What better way to end the weekend than with new photos of the ever-adorable Prince George. The Palace released three new photos of the little Prince to mark Christmas and to show gratitude that he is not photographed going about his daily life. It is an unexpected treat for royal watchers to see another glimpse of the 17-month-old future king before his brother or sister arrives in April.
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The photos were taken on the steps of Kensington Palace by Prince Harry's private secretary Ed Lane Fox who used to work as a freelance photographer. George has certainly grown since the last time we saw him and looking very much like his grandfather Mike Middleton. Who do you think he resembles?
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During William and Kate's trip to New York Prince William revealed the tot loves iPad games while the Duchess said, "I am listening to a lot more classical music at home with George so we are all learning together."
|Clarence House Twitter Feed|
George looked incredibly cute in the Cath Kidston Guards vest and Polarn O. Pyret organic cotton bodysuit (with thanks to What Prince George Wore and HRH George Pieces). The Prince has grown out of his pre-walkers and is now sporting the Jo by Start rite Shoes.
The GEORGEOUS (perfect term for gorgeous George) photos made the cover of Hello! Magazine.
When will we see the Duchess next? There are no engagements scheduled at present, however, we can expect to see arrival/departure photos of Kate and other royals at Her Majesty's annual pre-Christmas lunch. Martin from The Courtier Blog revealed it is set to take place mid-next week just before the Queen and Prince Philip depart for Sandringham.
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Are you feeling festive? We certainly are here at Duchess Kate Blog (with many thanks to my fiancé for creating a seasonally appropriate header for the duration of the month).
It's been a few days since Royal Visit USA ended and I thought it a prudent time to share thoughts on various aspects of the whirlwind trip: the style, media and public reaction and previously unseen moments. We begin with some of the lighter moments from New York.
An amusing video emerged on social media during the week from Kate's visit to the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem where the Duchess enjoyed talking with locals and staff whilst wrapping. As happens while engaging in conversation, Kate was distracted from her wrapping duties, but an officious supervisor instructed her to "keep wrapping". Kate is seen rolling her eyes and returning back to the task at hand. The video can be viewed here.
A glimpse into the couple's Christmas plans was revealed when William spoke to Downton Abbey's executive producer Gareth Neame:
'He said he was really looking forward to the episode that we run on Christmas Day which is the season finale. So we know William and kate are fans.'
When one is staying at The Carlyle with access to New York's finest eateries what would you order? The royals meal of choice was pizza. More from US Magazine:
'The insider tells US Kate, who was taking a break before the St Andrews' 600th Anniversary Dinner at the Met Museum ordered "three very specific pizzas from NYC eatery Serafina", which included a "spicy sausage pizza with no mushroom and a prosciutto "di Fabio" pizza.
The five months pregnant Duchess shared the delicacies with a Kensington Palace assistant, private secretary Rebecca Deacon and hairstylist Amanda Cook-Tucker while she prepared for her evening engagement.'
Speaking of The Carlyle Hotel, upon the Duke and Duchess' departure they shared a message about the couple: "Their kind and gracious demeanour was captured here so beautifully upon their departure. On behalf of our entire 41 staff, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to them for choosing The Carlyle as their home in New York".
Moving on to Kate's style for the trip, there are several sartorial elements which caught the attention of readers. Noticeably we saw the Duchess select two garments by maternity brand Séraphine. During Kate's first pregnancy she elected to avoid maternity wear, but this time she is showing earlier and one imagines the maternity brand's pieces offered comfort as well as style. The Marina Maternity Coat worked especially well for the royal arrival and the Vanessa Dress was a superb choice to showcase some serious Cartier bling.
We cannot mention bling without discussing the show-stopping emerald and diamond jewels Kate debuted for the St Andrews' 600th Anniversary dinner. The jewels were "a private gift" (perhaps a wedding present?) and looked beautiful on Kate.
The more I look at them, the more dazzling they appear.
The jewels added another dimension to the look as initially there was some disappointment at Kate's decision to wear her Jenny Packham ink blue off-the-shoulder gown for a third time (one of our posters coined it a 'threepeat'). It was a stellar look for the Duchess, and all the more special because her gown and jewels echoed the colours of St Andrews.
As expected, Kate gave a nod to US fashion by wearing the Tory Burch metallic tweed Bettina Coat with the black J Crew Toothpick Jeans for a reception with the Clintons and an NBA game. There were many varied opinions on this look, but I quite liked it.
Many noted Kate favoured black garments during this tour. An LBD such as the Beulah London Amara dress shown below is an excellent wardrobe staple which would work for a variety of events and we know how much the Duchess loves a lace dress. Some were surprised Kate wore the black GOAT Washington Coat to meet children at the Northside Center. Other black items included the aforementioned Séraphine 'Vanessa' dress and the J Crew jeans.
The cerise Mulberry coat Kate wore for a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum provoked heated debate and divided opinions across the board. Many felt the bright hue was wholly inappropriate for a visit to a memorial of such magnitude. Others suggested there is no imperative here and the coat was fine for the nature of the day - which included a quick visit to the One World Trade Center.
I respect the spectrum of opinions expressed on the matter and given the fact the visit (and the coat) led to emotive responses from a number of our readers, perhaps a more subdued colour would have been a better choice. It's a tough one with such varying feelings, but one fact I am quite certain of is this: Palace aides would have spoken with US officials about ensuring correct protocol was adhered to. Have your thoughts on the subject changed since you initially saw it?
Other topics I wanted to briefly discuss include the media's reaction to the tour and surprisingly it was not all positive. Some journalists expressed disappointment with Kate, feeling she was more guarded on this trip than previous overseas visits, and the word "boring" was mentioned more than once. Again, this was very, very surprising and following a little digging it seemed to stem from frustration with the levels of security surrounding the event. Hindered views for members of the media and a lack of quotes from the Duchess were the main complaints.
As an observer of the tour, I felt it signalled something of a major improvement in terms of William's relationship with the press. Upon arrival at The Carlyle, Prince William turned Kate to briefly pose for pool photographers.
Again, at the St Andrews dinner someone in the crowd shouted "turn around Kate"; William duly obliged and prompted Kate to do the same.
The trip appeared to be a very successful one - $3.4 million was raised for St Andrews University, a significant chunk towards their ultimate fundraising goal and no doubt generous donations will be made to The Royal Foundation as a result of the trip. We saw both William and Kate support causes close to their heart and William taking on more of a statesman-like role, meeting with politicians, delivering effective speeches and he seemed to be genuinely beaming from the beginning of the visit to end.
Finally, we share photos from two of our readers who had the opportunity to see the Cambridges in New York. A huge thank you to Katie and Mary Beth for sharing their pictures, we are so pleased you saw William and Kate!
You can revisit the trip on our Royal Visit USA page :)