Sunday, 23 November 2014

A Trip to China in Early 2015? Attire for NYC (And we're not talking about Kate) & All the Latest News

Good evening, we hope you're all having a fabulous weekend!

There's been a variety of royal news stories involving the Cambridges surfacing over the past few days involving a new addition to staff, the USA visit and more. We begin with a story that particularly piqued our interest: news the Duke and Duchess have been asked to undertake a historic tour of China in early 2015.


More from The Telegraph's story:

'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been asked to carry out an official tour of China early next year to improve Britain's diplomatic links with the world's second-biggest economy.'

I did a double take when I read 'Early 2015', Kate could most likely be in her third trimester by then and is expecting her second baby in April 2015. The National Health Service advises pregnant women that most airlines will now allow them to fly beyond 36 weeks of pregnancy, which will be some stage in March for Kate. Back to The Telegraph'story:

'They are hoping arrangements can be finalised quickly enough for the Duchess - who is due to give birth in April - to be able to make the trip, though royal aides admit her participation is in doubt because of her pregnancy.'

Chinese officials are said to be "very excited" about the prospect of a tour by the couple, which would be the most high-profile since the Queen and Prince Philip visited in 1986. Royal tours to China have previously been fraught with unfortunate comments. During the aforementioned 1986 tour Prince Philip told British exchange students, "If you stay here much longer you'll be slitty-eyed", and a leaked diary entry by Prince Charles described Chinese leaders as "appalling old waxworks".


As many of you know, months ago rumours began to emerge about the possibility of this tour for the Cambridges taking place in Autumn 2015. That date would seem much more manageable and sensible for Kate. Royal tours can involve several engagements per day, quite a bit of travelling and are generally considered to be quite exhausting. As it stands, if the trip is to go ahead, it would seem likely it will be a solo trip for Prince William. Perhaps one in which he can focus on his conservation efforts?


Royal sources said it was "too early" to say whether or not the trip will go ahead, though they did confirm that dates for 2015 are being discussed. Interestingly, whether or not Kate goes, George is not expected to join his parents.


We'll keep you updated as news unfolds on this.

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There's been an important addition to William, Kate and Harry's staff with the arrival of American PR Guru Jason Knauf as their new Communications Secretary. Kensington Palace announced Jason will begin his new role in the New Year. He replaces Ed Perkins, who left the Royal household earlier this year.

The Telegraph

Mr. Knauf has an impressive résumé and has been described as "fun" and "well liked". More from The Telegraph:

'Mr Knauf, 30, whose experience of crisis management includes trying to diffuse the row over a £963,000 share bonus paid to RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester in 2012, will be in his new job in time to manage the media arrangements outside St. Mary's Hospital when the Duchess of Cambridge has her second child.
 He was appointed as RBS Director of Corporate Affairs in May, having previously been the bank's head of media relations. Before that he worked as a press officer at HM Treasury and as a speechwriter to New Zealand's deputy prime minister Michael Cullen.'

There was some surprise the royals' deputy communication secretary Nick Loughran (pictured below with Kate's private secretary Rebecca Deacon, the two have been in a relationship since last year) wasn't appointed to the senior role, however, given the recent breakdown in communications between the press and the Palace it is undoubtedly a wise move to bring fresh blood into the mix and Jason is perfectly equipped to repair relations and start a new chapter in terms of communication.


We wish Mr. Knauf the very best of luck in his new role.

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Prince William has been busy of late and we thought we'd share news on his latest engagements too. The Prince was in high spirits on Friday night at the Royal United Service Institute where he presented Melinda Gates with the Chatham House Prize in recognition of her work to end poverty and empower women.


There was a light-hearted moment when master of ceremonies Richard Birtchnell mistakenly announced him as his 93-year-old grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh. (Off topic note, but how much does William remind you of George in this photo!)



William met with Kofi Anan.


We spoke about William's conservation efforts earlier in the post: the Prince has been busy championing such causes closes to his heart this week. Writing for The Telegraph, William wrote 'Time is running out for Africa's most magnificent creatures':

'This year, more than ever, we will be highlighting the danger that park rangers face in Africa. Hundreds have been killed in the past decade in battle-like conditions against heavily-armed poachers. For the poachers, the temptation to make comparatively big money is too tempting to resist.'

