452085306195968

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  9. There only seems to be one picture, taken from the back, on the links. It could be anyone, anytime. Am I somehow missing other photos?

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  10. Do not know how to post to earlier comments...sorry. I commented on Rebecca earlier. I am not implying anything, just observing that her attire and general demeanor to me an MBA seems unprofessional. I am over forty so maybe out of the loop, but if you look at the males in assistant role to anyone look sharp, well groomed and more professional.Ali

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    1. Ditto, Ali. Observing...definitely not implying.

      By the way, to post to an earlier comment, click on the "reply" that is directly under the original comment in that section...in this case, your own. :)

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    2. But she's always looked a bit like she got dragged through a farmyard, in the sense of looking a bit rumpled. I always thought she was someone who doesn't really care about clothes and it shows. I've yelled when I've thought Kate's skirts are too short, and they were. But she is out representing the BRF and is subject to a higher standard than Rebecca is. I'd get Rebecca's wardrobe all worked out for her if she'd hire me. And I'd have her wear a pant suit or two. Or slacks and a jacket sometimes.

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    3. I agree that the look is not polished enough for Rebecca--which includes the lank hair. The dress is simply not to my taste as it's much too girlish for me. I wouldn't choose it for a girl of a suitable age, but that's just me.

      Transitioning from UK to Malta's climate may have been a challenge that didn't help; however, there are some frocks and fabrics which don't photograph well outside of a studio shoot where everything is pinned and controlled. This is one of them. I always consider that when I know I will be photographed. In this android device era, that is always. A summer weight sheath dress to the knee with a sleeve or light, unstructured jacket would have looked polished for Rebecca's position and flattered her more. And that can be achieved on even a small budget for clothes.

      Styling her hair in a sophisticated ponytail or chignon would also have helped. I don't understand why most young women do not cut and style their hair now-a-days. Most long hair blowouts stop looking great as soon as they leave the stylist's chair. Plus, that style as well as defaults to bed-head style ponytails don't flatter most women. They spend their prime looks-years looking less than amazing. Why?

      Alas, women have to work much harder than men to project an aura of in-charge competence together with a sense of femininity that is appropriate to the occasion. The lucky boys have only to change up a shirt or tie--which means they have NO excuse whatsoever for defaulting to dreadful jeans. More especially so when they have the means.

      William needs to check out The Sartorialist blog for ideas. http://www.thesartorialist.com/category/men/. That said (nudge-nudge, wink-wink), I thought the distinctive choices for ties, shoes and watch this trip worked admirably.

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    4. bluhare, I agree that fashion doesn't appear to be her priority. However, as an employee of the royal family, indirectly, she is representing them in these situations. In a situation like this, when she is seated behind William or Kate, part of her job is to blend into the background, which *would* be the case if we didn't see the thigh-factor. Again, I'm not implying anything here, but I am calling this one as I see it and it isn't the most professional look IMO.

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    5. I too thought her dresses were to short for this visit. I don't know maybe she was trying to impress William who knows..lol. And I am not implying anything either.
      I agree with bluhare she looks like she was dragged through the farmyard.

      Pam/Portland

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    6. philly, I do agree with you about long hair "styles". And *if* worn long, it does look better with some layering to give it shape, etc. Princess Mary is a perfect example. I consider her hair to be long, but it does have some shape to it, and the versatility it offers her is amazing!!

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    7. I think it was Rebecca's chance to get some sun before returning to a chilly British autumn. That doesn't make her skirt lengths especially appropriate, but it is a less sinister thought!

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    8. royalfan,
      CP Mary has beautiful hair! And a really good hairdresser - she looks so elegant with a chignon. Her hair dresser was actually one of the commentators on the Danish Tv broadcast of the Cambridge wedding.

      I think that Queen Silvia has beautiful hair as well. It is actually rather short but her hair dresser works with extension and/or extra hair for formal occassions. He/she ought to give master classes in tiara hair. Lol.

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    9. Oh, yes! Silvias tiara hair is (was) more like a work of art than a hairdo! Amazingly creative. Nothing I expect to see on any of the younger royals nowdays. Maaaaaaybe Maxima?

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    10. I adore Queen Maxima, but she needs a new hair stylist!

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    11. I think her hair seems kind of neutral. Not good, not bad. Just there. She, if anyone, could go GREAT places with her hair.

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  11. Thanks for the claudia bradby code Charlotte. I love her pearl earrings, so simple, and pretty for work!

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  12. Actually, Annibale Carracci is really considered the first great representative of the Baroque movement in art, though Caravaggio's influence was extremely significant.

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    1. Granted, and baroque traditions differ greatly in different countries. The French baroque, which was dominated by Poussin was much more restrained and classicist, while the Flemish artists like Rubens and Jordaens were more colour oriented. The Italian baroque is very theatrical.
      In fact, the great art theoretical debate in the baroque was the diffence between line and colour, disegnio et colore (drawing and colour).