William recorded two videos in which he speaks of his concerns over the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and teamed up with Angry Birds in a bid to save the anteater which is in danger of 'being eaten to death' in its native China.

United for Widlife

On Tuesday, Prince William will have the opportunity to honour and commend heroes at the Tusk Conservation Awards at Claridges Hotel. Last year, the Duke and Duchess attended the inaugural awards - this year it will be a solo for William.


For those who asked about the increase in engagements for the Prince, he's currently training and doing exams until March and will start his work as a Air Ambulance co-pilot then.

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We're only a couple of weeks away from the Cambridges' visit to New York and there's been an unusual amount of discussion regarding suitable attire (and no we're not talking about Kate).

Place2Be

A look at the report from the NY Daily News:

'We threw off British Rule in 1776 - but American reporters still face a royal dressing down if they don't bow to sartorial standards when William and Kate come to town. U.S. reporters applying to cover a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to New York and Washington next month have been reminded of Buckingham Palace's posted policy on proper dress for covering the Royal family'.

The official website of the Royal family states:

'Journalists wishing to cover royal engagements, whether in the United Kingdom or abroad, should comply with the dress code on formal occasions out of respect for the guests of the Queen, or any other member of the Royal family. Smart attire for men includes the wearing of a jacket and tie, and for women a trouser or skirt suit. Those wearing jeans or trainers will not be admitted and casually dressed members of the media will be turned away.'

Several media outlets suggested (and later amended) that a 'communique' has been issued to US journalists advising them how to dress, however, this was not the case. Last week the Senate Periodical Press Gallery sent out an email reminding reporters of the general rules of etiquette while covering Congress. Separately the media was referred to the official website which states the rules mentioned above. It looks like it all originated from a story by Politico, as correctly noted by our commenter Stephanie.

There is nothing new whatsoever in these rules and the Palace certainly didn't send out specific instructions to US media. It's very much a storm in a teacup situation. I know from following royal reporters over the past few years they always dress smartly and in a manner befitting the event they are covering.

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Next, a brief fashion update. Kate's elegant black lace DVF Zarita gown proved so popular with readers, we received a number of emails requesting 'Repli-Kate's'. With the festive season just around the corner  (is it too early to say we're feeling very Christmassy already) a great black dress is a perfect piece for so many events.


It just so happens our friends over at Kate Middleton Style have found the perfect alternative - the Adrianna Pappell Long Sleeve Lace Gown. The striking dress also features sheer sleeves, a V back and a scalloped neckline. The dress is currently discounted from $218 to $99.99 with Free Shipping at 6 pm.

6pm

The dress is available in Cassis and Mulberry at Nordstrom and comes in regular and petite sizing. Shorter versions of the dress in an array of colours are also available at Nordstrom with Free Shipping.

Nordstrom

With thanks again to the ladies at Kate Middleton Style.

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Place2Be shared an album packed with images from the 'Wellbeing in School Awards' via their Facebook Page. To view the album in its entirety please click here.

Place2Be

The photos were taken by the incredibly talented Hugo Burnand who took William and Kate's official wedding photos. Below we see stunning images from Kensington Palace.

Place2Be
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Finally, renovations completed, William, Kate and George have finally moved into their country home Anmer Hall (with thanks to Roya Nikkhah from The Sunday Times).


That's all the news for today! We'll see you on Tuesday when Kate attends East Anglia's Children's Hospices Norfolk Capital Appeal Launch.

67 comments:

  1. Oh wow those comments that Phillip and Charles made are really rude and insulting. I never knew that. I highly doubt we'll be seeing Kate take any high profile overseas tours for quite some time. Especially once she has baby number 2, I think we'll see a decrease in her engagements until she can find a good balance between taking care of two children under the age of 2 and working.
    On another note, that Jason Knauf is kinda cute!! :) I'm sure he'll be quiet popular with the ladies lol. He seems charming.

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    1. And I think Rebecca Deacon and her boyfriend look like siblings!