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  13. Great engagements and William is wonderful interacting with the people and talking to the hosts. I have the same qualm I do with Kate with William's choices this time: Jeans are not always appropriate. Yes his day was mixed with events where they would be, but there were also events where they were not appropriate. I wish they both would wear nice slacks for middle-style events!

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    1. I wondered about his attire for the garden party, but when I looked at the people in the pictures, they were all dressed similarly. Probably William was advised to dress for the weather when he was outdoors.

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  14. rose from Brooklyn23 September 2014 at 22:38

    Charlotte how can I review the posts from the Asian tour??? By the gallery it only gives me the option of 2014 royal tour.!!!! Thx

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    1. Hello Rose!

      Here they are, with poll posts afterwards :) http://hrhduchesskate.blogspot.com/search/label/royal%20tour%202012

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    2. Rose from Brooklyn24 September 2014 at 12:48

      Thx my dear!!!!

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  15. Amy, Detroit Michigan24 September 2014 at 01:26

    Looks like I'll be adding some jewelry to my Christmas list!

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  16. I'm not sure whether it has been mentioned here that the tall, dark young man who accompanied William in Malta is Rob Luke, the British High Commissioner. Malta is a Commonwealth country. Rob Luke's diplomatic credentials are impressive, and it was a bit amusing to see William turn and hand off flowers and a teddy bear to him. (They were in turn handed to someone else farther back, maybe to Rebecca, who was also seated near Rob Luke at some events.)

    Reading Rob Luke's twitter account is interesting. One of his last projects before William's visit was helping to arrange for British nationals arriving in Malta on a warship after being evacuated from Libya. Obviously, attending to a visiting member of the royal family is within the High Commissioner's duties, too, and Rob Luke was with William seemingly throughout the visit.

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    1. This sounds interesting. Does anyone know more about this? Why was he there? On his own business or assisting William?

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    2. I'm sorry, I should have made that more clear. The British High Commissioner is the British representative in each Commonwealth country. In other words, he is is based on Malta. Wikipedia defines it this way:

      "In the Commonwealth of Nations, a High Commissioner is the senior diplomat (generally ranking as ambassador) in charge of the diplomatic mission of one Commonwealth government to another. Instead of embassy, the diplomatic mission is generally called a high commission."

      I had not realized that the other Commonwealth countries also send high commissioners to each other. Malta does not have a governor general because it is a republic, not a monarchy with the Queen as head of state. Compare Australia or New Zealand or Canada, which are democratic constitutional monarchies. Prince William met the Prime Minister (head of government) and the President (head of state) of Malta. But Rob Luke, the British High Commissioner, accompanied him on his tour as his host.

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    3. Oh, ok. I had no idea. Thank you for the clarification. Always nice to learn something new :)

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    4. Indeed, I was learning, too! :-)

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  17. Kind of a random and of topic question. But does anyone know why at the ongoing UN conference in New York there are no royal representation from Britain or the Scandinavian royal houses? I've seen Spain, the Netherlands, Monaco and I think it was Jordan represented. Does anyone know what determines if a country sends royal representation to big events like this?

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    1. Haha, I'm gonna answer myself a little... (Sorry for all my posts....) I found this.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb2WdyKqKVw

      Charles sent a 5 minute long message/speach to the conference. So that was their way of contributing. I'm glad. I would have been surprised, since I have gotten the impression that Charles was quite early to talk about climate etc.

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    2. CP Mary of Denmark was also at the conference.

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    3. Ah, very full royal house :) (sounded like I was naming cards... Full house, Royal flush...) Good. It's an important issue!

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  18. Talking about symbolism and colours above made me think. Kate and other royals use the colours of their clothes to send a message or honor a country etc. Have anyone noticed if William (or any other royal man for that matter!) uses the colours of the ties in a similar manner? I have not noticed it if they have. Anyone? :)

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    1. I would love to know if anyone has looked into this. I have noticed a time or two when Harry and William appear at an event both wearing their Eton ties, but I don't remember now if this was especially significant to the event. I wish I had paid more attention; it might have led to some interesting little obscure fact or tradition or something like that being shared. Does anyone know what tartans are worn by the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles when they are in Scotland in traditional dress?

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    2. Rebecca, I'm sure they have, but I guess we don't pay as much attention to men's clothing. :) Most recently, I recall seeing King Willem-Alexander with an orange tie. Not sure of the occasion though...