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    2. I agree about their comments. (Although, Phillip said it to people, Charles wrote it in his diary that was then leaked. I see a difference, but thinking it is still weird)

      I also think a big tour now is unlikely. And China is a good place for William to focus on conservation. So it would make sense for it to be a solo tour unfortunately.

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    3. Haha, bluhare. I kind of think that too. Their noses and how their mouths and so on look is really similar :P

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    4. Lol bluhare, now that you mention it they actually do.
      You're right Rebecca their noses have the same similar shape.
      Although he's still a bit of a cutie too!!! Lol :)
      Why does England have all the cute guys with sexy accents?!?!

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    5. He is Darla, I was just talking about random hot British guys in general lol.

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    6. Jason Knauf is American. Nick Loughran is British.

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    7. Amy, Detroit Michigan24 November 2014 at 16:12

      Bwahaha, bluhare, they DO look like siblings! So funny!

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  2. For Kate's sake, I hope she doesn't travel to China during her pregnancy. I would not want to be so far away from home, and my own doctor, while I was pregnant. Surely, they could make the trip in Autumn.

    And it looks like W/K/G will enjoy their first Christmas at Anmer Hall. :)

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    1. I kind of agree. (A doctor would probably travel with though.) It seems a little unnecessary. The fall would sound much more sensible.

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    2. The doctor could travel and mostly likely would. I agree. But the hospital is a different scenario. For example, how much control would her doctor have in a hospital in China (or any other country)? Kate should stay put. :)

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  3. I was always of the understanding that royal tours are 6 months to a year in the planning so for that reason alone spring 2015 seems a bit early. Spring 2016 sounds a bit more reasonable.

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    1. I was very surprised about the dates and also thought it would be early 2016 before another tour. We'll probably hear more details before Christmas, but surely it will be a solo for William if it goes ahead?

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  4. Ah! I got a mention in one of your posts, Charlotte I'm so honoured haha. I was more than happy to admit my initial understanding of the dress code for journalists was wrong and glad I found the Politico article. xo

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    1. I hereby cede the title "Queen of the Blog" to Stephanie!

      Huzzah!

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    2. Thank you so much for sharing the Politico article Stephanie. I was endlessly looking around trying to see where it originated from :)

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    3. I remember when I got a mention in Charlottes post when William and Kate were on the Aus/NZ tour for identifying a hat, it felt so awesome!!! :)
      One of many ways Charlotte you make the readers of your blog feel great, and why we keep coming back for more.

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    4. You are all wonderful and offer so much information, great discussion and interesting thoughts :)

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  5. Sarah from Calif.24 November 2014 at 01:16

    Best wishes to Mr. Knauf on his new adventure.
    As for Kate and William going to China before the baby is born, I think it would be a wonderful trip! but, time will tell.
    I love the black lace dress and the repli-Kate is a great substitute.
    So glad they are in their own home now where they can kick off their shoes and relax!

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    1. I think Mr. Knauf will be a fabulous addition to the team! The team is in serious need of a friendly face the press feel comfortable dealing with.

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  6. Charlotte. As I mentioned on Twitter, there was quite the uproar from some of the local press here in the capital. Silly. I have the Papell dress, love it.
    Thinking the Chinese will be disappointed if they only get William but very quick timing for Kate to go along. I'll say it now: if she goes off with her parents for the usual tropical holiday while he's in China, it will be a colossal mistake. Let's all hope the new PR man keeps them on track.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow immigrants in the land of freedom and opportunity. 😉

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    1. Jennifer from Wisconsin24 November 2014 at 03:35

      You too Greybird!!! Have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family. :)

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    2. Oh my goodness, I had not though of that. Ya, hopefully if William goes alone, Kate will just lay low or else that would be a nightmare for the new PR guy.

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  7. well i i think the duchess will not god to travel a long 10 hours of flight its too long for about her case on other note the duchess could not be working in decrease her royal duties to maternity leave its quite far from note i love the photo wills smiling reminds me something when there nz about his speech about george mr jason knauf i think he younger surely he will do great his job and surely be a hit on crowd and public

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  8. I'm wondering what the sudden rush on the tour is. Initially it was thought it would take place in late 2015. The reporter who wrote the Telegraph article, Gordon Ryaner, tends to be very reliable though.

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    1. Yeah, I'm wondering that too. Is there some diplomatic pot that is about to pour over (on either the brittish or chinese's part) and this is some pre-disaster damage control. Or where did this idea suddenly come from? Curious!

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    2. If they are thinking a pre-disaster problem then wouldn't it be wiser to wait until Catherine can go too. It seems the government wants them both. Silly to rush when Catherine is unable to attend. Just thinking out loud.

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  9. Another thought hit me. How will the China tour be able to fit in to Williams study-schedule? Won't it be right in the end of his studies. And for that matter. He is supposed to start working in April, am I right? And the baby is due in April... Do you guys think he will take his weeks of paternity leave this time around or not? If he does there will be 2 weeks (i think it is) + the tour (maybe a week) splash dab in the middle of him starting to work :P Not very optimal.

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    1. The Maldives last spring, and Malta and New York have all been able to fit into William's study schedule. I don't know that he gets the same expectations as other students. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets deferrals and excused from some things based on his title and role.

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    2. To some extent with scheduling and such, yes. But I highly doubt they would let him fly if he didn't do well enough. So in some way they can be more lenient with when he does things. But he still has to do them,.

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    3. Of course he still has to complete tasks and exams, but he probably doesn't have the time crunch and pressure of other students.

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  10. I hope they don't rush the China trip for early 2015. I want Kate to go and I am afraid she wouldn't go that early. I don't see why they would rush it in. Like it seems very last minute and not how they normally plan a royal tour. Maybe that's just me though.

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  11. The best dressed person at the Place2Be awards may have been the little girl with beautiful hair in the red jacket! One should note that the organization's background panel was in blue with gold medallions. Kate seems to have dressed to go with it. The lady in the blue dress with diamond pattern also looked very nice.

    I wonder whether the picture of Prince William recording a video was made in Kensington Palace. If so, that might be the first glimpse of Apartment 1A that we have seen since the Cambridges renovated it.

    I can't imagine that Kate will go to China in early 2015, and it sounds like a considerable conflict for William. The gaffes he would supposedly be counteracting are rather old news. He may be the most senior royal besides the Queen who would be welcome, but the timing seems very odd. If the trip really was planned for this autumn, someone was not paying attention to the issue of family planning. If it has been considered either for autumn or for early 2015, William's training schedule is a conflict. Is the Palace deliberately asking William and Catherine to override their personal plans?

    It should be noted that Politico is a respectable source, and that its article simply compared the guidelines issued by Congress with those of Buckingham Palace.

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    1. Anon, I'd bet my last dollar that it's Apartment 1A. If you look out the window, that is the inner courtyard of KP.

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    2. it does not appear a very respectable source. One of its bloggers is suggesting throwing rotten tomatoes at them.
      Someone has set out to stir up trouble and sadly too many so-called fans have jumped on the band wagon

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    3. The table or desk against the back wall in the video photo looks like a Linley piece.

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    4. The carving on the table is a model of the Palace of Whitehall, in front of which Trooping the Color and the Remembrance Sunday observance are held.

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    5. Jean, the subject matter at Politico is American politics, and it rarely covers anything else. I have just looked at its web site again, and I see nothing at all about Kate and William, including in the blogs. Can you provide a link?

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  12. Pauline Oak HIlls24 November 2014 at 05:14

    Charlotte Is the engagement for Kate on Tuesday near their new country home? You mentioned that they have moved into their new home in Norfolk. And with the training and testing William is doing, it makes sense.

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    1. Hello Pauline,

      Yes it in in Norfolk!

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  13. Personally, I can't see why Kate shouldn't go, if her doctors allow. She's pregnant, not ill, and she and William did fly long-haul to Mustique when she was pregnant with George.
    The China trip would take place before the 36 week mark, so I don't see a problem there. Plus I'm sure the tour could be tailored to suit Kate's need for rest etc.
    Much better to go earlier in the year than in the autumn, when they'll have to juggle childcare arrangements for two very small children.

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    1. In a way I agree with you. If they manage to get it in the end of January she wont be too far along. But I 100% understand if it is not manageable.