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    3. This is what I have thought also. That they might do it but we don't notice. Hope someone knows :)

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    4. Marci, there is a Scottish Tartans Authority, which has the history and information on all the named Scottish tartan patterns.
      The Balmoral tartan can only be worn by the Queen and by those given permission by the Queen to wear it.
      She also wears Royal Stewart, Hunting Stewart and Old Stewart when in Scotland.
      When in Scotland, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are styled the Earl and Countess of Strathearn and wear that tartan, the yellow and red one we've seen Kate carry as a wrap before.
      Most of the tartan patterns are relatively new, since the British government outlawed the wearing of tartans after the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

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    5. Interesting. But when Kate wears "designer-tartans" like the McQueen. How is that perceived? That can't be "true" tartan, can it?

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    6. Rebecca,
      Tartans and the kilt ( in its present form) are actually english inventions, fuelled by the textile industry and specifically targeted at the Highland regiments. In an ironic twist of nationalism and romanticism, these things have been embraced by Scots as emblems of national identity.

      If you want to know more I'd recommend Hugh Trevor-Roper's article "The Invention of Tradition: The Highland Tradition of Scotland", in The Invention of Tradition, edited by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger. The anthology also has a very interesting article on rituals in the British monarchy during the period 1820-1977.
      The articles in this book are accessible to lay readers and scholarly sound. The book is a classic in nationalism studies, which is one of my acamdic specialties. It is a quite fascinating book that puts a lot of things into a historical context.

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    7. Hmm, interesting. I did not know that. (Not gonna read the book though ;)!)

      I have gotten the impression that the scottish "clans" are very protective of their tartan. Do you know the answer to my "designer-tartan" question? :)

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    8. anon from Leominster28 September 2014 at 16:37

      Diana wore wonderful fashion tartans too but if you looked into it, they were mostly variations on Stuart tartans and thus "safe". There are also some tartans like Black Watch that most everyone can wear. It's known as the government cloth. The same with "Flower of Scotland" which has less of a military link.

      Regardless of history, and very interesting history it is, I think the one thing most royal ladies and gentlemen would want to avoid is wearing a tartan linked to a particular clan of which they are not a member. It's a matter of courtesy not to wear a tartan a family has embraced.

      I don't expect to see Kate wearing "loud Macleod" for instance. I believe there is a Middleton tartan should she wish to wear it.

      Kate has shown an awareness of these fine points by wearing a scarf in William's sette as Earl of Stratham both for the Jubilee and when she was in Scotland for the Thistle ceremony.

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    9. I put it on my reading list! :-)
      Rebecca, I believe they are true tartans - the designer Alexander McQueen had Scottish roots and often wore tartans on the runway. Kate wore the Black Watch tartan pattern on the 2013 Christmas Walk and that pattern represents the 3rd Battalion. Royal Regiment of Scotland. It would be intended as a homage - however perception/reaction would probably vary depending on whether you were a royalist, neutral, or didn't want any of your bloody taxes supporting the royals.

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    10. Ok, thanks. Yes, I thought they might be "real" tartans. But I wondered if she was aware or using the "wrong" areas tartan. But she seems to have done good. Nice!! :D Thank you guys! :D

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  19. Wonderful coverage of William's visit Charlotte! He represented Her Majesty and the family well and seemed to enjoy his time in Malta. I love the picture with the little boy...so precious. I'm sure Kate was sad not to attend, but it sounds like the family will be back in the future. It would be a wonderful treat and amazing trip for the Queen and heirs to go next year, Wonder how accurate that info is? Hoping it will happen! I do appreciate and love seeing how detailed the planning of these trips take referring to the boat used in 1949 and this past weekend. The Grand Harbour looked beautiful!

    I am a fan of Claudia Bradby jewelry. I love the simplicity and beauty in her pieces. I REALLY like the Eclipse pieces. Maybe I'll treat myself to an early Christmas present! :)

    Downton Abbey - CAN'T WAIT! Sad we have to wait until January here in the States. Have a lovely evening readers!

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  20. I keep looking at the Claudia Bradbury jewelry. I am thinking that I want a piece. Kate, I think your idea is a good one! I always buy myself something for Christmas. That might just be it this year!

    From the Dukes comments it sounds like the Duchess was improving a bit. I hope so! It does happen that the second time is less severe. One thing is for sure in the world of medicine/health there are few hard and fast rules. Each person truly needs treated as an individual.