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    2. I've been to China.The sights are magnificent, but getting to them and viewing them is arduous. The distances between different places are great and the transportation system is iffy. Even private planes/trains/autos have to use the Chinese infrastructure. The air/water/food are not what an unborn baby should be exposed to. I can't believe the UK would consider sending Kate for an instant.

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  14. Well, quite frankly, Prince Philipp´s joke was just that - a joke. I for one wouldn´t be upset at all if a high profile Chinese said something similar to Chinese studens here in Germany (like "Go home before you get those long noses") in my presence. I would laugh out loud and agree with the guy.... Prince Charles´s remark was NOT a joke - but then it was an entry in his personal diary and "thoughts are free"- it´s his personal opinion and he´s entitled to have that. In the end, though, both remarks date way back and do certainly not give enough reason for such a short-notice visit.

    I would REALLY start to wonder what is going on if Kate accompanied William on a tour to China in early 2015. I´d think they´ve all gone completely crazy - sending a pregnant woman on a tour to China with only a few weeks to go until she gives birth! I´m surprised they are even CONSIDERING it! I think it´s high time someone takes over the reins at Kensington Palace, someone with some good common sense.. I sincerely hope this new guy is not only good at crisis management but also and above all good at crisis prevention!! That would be something new for a start......

    I absolutely LOVED that "Kate-replica" lace dress.... Wow, a real stunner and then the price! Even the short version is very, very attractive..... Thank you so much, Charlotte, for including this kind of information in your posts!!

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    1. Eve, I understand so much your statement about sharing a laugh for a joke - I'm not sure, however, that every joke is "politically correct". I'm from Toscana, and in Tuscany we have a very strong sense of humor, sometimes it sounds too sharp to people from other places. When I am with no-Tuscan people, I never speak in the way I can employ with my Tuscan friends. Maybe the English sense of humor is like the Tuscan-humour, it could sound too sharp to a non-English ear. If you are in such a high-profile role, maybe it's better to be careful with your witty jokes.

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    2. Re: I, too, think the timing of the trip is wacky. What about the long flights in Kate's third trimester? I don't see how they could get the trip planned before the end of January or early February. What if she went into labor en route--or what if the baby were born prematurely (vanish the thought!!!)? Even if a doctor were along to monitor Kate's health, what about the well-being of the baby? And it's totally unnecessary to put Kate or the baby in such jeopardy when the trip can be postponed until the fall!! Duh!!

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    3. Ladies, I agree that jokes can be a tricky subject. In some ways the world has become so politically correct that it can be over the top. On the other hand, there is a difference between telling a joke where the person telling it pokes fun at him/herself vs. making someone else the subject of it.

      Lynn, I totally agree with you. Right down to the "duh!!" :)

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    4. If she goes into labor while William is gone that would not be cool either. He would miss the birth of his child. And if I was Kate I would not be to happy with him or the royal family.

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    5. @Paola Magi: I totally agree with you, Paola. The more high profile your role is, the more you should be circumspect with what you do or say..... But we all know Prince Philipp and he certainly does not strive to achieve such "delicacy" in dealing with other people! ;-))))

      @Anonymous: If the trip is scheduled for February or early March, it´s certainly more unlikely that she goes into labour while William is away (still, you never know....) - still, the planning of such a trip at that stage is just "off", for both of them. And instead of starting the "rumour mill" once again, Kensington Palace should just acknowledge reality and state the obvious: HRH the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant and while both the Duke and Duchess would love a trip to China it is not something they are able to consider under those particular circumstances but would be delighted to do so at some point later next year..... But, for whatever reason, this seems to be impossible for them. Hopefully the new press guy will be able to change that.....

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    6. There is an article out saying that the new pr guys main focus at first is to make William & Kate more romantic. Now not sure what that is suppose to mean. We all know they do not show much PDA in public. They have had this all through their courtship and marriage so far.

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    7. Anon 16:10, are you referring to the article in Music Times? IF so, it reads like a bad novel. :)) In one of their articles, for example, it talks about Charles and William being pitted against each other and how the Queen may hand power over to William. Now, wouldn't *I* love it if true (lol), but I know it won't happen.