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  21. Having read the comments on this post and noting the remarks on Rebecca Deacons' somewhat provocative show of legs and thighs on the boat I went onto getty images to look at all photos. To my mind most of the time William was on the boat she was sitting at the back and he was at the front facing forward. To my mind her showing of even more thigh, if that was possible was the evening before when watching the Pageant when she was sitting immediately behind William and could have shown no more leg this was disgraceful behaviour and totally out of keeping with her position. I could have well imagined the outcry from the press if Kate had shown so much leg Kate has worn short dresses sometimes a little too short but she has never set out to show all her leg in such a manner and has been known to pull her skirt down as much as possible when it is a little short always keeping her legs tightly together not crossed over as in Rebecca's case in at least one photo the two men sitting either side of her will have had an eyeful.
    I have always felt that Rebecca is far too prominent when supporting Kate and rarely blends into or stays in the
    background when supporting Kate unlike the other Royal assistants who I presume accompany Princess Anne and the Countess of Wessex on their engagements I have no idea who any of them are and does one ever notice the Queens Lady in Waiting who always accompanies her no we do not see them they are far less attention seeking. I think it is time Kate appointed a new Personal Assistant though at the moment I am sure she will feel too unwell to address the issue but I hope someone in the household does. It is sad that a very good tour for William should have thrown this disquiet up but whoever proposed that she should accompany William whether it was William himself or a member of his household it was clearly not a sensible decision.

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    1. Mary E I totally agree with you. I have thought all along that Rebeeca try's to get some press of her own when she is out with Kate. You see her many times right by her side instead of out of sight like you said the other assistants do. And I agree it is time for Kate to get a new assistant who will do her job and stay out of sight.
      Seeing her in that short dress showing her legs just leads other to think she had other ideas. And I sure would love to know what she was thinking wearing something so short when she was with suppose to be assisting William. If I was Kate I would have a word with her if she has read or seen the photos.

      Pam/Portland

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    2. You guys might be right.. But it might also be that Kate have asked her to be close out of some insecurity. It could be that she feels more at ease not having to stand alone. Just a thought.

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    3. Mary E,
      " It is sad that a very good tour for William should have thrown this disquiet.."

      You have highlighted the spirit in which some of the posts have addressed the subject. The discussion this thread brought out especially with some information on the arts including the CB jewelry is interesting.

      As far as Kate telling her, may be not a good idea, but hopefully Rebecca has a boss in hierarchy between her and Kate in the administration who might have to give her some guidance including show her posts by the commentators of "The Duchess" blog. ( This blog is run well, decent, good natured and pro Kate. It could be taken more favorably trusted by her supervisor).

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    4. http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-US&family=editorial&assetType=image&ep=17&p=rebecca+deacon+

      I believe some of Rebecca's wardrobe choices are appropriate for her position, while others have some of the same "flaws" that Kate has been criticized for. But I do not believe it is fair to assign "motivation" to it.

      And if Rebecca is close by, it's likely that they want her there. If you look back at some of the photos with Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, it appears to be a similar situation.

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    5. Don't agree with the ladies above about Rebecca Deacon. I think your barking up the wrong tree.

      Charlotte, this has turned into a very informative post! Love love love the art History!!!! Kate would have loved it too but, alas a little one is in the making :)
      Oh and I have a friend in Ireland now as a Nanny. She loves it there :)


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    6. I do not think there is any motivation either. Her wardrobe choices just may mean she does not put much value in her job. Her wardrobe just seems unprofessional, very unpolished. Maybe how I looked at 22 at my first job, certainly not by 32 after a bit of experience. I do not think for one moment it has anything to do with William but simply that she is either a bit clueless or really does not respect her job. It comes across as that job you take while waiting for something else, however in my case even those in between jobs I worked at as professionally and as with much effort as the jobs I was really gunning for. It may be generational. I was raised to work hard at any job and look professional, regardless if I was being a dishwasher or a CEO.Ali

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    7. I have also gotten the feeling (don't know where from) that she has her sight set higher and that she is to career driven to want to stay. Little sad... Kate needs someone stable who sees it as an honour.

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    8. anon from Leominster26 September 2014 at 16:45

      I too have thought a bit too much attention to Rebecca. All royal staff - male or female - really should be almost invisible, at least until they have put in years of service.

      Part of this comes from the fact that Kate isn't using ladies in waiting like most of the other royal ladies do. (Which means there is a rotation, rather than the same person every time.)

      Part of it that Kate has done so little at the moment that in blogs - and in the press - there is an unbalanced focus on every little detail. I.E. the kitchen business a while back. Not suggesting Kate work while she is ill, but as long as she doesn't work, trivial appearances and details will be given great weight.

      I do think Rebecca has not dressed as plainly as most ladies in waiting have been in the past, but as long as her skirts are a respectable length, and stay down, I'll say she looks professional enough.

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    9. These discussions on Rebecca are fascinating. All the criticism can equally be leveled on Kate, including the one about clothing choices being inappropriate to catch William's interest during a business event (like, all the times Kate's hair/clothing/mannerisms are explained by dressing/acting that way because he finds that attractive). It's a bit odd that the claws come out for Rebecca but not for Kate! Shouldn't Rebecca deserve the benefit of the doubt?

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    10. You might be right Leo. About the rotation in people. But it must be very comforting having someone planning and keeping track of everything. But maybe the others who have ladies in waiting also have some kind of assistant. (Is that the equerry? or something like that it was talk about them adding to their staff). Maybe the classic ladies in waiting collect flowers, keeps a look at the royals look and help with correspondence and they have a separate person keeping track of the schedule and whispering names and information during engagements. (Those I have seen do the whispering seem to usually be male.) So the fact that she both does introductions etc and should be in the background might make it seem a little more conflicting. You may also be right on the whole working vs details things also.

      MM- I give her the benefit of a doubt on her intentions but not on the result, if you understand me correctly.

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    11. MM Kate is married to William. Rebecca IMO was just trying to chatch some press for herself and maybe flirt with William. We don't know what she was trying to do. But if I was Kate I would have a word or two with her and let her know how she felt of the way she was dressed being around William and the other Malta heads. Poor choice on Rebgecas part.

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    12. I'm not a huge fan of Rebecca Deacon but I don't think she's trying to gain attention or the spotlight and I certainly don't think she's trying to tempt William, if that was what anyone was suggesting.
      I just don't think and have never thought she's a good person to be Kate's close assistant. I always recall Princess Diana talking about how every single person around her was appointed by the Palace or Charles or the Queen, even her ladies in waiting. She never felt like she had anyone she could trust, who was her own appointment and loyal to her. That turned out to be pretty close to the truth as most of those around her, her staff, turned out to be loyal to either the Palace or to just want to enrich themselves by spilling Diana's secrets.
      Rebecca wasn't Kate's choice, she had worked with William and Harry on the Concert for Diana before and William liked how organized she was so he appointed her to be Kate's assistant.
      I think the absolute best person for the job, and I know it was offered and she turned it down, is Pippa Middleton, as her sister's lady in waiting. Pippa is smart and strong and tough and, I would guess, pretty tenacious and protective of Kate. She would be someone Kate could count on to be loyal to Kate first and foremost.
      I just think Rebecca is used to being in charge and tends to try to take control of events - and Kate - at engagements and public outings. I think we've all see evidence of that before.
      I continue to wonder why Rebecca has a perpetual scowl on her face. This is a very public position and she has to know cameras are always on her. I think the fact that she always looks sour is at war somewhat with the claims that she's trying to grab some camera time. If that was the case, I think she'd smile a bit more.

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    13. The most criticized dress on Rebacca was in the boat--which seemed little more than a rowing boat. Doubt she would have been popular had she stood up to arrange her dress--landing all of them in the water would really have earned criticism. Sorry, but you have to get in the boat and sit down. Had she known the kind of boat being used, I am sure she would have dressed accordingly.

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    14. MM, Kate is married to William.
      She doesn't need to attract his attention.

      Camilla

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    15. I'm with you Elizabeth. All of it. Maybe except the part about Pippa, just for the reason I don't think she would be content in that position. But the rest of your post I think is spot on!

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    16. Jean, wouldn't Rebecca have known what would happen every moment of the tour, including the boat? And there was no need for her to stand up and arrange it...simply to pull it down a bit. Don't many of us do exactly that when we're seated?

      Elizabeth, I totally agree with your description of Pippa and what she has to offer, but I'm not sure she would be able to stay under the radar in Kate's company.

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    17. I agree on both your points royalfan. You just sit and wiggle a little. Every girl knows how to smartly and discreetly fix your clothes.

      And the Pippa point. If she almost overshadowed Kate at the wedding, yours seems a very valid point.

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    18. Elizabeth I agree with you on Rebecca. I wonder why William appointed her for Kate and I wonder if he even asked her. Maybe they worked "too" well together. I would not trust her around my husband nor my boyfriend. Not saying William was interested but Rebecca might have been interested in him.

      She is to pushy when Kate is talking to people and little kids. Yes you have a schedule to keep but my god give Kate the chance to meet with the kids that have waited a long time to see her.

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  22. I am including this link from Getty because it shows just how engaged, confident and happy William was during his tour of Malta....quite the opposite of some of the negative criticism directed at him.

    http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-US&family=editorial&assetType=image&ep=17&p=prince+william+malta#

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    1. Btw, I was not referring to criticism in THIS post...I meant in some of the prior discussions....

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    2. Even William's security officer looked as if he was having a good time!

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  23. hi Charlotte how i love these malta tour prince william he success round up did prince george get the 1st ticket parking these will be a history

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  24. Did anyone see that "bogus" article about the waning interest in royalty? If you read the article and so called research thru it is a bunch of BS and then a bunch of BS speculation and then several hours later more media BS... hysterical.
    Unbelievable to be able to track a nonsense story all the way through to even more nonsense. Ali

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    1. Kudos to Harry! He will always be seen as the fun loving prince. :) And how lucky for George to have him for an uncle.