      PDA is not their problem; it's clear they love each other and are very much in sync. This couple is not like a certain K / K who need to hang all over each other to feed the media and their own egos. The people who question W&K's relationship are, IMHO, not as blessed.

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  15. Thank you for the blog Charlotte.......

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  16. anon from Leominster24 November 2014 at 11:47

    I find this all a bit puzzling. Surely, spring isn't going to work. Kate didn't even do engagements at home or attend a wedding in her eighth month last time. Even if she could make the flight, a tour would be risky and exhausting.

    As for William going solo, what if Kate went into labour early? This happened with Edward and Sophie and as I recall he had to rush home from Maurtius. But China isn't Mauritius -- cutting short a tour of a county that large and that far away, with a diplomatic mission that sensitive, would not be good.

    All I can think of, knowing nothing of diplomacy, is that perhaps the invitation is extended and then postponed to autumn or beyond. China surely would want the most attention paid and that means having Kate along.

    I assumed that Kate would set off for Mustique since that is such a family tradition and she will only be six or seven months along, but in the way of the press, it would look awkward if she made that flight but turned down China. Postponing does seem best. Likewise it would be awkard if she was seen shopping or the like while William was there. Since George is not to be included, it seems likely the new arrival wouldn't be either - so spring might be better than autumn, since Kate might not want to leave a six month baby.

    With so much at stake, I don't see what the hurry is. William and Kate could do much to soothe those previous gaffs - why not wait until the time is right.

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  17. Good afternoon everyone,

    My understanding now is a trip will "most likely" be going ahead in February or March. BBC royal reporter Peter Hunt believes it will be a solo for William.

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    1. Charlotte, are you aware of any other royal tours scheduled for Autumn of this year? The Queen...Charles...?? Could they be "rushing" this tour to keep that time of year free from any potential conflict....? Just a thought. Thank you. :)

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    2. If it goes thru in February then Kate could still go. Unless they want William to shine and feel if Kate is with him all the eyes will be on her. But the country invited them both.

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    3. Hello Royalfan,

      I've heard the Foreign Office has had considerable input and it's been seen as a slap in the face to Charles and Camilla they were not invited instead.

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    4. Very interesting. I know who I would invite, but I could see this being a slap in the face to C&C. Definitely.

      Thank you, Charlotte.

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    5. I don't think Charles is a favorite of China government right now. He does have mouth that he says things that maybe he should keep to himself. And who would want Camilla, sorry.

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    6. Anon 16:06, you made my day. Thank you for the giggle. :)

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  18. Maybe Kate is not expected to go because she distracts people from the real aim of the visit. William solo trip to Malta was very good. I think he did well and the media focused on the aim of his visit. Maybe he is learning how to make business trip (he will need it when he's a king). In China William will focus more on his engagements instead on his family. Maybe the cost of Kate's travel, wardrobe and accommodation is the reason too. William needs only a few suits...

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  19. I'm happy to see Prince William finally getting rid of his double breasted tuxedos!

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  20. I don't think Kate is going nor is it really expected she will go.

    I think the China trip originally was planned before the pregnancy announcement. And I think now its "up in the air if the Duchess will accompany William" because it sounds better than "She's definitely not going because she will be very pregnant". It gives a more positive impression that she really wants to work and is committed. I think this was also what was going on with the "maybe" she would do the Malta trip when she was so horrendously ill with HG.

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  21. Can anyone here explain why Kate is not attending the Tusk Awards with William tomorrow night when she was by his side last year. It just does not make any sense to me. I understand it is his charity but isn't it part of her job is to support him with his charities.
    Or is it that to much focus will be on Kate and not the awards and the people receiving them. I can't think William does not want her there with him.
    Hope someone, maybe Charlotte can explain this.

    Shelby from New Mexico

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  22. well i think its not good for the duchess to travel for 10 long hours is not good for heavy pregnant lady in terms of china plus the different weather for her its not good its humidity is 60 the separate engagement the duke will go to tusk and duchess will each hospice

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  23. The Linley Horseguards Parade Desk, designed in honor of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Follow the gallery to see its secret compartments and special design elements. David Linley is Princess Margaret's son.

    http://www.davidlinley.com/private-commission-projects/horse-guards-parade-desk/

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