      I find it fascinating that we have the Queen in a poll with William, Kate, and Harry. Did someone skip a generation? Hmmmmmmm...... Never mind. ;)

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    2. Are you referring to the article in Newsweek Europe? Hardly bogus. Unscientifically polled perhaps, but not bogus.

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  25. Interesting article from Newsweek on the Duchess (09.25.14) - the title belies the subject matter, actually reflective, scholarly, and positive about her burgeoning role and future: http://www.newsweek.com/2014/10/03/duchess-cambridge-how-britain-stopped-believing-royal-fairytale-273100.html

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    1. I don't believe I have ever seen as many "don't know" or "none of the above" votes in a poll. Did anyone else notice that? :)

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    2. royalfan, I don't think it's so much that people don't want Charles as they're mostly ambivalent about the whole institution of the monarchy and the aristocracy.
      With the problems that face our world today, the cares and worries that the royals have and that the aristocracy has are increasingly silly and meaningless and they're looked on as being largely out-of-touch with the lives of regular people. They're looked on as style without a lot of substance.

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    3. anon from Leominster27 September 2014 at 09:54

      It was a very stupidly worded survey. For instance, it asked whether you wanted to "be" Kate for a day or be friends with her and questions like that, and used that to judge how popular she was.

      My guess is the results with Kate fourth after the two brothers and the queen is about right but the "don't knows and none of the aboves" came from the poor questioning. Not worth the paper it was written upon - to use an expression since nothing is written on paper these days. Whoever designed it out to get the sack, and maybe they will since lots of "don't knows" indicate bad poll design,

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    4. I'm pretty sure many more would like to be Kate, but said they don't out of pride.

      Camilla

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    5. Elizabeth, I don't disagree with your theory. But I will just add that the "out of touch" label fits a certain Edwardian couple far more than a younger couple that does shine whenever they are performing royal duties.

      Leo, I think you nailed it. It had to be the wording.

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    6. The poll was anonymous. What's to be proud about? It could be that people wouldn't want to live her life. I wouldn't.

      royalfan, and the operative phrase in your comment is "when they are performing royal duties". ALthough I just read Kate's recovered and going to work a bit in the next month or two.

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    7. Yes, bluhare. I chose my words wisely...and proactively. :))

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  26. I have to think that Kate's health is much, much worse than it was in the first pregnancy.
    There were a lot of comments made on this blog and others reflecting concern for how dangerously thin Kate looked in the weeks and months before the second pregnancy was announced.
    We've heard and read that HG can worsen with each pregnancy. The symptoms of the illness, combined with the fact that Kate didn't have a lot of physical substance going into this pregnancy, makes me think that her health is much more serious than the Palace is saying. This is a disease that can drain the mother's system of vital nutrients and can cause severe dehydration and other serious side effects. I have to think some of these are going on.
    I also wonder - where was Kate when everyone was out of the country? I'm wondering if there wasn't a quiet day or two day hospitalization that went unannounced and under the radar?
    My reasoning is that if she was indeed so sick she couldn't travel to Italy for the wedding with her parents, brother and sister, who all went, or to Malta, then she certainly needed someone around to take care of her. Her immediate family was at the wedding along with most of her friends, William was in Malta and Harry was at the wedding. Who was taking care of Kate?
    And if your response is that she felt well enough that they could all leave her, that's possible but keep in mind this is not her first pregnancy and this baby is not a direct heir to the throne. If you don't think that matters, you need to read more about how the royals think and the centuries-old beliefs they still hold.

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    1. Yes and if she is really sick this time, then why is William attending a wedding this weekend? Yes as others have said, he does not need to be clued to her side 24/7 but if he really cared about the health of his wife then he should have by passed the wedding to be there for Kate & poor George. I can se poor George wanting mommy to hold him and she is too sick to do so. And daddy is not around.
      And yes they have nanny & her mother but it is not the same for George to have is daddy around.
      But as another poster said before too William does what William wants even if Kate tells him other wise.

      Pam/Portland

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    2. These Pam/Portland posts are looking really familiar . . .

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    3. Perhaps William went because he was invited. Kate is apparently feeling better if you keep up on the news.

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    4. Yes, anon 16:46. Like an old 45..........

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  27. I actually thought some of the more general thoughts might be OK but the labeling and putting the focus on one person, i.e. Catherine, was crazy. Research in the math and science area is difficult enough to prove valid, but in the social sciences it is crazy, this bugs me so much because it comes across as "feminists" using the "Kate" name as a way to generate interest in them, I find that awful. Now maybe if I spend the time to research I will discover it is the media warping of facts but it may be those trying to get published or be relevant that have hooked into using one individual as a interest magnate.I have done some research studies and this just reads , off, off and more off. ali

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  28. Emily, I agree I thought it was positive. My interpretation of what the author was saying he was pretty insightful with a spin I never would have thought of. I was impressed with his insight into Kate's future potential influences when Charles is on the throne. Even though I don't think Camilla is quite hated as she was 10 years ago, in my opinion she will never have the respect that Kate does. The writer states that very few percentage of people want to be Kate. My opinion of why is because more people realize the instaneous availability of media has made the pressure of a life like that go up significantly. The writer then made comment to the recent second baby announcement. I believe that while it is great news the perspective was that things like ISIS, Scotlamd, and Ebola were more important. I would agree and I am a huge Kate fan. In fact I would draw the conclusion in that finding to say that both William and Kate have accomplished what they wanted. It is a good balance of popularity and respect without overshadowing important world happenings. I have to say I was impressed with the article. I am usually not a fan of Newsweek. Anyway sorry to ramble on. I am bored because I am laid up with a rib out of place and inflamed muscles around I rib cage. Ouch!!!!

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    1. Ouch indeed! :( I'm sorry to hear that, Jennifer. I hope you feel better very soon.

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  29. Just read where William and Harry are attending another wedding. Again poor Kate and George is at home while William is out playing. William has said that Kate & George are his topic concern so where is he when she needs him. He is really showing his true colors.

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    1. And if he had stayed home, he would be accused of being a whipped man controlled by the Middleton's. Not everyone needs their spouse on a short leash. What on earth is wrong with a happily married and secure couple dealing with their business as they see fit?

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    2. Maybe he is by her side 23 hours a day and only 1 hour he spends as he wishes and this 1 hour receives the media attention and causes such strange comments as yours.

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    3. Most people don't look down on their partner for having fun. Neither do they want their partner to suffer just because they're suffering. Partners don't need to be glued to the hip. If this works for them, good for them! Who knows, (when she's not ill) I could easily see her sitting at home drinking wine with Pippa and going out shopping etc. That's no worse than what William does.

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    4. And one more thing. I am sure Kate knows his true colours and thats why she loves him so much

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  30. Maria - Minneapolis28 September 2014 at 02:21

    The discussion about Rebecca's clothing is honestly making me uncomfortable. The sexist undertones are very prevalent. To imply that short clothing means that she is FLIRTING is the EXACT same logic as people saying that a girl's clothing "asked for it" in the context of rape. Women choose their clothing based on many reasons. To say that it is to appeal to a man is an extension of patriarchal logic. Contrary to public opinion, our lives do not revolve around men. Was her dress unprofessional? Maybe. But also, to say that a woman should temper her actions because a man might want to sleep with her is ridiculous, and also sexist. The fact that men interpret "revealing" clothing to mean that a woman wants something is a problem of patriarchy, and no woman should ever be blamed for choosing to ignore that. The fact is that if Rebecca was wearing the exact same dress in the exact same sitting position while with Kate, she maybe would have been criticized for being unprofessional, but no accusations would have been made about her hitting on anyone. For people to think that her intent was to flirt with William is heterosexist and patriarchal.
    In regards to her dress being (un)professional - I think that we are putting an unfair amount of attention on a woman who would never have a reason to expect to be noticed so much, given her boss's usual presence. I'm sure that no one working for Kate and William considered that Kate would miss a planned appearance, and that that would lead to a huge amount of attention on the only remaining female in their party. I bet Rebecca has made similar "mistakes" before, but that we haven't noticed because Kate is usually and obviously an overwhelming distraction. I'm also fairly sure she must run her wardrobe by others for all appearances. It could be that her dress was a good match for what Kate was planning to wear, or that she had to do a last minute change to coordinate with William, which led to a lack of ability to plan. She's just an assistant, and doesn't make that much money. Did she need to buy new clothes just to fit the new plans? That seems unfair. And it seems even more unfair to put any of this on her, given that there were a ton of other people involved in the planning. Additionally, has anyone considered that maybe Kate has instilled a sort of "ignore people's opinions" mindset? Kate has repeatedly refused to put hems in her dresses, while continuing to wear floaty dresses in windy areas. She's also been photographed topless. Maybe Kate's way of dealing with invasions of privacy is to accept the inevitability and stop caring about what other people think. And maybe, Kate has made it clear that Rebecca can do the same. Obviously not about everything, but at least about some things.
    And last, why do you think everyone immediately focused on Rebecca as a result of Kate not being there? Standards of professionality are often based in masculine norms, and have double standards, so that a man making a similar mistake would not be called out in the same way. The fact is, Rebecca looks "womanly" and "pretty." She fits norms for what it means to look "feminine." Gender equality is not saying that men and women are the same. It is about saying that men and women have unidentifiable differences that we should not try to compare relatively. Why is everyone so offended that she embraced her femininity? What is wrong with that, except for the (again, patriarchal) idea that for women to be professionals on equal footing as men, they have to do (or dress) as men do? Kate would not get the same criticism (minus showing leg), and it is because she is a "princess" who is expected to idealize feminine norms. The fact that Kate no longer wears pants due to expectations is just as much a result of sexism as it is for Rebecca to basically be expected to wear pants.
    Sorry for the long rant, but like I said, the entire discussion made me very uncomfortable and very sad.

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    1. Thank you!

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    2. anon from Leominster28 September 2014 at 16:11

      I'm not disagreeing with all you said, but there are a couple of things to note. While a man might not be accused of "flirting" had a male aide been photographed with a loosened tie or rolled up sleeves, I think there would have been tolk of unprofessionalism as well. Aides to the royal family, male or female, have certain standards of dress expected of them -- in all climates. If you can't "stand the heat" (and I might be of that number) you had better not be a royal aide because travel to hot climates is part of the job.

      Nor do I think that we only notice women. There was talk of a man accompanying William as well, with people asking who he was.

      Pulled up skirts are sometimes taken as a sign of flirting if it doesn't seem to be accidental. Call it the Marliyn Monroe paradigm. I don't think for a second that Rebecca was flirting but I don't think her skirt should have been pulled up either, since it was long enough not to be. It probably never occurred to her she would be photographed. It's a lesson to her. as with that young royal soldier who has ended up in the goal because he pulled faces on duty. Near a royal, a camera may always catch you.

      Rebecca may not be wealthy but she has worn more noticable clothes than most royal aides or ladies in waiting have featured. (Note the difference with Maria, the royal nanny.) It may be she and Kate share and interest in fashion (always have thought that business of Kate not being interested in clothes a hum since people who really aren't interested in fashion rarely spend much time shopping.) I have no trouble with what Rebecca wears, (fine to be feminine, as long as she looks professional) but do think she should keep her skirt down, just as I wouldn't expect rolled up sleeves on a male aide wearing a dress shirt.

      As for Kate, her "don't carish" attitude to her various fashion faux pas bothers me a bit because being royal, male or female, is about being seen. There is probably no other more "visual" job on the planet. I thought it was sweet when Kate's skirt blew up the first time. The next times, not so much. She should know better. I don't exempt men either. Harry's partying was a sign of youth the first couple of times but not he is thirty, I trust those days of falling out of clubs are truly over.

      Finally, hate to say it but being royal can be something of a "retro" job for women and so far Kate has proved to be rather "retro" focusing on being a partner and mother. Other royal ladies including Princess Anne, Sophie, and even Diana, have built stronger roles for themselves and are seen as fitting better into today's expectations for women that they will share an equal role with men and be known for their work as much as their clothes. Not sure if Kate will ever do this - some have suggested it is not her style - but the same was said of Diana as well and she went on to become as known for her issues as she was for her suits.

      Women's fashions will always be more interesting than mens in our day, although we have been known o comment on the latter too. But the saddest thing to me is how alert we all are to any suggestion of royal philandering. I think some of that comes from the Diana days. We were royally fooled by Charles (and later Diana too.) We saw what looked like innocent royal pictures turn out to mean something more and we have become much more vigilent. So I'm less concerned with sexism than the cynicism that all royal men cheat. I always try to belive the best of people but I have often been disppointed too of late, so I simply hope that doesn't prove to be the case with William.

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    3. Wonderful comment. About time someone called out the sexist undertones of these attacks on Rebecca.

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    4. I'm with you too Leo! I don't think it's all black and white...

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    5. Thanks Maria from Minneapolis for your thoughtful and timely comment.

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    6. I agree Maria. Well said.

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    7. Maria, I agree with some of your points, but I also agree with some of Leo's. As Rebecca/Sweden stated, it's not all black and white.

      Not everyone who commented on Rebecca's appearance thought she was being flirtatious or chasing after William. I certainly did not and I too was uncomfortable with that being presented as a "package deal". And if Kate had been there, I would have made the same observation. Kate's absence didn't make me focus on Rebecca...it was her legs. (I don't mean to be funny, but that is what caught my attention and, apparently, I was not alone.)

      I believe it is possible to discuss what is or is not appropriate without it being considered sexist. It wouldn't be any different (from my perspective) if Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton's suit looked like he had slept in it; it wouldn't look professional and we would say so. I also cannot go along with the idea that Rebecca wouldn't expect to be noticed. She works for a couple who is cover-page material on their worst day. If she is in their company, she should *assume* she is being photographed. Surely, she's too intelligent to be that naïve...

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    8. I didn't focus on Rebecca.
      I was shown pictures of her on this blog. And those pictures had something wrong in them.

      And I would have thought the very same thing had I seen a photo of a male assistant with, say, his shirt unbottoned.

      Camilla

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  31. Replies
    1. Ahh.... this was supposed to be under Maria - Minneapolis excellent post!!

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  32. Kate always look so stunning doesn't she? A true professional.

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